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Content archived on 2024-04-16

A two step process of wood liquefaction solvolysis and upgrading


Development of

1) a two step process of wood liquefaction solvolysis and upgrading;
2) catalytic thermal conversion of biomass and characterization of pyrolytic oils;
3) pyrolytic bio-oils production and processing with supercritical fluids;
4) upgrading of oils from lignin-derived materials.
Wood powder was converted to liquid hydrocarbons by liquefaction in 2 successive steps. The first step is asolvolysis in which the wood is completely dissolved in a mixture of acidified phenol tetralin. Above 50% of its oxygen content is removed in this step. The distillation residue of the solvolysis is subjected to a second step involving a catalytic hydrotreatment using tetralin as carrier solvent. The quality of the upgraded oil increases with hydrogen pressure. Among the tested catalysts, the nickel molybdenum sulphur appears the most efficient, however the iron powder has approximately the same efficiency and it is of economical interest.
1)The liquefaction process developed consists of two main successive steps.

The first step is carried out at relatively mild conditions of temperature and pressure. The wood (in powder of thick pieces from) is dissolved in an organic solvent, possibly with a small quantity of sulphuric acid, in the temperature range 220-280 C.

In the second step, the crude oil or the heavy residue obtained after distillation is subjected to a catalytic hydrogenation under pressure. The objective of the upgrading step is to provide an organic liquid usable as fuel oil with a minimum oxygen content, avoiding the saturation of aromatic compounds which are of a great interest.

2) Experiments are carried out to find the optimum conditions for the thermal conversion of biomass into oils and chemical. Most of the work is dedicated to the search of effective and economic catalysts which play a key role in high pressure liquefaction.

After having determined the optimum conditions it is planned to use a large autoclave system in which quasi continuous conditions can be simulated. Analysis of products will be done over the whole time period after each experiment.

3) Liquefaction at a laboratory scale and of biomass with several Super Critical Solvents (SCS) will be investigated experimentally in order to maximize the yield of a predeterminate class of compounds and/or the quality of the liquid oil to be used as a fuel. The experimental tests will be performed in batch or in semi-continuous apparatuses.

4) Promising advanced processes of high-pressure liquefaction, in particular, a treatment method based on the addition of alkali to the black liquor before liquid-phase processing will be developed. During the processing at 350 C, a hydrophobic oil separates from the aqueous phase with a yield of 40% of black liquor organic oil. This product oil contains some inorganic material (3% sodium), which should be removed.


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Centre de Recherche de Royallieu

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