Results of the IEA Round Robin on Viscosity and Aging of Fast Pyrolysis Bio-oils: Long-Term Tests and Repeatability


An international round robin study of the viscosity measurements and aging of fast pyrolysis bio-oil has been undertaken recently, and this work is an outgrowth from that effort. Two bio-oil samples were distributed to two laboratories for accelerated aging tests and to three laboratories of long-term aging studies. The accelerated aging test was defined as the change in viscosity of a sealed sample of bio-oil held for 24 h at 80 °C. The test was repeated 10 times over consecutive days to determine the intra-laboratory repeatability of the method. Other bio-oil samples were placed in storage at three temperatures, 21, 5, and −17 °C, for a period of up to 1 year to evaluate the change in viscosity. The variation in the results of the accelerated aging test was shown to be low within a given laboratory. The long-term aging studies showed that storage of a filtered bio-oil under refrigeration can minimize the amount of change in viscosity. The accelerated aging test gave a measure of change similar to that of 6–12 months of storage at room temperature for a filtered bio-oil. Filtration of solids was identified as a key contributor to improving the stability of the bio-oil as expressed by the viscosity based on results of the accelerated aging tests as well as long-term aging studies. Only the filtered bio-oil consistently gave useful results in the accelerated aging and long-term aging studies. The inconsistency suggests that better protocols need to be developed for sampling bio-oils. These results can be helpful in setting standards for use of bio-oil, which is just coming into the marketplace.

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