Date of Award

August 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Ryoichi Amano

Committee Members

John Reisel, Wilkistar Otieno


Decomposition, Energy of activation, Kinetics, mixing ratio


Renewable energy is gaining more attention to supply the increasing energy demand worldwide. Currently, biomass is gaining popularity because this energy source offers several flexibilities in terms of the products that can be obtained out of the biomass (such as petroleum-like fuels, hydrogen, fertilizer, and solid fuels). There are different technologies to obtain the desired products out of the biomass (such as biological, physical, and thermochemical conversions). Among the thermochemical technologies, pyrolysis and gasification have the advantages of being faster, cleaner and produce more valuable fuels than the other technologies. However, gasification and pyrolysis technologies are expensive and very sensitive to the process conditions.

To overcome the difficulties, research has focused on studying ways to enhance the efficiency of such systems by producing more valuable fuel and reduce operating cost. One of the most attractive solutions is co-pyrolysis and co-gasification, where different biomasses are mixed to have a combined effect that speeds up the reactions, increase the energy conversion, and reduce wear.

This thesis focuses on the study of co-pyrolysis and co-gasification of chicken manure and rice husk using two different approaches. The first approach is studying the co-pyrolysis and co-gasification kinetics between chicken manure and rice husk using Thermo Gravimetrical Techniques. A non-isothermal thermogravimetric analyzer, coupled with a differential thermal analyzer is used in this study. The second approach, based on a semiempirical model, was developed to predict the resulting gases of the process. This model is based on previous research and the kinetics of the thermochemical processes. Results show that adding rice husk can decrease the energy of activation in pyrolysis and gasification by up to 12%. For pyrolysis experiments, there was an increase in the degree of conversion up to 26% while for gasification the degree of conversion was increased up to 22%. The semi-empirical model gives a reasonable estimation of the syngas yields and composition for the individual biomasses. This model also predicts an expected reduction in the heating value of 12%.