Pyrolysis oil is produced through the pyrolysis of wood. This oil is a complex mix of molecules that comes from the division and combination of wood molecules. They appear as a dark brown liquid. These oils can be used for energy or chemical purposes.
Oil from the condensation of gases produced during the process of pyrolysis of wood is a complex mix. It is constituted mainly of water and lignin, but includes a number of other molecules.
Pyrolysis oil contains a number of molecules that are highly valued by the chemical and agro-food industries (aromas such as vanilla, smoked taste, barbecue sauce). However, it is necessary to separate these components, which is not easy to do at large-scale.
Energy use (second generation biofuel or direct combustion) can appear simpler, but this demands specially adapted technologies. Research is underway to find more adequate methods to better use this “renewable petrol”. Pyrolysis oil has an energy density that is 6 to 7 times higher than raw biomass.