Studies on production of advanced biofuels from biomass via fast pyrolysis at PVPro/VPI: initial results and further works

Topics: Petroleum, Biofuel, Biomass Pages: 14 (1795 words) Published: October 9, 2014
Studies on production of advanced biofuels from biomass via fast pyrolysis at PVPro/VPI: initial results and further works
Binh M.Q. Phan1, Luong H. Nguyen1, Long T. Duong1, Viet D. Nguyen1, Duc A. Nguyen2, Loc C. Luu3

Petrovietnam R&D Center for Petroleum Processing

04 Nguyen Thong, Dist. 3, Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam

Vietnam Petroleum Institute

173 Trung Kinh, Cau Giay, Hanoi, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh University of Technology

268 Ly Thuong Kiet, Dist. 10, Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam

Agricultural activities in Vietnam generate about 62 million tons of biomass annually. In our previous study, it was found out that yields of bio-oil obtained from fast pyrolysis process of 4 types of biomass (rice straw, rice husk, bagasse, corn cob) were relatively high more than 50 wt%. In addition, analysis results indicated that bio-oil specification was adapted ASTM D7544-12 for pyrolysis liquid biofuel. These results showed the potential of using biomass in Vietnam to produce bio-oil which could be directly used as combustion fuel or upgraded into transportation fuels and chemicals. Hence, a long-term research program (2013-2019) including 4 phases has been launched to develop fast pyrolysis technology and apply bio-oil in Vietnam efficiently.

1. Introduction
Sources of fossil oil are sufficient to meet about 50 years of global consumption because energy usage has considerably increased day by day [1]. Besides, CO2 emission from combustion of fossil fuels significantly rose from 14 bil. tons to 30.4 bil. tons between 1971 and 2010 and projection to 36.4 bil. tons in 2035 [2, 3]. Thus, biomass is currently highlighted as one of the promising renewable energy sources. Biomass is defined as any material of recent biological origin includes plant materials such as trees, grasses and agricultural crops, as well as animal manure and municipal bio-solids (sewage) [4]. Biomass is used to produce process heat, steam, electricity and it can be converted into other energy carriers, such as liquid fuels and synthesis gas by thermal or biological routes.

The potential of biomass is very huge and sustainable. According to the European Biomass Industry Association (EUBIA), Europe, Africa, and Latin America could produce 8.9, 21.4, and 19.9 EJ of biomass per year with an energy equivalence of 1.4 x 109, 3.5 x 109, and 3.2 x 109 boe (barrels of oil energy equivalent), respectively [5]. In the meanwhile, the annual biomass potential exceeds 1.3 billion dry tons, the

equivalent of more than one-third of the current demand for transportation fuels in US [6].
The benefits most frequently cited for biomass utilization as an alternative energy source can be summarized as follows [8, 9]:
 Fuel supply diversification;
 Reduction of greenhouse gases;
 Increased rural income;
 Restoration of degraded land.
Vietnam is known as an agricultural country and its main food crops are rice, sugarcane, cassava, corn, etc. About 62 million tons of agricultural residues are disposed annually. It is important to efficiently utilize these potentials as feedstocks for biofuels production in Vietnam.

2. PVPro/VPI’s initial results
In 2009 PVPro/VPI performed a study to investigate crop residues in Vietnam to find out potential biomass sources for biofuels production. It has been found that the most available biomass sources are rice straw, rice husk, corn cob and bagasse with their productivities of 15.5, 6.7, 3.1 and 3.2 million tons/year, respectively. Distribution of these sources in Vietnam is shown in Table 1 [7].

Table 1. Distribution of some biomass in Vietnam.
Unit: mil. tons/year
Quantity River

midland and

North and
South Central















References: 1. BP, BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2011.
2. Agency, International Energy, CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion, 2011.
3. Agency, International Energy, World Energy Outlook 2011, 2011.
Feasibility of a Billion-Ton Annual Supply, 2005.
pha chế nhiên liệu sinh học ở Việt Nam, 2010.
Bioresource technology, 2002. 83(1): p. 37-46.
Energy & Fuels, 2009. 23(2): p. 1055-1066.
Today, 2006. 111(1–2): p. 119-132.
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