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Fast Pyrolysis of Distillated Ashe Juniper Biomass

[+] Author Affiliations
Jaime J. Juárez, Victor R. Contreras, Gaston R. Haupert, Steven Hill, Daren E. Daugaard

The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX

Paper No. POWER2006-88022, pp. 585-590; 6 pages
  • ASME 2006 Power Conference
  • ASME 2006 Power Conference
  • Atlanta, Georgia, USA, May 2–4, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Power Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4205-3 | eISBN: 0-7918-3776-9
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


Ashe Juniper is one of three major species of juniper native to Texas. Communities of Ashe Juniper occupy over 8 million acres of Texas rangelands and are responsible for herbage reduction, which adversely impacts the livestock carrying capacity. Ashe Juniper wood contains aromatic liquids called essential oils, which are economically beneficial for the personal care products industry. In order to exploit this benefit Texarome, Inc. of Leaky, Texas uses a large-scale steam distillation process to extract aromatic liquids from Ashe Juniper. This process results in a large quantity of Ashe Juniper woodchip waste for which there is few uses. A moderate temperature process known as fast pyrolysis was used to convert steam-distillated Ashe Juniper into a liquid known as bio-oil. An average liquid yield of 40.8% is reported for steam-distillated Ashe Juniper biomass and an average liquid yield of 47.3% is reported Ashe Juniper biomass that has not undergone the steam distillation process. This work demonstrates that the energy content of steam distillated Ashe Juniper can be extracted and the conversion to bio-oil is another potential use for Ashe Juniper woodchip waste. An economic model of Ashe Juniper biomass developed previously by Juárez and Daugaard was used to examine the economic impact of steam-distilled Ashe Juniper by simulating a 4,046-hectare (10,000 acre) Ashe Juniper energy plantation. It was found that bio-oil could be produced for as little as $5.20/GJ on a lower heating value basis if re-investment of profits made from the sale of essential oils extracted during the steam distillation process was assumed. Bio-oil from un-distillated Ashe Juniper could be produced for $13.21/GJ.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME
Topics: Biomass , Pyrolysis



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