Empirical Models with Constant and Variable Activation Energy for Biomass Pyrolysis

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The so-called "model-free" or isoconversional way of kinetic modeling was examined. In this field, the available evaluation methods do not aim at an optimal fit for the experimental data. In the present work, the functions of the corresponding kinetic equation were approximated by simple versatile formulas, the number of the unknown parameters was kept on reasonably low levels, and the evaluation aimed at the best fit for the experiments by the least-squares method. Considerations and methods were tested on 85 thermogravimetric (TGA) experiments, which had been published earlier with different types of kinetic modeling. The experiments belonged to 16 biomass samples including woody biomass, agricultural residues, and industrial wastes. The temperature programs comprised constant heating rates, stepwise heating, constant reaction rate heating, isothermal temperature programs, and a modulated temperature program. The evaluations were based on four to nine experiments for each sample. The best fit was searched for the mass loss rate curves because they reflect well the peculiarities of pyrolysis. An empirical model with variable activation energy provided good fit for all experimental data. It described the experiments of a biomass sample by 11 parameters. Another model with constant E values provided rougher but still usable approximations for the data. It allows fast numerical solutions that may be helpful in complex modeling tasks. Both models described the experiments at a variety of temperature programs by a given set of model parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2348-2358
Number of pages11
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 21 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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