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Pyrolysis


Pyrolysis is thermal decomposition occurring in the absence of oxygen. Lower process temperatures and longer vapour residence times favour the production of charcoal. High temperatures and longer residence times increase biomass conversion to gas, and moderate temperatures and short vapour residence time are optimum for producing liquids.  Three products – gas, liquid and solid - are always produced, but the proportions can be varied over a wide range by adjustment of the process parameters as shown in the table below.

Method

Conditions       Wt % products

Liquid

Char

Gas

Intermediate

~ 500ºC; short HVRT ~10-30 s; moderate solids RT

50% in 2 phases

25%

25%

Fast

~ 500ºC; very short Hot Vapour Residence Time (HVRT) ~1 s; short solids RT

75%

12%

13%

Slow

~ 400ºC; long HVRT; very long solids RT

35%

35%

30%

Torrefaction

~ 300ºC; long HVRT; long solids RT

Vapours

85% solid

15% vapours

Gasification

~ 800-900ºC; short HVRT; short solids RT

1-5%

<1%

95-99%

 

Pyrolysis research at EBRI

All types of pyrolysis are being researched and developed in EBRI and you can find out more using the links on the left hand side.
 

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