Analysis of heat transfer in the pyrolysis of differently shaped biomass particles subjected to different boundary conditions: integral transform methods

Document Type: Full Lenght Research Article

Authors

University of Lagos

Abstract

The conversion and utilization of biomass as an alternative source of energy have been subjects of interest in various countries, but technical barriers to the technology and design of conversion plants have considerably impeded the development and use of alternative power sources. Theoretical studies on the conversion process enhance our understanding of the thermochemical conversion of solid fuels. Carrying out such research necessitates the development of thermal and kinetic models of pyrolysis, on which the conversion process integrally depends. Another requirement is to analytically solve the aforementioned models to derive valuable insight into the actual process of biomass conversion. Accordingly, this study used Laplace and Hankel transforms to obtain analytical solutions to heat transfer models of rectangular, cylindrical, and spherical biomass particles. Pyrolysis kinetic models were also analytically solved using the Laplace transform. The study then investigated the effects of particle shape, particle size, isothermal and non-isothermal heating conditions, and convective and radiative heat transfer (calculated using a modified Biot number) on the pyrolysis of a biomass particle. This work is expected to substantially contribute to the design of pyrolysis reactors/units and the optimal design of biomass gasifiers.

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