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Liquefaction of Corn Stover and Preparation of Polyester from the Liquefied Polyol

FEI YU,1 SHAOBO DENG,1 PAUL CHEN,1 YUHUAN LIU,2 YIQIN WAN,2 ANDREW OLSON,3 DAVID KITTELSON,3 AND ROGER RUAN*,1,2

1Center for Biorefining and Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1390 Eckles Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108, E-mail: ruanx001@umn.edu; 2Jiangxi Biomass Engineering Center, Nanchang University, Nanchang, China 330047; and 3Center for Diesel Research, University of Minnesota, 111 Church St. S. E., Minneapolis, MN 55455

Abstract This study was aimed to understand the physical and chemical properties of pyrolytic bio-oils produced from microwave pyrolysis of corn stover regarding their potential use as gas turbine and home heating fuels. The ash content, solids content, pH, heating value, minerals, elemental ratio, moisture content, and viscosity of the bio-oils were determined. The water content was approx 15.2 wt%, solids content 0.22 wt%, alkali metal content 12 parts per million, dynamic viscosity 185 mPa⋅s at 40°C, and gross high heating value 17.5 MJ/kg for a typical bio-oil produced. Our aging tests showed that the viscosity and water content increased and phase separation occurred during the storage at different temperatures. Adding methanol and/or ethanol to the bio-oils reduced the viscosity and slowed down the increase in viscosity and water content during the storage. Blending of methanol or ethanol with the bio-oils may be a simple and cost-effective approach to making the pyrolytic bio-oils into a stable gas turbine or home heating fuels.

Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 574 Vol. 129–132, 2006

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