A great way to bridge the gap between bio-oil and gasoline grade fuels

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Technology

Need for Advancements in Bio Oil Technology:

Several companies have been formed around the fast pyrolysis technique. Fast pyrolysis is the rapid heating of biomass (up to 9000C) in the absence of oxygen. Process conditions cause biomass to vaporize and then liquefy into bio-oil. Bio-oil is viscous, acidic and thermally unstable. On account of the high oxygen content, it is also low in energy content. These features make it unsuitable for use as a liquid fuel. Upgrading it by removing the oxygen content and by converting some of the high molecular weight compounds is a significant challenge.

Now, a two step process to convert bio-oil to gasoline and diesel range compounds:

1.       The first step converts the thermally unstable compounds to more stable ones. These products are subjected to continuous aqueous phase reforming in the presence of catalyst to produce hydrogen.

2.       In the second step, the hydrogen produced in the first step is used to convert the highly viscous non-aqueous portion of bio-oil into low molecular weight gasoline range compounds.

 

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