Low-Order Modeling of Internal Heat Transfer in Biomass Particle Pyrolysis

Peter Ciesielski, Gavin Wiggins, C. Daw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus Citations


We present a computationally efficient, one-dimensional simulation methodology for biomass particle heating under conditions typical of fast pyrolysis. Our methodology is based on identifying the rate limiting geometric and structural factors for conductive heat transport in biomass particle models with realistic morphology to develop low-order approximations that behave appropriately. Comparisons of transient temperature trends predicted by our one-dimensional method with three-dimensional simulations of woody biomass particles reveal good agreement, if the appropriate equivalent spherical diameter and bulk thermal properties are used. We conclude that, for particle sizes and heating regimes typical of fast pyrolysis, it is possible to simulate biomass particle heating with reasonable accuracy and minimal computational overhead, even when variable size, aspherical shape, anisotropic conductivity, and complex, species-specific internal pore geometry are incorporated.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)4960-4969
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Issue number6
StatePublished - 16 Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2700-66823


  • biomass
  • fast pyrolysis
  • simulation


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