Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Steele, Philip H.

Committee Member

Ingram, Leonard L., Jr

Committee Member

Borazjani, AbdolHamid

Committee Member

Yu, Fei

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Forest Resources

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Forest Resources


Department of Sustainable Bioproducts


Bio-oil obtained by the fast pyrolysis of biomass has the potential to serve as source of alternative liquid fuel for both power generation and transportation fuel. Bio-oils are comprised of oxygenated compounds, due to the presence of a high percentage of these oxygenated groups bio-oil possesses negative properties such as low heating value, low volatility, thermal instability, corrosiveness, immiscibility with fossil fuels and a tendency to polymerize over time. Bio-oils have been converted to both boiler and transportation fuels in laboratory and demonstration projects. However, the available technologies have not proven commercially viable. Therefore, the main objective of this study is to develop additional, potentially commercializable, technologies to upgrade bio-oils and pretreated bio-oil by hydroprocessing pathways. Previous hydrodeoxygenation studies over nearly three decades have provided considerable information about methods to upgrade bio-oil by this technology. However, rapid catalyst deactivation and low yields continue to be problematic and further research is required to refine current hydrodeoxygenation methods and catalysts. In our study we are applying pretreatment to the bio-oil at ambient temperature and pressure conditions to hydroprocess pretreated bio-oil in a single-stage. An initial pretreatment was performed to convert aldehydes present in the bio-oil into carboxylic acids followed by a single-stage hydroprocessing, that was performed to produce hydrocarbons. Where appropriate, successful products produced from the hydroprocessing treatments were analyzed for acid value, oxygen content, heating value, elemental analysis, FTIR and GC-MS. Statistical analysis was performed by analysis of variance (ANOVA).