Investigation of Biomass Char Gasification Kinetic Parameters Using a Novel Miniaturized Educational System

Jacqueline K. Gartner, Manuel Garcia-Perez, Barnard J. Van Wie


A novel miniaturized, transparent reactor system for use as either a research or educational tool was developed for investigating biomass char gasification with oxygen to determine the kinetic parameters. Parametric temperature and pressure data taken can be used to distinguish the validity of assumptions inherent in the Avrami, the random pore (RPM), the unreacted core shrinking (UCSM), and a UCSM hybrid models (HM). The results demonstrate the UCSM for spherical and cylindrical geometries, and an HM variation with a best-fit exponent, that yields residual sums of squares 2 to 4 orders of magnitude lower than other models. An Arrhenius evaluation yielded an activation energy of 84.8 kJ/mol and pre-exponential factor of 1.34  103 s-1. An O2 reaction order of 0.85 indicates O2 adsorption on the char surface is the primary rate-controlling step. Data are consistent with a rapidly decreasing surface area as the reaction nears completion, suggesting available corresponding active sites for rapid chemisorption decrease as the reaction progresses. More importantly, the design of the system is safe to take into the classroom while simultaneously allowing students to view real-time reactions and produce repeatable data; this pushes the bounds on classroom interventions and learning.


Gasification; Biomass conversion kinetics; Unreacted core shrinking model; Hybrid model; Educational system; Biochar

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