Date of Award


Document Type




Thesis Advisor

Neal Abrams


hydrodeoxygenation, HDO, LTLP hydrogenation, low temperature low pressure, SF2-PO


Increasing pressure from economic, environmental, and regulatory drivers is motivating research into bio-derived liquid fuels for transportation as well as other applications. Fast pyrolysis of biomass has shown potential as a means to produce biofuels. However, pyrolytic oils are acidic and viscous, properties which our current infrastructure is not equipped to handle. Traditionally, hydrotreating of fossil oil is used to decrease viscosity and increase the energy content of the fuel. These methods are energy intensive and may not be necessary for the more oxygen rich and reactive pyrolytic oil. Previous work has demonstrated the potential of mild condition hydrogenation for improving the properties of the bio-oil but only at bench scale in a batch reactor. This work expands upon this basis by using a small scale flow through hydrogenation apparatus (H-Cube Pro, ThalesNano, Hungary). Hydrogenation conditions were varied with respect to the amount of hydrogen present, amount of catalyst, temperature, and pressure of reaction. Final products were analyzed with reference to ASTM standards. These conditions were manipulated to minimize the dynamic viscosity and modified acid number (MAN) of the product. The oil hydrogenated under optimal conditions showed improve energy content, decreased water content, decreased viscosity, and an increased MAN. Products were also analyzed by 1H NMR and demonstrated expected changes in functional groups.