Biomass feedstocks for renewable fuel production: a review of the impacts of feedstock and pretreatment on the yield and product distribution of fast pyrolysis bio-oils and vapors
Renewable transportation fuels from biomass have the potential to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and diversify global fuel supplies. Thermal conversion by fast pyrolysis converts up to 75% of the starting plant material (and its energy content) to a bio-oil intermediate suitable for upgrading to motor fuel. Woody biomass, by far the most widely-used and researched material, is generally preferred in thermochemical processes due to its low ash content and high quality bio-oil produced. However, the availability and cost of biomass resources, e.g. forest residues, agricultural residues, or dedicated energy crops, vary greatly by region and will be key determinates in the overall economic feasibility of a pyrolysis-to-fuel process. Formulation or blending of various feedstocks, combined with thermal and/or chemical pretreatment, could facilitate a consistent, high-volume, lower-cost biomass supply to an emerging biofuels industry. However, the impact of biomass type and pretreatment conditions on bio-oil yield and quality, and the potential process implications, are not well understood. This literature review summarizes the current state of knowledge regarding the effect of feedstock and pretreatments on the yield, product distribution, and upgradability of bio-oil.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Conversion of biomass with heterogeneous catalysts