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New ASTM International test method supports bio-oil stability

A new ASTM International test method will help determine the carbonyl content of thermochemically derived bio-oils. Carbonyls contribute to instability during storage and processing of bio-oils.

โ€œThis new standard provides a simple way to measure carbonyl content. This can help determine the quality of a bio-oil that will undergo further upgrading to fuels and chemicals,โ€ says ASTM member Earl Christensen, a chemist at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Christensen notes that bio-oils with high carbonyl content may require stabilization prior to upgrading. In addition, knowing the level of carbonyl content can help track and predict how a bio-oil will age during storage.

Bio-oil producers, those who work to upgrade bio-oil, and analytical labs will find the standard most useful. In addition, regulatory bodies might use the standard to help describe the quality of a bio-oil intermediate that could be further processed into fuels and chemical products.

The standard (E3146) was developed by ASTM Internationalโ€™s committee on bioenergy and industrial chemicals from biomass (E48). The standard can be used in conjunction with the specification for pyrolysis liquid biofuel (D7544) to describe the quality of a bio-oil that will be further upgraded.

The committee is seeking participants for an interlaboratory study for the new standard.