Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Fabio H Ribeiro

Second Advisor

Rakesh Agrawal

Committee Member 1

W. Nicholas Delgass

Committee Member 2

Hilkka Kenttämaa


Biomass is a major source of renewable carbon which can be converted to hydrocarbon fuel with the aim of reducing the dependence on fossil based sources. Fast pyrolysis of biomass followed by catalytic hydrodeoxygenation of bio-oil is considered a promising biomass conversion route to produce drop in hydrocarbon fuels. The H2Bioil process was proposed as an integrated high pressure fast hydropyrolysis and catalytic vapor phase hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) pathway for utilizing biomass to produce high energy density fuel. During fast hydropyrolysis biomass is rapidly heated to generate a complex mixture of compounds with high oxygen content (35-40 wt %). In the H2Bioil process, hydropyrolysis vapors are immediately upgraded via a downstream catalytic reactor to reduce the oxygen content and produce a high energy density bio-oil.