Wood Science and Technology

, Volume 53, Issue 6, pp 1353–1372 | Cite as

Thermal decomposition fundamentals in large-diameter wooden logs during slow pyrolysis

  • Márcia Silva de JesusEmail author
  • Angélica de Cássia Oliveira Carneiro
  • Clara Lisseth Mendoza Martinez
  • Benedito Rocha Vital
  • Antônio Policarpo Souza Carneiro
  • Maíra Reis de Assis


Charcoal has several applications on both small and industrial scales. Nevertheless, its parallel production of approximately 70% in coproducts during the slow pyrolysis process is still considered a challenge, especially for producers in emerging countries. However, the Brazilian production model stands out positively compared to the other producing countries, considering that Brazil is the world’s largest charcoal and sole pig iron producer from a renewable natural resource. The aim of this work was to analyze the thermal behavior of wood during the thermochemical process and the macro-thermogravimetry of large wood samples in different moisture and diameter conditions, similar to those found in the production units in Brazil. The slow pyrolysis was performed using 30-cm-long logs. The highest temperature gradient of 280 °C was observed in the 14-cm-diameter and 40 wt% moisture logs. The wood heating rate during carbonization was nonlinear. The presence of water in the wood delays the charcoal production reactions by up to 50% and contributes to the formation of different thermal profiles in the wood. Thus, due to the nonlinear thermal profile of the transformation of wood into charcoal, thermal curves are an important tool to help the control systems of the charcoal production units.



This work was kindly supported by Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nivel superior (CAPES) and Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG) Brazil. The authors also thank other contributing research institutions including Federal University of Lavras, Federal University of Viçosa and Energy Laboratory and Wood Panels.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 19 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Márcia Silva de Jesus
    • 1
    Email author
  • Angélica de Cássia Oliveira Carneiro
    • 1
  • Clara Lisseth Mendoza Martinez
    • 2
  • Benedito Rocha Vital
    • 1
  • Antônio Policarpo Souza Carneiro
    • 1
  • Maíra Reis de Assis
    • 3
  1. 1.Federal University of Viçosa (UFV)ViçosaBrazil
  2. 2.Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG)Belo HorizonteBrazil
  3. 3.Federal University of Lavras (UFLA)LavrasBrazil

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