Low temperature method for production of multiple biofuels and products from oleaginous biomass feedstocks


Project ID:  D2011-30


Biomass of non-lignocellulosic origin is typically composed of one or more of three components – protein, starch and oils (such as triacylglycerides or other lipids). One of the concerns with thermochemical processing of protein-containing biomass is contamination of bio-oil with nitrogen-containing compounds (such as pyrozole, pyridine, maltol etc.) derived from protein. N-containing fuels are of low quality and may not pass fuel standards due to formation of NOx upon combustion. In addition, when bio-oils are upgraded through catalytic hydrogenation and deoxygenation, presence of N-compounds can poison the catalysts. Researchers at the University of Toledo have developed a process to recover oil and gas individually from each of these fractions and produce high-quality bio-oils, and/or biodiesel, free of nitrogen-containing compounds.


Invention Description:

A method for production of multiple biofuels through thermal fractionation of non-lignocellulosic biomass is described. The method involves heating the biomass feedstock in an inert and oxygen-free environment and is performed at lower temperatures than conventional pyrolysis. The method results in the production of bio-oils, gases and char. In addition, the method describes ways to upgrade bio-oils to liquid fuels that are directly compatible with existing engines and infrastructure. The bio-oil production and upgradation all occur within a single process that is integrated with the thermal fractionation. 



·       Near complete conversion of biomass carbon to fuels and products.

·       Conversion to biodiesel occurs in a novel and cost-effective single step, needing no further purification.

·       No catalyst necessary—fewer steps to product = lower cost operation.

·       Energy-efficient, low temperature pyrolysis process directly produces infrastructure-compatible biodiesel.

·       Applicable to algae and a wide variety of oleaginous feedstocks.

·       Nitrogen-rich biochar produced by the process may be used as a valuable soil amendment or fertilizer.

·       Broadly useful for production of liquid transportation fuels.



Fuel production from a wide variety of biomass types ranging from algae to terrestrial oil- or carbohydrate- containing feed stocks


IP Status: U.S. Utility Patent #8,927,240

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Anne Izzi
Licensing Associate
The University of Toledo
419 530 6226
Sasidhar Varanasi
Balakrishna Maddi
Sridhar Viamajala