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PhD ceremony Ms. A.R. Ardiyanti: Hydrotreatment of fast pyrolysis oil. Catalyst development and process-product relations

When:Fr 22-03-2013 at 14:30

PhD ceremony: Ms. A.R. Ardiyanti, 14.30 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Dissertation: Hydrotreatment of fast pyrolysis oil. Catalyst development and process-product relations

Promotor(s): prof. H.J. Heeres

Faculty: Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Pyrolysis oil is a product of fast pyrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass. The physical properties of pyrolysis oil (thermal stability, solubility in hydrocarbons, acidity) need to be improved in order to extend its application, e.g. via catalytic hydrotreatment. Systematic studies in a continuous set-up show that two pathways are involved in hydrotreatment; catalytic hydrogenation and a non-catalytic thermal pathway. To promote catalytic hydrogenation, a catalyst with high hydrogenation activity at low temperature (<200 oC) is required. Noble metal catalysts (Rh, Pd, Pt) on ZrO2 showed high activity, although steep high prices make them less attractive. Bimetallic NiCu catalysts display strong activities due to the synergistic effect of Ni and Cu. Studies with NiCu/δ-Al2O3 catalysts showed that a Ni/Cu ratio of 8 gives the highest activity. Inorganic supports (eg TiO2) are more suitable compared to organic supports, as the latter showed weak interaction with NiCu. The hydrogenation activities of these NiCu catalysts at the initial reaction stage need to be improved. For this reason, PiculaTM catalysts, Ni-based catalysts with high Ni content, are developed. Studies with Picula Cat D (NiCu/SiO2, containing 57.9 wt% Ni and 7 wt% Cu) showed that significant polymerisation of pyrolysis oil did not occur, an indication that Picula Cat D is a highly active hydrogenation catalyst at low temperatures.

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