Battelle engineers and scientists have developed a mobile device that transforms unwanted biomass materials such as wood chips or agricultural waste into valuable bio-oil using catalytic pyrolysis. As currently configured, the Battelle-funded unit converts 1 ton of pine chips, shavings and sawdust into as much as 130 gallons of wet bio-oil per day.
This intermediate bio-oil then can be upgraded by hydrotreatment into a gas/diesel blend or jet fuel. Conversion of the bio-oil to an advanced biofuel is a key element of Battelle's research. Extensive testing of the bio-based gasoline alternative produced by Battelle suggests that it can be blended with existing gasoline and can help fuel producers meet their renewable fuel requirements.
An alternative use of Battelle's bio-oil is its conversion to a bio-polyol that can be substituted in chemical manufacturing for polyols derived from petroleum. Battelle's bio-polyols have been validated by a third-party polyurethane producer as a viable alternative.
Battelle is evaluating this 1-ton-per-day system at its West Jefferson, Ohio, facility. The pilot-scale system is the culmination of Battelle's second-stage development of the mobile pyrolysis technology. In the first stage, which took place over the past four years, Battelle created a bench-scale machine that converted 50-pounds of woody waste per day. The next step will be to work with a strategic partner/investor to produce a tenth-scale demonstration unit.
For more information, visit www.battelle.org.