Campus Units

Chemical and Biological Engineering, NSF Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals

Document Type


Research Focus Area

Catalysis and Reaction Engineering, Renewable Energy

Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

AIChE Journal





First Page


Last Page





A mechanistic model considering the significant catalytic effects of Na+ on fast pyrolysis of glucose‐based carbohydrates was developed in Part 1 of this study. A computational framework based on continuous distribution kinetics and mass action kinetics was constructed to solve the mechanistic model. Agreement between model yields of various pyrolysis products with experimental data from fast pyrolysis of glucose‐based carbohydrates dosed with NaCl ranging from 0–0.34 mmol/g at 500 °C validated the model and demonstrated the robustness and extendibility of the mechanistic model. The model was able to capture the yields of major and minor products as well as their trends across NaCl concentrations. Modeling results showed that Na+ accelerated the rate of decomposition and reduced the time for complete thermoconversion of carbohydrates. The sharp reduction in the yield of levoglucosan (LVG) from fast pyrolysis of cellulose in the presence of NaCl was mainly caused by reduced decomposition of cellulose chains via end‐chain initiation and depropagation due to Na+ favoring competing dehydration reactions. Analysis of the contributions of reaction pathways showed that the decomposition of LVG made a minor contribution to its yield reduction and contributed less than 0.5% to the final yield of glycolaldehyde from fast pyrolysis of glucose‐based carbohydrates in the presence of NaCl.


This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Zhou, Xiaowei, Heather B. Mayes, Linda J. Broadbelt, Michael W. Nolte, and Brent H. Shanks. "Fast pyrolysis of glucose‐based carbohydrates with added NaCl part 2: Validation and evaluation of the mechanistic model." AIChE Journal 62, no. 3 (2016): 778-791, which has been published in final form at DOI: 10.1002/aic.15107. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

Copyright Owner

American Institute of Chemical Engineers



File Format


Published Version