Reaction pathways of hemicellulose and mechanism of biomass pyrolysis in hydrogen plasma: A density functional theory study


Reaction mechanism of hemicellulose pyrolysis in thermal plasma is studied.

Important information of key reactions is obtained by DFT calculations.

The effect of biomass composition on product distribution is discussed.

Full understanding of the biomass pyrolysis mechanism in plasma is obtained.

The importance of active Hradical dot

radical dot

in plasma is found.


In this work, the reaction pathways of hemicellulose were investigated for a complete understanding of the mechanism of biomass pyrolysis in thermal plasma. Energies of the possible reaction pathways of three model compounds of hemicellulose, xylose, O-acetyl xylose and 4-O-MeGlcA, in hydrogen plasma were estimated through density functional theory (DFT), and the most favorable reaction routes were proposed. Combining with our previous work, the effects of the biomass composition on their pyrolysis behavior in hydrogen plasma were discussed, and the production distribution was predicted. The reaction mechanism of biomass pyrolysis in hydrogen plasma was clarified finally, which indicated that active Hradical dot

radical dot

in plasma played a very important role in dehydrogenation reactions.


  • Syngas and hydrocarbons production;
  • Thermal plasma;
  • Pyrolysis of biomass;
  • Density functional theory;
  • Reaction mechanism;
  • Hemicellulose

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