USDA researchers simplify pyrolysis process

April 17, 2014 |

In Pennsylvania, innovations at the USDA are bringing researchers one step closer to developing “green” biofuel production systems farmers can use to meet on-farm energy needs, or to produce renewable fuels for commercial markets. The researchers modified the standard pyrolysis process by gradually replacing nitrogen gas in the processing chamber with the gases produced during pyrolysis. The TGRP process was very effective in lowering oxygen levels and acidity, and no additional catalysts were needed.

Bio-oils produced from oak and switchgrass by the new process had considerably higher energy content than those produced by conventional fast pyrolysis. The energy content of the oak bio-oil was 33.3 percent higher and contained about two-thirds of the energy contained in gasoline. The energy content for switchgrass was 42 percent higher, slightly less than three-fourths of the energy content of gasoline.

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Category: Research

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