Wednesday, October 19, 2011: 8:53 AM
208 C (Minneapolis Convention Center)
Pyrolysis of biomass is being evaluated as a promising technique for production of fuels and value-added chemicals in place of petroleum-based approaches. We have developed a technique that allows for direct, real time detection and analysis of pyrolysis products. Using sub-milligram quantities of biomass heated at rates up to 20,000 K s-1, pyrolyzed directly in front of a linear quadrupole ion trap mass spectrometer, we are able to determine the true primary products, which are small fragments of the biomass building blocks. Furthermore, we have shown that it is possible to systematically tailor secondary reactions of these primary products by varying the temperature and residence time they spend in a flow tube. Specifically, we are able to restrict the product distribution to the number of carbons useful for making liquid fuels (C12-C18 range). The findings from the sub-milligram reactor have been verified in a 10 g min-1 reactor.