Heterodoxy in Fast Pyrolysis of Biomass

Date
2020-12-04
Authors
Brown, Robert
Brown, Robert
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Mechanical EngineeringChemical and Biological EngineeringAgricultural and Biosystems EngineeringBioeconomy Institute (BEI)
Abstract

As the field of fast pyrolysis has matured, it has been accompanied by a kind of orthodoxy in its practice. Among these orthodoxies are the following: (1) oxygen should be excluded from the pyrolysis process; (2) little sugar is produced during pyrolysis; and (3) the major product of pyrolysis is a low-value emulsion in water. Adherence to these tenets is an impediment to the commercial development of fast pyrolysis. Over the past 15 years, research at Iowa State University’s Bioeconomy Institute has challenged these tenets with what might be called heterodoxy in the science and engineering of fast pyrolysis: adding oxygen, producing sugars, and fractionating bio-oil into valorized products. This paper reviews these new approaches to pyrolysis and concludes with an outlook for further developing them.

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This document is the unedited Author’s version of a Submitted Work that was subsequently accepted for publication in Energy & Fuels, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review. To access the final edited and published work see DOI: 10.1021/acs.energyfuels.0c03512. Posted with permission.

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