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Aromatic hydrocarbon production from co-pyrolysis of algae, cedar wood and digested sludge blends

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2021 ASABE Annual International Virtual Meeting  2100050.(doi:10.13031/aim.202100050)
Keywords:   Aromatic hydrocarbons, Bio-oil, Catalyst, Co-pyrolysis, ZSM-5.

Abstract. Co-pyrolysis where a mixture of at least two different biomasses is subjected to pyrolysis, has gained attention over the years. Formulation of the pyrolysis feedstock chemical composition by blending biomass from different sources facilitates production of bio-oil with desirable properties such as high caloric value and chemical composition. In the present study, pure biomass and blends of cedar wood (CW), microalgal biomass (MB), and digested sludge (DS) were subjected to co-pyrolysis with and without the catalyst ZSM-5. From this, it was determined that catalytic pyrolysis of the blends reduced the energy requirement for the process. Additionally, the RSM models for total activation energy (Ea) and change in enthalpy (ΔH), established that a mixture of ZSM–5 and the biomass blend consisting of 57.14 wt % DS, 4.29 wt % MB and 38.57 wt % CW at a weight ratio of 2:1 (wt/wt) was the optimum combination (OC) to reduce process energy requirement. The latter combination, OC, produced a bio-oil with 83.12% Aromatic Hydrocarbon (AH) content. However, the highest AH content, 89.38%, in the bio-oil was obtained via catalytic pyrolysis of a biomass blend containing equal weight fractions of three biomasses at a 2:1 catalyst to biomass ratio. The main class of aromatic hydrocarbons present in the bio-oil were naphthalene, anthracene and their methyl derivatives.

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