This paper provides an updated review on fast pyrolysis of biomass for production of a liquid usually referred to as bio-oil. The technology of fast pyrolysis is described including the major reaction systems. The primary liquid product is characterised by reference to the many properties that impact on its use. These properties have caused increasingly extensive research to be undertaken to address properties that need modification and this area is reviewed in terms of physical, catalytic and chemical upgrading. Of particular note is the increasing diversity of methods and catalysts and particularly the complexity and sophistication of multi-functional catalyst systems. It is also important to see more companies involved in this technology area and increased take-up of evolving upgrading processes. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
- fast pyrolysis