Simulating Biomass Fast Pyrolysis at the Single Particle Scale
Simulating fast pyrolysis at the scale of single particles allows for the investigation of the impacts of feedstock-specific parameters such as particle size, shape, and species of origin. For this reason particle-scale modeling has emerged as an important tool for understanding how variations in feedstock properties affect the outcomes of pyrolysis processes. The origins of feedstock properties are largely dictated by the composition and hierarchical structure of biomass, from the microstructural porosity to the external morphology of milled particles. These properties may be accounted for in simulations of fast pyrolysis by several different computational approaches depending on the level of structural and chemical complexity included in the model. The predictive utility of particle-scale simulations of fast pyrolysis can still be enhanced substantially by advancements in several areas. Most notably, considerable progress would be facilitated by the development of pyrolysis kinetic schemes that are decoupled from transport phenomena, predict product evolution from whole-biomass with increased chemical speciation, and are still tractable with present-day computational resources.