Centre for Sustainable Engineering

Resolving the biomass pyrolysis kinetics via combined synchrotron-based measurements and modelling analysis School of Engineering and Materials Science, QMUL Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT

Principal investigator:Roberto VOLPE
Funding source(s):Royal Society
 Start: 11-03-2022  /  End: 10-03-2024
 Amount: £12000
Research Centre:
Pyrolysis provides a facile route for the conversion of solid biofuels to renewable solid, liquid or gaseous fuels and chemicals. Pyrolysed solid particles (biochars) are proposed for environmental applications such as water or soil remediation, energy or gas storage; liquid biofuels and bio-syngas may be used for the production of sustainable fuels and chemicals. However, consistent quality of the final products is still a goal to be achieved at industrial level.
Much of the technological challenges facing pyrolysis of biomass, relate to the current lack of fundamental knowledge of the process. Owing to the complex morphological and chemical transformations that occur in biomass particles during their thermochemical decomposition, despite decades of research, the kinetics of biomass pyrolysis have not yet been fully resolved. Numerous research groups have attempted to resolve pyrolysis kinetics via either experimental or modelling routes, yet an organized effort to combine experiments and modelling in a systematic way has never been attempted in the community.

By leveraging the development of novel synchrotron X-ray imaging experiments developed by Dr Volpe’s group in the UK and the morphology-sensitive models developed by Prof Ghoniem’s group in the US, this project aims at bridging the gap between modelling and experiments of biomass pyrolysis to resolve the kinetics of biomass pyrolysis and contribute to the development of highlydesirable environmental technologies.