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Study of operating conditions for production of bio-oil and biochar from sugarcane bagasse through simulation and application in pilot plant

Grant number: 16/18546-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2017
Effective date (End): July 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering - Chemical Process Industries
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal researcher:Maria Regina Wolf Maciel
Grantee:Nahieh Toscano Miranda
Home Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia Química (FEQ). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


There is a constant demand for an alternative for fossil fuels associated with environmental impacts, that are safe, renewable, and clean. Among various processes that have been studied and some of them already developed in pilot scale, the pyrolysis of biomass, in the absence of oxygen, in order to produce liquid fuels (bio-oil) and solids (biochar), has received a major highlight for the products that are produced and for the importance of market. It is emphasized that biochar has applications in composites and materials area. In this context, this project aims to investigate the operating conditions for the production of bio-oil and biochar from sugarcane bagasse, through computer simulations and further testing in a pilot plant. For this, initially, the sugarcane bagasse will be characterized for the identification of its components and thermochemical analysis will be held by thermal gravimetric techniques (TGA-DSC). These data and info will be used to perform the simulation of the process by the commercial simulator Aspen Plus V8.6 to study the operating conditions (temperatures, pressure, residence time, water content) and their impacts in the conversion of the desired products aiming to get high yield in the desired products. After simulating the process and identifying the most appropriate operating conditions, tests will be conducted in a pilot plant located in LOPCA (Processes and Advanced Control Optimization Laboratory)/FEQ/UNICAMP, which can be operated with fixed bed reactor or fluidized bed reactor modules. The selection of the type of operation will be made according to the results of the computer simulation. The bio-oil will be characterized by liquid chromatography, and the biochar will also be characterized by elemental analysis, as well as will be made analysis by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) to evaluate the formed material type and to correlate it with the operating conditions. With the development of this work is expected to contribute to the search area for alternative and renewable fuels, especially making use of the bagasse sugarcane raw material that is important for Brazil, but it has not been considered in international research with the necessary intensity for not being an abundant raw material in countries like the United States, the European block and Japan, countries with a research tradition on this subject. This research will identify the reaction and operating conditions more favorable to develop the production process of bio-oil and biochar, which are economically and energetically viable. Research like these of this project are needed to develop units project with higher production capacity and with higher yields and selectivity on the desired products. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
SANTOS, F. B.; MIRANDA, N. T.; SCHIAVON, M. I. R. B.; FREGOLENTE, V, L.; MACIEL, M. R. WOLF. Thermal degradation kinetic of poly(acrylamide-co-sodium acrylate) hydrogel applying isoconversional methods. JOURNAL OF THERMAL ANALYSIS AND CALORIMETRY, JUN 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
MOTTA, INGRID LOPES; MIRANDA, NAHIEH TOSCANO; MACIEL FILHO, RUBENS; WOLF MACIEL, MARIA REGINA. Sugarcane bagasse gasification: Simulation and analysis of different operating parameters, fluidizing media, and gasifier types. BIOMASS & BIOENERGY, v. 122, p. 433-445, MAR 2019. Web of Science Citations: 1.
MOTTA, INGRID LOPES; MIRANDA, NAHIEH TOSCANO; MACIEL FILHO, RUBENS; WOLF MACIEL, MARIA REGINA. Biomass gasification in fluidized beds: A review of biomass moisture content and operating pressure effects. RENEWABLE & SUSTAINABLE ENERGY REVIEWS, v. 94, p. 998-1023, OCT 2018. Web of Science Citations: 18.

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