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Research Papers

Fast Pyrolysis of Biomass Pellets Using Concentrated Solar Radiation: A Numerical Study

[+] Author and Article Information
Saeed Danaei Kenarsari

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Wyoming,
1000 E. University Avenue,
Laramie, WY 82071
e-mail: sdanaeik@uwyo.edu

Yuan Zheng

Mem. ASME
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Wyoming,
1000 E. University Avenue,
Laramie, WY 82071
e-mail: Yzheng1@uwyo.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING. Manuscript received October 10, 2013; final manuscript received March 6, 2014; published online May 13, 2014. Editor: Gilles Flamant.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 136(4), 041004 (May 13, 2014) (7 pages) Paper No: SOL-13-1305; doi: 10.1115/1.4027266 History: Received October 10, 2013; Revised March 06, 2014

Since the 1990s, mountain pine beetles have infested mature pine trees in the forests of western North America. Fast pyrolysis is an encouraging method to convert the beetle killed pine trees into bio-oils. In this study, an unsteady-state mathematical model is developed to simulate fast pyrolysis under concentrated solar radiation. Conservation equations of total mass, species, and energy, coupled with the chemical kinetics model, have been developed and solved to simulate fast pyrolysis of cylindrical biomass pellets in a quartz reactor exposed to various radiant heating fluxes. This study demonstrates the importance of the secondary reactions on fast pyrolysis products.

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Figures

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Fig. 2

Biomass pellet under concentrated solar radiation

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Fig. 1

Modified Broido–Shafizadeh mechanism

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Fig. 8

Comparison of present simulation results (oak) with experimental data of char mass as a function of the pyrolysis time for heat flux of (a) 0.3 MW m−2 and (b) 0.8 MW m−2

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Fig. 9

Maximum bio-oil yields for various biomass feedstock

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Fig. 6

Comparison of present simulation results (oak) with experimental data of gases mass as a function of the pyrolysis time for heat flux of (a) 0.3 MW m−2 and (b) 0.8 MW m−2

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Fig. 7

Comparison of present simulation results (oak) with experimental data of vapors mass as a function of the pyrolysis time for heat flux of (a) 0.3 MW m−2 and (b) 0.8 MW m−2

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Fig. 3

Temperature distribution across the biomass pellet at 5 s for heat flux of 0.8 MW m−2

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Fig. 4

Pellet average temperature as a function of time for heat fluxes of 0.3 and 0.8 MW m−2

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Fig. 5

Comparison of present simulation results (oak) with experimental data of mass losses as a function of the pyrolysis time for heat flux of (a) 0.3 MW m−2 and (b) 0.8 MW m−2

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