Fast pyrolysis of lignins

Sedat H. Beis, University of Maine
Saikrishna Mukkamala, University of Maine
Nathan Hill, University of Maine
Jincy Joseph, University of Maine
Cirila Baker, University of Maine
Bruce Jensen, University of Maine
Elizabeth A. Stemmler, Bowdoin College
M. Clayton Wheeler, University of Maine
Brian G. Frederick, University of Maine


Three lignins: Indulin AT, Lignoboost™, and Acetocell lignin, were characterized and pyrolyzed in a continuous-fed fast pyrolysis process. The physical and chemical properties of the lignins included chemical composition, heat content, ash, and water content. The distributed activation energy model (DAEM) was used to describe the pyrolysis of each lignin. Activation energy distributions of each lignin were quite different and generally covered a broad range of energies, typically found in lignins. Process yields for initial continuous-fed fast pyrolysis experiments are reported. Bio-oil yield was low, ranging from 16 to 22%. Under the fast pyrolysis conditions used, the Indulin AT and Lignoboost™ lignin yielded slightly more liquid product than the Acetocell lignin. Lignin kinetic parameters and chemical composition vary considerably and fast pyrolysis processes must be specified for each type of lignin.