Biomass fast pyrolysis has been considered one of the best alternatives for the thermal conversion of biomass into bio-oil. This work introduces a new reactor technology for biomass fast pyrolysis, the Gas-Solid Vortex Reactor (GSVR), to obtain high bio-oil yields. The GSVR was designed to decrease the residence time of the pyrolysis vapors; thus, the secondary cracking reactions are reduced, to enhance the segregation of the char and the unreacted biomass and to improve the heat transfer rate. Biomass fast pyrolysis experiments have been carried out for the first time in a Gas-Solid Vortex Reactor (GSVR) at 773 K, using softwood (pine) and hardwood (poplar) as feedstock. The experimental results highlight the advantages of the GSVR for biomass pyrolysis, reaching stable operation in around 60 seconds, removing the formed char selectively during operation, and enabling fast entrainment of pyrolysis vapors. Results indicate a great potential for increasing yield and selectivity towards guaiacols in softwood (e.g., pine) bio-oil. Likewise, decreasing pyrolysis temperature could increase the yield of guaiacols and syringols in hardwood (e.g., poplar) bio-oil.
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