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

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-80228-x DOI Help

Authors: Meredith Rose Barr (Queen Mary University of London) , Rhodri Jervis (University College London) , Yeshui Zhang (University College London (UCL)) , Andrew J. Bodey (Diamond Light Source) , Christoph Rau (Diamond Light Source) , Paul R. Shearing (University College London) , Dan J. L. Brett (University College London) , Maria-Magdalena Titirici (Imperial College London) , Roberto Volpe (Queen Mary University of London)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Scientific Reports , VOL 11

State: Published (Approved)
Published: January 2021
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 21587

Open Access Open Access

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.

Journal Keywords: Chemical engineering; Porous materials

Subject Areas: Biology and Bio-materials, Chemistry

Instruments: I13-2-Diamond Manchester Imaging


Discipline Tags:

Chemical Engineering Chemistry Desertification & Pollution Earth Sciences & Environment Engineering & Technology

Technical Tags:

Imaging Tomography