Catalytic intermediate pyrolysis of Brunei rice husk for bio-oil production


Rice husks from Brunei were subjected via intermediate pyrolysis for bio-oil production. Two main objectives were set out for this study. The application of intermediate pyrolysis on Brunei rice husk for the production of bio-oil is the main objective of this experiment. Characterisation of the rice husks was inclusive as a pre-requisite step to assess the suitability as feedstock for production of liquid fuels. Following on from the characterisation results, a temperature of 450°C was established as the optimum temperature for the production of bio-oil. A homogenous bio-oil was obtained from the pyrolysis of dry rice husk, and the physicochemical properties and chemical compositions were analysed. The second objective is the introduction of catalysts into the pyrolysis process which aims to improve the bio-oil quality, and maximise the desired liquid bio-oil properties. The incorporation of the catalysts was done via a fixed tube reactor into the pyrolysis system. Ceramic monoliths were used as the catalyst support, with montmorillonite clay as a binder to attach the catalysts onto the catalyst support. ZSM-5, Al-MCM-41, Al-MSU-F and Brunei rice husk ash (BRHA) together with its combination were adopted as catalysts. Proposed criterions dictated the selection of the best catalysts, subsequently leading to the optimisation process for bio-oil production. ZSM-5/Al-MCM-41 proved the most desirable catalyst, which increases the production of aromatics and phenols, decreased the organic acids and improved the physicochemical properties such as the pH, viscosity, density and H:C molar ratios. Variation in the ratio and positioning of both catalysts were the significant key factor for the catalyst optimisation study.

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Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering > Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
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Institution: Aston University
Uncontrolled Keywords: Brunei rick husk,intermediate pyrolysis,bio-oil,zeolites,catalyst optimisation
Completed Date: 2013-12-17
Authors: Abu Bakar, Muhammad


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