Biomass pyrolysis in a vertical auger reactor and the valorisation of co-products: An energy balance based on the life cycle approach

Pyrolysis, which is the thermochemical decomposition of biomass at high temperature (350 to 700°C) under oxygen-limiting conditions, is a promising technology for the sustainable management of forest and agricultural biomasses. Pyrolysis decomposes biomass into biochar, non-condensable syngas and condensed liquid bio-oil. Those co-products can be used as an energy source in order to replace fossil fuels. Moreover, biochar can be used as a soil amendment to improve soil properties, sequester carbon and reduce soil greenhouse gas emissions. However, depending on operating parameters and characteristics of the co-products, energy consumption and production can differ. The general objective of this internship project is to establish the global energy balance of pyrolysis system, from biomass collection to the use of co-products, based on the technology developed by the IRDA and the CRIQ in Québec, Canada. It is expected that more energy is produced than consumed by the overall pyrolysis system.

Faculty Supervisor:

Vijaya Raghavan


Patrick Brassard





Environmental industry


McGill University



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