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Biomass-derived oils are a renewable resource which offer potential for replacing a portion of fossil derived fuels currently in use. However, bio-oils are composed of a large number of organic compounds, many of which contain oxygen. Some of these oxygenates have been shown to degrade metallic and nonmetallic materials that are candidates for containing and sealing bio-oils in various stages of production, processing and utilization.

A wide range of corrosion studies has been used to assess the effect of biomass-derived oils on materials. Selected bio-oils have been chemically characterized and laboratory corrosion tests conducted to assess the effects of bio-oil on metallic and non-metallic materials. Studies have addressed the effect on metallic materials of exposure in a co-processing environment where treated bio-oil was processed with a petroleum-derived oil. To address the role of various oxygen-containing compounds on corrosion, chemical analyses and corrosion tests have been conducted on bio-oil samples that have undergone various levels of oxygen removal through hydrotreating. In addition, corrosion samples provided for testing in operating biomass processing systems have been examined following exposure as have degraded components removed from bio-oil production and processing systems. Results of chemical analyses, laboratory corrosion tests and sample examinations are reported.


Liquid fuels derived from biomass offer the potential for displacing fossil-derived fuels with fuels derived from renewable resources. With this potential come issues concerning the compatibility of the biomass-derived oils with materials used for containment during production, processing, transportation and storage. Our laboratory has conducted several projects, some ongoing, that address the behavior of metallic and non-metallic materials in bio-oil, and several previous publications and presentations have described results of these projects.1-7 A critical component of this compatibility testing is chemical analyses to determine the concentration of certain oxygen-containing compounds. Of particular interest is the concentration of formic and acetic acids as well as the total acidity of the bio-oil as measured by the Total Acid Number or the version reported in this document (AMTAN) where a unique aqueous extraction was used to prepare samples for the standard TAN measurement. The concentration of ketones is also of interest because of the role those compounds appear to play in degradation of elastomers and polymers. 8

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