Pyrolysis is the procedure of decomposing organic elements chemically under specific conditions. The unique conditions are; absence of oxygen, presence of pressure, and high temperatures of more than 400 degrees Celsius. During the chemical process, the organic elements change their physical state as well as their chemical composition. In connection to that, not that the method of pyrolysis is irreversible, and it is done in a pyrolysis plant. Click here for information on one of the top pyrolysis plants in the industry.
There are four main types of pyrolytic reactions and below are their explanations and benefits.
1. Slow Pyrolysis
This type of pyrolytic reaction is categorized by lengthy solids and gas residence times, as well as low temperatures and reduced rate of biomass heating. In this reaction, the heat ranges from 0.1 degrees to 2 degrees per second, with the maximum temperature as 500 degrees Celsius. The amount of time that the gas spends in the reactor is a bit over 5 seconds, while that of the biomass ranges from several minutes to several days.
2. Flash Pyrolysis
This type of reaction occurs at rapid heating rates on top of some modest temperatures between 400 and 600 degrees Celsius. This reaction produces a smaller quantity of gas as well as tar compared to the latter, and the amount of time the vapor spends in the reactor is less than two seconds.
3. Fast Pyrolysis
This process is used in the production of pyrolysis bio-oil gas. In this reaction, the biomass is heated rapidly until it reaches a temperature of 650 degrees-1000 degrees Celsius. The amount of heat applied depends on the amount of bio-oil or gas that is intended to be produced. During this process, char is collected in large amounts. The char, therefore, has to be removed more frequently throughout the process.
4. Microwave Pyrolysis
One of the elements of biomass is that it absorbs microwave radiation effortlessly. Microwave heating can be done as the initial step if pyrolysis is being done at a lower temperature of around 200- 3oo degrees Celsius. The bio-oil that is produced after microwave heating has been found to contain more concentrations of valuable chemicals. It has also been found that microwave bio-oil can be used as an alternative to crude oil.
Benefits of pyrolysis
- The pyrolysis process is simple
- The process is not costly
- It helps to reduce water pollution
- It helps to transform waste into useful products like liquid and gaseous bio-oil
- It helps to reduce the amount of garbage that is released into landfills
- It is a step in the direction of reducing the country’s dependence on imported energy
- It is instrumental in waste management hence promoting public health
- Pyrolysis plants create several job opportunities for people
The process of pyrolysis dates back to the early 20th century, where pyrolysis was used in the production of charcoal from wood. Since then, the applications of pyrolysis have increased drastically. Currently, the process applied in waste management, production of bio-oil and gas, construction, production of chemicals like methanol, mass spectrometry, carbon-14-dating, and different cooking procedures like baking, grilling, and frying.