Evaluation of catalytic pyrolysis of cassava rhizome by principal component analysis

A. Pattiya, James Titiloye, Anthony V. Bridgwater

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Rhizome of cassava plants (Manihot esculenta Crantz) was catalytically pyrolysed at 500 °C using analytical pyrolysis–gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (Py–GC/MS) method in order to investigate the relative effect of various catalysts on pyrolysis products. Selected catalysts expected to affect bio-oil properties were used in this study. These include zeolites and related materials (ZSM-5, Al-MCM-41 and Al-MSU-F type), metal oxides (zinc oxide, zirconium (IV) oxide, cerium (IV) oxide and copper chromite) catalysts, proprietary commercial catalysts (Criterion-534 and alumina-stabilised ceria-MI-575) and natural catalysts (slate, char and ashes derived from char and biomass). The pyrolysis product distributions were monitored using models in principal components analysis (PCA) technique. The results showed that the zeolites, proprietary commercial catalysts, copper chromite and biomass-derived ash were selective to the reduction of most oxygenated lignin derivatives. The use of ZSM-5, Criterion-534 and Al-MSU-F catalysts enhanced the formation of aromatic hydrocarbons and phenols. No single catalyst was found to selectively reduce all carbonyl products. Instead, most of the carbonyl compounds containing hydroxyl group were reduced by zeolite and related materials, proprietary catalysts and copper chromite. The PCA model for carboxylic acids showed that zeolite ZSM-5 and Al-MSU-F tend to produce significant amounts of acetic and formic acids.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-253
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


  • cassava rhizome
  • analytical pyrolysis
  • principal component analysis
  • catalysts
  • bioenergy
  • chemical engineering


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