Formation of coke during the pyrolysis of bio-oil

Yi Wang, Daniel Mourant, Xun Hu, Shu Zhang, Caroline Lievens, Chun Zhu Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

95 Citations (Scopus)


Bio-oil from the pyrolysis of biomass can be upgraded into high quality liquid biofuels or utilised as a feedstock to boilers and gasifiers. The coke formation is a particularly serious problem for the upgrading of bio-oil as well as the direct utilisation of bio-oil. The effects of bio-oil chemical composition on the coke formation are keys to the understanding of the mechanism of coke formation. A bio-oil sample produced from the fast pyrolysis of mallee wood at 500°C and the lignin-derived oligomers separated from the bio-oil were pyrolysed in a two-stage fluidised-bed/fixed-bed reactor at temperatures between 250 and 800°C. In addition to the quantification of coke yield, UV-fluorescence spectroscopy was used to trace the formation and evolution of aromatic ring systems during pyrolysis. Our results indicate that both water-soluble and water-insoluble bio-oil fractions can form coke even at very low temperatures. The interactions among the species derived from cellulose/hemicellulose and lignin, especially the interactions involving their oligomers, are important to the observed coke yield, especially at low temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-444
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Aromatic
  • Bio-oil
  • Coke
  • Pyrolysis
  • UV-fluorescence


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