Microwave induced pyrolysis of biomass

Kai Qi Shi, Tao Wu, Hai Tao Zhao, Edward Lester, Philip Hall, Yao Dong Wang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Microwave heating has attracted much attention recently due to its nature of volumetric heating and instant heating. In this study, microwave heating was adopted not only as a heating method but also an approach to enhance the pyrolysis of biomass. Microwave induced pyrolysis was carried out at 500°C with silicon carbide as a microwave energy absorber. Conventional pyrolysis of gumwood was also conducted under the same operating temperature as microwaveenhanced pyrolysis. The yields of pyrolytic bio-oil and bio-gas under microwave heating are 8.52 wt% and 73.26 wt% respectively, which are higher than the products obtained via conventional methods under similar operating conditions. A series tests were performed to compare the difference between the yields of pyrolytic products, i.e. gaseous products (bio-gas), liquid products (bio-oil) and solid products(bio-char). Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrum (GC-MS) and Gas Chromatograph (GC) were used in this study to characterize the morphology of bio-chars, the composition of bio-gas and bio-oil respectively. The bio-oil produced via microwave pyrolysis has simpler constituents compared with that produced via conventional pyrolysis. The proportion of syngas (H2+CO) and methane (CH4) in the gas product produced under microwave-enhanced pyrolysis are 62.52 vol % and 22.41vol % respectively, which are higher than those in the products of conventional pyrolysis. It is clear that microwave-enhanced pyrolysis has shown a great potential as an alternative method for biomass conversion.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChemical, Mechanical and Materials Engineering II
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event2013 2nd International Conference on Chemical, Mechanical and Materials Engineering, CMME 2013 - Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Duration: 20 Jan 201321 Jan 2013

Publication series

NameApplied Mechanics and Materials
ISSN (Print)1660-9336
ISSN (Electronic)1662-7482


Conference2013 2nd International Conference on Chemical, Mechanical and Materials Engineering, CMME 2013
CityMelbourne, VIC


  • Biomass
  • Conventional pyrolysis
  • Microwave heating
  • Pyrolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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