Black Liquor, Biomass, Pyrolysis, Tar, Ligh Gas, CPD Model


A generalized model for describing the pyrolysis behavior of low-grade fuels is being developed for incorporation into larger combustion simulation models. Light gas and tar yields from black liquor or biomass pyrolysis can be predicted using the chemical percolation devolatilization (CPD) model originally developed for coal. The initial approach is to measure the average chemical structures in a black liquor sample using 13C NMR spectroscopy. These chemical structures are then used in pyrolysis model predictions. With few changes from the coal-derived kinetic parameters, the model describes the organic pyrolysis behavior of black liquor samples obtained in a nitrogen-purged furnace. It is hoped that future black liquor models can be divided into five major components (hemicellulose, cellulose, lignin, Kraft lignin, and carboxylic acids) which would permit engineering predictions of many forms of biomass. This paper discusses chemical structure and kinetic parameters used to model pyrolysis behavior of black liquor, lignin, cellulose, and hemicellulose.

Original Publication Citation

Fletcher, T. H., H. R. Pond, J. Webster, and L. L. Baxter, “Prediction of Tar and Light Gas during Pyrolysis of Black Liquor and Biomass,” Energy & Fuels, 26, 3381-3387 (2012). doi 10.1021/ef300574n

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



American Chemical Society




Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering


Chemical Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor