Lignin pyrolysis: results from an international collaboration

Daniel J. Nowakowski, Anthony V. Bridgwater, D.C. Elliot, D. Meier, Phillipe de Wilde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


An international study of fast pyrolysis of lignin was undertaken. Fourteen laboratories in eight different countries contributed. Two lignin samples were distributed to the laboratories for analysis and bench-scale process testing in fast pyrolysis. Analyses included proximate and ultimate analysis, thermogravimetric analysis, and analytical pyrolysis. The bench-scale test included bubbling fluidized-bed reactors and entrained-flow systems. Based on the results of the various analyses and tests it was concluded that a concentrated lignin (estimated at about 50% lignin and 50% cellulose) behaved like a typical biomass, producing a slightly reduced amount of a fairly typical bio-oil, while a purified lignin material was difficult to process in the fast pyrolysis reactors and produced a much lower amount of a different kind of bio-oil. It was concluded that for highly concentrated lignin feedstocks new reactor designs will be required other than the typical fluidized-bed fast pyrolysis systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-72
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


  • fast pyrolysis
  • lignin
  • bio-oil
  • fluidized-bed

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