In situ catalytic upgrading of bio-oil using supported molybdenum carbide
•Catalytic fast pyrolysis of sugarcane bagasse was done using molybdenum carbide.•Increasing concentrations of molybdenum carbide decreased bio-oil yield.•The viscosity of bio-oil from catalytic fast pyrolysis decreased.•Furans and phenols yields increased while sugars decreased in catalytic fast pyrolysis.•Molybdenum carbide increased water formation during pyrolysis.
The aim of this work is to improve some of the less desirable properties of bio-oil via the catalytic fast pyrolysis of sugarcane bagasse using a novel supported molybdenum carbide (20 wt.% Mo2C/Al2O3) catalyst. Proximate and elemental analysis of the bagasse were carried out to determine the moisture, ash, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen content. The ground pellets were classified in sieves to a size range of 0.25–1 mm and were pyrolysed in a 300 g h−1 fluidised bed reactor at 500 °C. Mo2C/Al2O3 replaced the sand in the fluidised bed reactor in different proportions (0 wt.%, 12 wt.%, 25 wt.% and 50 wt.%) to investigate the effect of this catalyst on the pyrolysis products. Bio-oil yield results showed that ground sugarcane bagasse pellets gave high organic yields in the bio-oil of 60.5 wt.% on dry feed with a total liquid yield of 73.1 wt.% on dry feed without catalyst. Increasing the catalyst proportions in the fluidised bed reduced bio-oil yields, significantly reduced sugars (as α-levoglucosan) concentration and increased furanics and phenolics concentration in the bio-oil. It was observed that the higher the concentration of the 20 wt.% Mo2C/Al2O3 catalyst in the fluidised bed the lower the viscosity of the bio-oil.
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Journal: Applied Catalysis A: General - Volume 458, 10 May 2013, Pages 48–54