Two-step thermodegradation kinetics of cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin under isothermal torrefaction analyzed by particle swarm optimization

Wei Hsin Chen, Chun Fong Eng, Yu Ying Lin, Quang Vu Bach, Veeramuthu Ashokkumar, Pau Loke Show

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

The recognition of the isothermal thermodegradation of cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin plays a vital role for torrefaction to upgrade lignocellulosic biomass and produce biochar. This study adopts a two-step model with particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm to calculate and predict the isothermal torrefaction kinetics of cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin under the torrefaction temperatures of 200, 250, and 300 °C. A thermogravimetric analyzer is coupled with Fourier Transform Infrared (TG-FTIR) spectrometer to analyze the instantaneous weight losses and released gaseous products. The predictions suggest that cellulose shows the greatest weight loss and generates the most volatile products (81.70%) followed by a final residue (18.29%) at the isothermal torrefaction temperature of 300 °C. Hemicelluloses have severe weight loss at 250 °C, owing to their relatively weak structure compared to cellulose. The final residue yield is in the range of 60.04–74.05%, and the second prevalent product is the intermediate ranging from 3.34 to 8.20%. Lignin shows higher thermal resistance to torrefaction and produces the most intermediate under the isothermal torrefaction at temperatures lower than 300 °C, accounting for 86.41–97.50%. The activation energies of cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin are in the range of 166–260, 48–55, and 59–70 kJ mol−1, respectively. The FTIR spectra indicate that CO and CO2 are the dominant gases in the torrefaction of the three model compounds due to the cleavages of methoxyl, ether, carboxyl, and carbonyl groups.

Original languageBritish English
Article number114116
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Volume238
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin
  • Isothermal torrefaction
  • Lignocellulosic biomass
  • Particle swarm optimization
  • TG-FTIR spectra
  • Two-step kinetics

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