291761 Vapor Phase Catalytic Deoxygenation of Model Pyrolysis Compounds

Monday, October 29, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Elaine Gomez, Chemical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, University Heights Newark, NJ


Vapor Phase Catalytic Deoxygenation of Model Pyrolysis Compounds

Catalytic vapor phase upgrading of biomass pyrolysis products has the potential to create a liquid product that is compatible with existing petroleum refining infrastructure or could be used directly as a fuel. In order to improve the economics of upgrading, it would be desirable to develop a catalyst that selectively rejects oxygen from pyrolysis vapors and minimizes coking. During catalytic cracking, there are at least three reactions that may occur to remove oxygen: i) decarboxylation, ii) decarbonylation, and iii) dehydration. To improve understanding of how catalyst composition affects reactivity and selectivity for deoxygenation reactions, a series of Ni, Cu, W, Ni-Cu, and Ni-W catalysts supported on Al2O3 were synthesized. Acetic acid was used as a model compound representing a major type of oxygenate found in biomass pyrolysis vapors, carboxylic acids. Several of the catalysts had similar yield for overall CO2 production, but the Ni-Cu(1:1)/Al2O3 catalyst was found to have the highest selectivity for CO2 formation (>40%).  Additionally, a bimetallic effect was observed when either Cu or W was added to Ni, which resulted in a significantly enhanced decarbonylation pathway. This preliminary study demonstrates that the biomass deoxygenation pathways can be significantly altered using multi-component catalysts to create new reaction behavior and there is the potential to develop new materials that are selective for a desired reaction.

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