Nickel and Iron Catalysts Supported on Cellulose-Based Carbon Aerogels: An Application of Bcfp
AIChE Annual Meeting
Monday, November 14, 2016 - 10:00am to 12:30pm
Nickel and iron catalysts for biomass pyrolysis were prepared on carbon aerogel (CAG) supports made from cellulose nanofibers. The nanofibers were impregnated with (NH4)2SO4 and subjected to varying heating rates (10 or 20 °C / min), maximum temperatures (900, 1000, or 1100 °C), and residence times (0, 1, 2, or 5 h) under nitrogen gas to yield carbon aerogels (>90% carbon). The CAG featured high thermal resistance, average pore radius of 2-3 nm, and surface areas of up to 809 m2 / g; surface areas were much lower for CAG produced at higher temperatures and longer residence times. CAG were also characterized using X-Ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometry (FTIR). CAG 90 is an abbreviated notation for CAG produced at 900 °C with 0 h residence time and 10 °C / min heating rate. Samples of CAG 90 were impregnated with nickel nitrate or iron acetylacetonate via incipient wetness. They were then dried and reduced to produce 10 wt% nickel and iron catalysts. Biomass catalyzed fast pyrolysis was performed with Eucalyptus globulus and catalyst in a 1:5 mass ratio using a micro pyroprobe coupled to gas chromatography mass spectrometer (py-GCMS). Both catalysts reduced the selectivity for carboxylic acids, furans, and phenols while increasing the selectivity for larger aromatic compounds. The pyrolysis temperature of 500 °C and duration of 6s failed to yield hydrogen, methane, or other non-CO2 gases.