Fast microwave-assisted pyrolysis (fMAP) in the presence of a microwave absorbent (SiC) and catalyst (HZSM-5) was tested on a Chlorella sp. strain and on a Nannochloropsis strain. The liquid products were characterized, and the effects of temperature and catalyst:biomass ratio were analyzed. For Chlorella sp., a temperature of 550 °C, with no catalyst were the optimal conditions, resulting in a maximum bio-oil yield of 57 wt.%. For Nannochloropsis, a temperature of 500 °C, with 0.5 of catalyst ratio were shown to be the optimal condition, resulting in a maximum bio-oil yield of 59 wt.%. These results show that the use of microwave absorbents in fMAP increased bio-oil yields and quality, and it is a promising technology to improve the commercial application and economic outlook of microwave pyrolysis technology. Additionally, the use of a different catalyst needs to be considered to improve the bio-oil characteristics.
In the present study, a microwave-assisted biomass gasification system was developed for syngas production. Three catalysts including Fe, Co and Ni with Al2O3 support were examined and compared for their effects on syngas production and tar removal. Experimental results showed that microwave is an effective heating method for biomass gasification. Ni/Al2O3 was found to be the most effective catalyst for syngas production and tar removal. The gas yield reached above 80% and the composition of tar was the simplest when Ni/Al2O3 catalyst was used. The optimal ratio of catalyst to biomass was determined to be 1:5-1:3. The addition of steam was found to be able to improve the gas production and syngas quality. Results of XRD analyses demonstrated that Ni/Al2O3 catalyst has good stability during gasification process. Finally, a new concept of microwave-assisted dual fluidized bed gasifier was put forward for the first time in this study.
A novel concept of fast microwave assisted pyrolysis (fMAP) in the presence of microwave absorbents was presented and examined. Wood sawdust and corn stover were pyrolyzed by means of microwave heating and silicon carbide (SiC) as microwave absorbent. The bio-oil was characterized, and the effects of temperature, feedstock loading, particle sizes, and vacuum degree were analyzed. For wood sawdust, a temperature of 480°C, 50 grit SiC, with 2g/min of biomass feeding, were the optimal conditions, with a maximum bio-oil yield of 65 wt.%. For corn stover, temperatures ranging from 490°C to 560°C, biomass particle sizes from 0.9mm to 1.9mm, and vacuum degree lower than 100mmHg obtained a maximum bio-oil yield of 64 wt.%. This study shows that the use of microwave absorbents for fMAP is feasible and a promising technology to improve the practical values and commercial application outlook of microwave based pyrolysis.
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