In-depth investigation on the pyrolysis kinetics of raw biomass. Part I: kinetic analysis for the drying and devolatilization stages.
The pyrolytic behavior of wood is investigated under inert and oxidative conditions. The TGA experiment is given a temperature variation from 323 to 1173 K by setting the heating rate between 5 and 40 K/min. The results of DTG curves show that the hemicellulose shoulder peak for birch is more visible under inert atmosphere due to the higher content of reactive xylan-based hemicellulose (mannan-based for pine). When oxygen presents, thermal reactivity of biomass (especially the cellulose) is greatly enhanced due to the acceleration of mass loss in the first stage, and complex reactions occur simultaneously in the second stage when char and lignin oxidize. A new kinetic model is employed for biomass pyrolysis, namely the distributed activation energy model (DAEM). Under inert atmosphere, the distributed activation energy for the two species is found to be increased from 180 to 220 kJ/mol at the solid conversion of 10-85% with the high correlation coefficient. Under oxidative atmosphere, the distributed activation energy is about 175-235 kJ/mol at the solid conversion of 10-65% and 300-770 kJ/mol at the solid conversion of 70-95% with the low correlation coefficient (below 0.90). Comparatively, the activation energy obtained from established global kinetic model is correspondingly lower than that from DAEM under both inert and oxidative environments, giving relatively higher correlation coefficient (more than 0.96). The results imply that the DAEM is not suitable for oxidative pyrolysis of biomass (especially for the second mass loss stage in air), but it could represent the intrinsic mechanism of thermal decomposition of wood under nitrogen better than global kinetic model when it is applicable.