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Issue 5, 2012
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The fate of bio-carbon in FCC co-processing products

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A promising alternative to the first generation of bio-fuels is to produce mixed bio- and fossil fuels by co-processing mixtures of biomass pyrolysis oil with crude oil fractions obtained from distillation in a conventional oil refinery. This was demonstrated to be technically feasible for fluid catalytic cracking (FCC), which is the main refinery process for producing gasoline. However, co-processing leads to more coke formation and to a more aromatic gasoline fraction. A detailed understanding is necessary on how the oxygenated moieties effect the reaction mechanism to further improve the process/catalysts. Moreover, for technical and marketing reasons, it is absolutely required to accurately determine the proportion of renewable molecules in the commercialized products. The carbon-14 method (also called radiocarbon or 14C) has been used as the most accurate and powerful method to discriminate fossil carbon from bio-carbon, since fossil fuel is virtually 14C-free, while biofuel contains the present-day “natural” amount of 14C. This technique has shown that not all FCC products share bio-carbon statistically. The coke formed during a FCC cycle and to a lesser extent the gases are found richer in 14C than gasoline. This result gives valuable information on the co-processing mechanism, supporting that the bio-oil oxygenated molecules are processed more easily at the expenses of the crude oil hydrocarbons, favouring the bio-coke and the bio-light gases production.

Graphical abstract: The fate of bio-carbon in FCC co-processing products

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Publication details

The article was received on 01 Feb 2012, accepted on 02 Mar 2012 and first published on 06 Mar 2012

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2GC35152H
Green Chem., 2012,14, 1367-1371

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    The fate of bio-carbon in FCC co-processing products

    G. Fogassy, N. Thegarid, Y. Schuurman and C. Mirodatos, Green Chem., 2012, 14, 1367
    DOI: 10.1039/C2GC35152H

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