Potential of Virginia Mallow as an Energy Feedstock

S. W. Banks, M. Śnieg, D. J. Nowakowski*, M. Stolarski, A. V. Bridgwater

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aims to compare the potential of Virginia mallow to other high yielding perennial grasses and hardwoods by characterising and comparing fast pyrolysis product yields. Feedstocks selected for this study include miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus), Virginia mallow (Sida hermaphrodita), willow short rotation coppice (SRC) (Salix viminalis) and oak (Quercus robur). The experimental work was split into two sections: analytical (Py–GC–MS) and laboratory-scale processing using a 300 g h−1 continuous bubbling fluidised bed reactor. Pyrolysis–gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (Py–GC–MS) has been used to quantify pyrolysis products from these feedstocks by simulating fast pyrolysis heating rates using a CDS 5200 pyrolyser closed coupled to a PerkinElmer Clarus 680 GC–MS. High bio-oil yields were achieved for Virginia mallow, willow SRC and oak (65.36, 62.55 and 66.43 wt% respectively), but miscanthus only produced a yield of 53.46 wt% due to increased feedstock ash content. The water content in the bio-oil is highest from miscanthus (17.64 wt%) and relatively low in the Virginia mallow and hardwoods willow SRC and oak (12.49, 13.88 and 14.53 wt%). Similar high yields of bio-oil and low yields of char and non-condensable gas compared to willow SRC make Virginia mallow an attractive feedstock for fast pyrolysis processing. Graphic Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2375–2388
Number of pages14
JournalWaste and Biomass Valorization
Issue number5
Early online date1 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Funding: Support through the EPSRC SUPERGEN Challenge project Development of fast pyrolysis based advanced biofuel technologies for biofuels No. EP/K036548/1 is particularly acknowledged.


  • Bio-oil
  • Energy feedstock
  • Fast pyrolysis
  • Py–GC–MS
  • TGA
  • Virginia mallow


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