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Torrefaction of non -lignocellulose biomass waste



Torrefaction of some non-lignocellulose waste biomass was attempted to examine if such materials could benefit from this process as conventional lignocellulose biomass does. Experiments were conducted on chicken litter, digested sludge, and undigested sludge from a municipality in Canada. Effects of two important torrefaction process parameters: temperature and residence time on the torrefaction yield were studied. For reference, torrefaction of three lignocellulose biomass (switch grass, coffee husk, and wood pellet) was also carried out in the same apparatus under identical conditions. A comparison of torrefaction yield and other properties of these biomass showed that in spite of the large difference in their constitution the torrefaction behaviour of non-lignocellulose and lignocellulose biomass were similar. The increase in energy density after torrefaction and the effect of temperature and residence time on torrefaction were also similar for these two types. The present research made an important addition to the existing database on torrefaction of biomass by adding missing information on torrefaction of sludge and poultry litter. Additionally, this work unearthed a potential option for production of composite pellets of waste (e.g., sludge) mixed with biomass (e.g., switch grass). © 2011 Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering