The main product of biomass fast pyrolysis is a liquid mixture of numerous organic molecules with water that is usually called pyrolysis oil or bio-oil. The research discussed in this paper was meant (1) to validate a new, semicontinuously operated pyrolysis setup and (2) to investigate the effect of a repeatedly regenerated ZSM-5-based catalyst (eight reaction/regeneration cycles in total) on the yields and compositions of the pyrolysis products in relation to the applied process conditions and on the catalyst itself. The reliability of the setup has been proven by multiple repetition of noncatalytic and catalytic (in situ) pyrolysis experiments for pine wood at 500 °C under identical conditions. As a result, the mass balance closures for all experiments varied from 92 to 99 wt %, while the scatter in measured data was always less than 5%. Changes in the performance of the repeatedly regenerated catalyst have been observed via detailed analysis of the bio-oil (GC × GC-FID and GC × GC-TOF-MS, Karl Fischer), the noncondensable gases (micro-GC), and the carbonaceous solids (elemental analyzer, BET surface area). Along the reaction/regeneration sequence, the yield of organics increased, while water, carbonaceous solids, and noncondensable gases decreased. Trends in pyrolysis product yields converging to that of noncatalytic levels were observed, which revealed that the influence of the catalyst slowly declined. The main observation was that the catalyst partially loses its activity in terms of the product distribution along the reaction/regeneration sequence, while retaining sufficient activity in producing the target chemical compounds.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Chemical Engineering
- Fuel Technology
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology