Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Walters, Keisha B.

Committee Member

Keith, Jason M.

Committee Member

Elmore, Billy B.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Chemical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering


The physicochemical properties of pyrolysis oil have been shown to be dependent on feedstock composition. Accelerated aging tests were performed to understand the effects of feedstock, condensate fraction collected, and filtration on the stability of pyrolysis oil. In this study, pyrolysis oil properties critical for downstream upgrading were measured and compared for different feedstock weight ratios of pine clearwood and pine bark. Post-condensation filtration of pyrolysis oil was evaluated using both lab-scale and pilot plant-scale centrifugal filtration with several operational parameters evaluated. The pilot-plant centrifuge can be used as a three-phase separator [light liquid-heavy liquid-solids] or a two-phase clarifier [liquid-solid]. Since pyrolysis oil is an oil-water micro-emulsion, separation of the heavy and light liquid phases is difficult; therefore, emulsion destabilization studies were performed in concert with centrifugation. Physicochemical properties were monitored to determine the impact of the production and processing parameters on the oil properties critical to biofuel applications.