Pryolytic and kinetic study of Chlorella Vulgaris under isothermal and non-isothermal conditions


Algae are a new potential biomass for energy production but there is limited information on their pyrolysis and kinetics. The main aim of this thesis is to investigate the pyrolytic behaviour and kinetics of Chlorella vulgaris, a green microalga. Under pyrolysis conditions, these microalgae show their comparable capabilities to terrestrial biomass for energy and chemicals production. Also, the evidence from a preliminary pyrolysis by the intermediate pilot-scale reactor supports the applicability of these microalgae in the existing pyrolysis reactor. Thermal decomposition of Chlorella vulgaris occurs in a wide range of temperature (200-550°C) with multi-step reactions. To evaluate the kinetic parameters of their pyrolysis process, two approaches which are isothermal and non-isothermal experiments are applied in this work. New developed Pyrolysis-Mass Spectrometry (Py-MS) technique has the potential for isothermal measurements with a short run time and small sample size requirement. The equipment and procedure are assessed by the kinetic evaluation of thermal decomposition of polyethylene and lignocellulosic derived materials (cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin). In the case of non-isothermal experiment, Thermogravimetry- Mass Spectrometry (TG-MS) technique is used in this work. Evolved gas analysis provides the information on the evolution of volatiles and these data lead to a multi-component model. Triplet kinetic values (apparent activation energy, pre-exponential factor, and apparent reaction order) from isothermal experiment are 57 (kJ/mol), 5.32 (logA, min-1), 1.21-1.45; 9 (kJ/mol), 1.75 (logA, min-1), 1.45 and 40 (kJ/mol), 3.88 (logA, min-1), 1.45- 1.15 for low, middle and high temperature region, respectively. The kinetic parameters from non-isothermal experiment are varied depending on the different fractions in algal biomass when the range of apparent activation energies are 73-207 (kJ/mol); pre-exponential factor are 5-16 (logA, min-1); and apparent reaction orders are 1.32–2.00. The kinetic procedures reported in this thesis are able to be applied to other kinds of biomass and algae for future works.

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Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering > Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
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Institution: Aston University
Uncontrolled Keywords: kinetics,microalgae,pyrolysis,pyrolysis-mass spectrometry (Py-MS),thermogravimetry-mass spectrometry (TG-MS),chlorella vulgaris
Completed Date: 2013-01-10
Authors: Phusunti, Neeranuch


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