Autothermal pyrolysis of biomass due to intrinsic thermal decomposition effects


The harmful emissions from traditional organic fuels combustion cause irreparable harm to the environment, which leads to the conclusion that it is necessary to reorient the energy sector to renewable energy sources such as biomass. Traditional methods of combustion are of little use for the energy use of biomass. This fact forces us to search new efficient technologies for its processing. Pyrolysis is one of the most universal and promising areas of biomass processing. However, its implementation requires significant heat costs, which has a considerable impact on the result of the feasibility study. The aim of the work is to study the thermal effects observed in low-temperature pyrolysis and to assess the possibility of autothermal biomass processing. Straw, chips from various types of wood, pine sawdust and peat from two deposits of the Tomsk region (Russia) were considered as a biomass. A physical experiment, differential thermal analysis, gas chromatography and heat balance equations were used in the work. It has been established that low-temperature pyrolysis of biomass is accompanied by a positive value of the thermal effect in the temperature range of 220–580 °C and varies from 393 to 1475 kJ kg−1 depending on the type of raw materials being processed. The value of this effect makes it possible to organize pyrolysis of biomass in an autothermal regime with preliminary drying: maximum moisture content for straw of 19.9%, wood chips of 10.4%, sawdust of 9.7% and Sukhovskoy peat of 9.5%.

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We would like to express our great appreciation to Tomsk Polytechnic University project partners from European Universities and organizations within the framework of funds and programmes, TEMPUS, TACIS, DAAD, INTAS, Marie Curie Fellowship, FP6 (INCO) etc. The research is funded from Tomsk Polytechnic University Competitiveness Enhancement Program grant.

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Tabakaev, R.B., Astafev, A.V., Dubinin, Y.V. et al. Autothermal pyrolysis of biomass due to intrinsic thermal decomposition effects. J Therm Anal Calorim 134, 1045–1057 (2018).

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  • Biomass
  • Low-temperature pyrolysis
  • Autothermal regime
  • Thermal effect
  • Estimation of thermal consumption for pyrolysis