(111e) Catalytic Upgrading of Pyrolysis Vapors From De-Lignified Biomass

Baldwin, R., National Renewable Energy Laboratory
French, R., National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Catalytic upgrading of vapors produced by fast pyrolysis of biomass has been extensively investigated in the past. Most studies report low yields of hydrocarbons with rapid and extensive coking of the catalyst. In this study we report on the catalytic upgrading of pyrolysis vapors from de-lignified biomass (Kraft pulp). Results of micro-reactor studies using ZSM-5 as the upgrading catalyst show promising yields of hydrocarbons, with up to 25 wt% of the feed converted to hydrocarbons. The reaction is extremely selective, producing only benzene, toluene, xylene, and naphthalenes, with toluene being the dominant product.

We will report detailed mass balance and product speciation data for these experiments, and propose processing concepts that could take advantage of similar strategies for production of fuel-range materials from biomass. Experiments with upgrading of pyrolysis vapors in a hydrogen atmosphere using a Ni-impregnated ZSM-5 will be presented and compared to the non-promoted catalyst. Preliminary process economics will be discussed.