Effect of Acid, Steam Explosion, and Size Reduction Pretreatments on Bio-oil Production from Sweetgum, Switchgrass, and Corn Stover
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Bio-oil produced from biomass by fast pyrolysis has the potential to be a valuable substitute for fossil fuels. In a recent work on pinewood, we found that pretreatment alters the structure and chemical composition of biomass, which influence fast pyrolysis. In this study, we evaluated dilute acid, steam explosion, and size reduction pretreatments on sweetgum, switchgrass, and corn stover feedstocks. Bio-oils were produced from untreated and pretreated feedstocks in an auger reactor at 450 °C. The bio-oil’s physical properties of pH, water content, acid value, density, and viscosity were measured. The chemical characteristics of the bio-oils were determined by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. The results showed that bio-oil yield and composition were influenced by the pretreatment method and feedstock type. Bio-oil yields of 52, 33, and 35 wt% were obtained from medium-sized (0.68–1.532 mm) untreated sweetgum, switchgrass, and corn stover, respectively, which were higher than the yields from other sizes. Bio-oil yields of 56, 46, and 51 wt% were obtained from 1 % H2SO4-treated medium-sized sweetgum, switchgrass, and corn stover, respectively, which were higher than the yields from untreated and steam explosion treatments.
KeywordsPretreatment Biomass Pyrolysis Sweetgum Corn stover Switchgrass
This work was partially funded by the Sustainable Energy Research Centre (SERC) and the Combined Heating and Power (CHP) funding of the Mississippi State University (MSU). The authors thank Aditya Samala, Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, MSU, for HPLC analysis.
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