Analytical Investigations of Kinetic and Heat Transfer in Slow Pyrolysis of a Biomass Particle

*S.J Ojolo  -  Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria
C.A. Osheku  -  Centre for Space Transport and Propulsion, National Space Research and Development Agency,, Nigeria
M.G Sobamowo  -  Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria
Published: 17 Jun 2013.
Open Access Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Citation Format:
The utilization of biomass for heat and power generation has aroused the interest of most researchers especially those of energy .In converting solid fuel to a usable form of energy, pyrolysis plays an integral role. Understanding this very important phenomenon in the thermochemical conversion processes and representing it with appropriate mathematical models is vital in the design of pyrolysis reactors and biomass gasifiers. Therefore, this study presents analytical solutions to the kinetic and the heat transfer equations that describe the slow pyrolysis of a biomass particle. The effects of Biot number, temperature and residence time on biomass particle decomposition were studied. The results from the proposed analytical models are in good agreement with the reported experimental results. The developed analytical solutions to the heat transfer equations which have been stated to be “analytically involved” showed average percentage error and standard deviations 0.439 and 0.103 from the experimental results respectively as compared with previous model in literature which gives average percentage error and standard deviations 0.75 and 0.106 from the experimental results respectively. This work is of great importance in the design of some pyrolysis reactors/units and in the optimal design of the biomass gasifiers.
Keywords: analyticalsolutions; biomass particle; energy; heat transfer; kinetics, pyrolysis

Article Metrics:

  1. Babu B.V. &Sheth P.N. (2006) Modeling and simulation of reduction zone of downdraft biomass gasifier: effect of char reactivity factor.Energy Conversion and Management, 47 2602-2611
  2. Babu, B.V. &Chaurasia, A.S. (2003) Modeling for pyrolysis of solid particle: kinetics and heat transfer effects. Energy Conversion and Management,44, 2251–2275
  3. Babu, B.V. &Chaurasia, A.S. (2004) Pyrolysis of biomass: improved models for simultaneouskinetics and transport of heat, mass and momentum Energy Conversion and Management,45, 1297–1327
  4. Bamford, C.H., Crank, J. &Malan, D.H., (1946) The combustion of wood. Part I. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society,42, 166–182
  5. Bruch C.B.& Nussbaumer, P.T. ( 2003) Modelling wood combustion under fixed bed conditions, Fuel,82, 729–738
  6. Chan, W.R., Kelbon, M. & Krieger, B.B.(1985) Modeling and experimental verification of physical and chemical processes during pyrolysis of large biomass particle. Fuel,64, 1505–1513
  7. Di Blasi, C.(1993)Analysis of convection and secondary reaction effects within porous solid fuels undergoing pyrolysis. Combustion Science and Technology,90, 315–340
  8. Fan, L.T., Fan,L.S., Miyanami, K., Chen, T.Y. &Walawender, W.P. (1977) A mathematical model for pyrolysis of a solid particle—effects of the Lewis number. The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering,55, 47–53
  9. Font, R., Marcilla, A., Verdu, E. & Devesa, J. (1990). Kinetics of the pyrolysis of almondshells andalmondshells impregnatedwith CoCl2 in a Fluidized bed reactor and in a Pyroprobe 100. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research,29, 1846–1855
  10. International Energy Agency (2012) World energy Outlook.available:
  11. IPCC (1996) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Chapter 19: “Energy Supply Mitigation Options” in Impacts, Adaptations and Mitigation of Climate Change: Scientific-Technical Analyses.Contribution of Working Group II to the Second Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  12. Jalan, R.K. & Srivastava, V.K.(1999) Studies on pyrolysis of a single biomass cylindrical pellet–kinetic and heat transfer effects. Energy Conversion and Management,40, 467–494
  13. Kansa, E.J., Perlee, H.E. & Chaiken, R.F. (1977) Mathematical model of wood pyrolysis including internal forced convection. Combustion and Flame,29, 311–324
  14. Kanury, A.M. & Blackshear, P.L.(1970) Some considerations pertaining to the problem of wood-burning. Combustion Science and Technology,1, 339
  15. Koufopanos, C.A.,Papayannakos, N., Maschio, G. & Lucchesi, A.(1991) Modelling of the pyrolysis of biomass particles. Studies on kinetics, thermal andheat transfer efects. The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering,69, 907–915
  16. Kung, H.C.(1972) A mathematical model of wood pyrolysis. Combustion and Flame,18, 185–195
  17. Lee, C.K., Chaiken, R.F. &Singer, J.M., (1976) Charring pyrolysis of wood in 0res by laser simulation. In: Proceedings of the 16th Symposium (International) on Combustion.The Combustion Institute: Pittsburgh, 1459–1470
  18. Mandl C., Obernberger I.&Biedermann F., (2009) Updraft fixed-bed gasification of softwood pellets: mathematical modelling and comparison with experimental data In: proceedings of the 17 European Biomass Conference & Exhibition Hamburg, Italy
  19. Matsumoto, T., Fujiwara, T. & Kondo, J. (1969) Nonsteady thermal decomposition of plastics. 12thInternational Symposium on Combustion , 515-524
  20. Melaaen, M.C. &Gronli M.G., (1997) Modeling and simulation of moist wood drying and pyrolysis. In: Bridgwater, A.V., Boocock, D.B.G. (Eds.), Developments in Thermochemical Biomass Conversion. Blackie, London, pp. 132–146
  21. Miyanami, K., Fan, L.S., Fan, L.T. & Walawender, W.P.(1977) A mathematical model for pyrolysis of a solid particle—effects of the heat of reaction. The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering,55, 317–325
  22. Pyle, D.L. & Zaror, C.A. (1984) Heat transfer and kinetics in the low temperature pyrolysis of solids. Chemical Engineering Science,39, 147–158
  23. Roberts, A.F.&Clough, G. (1963) Thermal degradation of wood in an inert atmosphere. In: Proceedings of the ninth Symposium (International) on Combustion, The Combustion Institute, Pittsburgh,158–167
  24. Shafizadeh, F. & Chin, P.P.S.(1977) Thermal deterioration of wood. ACS Symposium Series,43, 57–81
  25. Sheth P.N. &Babu B.V. (2006) Kinetic modeling of the pyrolysis of biomass.National Conference on Environmental Conservation, Pilani, India, 453-458
  26. Simmons, G. M. &Gentry, M. (1986) Particle size limitations due to heat transfer in determining pyrolysis kinetics of biomass. Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, 10, 117-127
  27. Slopiecka,K.,Bartocci, P.& Fantozzi,F.(2011)Thermogravimetric analysis and Kinetic study of poplar wood pyrolysis, 3rd International Conference on Applied Energy, Perugia, Italy,1687-1698
  28. Thurner, F. & Mann, U.(1981) Kinetic investigation of wood pyrolysis.Industrial and Engineering Chemical Process Design and Development,20, 482–488
  29. Tinney, E.R.(1965) The combustion of wood dowels in heated air. In: Proceedings of the 10th Symposium (International) on Combustion. The Combustion Institute, Pittsburgh, 925–930
  30. Villermaux, J., Antoine, B., Lede, J. & Soulignac, F.(1986) A new model for thermal volatilization of solid particles undergoing fast pyrolysis. Chemical Engineering Science,41, 151–157
  31. Weerachanchai P., Tangsathitkulchai C. &Tangsathitkulchai,M. (2010) Comparison of Pyrolysis Kinetic Model for Thermogravimetric analysis of Biomass. Suranree Journal of Tecnologies, 17(4),387-400
  32. Yang Y. B., Phan A.N, Ryu C., Sharifi V. & Swithenbank J. (2007) Mathematical modelling of slow pyrolysis of segregated solid wastes in a packed-bed pyrolyser. Fuel, 86 (1-2), 169-180

Last update: 2021-02-28 19:44:06

No citation recorded.

Last update: 2021-02-28 19:44:06

  1. Comparative analysis between pyrolysis products of Spirulina platensis biomass and its residues

    Jamilatun S.. International Journal of Renewable Energy Development, 8 (2), 2019. doi: 10.14710/ijred.8.2.133-140
  2. Characterization of agro-waste and weed biomass to assess their potential for bioenergy production

    Deb U.. International Journal of Renewable Energy Development, 8 (3), 2019. doi: 10.14710/ijred.8.3.243-251
  3. Thermal decomposition and kinetic studies of pyrolysis of Spirulina platensis residue

    Jamilatun S.. International Journal of Renewable Energy Development, 6 (3), 2017. doi: 10.14710/ijred.6.3.193-201
  4. Non-catalytic and Catalytic Pyrolysis of Spirulina platensis residue (SPR) in Fixed-Bed Reactors: Characteristic and Kinetic Study with Primary and Secondary Tar Cracking Models

    Jamilatun S.. International Journal of Renewable Energy Research, 10 (4), 2020.