(714c) Thermochemical Conversion of Blended Herbaceous and Woody Biomass Feedstocks | AIChE

(714c) Thermochemical Conversion of Blended Herbaceous and Woody Biomass Feedstocks


Hamilton, C. Y., University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Rials, T., University of Tennessee
Labbé, N., University of Tennessee
The United States has a vast potential supply of renewable lignocellulosic biomass, which can be utilized as feedstocks for the production of renewable fuels and chemicals via biomass conversion technologies. In order to support a large-scale bioeconomy, it will be required that multiple types of biomass be utilized such as dedicated bioenergy crops, forestry and agricultural residues, and municipal wastes. Blending several types of biomass to produce a uniform feedstock has the potential to control feedstock quality specifications. In order to exploit the potential benefits of biomass blending, we must gain a comprehensive understanding of its effects on thermochemical conversion. In this study, we target pyrolysis as the thermochemical conversion technology of interest as it is well suited to produce liquid fuels and chemicals through thermal decomposition and condensation of pyrolysis vapors into bio-oil. The chemical composition of the feedstock used has a significant impact of the yield and quality of the bio-oil produced. In this work, we first utilized pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectroscopy (py-GC/MS) to measure the vapor-phase pyrolysis products produced from switchgrass, two pine residue feedstocks, and binary blends of these. Next, we used an intermediate-scale pyrolysis reactor to test the effect of blending on bio-oil yield and quality. Results indicate that the composition and content of alkali and alkaline earth metals in the feedstocks have a significant effect on the pyrolysis products, and that blending is a potential strategy to produce high quality and low variability feedstocks. Further results and discussion regarding the effects of blending on the yield, quality, and chemical composition of vapor-phase and liquid-phase pyrolysis products will be presented.