[en] The aim of the present study was to compare the effect of different steam explosion treatments on the thermal degradation of a bleached cellulose. The intensity of a steam explosion treatment, which allows breakdown of the structural lignocellulosic material was determined by a correlation between time and temperature of the process.
Results of this study showed that thermal degradation of cellulose fibres was limited when the severity factor applied was below 4.0. For higher intensities, determination of the degradation products in the water-soluble extract showed an important increase of the 5-hydroxymethyl-furfural concentration with the temperature. When the severity factor reached 5.2., TGA analysis showed that the increase of degradation products was coupled to an increase of the char level meaning a strong degradation of the cellulose. dTGA behaviour also showed that thermal stability of the steam explosion samples decreased with the intensity of the treatment. To conclude, a theoretical diagram predicting the degradation of the cellulose during the steam explosion treatment was established.