Catalytic conversion of glycerol to bio-based aromatics

Songbo He

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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Aromatics are in important building blocks in the chemical industry to produce among others plastics. Currently aromatics are produced from fossil resources and thus have a negative impact on our planet. There is a strong driver to green-up the aromatics industry and one of the options is the use of waste biomass as the feed. In this PhD research, crude glycerol, which is abundantly available as a by-product of the biodiesel industry, was explored as a bio-based feedstock for the production of aromatics via a technology known as catalytic pyrolysis. It involves contacting the biomass, in this case glycerol, with a suitable catalyst at elevated temperatures. Catalyst performance was studied in detail and it was shown that deactivation is a major issue. A number of strategies for improved catalyst performance have been investigated, including the use of co-feeds (e.g., glycerol and oleic acid) and the use of binders in the catalyst formulation. The research described in this thesis has provided fundamental and applied insights which have been used for scale-up of the process to pilot-scale by BioBTX BV in Groningen, The Netherlands.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Heeres, Hero, Supervisor
  • Heeres, Arend, Co-supervisor
Award date21-Jun-2022
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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