Investigations of the Stability of Pyrolysis Oil during High Temperature Treatment
AdvisorWalters, Keisha B.
CommitteeHill, Priscilla J.
Pyrolysis oil is produced from biomass when a feedstock is rapidly heated in a non-oxidizing environment during a short residence time. While pyrolysis oil is inexpensive, major issues prevent the facile use of this oil product ‘as produced’. Principally, since the rapid condensation results in a product not in thermodynamic equilibrium, the oil components continue to react until equilibrium is reached. Understanding how and why these reactions—including polymerization—occur in pyrolysis oil is important in designing treatments to stabilize or transform pyrolysis oil before further upgrading. Physical and chemical changes in pyrolysis oils are investigated as a function of temperature and time to simulate the aging process during storage. The effects of alcohol addition on pyrolysis oil stability during high temperature treatment are investigated. The pretreatment of pyrolysis oil with low-cost alcohols is promising prior to hydrotreating or catalytic cracking.