Chemical analysis and reactivity of biomass pyrolysis products. Application to the development of carbon-neutral biofuels and chemicals

Torri, Cristian (2011) Chemical analysis and reactivity of biomass pyrolysis products. Application to the development of carbon-neutral biofuels and chemicals, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze ambientali: tutela e gestione delle risorse naturali, 23 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/3532.
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In this dissertation the pyrolytic conversion of biomass into chemicals and fuels was investigated from the analytical point of view. The study was focused on the liquid (bio-oil) and solid (char) fractions obtainable from biomass pyrolysis. The drawbacks of Py-GC-MS described so far were partially solved by coupling different analytical configurations (Py-GC-MS, Py-GC-MIP-AED and off-line Py-SPE and Py-SPME-GC-MS with derivatization procedures). The application of different techniques allowed a satisfactory comparative analysis of pyrolysis products of different biomass and a high throughput screening on effect of 33 catalysts on biomass pyrolysis. As the results of the screening showed, the most interesting catalysts were those containing copper (able to reduce the high molecular weight fraction of bio-oil without large yield decrease) and H-ZSM-5 (able to entirely convert the bio-oil into “gasoline like” aromatic products). In order to establish the noxious compounds content of the liquid product, a clean-up step was included in the Py-SPE procedure. This allowed to investigate pollutants (PAHs) generation from pyrolysis and catalytic pyrolysis of biomass. In fact, bio-oil from non-catalytic pyrolysis of biomass showed a moderate PAHs content, while the use of H-ZSM-5 catalyst for bio-oil up-grading determined an astonishing high production of PAHs (if compared to what observed in alkanes cracking), indicating an important concern in the substitution fossil fuel with bio-oil derived from biomass. Moreover, the analytical procedures developed in this thesis were directly applied for the detailed study of the most useful process scheme and up-grading route to chemical intermediates (anhydrosugars), transportation fuels or commodity chemicals (aromatic hydrocarbons). In the applied study, poplar and microalgae biomass were investigated and overall GHGs balance of pyrolysis of agricultural residues in Ravenna province was performed. A special attention was put on the comparison of the effect of bio-char different use (fuel or as soil conditioner) on the soil health and GHGs emissions.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Torri, Cristian
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze della terra e dell'ambiente
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
pyrolysis biomass anhydrosugars py-gc-ms energy polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons biofuels biochar
Data di discussione
9 Maggio 2011

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