Catalytic pyrolysis of washed empty fruit bunch (EFB) by using cobalt oxide doped onto silica-alumina catalyst
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The problem with the utilization of fossil fuels such as expensive, source depletion and not being environmental friendly lead to the utilization of biomass as one of the renewable and environmental friendly energy source. Biomass such as solid empty fruit bunch (EFB) can be converted into bio-oil through thermochemical process such as pyrolysis. In this project, cobalt oxide doped onto silica-alumina catalyst has been used and prepared by wet impregnation technique. The effect of pyrolysis temperature, holding time and type of reaction to the bio-oil production were investigated by using the Design Expert® software and the correlation between all factors to the bio-oil production was 66.9%. Based on the ANOVA analysis, the interaction between pyrolysis temperature and holding time, as well as type of reaction are the significant terms to the bio-oil production. For the morphological test, the x-ray diffraction (XRD) test showed that cobalt oxide doped onto silica-alumina catalyst possesses a certain degree of crystallinity with some amorphous characteristics. On the other hand, the scanning electron microscope (SEM) test showed that the cobalt/silica-alumina catalyst has indefinite shape and size. The thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) test on the biomass sample has shown that the active pyrolytic zone is in the range of 200 °C – 500 °C whereas the Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) test on the bio-oil showed that it contain water, polymeric hydroxyl compounds, alkenes, carboxylic acids, ketones and aldehydes.