(210a) Catalytic Upgrading of Pyrolysis Vapor at Bench Scale with Platinum on Titania

French, R. J., National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Iisa, K., National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Mukarakate, C., National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Orton, K. A., National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Schaidle, J. A., National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Vapor phase upgrading can produce a liquid of lower oxygen and higher energy density than can fast pyrolysis alone. Therefore, it is anticipated that catalytic pyrolysis followed by a single stage of hydrotreating will be a more cost-effective route to hydrocarbon fuels than fast pyrolysis with multiple-stage or more-severe hydrotreating.

To this end, a bench-scale bubbling fluidized bed pyrolyzer was operated at 150 g/h feed rate of pine flour with a 100 g fixed-bed catalytic upgrader. A 0.5% Pt/TiO2 catalyst produced a lower oxygen (< 20%) liquid at 40% carbon efficiency at 400°C and biomass-to-catalyst ratio (B:C) of 3 for numerous cycles. The catalyst was regenerated and reused by oxidation with air and reduction with hydrogen. The oxidation and reduction times were reduced to 2 h and 1 h respectively without compromising performance or catalyst temperature control. Increasing the pyrolysis temperature from 500°C to 550°C allowed operation at B:C greater than 3 at comparable performance. Performance was generally similar to 2% Pt/TiO2 but at reduced catalyst cost. Projected costs are < $4/gallon of gasoline blendstock. Responses to other parameter changes and prospects for further improvements will be discussed.