Reaction engineering for thermochemical biomass pyrolysis to bio-oils and biofuels

Paul J. Dauenhauer, Dionisios G. Vlachos, Matthew S. Mettler

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Thermochemical conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to biofuels via pyrolylsis is considered to be one of the leading strategies for alternative fuels production. As part of the Engineering Frontiers Research Center (EFRC) led by the University of Delaware we examine the thermal decomposition of cellulose with the goal of understanding the competitive role of reaction chemistry and transport phenomena in the wide distribution of products within bio-oils. The core of this work is integrating novel experimental reactors with advanced analytical strategies that will allow for collection of detailed kinetic information. Such studies are imperative in order to understand the complex cellulose decomposition reaction network. One experimental approach attempts to understand the primary decomposition of cellulose, which has recently been shown to proceed through an intermediate (non-equilibrium) liquid. Parallel work examines the gas phase secondary decomposition of volatile organics produced from the original cellulose polymer. The final goal combines both reaction mechanisms as part of an integrated reaction chemistry and transport reaction model to describe the decomposition of lignocellulosic biomass particles within fast pyrolysis reactors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalACS National Meeting Book of Abstracts
StatePublished - 2011
Event241st ACS National Meeting and Exposition - Anaheim, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 27 2011Mar 31 2011


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