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Application and Development of Pyrolysis Technology

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "A4: Bio-Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 March 2022) | Viewed by 14276

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Centre of Energy, AGH University of Science and Technology, Czarnowiejska 36, 30-054 Krakow, Poland
Interests: energy; biomass and coal pyrolysis; gasification; kinetics; waste pyrolysis
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Guest Editor
Faculty of Energy and Fuels, AGH University of Science and Technology, Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Krakow, Poland
Interests: combustion; adsorption chillers; desalination; cooling production; CFB boilers; oxy-fuel combustion; CLC; biomass; modeling
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Pyrolysis is commonly used to convert organic materials into a solid residue called char or coke, liquid products named tar, and a gas containing a number of volatile species. Pyrolysis depending on application is sometimes called carbonization, coking or thermal cracking. By definition it is a process in which involving heat leads to the thermal decomposition of organic solids in some cases in the presence of catalysis. Applied at mild conditions, it is called torrefaction.

Traditionally, pyrolysis has been applied to coal and biomass. However it is a process, which is also used for degradation of plastics, oils, waste materials as tires and solid recovery fuels. It can be also applied for methane thermal decomposition into hydrogen and carbon nanostructures.

Pyrolysis by nature is a preliminary reaction in the processes of gasification and combustion. It can be conducted in fixed, fluidized and entrained bed reactors. Considering that the heating rate can be classified as a slow or fast pyrolysis, in respect to the process’s final temperature, one can distinguish whether it is a low or high temperature process. It can also be the plasma-assisted process, which is used for hazardous materials.

Taking this into consideration, it is expected that the submissions will focus on the following subjects:

  • Pyrolysis chemistry and kinetics
  • Pyrolysis processes and products
  • Large scale applications
  • Economy and environmental issues

The main objective of this Special Issue seeks to contribute to the pyrolysis process reaction and process agenda through enhancing scientific and multi-disciplinary knowledge of this topic. We therefore invite papers on innovative laboratory and industrial research, technical developments, reviews, case studies, analytical works relevant to the knowledge development in research area.

We invite all of you interested in pyrolysis application to deliver up-to-date knowledge for a better understanding of organic matter thermal decomposition, including renewable and fossil origin. 

Prof. Dr. Marek Sciazko
Prof. Dr. Wojciech Nowak
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • pyrolysis process
  • pyrolysis kinetics
  • biomass pyrolysis
  • coal pyrolysis
  • plasma pyrolysis
  • torrefaction
  • bio-oil

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 2609 KiB  
Article
The Release and Reduction of Mercury from Solid Fuels through Thermal Treatment Prior to Combustion
by Edyta Misztal, Tomasz Chmielniak, Izabela Mazur and Marcin Sajdak
Energies 2022, 15(21), 7987; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15217987 - 27 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1001
Abstract
The main source of mercury (Hg) anthropogenic emissions is the combustion of hard and lignite coal in power plants. Reduction of Hg emissions from coal-based power production systems involves Hg removal from the fuel before combustion/gasification by thermal treatment (i.e., low-temperature pyrolysis). Herein, [...] Read more.
The main source of mercury (Hg) anthropogenic emissions is the combustion of hard and lignite coal in power plants. Reduction of Hg emissions from coal-based power production systems involves Hg removal from the fuel before combustion/gasification by thermal treatment (i.e., low-temperature pyrolysis). Herein, we present the results of laboratory and bench-scale studies on Hg removal from coal via thermal fuel treatment. The influence of the process temperature and coal residence time in the reaction zone on Hg removal efficiency and fuel parameters is studied. The properties of the process products are analyzed as follows: proximate and ultimate analysis for solids as well as H2, N2, CO, CO2, CH4, organic compounds C2–C5, density, and HHV for gaseous. The results show a substantial reduction of Hg in the fuel using a low-temperature pyrolysis process. At moderate pyrolysis temperature provided Hg removal efficiencies of up to 50% for hard coal and over 90% for lignite, with a moderate decrease in the chemical enthalpy of the fuel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application and Development of Pyrolysis Technology)
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14 pages, 61127 KiB  
Article
A Developed Plasmatron Design to Enhance Production of Hydrogen in Synthesis Gas Produced by a Fuel Reformer System
by Ahmed A. Alharbi, Naif B. Alqahtani, Abdullah M. Alkhedhair, Abdullah J. Alabduly, Ahmad A. Almaleki, Mustafa H. Almadih, Miqad S. Albishi and Abdullah A. Almayeef
Energies 2022, 15(3), 1071; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15031071 - 31 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2422
Abstract
Feeding IC engines with hydrogen-rich syngas as an admixture to hydrocarbon fuels can decrease pollutant emissions, particularly NOx. It offers a potential technique for low-environmental impact hydrocarbon fuel use in automotive applications. However, hydrogen-rich reformate gas (syngas) production via fuel reforming still needs [...] Read more.
Feeding IC engines with hydrogen-rich syngas as an admixture to hydrocarbon fuels can decrease pollutant emissions, particularly NOx. It offers a potential technique for low-environmental impact hydrocarbon fuel use in automotive applications. However, hydrogen-rich reformate gas (syngas) production via fuel reforming still needs more research and optimization. In this paper, we describe the effect of a plasma torch assembly design on syngas yield and composition during plasma-assisted reforming of gasoline. Additionally, erosion resistance of the cathode-emitting material under the conditions of gasoline reforming was studied, using hafnium metal and lanthanated tungsten alloy. The gasoline reforming was performed with a noncatalytic, nonthermal, low-current plasma system in the conditions of partial oxidation in an air and steam mixture. To find the most efficient plasma torch assembly configuration in terms of hydrogen production yield, four types of anode design were tested, i.e., two types of the swirl ring, and two cathode materials while varying the inlet air and fuel flow rates. The experimental results showed that hydrogen was the highest proportion of the produced syngas. The smooth funnel shape anode design in Ring 1 at air/fuel flow rates of 24/4, 27/4.5, and 30/5 g/min, respectively, was more effective than the edged funnel shape. Lanthanated tungsten alloy displayed higher erosion resistance than hafnium metal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application and Development of Pyrolysis Technology)
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11 pages, 5362 KiB  
Article
Plasma Technology for Phosphogypsum Treatment
by Imed Ghiloufi, Miqad S. Albishi, Ahmed A. Alharbi and Ibrahim A. AlShunaifi
Energies 2021, 14(18), 5813; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14185813 - 14 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2038
Abstract
The phosphate industry generates a large amount of waste called phosphogypsum (PG). Generally, this waste is discharged without any treatment, and it causes considerable environmental problems. Hence, the objective of this study is the treatment of phosphate waste using thermal plasma technology. First, [...] Read more.
The phosphate industry generates a large amount of waste called phosphogypsum (PG). Generally, this waste is discharged without any treatment, and it causes considerable environmental problems. Hence, the objective of this study is the treatment of phosphate waste using thermal plasma technology. First, the waste is characterized using different techniques, such as X-ray fluorescence (XRF), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), and inductively coupled plasma (ICP). Such characterization shows that the waste contains different toxic elements, such as heavy metals, fluorine, chlorine, sulfur, and phosphorus. For this reason, a plasma reactor is used to separate toxic elements from metals, such as silicon, aluminum, and magnesium, with a pyrolysis/combustion plasma system. In this work, the influence of different parameters, such as time of treatment and plasma current, on the volatility of toxic elements is studied. The obtained results show that after 40 min of treatment and at a plasma current of 160 A, the phosphogypsum completely melts, and the most toxic elements, namely Pb, Cd, V, Cr, and As, are completely vaporized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application and Development of Pyrolysis Technology)
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12 pages, 2502 KiB  
Article
Application of a New Statistical Model for the Description of Solid Fuel Decomposition in the Analysis of Artemisia apiacea Pyrolysis
by Tianbao Gu, Torsten Berning and Chungen Yin
Energies 2021, 14(18), 5789; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14185789 - 14 Sep 2021
Viewed by 1016
Abstract
Pyrolysis, one of the key thermochemical conversion technologies, is very promising to obtain char, oil and combustible gases from solid fuels. Kinetic modeling is a crucial method for the prediction of the solid conversion rate and analysis of the pyrolysis process. We recently [...] Read more.
Pyrolysis, one of the key thermochemical conversion technologies, is very promising to obtain char, oil and combustible gases from solid fuels. Kinetic modeling is a crucial method for the prediction of the solid conversion rate and analysis of the pyrolysis process. We recently developed a new statistical model for the universal description of solid fuel decomposition, which shows great potential in studying solid fuel pyrolysis. This paper demonstrates three essential applications of this new model in the analysis of Artemisia apiacea pyrolysis, i.e., identification of the conversion rate peak position, determination of the reaction mechanism, and evaluation of the kinetics. The results of the first application show a very good agreement with the experimental data. From the second application, the 3D diffusion-Jander reaction model is considered as the most suitable reaction mechanism for the description of Artemisia stem pyrolysis. The third application evaluates the kinetics of Artemisia stem pyrolysis. The evaluated kinetics vary with the conversion degree and heating rates, in which the activation energies and pre-exponential factors (i.e., lnA vs. Ea) show a linear relationship, regardless of the conversion and heating rates. Moreover, the prediction of the conversion rate using the obtained kinetics shows an excellent fit with the experimental data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application and Development of Pyrolysis Technology)
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19 pages, 18304 KiB  
Article
Influence of Torrefaction Temperature and Climatic Chamber Operation Time on Hydrophobic Properties of Agri-Food Biomass Investigated Using the EMC Method
by Arkadiusz Dyjakon, Tomasz Noszczyk, Łukasz Sobol and Dominika Misiakiewicz
Energies 2021, 14(17), 5299; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14175299 - 26 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1667
Abstract
Due to the tendency for excessive moisture adsorption by raw, unprocessed biomass, various methods of biomass valorization are in use, allowing for the improvement of physical–chemical biomass properties, including hydrophobicity. One of the methods is torrefaction, which changes the hydrophilic properties of the [...] Read more.
Due to the tendency for excessive moisture adsorption by raw, unprocessed biomass, various methods of biomass valorization are in use, allowing for the improvement of physical–chemical biomass properties, including hydrophobicity. One of the methods is torrefaction, which changes the hydrophilic properties of the biomass to hydrophobic. Therefore, in this study, the influence of the torrefaction temperature and the exposure time to moisture adsorption conditions on the hydrophobic properties of waste biomass from the agri-food industry (lemon peel, mandarin peel, grapefruit peel, and butternut-squash peel) were analyzed. The torrefaction was carried out at the following temperatures: 200, 220, 240, 260, 280, 300, and 320 °C. The hydrophobic properties were determined by using the EMC (Equilibrium Moisture Content) method, conducting an experiment in the climatic chamber at atmospheric pressure, a temperature of 25 °C, and relative humidity of 80%. The total residence time of the material in the climate chamber was 24 h. It was shown that the torrefaction process significantly improves the hydrophobic properties of waste biomass. Concerning dried raw (unprocessed) material, the EMC (24 h) coefficient was 0.202 ± 0.004 for lemon peels, 0.223 ± 0.001 for grapefruit peels, 0.237 ± 0.004 for mandarin peels, and 0.232 ± 0.004 for butternut squash, respectively. After the torrefaction process, the EMC value decreased by 24.14–56.96% in relation to the dried raw material, depending on the type of organic waste. However, no correlation between the improvement of hydrophobic properties and increasing the torrefaction temperature was observed. The lowest values of the EMC coefficient were determined for the temperatures of 260 °C (for lemon peel, EMC = 0.108 ± 0.001; for mandarin peel, EMC = 0.102 ± 0.001), 240 °C (for butternut-squash peel, EMC = 0.176 ± 0.002), and 220 °C (for grapefruit peel, EMC = 0.114 ± 0.008). The experiment also showed a significant logarithmic trend in the dependence of the EMC coefficient on the operating time of the climatic chamber. It suggests that there is a limit of water adsorption by the material and that a further increase of the exposure time does not change this balance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application and Development of Pyrolysis Technology)
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21 pages, 4929 KiB  
Article
Effect of Pyrolysis Reactions on Coal and Biomass Gasification Process
by Tomasz Chmielniak, Leszek Stepien, Marek Sciazko and Wojciech Nowak
Energies 2021, 14(16), 5091; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14165091 - 18 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2622
Abstract
Thermodynamic analysis of a gasification process was conducted assuming that it is composed of two successive stages, namely: pyrolysis reaction followed by a stage of gasification reaction. This approach allows formulation the models of selected gasification processes dominating in industrial applications namely: Shell [...] Read more.
Thermodynamic analysis of a gasification process was conducted assuming that it is composed of two successive stages, namely: pyrolysis reaction followed by a stage of gasification reaction. This approach allows formulation the models of selected gasification processes dominating in industrial applications namely: Shell (coal), SES (coal), and DFB (dual fluid bed, biomass) gasification. It was shown that the enthalpy of fuel formation is essential for the correctness of computed results. The specific computational formula for a wide range of fuels enthalpy of formation was developed. The following categories were evaluated in terms of energy balance: total reaction enthalpy of gasification process, enthalpy of pyrolysis reaction, enthalpy of gasification reaction, heat demand for pyrolysis reaction, and heat demand for gasification reactions. The discussion of heat demand for particular stages of gasification related to the various processes was performed concluding the importance of the pyrolysis stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application and Development of Pyrolysis Technology)
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18 pages, 1633 KiB  
Article
Effect of the Pyrolysis Process Applied to Waste Branches Biomass from Fruit Trees on the Calorific Value of the Biochar and Dust Explosivity
by Bogdan Saletnik, Marcin Bajcar, Aneta Saletnik, Grzegorz Zaguła and Czesław Puchalski
Energies 2021, 14(16), 4898; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14164898 - 11 Aug 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1913
Abstract
The article discusses the findings related to the calorific value as well as the explosion and combustion parameters of dust from the raw biomass of fruit trees, i.e., apple, cherry, and pear branches, and from biochars produced using this type of biomass during [...] Read more.
The article discusses the findings related to the calorific value as well as the explosion and combustion parameters of dust from the raw biomass of fruit trees, i.e., apple, cherry, and pear branches, and from biochars produced using this type of biomass during pyrolysis processes conducted under various conditions. The plant biomass was thermally processed at 400, 450, or 500 °C for a duration of 5, 10, or 15 min. The study aimed to identify the calorific value of the biomass obtained from waste produced in orchards and to estimate the explosion hazard during the processing of such materials and during the storage of the resulting solid fuels. Tests were conducted to assess the total contents of carbon, ash, nitrogen, hydrogen, and volatile substances as well as the calorific value. The findings show a significant effect of the thermal transformation of fruit tree branches on the calorific value of the biochars that were produced. It was found that the mean calorific value of all of the biochars was increased by 62.24% compared to the non-processed biomass. More specifically, the mean calorific values of the biochars produced from apple, cherry, and pear branches amounted to 27.90, 28.75, and 26.84 MJ kg−1, respectively. The maximum explosion pressure Pmax measured for the dust from the biomass and for the biochars was in the range 7.56–7.8 and 7.95–11.72 bar, respectively. The maximum rate of pressure rose over time (dp/dt)max in the case of the dust from the biomass, which was in the range of 274.77–284.97 bar s−1, and the dust from biochar amounted to 282.05–353.41 bar s−1. The explosion index Kst max measured for non-processed biomass and biochars was found to range from 74.46 to 77.23 and from 76.447 to 95.77 bar s−1, respectively. It was also shown that a change in the temperature and duration of the pyrolysis process affected the quality of the biochars that were obtained. The findings show that pyrolysis, as a method of plant biomass processing, positively affects the calorific value of the products and does not lead to an increased risk of explosion during the treatment and storage of such materials. It is necessary, however, to continue research on biomass processing in order to develop practices that adequately ensure safety during the production of novel fuels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application and Development of Pyrolysis Technology)
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