Conference Dates

March 8-13, 2009


Continuous, bench scale fast pyrolysis investigation was carried out to evaluate thermal behaviour of variety of biomass feeds. The emphasis was put into obtaining realistic material balances. Yields of (1) water of pyrolysis, (2) oligomeric lignin, (3) water-soluble chemicals, and (4) chars were targeted. Some identification/quantification of chemical components present in the water phase (Hodge' carbonyls, acids) were attempted. The use of superheated steam was also investigated. The use of steam seems to increase yields of some components of pyrolytic liquid. It minimizes yields of pyrolytic water and non-condensable gases. An utilization of fast pyrolysis water-insolubles, together with char in a variety of slow or controlled-release fertilizer formulations is suggested. Such fertilizers, if applied, could increase soil organic carbon (SOC) content of soils and they could play a positive role in a global carbon sequestration pathways leading to potential mitigation of a climate change phenomena. The water-soluble fraction of pyrolysis condensates appears to be suitable for hydrogen production, synthesis gas production, hydrocarbons production in an aqueous-phase catalytic conversions, and for some agricultural applications. Typical results of fast pyrolysis: For biomass feeds like corn hulls, sugar cane bagasse, giant reed, willow copice, flax straw, oats hulls, switch grass, miscanthus, corn stover, - char yields vary from 11.4 to 17 wt%. Oligomeric lignin yields vary from 11.7 to 21.6 wt% (on a moisture, ash free basis).