skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Simulating Biomass Fast Pyrolysis at the Single Particle Scale

Abstract

Simulating fast pyrolysis at the scale of single particles allows for the investigation of the impacts of feedstock-specific parameters such as particle size, shape, and species of origin. For this reason particle-scale modeling has emerged as an important tool for understanding how variations in feedstock properties affect the outcomes of pyrolysis processes. The origins of feedstock properties are largely dictated by the composition and hierarchical structure of biomass, from the microstructural porosity to the external morphology of milled particles. These properties may be accounted for in simulations of fast pyrolysis by several different computational approaches depending on the level of structural and chemical complexity included in the model. The predictive utility of particle-scale simulations of fast pyrolysis can still be enhanced substantially by advancements in several areas. Most notably, considerable progress would be facilitated by the development of pyrolysis kinetic schemes that are decoupled from transport phenomena, predict product evolution from whole-biomass with increased chemical speciation, and are still tractable with present-day computational resources.

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3]
  1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
  2. ORNL
  3. U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1376536
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Book
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Ciesielski, Peter, Wiggins, Gavin, Daw, C Stuart, and Jakes, Joseph E. Simulating Biomass Fast Pyrolysis at the Single Particle Scale. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
Ciesielski, Peter, Wiggins, Gavin, Daw, C Stuart, & Jakes, Joseph E. Simulating Biomass Fast Pyrolysis at the Single Particle Scale. United States.
Ciesielski, Peter, Wiggins, Gavin, Daw, C Stuart, and Jakes, Joseph E. Sat . "Simulating Biomass Fast Pyrolysis at the Single Particle Scale". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1376536.
@article{osti_1376536,
title = {Simulating Biomass Fast Pyrolysis at the Single Particle Scale},
author = {Ciesielski, Peter and Wiggins, Gavin and Daw, C Stuart and Jakes, Joseph E.},
abstractNote = {Simulating fast pyrolysis at the scale of single particles allows for the investigation of the impacts of feedstock-specific parameters such as particle size, shape, and species of origin. For this reason particle-scale modeling has emerged as an important tool for understanding how variations in feedstock properties affect the outcomes of pyrolysis processes. The origins of feedstock properties are largely dictated by the composition and hierarchical structure of biomass, from the microstructural porosity to the external morphology of milled particles. These properties may be accounted for in simulations of fast pyrolysis by several different computational approaches depending on the level of structural and chemical complexity included in the model. The predictive utility of particle-scale simulations of fast pyrolysis can still be enhanced substantially by advancements in several areas. Most notably, considerable progress would be facilitated by the development of pyrolysis kinetic schemes that are decoupled from transport phenomena, predict product evolution from whole-biomass with increased chemical speciation, and are still tractable with present-day computational resources.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Jul 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Sat Jul 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Book:
Other availability
Please see Document Availability for additional information on obtaining the full-text document. Library patrons may search WorldCat to identify libraries that hold this book.

Save / Share:
  • We report results from computational simulations of an experimental, lab-scale bubbling bed biomass pyrolysis reactor that include a distributed activation energy model (DAEM) for the kinetics. In this study, we utilized multiphase computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to account for the turbulent hydrodynamics, and this was combined with the DAEM kinetics in a multi-component, multi-step reaction network. Our results indicate that it is possible to numerically integrate the coupled CFD–DAEM system without significantly increasing computational overhead. It is also clear, however, that reactor operating conditions, reaction kinetics, and multiphase flow dynamics all have major impacts on the pyrolysis products exiting themore » reactor. We find that, with the same pre-exponential factors and mean activation energies, inclusion of distributed activation energies in the kinetics can shift the predicted average value of the exit vapor-phase tar flux and its statistical distribution, compared to single-valued activation-energy kinetics. Perhaps the most interesting observed trend is that increasing the diversity of the DAEM activation energies appears to increase the mean tar yield, all else being equal. As a result, these findings imply that accurate resolution of the reaction activation energy distributions will be important for optimizing biomass pyrolysis processes.« less
  • Cited by 11
  • A review of dual-fluidized bed pyrolysis of biomass into synfuel (MeOH). The benefits of providing small nodular units to produce synfuel from biomass are discussed. (Refs. 9).
  • The results of continuing research on the radiant flash pyrolysis of biomass as a source of fluid fuels, industrial feedstocks, and chemicals are described. Bench-scale sources of intense, visible radiant energy were used to simulate the concentrated solar flux available at the focus of solar towers. Windowed transport reactors were developed, which act as cavity receivers for the focused radiant energy and provide a means for direct use of the radiation to rapidly pyrolyze the entering biomass. Detailed result of both bench scale experiments and experiments using the Georgia Tech 400 kW (thermal) solar furnace are presented. These results suggestmore » the use of concentrated radiant energy as a selective means for the production of either a hydrocarbon-rich synthesis gas or sugar related syrups from biomass by flash pyrolysis. Sawdust, ground corncobs, and powdered microcrystal cellulose were the biomass feedstocks in this work.« less
  • Pyrolysis and gasification of two biomass feedstocks with significantly different fuel-bound nitrogen (FBN) content were investigated to determine the effect of operating conditions on the partitioning of FBN among gas species. Experiments were performed in a bench-scale, indirectly-heated, fluidized bed reactor. Data were obtained over a range of temperatures and equivalence ratios representative of commercial biomass gasification processes. An assay of all major nitrogenous components of the gasification products was performed for the first time, providing a clear accounting of the evolution of FBN. Results indicate that: (1) NH{sub 3} is the dominant nitrogenous gas species produced during pyrolysis ofmore » biomass; (2) the majority of FBN is converted to NH{sub 3} or N{sub 2} during gasification; relative levels of NH{sub 3} and N{sub 2} are determined by thermochemical reactions which are affected strongly by temperature; (3) N{sub 2} appears to be produced from NH{sub 3} in the gas phase.« less