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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Alex Moutsoglou

Second Advisor

Gregory Michna


Interest in biomass derived renewable fuels, additives and special chemicals has been continually growing as it holds significant promise to help meet increased energy demands while decreasing negative environmental impacts. Recent studies indicate that fractional condensation of fast pyrolysis vapors may improve bio-oil quality and stability by controlling the products condensed. In this research, the fast pyrolysis of softwood was performed in a 1kg/hr batch fluidized bed reactor. Fractional condensation was achieved through two cyclonic condensers maintained at different temperatures, separated by an electrostatic precipitator at room temperature and a cotton demister. Liquid bio-oil yields were measured after each experiment. To analyze the effects of fractional condensation on bio-oil quality and aging, multiple tests were performed within 24 hours of production and after 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, and 9 months. Bio-oil properties including water content, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen (CHN/O) contents, total acid number (TAN), higher heating value (HHV), viscosity, and strain and frequency rheology experiments were performed. Recent studies have described some of the effects of fractional condensation on fast pyrolysis bio-oil products, however this research provides a more thorough analysis of the elemental, rheological, and aging characteristics of bio-oil from the fast pyrolysis of softwood feedstock.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Biomass energy
Biomass conversion


Includes bibliographical references (pages 59-61)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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