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Competing reactions limit levoglucosan yield during fast pyrolysis of cellulose

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Abstract

Efforts to understand the reaction mechanisms of cellulose pyrolysis have been stymied by short reaction times and difficulties in probing the condensed phase of cellulose intermediate products. Using time-resolved yields of both volatile and non-volatile products of pyrolysis, we demonstrate that cracking reactions generate anhydro-oligosaccharides while subsequent reactions produce levoglucosan from these anhydro-oligosaccharides. Eventually, cracking of anhydro-oligosaccharides is eclipsed by levoglucosan-producing reactions. These reactions compete with other reactions that produce light oxygenates and non-condensable gases. The relative reaction rates in this competition limit levoglucosan yields from cellulose pyrolysis to approximately 60 wt%.

Graphical abstract: Competing reactions limit levoglucosan yield during fast pyrolysis of cellulose

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Publication details

The article was received on 05 Nov 2018, accepted on 30 Nov 2018 and first published on 03 Dec 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8GC03461C
Citation: Green Chem., 2019, Advance Article
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    Competing reactions limit levoglucosan yield during fast pyrolysis of cellulose

    J. K. Lindstrom, J. Proano-Aviles, P. A. Johnston, C. A. Peterson, J. S. Stansell and R. C. Brown, Green Chem., 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8GC03461C

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