Catalytic upgradation of bio-oil over metal supported activated carbon catalysts in sub-supercritical ethanol
Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering
School of Engineering
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd. The bio-oil was upgraded in sub-supercritical ethanol using metal supported platinum on activated carbon (Pt/AC) and palladium on activated carbon (Pd/AC) as catalysts. The supercritical upgrading process revealed more effective process compared to the subcritical conditions. Esterification during catalytic upgrading of bio-oil remained prominent which facilitates the conversion of acids present in bio-oil into esters in sub-supercritical ethanol. In addition, heavy compounds of crude bio-oil cracked into lighter compounds in the presence of catalysts. Furthermore, the changes in the upgraded bio-oil relative to crude bio-oil was extensively investigated through higher heating value (HHV), elemental analysis, solution pH, chemical composition (GC-MS), chemical functional groups (FTIR), and 13C and 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). The chemical composition analysis showed a significant decrease in acid fractions in sub-supercritical upgrading process, hence the solution pH varied from 2.5 in bio-oil to 5.3 after supercritical reaction. The HHV of bio-oil increased from 28.55 to 36.4 MJ/kg. This research has shown that crude bio-oil can be efficiently upgraded with carbon-supported metal catalysts in a sub-supercritical upgrading process.