(651c) Non-Equilibrium Plasma Pretreatment of Biomass for Enhanced Conversion

Authors: 
Bai, X., Iowa State University
A, L., Iowa State University
Hu, H., Iowa State University
Hu, H., Iowa State University
Non-equilibrium plasma pretreatment of biomass for enhanced conversion

Lusi A, Haiyang Hu, Hui Hu, Xianglan Bai

Plasma treatment has been emerged as a green, low-cost alternative for biomass pretreatment. Compared to conventional biomass pretreatment, plasma treatment does not require aggressive solvents or chemicals. Instead, plasma discharge is generated by simply applying electricity. Non-equilibrium plasma is particularly attractive due to its low energy input and mild condition. The ions, electrons and radicals generated by the plasma discharge can create chemically rich environment to promote various reactions in biomass, such as delignification, depolymerization, hydrolysis and oxidation. The effect of plasma discharge also highly depends on the gas environment and plasma conditions. In the present study, the effects of plasma pretreatment on biomass pyrolysis were investigated. More specifically, biomass and biomass compositions were subjected to either AC plasma or nanosecond pulsed plasma using DBD reactor under atmospheric air or argon. The effect of moisture was also investigated by adding water during the plasma pretreatment. The plasma pretreated biomass and biomass components were subsequently pyrolyzed, and the product distributions were compared with the results from pyrolysis of untreated biomass. In the present study, pyrolysis of plasma pretreated cellulose produced an unseen high levoglucosan yield up to 73.4%.

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