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Bioresour Technol. 2013 Jul;139:397-401. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2013.04.053. Epub 2013 Apr 22.

Production of aromatic hydrocarbons by catalytic pyrolysis of microalgae with zeolites: catalyst screening in a pyroprobe.

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Center for Biorefining and Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1390 Eckles Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108, United States.


Catalytic pyrolysis of microalgae and egg whites was investigated to evaluate the performance of different zeolites for the production of aromatic hydrocarbons. Three zeolites with different structures (H-Y, H-Beta and H-ZSM5) were used to study the effect of catalyst type on the aromatic yield. All three catalysts significantly increased the aromatic yields from pyrolysis of microalgae and egg whites compared with non-catalytic runs, and H-ZSM5 was most effective with a yield of 18.13%. Three H-ZSM5 with silica-to-alumina ratios of 30, 80 and 280 were used to study the effect of Si/Al ratio on the aromatic yield. The maximum yield was achieved at the Si/Al ratio of 80, which provides moderate acidity to achieve high aromatic production and reduce coke formation simultaneously. Aromatic production increased with the incorporation of copper or gallium to HZSM-5. However, other studied metals either had no significant influence or led to a lower aromatic yield.

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