Visualization of biomass pyrolysis and temperature imaging in a heated-grid reactor

M.J. Prins, J. Lindén, Z.S. Li, R.J.M. Bastiaans, J.A. Oijen, van, L.P.H. Goey, de, L.E.M. Aldén

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The main advantage of a heated-grid reactor for studying pyrolysis kinetics of solid fuel samples is that high heating rates of up to 1000 K/s can be obtained. However, one of the concerns is whether the temperature distribution over the grid material is uniform and whether the presence of a thermocouple welded to the grid causes any measurement errors. Biomass samples were placed on the heated-grid reactor, and the volatiles, emitted in the biomass pyrolysis process as hot gas plumes, were imaged with an infrared camera with a high framing speed. The temporal resolved infrared images indicate that the pyrolysis process does not take place at the same rate everywhere on the grid. Two-dimensional temperature images of a heated grid made of stainless steel were recorded using the method of laser-induced thermometry with thermographic phosphors. As expected from a heat-transfer model, measured temperatures were found to be significantly higher than temperatures indicated by a thermocouple welded to the bottom of the grid. It was also observed that there is a large temperature gradient between the two electrodes on which the grid is connected. It is shown that replacing a wire mesh by a foil as a grid material may lead to more homogeneous temperature distribution. The paper recommends additional research to demonstrate the suitability of the heated-grid reactor for carrying out accurate measurements. © 2009 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)993-1006
JournalEnergy & Fuels
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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