Pyrolysis of glycerol, a by-product of the biodiesel industry, is an important potential source of hydrogen. The obtained high calorific value gas can be used either as a fuel for combined heat and power (CHP) generation or as a transportation fuel (for example hydrogen to be used in fuel cells). Optimal process conditions can improve glycerol pyrolysis by increasing gas yield and hydrogen concentration. A detailed kinetic mechanism of glycerol pyrolysis, which involves 137 species and more than 4500 reactions, was drastically simplified and reduced to a new skeletal kinetic scheme of 44 species, involved in 452 reactions. An experimental campaign with a batch pyrolysis reactor was properly designed to further validate the original and the skeletal mechanisms. The comparisons between model predictions and experimental data strongly suggest the presence of a catalytic process promoting steam reforming of methane. High pyrolysis temperatures (750-800 degrees C) improve process performances and non-condensable gas yields of 70%w can be achieved. Hydrogen mole fraction in pyrolysis gas is about 44-48%v. The skeletal mechanism developed can be easily used in Computational Fluid Dynamic software, reducing the simulation time. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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