Recent advances in improving lignocellulosic biomass-based bio-oil production

Leilei Dai, Nan Zhou, Hui Li, Wenyi Deng, Yanling Cheng, Yunpu Wang, Yuhuan Liu, Kirk Cobb, Hanwu Lei, Paul Chen, Roger Ruan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Developing pyrolysis technology to produce bio-oil from lignocellulosic biomass is a promising pathway for diversifying energy supply and controlling carbon emissions. Improving bio-oil production is a key research topic due to low-quality and low cost feedstock, and high demand for products. Understanding the multiscale complexity in the conversion process including biomass structure and the interactive reactions is crucial for designing a feasible and cost-effective pyrolysis process. This review provides a fundamental summary for the current knowledge. Biomass structure and its pyrolysis behaviors are firstly discussed to understand fundamental reaction chemistry in this process. Effects of pyrolysis process parameters on product yield and distribution are then reviewed. By analyzing recent studies, effects of different pretreatment techniques including torrefaction, hydrothermal pretreatment, and acid pretreatment on improving bio-oil production are reviewed. An emphasis is placed on the advanced catalytic pyrolysis for selective production of valuable products. Based on zeolite and metal oxide catalysts, chemical compositions of bio-oils can be more clearly understood and selective production of desirable products is more reliable. Co-pyrolysis of biomass with polymers to improve the bio-oil yield and quality is also summarized. The challenges and future research directions for effective pyrolysis processes are also proposed, which may lead to future important breakthroughs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104845
JournalJournal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis
StatePublished - Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge the financial support from National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21766019,21878137), Natural Science Foundation of Jiangxi Province, China (20181BAB206030), China Scholarship Council (CSC), Xcel Energy, and University of Minnesota Centerfor Biorefining.

Funding Information:
We acknowledge the financial support from N ational Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21766019, 21878137), N atural Science Foundation of Jiangxi Province, China ( 20181BAB206030), C hina Scholarship Council (CSC), Xcel Energy , and University of Minnesota Center for Biorefining.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020


  • Bio-oil
  • Catalysis
  • Co-pyrolysis
  • Lignocellulosic biomass
  • Pretreatment
  • Pyrolysis


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