The thermochemical conversion of biomass into biofuels

Jia Jun Zhang, Xiaolei Zhang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

106 Citations (Scopus)


As a type of promising sustainable energy resource, biofuel has come to its fourth generation. However, the lignocellulosic biomass derived second generation of biofuel remains the most intensively developed nowadays. Biofuel can be produced by either biochemical or thermochemical conversion approach, and the thermochemical conversion usually comes with high efficiency and productivity. During non-aqueous thermochemical conversion processes, biomass would successively experience torrefaction and carbonization (under 400˚C), fast pyrolysis (400 and 700˚C), gasification (700 to 900˚C) and combustion (above 900˚C), respectively producing carbon concentrated solid fuels, liquid hydrocarbon products, and gaseous fuels, and releasing entire energy directly in the combustion. Hydrothermal conversions come with mild temperatures, but normally in the presence of water and high pressure. Proper temperature, pressure and heating rate are crucial for thermochemical conversion, and can be realised by various reactors. More understanding regarding the conversion mechanism, reactors and feedstock composition are essential for large-scale industrialization of biofuels.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiomass, Biopolymer-Based Materials, and Bioenergy
Subtitle of host publicationConstruction, Biomedical, and other Industrial Applications
EditorsDeepak Verma, Elena Forunati, Siddharth Jain, Xiaolei Zhang
Place of PublicationDuxford
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2019


  • biomass
  • biofuels
  • thermochemical conversion


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