Formation of Fluorescent Carbon from Fast Pyrolysis of Lignocellulosic Biomass
Russo, Carmela
Cerciello, Francesca
Senneca, Osvalda
Ciajolo, Anna
Apicella, Barbara

How to Cite

Russo C., Cerciello F., Senneca O., Ciajolo A., Apicella B., 2021, Formation of Fluorescent Carbon from Fast Pyrolysis of Lignocellulosic Biomass, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 84, 145-150.


Fluorescent carbon was produced from fast pyrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass in a modified wire-mesh reactor named heated strip reactor (HSR). The metal grid, usually employed as a sample holder in a wire-mesh reactor, is replaced in the HSR by a pyrolytic graphite foil. HSR can achieve temperatures up to 2073 K with a high heating rate (104 K/s). The volatiles produced by the HSR pyrolysis of a lignocellulosic biomass sample were immediately quenched in the surrounding low temperature environment, so avoiding the occurrence of secondary reactions of the volatiles. Volatiles were condensed in form of a tar-like material on a pyrex glass bridge located above HSR, whereas the residue solid (char and soot) remained on the strip. The tar-like material recovered and separated with different solvents in fractions of various characteristics showed blue and/or green fluorescence typical of fluorescent carbon dots (CDs). It was thus shown that fast pyrolysis of carbon resources as biomasses, can be employed as one-step approach to synthesize different classes of carbon materials, assimilable to CDs. The different CDs could be separated and isolated choosing appropriate organic solvents and constitute very promising materials for applications in photonics, electro-optics, chemical sensing, and other material science areas.