PYROLYSIS (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env & Eco)

News-CRUX-10     29th February 2024        
output themes

Context: A new waste management technology (BioTRIG) that allows pyrolysis at a community level could help rural Indians cut indoor air pollution, improve soil health, and generate clean power, a recent study (Trigeneration based on the pyrolysis of rural waste in India: Environmental impact, economic feasibility, and business model innovation) has claimed.


  • About: Pyrolysis is a technology utilized to convert biomass into an intermediate liquid product that can be further refined into various forms of biofuels and petrochemical replacements.
  • Principle of Pyrolysis: It involves heating organic materials like biomass in the absence of oxygen, typically at or above 500°C, to facilitate thermal decomposition.
  • Product Formation: During biomass pyrolysis, the absence of oxygen prevents combustion, leading to the formation of combustible gases and bio-char through thermal decomposition.
  • Composition: The primary products of biomass pyrolysis include bio-oil (liquid), bio-char (solid), and syngas (gaseous), with the proportion of each depending on various factors.

BioTRIG’: It is a community-level pyrolysis system to run on the waste the villagers generate. 

  • It would provide a series of benefits to rural communities living below the poverty line (BPL).

Key Highlights of Study

  • Pyrolysis Products for Healthier Lives: The study highlights three key products of pyrolysis—bio-oil, syngas, and biochar fertiliser—as potential solutions for improving the health and environmental conditions of rural Indians.
  • Enhancing Farmland Productivity: According to the paper, the utilization of pyrolysis by-products could lead to more productive farmland, offering a sustainable approach for rural communities.
  • Economic Viability Recommendations: The researchers proposed a set of recommendations to maximize the economic viability of the system, emphasizing its potential benefits for rural communities.
  • BioTRIG Design: The survey findings played a crucial role in designing 'BioTRIG,' a community-level pyrolysis system intended to operate on the waste generated by villagers, providing multiple benefits.
  • Syngas and Bio-Oil for Power and Heat: The authors emphasized the role of syngas and bio-oil in powering the pyrolysis system, potentially offering surplus electricity to energize local homes and businesses.