Transient Modelling of a Rotary-Kiln Pyrolyser

A. Traverso*, R. Bertone , A.F. Massardo
Thermochemical Power Group, University of Genova, DiMSET, Italy.

© 2007 Traverso et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Thermochemical Power Group, University of Genova, DiMSET, Italy; E-mail:


The increasing interest in small-scale renewable-energy plants for distributed power generation has led to a demand for suitable software tools to study and develop control systems able to manage advanced integrated systems. Biomass, as a renewable energy resource, needs to be processed if it is to be exploited in small CHP units and pyrolysis is one of the options available for transforming solid biomass into useful liquid and gaseous fuels. This work is concerned with the development of a time-dependent model of a rotary-kiln pyrolyser for biomass: the model is intended for the development of control systems and the simulation of integrated energy systems, where the pyrolyser is connected to a power-generation package. The model was developed within the TRANSEO environment and based on a quasi 2-D numerical discretisation of the rotary kiln. Results are shown for a real case that is currently under construction: the model is able to predict the impact of different operating conditions on fuel yields, as well as capturing the main transient phenomena occurring during changes in the pyrolyser operating conditions.

Keywords: Biomass, pyrolysis, distributed generation, transient modelling.