Recently, Patrick Brassard, one of our member presented his recent research about sustainable bio-economy at the 27th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, Lisbon, Portugal. This paper describes a pyrolysis biorefinery concept in which energy and bio-based products are generated from the pyrolysis of forest residues.
Pyrolysis experiments were carried out with woody biomass using an auger reactor to better understand the impact of the pyrolysis operational parameters on the properties of the co-products. The response surface methodology (RSM) approach was used to set an experimental design, aiming at optimizing pyrolysis parameters (temperature, solid residence time and nitrogen flow rate) to produce high yield of bio-oil with the lowest water content possible. Further pyrolysis tests were carried out to study the fractional condensation of bio-oil into two phases: a heavy phase with a high-energy content (bio-crude oil) and a light phase containing phenol compounds and acetic acid, called wood vinegar. The fungicide potential of the wood vinegar was evaluated in laboratory. Based on the experimental results, a biorefinery scenario was established towards a future endeavor of modelling the role of pyrolysis within the French bioeconomy. The starting point is 1000 kg dry matter (DM) of soft wood forest residues, which are harvested, chipped, stored, grinded, dried and pyrolyzed. In this scenario, the bio-crude oil and non-condensed syngas are used to substitute heat, wood vinegar is used as a bio-fungicide, and biochar is used as a soil amendment. This work will allow studying the environmental consequences of this concept through a life cycle assessment.