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International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering

Ed. by de Lasa, Hugo / Xu, Charles Chunbao

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Development of Torrefaction Kinetics for British Columbia Softwoods

Jianghong Peng / Xiaotao T. Bi / Jim Lim / Shabab Sokhansanj
Published Online: 2012-03-23 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/1542-6580.2878

Torrefaction is a thermal treatment without air or oxygen in the temperature range of 473-573 K. The pyrolysis kinetics of three chemical components (cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin) and wood at low temperatures of relevance to torrefaction conditions have been reviewed. A series of thermogravimetric (TG) experiments have been carried out to study the intrinsic torrefaction kinetics of major chemical components and British Columbia (BC) softwoods. The weight loss during BC softwood torrefaction was found to be mainly associated with the decomposition of hemicelluloses, although there was also certain degree of decomposition of cellulose and lignin. The weight loss of the BC softwoods during torrefaction could be approximately estimated from the chemical composition of wood species and the weight loss data for torrefaction of pure cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin, respectively. Based on the fitting of the TG curves of BC softwoods and three chemical components, two different torrefaciton models were proposed. The simple one-step (single-stage) kinetic model with the first order reaction can predict the reaction data reasonably well over the long residence time, with the final sample weight being strongly related to the torrefaction temperature. A two-component and one-step first order reaction kinetic model, on the other hand, gave improved agreement with data over short residence time, and can be used to guide the design and optimization of torrefaction reactors over the weight loss range of 0 to 40% at the temperature range of 533-573 K, which covers the typical range of industrially relevant operations.

Keywords: torrefaction; TG tests; kinetics; model; BC softwood

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Published Online: 2012-03-23

Citation Information: International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering, ISSN (Online) 1542-6580, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/1542-6580.2878.

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©2012 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

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