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SJTU Researchers Published Paper on Biomass Torrefaction Kinetics and Thermochemistry

April 21, 2021      Author:

The Biomass Energy Engineering Research Center at SJTU's School of Agriculture and Biology has made significant progress in the study of woody biomass torrefaction kinetics and thermochemistry, and the relevant research results have recently been published in Renewable and Sustainable. Energy Reviews. Focusing on research papers and reviews related to renewable energy, the journal is one of the leading journals in the field of energy & fuels, with a recent impact factor of 12.110.

Torrefaction is a biomass processing technology at low temperatures, anoxic conditions and low heating rates. The torrefied biomass has a low moisture content, high calorific and energy density, fine grindability and hydrophobicity, and is suitable for long-distance transport and storage. In addition, torrefaction technology enhances the thermochemical conversion performance of biomass.

Based on this, the Biomass Engineering Research Center has constructed the kinetic and thermochemical models for poplar wood torrefaction to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the intrinsic reaction mechanism and thermal effects of the biomass torrefaction process, to provide a theoretical basis for optimizing the biomass torrefaction process and determining the optimal torrefaction operating conditions, and to provide basic data support for improving the subsequent thermochemical conversion performance of biomass.

Chai Meiyun, a PhD student of SJTU School of Agriculture and Biology, is the first author of the paper and Associate Professor Cai Junmeng is the corresponding author. Professor Liu Ronghou and undergraduate student Xie Li, also from School of Agriculture and Biology, SJTU; Dr. Yu Xi, Dr. Yang Yang, Dr. Paula H. Blanco and Professor Anthony V. Bridgwater from Aston University, UK; Professor Zhang Xingguang from Shanghai University of Technology; and Md. Maksudur Rahman from Curtin University, Australia also contributed to the study. The research was funded by the Sino-German Center for Research Promotion International Cooperation Program, as well as other grants.

 

Author: Biomass Energy Engineering Research Center

Source: School of Agriculture and Biology, SJTU

 

ABSTRACT:

The kinetic and thermochemical models for poplar wood torrefaction were developed in the present work. The torrefaction kinetic model satisfactorily fitted the experimental thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) data of poplar wood torrefaction and provided a coherent description of the evolution of torrefaction volatile and solid products in terms of a set of identifiable chemical components and elemental compositions. The torrefaction thermochemical model described the thermochemical performance of poplar wood torrefaction processes. The results from the kinetic and thermochemical models for poplar wood torrefaction showed that (1) high temperature increases the evolution rate of torrefaction products, and favors the formation of torrefaction volatiles; (2) the heating rate has a slight effect on evolution for torrefaction process; (3) the mass and energy yields of torrefaction products are significantly influenced by both torrefaction temperature and residence time; (4) the heat of torrefaction reaction is mostly endothermic with a relatively small amount (less than 10% of the raw material energy content); (5) for the overall torrefaction processes, the sensible and latent energy of torrefaction products accounts for 5-18% of the total energy input and the remaining energy input transfers into the energy contents of torrefaction products. This work provides a theoretical guidance for future evaluation and optimization of woody biomass torrefaction systems/processes, and thereafter for the industrial application of woody biomass thermochemical conversion.