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Thermo-catalytic reforming of woody biomass

: Jäger, Nils; Conti, Roberto; Neumann, Johannes; Apfelbacher, Andreas; Daschner, Robert; Binder, Samir; Hornung, Andreas


Energy & fuels 30 (2016), No.10, pp.7923-7929
ISSN: 0887-0624
ISSN: 1520-5029
Journal Article
Fraunhofer UMSICHT Sulzbach-Rosenberg ()

The objective of the present work is to determine the potentials of woody residues from agriculture (tree trimmings or vine shoots) for fuel applications. Fraunhofer UMSICHT is carrying out research for a new thermochemical conversion technology to convert biogenic residues into valuable storable products, such as carbonizates, hydrogen, and fuel. Thermo-catalytic reforming (TCR) is an intermediate pyrolysis combined with a unique integrated catalytic reforming step. In this experimental study, the TCR of three different woody biomasses has been investigated in a 2 kg/h laboratory-scale plant. The feedstocks were woody residues produced from the pruning of agricultural lands. This is a sustainable biomass solution with an up-to-date great unexploited potential. The results revealed that the composition of the feedstock had only a minor effect in the compositions and characterizations of the products, with the catalytic reforming step at 973 K. The gas had a higher heating value between 14.6 and 14.9 MJ/kg and a high H2 content at 33–36 vol %. The bio-oil obtained had a low water content and a high heating value. The high quality of the bio-oil is reflected in the low O/C ratio of 0.15 ± 0.04. The study revealed that the quality of pyrolysis bio-oils of other processes, such as fast pyrolysis, is only comparable to TCR bio-oils after additional intense hydrodeoxygenation treatment. The carbonizate generated had a high heating value and a high carbon content. As a result of the low O/C ratio, the carbonizate has a high stability and, consequently, good carbon storage in soil.