Pyrolysis of Gmelina arborea wood for bio-oil/bio-char production: physical and chemical characterisation of products.
Gmelina wood was pyrolysed in a bench scale screw pyrolysis reactor for bio-oil/bio-char production, at a reaction temperature of 454°C. The bio-oil and bio-char product yields were 71 and 13 wt.%, respectively while the rest accounted for wt.% of non-condensable gas and minor losses as feedstock dust. The products were characterized for physical and chemical properties to determine their potentials for energy use and industrial process applications. The results show that the bio-oil produced contains the major organic compounds typical of bio-oil from other energy crops used for commercial bio-oil production. The bio-char possesses heating value typical of pulverized coal, hence, it can be used as supplement to coal to reduce coal consumption in thermal power plants. The combustibility test of the flue gas produced blue flame showing complete combustion in excess of oxygen. This correlates with result of analysis of the gas contents using gas analyzer and GC/MS showing the presence of flammable gases such as alkanes, alkenes, hydrogen etc. Similarly, it compares relatively well with the results obtained with other woody biomass pyrolyzed in fluidized bed reactors.