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Institute of

HF Wood Research


Biorefinery 2021

Biorefinery 2021 - new pathways for an integrated biorefinery

Bioethanol plant based on lignocellulosic materials yield a lignin enriched residue, which can be used as potential source for aromatic platform chemicals. Fast pyolysis and corresponding analytical tools were investigated.

Background and Objective

Biorefineries based on production of ethanol yield large amounts of hydrolysis lignin-enriched residues which are normally burnt for energy production. To enhance the added-value we have been working on pyrolyzing the residue in a circulating fluidized bed aimed at obtaining monomeric aromatics.


Pyrolysis experiments were performed at the Technical University Hamburg Harburg (TUHH), Thünen Institute of Wood Research (HF) was involved in developing and testing  appropriate analytical methods.

Our Research Questions

Is it possible to convert hydrolysis residues into aromatic fractions by fast pyrolysis?


Variation of feeding rate resulted in a maximum aromatic yield (12.5 wt%) at 10 kg/h. Reducing gas residence time by 50% (from 0.8 to 0.4 s) resulted in an increase of oil yield by 72 %. Obviously further cracking reactions to non-condensable gases occurr after releasing aromatics from the lignin.

The final report can be downloaded here:

Links and Downloads

Funding Body

  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
    (national, öffentlich)
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