Accessing unconventional biofuels via reactions far from local equilibrium

Gao Y., Uner N. B., Thimsen E., Foston M. B.

FUEL, vol.226, pp.472-478, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 226
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.fuel.2018.03.188
  • Journal Name: FUEL
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.472-478
  • Keywords: Non-thermal plasma, Lignocellulose biomass, Fluidized bed, BIOMASS PYROLYSIS, PLASMA PYROLYSIS, GASIFICATION, OXYGEN
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


The thermochemical production of fuels from lignocellulosic biomass is constrained by equilibrium thermodynamics. However, low temperature plasma reactions are not governed by local equilibrium and involve the formation of unique radical and ion species. Thus, low temperature plasma can open pathways in the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to products not observed in conventional thermochemical processing. In this effort, a novel radio-frequency (RF) plasma-enhanced fluidized bed reactor was utilized for the low temperature plasma deconstruction of lignocellulosic biomass in a hydrogen background gas. Of the reacted biomass in the plasma, 35% of the carbon was converted into hydrocarbons. Specifically, 16.9, 8.2, 9.6, and 0.2% of the reacted carbon from the biomass was converted into CH4, C2Hx, C3Hx, and C4Hx, respectively. With increasing power input, more rapid conversion of biomass was achieved, while the total amount of carbon from the biomass converted into hydrocarbons was similar.