A bio-oil production process involving torrefaction pretreatment, catalytic esterification, pyrolysis, and secondary catalytic processing significantly reduces yields of reactor char, catalyst coke, and catalyst tar relative to the best-case conditions using non-torrefied feedstock. The reduction in coke as a result of torrefaction was 28.5% relative to the respective control for slow pyrolysis bio-oil upgrading. In fast pyrolysis bio-oil processing, the greatest reduction in coke was 34.9%. Torrefaction at 275.degree. C. reduced levels of acid products including acetic acid and formic acid in the bio-oil, which reduced catalyst coking and increased catalyst effectiveness and aromatic hydrocarbon yields in the upgraded oils. The process of bio-oil generation further comprises a catalytic esterification of acids and aldehydes to generate such as ethyl levulinate from lignified biomass feedstock.
STATEMENT OF REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with government support under DOE Grant No.: DEFG 3608GO88144 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy of the United States government. The government has certain rights in the invention.