Key Points

Modified 4 cylinder diesel engine at BtG Netherlands, PyNe 41.

  • Bio-oils and Bio-crudes are energy carriers that can be used as biofuels
  • They can be used directly as a fuel, or upgraded for higher technology applications.
  • Upgrading can range from simple blending to chemical reformulation and catalysis.
  • Biofuel applications include boiler fuel, diesel and gasoline engines, aviation, and maritime fuels.

Further Reading

  • PyNe 41:  van de Beld/Florijn/Holle on direct bio-oil use in diesel engine
  • PyNe 40:  Elliott on hydoprocessed biofuels
  • PyNe 39:  Magrini-Bair on fuels from catalytic pyrolysis

Example Applications

Biofuels from Direct Thermochemical Liquefaction

Hydrocarbons from upgrading bio-oil. PNNL

In 2018, biofuels from Bio-oils and Bio-crudes are becoming a reality, and a potential source for wide spectrum of new biofuels.  They can be used “as produced” in applications such as boiler fuels and stationary diesel engines that have been tuned to work with them.  However, many hydrocarbon fuel applications can use bio-oils and bio-crudes once the oils have been chemically or physically modified in a process referred to as “upgrading.”

These upgrading processes can include:

  • Bio-oil and Bio-crude Hydroprocessing using hydrogen and catalysts to remove oxygen and to adjust the molecular weight
  • Synfuels to reformulate the bio-crude and bio-oils molecular structure into specific fuels
  • Blends to insert bio-crudes and bio-oils into existing applications by dilution
  • Esterification to form compounds with diesel-like properties
  • Cracking using catalysis to reduce oxygen content and adjust molecular weight