Geospatial investigation of physicochemical properties and thermodynamic parameters of biomass residue for energy generation

Obafemi O. Olatunji, Stephen Akinlabi, Nkosinathi Madushele, Paul A. Adedeji, Matumuene J. Ndolomingo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Biomass represents vast under-explored feedstock for energy generation across the globe. Among other factors, the location from where the feedstock is harvested may affect the overall properties and the efficiency of bioreactors used in the conversion process. Herein is reported some physicochemical properties, the kinetic study and thermodynamic analysis of corn cob sourced from two major economies in sub-Sahara African region. Brunauer Emmett and Teller (BET) analysis was performed to investigate the surface characteristics of corn cob while Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy revealed the corresponding functional group present in the selected biomass residue. The proximate and CHNSO analyses were performed using the standard equipment and following the standard procedures, then the result is reported and compared based on the geographical locations under consideration. Also, the thermal decomposition study was carried out at different heating rates (10, 15, 30 °C min−1) in inert atmosphere while the kinetic parameters were evaluated based on Flynn–Wall–Ozawa (FWO) and Kissinger–Akahira–Sunose (KAS) methods. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that there is a statistically significant difference between ultimate constituents, the fixed carbon, and volatile matter obtained from the two countries at 95% confidence level. FTIR spectroscopy showed different spectra peak in both samples which means there are varying quantity of structural elements in each feedstock. The pore surface area (1.375 m2/g) obtained for corn cob from South Africa (SC25) was greater than the value (1.074 m2/g) obtained for Nigeria (NC25). From the result, the highest value of activation energy (Ea = 190.1 kJ mol−1 and 189.9 kJ mol−1) was estimated for SC25 based on KAS and FWO methods, respectively. The result showed that the geographical location may somewhat affect some energetic properties of biomass and further provides useful information about thermodynamic and kinetic parameters which could be deployed in the simulation, optimization, and scale-up of the bioreactors for pyrolysis process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2813-2827
Number of pages15
JournalBiomass Conversion and Biorefinery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Corn cob
  • Geospatial investigation
  • Physicochemical properties
  • Power generation
  • Pyrolysis
  • Thermodynamic parameters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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