Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 647–657 | Cite as

Utilisation of a waste biomass, walnut shells, to produce bio-products via pyrolysis: investigation using ISO-conversional and neural network methods

  • Tanveer Rasool
  • Vimal Chandra SrivastavaEmail author
  • M. N. S. Khan
Original Article


This study was conducted to investigate the kinetic, thermodynamics and the reaction mechanism of pyrolysis of native walnut shells of Kashmir, India. Thermal degradation experiments were performed at three heating rates of 10, 25, and 50 K min−1 to calculate the kinetic and thermodynamic parameters, using iso-conversional Kissinger-Akahira-Sunrose (KAS) and Ozawa-Flynn-Wall (OFW) models. The reaction mechanism was predicted by applying Coats-Redfern (CR) method. Moreover, an artificial neural network (ANN) simulation was used to obtain best fit points after comparing the experimental data with the predicted data points. Average activation energy was calculated from the thermogravimetric study was found to be in the range of 146.03–148.89 kJ mol−1, while the Gibbs free energy (ΔG) value for walnut shells was found to be ~180 kJ mol−1. The most appropriate degradation mechanism was found to be based on diffusion and chemical reaction for the temperature range under study. The broad characterisation along with the values of thermodynamic parameters show that the walnut shells can be used as an economical as well as eco-friendly bio-energy feed-stock for pyrolysis. The reaction mechanism of thermal degradation of walnut shells was found to be consisting of two broader zones based on conversion achieved, zone I (0.2 ≤ α ≤ 0.4) and zone II (0.4 ≤ α ≤ 0.8).


Thermal degradation Waste biomass Kinetics Thermodynamics Artificial neural network 



Pre-exponential factor, s−1


Artificial neural network


Coats-Redfern method


Diffusion-based mechanisms


Differential thermal analysis


Differential thermogravimetry


Activation energy, kJ mol−1


Chemical reaction-based mechanism


High heating value, MJ g−1

k (T)

Reaction rate constant


Boltzman constant, 1.381 × 10−23 J K−1




Mean square error


Ozawa-Flynn-Wall method


Output values


Contacting geometry-based mechanism


Target values




Gibbs free energy, kJ mol−1


Change in enthalpy, kJ mol−1



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringNational Institute of Technology SrinagarSrinagarIndia
  2. 2.Department of Chemical EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology RoorkeeRoorkeeIndia

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