Thermal study of residues from greenhouse crops plant biomass
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The principal aim of this work is to examine the effect of thermal treatments using a muffle furnace (static heating) and by simultaneous TG/DTA (dynamic heating) on selected greenhouse crops plant biomass investigated here as the first time. The effect of fractionation by sieving (<25 and <2.5 mm), preheating at 150 °C for 48 h and leaching with water on the thermal behavior has been studied. The observation of similar profiles of mass variation corresponding to several samples heated in air up to 1150 °C allows to conclude that particle size did not influence the thermal evolution, but the effect of heating cycle is evidenced. Thermal analysis in air of a representative sample showed the several mass variation steps and DTA exothermic effects produced by the complex thermal decomposition and pyrolysis of the organic matter. Elemental analysis (CHNS and O) of the starting samples and thermally treated revealed the effect of the temperature, with formation of ashes with lower C content from 44.37 to 0.70 mass% as a minimum after elimination of organic matter by heating. Leaching increased the thermal mass variation as an effect of elimination of water-soluble components. According to the present results, the size fractionation of the greenhouse crops biomass did not influence the results of elemental composition. The present study has provided results of interest concerning this biomass source of renewable energy originated by the remains of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.), being estimated the highest of all the biomass produced by the greenhouse crops agricultural industry in Almería (SE Spain).
KeywordsGreenhouse crops Biomass Thermal analysis Ashes Leaching Energy production
The financial support of Andalusia Regional Government (2014–2015) to this investigation through Research Groups AGR 107 and TEP 204 is acknowledged. The company “Transportes y Contenedores Antonio Morales” is also acknowledged, which has facilitated the collection of samples in its Treatment Plant of greenhouse crops residues.
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