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Towards a mechanistic understanding of particle shrinkage during biomass pyrolysis via synchrotron X-ray microtomography and in-situ radiography

Barr, MR; Jervis, R; Zhang, Y; Bodey, AJ; Rau, C; Shearing, PR; Brett, DJL; ... Volpe, R; + view all (2021) Towards a mechanistic understanding of particle shrinkage during biomass pyrolysis via synchrotron X-ray microtomography and in-situ radiography. Scientific Reports , 11 , Article 2656. 10.1038/s41598-020-80228-x. Green open access

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Abstract

Accurate modelling of particle shrinkage during biomass pyrolysis is key to the production of biochars with specific morphologies. Such biochars represent sustainable solutions to a variety of adsorption-dependent environmental remediation challenges. Modelling of particle shrinkage during biomass pyrolysis has heretofore been based solely on theory and ex-situ experimental data. Here we present the first in-situ phase-contrast X-ray imaging study of biomass pyrolysis. A novel reactor was developed to enable operando synchrotron radiography of fixed beds of pyrolysing biomass. Almond shell particles experienced more bulk shrinkage and less change in porosity than did walnut shell particles during pyrolysis, despite their similar composition. Alkaline pretreatment was found to reduce this difference in feedstock behaviour. Ex-situ synchrotron X-ray microtomography was performed to study the effects of pyrolysis on pore morphology. Pyrolysis led to a redistribution of pores away from particle surfaces, meaning newly formed surface area may be less accessible to adsorbates.

Type: Article
Title: Towards a mechanistic understanding of particle shrinkage during biomass pyrolysis via synchrotron X-ray microtomography and in-situ radiography
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-80228-x
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-80228-x
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Chemical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10121975
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