Thermogravimetric kinetics of crude glycerol.


The pyrolysis of the crude glycerol from a biodiesel production plant was investigated by thermogravimetry coupled with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The main gaseous products are discussed, and the thermogravimetric kinetics derived. There were four distinct phases in the pyrolysis process of the crude glycerol. The presence of water and methanol in the crude glycerol and responsible for the first decomposition phase, were shown to catalyse glycerol decomposition (second phase). Unlike the pure compound, crude glycerol decomposition below 500 K leaves behind a large mass fraction of pyrolysis residues (ca. 15%), which eventually partially eliminate in two phases upon reaching significantly higher temperatures (700 and 970 K, respectively). An improved iterative Coats-Redfern method was used to evaluate non-isothermal kinetic parameters in each phase. The latter were then utilised to model the decomposition behaviour in non-isothermal conditions. The power law model (first order) predicted accurately the main (second) and third phases in the pyrolysis of the crude glycerol. Differences of 10-30 kJ/mol in activation energies between crude and pure glycerol in their main decomposition phase corroborated the catalytic effect of water and methanol in the crude pyrolysis. The 3-D diffusion model more accurately reproduced the fourth (last) phase, whereas the short initial decomposition phase was poorly simulated despite correlation coefficients ca. 0.95-0.96. The kinetics of the 3rd and 4th decomposition phases, attributed to fatty acid methyl esters cracking and pyrolysis tarry residues, were sensitive to the heating rate.

DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2008.11.037

Cite this paper

@article{Dou2009ThermogravimetricKO, title={Thermogravimetric kinetics of crude glycerol.}, author={Binlin Dou and Valerie A Dupont and P. T. Williams and Haisheng Chen and Yulong Ding}, journal={Bioresource technology}, year={2009}, volume={100 9}, pages={2613-20} }