Investigating the performance of zeolite catalyst in cellulose pyrolysis process

Document Type : Research Article


1 Faculty of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering - University of Tabriz

2 Faculty of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Tabriz


Since the oil reserves are expiring or have limited amounts, new sources of energy, including biomass, need to be investigated. Cellulose is one of the main components of biomass. It is therefore necessary to examine the effects separately in order to determine its effect under different conditions on the products. Operating conditions such as temperature, heating rate, pressure, time, catalyst and etc. on the products derived from pyrolysis of cellulose. Here, the effect of A4 zeolite catalyst was investigated as one of the most common catalysts in pyrolysis of cellulose. For this purpose, in a reactor with experimental dimensions, 15 g of cellulose was loaded and the pyrolysis of samples was carried out at 500 ℃ and under atmospheric pressure. The results showed that in the presence of A4 zeolite catalyst, increased the amount of char from 9.83% to 12.25% and decreased the amount of gas from 37.05% to 33.83%. However, the amount of tar was not much changed (∼ 53%). The reduction of gas products, as well as the increase of char, indicated the polymerization of the volatile molecules produced in the catalytic pyrolysis process. The results of the analysis of the gas produced in pyrolysis showed that the resulting gas contains CO and CO2, which are made of from oxygenated compounds in cellulose. According to the results, the tar product from cellulose pyrolysis included two aromatic and aliphatic groups, which reduced the amount of alkanes if the A4 zeolite catalyst was not used. Based on the analysis results of char samples, deoxygenation and polymerization occurred more in the presence of catalyst. Based on the results of the catalyst analysis, some coke was formed on the catalyst.


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