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Torrefaction of Woody and Agricultural Biomass: Influence of the Presence of Water Vapor in the Gaseous Atmosphere

Abstract : Biomass preheating in torrefaction at an industrial scale is possible through a direct contact with the hot gases released. However, their high water-content implies introducing moisture (around 20% v/v) in the torrefaction atmosphere, which may impact biomass thermochemical transformation. In this work, this situation was investigated for wheat straw, beech wood and pine forest residue in torrefaction in two complementary experimental devices. Firstly, experiments in chemical regime carried out in a thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) showed that biomass degradation started from lower temperatures and was faster under a moist atmosphere (20% v/v water content) for all biomass samples. This suggests that moisture might promote biomass components' degradation reactions from lower temperatures than those observed under a dry atmosphere. Furthermore, biomass inorganic composition might play a role in the extent of biomass degradation in torrefaction in the presence of moisture. Secondly, torrefaction experiments on a lab-scale device made possible to assess the influence of temperature and residence time under dry and 100% moist atmosphere. In this case, the difference in solid mass loss between dry and moist torrefaction was only significant for wheat straw. Globally, an effect of water vapor on biomass transformation through torrefaction was observed (maximum 10%db), which appeared to be dependent on the biomass type and composition.
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Submitted on : Monday, January 4, 2021 - 3:26:18 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 3:07:24 AM

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María González Martínez, Estéban Hélias, Gilles Ratel, Sébastien Thiéry, Thierry Melkior. Torrefaction of Woody and Agricultural Biomass: Influence of the Presence of Water Vapor in the Gaseous Atmosphere. Processes, MDPI, 2021, 9 (1), pp.30. ⟨10.3390/pr9010030⟩. ⟨hal-03095141⟩

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