Novel Membranes for Enhancing Value of Bio-Oil

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-09ER85315
Agency Tracking Number: 90292
Amount: $989,128.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: 12 b
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0000350
Small Business Information
335 Water Street, Newport, DE, 19804
DUNS: 510348256
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Praveen Kosaraju
 (302) 999-7996
Business Contact
 Stuart Nemser
Title: Dr.
Phone: (302) 999-7996
Research Institution
Bio-oil is a liquid fuel made from biomass such as wood chips and low grade wood byproducts by fast pyrolysis process. Presence of carboxylic acids in raw-bio-oil makes the bio-oil very acidic and corrosive. Raw bio-oil has low heating value primarily because of its high water content (up to 35 %). Oligomerization aldehydes and other compounds with an unsaturated carbon bond in raw bio-oil results in increased viscosity with aging/storage. To summarize, quality and stability of raw bio-oil has to be improved in order to use bio-oil as a fuel in engines, gas turbines and boilers, and as a refinery feedstock to produce transport fuel. A membrane separation process will be developed to remove all the undesirable compounds, water, carboxylic acids and aldehydes from bio-oil to substantially improve its quality and stability. Economics of this novel membrane separation process will be superior to the alternative bio-oil treatment technologies. Novel membranes were developed to remove undesirable compounds from raw bio-oil. By removing undesirable compounds, water, carboxylic acids and aldehydes, from bi-oil, its stability and quality was improved substantially. The novel membrane separating process is highly economical and its payback time was estimated at less than a month. Membrane and membrane separation process will be first optimized to enhance its separation performance. Then, a prototype device will be built to perform the long-term stability studies and field evaluation. Based on these results, engineering and economic analysis of the membrane separation system will be carried out for bio-oil treatment. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Bio-oil is renewable, sustainable, and environmentally benign. Bio-oil upgraded in quality and stability could ultimately reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Bio-oil production plants could provide jobs along with a badly needed market for the timber industry

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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