A comparative study on suitability of model-free and model-fitting kinetic methods to non-isothermal degradation of lignocellulosic materials

Hamayoun Mahmood, Ahmad Shakeel*, Ammar Abdullah, Muhammad Ilyas Khan, Muhammad Moniruzzaman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)


The thermal kinetic modeling is crucial for development of sustainable processes where lignocellulosic fuels are a part of chemical system and their thermal degradation eventuates. In this paper, thermal decomposition of three lignocellulosic materials (bagasse, rice husk, and wheat straw) was obtained by the thermogravimetric (TG) technique and kinetics was analyzed by both model-fitting and isoconversional (model-free) methods to compare their effectiveness. Two models selected from each class include Arrhenius and Coats–Redfern (model-fitting), and Kissinger–Akahira–Sunose (KAS) and Flynn–Wall–Ozawa (FWO) (model-free). The formal model-fitting approach simulating the thermal decomposition of solids by assuming a fixed mechanism was found to be unduly facile. However, activation energy (E) values calculated from two model-fitting techniques were considerably different from each other with a percentage difference in the range of 1.36% to 7.65%. Particularly, both model-fitting methods predicted different reaction mechanism for thermal disintegration of lignocellulosic materials (two-dimensional diffusion (D2) by Arrhenius and one-dimensional diffusion (D1) by Coat–Redfern method). Conversely, the model-free routine offers a transformation of mechanism and activation energy values throughout reaction and is, therefore, more authentic to illustrate the complexity of thermal disintegration of lignocellulosic particles. Based on the model-free kinetic analysis, the lignocellulosic materials may be devised in following order of activation energy: rice husk > bagasse > wheat straw, by both KAS and FWO methods with a percentage difference no more than 0.84% for fractional conversion up to 0.7. Isoconversional approach could be recommended as more realistic and precise for modeling non-isothermal kinetics of lignocellulosic residues compared to model-fitting approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2504
Number of pages13
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Isoconversional modeling
  • Kinetic modeling
  • Lignocellulosic fuels
  • Model-fitting methods
  • Thermogravimetry


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