Review of the Toxicity of Biomass Pyrolysis Liquids Formed at Low Temperatures

    Research output: NRELTechnical Report


    The scaleup of biomass fast pyrolysis systems to large pilot and commercial scales will expose an increasingly large number of personnel to potential health hazards, especially during the evaluation of the commercial use of the pyrolysis condensates. Although the concept of fast pyrolysis to optimize liquid products is relatively new, low-temperature pyrolysis processes have been used over theaeons to produce charcoal and liquid by-products, e.g., smoky food flavors, food preservatives, and aerosols containing narcotics, e.g., nicotine. There are a number of studies in the historical literature that concern the hazards of acute and long-term exposure to smoke and to the historical pyrolysis liquids formed at low temperatures.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages42
    StatePublished - 1997

    Bibliographical note

    Work performed by Thermalchemie, Inc., Lakewood, Colorado

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/TP-430-22739


    • benzene
    • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
    • pyrolysis
    • toxicity


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