University of Twente Student Theses


Fast pyrolysis product distribution for residual biomass streams

Mimikos, N. (2014) Fast pyrolysis product distribution for residual biomass streams.

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Abstract:Fast pyrolysis is a well established thermochemical process for converting ligno-cellulosic biomass into bio-oil, gases and bio-char. The bio-oil can be further upgraded and refined for the production of renewable liquid fuels or high value chemicals. Raw bio-oil can be used directly for electricity generation. The distribution between solid, liquid and non-condensable gases depends on the type of biomass and on the pyrolysis conditions. The objective of this report is to evaluate the product distribution from the process of fast pyrolysis using different biomass feedstocks. A series of experiments were performed on a newly built experimental setup consisted of a screw fast pyrolysis reactor along with two condensers and char vessel for collecting the bio-oil and the char respectively. The setup was validated by performing experiments using pine wood chips, to determine mass balance closure and reproducibility. In order to improve the operability of the setup a number of operational problems were solved. Four types of biomass were studied in this work: Dried Distilled Biomass (DDB), pine wood chips, soft wood pellets and wheat straw. The pyrolysis behavior of the selected feedstocks were determined via thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). With the wheat straw feedstock, the influence of the pyrolysis temperature on the product distribution has been determined as well. Additional analysis and characterization of the produced pyrolysis oil, char and gases has been performed in BTG's laboratory. The maximum oil yield achieved from the pine wood chips was 72% whereas for the soft wood pellets, wheat straw and DDB the oil yield was lower to 63%, 60% and 19% respectively. The mass balance closure in experiments with pine wood ranged between 85% - 102%, with wood pellets between 72% - 85% and with wheat straw between 61 - 95% while in DDB experiments the closure was insufficient. Considering the energetic yield in the case of DDB, a 60% of the initial feedstock energy is being recovered.
Item Type:Internship Report (Master)
BTG, the Netherlands
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:52 mechanical engineering
Programme:Sustainable Energy Technology MSc (60443)
Keywords:Fast Pyrolysis, bio-oil, DDB, biomass, screw reactor, BTG
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