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Table 9 Advantages, disadvantages, and bio-oil yield of different pyrolysis reactors; source [78]

From: Microwave pyrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass––a contribution to power Africa

Reactor type Advantages Disadvantages Bio-oil yield (%)
Fixed bed Simple design
Biomass size independent
High carbon conservation
Long solid residence time
Low ash carry over
Difficult to remove char
Bubbling fluidized bed Simple design
Easy operation
Good temperature control
Suitable for large scale
Small particle sizes are needed 70–75
Circulating fluidized bed Well-understood technology
Good thermal control
Large particle sizes can be used
Unlikely to be suitable for large
Complex hydrodynamics
Char is finer
Rotating cone Centrifugal force moves heated sand and biomass
No carrier gas required
Less wear
Complex process
Small particle sizes needed
Not proven yet for large scale
Vacuum Produces clean oil
Can process larger particles of 3–5 cm
No carrier gas required
Lower temperature required
Easier liquid product condensation
Slow process
Solid residence time is too high
Require large scale equipment
Poor heat and mass transfer rate
Generates more water
Ablative Inert gas is not required
Large particle sizes can be processed
System is more intensive
Moderate temperature required
Reactor is costly
Low reaction rate
Auger Compact
No carrier gas required
Lower process temperature
Moving parts in hot zone
Heat transfer in large scale is not suitable
PyRos Compact and low cost
High heat transfer
Short gas residence time
Complex design
Solids in the oil
Alkali dissolved in the oil
High temperature required
Plasma High energy density
High heat transfer
High temperature
Very good control
High electrical power
High operating costs
Small particle sizes required
Microwave Efficient heat transfer
Exponential control
High heating rate
Large size biomass can be processed
Uniform temperature distribution
High temperature
High operating costs 60–70
Solar Use renewable energy
High heating rate
High temperature
High costs
Weather dependant