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Effects of Pretreatments of Napier Grass with Deionized Water, Sulfuric Acid and Sodium Hydroxide on Pyrolysis Oil Characteristics

Abstract

The depletion of fossil fuel reserves has led to increasing interest in liquid bio-fuel from renewable biomass. Biomass is a complex organic material consisting of different degrees of cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, extractives and minerals. Some of the mineral elements tend to retard conversions, yield and selectivity during pyrolysis processing. This study is focused on the extraction of mineral retardants from Napier grass using deionized water, dilute sodium hydroxide and sulfuric acid and subsequent pyrolysis in a fixed bed reactor. The raw biomass was characterized before and after each pretreatment following standard procedure. Pyrolysis study was conducted in a fixed bed reactor at 600 °C, 30 °C/min and 30 mL/min N2 flow. Pyrolysis oil (bio-oil) collected was analyzed using standard analytic techniques. The bio-oil yield and characteristics from each pretreated sample were compared with oil from the non-pretreated sample. Bio-oil yield from the raw sample was 32.06 wt% compared to 38.71, 33.28 and 29.27 wt% oil yield recorded from the sample pretreated with sulfuric acid, deionized water and sodium hydroxide respectively. GC–MS analysis of the oil samples revealed that the oil from all the pretreated biomass had more value added chemicals and less ketones and aldehydes. Pretreatment with neutral solvent generated valuable leachate, showed significant impact on the ash extraction, pyrolysis oil yield, and its composition and therefore can be regarded as more appropriate for thermochemical conversion of Napier grass.

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Abbreviations

AAK:

Acids, aldehydes and ketones

ACL:

Acid leachate

ACTNGS:

Acid treated Napier grass stem

ALL:

Alkaline leachate

ALTNGS:

Alkaline treated Napier grass stem

ASTM:

American Society for Testing and Materials

BSI:

British Standards Institution

C:

Carbon (%)

c:

Cellulose

CFF:

Crops for the future

DTG:

Derivative of thermogravimetric

e:

Extractives

EN:

European Standard

EOS:

Esters and other organic compounds

FTIR:

Fourier transform infrared

GCMS:

Gas chromatograph mass spectrometer

H:

Hydrogen (%)

h:

Hemicellulose

HC:

Hydrocarbon

HHV:

Higher heating value (MJ/kg)

l:

Lignin

L/S:

Liquid–solid ratio (wt/wt)

N:

Nitrogen (%)

NGS:

Napier grass stem

NIST:

National Institute of Standards and Technology

NS:

Nitrogenous and sulfur containing compounds

O:

Oxygen (%)

RNGS:

Raw Napier grass stem

Ro:

Severity factor

rpm:

Revolution per minute (min−1)

S:

Sulfur (%)

TGA:

Thermogravimetric analyzer

VAC:

Value added chemicals

WL:

Water leachate

WTNGS:

Water treated Napier grass stem

Ybio-char :

Bio-char yield

Ybio-oil :

Bio-oil yield

YE:

Energy yield (%)

YM:

Mass yield (%)

YNoncondensable :

Noncondensable yield

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Acknowledgments

The project was supported by the Crops for the Future (CFF) and University of Nottingham under the grant BioP1-005.

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Correspondence to Yousif Abdalla Abakr.

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Mohammed, I.Y., Abakr, Y.A., Kazi, F.K. et al. Effects of Pretreatments of Napier Grass with Deionized Water, Sulfuric Acid and Sodium Hydroxide on Pyrolysis Oil Characteristics. Waste Biomass Valor 8, 755–773 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12649-016-9594-1

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Keywords

  • Napier grass
  • Ash
  • Pretreatment
  • Extractives
  • Pyrolysis
  • Bio-oil
  • Characterization