Materials and Products

Key Points

Paving Waveland Bike Trail, Des Moines, IA with a mixture of petroleum-based asphalt and phenolic oil. – Iowa State University.

  • Bio-oils and bio-crudes are rich sources of a variety of bio-based chemicals and products
  • Chemicals AND fuels should come from biomass if we are to replace petroleum
  • In 2018, some bio-oil derived chemicals mature and established, some are considered emerging
  • Bio-based materials and chemicals are integral to enabling the economics of biofuels in a bio-refinery

Further Reading

  • PyNe 41: Mullen on co-products; Rover on phenolic oils; Elkasabi on co-product coke; Brown on fractional condensation.
  • PyNe 40:  Sandstrom/Johansson on fractional condensation.
  • PyNe 39:  Feng/Meier on supercritical CO2 extraction of products; Sanna on compounds from catalytic pyrolysis;

Example Applications

Resin tests at NREL

Materials and Products

In addition to fuels, bio-oil can also be a source of renewable chemical products and materials. The separation of components as products has been considered an important potential use [1], but actual commercial application has not been achieved. Separation of bio-oil fractions has been investigated widely and a number of leading opportunities are discussed here. The single chemical product commercially recovered from bio-oil is smoke flavourings, which have been produced and recovered since the 1990s by the Red Arrow Products Company LLC in Wisconsin, USA using the fast pyrolysis technology of Ensyn [2].

Click on the relevant links below for information on each topic:


[1] Radlein, D. The Production of Chemicals from Fast Pyrolysis Bio-oils in Fast Pyrolysis of Biomass: A Handbook, pp. 164-188. CPL Press, Newbury, UK, 1999.