The objective of this study is to assess the relevance of several multi-step reaction mechanisms to describe the mass loss and the mass loss rate of pine needles in TGA at different heating rates in inert and oxidative atmospheres. The kinetic parameters of the different reactions were optimized using the Shuffled complex evolution (SCE) technique. Model results show that both mass loss and mass loss rate should be considered in order to evaluate properly the mechanism. The drying process is described accurately by a single reaction with a well-established set of kinetic parameters. The conversion of dry pine into char requires a five-step reaction mechanism that is combined of three reactions to describe the pyrolysis under inert atmosphere and another two reactions to describe the oxidative process. Less detailed mechanisms were found to be unable to reproduce the mass loss rate. In particular, the one-step reaction mechanism, widely used to model the pyrolysis process in wildland fire simulations, should be used with care. Finally, the char oxidation process can be described with a single step-reaction mechanism. The final complex mechanism is comprised of one reaction for drying, five reactions for the conversion of dry pine into char, and one reaction for the char oxidation, is promising. Further studies are required for its validation in large-scale experiments.
- Forest fires
- Pine needles
- Thermal degradation
- Thermogravimetric analysis
- Shuffled complex evolution (SCE)
- Multi-step reaction mechanism