Modular bio-refinery simulation of Nesogordonia papaverifera by fast pyrolysis (FP): a focus on bio-oil enhancement

Great Umenweke, Zacchaeus Adesanya, Helen Onyeaka, Taghi Miri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this paper is to simulate a modular bio-refinery, which utilizes the thermochemical conversion process, to transform the Nigerian sawdust wood (Nesogordonia papaverifera) as feedstock to produce bio-oil, syngas, and bio-char. In this work, the thermochemical conversion process used is fast pyrolysis. For this work, the focus is on achieving an improved bio-oil, in both quality and quantity. The simulation software used is ASPEN Plus V11, using the fluid package Peng-Robinson with Boston-Mathias (PR-BM). The conventional components (N2, O2, H2O, H2, S, CO, CO2, and solid carbon) and non-conventional components (sawdust wood and ash) were adequately specified, and the reaction feeds were pyrolyzed at 300 °C at 5 bar, which generates the highest pyrolysis oil yield in comparison with other varied temperatures from 300 to 500 °C. In the process, the drying and decomposition were carried out using FORTRAN statements through calculator blocks. The result shows that the bulk of the bio-product is the bio-oil, with its component mixture being methanol, glyoxal, and glycol-01 taking up to about 70% yield. Sensitivity analysis shows that the yield of the bio-oil greatly reduces with a significant increase in temperature. Therefore, to ensure the optimal yield of the bio-oil for the Nigerian sawdust (Nesogordonia papaverifera) model used, the operating condition of the feed should be below 400 °C.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalBiomass Conversion and Biorefinery
Early online date16 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Fast pyrolysis
  • Bio-refinery
  • Catalysts
  • Bio-fuels
  • Bio-oils
  • Thermodynamic models


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