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Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering >> 2011, Volume 5, Issue 2 doi: 10.1007/s11705-010-1015-6

Recent advances in the catalytic pyrolysis of biomass

Key Laboratory of Green Chemistry and Technology (Ministry of Education), College of Chemistry, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610064, China

Available online:2011-06-05

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Biomass is considered as a renewable and alternative resource for the production of fuels and chemicals, since it is the only carbon and hydrogen containing resource that we can find in the world except for fossil resources, capable of being converted to hydrocarbons. The pyrolytic liquefaction of biomass is a promising way to convert biomass to useful products. This paper briefly surveys the present status of the direct catalytic pyrolysis for the liquefaction of biomass. The direct use of catalysts could decrease the pyrolysis temperature, increase the conversion of biomass and the yield of bio-oil, and change the distribution of the pyrolytic liquid products then improve the quality of the bio-oil obtained. The fact that biomass is in solid state present great challenges for its conversion and for the effective use of catalysts due to the bad heat transfer characteristics and bad mass transfer properties. These barriers appeal for the development of a new catalyst and new catalytic process as well as the integration of both. Process design and process intensification are of significant importance in the catalytic conversion of biomass.

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