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Catalytic and catalytic free process for cellulose conversion: fast pyrolysis and microwave induced pyrolysis studies

Abstract

The catalytic and non-catalytic pyrolysis of microcrystalline cellulose and phosphoric acid pre-treated cellulose was investigated. The thermal processes were carried out applying two different methodologies: conventional fast pyrolysis and microwave-induced pyrolysis. For the catalytic experiments different catalysts were evaluated: CeO2, Nb2O5, SiO2, high surface area SiO2, Si-MCM-48 and Al-Fe-MCM-48. In all cases the liquid fraction was evaluated by quantifying the yields of anhydrosugars (mainly levoglucosan, levoglucosenone and 1,4:3,6-dianhydro-α-d-glucopyranose) and aromatic hydrocarbons. In the reaction of microcrystalline cellulose levoglucosan was the main product, while levoglucosenone was predominant in the pyrolysis of phosphoric acid pre-treated cellulose. Catalysts improved the fraction of bio-oil and the product distribution depended on the nature of catalytic materials as well as the starting cellulose. On the other hand, the microwave induced pyrolysis favored the formation of char at expenses of liquid fraction. In this case levoglucosenone and other anhydrosugars in conjunction with furan compounds were the main products.

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Acknowledgments

The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support of CONICET and SECYT-UNC. Authors also thank Prof. A. Blanc, Prof. R. Carbonio, Dr. G. Lener and Dr. Cecilia Blanco for their contribution in the XRD analysis of cellulose samples and catalysts.

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Correspondence to Elizabeth Laura Moyano.

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Nieva, M.L., Volpe, M.A. & Moyano, E.L. Catalytic and catalytic free process for cellulose conversion: fast pyrolysis and microwave induced pyrolysis studies. Cellulose 22, 215–228 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10570-014-0484-z

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10570-014-0484-z

Keywords

  • Cellulose
  • Pyrolysis
  • Catalysis
  • Microwave
  • Anhydrosugars