Theses and Dissertations


Jingming Tao

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Steele, Philip H.

Committee Member

Hassan, El Barbary M.

Committee Member

Yu, Fei

Committee Member

Ingram Jr., Leonard L.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Forest Resources

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Forest Resources


Department of Forest Products


Raw bio-oil is produced by fast pyrolysis of biomass. The high level of oxygen content in bio-oil causes negative properties of polymerization over time, high acidity, pungent odor and low heating value relative to petroleum fuels. The objective of this study was to develop and identify upgrading processes to produce a boiler fuel with reduced acid value, reduced polymerization over time and increased higher heating value. By one upgrading method, raw bio-oil was upgraded by esterification over acid catalyst by batch reaction; a second approach was an in-reactor reaction, produced by injecting methanol or 1-butanol with acid catalyst into the pyrolysis vapor stream. An olefination reaction method combined with an alcoholation reaction was also studied. The resulting fuel produced from in-reactor esterification fuel was compared in terms of physical and chemical properties with esterifed bio-oil produced by the batch method. The olefination reaction was examined in terms of higher heating value, acid value, viscosity, and water content. The influence of reaction conditions such as reaction time, reaction temperature, and catalyst content relative to upgraded bio-oil properties were examined, and optimal conditions were identified. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and empirical analysis was utilized to analyze the difference in physical and chemical properties between treatment groups.