• Widya Wijayanti Brawijaya University
  • Mega Nur Sasongko Brawijaya University
  • Musyaroh Musyaroh Brawijaya University
Keywords: zeolite, catalytic cracking, tar, mahogany wood, pyrolysis


In this study, the effects of zeolite were observed to investigate the formation of a pyrolysis product, which is tar yield. Tar yields receive the most attention because of their potential as a bio-oil and chemical feedstocks. For this reason, efforts to increase tar yield were made, one of which was by adding zeolite to the pyrolysis process. The role of zeolite here was a pyrolysis catalyst. This research was conducted on a real pilot plant pyrolysis reactor which utilized mahogany wood as biomass feedstock with the addition of zeolite that was 0–50% of the total mass pyrolysis feedstock. The temperatures set in this pyrolysis were 250 °C, 500 °C, and 800 °C. The test results were measured in terms of the tar yield’s volume and mass. The chemical composition of tar yield was tested using a Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) to measure the percentage of its chemical constituent compounds. Then, the formation mechanism of tar compounds from pyrolysis was described by using HyperChem simulation. The results showed that an increase in zeolite catalyst percentage would generate more volume of tar yields. It was due to the breaking of biomass hydrocarbon chains, increasing the production of tar yields. Zeolite also affected the formation of hydrocarbon chains in tar yields where the chains became shorter as the percentage of zeolite catalyst rose. The mechanism of increasing tar product was due to the role of zeolite as a catalyst in the catalytic cracking process which is almost similar to acid-base reactions of Brønsted-Lowry and Lewis. This reaction took place when the pyrolysis yields moved through the pores of zeolite, breaking the long hydrocarbon chains into shorter ones which were dominated by alkenes, aromatic, and acidic compounds formation. In addition, acidic compounds represented by acetic acid function as a flammable matter possess the potential of becoming oil-fuel.


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Original Scientific Paper