Pyrolysis DiagramBiomass can be converted into a renewable diesel fuel known as bio-oil through a process called fast or flash pyrolysis. Through the process, compact solid fuels are heated in the absence of air at temperatures between 450 and 500 degrees Celsius for less than 2 seconds, and then the resulting vapors are condensed within 2 seconds. The bio-oils produced are currently suitable for use in boilers or in turbines designed to burn heavy oils for electricity generation. There is ongoing research and development to upgrade bio-oil into transportation fuels. There are many companies in the bio-oil business, including DynaMotive Energy Systems; Ensyn Group; BTG Technology Group; ABRI TECH, Inc.; Renewable Oil International; and Renewable Fuel Technologies. DynaMotive and Ensyn Group both have commercial fast pyrolysis bio-oil facilities in operation.

  • DynaMotive Energy Systems is commercializing a proprietary fast pyrolysis process that converts forest and agricultural residue (non-food crops) into liquid bio-oil and char. The company opened its first bio-oil cogeneration facility in West Lorne, Ontario in collaboration with Erie Flooring and Wood Products Company. The flooring company provides the wood residue, and Dynamotive’s 2.5-megawatt plant uses its fast pyrolysis technology and a gas turbine to supply power to the wood product company’s mills and lumber kilns. A 200 ton-per-day plant in Guelph, Ontario was completed in 2007, along with a new pilot plant and test plant nearby.
  • Ensyn Group Inc. has commercialized a fast pyrolysis technology under the name of Rapid Thermal Processing RTP[tm]. This technology is based on the biomass refining concept, where value added chemicals are produced in addition to a consistent quality bio-oil. Ensyn has RTP[tm] facilities in commercial operation. Four of the commercial facilities are in Wisconsin and one is near Ottawa, Canada. The largest of these facilities processes about 75 green tons per day of mixed hardwood wastes. Commercial demonstration facilities in Belridge, California, and a Feedstock Test Facility in San Antonio, Texas, help the company continue research for future renewable fuels. Ensyn has several international projects as well – using pine residues in Italy and palm residues in Malaysia. A recent alliance with UOP (a Honeywell Company) is also expected to further the technologies to produce renewable liquid fuels for heat, power, and transport fuels.


DynaMotive Energy Systems Corporation

Ensyn Group Inc.,

BTG Group,

Renewable Oil Technologies,

Renewable Fuel Technologies,

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