The influence of lignocellulose on biomass pyrolysis product distribution and economics via steady state process simulation

Yoong Xin Pang, Yuxin Yan, Dominic C.Y. Foo, Nusrat Sharmin, Haitao Zhao, Edward Lester, Tao Wu, Cheng Heng Pang

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Pyrolysis is one of the most commonly used methods for deriving renewable energy from biomass and is the first step of many thermal processes. A simulation model was developed in SuperPro Designer (SPD) to simulate the pyrolysis of biomass and its individual lignocellulosic components. The model was used to study the pyrolytic behaviours of biomass, predict product yield and to investigate the economic aspects of biomass pyrolysis. It is a more comprehensive and updated version of existing models detailing individual mechanisms during reaction. The proposed model has been verified using experimental data and counter-verified using literature-obtained experimental values. In both cases, the model predicted values within 10 % of the actual data. The model was then used to predict the pyrolysis of a matrix of 75 samples with varying cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin compositions. Results showed a clear product distribution which is heavily influenced by the biomass lignocellulosic components. Biomass with high cellulose content would lead to products rich in bio-oil, whilst hemicellulose-dominant biomass would yield products rich in bio-gas. Biomass with high proportion of lignin would result in products rich in bio-char. Economic evaluation and sensitivity analysis have shown that the lignocellulosic components collectively influence the economic performance of biomass pyrolysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104968
JournalJournal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • Cellulose
  • Hemicellulose
  • Lignin
  • Process simulation
  • Thermochemical process

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Fuel Technology


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