Biomass pyrolysis in a fluidized bed reactor. Part 2: experimental validation of model results

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Various types of cylindrical biomass particles (pine, beech, bamboo, demolition wood) have been pyrolyzed in a batch-wise operated fluid bed laboratory setup. Conversion times, product yields, and product compositions were measured as a function of the particle size (0.7−17 mm), the vapor's residence time (0.25−6 s), the position of the biomass particles in the bed (dense bed or splash zone), and the fluid bed temperature (250−800 °C). For pyrolysis temperatures between 450 and 550 °C, the bio-oil yield appeared to be maximal (in this work: about 65 wt %), while the water content of the bio-oil is minimal. The position of the biomass particles in the fluid bed, either in the dense bed or in the splash zone, does not affect the conversion time and product yields to a large extent during pyrolysis at 500 °C. In the small fluid bed used for this work, with a char hold-up of up to 5 vol % (or 0.7 wt %), the residence time of the pyrolysis vapors is not that critical. At typical fast pyrolysis temperatures of around 500 °C, it appeared sufficient to keep this residence time below 5 s to prevent significant secondary cracking of the produced vapors to noncondensable gas. Up to a diameter of 17 mm, the particle size has only a minor effect on the total liquid yield. However, for particles larger than 3 mm, the water content of the produced bio-oil increases significantly. The experimental results are further compared with predictions from a one-dimensional (1D) and a two-dimensional (2D) single-particle pyrolysis model. Such models appeared to have a limited predictive power due to large uncertainties in the kinetics and selectivity of the biomass decomposition. Moreover, the product quality cannot be predicted at all.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)8786-8795
Number of pages10
JournalIndustrial & engineering chemistry research
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • IR-68654
  • METIS-228485

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