Submitted to: Sun Grant Bioweb
Publication Type: Review article
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/17/2011
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The U.S. renewable fuels standard (RFS2) requires increasing the domestic supply of alternative fuels to 36 billion gallons by 2022. This includes 15 billion gallons from corn-based ethanol and 21 billion gallons from advanced biofuels from lignocellolosic biomass. For the latter, we must use biochemical and thermochemical conversion technologies to utilize the vast lignocellulosic biomass resources that could be sustainably harvested from US fields and forests. While biochemical conversion methodologies proposed for lignocelluloses await cost effective technologies, thermochemical conversion technologies that are proven for coal can be economically adopted for biomass. The most familiar thermal energy conversion of organic matter is combustion because of the visible flame associated with it. However, preceding combustion are two sequential process steps i.e., pyrolysis and gasification each of which can be a stand-alone process for the production of renewable energy carriers respectively, pyrolysis liquid plus charcoal and syngas that can be sources of advanced biofuels envisioned in the RFS. In this submission we discuss pyrolysis liquid, its characteristics, current utilization and future prospects as transportation fuel resource. Pyrolysis coproduct, biochar, will be covered separately.