Impact of torrefaction on chemical structure of woody biomass

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Publication Details

List of Authors: Shoulaifar TK, DeMartini N, Zevenhoven M, Willfor S, Pranovich A, Smeds A, Virtanen T, Maunu SL, Verhoeff F, Kiel J, Hupa M
Place: Washington, D. C
Publication year: 2013
Journal: Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society
Book title: 246th ACS National Meeting & Exposition
Journal acronym: ABSTR PAP AM CHEM S
Volume number: 246
Start page: ENFL-521
Number of pages: 1
ISBN: 9780841229440
ISSN: 0065-7727


Torrefaction is a thermochem. pretreatment of biomass at temps. of 200-​300 °C in an inert atm. This method improves the final characteristics of the fuel, amongst them resistance to biodegrdn., less hydrophilicity, better grindability and higher energy d. In spite of the available information about torrefaction, several aspects of thermal effect on wood needs further research, including the chem. changes of wood constituents during torrefaction. In this study with birch chips torrefied in a pilot reactor at ECN, The Netherlands, cellulose and hemicellulose degrdn. was measured by sugar anal. and acetone extractable material was measured by gravimetry. Changes in the lignin structure were measured by CNMR. Pentosan's decrease by more than 50​% already at 240 °C and cellulose degrdn. is less than 50​%, while mass loss increases from 19 wt.​% to 35 wt.​%, Fig.1. Acetone extn. shows a significant increase in total amt. of extractives by gravimetry at mild torrefaction and then a gradual decrease at higher temps. The sharp increase at mild torrefaction is due to degrdn. of carbohydrates and lignin polymers to their monomers. Anal. by GC-​MS shows an increase in extractives such as lignans and vanillin among others. A better understanding of the chem. of torrefaction has implications for both its usage in the energy field, and perhaps other biorefinery applications such as fine chems.

Last updated on 2019-25-06 at 06:29