PCDDs, PCDFs and PCNs in products of microwave-assisted pyrolysis of woody biomass - Distribution among solid, Liquid and gaseous phases and effects of material composition

Qiuju Gao, Vitaliy L. Budarin, Mariusz Cieplik, Mark Gronnow, Stina Jansson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microwave-assisted pyrolysis (MAP) of lignocellulosic biomass is a technique that could potentially be used to produce and upgrade renewable energy carriers. However, there is no available information about the formation of dioxins and other organic pollutants in MAP treatment of woody biomass. In this study, MAP experiments were conducted in lab-scale using virgin softwood, bark, and impregnated wood as feedstocks. The non-condensable gas, liquid (fractionated into aqueous and oil phases), and char fractions generated during pyrolysis were collected and analysed for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), dibenzofurans (PCDFs) and naphthalenes (PCNs). The concentrations of PCDDs, PCDFs and PCNs in the pyrolysis products ranged from 0.52 to 43.7 ng kg-1. All investigated compound groups were most abundant in the oil fraction, accounting for up to 68% (w/w) of the total concentrations. The highest PCDD, PCDF and PCN concentrations were found from the pyrolysis of bark, which has relatively high contents of chlorine and mineral matter, followed by impregnated wood, which contains organic and metal-based preservatives. The homologue profiles of all three compound groups were dominated by the less chlorinated homologues. The homologue abundance decreased as the degree of chlorination increased. This trend was observed for all three feedstocks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-199
Number of pages7
Early online date10 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016

Bibliographical note

©2015 The Authors.


  • Lignocellulosic biomass
  • Persistent organic pollutants
  • Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins
  • Polychlorinated dibenzofurans
  • Polychlorinated naphthalenes
  • Thermochemical conversion

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