Results of the International Energy Agency Round Robin on fast pyrolysis bio-oil production

Douglas C. Elliott*, Dietrich Meier, Anja Oasmaa, Bert van de Beld, Anthony V. Bridgwater, Magnus Marklund

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An international round robin study of the production of fast pyrolysis bio-oil was undertaken. A total of 15 institutions in six countries contributed. Three biomass samples were distributed to the laboratories for processing in fast pyrolysis reactors. Samples of the bio-oil produced were transported to a central analytical laboratory for analysis. The round robin was focused on validating the pyrolysis community understanding of production of fast pyrolysis bio-oil by providing a common feedstock for bio-oil preparation. The round robin included: distribution of three feedstock samples, hybrid poplar, wheat straw, and a blend of lignocellulosic biomasses, from a common source to each participating laboratory, preparation of fast pyrolysis bio-oil in each laboratory with the three feedstocks provided, and return of the three bio-oil products (minimum of 500 mL) with operational description to a central analytical laboratory for bio-oil property determination. The analyses of interest were CHN, S, trace element analysis, water, ash, solids, pyrolytic lignin, density, viscosity, carboxylic acid number, and accelerated aging of bio-oil. In addition, an effort was made to compare the bio-oil components to the products of analytical pyrolysis through gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis. The results showed that clear differences can occur in fast pyrolysis bio-oil properties by applying different process configurations and reactor designs in small scale. The comparison to the analytical pyrolysis method suggested that pyrolysis (Py)-GC/MS could serve as a rapid qualitative screening method for bio-oil composition when produced in small-scale fluid-bed reactors. Gel permeation chromatography was also applied to determine molecular weight information. Furthermore, hot vapor filtration generally resulted in the most favorable bio-oil product, with respect to water, solids, viscosity, and carboxylic acid number. These results can be helpful in understanding the variation in bio-oil production methods and their effects on bio-oil product composition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5111-5119
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Issue number5
Early online date30 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2017

Bibliographical note

This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Energy Fuels, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see


Dive into the research topics of 'Results of the International Energy Agency Round Robin on fast pyrolysis bio-oil production'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this