Acta Physico-Chimica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (6): 1905062.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201905062

Special Issue: Thermal Analysis Kinetics and Thermokinetics

• Review • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Progress in Thermal Analysis Kinetics

Ning Ren1,*(),Fang Wang2,Jianjun Zhang3,*(),Xinfang Zheng1   

  1. 1 College of Chemical Engineering & Material, Hebei Key Laboratory of Heterocyclic Compounds, Handan University, Handan 056005, Hebei Province, P. R. China
    2 Center for Analysis and Testing, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, P. R. China
    3 Testing and Analysis Center, College of Chemistry & Material Science, Hebei Normal University, Shijiazhuang 050024, P. R. China
  • Received:2019-05-20 Accepted:2019-06-10 Published:2019-12-18
  • Contact: Ning Ren,Jianjun Zhang;
  • Supported by:
    the National Natural Science Foundation of China(21803016)


Thermal analysis (TA) is a technology that can be applied to evaluate the relationship between the physical properties of substances and temperature changes under programmed temperature control. It has been widely used in many fields and is particularly useful for determining the thermal stability and service life of polymers and other materials, the stability of drugs, and the danger of flammable and explosive materials. Simultaneously, the mechanism of dehydration, decomposition, and degradation of inorganic materials or dissociation of complexes can be studied and the decomposition rates of environmental pollutants can be estimated. Recently, TA kinetics has become the most extensively studied topic in TA research. The main purpose of kinetic analysis is to obtain the three kinetic triplets of a reaction process, namely, activation energy Ea, pre-exponential factors A, and and mechanism function f(a). For a solid-state reaction, many mathematical models and corresponding data processing methods can be used for the study of TA kinetics. These methods can be classified as either isothermal or non-isothermal methods and further divided into integral and differential methods in the form of the kinetic equation. These equations can be divided into a single scanning rate and multiple scanning rate methods (isoconversion method) by the operation method. The isoconversion method can calculate activation energies without the mechanism function, and the complexity of the reaction can be determined by the change in activation energy as a function of conversion rate. Therefore, the International Confederation for Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry (ICTAC) recommends the isoconversion method for processing TA data. Because of the limitation of traditional isoconversion methods, novel isoconversion methods have been proposed over the past 10 years. The relationship among the existing dynamic analysis methods must be complementary, instead of competitive, because the reliability of the analysis results can be improved only through complementarity. Further efforts to popularize modern integral and differential methods with equal conversion rates are essential. Herein, the progress in isoconversion method development is briefly introduced. A novel kinetic equation and seven new isoconversion methods are reviewed, and the characteristics and limitations of these methods are discussed. In addition, the development trends and prospects of TA kinetics research methods are highlighted. We suggest that the Arrhenius formula should be modified on the basis of the relationship between the rate constant and temperature. The rate equation that is more suitable for non-isothermal and heterogeneous reactions should be used. The mechanism of multi-step solid-state reactions should be studied in depth, and unified standards must be adopted for the study of thermal decomposition kinetics. This represents imminent and important progress in the study of TA kinetics.

Key words: Thermal analysis kinetics, Kinetic equation, Isoconversion method, Activation energy, Arrhenius formula