466364 Characterization of Free Radicals By Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy in Biochars from Pyrolysis at High Heating Rates and at High Temperatures

Tuesday, November 15, 2016: 2:10 PM
Lombard (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Anna Trubetskaya, Energy Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden, Mogens Larsen Andresen, Department of Food Science, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark and Søren Talbro Barsberg, Forest, Nature and Biomass, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Understanding fast pyrolysis of biomass-derived materials is an important step in optimization of combustion processes. Similar to coal combustion, the fuel burn out is known to be influenced by the yield and reactivity of chars, produced during pyrolysis. The rapid heating of small biomass particles and the short residence time at high temperatures minimize the char yield and increase char reactivity. The differences in chemical composition of organic and inorganic matter between wood and herbaceous biomass affect the operational flexibility of power plants, and increase the complexity of mathematical models that can predict yields, composition and rates of product (char, tar, light gases) formation from fast pyrolysis. The modeling of cross-linking and polymerization reactions in biomass pyrolysis includes the formation of free radicals and their disappearance. Knowledge about these radical reactions is important in order to achieve the high fuel conversion at short residence times. However, little is known about the extent of free radical reactions in pulverized biomass at fast pyrolysis conditions.

The concentration and type of free radicals from the decay (termination stage) of pyrolysis at slow and fast heating rates and at high temperatures (above 1000°C) in biomass char have been studied. A room-temperature electron spin resonance spectroscopy study was conducted on original wood, herbaceous biomass, holocelluloses, lignin and their chars, prepared at high temperatures in a wire mesh reactor, an entrained-flow reactor, and a tubular reactor. The radical concentrations in the chars from the decay stage range up between 7x1018 and 1.5x1019 spins g-1.

The results indicated that any differences in the biomass major constituents (cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin) had a minor effect on remaining radical concentrations compared to potassium and silica contents. The higher radical concentrations in the wheat straw chars from the decay stage of pyrolysis in the entrained flow reactor compared to the wood chars were related to the decreased mobility of potassium in the char matrix, leading to the less efficient catalytic effects of potassium on the bond-breaking and radical re-attachments. The high Si levels in the rice husk caused an increase in the char radical concentration compared to the wheat straw because the free radicals were trapped in a char consisting of a molten amorphous silica at heating rates of 103°C s-1. The experimental electron spin resonance spectroscopy spectra were analyzed by fitting to simulated data in order to identify radical types, based on g-values and line widths. The results show that at high temperatures, mostly aliphatic radicals (g = 2.0026-2.0028) and PAH radicals (g = 2.0027-2.0031) were formed. Free radicals structure from the termination stage was modelled by density functional theory (DTF).

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See more of this Session: Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass I
See more of this Group/Topical: 2016 International Congress on Energy