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Environments 2017, 4(4), 96; doi:10.3390/environments4040096

Effects of Pretreatments on Yields, Selectivity and Properties of Products from Pyrolysis of Phragmites australis (Common Reeds)

1
Departmento de Ingeniería Geográfica, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Santiago 3363, Chile
2
Chemical Engineering Department, Villanova University, Villanova, PA 19085, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 November 2017 / Revised: 7 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
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Abstract

Phragmites australis (PHA) is a grass-type biomass, commonly known as reed grass, which has the potential to be a valuable energy and chemical feedstock due to its high yield (4.5–7 kg biomass m−2 year−1). It is demonstrated that the physicochemical properties and composition of phragmites can be altered by subjecting the feedstock to a combined acid hydrolysis at various level of acid concentrations and torrefaction pre-treatment processes. In this paper, we conducted fast pyrolysis on pretreated PHA, resulting in bio-oil with significantly higher selectivity towards levoglucosenone and appreciably reduced amounts of ketones and aldehydes being produced. The experiments demonstrated that 4% H3PO4 acid hydrolysis and 220 °C torrefaction combined pretreatments prior to fast pyrolysis resulted in 17 times increase of relative selectivity to levoglucosenone in the bio-oil portion along with a reduction of ketones and aldehydes relative concentrations from 23% to 13%. Pyrolysis of pretreated PHA produced higher amount of biochar. The phosphorus-enriched biochar offers a potential usage for soil amendment or sorbent material. This study presents an opportunity to convert this underutilized feedstock into valuable bio-based products. Additional in-depth investigation is essential to gather more data for assessing the economic and sustainability features of the proposed process. View Full-Text
Keywords: Phragmites australis; common reed; fast pyrolysis; torrefaction; acid hydrolysis; bio-oil; biochar Phragmites australis; common reed; fast pyrolysis; torrefaction; acid hydrolysis; bio-oil; biochar
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Garrido, R.A.; Reckamp, J.M.; Satrio, J.A. Effects of Pretreatments on Yields, Selectivity and Properties of Products from Pyrolysis of Phragmites australis (Common Reeds). Environments 2017, 4, 96.

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