Master of Science in Biological and Agricultural Engineering (MSBAE)


Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Document Type



This study investigated the thermal performances of platinum particles when coupled on a steel support, under the application of a radio frequency (RF) field. Platinum nanoparticles were reduced on the surfaces of type-316 stainless steel balls, based on published methods of Pt reduction from chloroplatinic acid. Alternatively, 1wt. % Pt/Al2O3 commercial catalyst pellets were mixed with stainless steel balls and investigated for hydro-deoxygenation of pyrolysis oil from pine sawdust biomass. The catalysts were placed inside an electric insulator tube suspended within a looping copper coil connected to the induction heater, and heated at different power levels. An infrared camera was utilized to record the surface temperature profile during heating of Pt-coated balls and non-coated balls. Pt particles deposited onto silica beads showed no surface heating when placed inside an RF field. The Pt-coated steel systems, however, showed rapid heating of the surfaces following a first order response. The catalysts were characterized via SEM/EDX, XPS and XRD. Preliminary upgrading tests using these Pt-steel balls did not indicate any effect. The lack of catalytic activity was attributed to the limited surface area per unit volume of the Pt coating due to the large sizes and non-porous structure of the steel balls. For the catalytic upgrading experiment with the use of the Pt/Al2O3 commercial catalyst pellets mixed with steel balls, heating of the catalyst bed with the induction heater was compared with a conventional method of heating using electric tape around the catalyst bed reactor. Partial deoxygenation was successfully achieved in the catalytic upgrading of pyrolysis oil using Pt/Al2O3 pellets mixed with steel balls at 234°C, with the use of the induction heater. The molar O/C ratio of the oil decreased from 1.36 to 0.51. No deoxygenation was observed using the conventional heating method with the electric tape under identical conditions as both carbon and oxygen appeared to be removed at approximately equal rates, with the carbon being deposited in the form of coke onto the catalyst instead of being recovered in the liquid.



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Committee Chair

Boldor, Dorin

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Engineering Commons