SMALL-SCALE DEPLOYABLE PYROLYSIS AND UPGRADING UNIT FOR LIGNO-CELLULOSIC BIOMASS
Adam G. Carra, Hsi-Wu Wongb, Yuriy Romanc, Jay Pecka
a – Aerodyne Research Inc., 45 Manning Rd, Billerica MA 01821
b – Present address, University of Massachusetts, Lowell (…)
c – Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA 02139
A small scale, 1kg/hr continuous throughput pyrolysis and upgrading system was built to produce olefin products. The system was designed to directly upgrade the gasified products of cellulosic biomass. A number of catalysts were trialed, including different zinc oxides and zirconium oxides. Model compound results are presented, as well as continuous throughput pyrolysis product gases through the upgrading unit.
We found that a higher conversion and isobutene selectivity was possible with a ZnZrOx-S catalyst using acetic acid as a model feedstock. This catalyst was used for our larger-scale trials using upgrading pyrolysis gases, with a small addition of hydrogen to facilitate deoxygenation of the reactor products.
Several modifications to the processing unit were required in order to facilitate continuous processing of biomass into olefin products. Feeder issues and other solids handling issues were troublesome, however they were overcome to produce a demonstration biomass upgrading unit capable of processing up to 1kg/hr of biomass, producing olefin products.