Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry

, Volume 134, Issue 3, pp 2137–2145 | Cite as

Biomass residue characterization for their potential application as biofuels

  • Mudasir Akbar Shah
  • M. N. S. Khan
  • Vimal Kumar


A detailed understanding of chemical composition and thermal degradation behavior is very important for a biomass before processing it into a pyrolysis or gasification unit for energy production. In the present work, the physico- and thermo-chemical characterization of four different types of walnut shells (PSW, TSW, MSW and HSW) is carried out to evaluate their application as furnace oil. The thermal degradation behavior during the thermal decomposition of different walnut shells (WS) samples is studied using thermogravimetric analysis at three different heating rates (5, 10 and 15 °C min−1). It is observed that the complete moisture removal is below 152 °C, and the degradation of lignocellulosic biomass is occurred between ≈ 250 to ≈ 400 °C in the oxidizing atmosphere. For all different WS samples, the heating values are observed in the range of 13.8–18.4 MJ kg−1, which is comparable to the wood waste and lignite coal. The cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin and extractives in walnut shell are found to vary from 32.3 to 34.5, 21 to 27, 39 to 43 and 1.4 to 1.7%, respectively. The functional characterization of different WS is carried out using FTIR, and the most prominent FTIR band peak has been found at wave numbers of 3400, 2931, 1420 and 1050 cm−1, which is due to the stretching vibrations of –OH, CH–, aromatic C=C, and aliphatic ether and alcohol groups, respectively. Scanning electron microscopy analysis indicated the rough texture and heterogeneous structures of biomass. Further, the X-ray diffraction analysis showed the crystalline structure, which is due to the presence of cellulose. Therefore, it can be concluded that the walnut shell is a potential candidate for energy generation through thermo-chemical conversion.


Walnut shell Proximate and ultimate analysis Higher heating values Thermogravimetric analysis 



The authors would like to acknowledge to Sophisticated Test & Instrumentation Centre (SAIF), Cochin University of Science and Technology, Cochin, Kerala, India, for analyzing various biomass. We greatly appreciate the financial support provided by Minister of Human Resources Department (MHRD), Govt. of India. The authors also thankful to the Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, and Department of Chemical Engineering Department, National Institute of Technology, Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir, India.

Supplementary material

10973_2018_7560_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (138 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 138 kb)


  1. 1.
    Hall DO, Rosillo-Calle F, de Groot P. Biomass energy lessons from case studies in developing countries. Energy Policy. 1992;20:62–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    McGowan F. Controlling the greenhouse effect: the role of renewables. Energy Policy. 1991;49:111–8.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Demirbas A. Combustion characteristics of different biomass fuels. Prog Energy Comb Sci. 2004;30:219–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Global agricultural Information network (GIAN). Report number IN5116; 2016.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Malhotra SP. World edible nuts economy. 2008; ISBN 13-978-81-8069-561-2.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Rather MA, Khan NS, Gupta R. Production of solid biofuel from macrophyte Potamogeton lucens. Eng Sci Technol. 2017;20:168–74.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    McKendry P. Energy production from biomass (part 1): overview of biomass. Biores Technol. 2002;83:37–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Antal, MJ Jr. Biomass pyrolysis: a review of the literature part 2—lignocellulose pyrolysis. In: Boer KW, Duffle JA, editors. Advances in solar energy, vol 2. American Solar Energy Society, New York, 1983, p. 175–255.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ceulcuoglu E, Ue Nay E, Karaosmanoglu F. Thermogravimetric analysis of the rapeseed cake. Energy Sour. 2001;23:889–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Yao F, Wu Q, Lei Y, Guo W, Xu Y. Thermal decomposition kinetics of natural fibers: activation energy with dynamic thermogravimetric analysis. Polym Degrad Stab. 2008;93:90–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Jiang G, Nowakowski DJ, Bridgwater AV. A systematic study of the kinetics of lignin pyrolysis. Thermochim Acta. 2010;498:61–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Al-Harahsheh M, Al-Ayed O, Robinson J, Kingman S, Al-Harahsheh A, Tarawneh K. Effect of demineralization and heating rate on the pyrolysis kinetics of Jordanian oil shales. Fuel Process Technol. 2011;92:1805–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Acikalin K. Thermogravimetric analysis of Walnut shells as pyrolysis feedstock. J Therm Anal Calorim. 2011;105:145–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Sasmal S, Goud VV, Mohanty K. Determination of salutary parameters to facilitate bio-energy production from three uncommon biomasses using thermogravimetric analysis. J Therm Anal Calorim. 2013;111:1649–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Antal MJ, Varhegyi G. Cellulose pyrolysis kinetics, the current state of knowledge. Ind Eng Chem Res. 1995;43:703–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Liou TH, Chang FW, Lo JJ. Pyrolysis kinetics of acid-leached rice husk. Ind Eng Chem Res. 1997;36:568–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Zhu X, Chen Z, Xiao B, et al. Co-pyrolysis behaviors and kinetics of sewage sludge and pine sawdust blends under non-isothermal conditions. J Therm Anal Calorim. 2014;119:2269–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Verma AK, Mondal P. Physicochemical characterization and kinetic study of pine needle for pyrolysis process. J Therm Anal Calorim. 2016;124:487–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ghaffar SH, Fan M. Structural analysis for lignin characteristics in biomass straw. Biomass Bioenerg. 2013;57(57):264–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Nanda S, Mohanty P, Pant KK, Naik S, Kozinski JA, Dalai AK. Characterization of North American lignocellulosic biomass and biochars in terms of their candidacy for alternate renewable fuels. Bioenergy Res. 2013;6:663–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Shadangi KP, Mohanty K. Kinetic study and thermal analysis of the pyrolysis of non-edible oil seed powders by thermogravimetric and differential scanning calorimetric analysis. Renew Energy. 2014;63:337–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Yuan HR, Liu RH. Study on pyrolysis kinetics of walnut shells. J Therm Anal Calor. 2007;3:983–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Uzun BB, Yaman E. Thermogravimetric pyrolysis of walnut shell an assessment of kinetic modeling. In: International conference on “industrial waste and waste water treatment valorization” held in Athens, Greece, 21st–23rd May 2015.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Findorak R, Frohlichova M, Findorakova J, Findorakova L. Thermal degradation and kinetic study of sawdusts and walnut shells via thermal analysis. J Therm Anal Calorim. 2016;125:689–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Li S, Xu S, Liu S, Yang C, Lu Q. Fast pyrolysis of biomass in free-fall reactor for hydrogen-rich gas. Fuel Process Technol. 2004;85:1201–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    ASTM. Standard test method for moisture analysis of particulate wood fuels, ASTM E871-82. Pennsylvania: ASTM International; 2013.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    ASTM. Standard test method for ash in wood, ASTM D1102-84. Pennsylvania: ASTM International; 2013.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    ASTM. Standard test method for volatile matter in the analysis of particulate wood fuels, ASTM E872-82. Pennsylvania: ASTM International; 2013.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    ASTM. Standard test methods for instrumental determination of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen in laboratory samples of coal, ASTM D5373-08. Pennsylvania: ASTM International; 2008.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    ASTM, Standard test method for gross calorific value of coal and coke by the adiabatic bomb calorimeter, ASTM D2015-85.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Lee Y, Park J, Ryu C, Gang KS, Yang W, Park YK, Jung J, Hyun S. Comparison of biochar properties from biomass residues produced by slow pyrolysis at 500° C. Biores Technol. 2013;148:196–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Graboski M, Bain R. Biomass gasification: principles and technology. In: Reed TB, editor. Noyes data corporation, New Jersey, 1981. p. 154–82.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Gaur S, Reed TB. An Atlas of thermal data for biomass and other fuels. National renewable energy laboratory USA. 1998; DE-AC36-83CH10093.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Jahirul MI, Rasul MG, Chowdhury AA, Ashwat N. Biofuels production through biomass pyrolysis—a technological review. Energies. 2012;5:4952–5001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Ranzi E, Cuoci A, Faravelli T, Frassoldati A, Migliavacca G, Pierucci S, Sommariva S. Chemical kinetics of biomass pyrolysis. Energy Fuels. 2008;22:4292–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Vassilev SV, Baxter D, Andersen LK, Vassileva CG, Morgan TJ. An overview of the organic and inorganic phase composition of biomass. Fuel. 2012;94:1–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Jeguirim M, Trouve G. Pyrolysis characteristics and kinetics of Arundo donax using thermogravimetric analysis. Biores Technol. 2009;100:4026–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Bisht AS, Singh S, Kumar SR. Use of pine needle in energy generation application. Int J Res Appl Sci Eng Technol. 2014;2:59–63.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Cai JM, Bi LS. Kinetic analysis of wheat straw pyrolysis using isoconversional methods. J Therm Anal Calorim. 2009;98:325–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Chutia RS, Kataki R, Bhaskar T. Thermogravimetric and decomposition kinetic studies of Mesua ferrea L. deoiled cake. Biores Technol. 2013;139:66–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Mishra G, Bhaskar T. Non isothermal model free kinetics for pyrolysis of rice straw. Biores Technol. 2014;169:614–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Ackalın K. Pyrolytic characteristics and kinetics of pistachio shell by thermogravimetric analysis. J Therm Anal Calorim. 2012;109:227–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Lopez-Velazquez MA, Santes V, Balmaseda J, Torres-Garcia E. Pyrolysis of orange waste: a thermo-kinetic study. J Anal Appl Pyrolysis. 2013;99:170–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Lapuerta M, Hernández A, Rodríguez J. Kinetics of devolatilisation of forestry wastes from thermogravimetric analysis. Biomass Bioenergy. 2004;27:385–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Nyakuma BB, Johari A, Ahmad A, Amran T, Abdullah T. Thermogravimetric analysis of the fuel properties of empty fruit bunch briquettes. J Teknol. 2014;3:79–82.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Sait HH, Hussain A, Salema AA, Ani FN. Pyrolysis and combustion kinetics of date palm biomass using thermogravimetric analysis. Biores Technol. 2012;118:382–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Balogun AO, Lasode OA, McDonald AG. Thermo-physical, chemical and structural modifications in torrefied biomass residues. Waste Biomass Valor 2018;9:131–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Faix O. Classification of Lignins from different botanical origins by FT-IR spectroscopy. Holzforschung. 1991;45:21–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringNational Institute of Technology SrinagarSrinagarIndia
  2. 2.Department of Chemical EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology RoorkeeRoorkeeIndia

Personalised recommendations