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Characterization of pyrolysis products from a biodiesel phenolic urethane binder

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Environmental Science and Technology





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Analytical pyrolysis was conducted to identify and quantify the major pyrolysis products of a biodiesel phenolic urethane binder as a function of temperature. This biodiesel binder has been used in U.S. foundries recently to replace conventional phenolic urethane binders for making sand cores. Flash pyrolysis and thermogravimetric analytical (TGA) slow pyrolysis were conducted for the core samples to simulate some key features of the heating conditions that the core binders would experience during metal casting. Pyrolysis products from flash and TGA pyrolysis were analyzed with gas chromatography - mass spectrometry/flame ionization detection/thermal conductivity detection. The evolution profiles of the pyrolysis products during TGA slow pyrolysis were also monitored via thermogravimetry-mass spectrometry (TG-MS). The combination of TG-MS and TGA pyrolysis emission data facilitated a quantification of gaseous pyrolysis products of the biodiesel binder as a function of temperature. The major monitored carbonaceous pyrolysis products of the biodiesel binder included CO, CO 2, CH 4, and a variety of methyl esters such as dimethyl glutarate, dimethyl adipate, and methyl oleate. These latter species were the components of the biodiesel binder's solvent. Pyrolysis of the biodiesel binder also generated a variety of hazardous air pollutants listed by the U.S. EPA, with benzene, toluene, xylene, phenol, and cresols being the prominent species. A considerable fraction of the binder's released mass did not appear as exhausted volatile carbonaceous species, but rather recondensed before they exhausted from the TGA. This represented mass that could likewise recondense within a green sand molding system during full-scale operations, as an environmentally favorable containment of air emissions. © 2009 American Chemical Society.

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