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Thermo-catalytic reforming of alberta-based biomass feedstock to produce biofuels
Biomass & Bioenergy  (IF5.061),  Pub Date : 2021-08-07, DOI: 10.1016/j.biombioe.2021.106203
Manjot Gill, Vinoj Kurian, Amit Kumar, Fabian Stenzel, Andreas Hornung, Rajender Gupta

The depletion of fossil fuels as well as the greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel use have led to growing interest in biofuel production from biomass. A new technology, thermo-catalytic reforming (TCR), is one of the contributing interests. TCR technology integrates intermediate pyrolysis with a post-reforming stage to convert biomass into a high-quality bio-oil, biochar, and syngas. In this study, experiments were carried out using three Alberta-based biomass feedstocks – hardwood pellets, softwood pellets, and chips – in a 2 kg h−1 laboratory-scale TCR plant. The results show that the composition of the biomass has little effect on product yield and quality. The TCR gases had a higher heating value of 12.5–12.8 MJ kg−1 and a hydrogen content of 13–15 vol %. The produced TCR bio-oil had low water content (~5 wt %) and a heating value of 32–34 MJ kg−1. The high quality of the bio-oil is reflected in the low O/C ratio of 0.15 and TAN of 6–15 mg KOH g−1. The TCR biochar from all three feedstocks had a high heating value and a high carbon content, as well as low O/C and H/C ratios. A parametric study was conducted for the softwood pellets to observe the effect of reformer temperature (500–700 °C) and reactor temperature (400–550 °C). It was observed that at a reformer temperature of 700 °C, the gas yield increases at the expense of a reduction in bio-oil and biochar. The optimum reactor temperature for the TCR of softwood pellets was found to be 500 °C, in terms of both bio-oil quality and yield.