Joana Pinto

Joana Pinto

Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Title: Making a bridge between biomass and hydrocarbon in a standard refinery


Joana Pinto is an PhD Student in Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Joana Pinto research interest is biomass conversion process in order to Making a bridge between biomass and hydrocarbon in a standard refinery.


A   conventional   refinery   is   based   on mature processes that obtain standard products from a large variety of non- renewable    feeds. Despite    enormous benefits    to    modern    civilization,    the adopted    production    and    consumption patterns     paradoxically     put     us     at environmental    risk.    Therefore    it    is mandatory a paradigm shift to decrease the carbon   footprint   without   reducing   the energy   access   to   people.   Biomass   is composed  of  functionalized  biopolymers (lignin-cellulose) based on sugars- and phenol-derivatives.  On  the  other  hand, refinery processes have been designed to operate on poorly reactive compounds like hydrocarbons. The bridge between these two  remarkable  worlds  was  archived  in two steps:  1- by transforming the biomass into a bio-crude, which was produced by ketalyzation    in    acetone    [1,    2]    and acetylation  reactions  in  acetic  anhydride [3] under mild temperature conditions (around 100oC). This black bio-crude (density around 1.0-1.3 gmL-1  and CHO composition of 60, 8 and 32 respectively) is chemically distinct of any other bio-feed so far. 2 -The transformation of bio-crude and   model   compounds   by   the   fluid catalytic cracking and hydrotreatment into monoaromatic and saturated hydrocarbons respectively [4]. Herein the results of the fluidized bed pilot plant in laboratory scale of both model test and bio-crude are presented. For instance, a representative ketal-derivative, 1,2:5,6-di-O- isopropylidene-α-D-glucofuranose (DX) mixture up to 50% in n-hexane achieved three main goals: small coke formation, remarkable   selectivity   to   hydrocarbons and slight improvement in n-hexane conversion as presented in Table 1. Moreover,   no   oxygenated   compounds were  observed  in  the  liquid  phase,  thus resulting in a drop-in fraction in the fuel pool.

Table 1: FCC test with a feed of 30 wt.% of DX in n- hexane cracking and pristine n-hexane in the presence of 20 g of a commercial FCC catalyst, 10 mL min temperature 420-500oC. All data in %



Coke cat.


Sel. Ar.

n-C6 conv.












30% DX















The bio-base economy derived from this concept fits the requirements to be produced, transported and processed like wise to the up- to downstream in the oil industry.  Finally,  as  a  consequence  the bio-crude  behaves  like  hydrocarbons under realistic refinery process, oil could be partially substituted by bio-crude or, in the future; an entirely green refinery could operate using renewable feeds.

Recent Publications

[1] N. Batalha, A.V.d. Silva, M.O.d. Souza, B.M.C.d. Costa, E.S. Gomes, T.C. Silva, T.G. Barros, M.L.A. Gonçalves,   E.B.   Caramão,   L.R.M.d.   Santos,   M.B.B.

Almeida, R.O.M.A.d. Souza, Y.L. Lam, N.M.F. Carvalho,

L.S.M.  Miranda, M.M.  Pereira,  Gasoline from Biomass through Refinery-Friendly Carbohydrate-Based Bio-Oil Produced  by  Ketalization,  CHEMSUSCHEM,  7  (2014) 1627–1636.

[2] R. Garrett, T.G. Barros, M.O. de Souza, B.M.C. da Costa, M.M. Pereira, L.S.M. Miranda, Unveiling the chemical composition of sugar cane biocrudes by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, Energy & Fuels, 29 (2015) 8082-8087.

[3] J.A.C. Durange, M.O. de Souza, M.R.L. Santos, M. Nele, E.B. Caramão, N.M.F. Carvalho, M.M. Pereira, Valorization of Sugar Cane Bagasse and Jatropha Curcas Cake: Production of a Biocrude by Acetylation Reaction under Microwave Radiation, Energy & Fuels, 29 (2015) 917–921.

[4] N. Batalha, J. Pinto, H. Ferreira, D.C. Baptista, L.S.M. Miranda,   M.M.   Pereira,   Biohydrocarbons   Production under Standard Refinery Conditions by means of a Representative Ketal Compound of Biocrude, Energy Technology, (2016) DOI: 10.1002/ente.201600313.


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