In-situ and ex-situ catalytic upgrading of vapors from microwave-assisted pyrolysis of lignin

Liangliang Fan, Paul Chen, Nan Zhou, Shiyu Liu, Yaning Zhang, Yuhuan Liu, Yunpu Wang, Muhammad Mubashar Omar, Peng Peng, Min Addy, Yanling Cheng, Roger Ruan

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83 Scopus citations


In-situ and ex-situ catalytic upgrading with HZSM-5 of vapors from microwave-assisted pyrolysis of lignin were studied. The in-situ process produced higher bio-oil and less char than ex-situ process. The gas yield was similar for both processes. The ex-situ process had higher selectivity to aromatics and produced more syngas and less CO2 than the in-situ process. Additional experiments on ex-situ process found that the bio-oil yield and coke deposition decreased while the gas yield increased at higher catalyst-to-lignin ratios and catalytic upgrading temperatures. The increased catalyst-to-lignin ratio from 0 to 0.3 reduced the selectivity of methoxy phenols from 73.7% to 22.6% while increased that of aromatics from 1.1% to 41.4%. The highest selectivity of alkyl phenols (31.9%) was obtained at 0.2 of catalyst-to-lignin ratio. Higher catalytic temperatures favored greater conversion of methoxy phenols to alkyl phenols and aromatics. Appropriate catalyst-to-lignin ratio (0.3) together with higher catalytic temperatures favored syngas formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)851-858
Number of pages8
JournalBioresource Technology
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The present work is supported in part by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21466022 ; No. 21766019 ), Key Research and Development Program of Jiangxi Province (20161BBF60057; 20171BBF60023; GCXZ2014-124), International Science and Technology Cooperation Program of China (2014DFA61040), the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR), Xcel Energy, and University of Minnesota Center for Biorefining.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Catalytic upgrading
  • Ex-situ
  • In-situ
  • Lignin
  • Microwave-assisted pyrolysis


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