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Title: Transportation fuels from biomass via fast pyrolysis and hydroprocessing

Biomass is a renewable source of carbon, which could provide a means to reduce the greenhouse gas impact from fossil fuels in the transportation sector. Biomass is the only renewable source of liquid fuels, which could displace petroleum-derived products. Fast pyrolysis is a method of direct thermochemical conversion (non-bioconversion) of biomass to a liquid product. Although the direct conversion product, called bio-oil, is liquid; it is not compatible with the fuel handling systems currently used for transportation. Upgrading the product via catalytic processing with hydrogen gas, hydroprocessing, is a means that has been demonstrated in the laboratory. By this processing the bio-oil can be deoxygenated to hydrocarbons, which can be useful replacements of the hydrocarbon distillates in petroleum. While the fast pyrolysis of biomass is presently commercial, the upgrading of the liquid product by hydroprocessing remains in development, although it is moving out of the laboratory into scaled-up process demonstration systems.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
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Journal Name: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment, 2(5):525-533
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
bio-oil; biomass; pyrolysis; hydroprocessing; catalysis