Biofuel production and kinetics analysis for microwave pyrolysis of Douglas fir sawdust pellet

Shoujie Ren, Hanwu Lei, Lu Wang, Quan Bu, Shulin Chen, Joan Wu, James Julson, Roger Ruan

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144 Scopus citations


Microwave pyrolysis of Douglas fir sawdust pellet was investigated to determine the effects of reaction temperature and time on the yields of bio-oil, syngas, and charcoal using a central composite design (CCD) and response surface analysis. The research results indicated that thermo-chemical conversion reactions can take place rapidly in large-sized biomass pellet by using microwave pyrolysis. The yields of bio-oil and syngas were increased with the reaction temperature and time. The highest yield of bio-oils was 57.8% (dry biomass basis) obtained at 471 °C and 15 min. GC/MS analysis indicated that the bio-oils were mainly composed of phenols, guaiacols, furans, ketones/aldehydes, and organic acids. The yield of specific chemicals such as furans and phenolic compounds were highly related to the reaction temperature. The syngas contained high value chemicals, such as carbon monoxide, methane, and short chain hydrocarbons. A third-order reaction mechanism fits well the microwave pyrolysis of Douglas fir pellet with activation energy of 33.5 kJ/mol and a frequency factor of 3.03 s-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-169
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis
StatePublished - Mar 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the Office of Research at Washington State University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory .


  • Biofuels
  • Douglas fir sawdust pellet
  • Kinetics
  • Microwave pyrolysis


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