Lignocellulosic biomass is the most abundant renewable resource in existence and is the only source of renewable fixed carbon. Biofuels produced from this source are promising because they do not contribute to extra CO2 emissions and they reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Presently, wheat husk has a distinctive potential as a renewable source of biomass, due to its global availability, which is advantageous for producing liquid and gaseous fuels by thermochemical processes. The Thermo-Catalytic Reforming (TCR) process is excellent for generating energy vectors (solid char, liquid bio-oil and permanent gases) from agricultural wastes, such as wheat husk. These valorised energy vectors can be applied as transportation fuels and used in combined heat and power (CHP) plants. The aim of this work is to study the conversion of wheat husk into fuels, using TCR technology in a 2 kg/h continuous pilot scale reactor. Findings show that from 100 wt% of the feedstock, 29.6 wt% was converted into synthesis gas, 21.7 wt% to char, 5.8 wt% into organic bio-oil, 32.8 wt% into aqueous phase liquids and the remaining was attributed to losses (10.1 wt%). The organic bio-oil contains a higher heating value (HHV) of 26 MJ/kg, which represents a notable increase compared to the original feedstock (17.8 MJ/kg). Phenol was found to be the most abundant compound within the oil, with a relative abundance of 30.88% measured by GC–MS. Oleic acid (7.41%) was the most abundant long chain hydrocarbon detected. The total acid number of the oil (TAN) was (29.9 mg KOH/g) and viscosity measured (145.2 cSt). In order to use wheat husk oil as a direct engine fuel, it is necessary to carry out upgrading via hydro-processing; or blend with fossil crude oil for further refining. Overall, TCR is a promising future route for the valorisation of wheat husk to produce renewable energy vectors.
- thermo-catalytic reforming
- wheat husk