(123c) Bench- and Pilot-Scale Modular Pyrolysis Units to Derisk Process and Unit Operation Scale-up
Pyrolysis processes for the conversion of biomass, agricultural residue, and solid waste to liquid fuels remains a high focus for renewable energy technologies. While pyrolysis reactors are generally scalable, other process equipment for solids conveyance, solids separation, bio-oil collection, and related unit operations require unique designs. A 1 kg/h bench- and 45 kg/h pilot-scale pyrolysis system were used to design, scale-up, and demonstrate several key unit operations for pyrolysis operation. This includes fluidizing gas heaters, cyclone separators for solid pyrolysis char separation, condensers, and liquid-gas separators for bio-oil collection. The continuous, automated 1 kg/h bench-scale pyrolysis system has been made commercially available by Mainstream Engineering for researchers interested in scale-up of pyrolysis processes, catalytic upgrading to fuels, or other unit operations. The combination of these pyrolysis units allows for innovative renewable energy unit operations or new technologies to be first demonstrated and controlled at the bench-scale prior to demonstration on a representative pilot-scale system. The modular pyrolysis units derisk process scale-up, which assists in accelerating new technologies to large-scale operations. This study examined the scale-up design and performance of several unit operations on the bench- and pilot-scale and details key design parameters, developed design models, as well as process models for large-scale applications.