267008 Extraction of Value-Added Chemicals From Fast Pyrolysis Oils

Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 1:30 PM
Shadyside (Omni )
Duo Wang, Dong-can Lv and Yun-quan Liu, School of Energy Research, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China

As a renewable energy source, bio-oils from fast pyrolysis of biomass have great potential to replace petroleum. However, bio-oils are mixtures totally different from petroleum in regard to their physical and chemical properties.  Therefore, direct applications of bio-oils at present are limited to being used only as a fuel for combustion in boilers for heat generation. To be used as transportation fuels (e.g. gasoline or diesel), bio-oils need to be further upgraded via hydrotreating or hydroprocessing process, which usually requires a lot of hydrogen due to high oxygen content in bio-oils, leading the process from bio-oils to transportation fuels non-competitive with that from petroleum in terms of production cost. Therefore, exploration of other methods that could expand applications of bio-oils while the process is still cost-effective is needed. In this work, extraction methods were explored to recover chemicals such as phenols and/or acetic acid from bio-oils. The preliminary experimental results indicated that extraction of chemicals from bio-oils is not only feasible, but also promising as long as correct extracting agents are selected. Two kinds of extraction methods were studied: 1) extracting phenols by using organic solvents via extraction-back extraction; 2) recovering phenolic compounds and acetic acid simultaneously by using complexing agents. Preliminary economics study was also performed for these two methods to justify the processes. We believe that development of cost-effective extracting methods could accelerate the commercialization of bio-oils, as it generates value-added chemicals, which greatly enhances the process economics of fast pyrolysis.

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