Potassium is a natural catalyst in biomass thermochemical conversion and plays an essential role in plant’s growth. To figure out the catalytic effects of potassium on the thermochemical behaviors of biomass, the pyrolysis characteristics of rubber wood are comprehensively studied using a thermogravimetric analyzer where the biomass is impregnated by different concentration of potassium carbonate (K2CO3=0.004 M, 0.008 M, and 0.012 M). The thermal degradation with independent parallel reaction (IPR) model is adopted. To maximize the fit quality between the established kinetic models and experimental data, particle swarm optimization (PSO), a kind of evolutionary computation, is employed. The results suggest that the thermal degradation curves of the raw and impregnated rubber wood can be predicted with a fit quality of at least 97.5%. It is proved in this work that the IPR model and the calculation of the PSO can be used to predict the pyrolysis kinetics of impregnated biomass to a good level of fitness.
Keywords Potassium catalyst, Pyrolysis, Independent parallel reaction model, Particle swarm optimization