Biomass pyrolysis: a state-of-the-art review



Biomass pyrolysis is a process by which a biomass feedstock is thermally degraded in the absence of air/oxygen. It is used for the production of solid (charcoal), liquid (tar and other organics) and gaseous products. These products are of interest as they are possible alternate sources of energy. The study of pyrolysis is gaining increasing importance, as it is not only an independent process, it is also a . rst step in the gasi. cation or combustion process, and has many advantages over other renewable and conventional energy sources. Studies have been conducted on pyrolysis of biomass and other substances by several researchers. The actual reaction scheme of pyrolysis of biomass is extremely complex because of the formation of over a hundred intermediate products. Mode ling of pyrolysis includes chemical kinetics model, heat transfer model and mass transfer model. Various kinetic models, heat and mass transfer models reported in the literature and our previous study are reported in the present review with experimental validations to provide the current status of the study. Plasma pyrolysis provides high temperature and high energy for reaction as the reaction sample is rapidly heated up to a high temperature. This review also covers the experimental and modeling study status of plasma-assisted pyrolysis. © 2008 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd