In this 13-part series of articles, The Combustion Institute recognizes the 2021Distinguished Papers selected from among the scientific papers presented during the 38th International Symposium on Combustion. Congratulations to Wei Chen, Kaixu Li, Zhiqun Chen, MingWei Xia, Yingquan Chen, Haiping Yang, Xu Chen, and Hanping Chen for winning the DPA in the Solid Fuel Combustion colloquium. 

In their paper A new insight into chemical reactions between biomass and alkaline additives during pyrolysis process, W. Chen, Li, Z. Chen, Xia, Y. Chen, Yang, X. Chen, and H. Chen propose a new reaction pathway between biomass and alkaline additives. Biomass is the only carbon-containing renewable resource in nature: it can be directly converted into green liquid fuels and other valuable chemicals, and it also plays an important role in the mission to reduce carbon emissions. One of the most promising and efficient conversion pathways is pyrolysis, which uses components of biomass. Alkali and alkali earth metals (AAEMs) existing in biomass significantly influence the pyrolysis process. Therefore, it is critical to understand the effect mechanism for a better utilization of biomass. 

Although many researchers have investigated the effect of alkaline additives on biomass catalytic pyrolysis, the significant chemical reactions between biomass and alkaline additives are usually ignored, a gap these authors set out to fill. Their findings provide the possible reaction pathway between biomass and alkaline additives during the pyrolysis process, making the process of converting biomass into valuable chemicals, liquid fuels, or biochar materials easier and more efficient.  

The research took place at the State Key Laboratory of Coal Combustion, a lab that is part of the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China. 

Over 1,700 papers were submitted to the 38th International Symposium on Combustion. All papers were categorized into one of 13 colloquia, and then distributed to colloquium coordinators and co-chairs. Each paper was reviewed by at least three qualified individuals from a pool of over 1,000 peer scientific reviewers. Less than 50 percent of the papers submitted are accepted for presentation.  

Following the symposium, one paper presented in each colloquium is awarded the distinction of Distinguished Paper. Visit here to view the presentation. The 13 Distinguished Papers undergo committee review for consideration for the Silver Combustion MedalA paper selected for this honor exemplifies quality, achievement, and significance to advance a field of combustion science, and will be awarded during the 39th International Symposium in Vancouver, Canada.