Development of a semi-empirical model for pyrolysis of an annular sawdust bed

M. R. Ravi, Anurag Jhalani, Sanjiv Sinha, Anjan Ray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A model for simulating pyrolysis of sawdust in a packed bed of annular shape has been developed. Heat transfer is assumed to be purely due to conduction, and chemical reaction of pyrolysis has been approximated to a pseudo-first order reaction. The reaction rate constant has been obtained as a function of temperature for the species of sawdust used in the present work using thermogravimetric analysis, and its variation with heating rate has been accounted for. Thermal conductivity of the packed bed of sawdust has been estimated experimentally by temperature measurement in the sawdust bed. The sawdust bed was pyrolysed using an electric heater in contact with the inner surface of the annulus as the source of energy. Using the history of temperature profiles measured on the heater wall at various points of time, a simulation of the experiment has been carried out. The predicted mass loss history compares reasonably well with the measured one. A sensitivity analysis using the model suggests that the predictions may be improved by considering the flow of volatiles in the void space of char bed, and by accounting for secondary pyrolysis due to residence of volatiles in the bed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-374
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • First-order kinetics
  • Modelling
  • Porous medium
  • Pyrolysis
  • Sawdust bed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Fuel Technology


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