Slow Pyrolysis of Biowastes: Environmental, Exergetic, and Energetic Assessment

Slow pyrolysis of a pellet of pistachio waste was studied using a lab-scale stainless-steel reactor. Experiments were conducted at different heating rates (5, 10, and 15 K/min). A 3-E (environmental, exergetic, and energetic) analysis for the processing of 20 kg/h of biowaste was carried out. Experimental results showed that biochar and gas yields decreased with an increase in the heating rate (43% to 36% and 28% to 24%, respectively), while the bio-oil yield increased (29% to 40%). Finally, from the 3-E analysis and the experimental results, it can be suggested that an increase in the heating rate resulted in a higher pyrolysis exergetic efficiency (70%), due to an increase of the bio-oil yield with high-energy content.

Catalytic Pyrolysis of Sewage Sludge for Upgrading Bio-Oil Quality Using Sludge-Based Activated Char as an Alternative to HZSM5

Due to the concerns about the depletion of fossil fuel sources and the deteriorating environment, the attempt to investigate the production of renewable energy will play a crucial role as a potential to alleviate the dependency on mineral fuels. One particular area of interest is generation of bio-oil through sewage sludge (SS) pyrolysis. SS can be a potential candidate in contrast to other types of biomasses due to its availability and low cost. However, the presence of high molecular weight hydrocarbons and oxygenated compounds in the SS bio-oil hinders some of its fuel applications. In this context, catalytic pyrolysis is another attainable route to upgrade bio-oil quality. Among different catalysts (i.e., zeolites) studied for SS pyrolysis, activated chars (AC) are eco-friendly alternatives. The beneficial features of AC derived from SS comprise the comparatively large surface area, porosity, enriched surface functional groups and presence of a high amount of metal species that can improve the catalytic activity. Hence, a sludge-based AC catalyst was fabricated in a single-step pyrolysis reaction with NaOH as the activation agent and was compared with HZSM5 zeolite in this study. The thermal decomposition and kinetics were invested via thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) for guidance and control of pyrolysis and catalytic pyrolysis and the design of the pyrolysis setup. The results indicated that the pyrolysis and catalytic pyrolysis contain four obvious stages and the main decomposition reaction occurred in the range of 200-600 °C. Coats-Redfern method was applied in the 2nd and 3rd devolatilization stages to estimate the reaction order and activation energy (E) from the mass loss data. The average activation energy (Em) values for the reaction orders n = 1, 2 and 3 were in the range of 6.67-20.37 kJ/mol for SS; 1.51-6.87 kJ/mol for HZSM5; and 2.29-9.17 kJ/mol for AC, respectively. According to the results, AC and HZSM5 both were able to improve the reaction rate of SS pyrolysis by abridging the Em value. Moreover, to generate and examine the effect of the catalysts on the quality of bio-oil, a fixed-bed pyrolysis system was designed and implemented. The composition analysis of the produced bio-oil was carried out via gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The selected SS to catalyst ratios were 1:1, 2:1 and 4:1. The optimum ratio in terms of cracking the long-chain hydrocarbons and removing oxygen-containing compounds was 1:1 for both catalysts. The upgraded bio-oils with HZSM5 and AC were in the total range of C4-C17 with around 72% in the range of C4-C9. The bio-oil from pyrolysis of SS contained 49.27% oxygenated compounds while the presence of HZSM5 and AC dropped to 7.3% and 13.02%, respectively. Meanwhile, generation of value-added chemicals such as light aromatic compounds were significantly improved in the catalytic process. Furthermore, the fabricated AC catalyst was characterized by BET, SEM-EDX, FT-IR and TGA techniques. Overall, this research demonstrated that AC is an efficient catalyst in the pyrolysis of SS and can be used as a cost-competitive catalyst in contrast to HZSM5.

Evaluation of the Rheological Properties of Bituminous Binders Modified with Biochars Obtained from Various Biomasses by Pyrolysis Method

In this study, apricot seed shell, walnut shell, and sawdust were chosen as biomass sources. The materials were sorted by using a sieve No. 50 and the sieved materials were subjected to pyrolysis process at 400 °C, resulting in three different biochar products. The resulting biochar products were added to the bitumen at three different rates (5%, 10% and 15%), producing modified bitumen. Penetration, softening point, rotation viscometer and dynamic shear rheometer (DSR) tests were conducted on modified binders. Thus the modified bitumen, which was obtained by using additives at 3 different rates obtained from biochar produced at 400 °C temperatures of 3 different biomass sources were compared and the effects of pyrolysis temperature and additive rates were evaluated. As a result of the conducted tests, it was determined that the rheology of the pure bitumen improved significantly as a result of the modification of the bitumen with the biochar. Additionally, with biochar additive, it was determined that the rutting parameter values obtained from softening point, viscometer and DSR tests were increased while the values in terms of penetration and phase angle decreased. It was also observed that the most effective biomass is sawdust while the least effective was ground apricot seed shell.

Modeling Drying and Pyrolysis of Moist Wood Particles at Slow Heating Rates

Formulation for drying and pyrolysis process in packed beds at slow heating rates is presented. Drying of biomass particles bed is described by mass diffusion equation and local moisture-vapour-equilibrium relations. In gasifiers, volatilization rate during pyrolysis of biomass is modeled by using apparent kinetic rate expression, while product compositions at slow heating rates is modeled using empirical fitted mass ratios (i.e., CO/CO2, ME/CO2, H2O/CO2) in terms of pyrolysis temperature. The drying module is validated fairly with available chemical kinetics scheme and found that the testing zone in gasifier bed constituted of relatively smaller particles having high airflow with high isothermal temperature expedite the drying process. Further, volatile releases more quickly within the shorter zone height at high temperatures (isothermal). Both, moisture loss and volatile release profiles are found to be sensitive to temperature, although the influence of initial moisture content on volatile release profile is not so sensitive.

Liquid Fuel Production via Catalytic Pyrolysis of Waste Oil

Pyrolysis of waste oil is an effective process to produce high quality liquid fuels. In this work, pyrolysis experiments of waste oil over Y zeolite were carried out in a semi-batch reactor under a flow of nitrogen at atmospheric pressure and at different reaction temperatures (350-450 oC). The products were gas, liquid fuel, and residue. Only liquid fuel was further characterized for its composition and properties by using gas chromatography, thermogravimetric analyzer, and bomb calorimeter. Experimental results indicated that the pyrolysis reaction temperature significantly affected both yield and composition distribution of pyrolysis oil. An increase in reaction temperature resulted in increased fuel yield, especially gasoline fraction. To obtain high amount of fuel, the optimal reaction temperature should be higher than 350 oC. A presence of Y zeolite in the system enhanced the cracking activity. In addition, the pyrolysis oil yield is proportional to the catalyst quantity.

Produced Gas Conversion of Microwave Carbon Receptor Reforming

Carbon dioxide and methane, the major components of biomass pyrolysis/gasification gas and biogas, top the list of substances that cause climate change, but they are also among the most important renewable energy sources in modern society. The purpose of this study is to convert carbon dioxide and methane into high-quality energy using char and commercial activated carbon obtained from biomass pyrolysis as a microwave receptor. The methane reforming process produces hydrogen and carbon. This carbon is deposited in the pores of the microwave receptor and lowers catalytic activity, thereby reducing the methane conversion rate. The deposited carbon was removed by carbon gasification due to the supply of carbon dioxide, which solved the problem of microwave receptor inactivity. In particular, the conversion rate remained stable at over 90% when the ratio of carbon dioxide to methane was 1:1. When the reforming results of carbon dioxide and methane were compared after fabricating nickel and iron catalysts using commercial activated carbon as a carrier, the conversion rate was higher in the iron catalyst than in the nickel catalyst and when no catalyst was used. 

Analysis of Bio-Oil Produced by Pyrolysis of Coconut Shell

The utilization of biomass as a source of new and renewable energy is being carried out. One of the technologies to convert biomass as an energy source is pyrolysis which is converting biomass into more valuable products, such as bio-oil. Bio-oil is a liquid which is produced by steam condensation process from the pyrolysis of coconut shells. The composition of a coconut shell e.g. hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin will be oxidized to phenolic compounds as the main component of the bio-oil. The phenolic compounds in bio-oil are corrosive; they cause various difficulties in the combustion system because of a high viscosity, low calorific value, corrosiveness, and instability. Phenolic compounds are very valuable components which phenol has used as the main component for the manufacture of antiseptic, disinfectant (known as Lysol) and deodorizer. The experiments typically occurred at the atmospheric pressure in a pyrolysis reactor at temperatures ranging from 300 oC to 350 oC with a heating rate of 10 oC/min and a holding time of 1 hour at the pyrolysis temperature. The Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy (GC-MS) was used to analyze the bio-oil components. The obtained bio-oil has the viscosity of 1.46 cP, the density of 1.50 g/cm3, the calorific value of 16.9 MJ/kg, and the molecular weight of 1996.64. By GC-MS, the analysis of bio-oil showed that it contained phenol (40.01%), ethyl ester (37.60%), 2-methoxy-phenol (7.02%), furfural (5.45%), formic acid (4.02%), 1-hydroxy-2-butanone (3.89%), and 3-methyl-1,2-cyclopentanedione (2.01%).

Effect of Segregation on the Reaction Rate of Sewage Sludge Pyrolysis in a Bubbling Fluidized Bed

The evolution of the pyrolysis of sewage sludge in a fixed and a fluidized bed was analyzed using a novel measuring technique. This original measuring technique consists of installing the whole reactor over a precision scale, capable of measuring the mass of the complete reactor with enough precision to detect the mass released by the sewage sludge sample during its pyrolysis. The inert conditions required for the pyrolysis process were obtained supplying the bed with a nitrogen flowrate, and the bed temperature was adjusted to either 500 ºC or 600 ºC using a group of three electric resistors. The sewage sludge sample was supplied through the top of the bed in a batch of 10 g. The measurement of the mass released by the sewage sludge sample was employed to determine the evolution of the reaction rate during the pyrolysis, the total amount of volatile matter released, and the pyrolysis time. The pyrolysis tests of sewage sludge in the fluidized bed were conducted using two different bed materials of the same size but different densities: silica sand and sepiolite particles. The higher density of silica sand particles induces a flotsam behavior for the sewage sludge particles which move close to the bed surface. In contrast, the lower density of sepiolite produces a neutrally-buoyant behavior for the sewage sludge particles, which shows a proper circulation throughout the whole bed in this case. The analysis of the evolution of the pyrolysis process in both fluidized beds show that the pyrolysis is faster when buoyancy effects are negligible, i.e. in the bed conformed by sepiolite particles. Moreover, sepiolite was found to show an absorbent capability for the volatile matter released during the pyrolysis of sewage sludge.

Examination of the Reasons for the Formation of Red Oil in Spent Caustic from Olefin Plant

Due to the complexity of olefinic plants, various environmental pollutants exist such as NOx, CO2, Tar Water, and most importantly Spent Caustic. In this paper, instead of investigating ways of treating this pollutant, we evaluated the production in relation to plant’s variable items. We primarily discussed the factors affecting the quality of the output spent caustic such as impurities in the feed of olefin plant, the amount of injected dimethyl disulfide (DMDS) in furnaces, variation in feed composition, differences among gas temperatures and the concentration of caustic solution at the bottom of the tower. The results of the laboratory proved that in the formation of Red Oil, 1,3butadiene and acetaldehyde followed free radical and aldol condensation mechanism respectively. By increasing the injection rate of DMDS, Mercaptide amount increases in the effluent. In addition, pyrolysis gasoline accumulation is directly related to caustic concentration in the tower. Increasing naphtenes in the liquid feed augments the amount of 1,3butadiene, as one of the sources of Red Oil formation. By increasing the oxygenated compound in the feed, the rate of acetaldehyde formation, as the main source of Red Oil formation, increases.

The Prospect of Producing Hydrogen by Electrolysis of Idle Discharges of Water from Reservoirs and Recycling of Waste-Gas Condensates

The results of the studies for the hydrogen production by the application of water electrolysis and plasma-chemical processing of gas condensate-waste of natural gas production methods are presented. Thin coating covers the electrode surfaces in the process of water electrolysis. Therefore, water for electrolysis was first exposed to electrosedimentation. The threshold voltage is shifted to a lower value compared with the use of electrodes made of stainless steel. At electrolysis of electrosedimented water by use of electrodes from stainless steel, a significant amount of hydrogen is formed. Pyrolysis of gas condensates in the atmosphere of a nitrogen was followed by the formation of acetylene (3-7 vol.%), ethylene (4-8 vol.%), and pyrolysis carbon (10-15 wt.%).

Rubber Wood as a Potential Biomass Feedstock for Biochar via Slow Pyrolysis

Utilisation of biomass feedstock for biochar has received increasing attention because of their potential for carbon sequestration and soil amendment. The aim of this study is to investigate the characteristics of rubber wood as a biomass feedstock for biochar via slow pyrolysis process. This was achieved by using proximate, ultimate, and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) as well as heating value, pH and lignocellulosic determination. Rubber wood contains 4.13 mf wt.% moisture, 86.30 mf wt.% volatile matter, 0.60 mf wt.% ash content, and 13.10 mf wt.% fixed carbon. The ultimate analysis shows that rubber wood consists of 44.33 mf wt.% carbon, 6.26 mf wt.% hydrogen, 19.31 mf wt.% nitrogen, 0.31 mf wt.% sulphur, and 29.79 mf wt.% oxygen. The higher heating value of rubber wood is 22.5 MJ/kg, and its lower heating value is 21.2 MJ/kg. At 27 °C, the pH value of rubber wood is 6.83 which is acidic. The lignocellulosic analysis revealed that rubber wood composition consists of 2.63 mf wt.% lignin, 20.13 mf wt.% cellulose, and 65.04 mf wt.% hemicellulose. The volatile matter to fixed carbon ratio is 6.58. This led to a biochar yield of 25.14 wt.% at 500 °C. Rubber wood is an environmental friendly feedstock due to its low sulphur content. Rubber wood therefore is a suitable and a potential feedstock for biochar production via slow pyrolysis.

The Effect of Feedstock Type and Slow Pyrolysis Temperature on Biochar Yield from Coconut Wastes

The first objective of this study is to investigate the suitability of coconut frond (CF) and coconut husk (CH) as feedstocks using a laboratory-scale slow pyrolysis experimental setup. The second objective is to investigate the effect of pyrolysis temperature on the biochar yield. The properties of CF and CH feedstocks were compared. The properties of the CF and CH feedstocks were investigated using proximate and elemental analysis, lignocellulosic determination, and also thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The CF and CH feedstocks were pyrolysed at 300, 400, 500, 600 and 700 °C for 2 hours at 10 °C/min heating rate. The proximate analysis showed that CF feedstock has 89.96 mf wt% volatile matter, 4.67 mf wt% ash content and 5.37 mf wt% fixed carbon. The lignocelluloses analysis showed that CF feedstock contained 21.46% lignin, 39.05% cellulose and 22.49% hemicelluloses. The CH feedstock contained 84.13 mf wt% volatile matter, 0.33 mf wt% ash content, 15.54 mf wt% fixed carbon, 28.22% lignin, 33.61% cellulose and 22.03% hemicelluloses. Carbon and oxygen are the major component of the CF and CH feedstock compositions. Both of CF and CH feedstocks contained very low percentage of sulfur, 0.77% and 0.33%, respectively. TGA analysis indicated that coconut wastes are easily degraded. It may be due to their high volatile content. Between the temperature ranges of 300 and 800 °C, the TGA curves showed that the weight percentage of CF feedstock is lower than CH feedstock by 0.62%-5.88%. From the D TGA curves, most of the weight loss occurred between 210 and 400 °C for both feedstocks. The maximum weight loss for both CF and CH are 0.0074 wt%/min and 0.0061 wt%/min, respectively, which occurred at 324.5 °C. The yield percentage of both CF and CH biochars decreased significantly as the pyrolysis temperature was increased. For CF biochar, the yield decreased from 49.40 wt% to 28.12 wt% as the temperature increased from 300 to 700 °C. The yield for CH biochars also decreased from 52.18 wt% to 28.72 wt%. The findings of this study indicated that both CF and CH are suitable feedstock for slow pyrolysis of biochar.

A Comparative Study on Biochar from Slow Pyrolysis of Corn Cob and Cassava Wastes

Biomass such as corn and cassava wastes if left to decay will release significant quantities of greenhouse gases (GHG) including carbon dioxide and methane. The biomass wastes can be converted into biochar via thermochemical process such as slow pyrolysis. This approach can reduce the biomass wastes as well as preserve its carbon content. Biochar has the potential to be used as a carbon sequester and soil amendment. The aim of this study is to investigate the characteristics of the corn cob, cassava stem, and cassava rhizome in order to identify their potential as pyrolysis feedstocks for biochar production. This was achieved by using the proximate and elemental analyses as well as calorific value and lignocellulosic determination. The second objective is to investigate the effect of pyrolysis temperature on the biochar produced. A fixed bed slow pyrolysis reactor was used to pyrolyze the corn cob, cassava stem, and cassava rhizome. The pyrolysis temperatures were varied between 400 °C and 600 °C, while the heating rate and the holding time were fixed at 5 °C/min and 1 hour, respectively. Corn cob, cassava stem, and cassava rhizome were found to be suitable feedstocks for pyrolysis process because they contained a high percentage of volatile matter more than 80 mf wt.%. All the three feedstocks contained low nitrogen and sulphur content less than 1 mf wt.%. Therefore, during the pyrolysis process, the feedstocks give off very low rate of GHG such as nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides. Independent of the types of biomass, the percentage of biochar yield is inversely proportional to the pyrolysis temperature. The highest biochar yield for each studied temperature is from slow pyrolysis of cassava rhizome as the feedstock contained the highest percentage of ash compared to the other two feedstocks. The percentage of fixed carbon in all the biochars increased as the pyrolysis temperature increased. The increment of pyrolysis temperature from 400 °C to 600 °C increased the fixed carbon of corn cob biochar, cassava stem biochar and cassava rhizome biochar by 26.35%, 10.98%, and 6.20% respectively. Irrespective of the pyrolysis temperature, all the biochars produced were found to contain more than 60 mf wt.% fixed carbon content, much higher than its feedstocks.

Electrophysical and Thermoelectric Properties of Nano-scaled In2O3:Sn, Zn, Ga-Based Thin Films: Achievements and Limitations for Thermoelectric Applications

The thermoelectric properties of nano-scaled In2O3:Sn films deposited by spray pyrolysis are considered in the present report. It is shown that multicomponent In2O3:Sn-based films are promising material for the application in thermoelectric devices. It is established that the increase in the efficiency of thermoelectric conversion at CSn~5% occurred due to nano-scaled structure of the films studied and the effect of the grain boundary filtering of the low energy electrons. There are also analyzed the limitations that may appear during such material using in devices developed for the market of thermoelectric generators and refrigerators. Studies showed that the stability of nano-scaled film’s parameters is the main problem which can limit the application of these materials in high temperature thermoelectric converters.

Co-Pyrolysis of Olive Pomace with Plastic Wastes and Characterization of Pyrolysis Products

Waste polyethylene (PE) is classified as waste low density polyethylene (LDPE) and waste high density polyethylene (HDPE) according to their densities. Pyrolysis of plastic waste may have an important role in dealing with the enormous amounts of plastic waste produced all over the world, by decreasing their negative impact on the environment. This waste may be converted into economically valuable hydrocarbons, which can be used both as fuels and as feed stock in the petrochemical industry. End product yields and properties depend on the plastic waste composition. Pyrolytic biochar is one of the most important products of waste plastics pyrolysis. In this study, HDPE and LDPE plastic wastes were co-pyrolyzed together with waste olive pomace. Pyrolysis runs were performed at temperature 700°C with heating rates of 5°C/min. Higher pyrolysis oil and gas yields were observed by the using waste olive pomace. The biochar yields of HDPE- olive pomace and LDPEolive pomace were 6.37% and 7.26% respectively for 50% olive pomace doses. The calorific value of HDPE-olive pomace and LDPE-olive pomace of pyrolysis oil were 8350 and 8495 kCal.

Production of Biocomposites Using Chars Obtained by Co-Pyrolysis of Olive Pomace with Plastic Wastes

The disposal of waste plastics has become a major worldwide environmental problem. Pyrolysis of waste plastics is one of the routes to waste minimization and recycling that has been gaining interest. In pyrolysis, the pyrolysed material is separated into gas, liquid (both are fuel) and solid (char) products. All fractions have utilities and economical value depending upon their characteristics. The first objective of this study is to determine the co-pyrolysis product fractions of waste HDPE- (high density polyethylene) and LDPE (low density polyethylene)-olive pomace (OP) and to determine the qualities of the solid product char. Chars obtained at 700 °C pyrolysis were used in biocomposite preparation as additive. As the second objective, the effects of char on biocomposite quality were investigated. Pyrolysis runs were performed at temperature 700 °C with heating rates of 5 °C/min. Biocomposites were prepared by mixing of chars with bisphenol-F type epoxy resin in various wt%. Biocomposite properties were determined by measuring electrical conductivity, surface hardness, Young’s modulus and tensile strength of the composites. The best electrical conductivity results were obtained with HDPE-OP char. For HDPE-OP char and LDPE-OP char, compared to neat epoxy, the tensile strength values of the composites increased by 102% and 78%, respectively, at 10% char dose. The hardness measurements showed similar results to the tensile tests, since there is a correlation between the hardness and the tensile strength.

Torrefaction of Biomass Pellets: Modeling of the Process in a Fixed Bed Reactor

Torrefaction of biomass pellets is considered as a useful pretreatment technology in order to convert them into a high quality solid biofuel that is more suitable for pyrolysis, gasification, combustion, and co-firing applications. In the course of torrefaction, the temperature varies across the pellet, and therefore chemical reactions proceed unevenly within the pellet. However, the uniformity of the thermal distribution along the pellet is generally assumed. The torrefaction process of a single cylindrical pellet is modeled here, accounting for heat transfer coupled with chemical kinetics. The drying sub-model was also introduced. The nonstationary process of wood pellet decomposition is described by the system of non-linear partial differential equations over the temperature and mass. The model captures well the main features of the experimental data.

Parametric Studies of Wood Pyrolysis Particles

In the present study, a numerical approach to describe the pyrolysis of a single solid particle of wood is used to study the influence of various conditions such as particle size, heat transfer coefficient, reactor temperature and heating rate. The influence of these parameters in the change of the duration of the pyrolysis cycle was studied. Mathematical modeling was employed to simulate the heat, mass transfer, and kinetic processes inside the reactor. The evolutions of the mass loss as well as the evolution of temperature inside the thick piece are investigated numerically. The elaborated model was also employed to study the effect of the reactor temperature and the rate of heating on the change of the temperature and the local loss of the mass inside the piece of wood. The obtained results are in good agreement with the experimental data available in the literature.

CuO Thin Films Deposition by Spray Pyrolysis: Influence of Precursor Solution Properties

CuO thin films were deposited by spray ultrasonic pyrolysis with different precursor solution. Two staring solution slats were used namely: copper acetate and copper chloride. The influence of these solutions on CuO thin films proprieties of is instigated. The X rays diffraction (XDR) analysis indicated that the films deposed with copper acetate are amorphous however the films elaborated with copper chloride have monoclinic structure. UV- Visible transmission spectra showed a strong absorbance of the deposited CuO thin films in the visible region. Electrical characterization has shown that CuO thin films prepared with copper acetate have a higher electrical conductivity.

Speciation of Iron (III) Oxide Nanoparticles and Other Paramagnetic Intermediates during High-Temperature Oxidative Pyrolysis of 1-Methylnaphthalene

Low Temperature Matrix Isolation - Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (LTMI-EPR) Spectroscopy was utilized to identify the species of iron oxide nanoparticles generated during the oxidative pyrolysis of 1-methylnaphthalene (1-MN). The otherwise gas-phase reactions of 1--MN were impacted by a polypropylenimine tetra-hexacontaamine dendrimer complexed with iron (III) nitrate nonahydrate diluted in air under atmospheric conditions. The EPR fine structure of Fe (III)2O3 nanoparticles clusters, characterized by gfactors of 2.00, 2.28, 3.76 and 4.37 were detected on a cold finger maintained at 77 K after accumulation over a multitude of experiments. Additionally, a high valence Fe (IV) paramagnetic intermediate and superoxide anion-radicals, O2•- adsorbed on nanoparticle surfaces in the form of Fe (IV) --- O2•- were detected from the quenching area of Zone 1 in the gas-phase.