Lignocellulosic biomass is considered a promising feedstock for biofuels; due to its wide availability, low cost, and  most importantly it does not affect the food chain or compete with animals feed. However, the conversion process of it was never economical because of the usual route used that requires pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, fermentation and distillation in order to transfer this lignocellulosic biomass into bio-fuel; the thing that reduces its economic advantages.

One promising route for conversion is through pyrolysis of biomass into bio-oil using fluidized bed reactors and its subsequent refinement into transportation fuels using catalytic reactors. In this research, we seek to identify the pressure, temperature, fluidizing gas flow rate and catalyst that optimize the yield and quality of the bio-oil produced from the catalytic fast pyrolysis of biomasses, such as corn stover, saw dust and switch grass.

Fast pyrolysis is basically decomposing carbonaceous organic materials thermally in a rapid way, the process takes place in an oxygen free system, what happens is that through a fluidized bed reacting system biomass is being supplied into a reactor and heated rapidly to intermediate range temperatures (400-600) , a rapid cooling process takes place just after the heating process producing Bio-Oil, from here appears the need for a catalytic reaction that is involved in the Fast Pyrolysis process.

The methodology employed involves upgrading a fluidized bed reactor (FBR) at the Center of Energy & Environmental Sustainability (CEES) Prairie View A&M and incorporating the use of the upgraded reactor to investigate the yield and the quality of the bio-oil processed.

Variables that would be controlled to find the optimum conditions are the reaction temperature, the flow rate of the fluidization gas and the type of the catalyst used. The quality of the oil will be determined using GC-MS, CHNOS.


Abdelhadi Hussein, CEM– Research Assistant as well as  a full time Master’s student in Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University System- Prairie View A&M. Worked in Dubai as a Mechanical Site Engineer- Construction field, and was in charge of the Execution process of HVAC and Drainage systems for 250 Villas Residential project. Abdelhadi Served as an AEE student chapter president for the University of Jordan, 2015-2016 and won the Best International Student Chapter Award at Washington DC.