Upgraded biofuel from residue biomass by Thermo-Catalytic Reforming and hydrodeoxygenation
Research is focused on the utilisation of waste or residue biomass for bioenergy conversion. A promising conversion technology for the production of liquid biofuels from residue biomass is a process called Thermo-Catalytic Reforming (TCR®) which is a combination of prior thermal treatment of the biomass at mild temperatures (intermediate pyrolysis) followed by a second catalytic treatment step at elevated temperatures (reforming). This article focuses on the conversion of TCR® liquids from digestate as a feedstock for subsequent hydrocarbon production. The generated bio-oil showed a lower heating value of 34.0 MJ kg−1 with an oxygen content of 7.0% and a water content of 2.2%. The bio-oil was hydrodeoxygenated using an industrial NiMo-Al2O3 catalyst at temperatures of 503 K-643 K and a pressure of 14 MPa. The hydrodeoxygenated bio-oil reached a lower heating value of 42.3 MJ kg−1 with an oxygen content below 0.8 mg kg−1 and water content of 30 ppm. Product yields and catalyst life give confidence that upgrading of the TCR® bio-oil offers a suitable option to meet the high standards of common fuels.