Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Toghiani, Rebecca

Committee Member

Toghiani, Hossein

Committee Member

Steele, Phil

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Chemical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering


The effect of supercritical water treatment on the composition of bio-oil was investigated. Preliminary studies were carried in batch mode using a bio-oil simulant. This bio-oil simulant was designed to mimic crude bio-oil by possessing the same functional groups as are found in crude bio-oil, but with reduced complexity. Experiments of this type allow to be gained of the reaction chemistry involved. These were then followed up by experiments using crude bio-oil. Critical process parameters for all these experiments were reaction time, bio-oil/water ratio, reaction temperature and pressure. One of the objectives of this work was to identify processing conditions that would either suppress formation of, or elimination of the coke precursors. This would then result in a bio-oil with improved storage characteristics and a reduced tendency towards coke formation during catalytic upgrading. The results suggest that supercritical water treatment can effectively eliminate the coke pre-cursors resulting from bio-oil, resulting in a bio-oil with improved properties.