Fractional Catalytic Pyrolysis of Biomass for Adhesive Precusor Production

Wednesday, November 10, 2010: 5:00 PM
Cottonwood (Marriott Downtown)
Foster A. Agblevor1, Sedat H. Beis2, Aaron Small3, Ashley Mullins3 and Junia Pereira4, (1)Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, (2)Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Maine, Orono, ME, (3)Luna Innovations Inc, Blacksburg, VA, (4)Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA

Fractional catalytic pyrolysis is a process that selectively targets individual biopolymer components of the biomass to produce specific product slates. This method was used to screen several biomass feedstocks (switchgrass, corn stover, pinewood, hybrid poplar wood, oakwood) for adhesives production. Pyrolysis experiments were conducted at 400 to 450 oC and pyrolysis oil yields ranged from 30-50 wt%. The oils had very low molecular weight, low viscosity and pH of 3-4. The oils were used as partial substitutes for phenol in phenol /formaldehyde reactions. Both Novolac and Resol resins were prepared from the oils. For these reactions, biooils were used as received without any need for any pretreatments such as extractions, filtrations or neutralization. Excellent polymerizations results were obtained and up to 95 wt% of the phenol could be replaced by the oils. The results were similar for all feedstocks except switchgrass oils which did not form good resins. All the oils were rich in both hydrocarbons and phenolics; however, the switchgrass oil had the highest hydrocarbon fraction which likely accounts for its poor performance as a phenol replacement in the phenol/formaldehyde reactions.

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See more of this Session: Catalytic Biomass Conversion to Chemicals
See more of this Group/Topical: Fuels and Petrochemicals Division