Kinetics of the thermal decomposition of pine needles

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Abstract

A kinetic study of the pyrolysis process of pine needles was examined using a thermogravimetric analyser. The weight loss was measured in nitrogen atmosphere at a purge flow rate of 100 ml/min. The samples were heated over a range of temperature of 19°C–600°C with a heating rate of 10°C/min. The results obtained from the thermal decomposition process indicate that there are three main stages: dehydration, active and passive pyrolysis. The kinetic parameters for the different samples, such as activation energy and pre-exponential factor, are obtained by the shrinking core model (reaction-controlled regime), the model-free, and the first-order model. Experimental results showed that the shrinking model is in good agreement and can be successfully used to understand degradation mechanism of loose biomass. The result obtained from the reaction-controlled regime represented actual values of kinetic parameters which are the same for the whole pyrolysis process; whereas the model-free method presented apparent values of kinetic parameters, as they are dependent on the unknown function ϕ(C), on the sum of the parameters of the physical processes, and on the chemical reactions that happen simultaneously during pyrolysis. Experimental results showed that values of kinetic constant from the first-order model and the SCM are in good agreement and can be successfully used to understand the behaviour of loose biomass (pine needles) in the presence of inert atmosphere. Using TGA results, the simulating pyrolysis can be done, with the help of computer software, to achieve a comprehensive detail of the devolatilization process of different types of biomasses.

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