Catalytic Upgrading of Pyrolysis Products for the Production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Research output: NRELPresentation


The objective of this project is advance the state-of-technology for a catalytic fast pyrolysis (CFP) + hydrotreating (HT) process to produce sustainable aviation fuel and other biogenic products. Our approach focuses on performing integrated experiments using realistic biomass feedstocks and non-noble metal technical catalyst formulations. CFP is performed in an ex-situ configuration using a fluidized bed reactor without co-fed hydrogen. Research advancements over the past two years include establishing benchmark yield structures and compositional data for each step of the biomass-to-SAF process, demonstrating the ability to produce a cycloalkane-rich SAF product that meets key ASTM 4054 guidelines, generating benchmark characterization data for technical catalyst formulations with an emphasis on determining the unique composition and combustion properties of biogenic coke, and establishing bio-oil critical material attributes to mitigate the risk of plugging during down-stream hydroprocessing. Other impacts from this project include generation of broadly enabling scientific knowledge (12 publications/12 presentations since 2021), engagement with industry partners (Johnson Matthey, ExxonMobil, Phillips 66), and identification of a promising pathway to market that addresses emerging demands for biogenic refinery feedstocks.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages26
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePresented at the 2023 U.S. Department of Energy's Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Project Peer Review, 3-7 April 2023, Denver, Colorado

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5100-85850


  • biomass
  • catalyst
  • pyrolysis
  • sustainable aviation fuel


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