Pyrolysis of the Caupi Bean Pod (Vigna unguiculata): Characterization of Biomass and Bio-Oil


J. Braz. Chem. Soc.




The use of agricultural residues for the production of bio-oil is an important alternative to the use of fossil fuels. In this study, the Caupi bean pod (Vigna unguiculata) was characterized and used as biomass in the production of bio-oil. This biomass was evaluated in terms of physicochemical, morphological (scanning electron microscopy (SEM)), and thermal (thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)) characterization, lignocellulosic composition, and pyrolysis processes. The pyrolysis was carried out in a stainless steel fixed-bed reactor (260 mm in length and 60 mm in diameter) under atmospheric nitrogen pressure. Pyrolysis was conducted at 550, 600, and 700 °C and N2 gas flow of 2, 5, and 7 mL min-1. The chemical composition of the bio-oils was studied through CHN, TGA, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The results confirmed the bean pod’s potential in the thermochemical process. The thermogravimetric analyses demonstrate that there can be a relationship between the components of the principal biomass (cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin) and the compounds present in the bio-oil. The obtained bio-oils represent bio-products that are rich in compounds of several chemical classes with relevant commercial value such as acids (palmitic, linoleic, oleic, and stearic), alcohols (ethylene glycol), sugars (levoglucosan), and phenols (guaiacol, catechol, phenol, and pyrocatechol).

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