Thermal and kinetic analysis of diverse biomass fuels under different reaction environment: A way forward to renewable energy sources

Farooq Sher*, Sania Z. Iqbal, Hao Liu, Muhammad Imran, Colin E. Snape

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigates the thermal and kinetic analysis of six diverse biomass fuels, in order to provide valuable information for power and energy generation. Pyrolytic, combustion and kinetic analyses of barley straw, miscanthus, waste wood, wheat straw, short rotation coppicing (SRC) willow and wood pellet were examined by non-isothermal thermogravimetry analyser (TGA), differential thermogravimetric (DTG) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) techniques. Biomass fuels were thermally degraded under N2, air, CO2 and the selected oxy-fuel (30% O2/70% CO2) reaction environments. The thermal degradation under inert N2 and CO2 atmospheres showed an almost identical rate of weight loss (R), reactivity (RM × 103) and activation energy (Ea) profiles. Similar profiles for R, RM and Ea were observed for the environments under air (21% O2/79% N2) and the oxy-fuel combustion. Results indicated that the thermal decomposition rate for biomass fuels in an oxidising condition was faster than in an inert atmosphere, favourable effect on thermal degradation of biomass fuels was observed when oxygen content increased from 21 to 30%. Higher activation energies with lower reactivity were observed for the biomass fuels that have low cellulosic contents as compared to the other fuels. Regression analysis confirmed that the reaction order 0.5 modelled fitted well for all biomass samples. All these findings will provide valuable information and promote the advancement of future researches in this field.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112266
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Early online date20 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2019, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • Activation energy
  • Biomass
  • Heat flow kinetics and Carbon emissions
  • Oxy-fuel combustion
  • Renewable energy


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