Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


Dr. Charles Xu

2nd Supervisor

Dr. Sohrab Rohani

Joint Supervisor


The effects of type of solvents (hydro-treated or upgraded pyrolysis oil and ethanol) on hydro-de-oxygenation (HDO) of fast pyrolysis oil were studied. The presence and the type of solvent were found to be effective for prevention or reduction of self-polymerization during the bio-oil HDO process. Using ethanol as the solvent had superior performance in terms of the heating value, molecular weight and elemental composition of the upgraded oil products, compared to using hydro-treated oils as the solvent. Furthermore, novel CoMo catalysts supported on nano-structured materials including MCM-41 and SBA-15 were synthesized and tested on HDO of fast pyrolysis oil in supercritical ethanol, along with other commercial or in-house prepared CoMo catalysts supported on other materials (activated carbon and g-alumina). Among all the supported CoMo catalysts, CoMo/MCM-41 produced the highest oil fraction yield, and the spent catalyst after regeneration produced the same oil yields as the fresh one. Furthermore, CoMo/SBA-15 and CoMo/MCM-41 catalysts showed better resistance to coke/carbon deposition in the HDO process, compared with the CoMo/HZSM-5 and CoMo/Al2O3 catalysts. Moreover, the study also demonstrated that the nano-structured catalysts can resist in the supercritical ethanol condition without collapsing of their crystalline structure.