Plenary Lecture

Recent Developments in Biomass Pyrolysis for Bio-Fuel Production: Its Potential for Commercial Applications

Associate Professor Mohammad G. Rasul
School of Engineering and Built Environment
Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Health
Central Queensland University
E-mail: m.rasul@cqu.edu.au

Abstract: There has been an enormous amount of research, in recent years, in the area of thermo-chemical conversion of biomass into bio-fuel (bio-oil, bio-char and bio-gas) through pyrolysis technology due to its several socio-economical advantages as well as an efficient method of conversion compared to other thermo-chemical conversion technologies. However, this technology is still not fully developed with respect to its commercial applications. This presentation is focused on the current status of pyrolysis technology and its potential for commercial applications for bio-fuel production. Aspects of pyrolysis technology which includes pyrolysis principles, types, reactor design, products and their characteristics, economics of bio-fuel production, etc are presented. Advantages and disadvantages of different types of reactors for bio-oil production and their yields, and operating modes of achieving desired products (bio-oil or bio-char or bio-gas) are also discussed and compared. It is found from the literatures that conversion of biomass to bio-fuel has still to overcome a lot of challenges such as understanding of the trade-off between the size of the pyrolysis plant and feedstock, improvement of the reliability of pyrolysis reactors and processes, etc to recommend for commercial applications. A very limited investigation has been done on economical feasibility study of pyrolysis technology. Further study is required for better understanding of the economics, as well as technology, of biomass pyrolysis for bio-fuel production.

Brief Biography of the Speaker: Associate Professor Mohammad Rasul obtained his PhD in the area of Energy, Environment and Thermodynamics from The University of Queensland, Australia. He received his Master of Engineering in Energy Technology from Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand. His first degree is in Mechanical Engineering. Currently, he is an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering and Built Environment, Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Health, at Central Queensland University, Australia. He is specialised and experienced in research, teaching and consultancy in the areas of energy (industrial and renewable), environment, sustainability, thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. He has published more than 180 research articles/papers both in reputed journals and refereed conferences including 7 book chapters, two books, one awarded paper in a refereed journal and two awarded papers at conferences in the area of energy science and technology. Currently he is supervising 15 research higher degree (PhD and masters) students. In the last five years he has secured more than $1.5 million research grant. He has established a solid productive relationship with major organizations and industries in Australia which has helped him to attract research funding. His research has made significant impact to national and international scientific communities through a large number of citations. He has also made significant contributions in engineering education research and scholarships in the area of project based learning and innovative teaching practices. Currently, he is editing two books, one on "Developments in Engineering Education Standards: Advanced Curriculum Innovations" which will be published in 2011 by IGI Global publisher in USA, and another on "Thermal Power Plants" which will be published by InTech Open Access Publisher. His contributions to the professional community have been demonstrated through his varied roles and activities, such as membership of national and international technical, scientific and advisory committees, membership of different professional organizations and various organizing committees. He has been leading and contributing to the strategic research on Resource Industries and Sustainability in Energy and Environment.