AbstractIn order to study the thermal decomposition characteristics of hemicellulose, a highly efficient procedure was carried out to extract hemicellulose from corn stalk. Several different sugar units were observed by 13C NMR spectra to show the presence and species of hemicellulose. Following isolation of the hemicellulose, experimental research on its thermal behavior were carried out with a thermogravimetric analyzer under inert atmosphere at heating rates ranging from 10 to 50°C/min, and the kinetic parameters were calculated by the Kissinger and Ozawa methods, respectively. It was found that the thermal degradation of hemicellulose mainly occurred in the temperature range 180-340°C with a final residue yield of 24% at 700°C. An increase of the heating rate could slightly increase both the temperatures at which the peak weight loss rate was observed and the maximum value of weight loss rate. The activation energy (E) and the pre-exponential factor (lnA) obtained by the Kissinger and Ozawa methods were 213.3kJ mol-1, 211.6kJ mol-1 and 46.2min-1, 45.9min-1, respectively. Even though the data showed little difference, the fitting degree of the Ozawa method was better than that of the Kissinger method. The experimental results and kinetic parameters may provide useful data for effective design and improvement of thermochemical conversion units.