Pyrolysis reactors are often custom-engineered due to multitude of variables that impact the design process. Economic factors such as feedstock selection, targeted end products, capacity, and build site limitations all need to be considered in selection of a particular reactor design. Additionally, primary technical considerations include biomass particle size, operating temperature, solid and gas residence times, reaction rates, heat transfer limitations, and interaction with materials of construction.
Historically there have been several reactor designs and variations including:
Bubbling Fluidized Beds operate by passing a fluid through a granular material (e.g. sand) at high velocities. The injected biomass receives heat from the fluidized media efficiently targeting specific chemical reactions. These systems often target high liquid yields.
Circulating Fluidized Beds operate similarly to bubbling fluidized beds, except the system re-circulates both the granular material and biomass through the reactor and ancillary separation systems.
Augers used as reactors convey the solids via a screw while transferring heat to pyrolyze the biomass. Solid char is captured at the end of the screw while vapors are separated and carried overhead to ancillary systems to condense the vapor stream or further process to alternative end products.
Multiple Hearth transport biomass though several zones while transferring heat to pyrolyzed biomass. As the solid travels downward through the reactor, vapors are removed while converting the biomass to bio carbon. This technology often utilizes larger particle sized biomass.
In addition, several other pyrolysis technologies are in practice such as microwave pyrolyzers, free fall reactors, cone reactors, ablative systems, and molten salt heat carriers. Due to the high number of variables, pyrolysis development does not lend itself to an off-the-shelf, universal pyrolysis reactor design. Because of this industry limitation, it is critical that a pyrolysis reactor design expert is involved in the technical and economic evaluation and design of proposed systems. Lee Enterprise Consulting has expert consultants available to provide technical and economic evaluations on suitable reactor solutions for a variety of customer systems.
Lee Enterprises Consulting is the world’s premier bioeconomy consulting group, with over 150 highly qualified experts serving in all these areas of pyrolysis, and many other related bioeconomy fields. Take a look at our experts and the services we provide. Most of our experts are also available to advise and serve as expert witnesses in bioeconomy litigation matters. For the larger projects, we specialize in putting together full service, interdisciplinary teams with one point of contact. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for more information. See also:.Pyrolysis Processes and Pyrolysis Technology & Tire Processing.