Evaluating the accuracy of the Distributed Activation Energy Model for biomass devolatilization curves obtained at high heating rates
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The characteristic parameters of devolatilization, the activation energy and the frequency factor, can be obtained following different experimental approaches. In the Distributed Activation Energy Model (DAEM), these parameters are derived from several TGA curves that are typically obtained for constant, low heating rate experiments. Then, the results are used to model high heating rate processes typical of industrial combustors. In this work, a wide range of heating rates were employed to obtain different TGA curves of the biomass pyrolysis, in order to analyse the validity of DAEM when extrapolating the kinetic parameters obtained for low heating rate curves used in the laboratory to higher heating rates present in industrial applications. The TGA curves of the biomass pyrolysis employed in DAEM were varied from low heating rates (around 10 K/min, values typically found in the literature on DAEM), to high heating rates (up to 200 K/min). The differences in the activation energy and the frequency factor obtained for different heating rates, were evaluated and the validity of the model was discussed. The results show differences between the activation energy and the frequency factor obtained using low and high heating rates during the TGA tests. Therefore, if an accurate approximation is required when extrapolating the data to high heating rates, the tests should be carried out at high heating rates.