Miscanthus as a feedstock for fast-pyrolysis: does agronomic treatment affect quality?

E.M. Hodgson, R. Fahmi, N. Yates, T. Barraclough, I. Shield, G. Allison, A.V. Bridgwater, I.S. Donnison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objectives of the experiment were to assess the impact of nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) fertiliser application on the cell wall composition and fast-pyrolysis conversion quality of the commercially cultivated hybrid Miscanthus x giganteus. Five different fertiliser treatments were applied to mature Miscanthus plants which were sampled at five intervals over a growing season. The different fertiliser treatments produced significant variation in concentrations of cell wall components and ash within the biomass and affected the composition and quality of the resulting fast-pyrolysis liquids. The results indicated that application of high rates of N fertiliser had a negative effect on feedstock quality for this conversion pathway: reducing the proportion of cell wall components and increasing accumulation of ash in the harvested biomass. No exclusive effect of potassium fertiliser was observed. The low-N fertiliser treatment produced high quality, low ash-high lignin biomass most suitable as a feedstock for thermo-chemical conversion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6185-6191
Number of pages7
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number15
Early online date24 Mar 2010
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


  • ash
  • cell wall
  • fertiliser
  • lignocellulosic
  • thermochemical


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