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Mechanistic understanding of the fast pyrolysis of oligosaccharides and cellulose

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Abstract

Detailed mechanisms of the pyrolysis reactions of biomass are poorly understood. There is no agreement among literature-reported mechanisms even for cellulose (the simplest biopolymer in biomass). To both tailor the product distribution from pyrolysis alone, as well as to rationally modify biomass feedstocks to aid that process, the mechanisms of the pyrolysis of these polymers must be understood. Our initial focus is on glucan polymers (such as cellulose) since they are the most abundant biopolymers on earth and possess a relatively simple structure. We seek to study the pyrolytic reaction mechanisms of oligosaccharides of increasing size (up to cellulose) in several novel reactor systems and develop analytical methods to determine the initial products. Eventually these methodologies will be extended to other biopolymers as well as whole biomass.

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Degenstein JC, Hurt MR, Venkatakrishnan VK, Easton MW, Li G, Sheng H, Yang L, Nash JJ, Agrawal R, Delgass WN, Ribeiro FH, Kenttämaa HI. Mechanistic understanding of the fast pyrolysis of oligosaccharides and cellulose. Energy Frontiers Research Center Principal Investigators' Meeting, Washington DC, July 18-19.
  • John C Degenstein; Matt Hurt; Vinod Venkatakrishnan; Mckay Easton; Linan Yang; John J Nash; Rakesh Agrawal; Nick Delgass; Fabio H Ribeiro; Hilkka Inkeri Kenttamaa (2013), "Mechanistic understanding of the fast pyrolysis of oligosaccharides and cellulose," http://c3bio.org/resources/884.

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