Temperature dependence of aspen torrefaction kinetics

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© 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Torrefied biomass provides opportunities for an alternative, renewable fuel in the energy market. Much work on torrefaction is based on weight loss transients without much insight into the evolution of volatile species. A previous model from our group has been developed that predicts the degradation of raw biomass into specific chemical species during torrefaction (water, acetic acid, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, formic acid and furfural) in three consecutive reaction steps. The goal of this work is to understand how the kinetics of torrefaction change with temperature. Kinetic parameters for aspen wood were obtained for the first 90min of 260-300°C (1000°C/s) torrefaction. The pre-exponential factors were 3.32E9, 1.43E11, and 2.08E14min-1, and the activation energies 1.05E2, 1.27E2, and 1.72E2kJ/mol for the three reactions. Kinetic parameters found correspond well to similar values from global weight loss studies, and suggest that increased torrefaction severity leads to progressively more recalcitrant forms of torrefied biomass. These continuous production traces for the volatile organic species yield insight into torrefaction, and require careful consideration of torrefaction time and temperature to design the desired solid fuel product.

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Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis