Modeling for Pyrolysis of Solid Biomass
In comparison to coal, biomass is characterized by a higher content of volatile matter. It is a renewable source of energy which has many advantages from an ecological point of view. Understanding the physical phenomena of pyrolysis and representing them with a mathematical model is the primary step in the design of pyrolysis reactors. In the present study, an existing mathematical model is used to describe the pyrolysis of a single solid particle of biomass. It couples the heat transfer equations with the chemical kinetics equations. A finite difference method is used for solving the heat transfer equation and the two-step pyrolysis kinetics equations. The model equation is solved for a slab particle of equivalent dimension 0.001 m and temperature ranging from 300 to 923 K. An original numerical model for the pyrolysis of wood chips is proposed and relevant equations solved using original program realized in MATLAB.
To check the validity of the numerical results, experimental results of pyrolysis of woody biomass in laboratory facility was used. The samples were heated over a range of temperature from 300 to 923 K with three different heating rates of 21, 32 and 55 K/min, and the weight loss was measured. The simulation results as well as the results obtained from thermal decomposition process indicate that the temperature peaks at maximum weight loss rate change with the increase in heating rate. The experimental results showed that the simulation results are in good agreement and can be successfully used to understand the degradation mechanism of solid reaction.