Stabilization of bio-oil from simulated pyrolysis oil using sulfided NiMo/Al2O3 catalyst
Journal article, 2023

Pyrolysis oil comprises compounds with a broad range of functional groups making its thermal/catalytic upgrading challenging due to the formation of undesired char. In this context, the current contribution addresses the thermal and catalytic hydrotreatment of a simulated pyrolysis oil containing all the representative groups of compounds under bio-oil stabilization conditions (180–300 °C, 60 bar, 4 h) using sulfided NiMo/Al2O3. The effect of reaction conditions and different oxygenated organic compounds on the yields and properties of products was compared thoroughly. Interestingly, a correlation between the presence/absence of oxygenated furan and sugar compounds was found to significantly affect the yield of liquid product containing stabilized compounds. The presence of such compound groups significantly enhances the solid formation via oligomerization and polymerization reactions. To gain further insight, the solid products were analyzed/characterized in detail to elucidate their characteristics by extracting them into a dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) soluble and insoluble solid fraction. It was found that in the presence of NiMo/Al2O3, increasing temperature from 180 to 300 °C enhances the formation of liquid product due to transformation of some of the soluble solids, while for experiments without the catalyst, the formation of solids was significantly higher. Oppositely, during heating up to 180 °C, no solids were found in the case without the catalyst, however the presence of the catalyst during heating resulted in solid formation due to various catalytic reactions that promoted char formation. Analysis of solids revealed that the structure of soluble solids at lower temperatures (180 °C) using the catalyst was closely related to sugar derivatives, whereas the corresponding insoluble solids with higher molecular weight were not fully char-like developed. However, at higher temperatures, the soluble and insoluble solid compositions were found to contain aliphatic compounds and fully developed char, respectively. Therefore, the stabilization of furan particularly with attached carbonyl groups and sugars derivatives in pyrolysis oil is of great importance to improve upgrading efficiency.


Simulated pyrolysis oil

Sulfided NiMo/Al O catalyst 2 3

Solid product nature

Catalytic hydrotreatment


Elham Nejadmoghadam

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Abdenour Achour

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Pouya Sirous Rezaei

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Muhammad Abdus Salam

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Prakhar Arora


Olov Öhrman


Derek Creaser

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Louise Olsson

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology


0016-2361 (ISSN)

Vol. 353 129094

KCK - Kompetenscentrum Katalys 2022-2026

Preem (KCK2022-2026), 2022-01-01 -- 2026-12-31.

Scania CV AB (Dnr:2021-036543Pnr:52689-1), 2022-01-01 -- 2026-12-31.

Johnson Matthey (2500123383), 2022-01-01 -- 2026-12-31.

Umicore Denmark ApS (KCK2022-2026), 2022-01-01 -- 2026-12-31.

Volvo Group (PO:2435702-000), 2022-01-01 -- 2026-12-31.

Subject Categories

Energy Engineering

Chemical Process Engineering

Organic Chemistry



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