(490a) Continuous Distillation of Fast Pyrolysis Bio-Oils

Authors: 
Elkasabi, Y., USDA-ARS
Integration of pyrolysis-based biorefineries into petroleum refinery infrastructure will require novel strategies for bio-oil separations, including but not limited to distillation. Traditionally, distillation of fast pyrolysis bio-oils has been regarded as futile due to the thermal instability of the bio-oil. However, with developments in advanced pyrolysis techniques such as catalytic fast pyrolysis (CFP) and tail-gas reactive pyrolysis (TGRP) that reduce oxygen content and increase the thermal stability of bio-oils, distillation can proceed with significant yields that concentrate valuable chemicals into usable cuts. Still, little data on continuous separations has been offered. This talk will focus on preliminary data obtained from a continuous flash distillation system for pyrolysis bio-oil separations. The distillation system can be operated as either a one-stage or two-stage flash distillation. Based on our previous distillation studies, the first stage was operated at 120 oC, while the second stage can be operated between 250 and 300 oC. For one-stage distillation, the higher temperature set point was used. Yields and compositions of the fractions are analyzed and compared with results from batch experiments.