Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Advisor 1

Ezra Bar-Ziv

Advisor 2

Jordan Klinger

Committee Member 1

Jeffrey D. Naber

Committee Member 2

David R. Shonnard


The main objective of this research was to show the effectiveness of a novel paddle reactor for fast pyrolysis and study the effect of biomass particle size and reaction temperature of Arundo Donax a type of energy crop on the bio-oil yields. The novel paddle reactor showed effective mixing and heat transfer which were proved with the help of studying the residence time and the heating characteristics of the system respectively. The effect of different biomass particle sizes on the bio-oil yield was not significant, the bio-oil yield was approximately 50% for all the sizes. For Arundo Donax particle sizes less than 1.0 mm would not have any significant effect on the bio-oil yield. The effect of reaction temperature on the bio-oil yield was not significant as the reaction temperature was increased from 500 to 530ºC, the bio-oil yield decreased by 7% within that temperature range. Maximum bio-oil yield was obtained in the range of 470-500ºC which was approximately 50%. A parabolic curve was obtained for reaction temperature vs bio-oil yield as predicted. For Arundo Donax the temperature for maximum bio-oil yield is about the same as for woody biomass, around 500ºC.