Report of Research Experience in SwRI
Texas A&M University, College Station
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Monica Medrano at SwRI through the UTSA Connect Program tried to develop the catalytic pyrolysis model of circulated fluidized bed reactor under high-pressure incorporated with the biomass properties such as moisture and ash contents which affect the biooil or biodiesel properties. Currently, most models do not take into account these properties. Therefore, the mathematical model incorporated with these biomass properties will help to predict the product yields and properties. In order to do that, the experimental data was required. However, there was not a lab scale circulating fluidized bed reactor to make a kinetic model at the given conditions. The batch reactor was alternatively chosen. Monica Medrano’s team would like to develop the simulation model using the results obtained from batch reactor. However, it is well known that the kinetic model derived from slow pyrolysis normally conducted by a batch reactor was not suitable for fast pyrolysis. In order to solve this drawback and emulate fast pyrolysis using the batch reactor as much as possible, a high heating rate system was required. During last two months, I tried to make 100°C/min heating rate system through internal heating system. However this development was unsuccessful. Using an external heater, it was impossible to get 100°C/min heating rate because the controller could not heat the external surface up to 1000°C due to the gasket melting temperature which was around 500°C. Practically, 3-4 °C /min heating rate was maximum heating rate using the external heater. For one of the experiments, slow pyrolysis was conducted at 420°C and 3000 psig with 3-4 °C/min. More than 70% of biomass was converted into charcoal with little liquid product. Also, there were leakages during the experiment. From this, I made the procedure for operators to follow my works and conduct further experiments.