Thermochemical Conversion: Bio-Oil and Syngas Production

  • Karthiga Devi Guruviah
  • Chozhavendhan Sivasankaran
  • Balasubramaniyan BharathirajaEmail author
Part of the Biofuel and Biorefinery Technologies book series (BBT, volume 10)


In recent decades, biomass materials occupy the prime position in the world’s energy supply mainly for the production of fuels. Depletion of fossil fuels consequences on climate change is the major reason for the use of renewable resources. Biomass-based fuels offer versatility because of its renewable nature and energy production occurs by two processes. The conversion of biomass can be done either by biochemical transformation or by thermo-conversion process. Thermo-conversion is a promising technology for the conversion that uses a different variety of biomass sources and converts them into a valuable product (heat, electricity, solid fuel, liquid fuel, and gas fuel), which is suitable for a variety of industrial applications. Biomass contains ample amount of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen available in a variety of sources. Additionally, biomass acts as a renewable feedstock for the biofuel generation, which can be an organic substitute to petroleum. This chapter compiles about thermo-conversion process for the production of bio-oil and syngas using biomass and additionally, it presents a brief description of the types of thermo-conversion process employed in current research.


Biofuels Biomass Bio-oil Renewable energy Syngas Thermochemical conversion 



The authors acknowledge both institutions for giving their constant support and encouraging the faculties to involve in research and development activities.


  1. Adhikari S, Fernando SD, Haryanto A (2009) Hydrogen production from glycerol: An update. Energy Convers Manag 50:2600–2604CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahmed I, Gupta K (2011) Characteristic of hydrogen and syngas evolution from gasification and pyrolysis of rubber. Int J Hydrog Energy 36:4340–4347Google Scholar
  3. Ahmed II, Gupta AK (2010) Pyrolysis and gasification of food waste: syngas characteristics and char gasification kinetics. Appl Energy 87:101–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ahmed II, Gupta AK (2012) Sugarcane bagasse gasification: global reaction mechanism of syngas evolution. Appl Energy 91:75–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ancheyta J, Speight JG (2007) Hyroprocessing of heavy oils and residua. FL, U.S.A: CRC pressGoogle Scholar
  6. Arena U (2012) Process and technological aspects of municipal solid waste gasification. A review. Waste Manage 32:625–639CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Balat M, Balat M, Kırtay E, Balat H (2009) Main routes for the thermo-conversion of biomass into fuels and chemicals. Part 1: pyrolysis systems. Energy Convers Manag 50:3147–3157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Baxter LL, Miles TR, Jenkins BM, Milne T, Dayton T, Bryers RW, Oden LL (1998) Fuel Process Technol 54:47–78Google Scholar
  9. Berge ND, Ro KS, Mao JJ, Flora RV, Chappell MA, Bae S, (2011) Hydrothermal carbonization of municipal waste streams. Environ Sci Technol 45:5696–5703Google Scholar
  10. Bergman PCA, Boersma AR, Zwart RWH, Kiel JHA (2005) Torrefaction for biomass co-firing in existing coal-fired power stations. Report ECN-C–05-013, ECN, PettenGoogle Scholar
  11. Bilgic E, Yaman S, Haykiri-Acma H, Kucukbayrak S (2016) Is torrefaction of polysaccharides-rich biomass equivalent to carbonization of lignin-rich biomass. Bioresour Technol 200:201–207Google Scholar
  12. Blin J, Volle G, Girard P, Bridgwater T, Meier D (2007) Biodegrability of biomass pyrolysis oils: comparison to conventional petroleum fuels and alternatives fuels in current use. Fuel 86:2679–2686CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Boz N, Degirmenbasi N, Kalyon DM (2009) Conversion of biomass to fuel: transesterification of vegetable oil to biodiesel using KF loaded nano-γAl2O3 as catalyst. Appl Catal B 89:590–596Google Scholar
  14. Bryers RW (1996) Progress in energy and combustion science 22:29–120Google Scholar
  15. Campoy M, Gomez-Barea A, Ollero P, Nilsson S (2014) Gasification of wastes in a pilot fluidized bed gasifier. Fuel Process Technol 121:63–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Carpenter D, Westover TL, Czernik S, Jablonski W (2014) Green Chem 16:384–406Google Scholar
  17. Chang ACC, Louh RF, Wong D, Tseng J, Lee YS (2011) Hydrogen production by aqueous-phase biomass reforming over carbon textile supported Pt–Ru bimetallic catalysts. Int J Hydrogen Energ 36:8794–8799Google Scholar
  18. Chen WH, Chen CJ, Hung CI, Shen CH, Hsu HW (2013) A comparison of gasification phenomena among raw biomass, torrefied biomass and coal in an entrained-flow reactor. Appl Energy 421–430Google Scholar
  19. Czernik S, Bridgwater AV (2004) Overview of applications of biomass fast pyrolysis oil. Energy Fuels 18:590–598Google Scholar
  20. Dalai AK, Batta N, Eswaramoorthi I, Schoenau GJ (2009) Gasification of refuse derived fuel in a fixed bed reactor for syngas production. Waste Manag 29:252–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Diederichs GW, Mandegari MA, Farzad S, Görgens JF (2016) Techno-economic comparison of biojet fuel production from lignocellulose, vegetable oil and sugar cane juice. Bioresour Technol 331–339Google Scholar
  22. Eom I, Kim J, Lee S, Cho T, Yeo H, Choi J (2004) Comparison of pyrolytic products produced from inorganic-rich and demineralized rice straw (oryza sativa L.) by fluidized bed pyrolyzer for future biorefinery approach. Bioresour Technol 128:664–672CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fahmi R, Bridgwater AV, Donnison IS, Yates N, Jones JM (2008) Fuel 87:1230–1240Google Scholar
  24. Feyzi M, Hassankhani A, Rafiee H (2013) Preparation and characterization of CsAlFe3O4 nanocatalysts for biodiesel production. Energ Convers Manage 71:62–68Google Scholar
  25. Giudicianni P, Cardone G, Ragucci R (2013) Cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin slow steam pyrolysis: thermal decomposition of biomass components mixtures. J Anal Apllied Pyrolysis 213–222Google Scholar
  26. Goyal HB, Seal D, Saxena RC (2008) Bio-fuels from thermochemical conversion of renewable resources: a review. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 12:504–517CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gudka B, Jones JM, Lea-Langton AR, Williams A, Saddawi A (2016) A reviews of the mitigation of deposition and emission problems during biomass combustion through washing pre-treatment. J Energy Inst 89:159–171Google Scholar
  28. Hogendoorn J, Kersten S, Meesala L, De Miguel F Process for catalytic hydrotreatment of a pyrolysis oil. WO Patent Application 2011/064172 A1; 2011Google Scholar
  29. Holladay JD, Hu J, King DL, Wang Y (2009) An overview of hydrogen production technologies. Catal Today 39:244–260Google Scholar
  30. Hu Sh, GuanY, Wang Y, Han H (2011) Nano-magnetic catalyst KF/CaO–Fe3O4 for biodiesel production. Appl Energ 88:2685–2690Google Scholar
  31. Huynh CV, Kong S (2013) Performance characteristics of a pilot-scale biomass gasifier using oxygen-enriched air and steam. Fuel 103:987–996CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Jiang X, Ellis N (2010) Upgrading bio-oil through emulsification with biodesel: mixture production. Energy Fuels 24:1358–1364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kaur M, Ali A (2011) Lithium ion impregnated calcium oxide as nano catalyst for the biodiesel production from karanja and jatropha oils. Renew Energ 36:2866–2871Google Scholar
  34. Lee U, Balu E, Chung JN (2013) An experimental evaluation of an integrated biomass gasification and power generation system for distributed power applications. Appl Energy 101:699–708CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lombardi L, Carnevale E, Corti A (2015) A review of technologies and performances of thermal treatment systems for energy recovery from waste. Waste Manag 37:26–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Luo Z, Wang S, Liao Y, Zhou J, Gu Y, Cen K (2004) Research on biomass fast pyrolysis for liquid fuel. Biomass Bioenergy 26:455–462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Madhuvilakku R, Piraman K (2013) Biodiesel synthesis by TiO2–ZnO mixed oxide nanocatalyst catalyzed palm oil transesterification process. Bioresour Technol 150:55–59Google Scholar
  38. Meng Q, Chen X, Zhuang Y, Liang C (2013) Effect of temperature on controlled air oxidation of plastic and biomass in a packed-bed reactor. Chem Eng Technol 36(2):220–227Google Scholar
  39. Mguni LL, Meijboom R, Jalama, K (2012) Biodiesel Production over nano-MgO supported on titania world academy of science, engineering and technology 64Google Scholar
  40. Minowa T, Murakami M, Dote Y, Ogi T, Yokoyama S (1995) Oil production from garbage by thermochemical liquefaction. Biomass Bioenerg 8(2):117–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Molina CMM (2013) ZnO nanorods as catalyts for biodiesel production from olive oil. MS. C. Thesis, University of Louisville, nano-MgO supported on Titania. World Acad Sci Eng TechnolGoogle Scholar
  42. Nava R, Pawele B, Castaño P, Álvarez-Galván MC, Loricera CV, Fierro JLG (2009) Upgrading of bio-liquids on different mesoporous silica-supported CoMo catalysts. Appl Catal B: Environ 92:154–67Google Scholar
  43. Oasmaa A, Czernik S (1999) Fuel oil quality of biomass pyrolysis oils state of the art for the end users. Energy Fuels 13:914–921CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Oasmaa A, Solantausta Y, Arpiainen V, Kuoppala E, Sipila K (2009) Energy Fuels 24:1380–1388Google Scholar
  45. Obadiah A, Kannan R, Ravichandran P, Ramasubbu A, Kumar SV (2012) Nano hydrotalcite as a novel catalyst for biodiesel conversion. Dig J Nanomat Biostruc 7:321–327Google Scholar
  46. Onay O, Beis SH, Kockar OM (2001) Fast pyrolysis of rape seed in well-swept fixed bed reactor. J Anal Appl Pyrolysis 58–59:995–1007CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Onay O, Kockar OM (2003) Technical note: slow, fast and flash pyrolysis of rape seed. Renew Energy 28:2417–2433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Park YK, Jeon J, Kim S, Kim JS (2004) Bio-oil from rice straw by pyrolysis using fluidised bed and char removal system. Am Chem Soc Div Fuel Chem 49(2):800Google Scholar
  49. Pröll T, Rauch R, Aichernig C, Hofbauer H (2007) Performance characteristics of an 8 MW (th) combined heat and power plant based on dual fluidized bed steam gasification of solid biomass 937–944Google Scholar
  50. Rensfelt (2005) State of the art of biomass gasification and pyrolysis technology. In: Synbios, the syngas route to automotive biofuels, conference held from 18–20 May 2005, Stockholm, SwedenGoogle Scholar
  51. Ross AB, Biller P, Kubacki ML, Li H, Lea-langton A, Jones JM (2010) Hydrothermal processing of microalgae using alkali and organic acids. Fuel 89(9):2234–2243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sarkar S, Kumar A, Sultana A (2011) Biofuels and biochemicals production from forest biomass in western Canada Energy 36:6251–6262Google Scholar
  53. Simone M, Nicolella C, Tagnotti L (2011) Gasification of woodchips from the San Rossore natural reserve maintenance for CHP application: a case study analysis, Chem Eng Trans 24:19–24.
  54. Sundaram EG, Natarajan E (2009) Pyrolysis of coconut shell: an experimental investigation. J Eng Res 6(2):33–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Tang Z, Lu Q, Zhang Y, Zhu XF, Guo QX (2009) One step bio-oil upgrading through hydrotreatment, esterification and cracking. Ind Eng Chem Res 48:6923–6929CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Vassilev SV, Baxter D, Vassileva CG (2013) Fuel 112:391–449Google Scholar
  57. Venkat Reddy CR, Oshel R, Verkade JG (2006) Room-temperature conversion of soybean oil and poultry fat to biodiesel catalyzed by nanocrystalline calcium oxides. Energ Fuel 20:1310–1314Google Scholar
  58. Wildschut J,Mahfud FH,Vederbosch RH, Heeres HJ (2009) Hydrotreatment of fast pyrolysis oil using heterogeneous noble-metal catalysts. Ind Eng Chem Res 48:10324–10334Google Scholar
  59. Wilk V, Hofbauer H (2013) Conversion of fuel nitrogen in a dual fluidized bed steam gasifier. Fuel 106:793–801CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Xie Q, King S, Liu Y, Zeng H (2012) Syngas production by two-stage method of biomass catalytic pyrolysis and gasification. Biores Technol 110:603–609CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Xiu S, Shahbazi A (2012) Bio-oil production and upgrading research: a review. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 16:4406–4414Google Scholar
  62. Yaman S (2004) Pyrolysis of biomass to produce fuels and chemical feedstocks. Energy Convers Manag 45(5):651–671CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Yin R, Liu R, Mei Y, Fei W, Sun X (2013) Characterisation of bio-oil and bio-char obtained from sweet sorghum bagasse fast pyrolysis with fractional condenser. Fuel 112:96–104Google Scholar
  64. Zheng XY, Chen C, Ying Z, Wang B (2016) Experimental study on gasification performance of bamboo and PE from municipal solid waste in a bench-scale fixed bed reactor. Energ Conver Manage 117:393–399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Zornoza R, Moreno-Barriga F, Acosta JA, Muñoz MA, Faz A (2016) Stability, nutrient availability and hydrophobicity of biochars derived from manure, crop residues, and municipal solid waste for their use as soil amendments. Chemosphere (144):122–130Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karthiga Devi Guruviah
    • 2
  • Chozhavendhan Sivasankaran
    • 2
  • Balasubramaniyan Bharathiraja
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Vel Tech High Tech Dr. Rangarajan Dr. Sakunthala Engineering CollegeChennaiIndia
  2. 2.Aarupadai Veedu Institute of TechnologyChennaiIndia

Personalised recommendations