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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 12, 2019

Fractionation of biomass and plastic wastes to value-added products via stepwise pyrolysis: a state-of-art review

Yafei Shen

Yafei Shen received his BSc degree (2009) from Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (NUIST), MSc degree (2012) from Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), and PhD (2015) from Tokyo Institute of Technology (TokyoTech). Currently, he is a professor in NUIST. His research interests include thermochemical conversion of biomass wastes and functional carbon materials. He has authored more than 60 refereed papers, including 42 first-/corresponding-authored papers (total citations, >1200; h-index, 21).

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Pyrolysis has been considered as a promising thermochemical process that can convert biomass in nonoxidizing atmospheres to value-added liquid bio-oil, solid biochar, and noncondensable gas products. Fast pyrolysis has a better economic return because of the valuable biofuel production (e.g. bio-oil, syngas). Because of the complexity and heterogeneity of the feedstocks, the one-step pyrolysis often leads to the mixed, acidic, and highly oxygenated liquid products. Moreover, the downstream processes (e.g. deoxygenation) for the desired fuels require high costs on energy and catalysts consumption. Stepwise pyrolysis is defined as a temperature-programmed pyrolysis that can separately obtain the products from each temperature step. It is a feasible approach to accomplish the fractionation by optimizing the pyrolysis process based on the decomposition temperature ranges and products among the biomass constituents. In recent years, the stepwise pyrolysis technology has gained attentions in thermochemical conversion of complex organic solid wastes. Through the stepwise pyrolysis of a real waste, oxygenated and acidic products were concentrated in the first-step liquid product, whereas the second-step product normally contained a high portion of hydrocarbon with low acidity. The stepwise pyrolysis of biomass, plastics, and their mixtures is comprehensively reviewed with the objective of fully understanding the related mechanisms, influence factors, and challenges.

About the author

Yafei Shen

Yafei Shen received his BSc degree (2009) from Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (NUIST), MSc degree (2012) from Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), and PhD (2015) from Tokyo Institute of Technology (TokyoTech). Currently, he is a professor in NUIST. His research interests include thermochemical conversion of biomass wastes and functional carbon materials. He has authored more than 60 refereed papers, including 42 first-/corresponding-authored papers (total citations, >1200; h-index, 21).


This study was supported by the Startup Foundation for Introducing Talent of NUIST (2243141501046), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Funder Id:, 21607079), the Natural Science Foundation of the Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions of China (16KJB610012), the Six Talent Peaks Project (grant JNHB-057), and the 333 Project in Jiangsu Province of China.


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Received: 2019-07-17
Accepted: 2019-09-21
Published Online: 2019-11-12
Published in Print: 2021-07-27

©2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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