Performance of Liquids from Slow Pyrolysis and Hydrothermal Carbonization in Plant Protection

Marleena Hagner, Kari Tiilikkala, Isa Lindqvist, Klaus Niemelä, Hanne Wikberg, Anssi Källi, Kimmo Rasa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The feasibility of thermochemical biomass conversion technologies can be improved if value-added applications for all fractions can be developed. One of such approaches is the use of liquid by-products from slow pyrolysis and hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) in plant protection. Liquids produced from slow pyrolysis of pine bark, pine forest residues, wheat straw, and willow, and from hydrothermal carbonization of willow, were analyzed in this study. In particular, potential active compounds were analyzed, covering the main volatile, simple organic compounds and numerous phenolic substances. Effectivity tests of the liquids as pest repellent (Arianta arbustorum), herbicide (Brassica rapa), and insecticide (Rhopalosiphum padi) indicated that slow pyrolysis liquid from willow was the most effective pesticide, followed by the liquid from wheat, bark, and forest residues. HTC liquid did not show any pesticidal activity due to low concentration of organic compounds. High content of acetic acid and other carboxylic acids, and the presence of dozens of different phenolic compounds seem to be the main reason for the higher pesticidal activity of willow-derived pyrolysis liquid. Temperature-separated slow pyrolysis liquids proved to be suitable to be used as pesticides. Consequently there is possibility to improve the feasibility of thermochemical biomass conversion technologies remarkably by developing the liquid factions to value-added pesticides.



Original languageEnglish
JournalWaste and Biomass Valorization
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1005-1016
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • ACID
  • Hydrothermal carbonization
  • OIL
  • Pine
  • Plant protection
  • Pyrolysis liquids
  • Slow pyrolysis
  • Wheat straw
  • Willow
  • 221 Nano-technology

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