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Biomass pyrolysis for chemicals

15 July 2011

PhD ceremony: Mr. P.J. de Wild, 14.45 uur, Doopsgezinde kerk, Oude Boteringestraat 33, Groningen

Dissertation: Biomass pyrolysis for chemicals

Promotor(s): prof. H.J. Heeres

Faculty: Mathematics and Natural Sciences


The problems that are associated with the use of fossil fuels demand a transition to renewable sources for materials and energy. While the latter can be provided by sun, wind, water and geothermal resources, biomass is the only renewable source for the production of materials. Unfortunately, the heterogeneity and complexity of biomass still preclude exploitation of its full potential. New technologies for economical valorisation of biomass are under development, but cannot yet compete with petrochemical processes. However, rising prices of fossil resources, inevitably will lead to replacement of oil refineries with biorefineries. A biorefinery uses various types of biomass feedstocks that are processed via different technologies into heat, power and various products. The biorefinery is self sustainable with respect to heat and power and puts no burden on the environment.

Thermochemical processes such as (fast) pyrolysis (thermal degradation in the absence of molecular oxygen) can play an important role in biorefineries and this thesis presents pyrolysis-based technologies that are potential candidates.


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