Biomass & Bioenergy, Vol.27, No.6, 621-628, 2004
Industrial processes for biomass drying and their effects on the quality properties of wood pellets
This paper contributes to the discussion of how different kinds of industrial scale dryers for biomass influence the quality properties of wood pellets. It also discusses how the drying technique can affect the environment. The most common biomass drying processes in use, i.e., convection dryers are discussed. The discussion of drying techniques is based on advantages and disadvantages with a focus on the drying medium, temperature and residence time. The choice of drying technique is particularly important if the end-user's choice of pellets is made due to the specific requirements for the heating system used. Some specific parameters were tested in order to investigate how the choice of drying technique affects the pellet quality. The parameters tested were moisture content and the emissions of volatile hydrocarbons. Pellets available on the market were chosen for the tests. The amount of volatile hydrocarbons left in sawdust after drying vary with drying technique, as emissions of terpenes are larger in dryers with long residence times. Low emissions of volatile hydrocarbons would improve the energy content of the sawdust, and by decreasing air pollution improve the work environment and the environment in the surroundings of the dryers. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.