The low-temperature thermo-chemical conversion process for sewage sludge is a prospective technology, through which the energy in the sludge can be recovered. With the help of elementary analysis of sewage sludge and its conversion products, thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) of the sludge and GC/MS analysis of the derived oil, a study was carried out on element transfer, characteristic conversion temperature and conversion reaction mechanism of the process. The following results are obtained: 1) the predominant conversion reactions are distillation of aliphatic compounds, splitting of protein peptide bonds and group transfer; and 2) the main components involved in the conversion are aliphatic compounds and protein, with the lower reaction temperature for the former, the higher for the latter and the highest for saccharides. Based on the mechanism analyses, the simplified reaction model of the thermo-chemical conversion process for sewage sludge consists of two serial competitive reactions (producing volatile matter and char respectively). The estimated Arrhennius kinetic parameters of the reaction model based on TGA testing results are A1 = 4.15×106 1/s, n1 = 2, E1 = 98 kJ/mol; A2 = 1.42×105 1/s, n2 = 2, E2 = 85 kJ/mol; A3 = 1.01×1012 1/s, n3 = 4, E3 =190 kJ/mol; A4 = 1.33×109 1/s, n4 = 4,E4 = 146 kJ/mol.

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