In this study, the thermochemical conversion process of a single wood pellet under low temperature (350°C-650°C) isothermal heating is investigated to identify the outstanding low-temperature ignition and combustion characteristics for heat generation, particularly during the preheating stages in the furnace. The thermal behavior of wood powder was analyzed using thermogravimetric/Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The suspended single pellet combustion phenomenon under a convective hot air stream was also explored. The results showed that the wood primarily decomposed in a range from 240°C to 520°C, and low-temperature ignition was found at 293°C due to heterogeneous oxidation. For pellet combustion, an outstanding heterogeneous-induced homogeneous combustion phenomenon occurred when the stream temperature was higher than 350°C. In contrast, the ignition mechanism shifted to volatile auto-ignite mode at 650°C due to the interplay of fuel devolatilization and oxygen diffusion. The pellet temperature evolution was measured, and the results revealed a maximum heating rate of 6.61-16.95 K/s under a stream temperature ranging from 350°C to 650°C. The weight loss evolution showed three stages during the entire heating process, and the average activation energy (13.12 kJ/mol) was obtained. Char combustion was found favorable to CO production for gaseous emissions, but the burning of volatiles tended to convert fuel into CO2. Finally, a simplified reaction scheme based on different onset temperatures, including pyrolysis, heterogeneous/homogeneous oxidation, and heterogeneous gasification was proposed to illustrate a potential thermochemical conversion route for further utilization.
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