Catalytic Pyrolysis of Biomass and Polymer Wastes
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Oil produced by the pyrolysis of biomass and co-pyrolysis of biomass with waste synthetic polymers has significant potential as a substitute for fossil fuels. However, the relatively poor properties found in pyrolysis oil—such as high oxygen content, low caloric value, and physicochemical instability—hampers its practical utilization as a commercial petroleum fuel replacement or additive. This review focuses on pyrolysis catalyst design, impact of using real waste feedstocks, catalyst deactivation and regeneration, and optimization of product distributions to support the production of high value-added products. Co-pyrolysis of two or more feedstock materials is shown to increase oil yield, caloric value, and aromatic hydrocarbon content. In addition, the co-pyrolysis of biomass and polymer waste can contribute to a reduction in production costs, expand waste disposal options, and reduce environmental impacts. Several promising options for catalytic pyrolysis to become industrially viable are also discussed.
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