Digging Deep On What Is Pyrolysis

When it comes to discussing matters relate to biomass energy, one important aspect that should be highlighted is pyrolysis. It may sound too scientific but actually it is a process that can be a great help in supplying energy for our daily needs. Use of biomass for energy production may flourish further if more people are aware about it. One question has to be dealt with first. What is pyrolysis?

Pyrolysis definition is not difficult to understand. In simple terms, it is a process wherein the organic and biological materials are broken down in a high temperature and oxygen free environment so that usable energy may be produced. The best material to use for pyrolysis is biomatter which came from single stream wastes. This includes sewage mud, wood, and other agricultural wastes. The municipal waste can be used too but it has to go through the process of sorting first. The organic and non-organic wastes have to be properly separated.

The process of pyrolysis can also involve gasification. Pyrolysis gasification of biomass is a chemical process which involves the use of intesnive heat. The by product of which is fuel that can be utilized as source of energy.

Now, after the process has been done, what is pyrolysis by-product? The biofuel which can be produced by pyrolysis may come in two different forms. First is the pyrolysis biomass bio oil. This is a synthetic fuel that can potentially be used as alternative for petroleum. Pyrolysis oil can be directly used to produce energy. The second type is in solid form but this needs further processing before it can generate the needed energy.

Pyrolysis can be traced back from a few decades ago. The first time that the principle of pyrolysis emerged was in 1958 in the United States. Yet, pyrolysis biomass conversion was first considered seriously by scientists and researchers during the 1970s. They tested the biofuel that was derived from this process and it was able to run a car’s engine. Problem is, further developments have to be done so this process can be used commercially.

Another aspect that has to be understood is the fast pyrolysis processes for biomass. The key in making the process happen faster is that the biomass materials have to be initially broken down to simpler form. In fast pyrolysis, the biomatter like wood, municipal waste and agricultural waste will be rapidly heated with high temperature. The heat should be 450 up to 600 degrees centigrade. There should also be no oxygen in the atmosphere while the process is being done.

When biomass materials go through this kind of process, organic vapours, gases and charcoal will be produced. These are collected and then processed further. It has to be condensed to come up with pyrolysis oil. There are other advantages in using it pyrolysis oil aside from the fact that it is a clean and environment friendly liquid. It would not contribute in worsening the greenhouse effect when being used to generate energy. This then can be used for direct production of energy. It is even easier to use pyrolysis oil than the solid fossil fuel like coal.

When more people have stopped asking what is pyrolysis, this process will continue to progress. The use of fossil fuels will be reduced and the non renewable resources will be preserved.