Phenol and phenolics from lignocellulosic biomass by catalytic microwave pyrolysis

Quan Bu, Hanwu Lei, Shoujie Ren, Lu Wang, John Holladay, Qin Zhang, Juming Tang, Roger Ruan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

165 Scopus citations


Catalytic microwave pyrolysis of biomass using activated carbon was investigated to determine the effects of pyrolytic conditions on the yields of phenol and phenolics. The high concentrations of phenol (38.9%) and phenolics (66.9%) were obtained at the temperature of 589. K, catalyst-to-biomass ratio of 3:1 and retention time of 8 min. The increase of phenol and its derivatives compared to pyrolysis without catalysts has a close relationship with the decomposition of lignin under the performance of activated carbon. The concentration of esters was also increased using activated carbon as a catalyst. The high content of phenols obtained in this study can be used either directly as fuel after upgrading or as feedstock of bio-based phenols for chemical industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7004-7007
Number of pages4
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in partial by the Office of Research and Department of Biological Systems Engineering at Washington State University .


  • Activated carbon
  • Biomass
  • Catalytic microwave pyrolysis
  • Phenol
  • Phenolics


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