Catalytic Pyrolysis as a Platform Technology for Supporting the Circular Carbon Economy

Cody Wrasman, A. Wilson, Ofei Mante, Kristiina Iisa, Abhijit Dutta, Michael Talmadge, David Dayton, Sundararajan Uppili, Michael Watson, Xiaochun Xu, Michael Griffin, Calvin Mukarakate, Joshua Schaidle, Mark Nimlos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus Citations


Catalytic pyrolysis, a process that combines pyrolysis and vapour-phase catalytic upgrading, is a versatile technology platform capable of direct liquefaction of biomass and waste plastic into intermediates that can enable the decarbonized production of chemicals and/or transportation fuels. Recently, catalytic pyrolysis has attracted substantial research and commercialization attention, with over 15,000 journal articles and patents published in the past decade alone. In this Perspective, we chart a path towards commercial-scale catalytic pyrolysis of waste plastic and biomass by identifying key short-term and long-term technological barriers. Within the proposed development roadmap addressing these barriers, catalytic pyrolysis can move from the demonstration scale to integrated biorefinery networks producing fuels and plastics precursors at a scale of between 0.1 and 1 billion tonnes of carbon per year. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)563-573
Number of pages11
JournalNature Catalysis
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Springer Nature Limited.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5100-80810


  • biofuel
  • catalytic pyrolysis
  • circular carbon economy
  • plastic recycling


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