Pilot-scale catalytic fast pyrolysis of loblolly pine over gamma-Al2O3 catalyst
Catalytic fast pyrolysis (CFP) has been scaled up from lab scale (450 g/h) to a 1 ton per day (1 TPD) pilot plant to collect required processing and engineering data to support the demonstration and commercialization of the technology. In this study, CFP of loblolly pine with gamma-Al2O3 catalyst was evaluated in both reactors. The experiment in the 1 TPD single-loop transport reactor was performed for an extended period of 30 h with continuous catalyst circulation and regeneration to confirm CFP results observed at the lab scale in a bubbling fluidized bed reactor. The yield and the quality of the biocrude from the observed lab-scale CFP were consistent at the 1 TPD pilot scale. The organic liquid carbon yield was 14.7% at the lab scale and 11.5% at the pilot scale. Overall, higher carbon recovery was achieved for the total liquid products at the pilot scale (24.5% carbon yield) than at the lab scale (17.1% carbon yield). The biocrude from the lab scale had 77.0 wt% carbon and 15.8 wt% oxygen on a dry basis. The combined bio-crude product (light and heavy) produced in the pilot plant had 70.2 wt % carbon and 23.1 wt% oxygen on a dry basis. All the biocrudes produced were rich in aromatic compounds.