BioEnergy Research

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 1183–1204 | Cite as

Lignin Pyrolysis Components and Upgrading—Technology Review



Biomass pyrolysis oil has been reported as a potential renewable biofuel precursor. Although several review articles focusing on lignocellulose pyrolysis can be found, the one that particularly focus on lignin pyrolysis is still not available in literature. Lignin is the second most abundant biomass component and the primary renewable aromatic resource in nature. The pyrolysis chemistry and mechanism of lignin are significantly different from pyrolysis of cellulose or entire biomass. Therefore, different from other review articles in the field, this review particularly focuses on the recent developments in lignin pyrolysis chemistry, mechanism, catalysts, and the upgrading of the bio-oil from lignin pyrolysis. Although bio-oil production from pyrolysis of biomass has been proven on commercial scale and is a very promising option for production of renewable chemicals and fuels, there are still several drawbacks that have not been solved. The components of biomass pyrolysis oils are very complicated and related to the properties of bio-oil. In this review article, the details about pyrolysis oil components particularly those from lignin pyrolysis processes will be discussed first. Due to the poor physical and chemical property, the lignin pyrolysis oil has to be upgraded before usage. The most common method of upgrading bio-oil is hydrotreating. Catalysts have been widely used in petroleum industry for pyrolysis bio-oil upgrading. In this review paper, the mechanism of the hydrodeoxygenation reaction between the model compounds and catalysts will be discussed and the effects of the reaction condition will be summarized.


Lignin Pyrolysis Catalyst Oil upgrade Hydrodeoxygenation Biofuel 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei Mu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Haoxi Ben
    • 2
    • 3
  • Art Ragauskas
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yulin Deng
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Chemical and Biomolecular EngineeringGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Paper Science and TechnologyGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.School of Chemistry and BiochemistryGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

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