Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Robert C Brown


The conversion of lignocellulosic material to higher value chemicals and fuels offers a renewable feedstock for carbon-based products. Fast pyrolysis offers one potential route to convert raw biomass into higher value products. As pyrolysis bio-refineries become available, technical challenges will exist providing sufficient thermal energy to support this endothermic process at large scales. Fortunately, autothermal pyrolysis can solve these heat transfer limitations as thermal energy can now be generated within the reactor. However, given the low temperature (400-600°C) operation of these autothermal pyrolyzers, relevant oxidation kinetics are not available. Consequently, this absence in knowledge is addressed in this work determining relevant oxidation kinetics to autothermal pyrolysis.

This work primarily focuses on the derivation of oxidation kinetics pertaining to autothermal pyrolysis. In depth kinetic studies were subsequently conducted for bio-oil products and char oxidation, deriving valuable reaction data. Additional work analyzed autothermal produced phenolic oil, finding subtle partial oxidation reactions occurred to this lignin derived fraction. Finally, a temperature study was conducted under autothermal conditions to determine the effect of temperature. The derived kinetic data from this work will undoubtedly improve the operation and scale-up of autothermal pyrolyzers.


Copyright Owner

Chad Alan Peterson



File Format


File Size

148 pages