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Bio-oil production by pyrolysis of biomass coupled with a catalytic de-oxygenation treatment

Abstract : Depleting sources of fossil fuels and harmful consequences of greenhouse gas emissions on the environment have heightened the necessity of renewable energy resources. Among the different existing sources, biomass presents a considerable potential. This research work aimed at investigating the pyrolysis of flax shives and beech wood residues, which are biomass residues commonly found in the Normandy region, so as to produce and upgrade a bio-oil capable of being used as a bio-fuel in combustion engines. The objective of this thesis was thus to provide a detailed characterisation of the products obtained from the pyrolysis of the two chosen biomasses and their pure components (cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin) in a semi-continuous system. A catalytic de-oxygenation treatment was then employed to upgrade the properties of the bio-oils obtained. The catalysts used were zeolite-based (HZSM-5 and H-Y), the latter zeolites modified by iron and metals (Pt and CoMo) supported on alumina. It was observed that, in this setup, pyrolysis at 500 °C under 500 mL/min of nitrogen, followed by a catalytic de-oxygenation using Fe-HZSM-5 as catalyst, gave the best results in terms of bio-oil yield and de-oxygenation degree. The effect, on the pyrolysis products, of changing the pyrolysis reactor technology to a continuous drop-tube reactor was also investigated. This reactor was similarly coupled with a catalytic de-oxygenation treatment step occurring in a separate fixed bed reactor. It was found that despite a change in reactor technology, the optimal operational conditions remain the same, although a non-negligible difference was noticed with respect to the de-oxygenation degree. This difference was attributed to the effect of contact time. Finally, the efficiency of the catalyst used during the continuous pyrolysis was monitored in time. It was seen that over time, the catalyst presented a diminishing activity, indicating the presence of a de-activation phenomenon.
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Chikirsha Chetna Devi Mohabeer. Bio-oil production by pyrolysis of biomass coupled with a catalytic de-oxygenation treatment. Catalysis. Normandie Université, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018NORMIR22⟩. ⟨tel-02096666⟩

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