(582g) Metal H-Beta Zeolite Catalytic Upgrading of Bio-Crude Oil Derived from Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Algae

Authors: 
Cui, Z., New Mexico State University
Cheng, F., New Mexico State University
Paz, N., New Mexico State University
Jena, U., New Mexico State University
Brewer, C. E., New Mexico State University
Schaub, T., New Mexico State University
Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) conversion of algae is a potential method for producing high-yield bio-crude oils with high heating values for liquid fuel applications. The quality of the bio-crude oils produced from HTL has not yet reached the levels needed for transportation applications because of the presence of undesirable heteroatom-containing aromatic compounds and the related high N/C and O/C ratios. Upgrading is needed to improve HTL bio-crude oil properties. Here, we describe synthesis of bi-functional zeolite catalysts (Pd-Fe/H-Beta and Ru-Fe/H-Beta) to promote bio-crude oil upgrading reactions (i.e., hydrodeoxygenation, hydrodenitrogenation, cracking, alkylation). H-beta zeolites have shown high carbon conversions as support materials for upgrading bio-oils derived from lignocellulosic biomass like wood and grasses. Nobel metals, like Ru and Pd, effectively promote hydrodeoxygenation reactions under milder conditions than other metals. Fe can activate hydrogen to react with oxygen atoms in heteroaromatic compounds leading to the cleavage of C-O bonds. The goal of this research is to investigate the relationship between catalyst synthesis conditions (i.e., calcination temperature and time, metal content ratios) and upgrading effectiveness. The physicochemical properties of the catalysts will be studied by gas adsorption analysis, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The catalytic upgrading experiments will be performed using a Pyroprobe micropyrolyzer-GC/MS system at high hydrogen (400 psi) pressures under varying temperature and catalyst loading conditions. While small, the Pyroprobe-GC/MS system provides a fast and easy way to screen catalysts and reaction conditions through immediate characterization of the upgraded bio-crude oils. Results from this study will be used to design follow-on bench scale catalyst synthesis and testing studies in a continuous flow reactor system.