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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.
Environments 2017, 4(4), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments4040096
Received: 3 November 2017 / Revised: 7 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
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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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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