Influence of heterogeneous secondary reactions during slow pyrolysis on char oxidation reactivity of woody biomass

Andres Anca-Couce, Alba Dieguez-Alonso*, N Zobel, A Berger, Norbert Kienzl, F Behrendt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The influence of heterogeneous secondary reactions on char oxidation reactivity, which can take place during slow pyrolysis processes in a woody biomass particle, is analyzed in this study. To this end, the oxidative behavior of primary char produced in a thermobalance with initial wood masses of a few milligrams is compared to the behavior of char produced under conditions enhancing secondary reactions, i.e., large particle and bed sizes in fixed-bed reactors. The influence of the maximum conversion temperature, heating rate, and catalytic effect of inorganics is also studied to compare the effect of each parameter. Results show that a significant reduction in reactivity takes place when char is produced under conditions enhancing these secondary reactions during pyrolysis. The effect is of similar order as the effect as a result of thermal annealing at 900 °C or the catalytic effect of alkali and alkaline earth metals. Therefore, the presence of heterogeneous secondary reactions during pyrolysis should be taken into account in studies addressing biomass char reactivity. Furthermore, it is shown that the reduction of reactivity as a result of secondary reactions is related to neither the loss of oxygen-containing functional groups nor the potential blocking of pores, specially micropores, resulting from the formation of this secondary char. The explanation may, therefore, lie on the deactivation or blocking of active sites by the secondary char.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2335–2344
JournalEnergy & Fuels
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of heterogeneous secondary reactions during slow pyrolysis on char oxidation reactivity of woody biomass'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this