Low-temperature catalytic conversion of alkaline sewage sludge bio-oil to biodiesel: Product characteristics and reaction mechanisms

Renato O. Arazo, Sergio C. Capareda, Bjorn Ivan G. Ofrasio, Alexander L. Ido, Wei Hsin Chen, Mark Daniel G. de Luna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Sewage sludge is a promising biomass alternative for the production of liquid biofuels. In this study, bio-oil derived from the fast pyrolysis of domestic sewage sludge was upgraded in a micro Robinson–Mahoneyreactor at 4 MPa and 260 °C, and in the presence of hybridized Ni/HZSM-5 catalyst and ethanol. Fourier transform infrared and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses were used to identify the functional groups and chemical components of raw and upgraded sewage sludge bio-oil. Results showed that catalytic upgrading reduced the relative content of acids, aldehydes, phenols, ketones, and nitrogenated compounds in the pyrolytic bio-oil. Thus, the main components of the upgraded bio-oil product included esters (48.59%), alkanes (10.12%), aromatics (9.38%), and alkenes (5.08%). Water and nitriles in the raw pyrolytic bio-oil together with in-situ-produced carbon oxides helped in the esterification of raw bio-oil. Reaction mechanisms such as nitrile hydrolysis, hydrogenation, and esterification were proposed to elucidate the conversion of the non-acidic pyrolytic bio-oil into ester-dominating upgraded bio-oil. Overall, upgrading sewage sludge pyrolytic oil is crucial to produce high-quality diesel-range biofuel.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101266
JournalEnvironmental Technology and Innovation
Volume21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science

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