Table_2_Blended Feedstocks for Thermochemical Conversion: Biomass Characterization and Bio-Oil Production From Switchgrass-Pine Residues Blends.DOCX

An abundant, low-cost, and high-quality supply of lignocellulosic feedstock is necessary to realize the large-scale implementation of biomass conversion technologies capable of producing renewable fuels, chemicals, and products. Barriers to this goal include the variability in the chemical and physical properties of available biomass, and the seasonal and geographic availability of biomass. Blending several different types of biomass to produce consistent feedstocks offers a solution to these problems and allows for control over the specifications of the feedstocks. For thermochemical conversion processes, attributes of interest include carbon content, total ash, specific inorganics, density, particle size, and moisture content. In this work, a series of switchgrass and pine residues blends with varying physical and chemical properties were evaluated. Physical and chemical properties of the pure and blended materials were measured, including compositional analysis, elemental analysis, compressibility, flowability, density, and particle size distribution. To screen blends for thermochemical conversion behavior, the analytical technique, pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS), was used to analyze the vapor-phase pyrolysis products of the various switchgrass/pine residues blends. The py-GC/MS findings were validated by investigating the bio-oils produced from the selected blends using a lab-scale fluidized-bed pyrolysis reactor system. Results indicate that the physical properties of blended materials are proportional to the blend ratio of pure feedstocks. In addition, pyrolysis of pine residues resulted in bio-oils with higher carbon content and lower oxygen content, while switchgrass derived pyrolysis products contained relatively greater amount of anhydrosugars and organic acids. The distribution of the pyrolysis vapors and isolated bio-oils appear to be a simple linear combination of the two feedstocks. The concentration of alkali and alkaline earth metals (Ca, K, Mg, and Na) in the blended feedstocks were confirmed to be a critical parameter due to their negative effects on the bio-oil yield. This work demonstrates that blending different sources of biomass can be an effective strategy to produce a consistent feedstock for thermochemical conversion.