Investigating the Reaction Kinetics of Tropical Wood Biomass : A Prospect for Energy Recovery

University dissertation from Borås : Högskolan i Borås

Abstract: The utilization of wood biomass for energy recovery purposes is a phenomenon that is increasingly attracting attentions from researchers, companies and countries all over the world. The effect of climate change as largely represented by global warming leading to glacier ice melting and an unprecedented rise in sea level is a worrisome development. One of the causal agents of this scenario is the increase in world’s greenhouse gas emission. A sure method of approach to ending the problem is to drastically reduce the emission level to the barest minimum, or to zero level if possible. Wood biomass conversion via thermal treatment is an activity capable of reducing the emission possibility as the CO2 released during the conversion is effectively taken care of. Another benefit derivable from the conversion is taking care of what otherwise would have been termed a waste and treated as such. The envisaged use of wood resource to solve the lingering power problem in Nigeria is an effort in the right direction.The thesis highlights the conversion processes, as well as the reaction kinetics involved. Reaction parameters such as temperature, heating rate, partial pressure, and flow rate were investigated for the purpose of identifying their effect on the conversion processes. The typical kinetic parameters obtained during the conversion processes would be of high importance in the design and configuration of reactors meant for the optimum conversion of wood waste biomass as a valuable resource. With the non-tropical wood biomass already deployed for energy conversion in the developed countries, the similarity in the trend as regards conversion reactions (char formation andconversions, kinetic parameters) compared to the tropical counterpart is a welcome development. This suggests the candidacy of non-tropical wood biomass for energy recovery purposes as a viable one.

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