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WIREs Energy Environ.
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Catalytic pyrolysis of biomass for transportation fuels

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Abstract Application of heterogeneous catalysis in biomass pyrolysis seems to be one of the most promising methods to improve bio‐oil quality by minimizing its undesirable properties (high viscosity, corrosivity, instability, etc.) and producing renewable crude (bio‐crude). This bio‐crude could finally lead to transportation fuels using existing refinery processes (such as hydrotreating). A plethora of catalytic materials have been investigated in the literature as catalysts for the biomass catalytic pyrolysis process. Among them, microporous (zeolitic) or mesoporous (Al‐MCM‐41) acid materials have been tested, either promoted or not with several transition metals. Lately, basic materials are also suggested. For this process, a circulating fluid bed reactor seems to be the most effective technology, since it offers continuous catalyst regeneration. The research till today shows that catalysts based on ZSM‐ are the most promising. With these catalysts, bio‐oil yield up to about 30 wt% (on dry biomass) with about 21 wt% oxygen can be produced. However, tailoring of catalyst properties such as acidity/basicity and porosity characteristics is still needed to develop an optimized catalyst. This article is categorized under: Bioenergy > Science and Materials Bioenergy > Climate and Environment Energy and Climate > Science and Materials
Schematic flow diagram of a biomass catalytic pyrolysis unit: regenerator (D‐101), biomass feed hopper (D‐61), mixing zone (D‐201), reactor/riser (D‐202), stripper (D‐301), lift line (D‐305), bio‐oil recovery vessels (D‐402, D‐407), and heat exchangers (HE‐101, HE‐401, and HE‐403).
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