As part of the Feedstock Conversion Interface Consortium four samples of pine chips (all combinations of low and high moisture and ash content) were collected and processed for fast pyrolysis. The prepared biomass samples were liquefied at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) using the fast pyrolysis process. Following some characterization of the bio-oils at NREL, the bio-oils were shipped to Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for corrosion testing and further characterization.

The content and composition of ash in each bio-oil was determined. Corrosion testing consisted of exposing selected metallic and elastomer samples for 1000 hr at 50°C and for longer times at room temperature as well as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements to assess relative corrosivity of the bio-oils. Chemical characterization was conducted to identify the corrosive component of the bio-oils as well as to define the chemical differences among the oils. It was hypothesized that there could be a catalytic effect from the higher ash content in two of the biomass sources. Results of these characterization and corrosion studies will be reported.


Use of liquid fuels produced from biomass is an attractive option for significantly reducing production of greenhouse gases compared to combustion of fossil-derived fuels. Thermochemical approaches to bio-oil production, including fast pyrolysis, hydrothermal liquefaction and catalytic fast pyrolysis, are being studied extensively and show great potential. However, the significant oxygen content of biomass results in the bio-oils being quite acidic.

This manuscript has been authored by UT-Battelle, LLC under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 with the U.S. Department of Energy. The United States Government retains and the publisher, by accepting the article for publication, acknowledges that the United States Government retains a non-exclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, world-wide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this manuscript, or allow other to do so, for United States Government purposes. The Department of Energy will provide public access to these results of federally sponsored research in accordance with the DOE Public Access Plan (http://energy.gov/downloads/doe-public-access-plan).

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