Spontaneous Aerosol Ejection: Origin of Inorganic Particles in Biomass Pyrolysis

Andrew R. Teixeira, Rachel Gantt, Kristeen E. Joseph, Saurabh Maduskar, Alex D. Paulsen, Christoph Krumm, Cheng Zhu, Paul J Dauenhauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


At high thermal flux and temperatures of approximately 500 °C, lignocellulosic biomass transforms to a reactive liquid intermediate before evaporating to condensable bio-oil for downstream upgrading to renewable fuels and chemicals. However, the existence of a fraction of nonvolatile compounds in condensed bio-oil diminishes the product quality and, in the case of inorganic materials, catalyzes undesirable aging reactions within bio-oil. In this study, ablative pyrolysis of crystalline cellulose was evaluated, with and without doped calcium, for the generation of inorganic-transporting aerosols by reactive boiling ejection from liquid intermediate cellulose. Aerosols were characterized by laser diffraction light scattering, inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy, and high-speed photography. Pyrolysis product fractionation revealed that approximately 3 % of the initial feed (both organic and inorganic) was transported to the gas phase as aerosols. Large bubble-to-aerosol size ratios and visualization of significant late-time ejections in the pyrolyzing cellulose suggest the formation of film bubbles in addition to the previously discovered jet formation mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1322-1328
Number of pages7
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 8 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


  • aerosols
  • biomass
  • calcium
  • cellulose
  • pyrolysis


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