Catalytic hydrotreatment of pyrolysis oil phenolic compounds over Pt/Al2O3 and Pd/C
Journal article, 2019

A batch catalytic slurry reactor system was used to study the hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of pyrolysis oil model compounds at high conversions and conditions similar to petroleum hydrotreatment reactors. The lignin fraction of pyrolysis oil was represented in this study by anisole, m-cresol and phenol, both individually and blended in pairs. Experiments were run from 250 °C to 350 °C using platinum on alumina (Pt/Al2O3) or palladium on carbon (Pd/C) in a Parr reactor at 50 bar. The Pt/Al2O3 catalysts exhibited ring saturation, demethylation and hydrodeoxygenation, with temperature-dependent pathway shifts. Tests with blended pairs yielded no secondary reactions but competitive adsorption for catalyst active sites was observed. Tests with Pd/C showed ring saturation followed by methanol abstraction. Rate constants and adsorption parameters were fitted to a Langmuir-Hinshelwood model for each catalyst and compound. Arrhenius relationships for those rate constants and surface adsorption parameters were then calculated. When used in a slurry reactor model with catalyst-specific reaction data, the product composition, hydrogen consumption, and energy requirements are well predicted for a known feed and set of reactor conditions.

Model compounds

Pyrolysis oil

Kinetic reactor model

Batch reactor

Catalytic hydrotreatment


Li Lu T. Funkenbusch

Michigan Technological University

Michael E. Mullins

Michigan Technological University

Muhammad Abdus Salam

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Competence Centre for Catalysis (KCK)

Derek Creaser

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Competence Centre for Catalysis (KCK)

Louise Olsson

Competence Centre for Catalysis (KCK)

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology


0016-2361 (ISSN)

Vol. 243 441-448

Advanced catalytic materials for upgrading of lignin derived bio-oils to biofuels

Swedish Energy Agency (43212-1), 2017-01-01 -- 2019-12-31.

The Competence Centre for Catalysis, KCK

Volvo Group (22490-4), 2018-01-01 -- 2021-12-31.

Preem (22490-4), 2018-01-01 -- 2021-12-31.

Johnson Matthey AB (22490-4), 2018-01-01 -- 2021-12-31.

ECAPS AB, 2018-01-01 -- 2021-12-31.

Scania CV AB (22490-4), 2018-01-01 -- 2021-12-31.

Swedish Energy Agency, 2018-01-01 -- 2021-12-31.

Volvo Cars (22490-4), 2018-01-01 -- 2021-12-31.

Umicore (22490-4), 2018-01-01 -- 2021-12-31.

Chalmers (22490-4), 2018-01-01 -- 2021-12-31.

Subject Categories

Chemical Process Engineering

Other Chemical Engineering

Organic Chemistry



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