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Torrefaction/biochar production by microwave and conventional slow pyrolysis - comparison of energy properties

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Publication details

JournalGlobal Change Biology
DateE-pub ahead of print - 1 Nov 2012
DatePublished (current) - Mar 2013
Issue number2
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)144-152
Early online date1/11/12
Original languageEnglish


The energy efficiency of torrefaction/pyrolysis of biomass to fuel/biochar was studied using conventional (slow) and microwave (low temperature) pyrolysis. Conventional pyrolysis is approximately three times as energy efficient as microwave pyrolysis, in terms of the energy required to process a unit of feedstock. However, this is more than compensated for by the higher energy content of the condensable and gaseous coproducts from microwave pyrolysis, as these can be utilized to generate the electricity required to drive the process. It is proposed that the most efficient method of torrefaction/biochar production is a combination of conventional heating with 'catalytic' amount of microwave irradiation.

    Research areas

  • Biochar, Bioenergy, Calorific value, Microwave, Pyrolysis, Torrefaction

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