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Pyrolysis oil from biomass has the potential to replace fossil transport fuels. This sustainable transition has come a step further with the development of mild technology to lower the carboxylic acid content of pyrolysis oil.
Editorial office / Moerdijk

This is reported in an article in the October issue of Biobased Update, a publication of the Center of Expertise Biobased Expertise (CoE BBE).

For a year and a half, Avans University of Applied Sciences worked together with the companies Nettenergy and Nimaro Ageno Consult in the Upgrading Pyrolysis Oils and Pyrolse Proeftuin Zuid-Nederland projects to lower the acidity of pyrolysis oil using enzymes.

This high acidity is caused by the presence of volatile carboxylic acids, such as acetic acid and formic acid. It makes the oil corrosive and causes polymerization, causing the oil to become instable during storage, explains researcher Qian Zhou of Avans University of Applied Sciences: “After lowering the acidity via esterification, the pyrolysis liquid is expected to be used as a sustainable marine diesel. It can also be further upgraded by hydrogenation to produce transportation fuel.”

The process for enzymatic esterification of pyrolysis oil has been patented by Nimaro Ageno Consult. Read the full article in the Biobased Update (Dutch).

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