Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


Dominic Pjontek


Bio-oil upgrading via hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) was investigated using anisole, a model compound, in a novel Externally Agitated (EA) reactor which is expected to enhance gas-liquid-solid mixing. Operating conditions were established based on anisole HDO with 10 wt.% Ni on silica, γ-alumina, and δ-alumina while varying temperatures between 160 to 280oC, and reaction times between 30 – 90 minutes. Mild temperatures of 220oC and 45 minutes for reaction time with γ-alumina were selected for subsequent work since γ-alumina demonstrated the highest HDO activity. HDO was then investigated with varying Ni-Cu and Ni loadings. Despite the improved reducibility from copper addition, monometallic Ni catalysts had higher cyclohexane yields, whereas conversion and coke varied based on total metal loading. Increasing Ni loading from 2 – 10 wt.% improved hydrogenation but deoxygenation to cyclohexane remained constant. Lanthanum promotion to Ni and Ni-Cu catalysts improved reducibility, however, lowered conversion and cyclohexane yields, and increased coke formation.