258926 Decomposition of Microcrystalline Cellulose by Organic Solvents At Sub- and Supercritical Conditions
Renewable biomass sources can be converted to fuel, and they are a logical choice to replace oil. By deriving more energy from renewable feedstocks, many countries might be able to decrease their reliance on fossil fuels significantly. In this study, direct thermo-chemical decomposition of microcrystalline cellulose was investigated in various sub and supercritical organic solvents (m-xylene, dodecane, dioxane and methanol). Since the decomposition reaction was performed at 300°C, 350°C and 400°C, the applied pressure was different among the solvents. And the influence of hydrogen and heterogeneous catalysts on decomposition was evaluated for each supercritical solvent. The composition of liquid product was analyzed by Gas Chromatography with a mass selective detector (GC-MS). The char samples were analyzed by X-ray diffraction (XRD).
The addition of hydrogen to the supercritical reaction increased the conversion ratio by about 4-7% in all solvents except non-polar dodecane. At the temperature of 300°C, the conversion ratio was higher in the aprotic solvents than in methanol. At 350°C and 400°C, the conversion in methanol was the highest, but the operating pressure became very high compared to the other solvents. The addition of surface modified silica by acid groups in the methanol solvent led to a significant increase in the conversion ratio. However, the catalyst did not influence the conversion ratio in the aprotic solvents.
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