Using Apparent Activation Energy as a Reactivity Criterion for Biomass Pyrolysis

CARRIER, M.; AURET, L.; BRIDGWATER, A.; KNOETZE, J.H.:
Energy and Fuels, 30, 7834-7841 (2016).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.energyfuels.6b00794

Abstract

The reactivity of chemically isolated lignocellulosic blocks, namely, α-cellulose, holocellulose, and lignin, has been rationalized on the basis of the dependence of the effective activation energy (Eα) upon conversion (α) determined via the popular isoconversional kinetic analysis, Friedman’s method. First of all, a detailed procedure for the thermogravimetric data preparation, kinetic calculation, and uncertainty estimation was implemented. Resulting Eα dependencies obtained for the slow pyrolysis of the extractive-free Eucalyptus grandis isolated α-cellulose and holocellulose remained constant for 0.05 < α < 0.80 and equal to 173 ± 10, 208 ± 11, and 197 ± 118 kJ/mol, thus confirming the single-step nature of pyrolysis. On the other hand, large and significant variations in Eα with α from 174 ± 10 to 322 ± 11 kJ/mol in the region of 0.05 and 0.79 were obtained for the Klason lignin and reported for the first time. The non-monotonic nature of weight loss at low and high conversions had a direct consequence on the confidence levels of Eα. The new experimental and calculation guidelines applied led to more accurate estimates of Eα values than those reported earlier. The increasing Eα dependency trend confirms that lignin is converted into a thermally more stable carbonaceous material.

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