Upgrading of derived pyrolysis vapors for the production of biofuels from corncobs

  • Liaoyuan Mao
  • Yanxin Li
  • Z. Conrad ZhangEmail author
Research Article


A bubbling fluidized bed pyrolyzer was integrated with an in-situ honeycomb as a catalytic upgrading zone for the conversion of biomass to liquid fuels. In the upgrading zone, zeolite coated ceramic honeycomb (ZCCH) catalysts consisting of ZSM-5 (Si/Al = 25) were stacked and N2 or recycled non-condensable gas was used as a carrier gas. Ground corncob particles were fast pyrolyzed in the bubbling bed using fine sand particles as a heat carrier and the resulting pyrolysis vapors were passed on-line over the catalytic upgrading zone. The influence of carrier gas, temperature, and weight hourly space velocity (WHSV) of catalyst on the oil product properties, distribution and mass balance were studied. Using ZCCH effectively increased the hydrocarbon yield and the heating value of the dry oil, especially in the presence of the recycled noncondensable gas. Even a low usage of zeolite catalyst at WSHVof 180 h‒1 was effective in upgrading the pyrolysis oil and other light olefins. The highest hydrocarbon (⩾C2) and liquid aromatics yields reached to 14.23 and 4.17 wt-%, respectively. The undesirable products including light oxygenates, furans dramatically decreased in the presence of the ZCCH catalyst.


corncob monolith upgrading pyrolysis 


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This research was supported by the CAS/SAFEA International Partnership Program for Creative Research Teams. The National Science Fund Projects (Y731410602) and the Chinese Government “Thousand Talent” program funding.


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© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, Dalian National Laboratory for Clean Energy, Dalian Institute of Chemical PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesDalianChina

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