Biochar Collection Overview and Design Upgrades in Biomass Pyrolysis Pilot Plant

Tim Dunning, Esther Wilcox

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The Thermochemical Process Development Unit (TCPDU) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory conducts research on a pilot plant that may be configured for biomass fast pyrolysis or gasification with the ultimate objective of creating renewable transportation fuels. Current research is focused on optimizing pyrolysis conditions for low-cost feedstock blends that are widely available and relevant on an industrial scale. Future research (2018) will focus on ex-situ catalytic upgrading of pyrolysis vapors using a riser reactor and regenerator system, similar to a fluid catalytic cracking system. The TCPDU is capable of feeding 1/2 ton of biomass per day and commonly operates at a feed rate of ~33 lb/h biomass while configured for fast pyrolysis. At this feed rate, the TCPDU generates ~2.2 gal/h of raw bio-oil and ~4.5lb/h of solid bio-char.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2017
Event2017 AIChE Annual Meeting - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Duration: 29 Oct 20173 Nov 2017


Conference2017 AIChE Annual Meeting
CityMinneapolis, Minnesota

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5100-70520


  • biofuel
  • cyclone
  • fast pyrolysis
  • oil char
  • pneumatic conveyance
  • solids
  • thermochemical feedstock


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