An Overview of Fast Pyrolysis

A. V. Bridgwater*, S. Czernik, J. Piskorz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter


The process of fast pyrolysis is one of the most recent renewable energy processes to have been introduced and offers the advantages of a liquid product, biooil, that can be readily stored and transported and that can also be used for production of chemicals as well as being a fuel. Thermal biomass conversion has been investigated for many years as a source of renewable solid, gaseous and liquid fuels. Compared to combustion, which is widely practised commercially and gasification, which is being extensively demonstrated around the world, fast pyrolysis is at a relatively early stage of development. The technology has now achieved some commercial success for production of chemicals and is being actively developed for producing liquid fuels. Bio-oils have been successfully tested in engines, turbines and boilers, and have been upgraded to high quality hydrocarbon fuels although at an unacceptable energetic and financial cost. The paper critically reviews scientific and technical developments and applications to date paying particular attention to the research and developments reported in this book. It concludes with some suggestions for strategic developments.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProgress in Thermochemical Biomass Conversion
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9780470694954, 0632055332, 9780632055333
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2008


  • Energy processes
  • Fast pyrolysis
  • Liquid product
  • Thermal biomass conversion
  • Thermal decomposition


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