Research groups pioneering

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Research groups pioneering in the development of reactor technology during the eighties and nineties of the past century were those in e.g.

- SERI, Colorado, USA (Diebold and Scahill; ablative vortex reactor),

- the Colorado School of Mines (Reed and Cowdrey; ablative plate)

- Aston University, UK (Bridgwater and Peacocke; ablative plate)

- the University of Western Ontario Canada (Bergougnou, Graham, Freel, Huffman, Mok; circulating fluidized bed),

- the University of Waterloo, Canada (Scott, Piskorz, Radlein, Czernik; bubbling fluidized bed),

- Laval University, Canada (Roy; vacuum moving bed),

- the University of Nancy, France (Villermaux and Lédé; cyclone)

- the University of Twente, The Netherlands (Van Swaaij, Prins, Wagenaar, Jansse, Venderbosch; rotating cone).

The main technologies for biomass fast pyrolysis that emerged later on, and which have been tested at a significant scale by spin-off companies, were those based on the entrained flow reactor (Egemin), the vacuum moving bed (Pyrovac), the bubbling fluid bed (Dynamotive), the circulating fluid bed (Ensyn), and the rotating cone (BTG). A useful review on the early technolgy development was published by Bridgwater and Peacocke [1]. More recently the ablative reactor technology was tested at pilot scale by a German company called Pytec. During the same time, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) developed and tested the twin-screw reactor technology.

A further description of the fast pyrolysis technology development is provided elswhere, see Fast pyrolysis technologies A more recent review was published in 2010 by Venderbosch and Prins [2].


  1. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol. 4, Issue 1, March 2000
  2. Biofpr 4: 178-208