BETO 2021 Peer Review - FCIC Task 6: High Temperature Conversion

Daniel Carpenter, Jim Parks

Research output: NRELPresentation


The impacts of feedstock variability on pyrolysis processes are significant but poorly defined. Current engineering designs are based on empirical guidelines, useful only over a narrow range of feedstock properties. The objectives of this project are to (1) Develop science-based knowledge of how feedstock attributes and operational parameters impact pyrolysis process reliability and product quality; and (2) Build an experimental and computational toolset that predicts these outcomes, enabling processes to optimize reliability and product quality. Biomass is a complex feedstock. Controlling for and testing the effects of individual attributes is very challenging. This project couples multiscale experimentation and modeling to accurately capture the fundamental physics and chemistry of biomass flow and conversion behavior in feeding and pyrolysis reactor operations. Our focus is on pine residue attributes – anatomical fraction (bark, needles, wood), particle morphology (size/shape distribution, density, porosity), and chemical composition (extractives, biopolymers, alkali metals) – that impact product quality for downstream catalytic upgrading. Because detailed pyrolysis product characterization is limited, cutting-edge analytical techniques are being developed to reveal impactful product attributes. The tools and knowledge developed here will enable integrated pyrolysis-based processes that are more robust, flexible, and market-responsive with respect to feedstock variability.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages39
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NamePresented at the U.S. Department of Energy's Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) 2021 Project Peer Review, 8-12, 15-16, and 22-26 March 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5100-79467


  • feedstock variability
  • high temperature conversion
  • pyrolysis


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