Molecular Analysis of Primary Vapor and Char Products during Stepwise Pyrolysis of Poplar Biomass

Authors: Roger W. Jones , Tonu Reinot, John McClelland
Energy Fuels 2010, Aug, 30, 24 (9), 5199–5209


Pyrolysis of biomass produces both pyrolysis oil and solid char. In
this study, poplar has been pyrolyzed in a stepwise fashion over a
series of temperatures from 200 to 500 °C, and both the primary
products contributing to pyrolysis oil and the changes in the
pyrolyzing poplar surface leading toward char have been characterized
at each step. The primary products were identified by direct analysis
in real time (DART®) mass spectrometry, and the changes in the poplar
surface were monitored using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR)
photoacoustic spectroscopy, with a sampling depth of a few
micrometers. The primary products from pyrolyzing cellulose, xylan,
and lignin under similar conditions were also characterized to
identify the sources of the poplar products.
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