skip to main content

Title: Analysis of switchgrass-derived bio-oil and associated aqueous phase generated in a semi-pilot scale auger pyrolyzer

To efficiently utilize water-soluble compounds in bio-oil and evaluate the potential effects of these compounds on processes such as microbial electrolysis, our study investigated the physico-chemical properties of bio-oil and the associated aqueous phase generated from switchgrass using a semi-pilot scale auger pyrolyzer. Combining separation and detection strategies with organic solvent extraction, an array of analytical instruments and methods were used to identify and quantify the chemical constituents. Separation of an aqueous phase from crude bio-oil was achieved by adding water (water: crude bio-oil at 4:1 in weight), which resulted in a partition of 61 wt.% of the organic compounds into a bio-oil aqueous phase (BOAP). GC/MS analysis for BOAP identified over 40 compounds of which 16 were quantified. Acetic acid, propionic acid, and levoglucosan are the major components in BOAP. In addition, a significant portion of chemicals that have the potential to be upgraded to hydrocarbon fuels were extracted to BOAP (77 wt.% of the alcohols, 61 wt.% of the furans, and 52 wt.% of the phenolic compounds in crude bio-oil). Valorization of the BOAP may require conversion methods capable of accommodating a very broad substrate specificity. Ultimately, a better separation strategy is needed to selectively remove the acidicmore » and polar components from crude bio-oil to improve economic feasibility of biorefinery operations.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3]
  1. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States). Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Bioscience Division
  3. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States). Center for Renewable Carbon
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725; FOA-0000812
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 119; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0165-2370
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Bioenergy Technologies Office (EE-3B)
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS; 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; Bio-oil; Partition; Bio-oil aqueous phase; HPLC-PDA; GC/MS; GC-FID