Energy, Vol.35, No.6, 2580-2586, 2010
A study on torrefaction of various biomass materials and its impact on lignocellulosic structure simulated by a thermogravimetry
Torrefaction processes of four kinds of biomass materials, including bamboo, willow, coconut shell and wood (Ficus benjamina L.), were investigated using the thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Particular emphasis is placed on the impact of torrefaction on hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin contained in the biomass. Two different torrefaction processes, consisting of a light torrefaction process at 240 degrees C and a severe torrefaction process at 275 degrees C, were considered. From the torrefaction processes, the biomass could be divided into two groups: one was the relatively active biomass such as bamboo and willow, and the other was the relatively inactive biomass composed of coconut shell and wood. When the light torrefaction was performed, the results indicated that the hemicellulose contained in the biomass was destroyed in a significant way, whereas cellulose and lignin were affected only slightly. Once the severe torrefaction was carried out, it further had a noticeable effect on cellulose, especially in the bamboo and willow. The light torrefaction and severe torrefaction were followed by a chemically frozen zone, regardless of what the biomass was. From the viewpoint of torrefaction application, the investigated biomass torrefied in less than 1 h with light torrefaction is an appropriate operation for producing fuels with higher energy density. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords:Light and severe torrefaction;Pyrolysis;Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA);Thermal decomposition;Lignocellulosic structure;Biomass