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.
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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