Lignocellulosic biomass pyrolysis for aromatic hydrocarbons production: Pre and in-process enhancement methods

Linyao Ke, Qiuhao Wu, Nan Zhou, Jianyun Xiong, Qi Yang, Letian Zhang, Yuanyuan Wang, Leilei Dai, Rongge Zou, Yuhuan Liu, Roger Ruan, Yunpu Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Rapid consumption of petroleum and concerns about carbon emissions have promoted utilization of renewable energy such as biomass. Pyrolysis of biomass is one of effective sustainable routes for aromatic hydrocarbons production. However, it has not been applied commercially on a large scale. One of the biggest challenges is inferior characteristics of biomass, including complex crosslinking structure, high content of alkali and alkaline earth metals (AAEMs), and low hydrogen to carbon effective ratio (H/Ceff). Main objective of this review is to investigate main methods that enhance aromatic hydrocarbons production, while screening out option to maximize aromatic hydrocarbons production, taking economic analysis and technical application progress as a reference. Results show that pre enhancement methods including physical, thermal, chemical and biological biomass pretreatments are mainly used to break crosslinking structure and remove AAEMs. The most significantly influential factor limiting biomass conversion is low H/Ceff, and thus in-process enhancement methods including deoxidation via catalysis, and hydrogenation via co-pyrolysis and atmosphere regulation are more effective for improving aromatic hydrocarbons. Industrial problems, existed in co-pyrolysis (great characteristics differences, etc.) and atmosphere regulation (high investment cost, etc.), have not been solved yet. By comparison, development of catalysts is relatively mature, and there are successful commercial cases. Total production cost of catalytic pyrolysis of biomass is only 67% of petroleum refining route, showing best economic potential. Accurate design and construction of catalysts with high activity and long life based on biomass characteristics is the most feasible and promising development direction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112607
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 52166015 ), The Major Discipline Academic and Technical Leaders Training Program of Jiangxi Province ( 20204BCJ23011 ), The Jiangxi Provincial Natural Science Foundation ( 20212ACB215007 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Deoxidation
  • Hydrogenation
  • Lignocellulosic biomass
  • Pretreatment
  • Pyrolysis


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