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Open AccessArticle

Pyrolytic Kinetics of Polystyrene Particle in Nitrogen Atmosphere: Particle Size Effects and Application of Distributed Activation Energy Method

School of Mechanical Engineering, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing 210094, China
The Division of Material Science, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Luleå University of Technology, 97187 Luleå, Sweden
State key laboratory of Fire Science, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 264000, China
Department of Wood Science and Technology, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Jamnikarjeva 101, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(2), 421;
Received: 11 December 2019 / Revised: 6 February 2020 / Accepted: 8 February 2020 / Published: 12 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Performance and Application of Novel Biocomposites)
This work was motivated by a study of particle size effects on pyrolysis kinetics and models of polystyrene particle. Micro-size polystyrene particles with four different diameters, 5, 10, 15, and 50 µm, were selected as experimental materials. Activation energies were obtained by isoconversional methods, and pyrolysis model of each particle size and heating rate was examined through different reaction models by the Coats–Redfern method. To identify the controlling model, the Avrami–Eroféev model was identified as the controlling pyrolysis model for polystyrene pyrolysis. Accommodation function effect was employed to modify the Avrami–Eroféev model. The model was then modified to f() = n0.39n 1.15(1 − )[−ln(1 − )]1 1/n, by which the polystyrene pyrolysis with different particle sizes can be well explained. It was found that the reaction model cannot be influenced by particle geometric dimension. The reaction rate can be changed because the specific surface area will decrease with particle diameter. To separate each step reaction and identify their distributions to kinetics, distributed activation energy method was introduced to calculate the weight factor and kinetic triplets. Results showed that particle size has big impacts on both first and second step reactions. Smaller size particle can accelerate the process of pyrolysis reaction. Finally, sensitivity analysis was brought to check the sensitivity and weight of each parameter in the model.
Keywords: particle size; model free; model fitting; avrami–eroféev; DAEM particle size; model free; model fitting; avrami–eroféev; DAEM
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Jiang, L.; Yang, X.-R.; Gao, X.; Xu, Q.; Das, O.; Sun, J.-H.; Kuzman, M.K. Pyrolytic Kinetics of Polystyrene Particle in Nitrogen Atmosphere: Particle Size Effects and Application of Distributed Activation Energy Method. Polymers 2020, 12, 421.

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