(126e) Low Temperature Electrochemical Methods for Upgrading Bio-Oils
Bio-oil is a complex mixture of hundreds of organic and inorganic compounds. The reactive species in bio-oil complicate storage, transportation, and downstream processing because of secondary reactions. As such, these oils require upgrading to be used in the conventional transportation fuel infrastructure. The current design case for upgrading of pyrolysis oils uses a complex three-stage process, where the reactors are operated at high temperatures and up to 2000 psi of hydrogen. We have utilized electrochemical methods to upgrade bio-oils under very mild conditions without the need for externally-supplied hydrogen. Here we have used an electrolysis system to hydrogenate reactive functionalities to more stable compounds using protons and water as the hydrogen source. Electrochemical hydrogen generation is a common competing reaction. We have studied novel cell structures and electrode materials to improve the current efficiency for electrochemical reduction of organic species. Promising results have been observed where significant hydrogenation has been found. A description of work conducted and discussion of results will be presented.