Thermo-kinetics and product analysis of the catalytic pyrolysis of Pongamia residual cake.


Department of Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, 10330, Thailand. Electronic address: [Email]


Catalytic fast pyrolysis of Pongamia residual cake (PRC) and the kinetics of this were evaluated using thermogravimetry and pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analyses. The influence of the heating rate on the devolatilization process was studied to obtain corresponding kinetic information. Kissinger-Akahira-Sunose (KAS) and Flynn-Wall-Ozawa (FWO) model-free isoconversion methods were used to predict the kinetic parameters. The major thermal degradation of PRC occurred around 150-550 °C with an activation energy of 97.2-394.3 kJ/mol or 114.5-412.2 kJ/mol as determined by the KAS and FWO methods, respectively. Micro-scale pyrolysis trials were performed to determine the effects of the PRC particle size, reaction temperature and PRC: catalyst weight ratio on the pyrolytic product distribution and upgraded pyrolytic vapor properties for the 5 wt% Ni impregnated on activated carbon (AC), aluminium(III) oxide (Al2O3), kaolin and zeolite NaA supports. The results indicated that using a 1:5 PRC: Ni/AC catalyst weight ratio with medium-sized PRC particles (125-425 μm) was the most effective condition for the conversion of oxygenated (O)-compounds to hydrocarbons (HCs) through decarbonylation, decarboxylation and dehydration reactions, giving the highest decrease (99%) in O-compounds. Increased HC yields, to more than 58%, were also obtained with this catalyst. Similarly, using the other synthesized Ni catalysts resulted in a reduction in the O-compounds and production of favorable HC species, albeit to a lesser extent. Therefore, the catalytic pyrolysis process of this residue, especially with a Ni/AC catalyst, has the potential to be a viable option for producing upgraded pyrolysis oil, which may be applied as a quality alternative biofuel.


Catalytic pyrolysis,Pongamia waste,Py-GC/MS,Reaction kinetics,Thermogravimetric analysis,

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