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Biomass fast pyrolysis in an innovative gas-solid vortex reactor : experimental proof of concept

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Biomass fast pyrolysis has been considered one of the best alternatives for the thermal conversion of biomass into bio-oil. This work introduces a new reactor technology for biomass fast pyrolysis, the Gas-Solid Vortex Reactor (GSVR), to obtain high bio-oil yields. The GSVR was designed to decrease the residence time of the pyrolysis vapors; thus, the secondary cracking reactions are reduced, to enhance the segregation of the char and the unreacted biomass and to improve the heat transfer rate. Biomass fast pyrolysis experiments have been carried out for the first time in a Gas-Solid Vortex Reactor (GSVR) at 773 K, using softwood (pine) and hardwood (poplar) as feedstock. Char yields as low as 10 wt. % in the GSVR were comparable to those reported for the same feedstocks processed in conventional fluidized bed reactors. The yields of non-condensable gases in the range of 15-17 wt. % were significantly lower than those reported for other commonly used biomass fast pyrolysis reactors. Two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC x GC) revealed noticeable differences at the molecular level between the bio-oils from the GSVR and bio-oils from other reactors. The aromatics in the pine bio-oil consist almost entirely (85 wt. %) of guaiacols. For poplar bio-oils no predominant group of aromatics was found, but phenolics, syringols, and catechols were the most pronounced. The experimental results highlight the advantages of the GSVR for biomass pyrolysis, reaching stable operation in around 60 s, removing the formed char selectively during operation, and enabling fast entrainment of pyrolysis vapors. Results indicate a great potential for increasing yield and selectivity towards guaiacols in softwood (e.g., pine) bio-oil. Likewise, decreasing pyrolysis temperature could increase the yield of guaiacols and syringols in hardwood (e.g., poplar) bio-oil.
Tijdschrift: Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis
ISSN: 0165-2370
Volume: 156
Aantal pagina's: 1
Jaar van publicatie:2021