Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 12

Search results for: torrefaction

12 Waste to Biofuel by Torrefaction Technology

Authors: Jyh-Cherng Chen, Yu-Zen Lin, Wei-Zhi Chen


Torrefaction is one of waste to energy (WTE) technologies developing in Taiwan recently, which can reduce the moisture and impurities and increase the energy density of biowaste effectively. To understand the torrefaction characteristics of different biowaste and the influences of different torrefaction conditions, four typical biowaste were selected to carry out the torrefaction experiments. The physical and chemical properties of different biowaste prior to and after torrefaction were analyzed and compared. Experimental results show that the contents of elemental carbon and caloric value of the four biowaste were significantly increased after torrefaction. The increase of combustible and caloric value in bamboo was the greatest among the four biowaste. The caloric value of bamboo can be increased from 1526 kcal/kg to 6104 kcal/kg after 300oC and 1 hour torrefaction. The caloric value of torrefied bamboo was almost four times as the original. The increase of elemental carbon content in wood was the greatest (from 41.03% to 75.24%), and the next was bamboo (from 47.07% to 74.63%). The major parameters which affected the caloric value of torrefied biowaste followed the sequence of biowaste kinds, torrefaction time, and torrefaction temperature. The optimal torrefaction conditions of the experiments were bamboo torrefied at 300oC for 3 hours, and the corresponding caloric value of torrefied bamboo was 5953 kcal/kg. This caloric value is similar to that of brown coal or bituminous coal.

Keywords: torrefaction, waste to energy, calorie, biofuel

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11 Torrefaction of Spelt Husks to Increase Its Fuel Properties

Authors: Abubakar Halidu, Paul E. Bilsborrow, Anh N. Phan


Torrefaction is a term that refers to the moderate pyrolysis of biomass at temperatures between 200 and 300oC in an oxygen-free environment to boost its heating value, grindability, and storability. This process can also be used as a pre-treatment for other thermochemical processes. The torrefaction of spelt husks was carried out at temperatures of 200, 250, and 300oC in an inert nitrogen environment with a heating rate of 20oC.min-1 and a residence time of 15–60 min, respectively. We examined the influence of torrefaction temperatures and residence time. The results indicated that increasing the torrefaction temperature increased the higher heating values (HHV) and improved grindability. Torrefied spelt husks at 300oC for 15 minutes exhibited the highest increase in HHV at 30.88 MJ kg-1, compared to non-torrefied spelt husks at 17.56 MJ kg-1.

Keywords: grindability, higher heating value, residence time, temperature, torrefaction

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10 Torrefaction of Biomass Pellets: Modeling of the Process in a Fixed Bed Reactor

Authors: Ekaterina Artiukhina, Panagiotis Grammelis


Torrefaction of biomass pellets is considered as a useful pretreatment technology in order to convert them into a high quality solid biofuel that is more suitable for pyrolysis, gasification, combustion and co-firing applications. In the course of torrefaction the temperature varies across the pellet, and therefore chemical reactions proceed unevenly within the pellet. However, the uniformity of the thermal distribution along the pellet is generally assumed. The torrefaction process of a single cylindrical pellet is modeled here, accounting for heat transfer coupled with chemical kinetics. The drying sub-model was also introduced. The non-stationary process of wood pellet decomposition is described by the system of non-linear partial differential equations over the temperature and mass. The model captures well the main features of the experimental data.

Keywords: torrefaction, biomass pellets, model, heat, mass transfer

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9 Thermal Pre-Treatment of Sewage Sludge in Fluidized Bed for Enhancing Its Solid Fuel Properties

Authors: Sujeeta Karki, Jeeban Poudel, Ja Hyung Choi, Sea Cheon Oh


A lab-scale fluidized bed was used for the study of sewage sludge, a non-lignocellulosic biomass, torrefaction. The influence of torrefaction temperature ranging from 200–350 °C and residence time of 0–50 minutes on the physical and chemical properties of the torrefied product was investigated. Properties of the torrefied product were analyzed on the basis of degree of torrefaction, ultimate and proximate analysis, gas analysis and chemical exergy. The degree of torrefaction and chemical exergy had a positive influence on increasing the torrefaction temperature. Moreover, the effect of torrefaction temperature and residence time on the elemental variation of sewage sludge exhibited an increase in the weight percentage of carbon while the content of H/C and O/C molar ratios decreased. The product gas emitted during torrefaction was analyzed to study the pathway of hydrocarbons and oxygen-containing compounds. The compounds with oxygen were emitted at higher temperatures in contrast to hydrocarbon gases. An attempt was made to obtain the chemical exergy of sewage sludge. In addition, the study of various correlations for predicting the calorific value of torrefied sewage sludge was made.

Keywords: chemical exergy, degree of torrefaction, fluidized bed, higher heating value (HHV), O/C and H/C molar ratios, sewage sludge

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8 Investigation of the Properties of Biochar Obtained by Dry and Wet Torrefaction in a Fixed and in a Fluidized Bed

Authors: Natalia Muratova, Dmitry Klimov, Rafail Isemin, Sergey Kuzmin, Aleksandr Mikhalev, Oleg Milovanov


We investigated the processing of poultry litter into biochar using dry torrefaction methods (DT) in a fixed and fluidized bed of quartz sand blown with nitrogen, as well as wet torrefaction (WT) in a fluidized bed in a medium of water steam at a temperature of 300 °C. Torrefaction technology affects the duration of the heat treatment process and the characteristics of the biochar: the process of separating CO₂, CO, H₂ and CH₄ from a portion of fresh poultry litter during torrefaction in a fixed bed is completed after 2400 seconds, but in a fluidized bed — after 480 seconds. During WT in a fluidized bed of quartz sand, this process ends in 840 seconds after loading a portion of fresh litter, but in a fluidized bed of litter particles previously subjected to torrefaction, the process ends in 350 - 450 seconds. In terms of the ratio between (H/C) and (O/C), the litter obtained after DT and WT treatment corresponds to lignite. WT in a fluidized bed allows one to obtain biochar, in which the specific pore area is two times larger than the specific pore area of biochar obtained after DT in a fluidized bed. Biochar, obtained as a result of the poultry litter treatment in a fluidized bed using DT or WT method, is recommended to be used not only as a biofuel but also as an adsorbent or the soil fertilizer.

Keywords: biochar, poultry litter, dry and wet torrefaction, fixed bed, fluidized bed

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7 A Feasibility Study on Producing Bio-Coal from Orange Peel Residue by Using Torrefaction

Authors: Huashan Tai, Chien-Hui Lung


Nowadays people use massive fossil fuels which not only cause environmental impacts and global climate change, but also cause the depletion of non-renewable energy such as coal and oil. Bioenergy is currently the most widely used renewable energy, and agricultural waste is one of the main raw materials for bioenergy. In this study, we use orange peel residue, which is easier to collect from agricultural waste to produce bio-coal by torrefaction. The orange peel residue (with 25 to 30% moisture) was treated by torrefaction, and the experiments were conducted with initial temperature at room temperature (approximately at 25° C), with heating rates of 10, 30, and 50°C / min, with terminal temperatures at 150, 200, 250, 300, 350℃, and with residence time of 10, 20, and 30 minutes. The results revealed that the heating value, ash content and energy densification ratio of the solid products after torrefaction are in direct proportion to terminal temperatures and residence time, and are inversely proportional to heating rates. The moisture content, solid mass yield, energy yield, and volumetric energy density of the solid products after torrefaction are inversely proportional to terminal temperatures and residence time, and are in direct proportion to heating rates. In conclusion, we found that the heating values of the solid products were 1.3 times higher than those of the raw orange peels before torrefaction, and the volumetric energy densities were increased by 1.45 times under operating parameters with terminal temperature at 250°C, residence time of 10 minutes, and heating rate of 10°C / min of torrefaction. The results indicated that the residue of orange peel treated by torrefaction improved its energy density and fuel properties, and became more suitable for bio-fuel applications.

Keywords: biomass energy, orange, torrefaction

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6 A Feasibility Study of Producing Biofuels from Textile Sludge by Torrefaction Technology

Authors: Hua-Shan Tai, Yu-Ting Zeng


In modern and industrial society, enormous amounts of sludge from various of industries are constantly produced; currently, most of the sludge are treated by landfill and incineration. However, both treatments are not ideal because of the limited land for landfill and the secondary pollution caused by incineration. Consequently, treating industrial sludge appropriately has become an urgent issue of environmental protection. In order to solve the problem of the massive sludge, this study uses textile sludge which is the major source of waste sludge in Taiwan as raw material for torrefaction treatments. To investigate the feasibility of producing biofuels from textile sludge by torrefaction, the experiments were conducted with temperatures at 150, 200, 250, 300, and 350°C, with heating rates of 15, 20, 25 and 30°C/min, and with residence time of 30 and 60 minutes. The results revealed that the mass yields after torrefaction were approximately in the range of 54.9 to 93.4%. The energy densification ratios were approximately in the range of 0.84 to 1.10, and the energy yields were approximately in the range of 45.9 to 98.3%. The volumetric densities were approximately in the range of 0.78 to 1.14, and the volumetric energy densities were approximately in the range of 0.65 to 1.18. To sum up, the optimum energy yield (98.3%) can be reached with terminal temperature at 150 °C, heating rate of 20°C/min, and residence time of 30 minutes, and the mass yield, energy densification ratio as well as volumetric energy density were 92.2%, 1.07, and 1.15, respectively. These results indicated that the solid products after torrefaction are easy to preserve, which not only enhance the quality of the product, but also achieve the purpose of developing the material into fuel.

Keywords: biofuel, biomass energy, textile sludge, torrefaction

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5 Performance and Structural Evaluation of the Torrefaction of Bamboo under a High Gravity (Higee) Environment Using a Rotating Packed Bed

Authors: Mark Daniel De Luna, Ma. Katreena Pillejera, Wei-Hsin Chen


The raw bamboo (Phyllostachys mankinoi), with a moisture content of 13.54 % and a higher heating value (HHV) of 17.657 MJ/kg, was subjected to torrefaction under a high gravity (higee) environment using a rotating packed bed. The performance of the higee torrefaction was explored in two parts: (1) effect of rotation and temperature and (2) effect of duration on the solid yield, HHV and energy yield. By statistical analyses, the results indicated that the rotation, temperature and their interaction has a significant effect on the three responses. Same remarks on the effect of duration where when the duration (temperature and rotation) increases, the HHV increases, while the solid yield and energy yield decreases. Graphical interpretations showed that at 300 °C, the rotating speed has no evident effect on the responses. At 30-min holding time, the highest HHV reached (28.389 MJ/kg) was obtained in the most severe torrefaction condition (the rotating speed at 1800 rpm and temperature at 300 °C) with an enhancement factor of HHV corresponding to 1.61 and an energy yield of 63.51%. Upon inspection, the recommended operating condition under a 30-min holding time is at 255 °C-1800 rpm since the enhancement factor of HHV (1.53), HHV (26.988 MJ/kg), and energy yield (65.21%) values are relatively close to that of the aforementioned torrefaction condition. The Van Krevelen diagram of the torrefied biomass showed that the ratios decrease as the torrefaction intensifies, hence improving the hydrophobicity of the product. The spreads of the results of the solid yield, enhancement factor (EF) of HHV, energy yield, and H/C and O/C ratios were in accordance with the trends of the responses. Overall, from the results presented, it can be concluded that the quality of the product from the process is at par to that of coal (i.e. HHV of coal is 21-35 MJ/kg). The Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy results indicated that cellulose and lignin may have been degraded at a lower temperature accompanied with a high rotating speed. The results suggested that torrefaction under higee environment indicates promising process for the utilization of bamboo.

Keywords: heat transfer, high gravity environment, FTIR, rotation, rotating speed, torrefaction

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4 Improve of Biomass Properties through Torrefaction Process

Authors: Malgorzata Walkowiak, Magdalena Witczak, Wojciech Cichy


Biomass is an important renewable energy source in Poland. As a biofuel, it has many advantages like renewable in noticeable time and relatively high energy potential. But disadvantages of biomass like high moisture content and hygroscopic nature causes that gaining, transport, storage and preparation for combustion become troublesome and uneconomic. Thermal modification of biomass can improve hydrophobic properties, increase its calorific value and natural resistance. This form of thermal processing is known as torrefaction. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of the pre-heat treatment of wood and plant lignocellulosic raw materials on the properties of solid biofuels. The preliminary studies included pine, beech and willow wood and other lignocellulosic raw materials: mustard, hemp, grass stems, tobacco stalks, sunflower husks, Miscanthus straw, rape straw, cereal straw, Virginia Mallow straw, rapeseed meal. Torrefaction was carried out using variable temperatures and time of the process, depending on the material used. It was specified the weight loss and the ash content and calorific value was determined. It was found that the thermal treatment of the tested lignocellulosic raw materials is able to provide solid biofuel with improved properties. In the woody materials, the increase of the lower heating value was in the range of 0,3 MJ/kg (pine and beech) to 1,1 MJ/kg (willow), in non-woody materials – from 0,5 MJ/kg (tobacco stalks, Miscanthus) to 3,5 MJ/kg (rapeseed meal). The obtained results indicate for further research needs, particularly in terms of conditions of the torrefaction process.

Keywords: biomass, lignocellulosic materials, solid biofuels, torrefaction

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3 Production and Characterization of Biochars from Torrefaction of Biomass

Authors: Serdar Yaman, Hanzade Haykiri-Acma


Biomass is a CO₂-neutral fuel that is renewable and sustainable along with having very huge global potential. Efficient use of biomass in power generation and production of biomass-based biofuels can mitigate the greenhouse gasses (GHG) and reduce dependency on fossil fuels. There are also other beneficial effects of biomass energy use such as employment creation and pollutant reduction. However, most of the biomass materials are not capable of competing with fossil fuels in terms of energy content. High moisture content and high volatile matter yields of biomass make it low calorific fuel, and it is very significant concern over fossil fuels. Besides, the density of biomass is generally low, and it brings difficulty in transportation and storage. These negative aspects of biomass can be overcome by thermal pretreatments that upgrade the fuel property of biomass. That is, torrefaction is such a thermal process in which biomass is heated up to 300ºC under non-oxidizing conditions to avoid burning of the material. The treated biomass is called as biochar that has considerably lower contents of moisture, volatile matter, and oxygen compared to the parent biomass. Accordingly, carbon content and the calorific value of biochar increase to the level which is comparable with that of coal. Moreover, hydrophilic nature of untreated biomass that leads decay in the structure is mostly eliminated, and the surface properties of biochar turn into hydrophobic character upon torrefaction. In order to investigate the effectiveness of torrefaction process on biomass properties, several biomass species such as olive milling residue (OMR), Rhododendron (small shrubby tree with bell-shaped flowers), and ash tree (timber tree) were chosen. The fuel properties of these biomasses were analyzed through proximate and ultimate analyses as well as higher heating value (HHV) determination. For this, samples were first chopped and ground to a particle size lower than 250 µm. Then, samples were subjected to torrefaction in a horizontal tube furnace by heating from ambient up to temperatures of 200, 250, and 300ºC at a heating rate of 10ºC/min. The biochars obtained from this process were also tested by the methods applied to the parent biomass species. Improvement in the fuel properties was interpreted. That is, increasing torrefaction temperature led to regular increases in the HHV in OMR, and the highest HHV (6065 kcal/kg) was gained at 300ºC. Whereas, torrefaction at 250ºC was seen optimum for Rhododendron and ash tree since torrefaction at 300ºC had a detrimental effect on HHV. On the other hand, the increase in carbon contents and reduction in oxygen contents were determined. Burning characteristics of the biochars were also studied using thermal analysis technique. For this purpose, TA Instruments SDT Q600 model thermal analyzer was used and the thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), derivative thermogravimetry (DTG), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and differential thermal analysis (DTA) curves were compared and interpreted. It was concluded that torrefaction is an efficient method to upgrade the fuel properties of biomass and the biochars from which have superior characteristics compared to the parent biomasses.

Keywords: biochar, biomass, fuel upgrade, torrefaction

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2 The Composition of Biooil during Biomass Pyrolysis at Various Temperatures

Authors: Zoltan Sebestyen, Eszter Barta-Rajnai, Emma Jakab, Zsuzsanna Czegeny


Extraction of the energy content of lignocellulosic biomass is one of the possible pathways to reduce the greenhouse gas emission derived from the burning of the fossil fuels. The application of the bioenergy can mitigate the energy dependency of a country from the foreign natural gas and the petroleum. The diversity of the plant materials makes difficult the utilization of the raw biomass in power plants. This problem can be overcome by the application of thermochemical techniques. Pyrolysis is the thermal decomposition of the raw materials under inert atmosphere at high temperatures, which produces pyrolysis gas, biooil and charcoal. The energy content of these products can be exploited by further utilization. The differences in the chemical and physical properties of the raw biomass materials can be reduced by the use of torrefaction. Torrefaction is a promising mild thermal pretreatment method performed at temperatures between 200 and 300 °C in an inert atmosphere. The goal of the pretreatment from a chemical point of view is the removal of water and the acidic groups of hemicelluloses or the whole hemicellulose fraction with minor degradation of cellulose and lignin in the biomass. Thus, the stability of biomass against biodegradation increases, while its energy density increases. The volume of the raw materials decreases so the expenses of the transportation and the storage are reduced as well. Biooil is the major product during pyrolysis and an important by-product during torrefaction of biomass. The composition of biooil mostly depends on the quality of the raw materials and the applied temperature. In this work, thermoanalytical techniques have been used to study the qualitative and quantitative composition of the pyrolysis and torrefaction oils of a woody (black locust) and two herbaceous samples (rape straw and wheat straw). The biooil contains C5 and C6 anhydrosugar molecules, as well as aromatic compounds originating from hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin, respectively. In this study, special emphasis was placed on the formation of the lignin monomeric products. The structure of the lignin fraction is different in the wood and in the herbaceous plants. According to the thermoanalytical studies the decomposition of lignin starts above 200 °C and ends at about 500 °C. The lignin monomers are present among the components of the torrefaction oil even at relatively low temperatures. We established that the concentration and the composition of the lignin products vary significantly with the applied temperature indicating that different decomposition mechanisms dominate at low and high temperatures. The evolutions of decomposition products as well as the thermal stability of the samples were measured by thermogravimetry/mass spectrometry (TG/MS). The differences in the structure of the lignin products of woody and herbaceous samples were characterized by the method of pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS). As a statistical method, principal component analysis (PCA) has been used to find correlation between the composition of lignin products of the biooil and the applied temperatures.

Keywords: pyrolysis, torrefaction, biooil, lignin

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1 Influence of Torrefied Biomass on Co-Combustion Behaviors of Biomass/Lignite Blends

Authors: Aysen Caliskan, Hanzade Haykiri-Acma, Serdar Yaman


Co-firing of coal and biomass blends is an effective method to reduce carbon dioxide emissions released by burning coals, thanks to the carbon-neutral nature of biomass. Besides, usage of biomass that is renewable and sustainable energy resource mitigates the dependency on fossil fuels for power generation. However, most of the biomass species has negative aspects such as low calorific value, high moisture and volatile matter contents compared to coal. Torrefaction is a promising technique in order to upgrade the fuel properties of biomass through thermal treatment. That is, this technique improves the calorific value of biomass along with serious reductions in the moisture and volatile matter contents. In this context, several woody biomass materials including Rhododendron, hybrid poplar, and ash-tree were subjected to torrefaction process in a horizontal tube furnace at 200°C under nitrogen flow. In this way, the solid residue obtained from torrefaction that is also called as 'biochar' was obtained and analyzed to monitor the variations taking place in biomass properties. On the other hand, some Turkish lignites from Elbistan, Adıyaman-Gölbaşı and Çorum-Dodurga deposits were chosen as coal samples since these lignites are of great importance in lignite-fired power stations in Turkey. These lignites were blended with the obtained biochars for which the blending ratio of biochars was kept at 10 wt% and the lignites were the dominant constituents in the fuel blends. Burning tests of the lignites, biomasses, biochars, and blends were performed using a thermogravimetric analyzer up to 900°C with a heating rate of 40°C/min under dry air atmosphere. Based on these burning tests, properties relevant to burning characteristics such as the burning reactivity and burnout yields etc. could be compared to justify the effects of torrefaction and blending. Besides, some characterization techniques including X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) were also conducted for the untreated biomass and torrefied biomass (biochar) samples, lignites and their blends to examine the co-combustion characteristics elaborately. Results of this study revealed the fact that blending of lignite with 10 wt% biochar created synergistic behaviors during co-combustion in comparison to the individual burning of the ingredient fuels in the blends. Burnout and ignition performances of each blend were compared by taking into account the lignite and biomass structures and characteristics. The blend that has the best co-combustion profile and ignition properties was selected. Even though final burnouts of the lignites were decreased due to the addition of biomass, co-combustion process acts as a reasonable and sustainable solution due to its environmentally friendly benefits such as reductions in net carbon dioxide (CO2), SOx and hazardous organic chemicals derived from volatiles.

Keywords: burnout performance, co-combustion, thermal analysis, torrefaction pretreatment

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