AbstractThe thermal characteristics of Paulownia sawdust (PS), bamboo sawdust (BS), rice lemma (RL), and corncob (CC) in an oxidizing atmosphere were investigated using thermogravimetric analysis. The results indicated that the reaction of biomass oxidative decomposition took place in two main phases: devolatilization and char oxidation. Among various types of biomass, BS was found to possess the highest oxidative decomposition reactivity followed by PS, CC, and RL. Additionally, an increase in heating rate led to a significant improvement of the reactivity. The kinetic modeling of the oxidation reaction with the direct fitting method using the DRPM model showed a satisfied match with the experimental data, and the activation energy of biomass during the devolatilization process was higher than that of the char oxidation process. The activation energy of devolatilization was in the range of 80.7 to 133.8 kJ/mol, while that value of char oxidation fluctuated between 41.7 and 67.5 kJ/mol. In addition, with an increase in the heating rate, a marked compensation effect between the activation energy and pre-exponential factors was observed.