Kinetic study on thermal decomposition of woods in oxidative environment

D.K. Shen, S. Gua, K.H. Luo, Anthony V. Bridgwater, M.X. Fang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this work is to gain knowledge on kinetics of biomass decomposition under oxidative atmospheres, mainly examining effect of heating rate on different biomass species. Two sets of experiments are carried out: the first set of experiments is thermal decomposition of four different wood particles, namely aspens, birch, oak and pine under an oxidative atmosphere and analysis with TGA; and the second set is to use large size samples of wood under different heat fluxes in a purpose-built furnace, where the temperature distribution, mass loss and ignition characteristics are recorded and analyzed by a data post-processing system. The experimental data is then used to develop a two-step reactions kinetic scheme with low and high temperature regions while the activation energy for the reactions of the species under different heating rates is calculated. It is found that the activation energy of the second stage reaction for the species with similar constituent fractions tends to converge to a similar value under the high heating rate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1024-1030
Number of pages7
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


  • thermal decomposition
  • biomass
  • hemi-cellulose
  • cellulose
  • kinetics
  • bioenergy
  • chemical engineering


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