Detailed Analysis of Residual Volatiles in Chars from the Pyrolysis of Biomass and Lignite

Hua Yang, Shinji Kudo, Seira Hazeyama, Koyo Norinaga, Ondrej Masek, Jun-ichiro Hayashi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pyrolysis of biomass or coal, if operated at temperature high enough to complete tar evolution, is expected to give resulting char a tar-free nature. Use of such tar-free char instead of the original fuel in gasification would reduce or even completely eliminate the need for use of complex devices/mechanisms for tar/soot removal. Increasing pyrolysis temperature may not only decrease the content of residual tar in the char but also reduce its reactivity in the gasification. There is thus a range of optimum pyrolysis temperatures depending on the original fuel and type/mode of gasification, which yields char of suitable quality. In this work, a variety of char samples were prepared by pyrolysis (first pyrolysis) of three different woody biomass feedstock and a Victorian lignite with heating rate and peak temperature of 10 degrees C/min and 450-750 degrees C, respectively, and were further subjected to flash pyrolysis (second pyrolysis) at 920 degrees C. A gas-chromatography/ mass-spectrometry (GC/MS) detected more than 200 compounds in the volatile products from the second pyrolysis and quantified 58 aromatic compounds over a range from benzene to coronene, which accounted for more than 85% of the compounds detected based on peak area on the total ion chromatogram. Total emission of tar, defined as the aromatics except monoaromatic hydrocarbons, from the biomass chars was 0.03-0.08 wt %-char even at the first pyrolysis temperature of 450 degrees C and further decreased to a level around 0.01 wt % by raising the temperature to 600 degrees C. It was also found that despite containing as much as 20-27 wt % of residual volatile matter, chars produced by pyrolysis at 500 degrees C contained less than 0.1 wt % of residual tar.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3209-3223
Number of pages15
JournalEnergy & Fuels
Issue number6
Early online date21 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


  • Pyrolysis
  • CHAR
  • lignite
  • Biomass
  • Biochar
  • volatiles


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