Physico-Chemical Properties of Bio-Oils from Pyrolysis of Lignocellulosic Biomass with High and Slow Heating Rate

Sonil Nanda, Pravakar Mohanty, Janusz A. Kozinski, Ajay K. Dalai


Bio-oil is a major product of biomass pyrolysis that could potentially be used in motor engines, boilers, furnaces and turbines for heat and power. Upon catalytic upgrading, bio-oils can be used as transportation fuels due to enhancement of their fuel properties. In this study, bio-oils produced from lignocellulosic biomasses such as wheat straw, timothy grass and pinewood were estimated through slow and high heating rate pyrolysis at 450 °C. The slow heating rate (2 °C/min) pyrolysis resulted in low bio-oil yields and high amount of biochars, whereas the high heating rate (450 °C/min) pyrolysis produced significant amount of bio-oils with reduced biochar yields. The physico-chemical and compositional analyses of bio-oils were achieved through carbon-hydrogen-nitrogen-sulfur (CHNS) studies, calorific value, Fourier transform-infra red (FT-IR) spectroscopy, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The yields of bio-oils produced from the three biomasses were 40-48 wt.% through high heating rate pyrolysis and 18-24 wt.% through slow heating rate pyrolysis. The chemical components identified in bio-oils were classified into five major groups such as organic acids, aldehydes, ketones, alcohols and phenols. The percent intensities of hydrogen and carbon containing species were calculated from 1H and 13C-NMR. The study on bio-oils from herbaceous and woody biomasses revealed their potentials for fossil fuel substitution and bio-chemical production.

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Energy and Environment Research   ISSN 1927-0569 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0577 (Online)  Email:

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