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Bioresour Technol. 2009 Dec;100(24):6496-504. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2009.06.095. Epub 2009 Jul 21.

The mechanism for thermal decomposition of cellulose and its main products.

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Energy Technology Research Group, School of Engineering Science, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom.

Erratum in

  • Bioresour Technol. 2010 Sep;101(17):6879.


Experiment is performed to investigate the mechanism of the cellulose pyrolysis and the formation of the main products. The evolution of the gaseous products is examined by the 3-D FTIR spectrogram at the heating rate of 5-60 K/min. A pyrolysis unit, composed of fluidized bed reactor, carbon filter, vapour condensing system and gas storage, is employed to investigate the products of the cellulose pyrolysis under different temperatures (430-730 degrees C) and residence time (0.44-1.32 s). The composition in the bio-oil is characterized by GC-MS while the gases sample is analyzed by GC. The effects of temperature and residence time on the main products in bio-oil (LG, 5-HMF, FF, HAA, HA and PA) are examined thoroughly. Furthermore the possible routes for the formation of the products are developed from the direct conversion of cellulose molecules and the secondary reactions of the fragments. It is found that the formation of CO is enhanced with elevated temperature and residence time, while slight change is observed for the yield of CO(2).

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