Oxygen speciation in upgraded fast pyrolysis bio-oils by comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography
Biomass fast pyrolysis is considered as a promising route to produce liquid for the transportation field from a renewable resource. However, the derived bio-oils are mainly oxygenated (45-50%w/w O on a wet basis) and contain almost no hydrocarbons. Therefore, upgrading is necessary to obtain a liquid with lower oxygen content and characterization of oxygenated compounds in these products is essential to assist conversion reactions. For this purpose, comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC [times] GC) can be investigated. Oxygen speciation in such matrices is hampered by the large diversity of oxygenated families and the complexity of the hydrocarbon matrix. Moreover, response factors must be taken into account for oxygenate quantification as the Flame Ionisation Detector (FID) response varies when a molecule contains heteroatoms. To conclude, no distillation cuts were accessible and the analysis had to cover a large range of boiling points (30-630 [degree]C). To take up this analytical challenge, a thorough optimization approach was developed. In fact, four GC [times] GC column sets were investigated to separate oxygenated compounds from the hydrocarbon matrix. Both model mixtures and the upgraded biomass flash pyrolysis oil were injected using GC [times] GC-FID to reach a suitable chromatographic separation. The advantages and drawbacks of each column combination for oxygen speciation in upgraded bio-oils are highlighted in this study. Among the four sets, an original polar [times] semi-polar column combination was selected and enabled the identification by GC [times] GC-ToF/MS of more than 40 compounds belonging to eight chemical families: ketones, furans, alcohols, phenols, carboxylic acids, guaiacols, anisols, and esters. For quantification purpose, the GC [times] GC-FID chromatogram was divided into more than 60 blobs corresponding to the previously identified analyte and hydrocarbon zones. A database associating each blob to a molecule and its specific response factor (determined by standards injection at different concentrations) was created. A detailed molecular quantification by GC [times] GC-FID was therefore accessible after integration of the corrected normalized areas. This paper aims to present a detail level in terms of characterization of oxygenated compounds in upgraded bio-oils which to our knowledge has never been reached so far. It is based on an original column set selection and an extremely accurate quantification procedure.