Pretreatment of Loblolly Pine for Fast Pyrolysis Via Torrefaction

International Congress on Energy 2011
2011 AIChE Annual Meeting
AIChE Annual Meeting
October 17, 2011 - 8:00pm

Topical 6: Lignocelluosics: Biorefineries and Sustainable Energy

T6007 Thermalchemical Conversion I

AIChE 2011, October 16~21, 2011

Minneapolis, MN

Pretreatment of Loblolly Pine for Fast Pyrolysis via Torrefaction

Jiajia Meng, David Tilotta, and Sunkyu Park*

Department of Forest Biomaterials, North Carolina State University

*Corresponding author:

Fluidized-bed fast pyrolysis was performed on torrefied loblolly pine with differing degrees of torrefaction severity. Compared to the pyrolysis of non-torrefied loblolly pine, which has a bio-oil yield of 65%, the bio-oil produced from thermally processed loblolly pine has a 10-30% lower yield depending on torrefaction severity. In order to increase the liquid recovery efficiency from the pyrolysis of intensely treated wood, optimal biomass particle size and pyrolysis temperature were investigated in this study. GC/MS analysis was applied to quantify several important chemical markers in the bio-oils, such as levoglucosan, glycolaldehyde and acetol. It was found that the decomposition of torrefied wood with different thermal treatments leads to varied content of these chemical components in the bio-oils. This result suggests that torrefaction may exert power on the pyrolysis pathway of the major components in the woody biomass. For instance, the opportunity for ring scission and the formation of levoglucosan from cellulose may be altered. Also, the decreasing amount of guaiacols and guaiacyl derivatives in the bio-oil, with respect to the torrefaction temperature, implies the reduction of methoxy groups either in the torrefaction process or in the condensation process occurring in fast pyrolysis. To understand the effect of torrefaction pretreatment on the variation of bio-oil composition, py-GC/MS and MBMS analysis of both torrefied wood sample and the residues from acid hydrolysis of torrefied wood was utilized. In addition, the stability and the acidity of the bio-oils produced from torrefied wood were examined to identify the bio-oil quality improvement gained from torrefaction. These results indicate that fast pyrolysis of the torrefied wood may be an effective way to produce high quality bio-oil.

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