Solvothermal Liquefaction of Corn Stalk: Physico-Chemical Properties of Bio-oil and Biochar
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This study investigated the conversion of corn stalk to bio-oil by solvothermal liquefaction using ethanol as a solvent. Effect of reaction temperature, time and solvent to biomass ratio on the yield and the properties of bio-oil and biochar was studied. Analysis of corn stalk and bio-oil were done to determine the surface functional groups, existing bonds and molecular structure of specified compounds. Investigations were done to identify different compounds in bio-oil, the thermal stability, and weight loss kinetics of biochar. Study shows that percentage yield of bio-oil increases with increase in temperature and time, up to a specific level, and then starts declining. Further, the heating value, carbon content, and fixed carbon content of both bio-oil and biochar increased to 30.52, 22.8 MJ/kg, and 66.42 and 61.25%, 26.10 and 27.97% respectively from those (19.55 MJ/kg, 51.12 and 6.36%) of the corn stalk. This study suggests that the bio-oil contained mostly phenolic compounds and its derivatives. Two major DTG peaks were observed at 380 and 620 °C indicating the improvement in thermal stability of the biochar after solvolysis liquefaction process. Investigation results can be very useful in optimizing process parameters for solvothermal liquefaction.
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