Advertisement

Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 349–369 | Cite as

A review on advances of torrefaction technologies for biomass processing

  • Bimal Acharya
  • Idris Sule
  • Animesh Dutta
Review Article

Abstract

Torrefaction is a thermochemical pretreatment process at 200–300 °C in an inert condition which transforms biomass into a relatively superior handling, milling, co-firing and clean renewable energy into solid biofuel. This increases the energy density, water resistance and grindability of biomass and makes it safe from biological degradation which ultimately makes easy and economical on transportation and storing of the torrefied products. Torrefied biomass is considered as improved version than the current wood pellet products and an environmentally friendly future alternative for coal. Torrefaction carries devolatilisation, depolymerization and carbonization of lignocellulose components and generates a brown to black solid biomass as a productive output with water, organics, lipids, alkalis, SiO2, CO2, CO and CH4. During this process, 70 % of the mass is retained as a solid product, and retains 90 % of the initial energy content. The torrefied product is then shaped into pellets or briquettes that pack much more energy density than regular wood pellets. These properties minimize on the difference in combustion characteristics between biomass and coal that bring a huge possibility of direct firing of biomass in an existing coal-fired plant. Researchers are trying to find a solution to fire/co-fire torrefied biomass instead of coal in an existing coal-fired based boiler with minimum modifications and expenditures. Currently available torrefied technologies are basically designed and tested for woody biomass so further research is required to address on utilization of the agricultural biomass with technically and economically viable. This review covers the torrefaction technologies, its’ applications, current status and future recommendations for further study.

Keywords

Torrefaction Bioenergy Coal-fired plant 

Nomenclature

BO2

Bio-dioxide (like carbon dioxide)

CV

Calorific value

GHG

Green house gas

LCA

Life cycle analysis

SCD

Screw conveyors dryers

TB

Torrefied biomass

VOC

Volatile organic compounds

References

  1. 1.
    United Nations (UN). Kyoto protocol to the United Nations framework convention on climate change [Online]. Available at: http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/
  2. 2.
    Bridgeman TG, Jones JM, Shield I, Williams PT (2008) Torrefaction of reed canary grass, wheat straw and willow to enhance solid fuel qualities and combustion properties. J Fuels 87:844–856CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bergman, PCA, and Kiel JHA (2005) Torrefaction for biomass upgrading. In: 14th European Biomass Conference & Exhibition, Paris, France, 17–21 OctoberGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Paoluccio AJ, Smith RS, Modesto CA (2006) U.S. patent application for “Method and apparatus for biomass torrefaction, manufacturing a storable fuel from biomass and producing offsets for the combustion products of fossil fuels and combustible article of manufacture,” Docket no. 60/747,803Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bergman PCA, Boersma AR, Zwart RWH, and Kiel JHA (2005) Torrefaction for biomass co-firing in existing coal-fired power stations. Report ECN-C-05-013, ECNGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kiel JHA (2007) Torrefaction for biomass upgrading into commodity fuels. In: Proceedings of the IEA Bioenergy Task 32 Workshop on Fuel Storage, Handling and Preparation and System Analysis for Biomass Combustion Technologies. Berlin, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Tumuluru JS, Shahab Sokhansanj J, Wright CT, and Boardman RD (2010) Biomass torrefaction process review and moving bed torrefaction system model development. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, INT/EXT-10019569 and INL/CON-10-18636Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chew JJ, Doshi V (2011) Recent advances in biomass pretreatment—torrefaction fundamentals and technology. Renew Sust Energ Rev 15(2011):4212–4222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Tumuluru JS, Sokhansanj S, Hess JR, Wright CT, Boardman RD (2011) A review on biomass torrefaction process and product properties for energy applications. Ind Biotechnol 7:384–401Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    McKendry P (2002) Energy production from biomass (part1): overview of biomass. Biores Technol 83:37–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Yang H, Yan R, Chen H, Zheng C, Lee DH, Liang DT (2005) In-depth investigation of biomass pyrolysis based on three major components: hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin. Energy Fuel 20:388–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Pérez J, Muñoz-Dorado J, Rubia T, Martínez J (2002) Biodegradation and biological treatments of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin: an overview. Int Microbiol 5(2):53–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Arias B, Pedida C, Fermoso J, Plaza MG, Rubiera F, Pis JJ (2008) Influence of torrefaction on the grindability and reactivity of woody biomass. Fuel Process Technol J 89(2):169–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bridgeman TG, Jones JM, Williams A, Waldron DJ (2010) An investigation of the grindability of two torrefied energy crops. Fuel J 89(12):3911–3918CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Sadaka S, Negi S (2009) Improvements of biomass physical and thermochemical characteristics via torrefaction process. Environ Prog Sustain Energy, AlChE J 28(3):427–434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Jeffries TW (1994) Biodegradation of lignin and hemicelluloses. In: Ratledge C (ed) Biochemistry of microbial degradation. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp 233–277Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Uslu A, Faaij APC, Bergman PCA (2008) Pre-treatment technologies, and their effect on international bioenergy supply chain logistics. Techno-economic evaluation of torrefaction, fast pyrolysis and pelletization. Elsevier Energy 33:1206–1223Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Wang G, Luo Y, Deng J, Kuang J, Zhang Y (2011) Pretreatment of biomass by torrefaction. Chin Sci Bull 56:1442–1448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kiel JHA, Verhoeff F, Gerhauser H, and Meuleman B (2008) BO2 Technology for biomass upgrading into solid fuel-pilot scale testing and market implementation. Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), PettenGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Repellin V, Govin A, Rolland M, Guyonne R (2010) Energy requirement for fine grinding of torrefied wood. Biomass Bioenergy J 34(7):923–930CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Mani S (2010) Integrating biomass torrefaction with thermo-chemical conversion processes. In: Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of AIChE, Nashville, TN. Nov 8–13, 2009, Paper # 160229, [online materials]. http://www.aicheproceedings.org/2009/Fall/data/papers/Paper160229.pdf
  22. 22.
    Phanphanich M, Mani S (2010) Impact of torrefaction on the grindability and fuel characteristics of forest biomass. Biores Technol J 102(2):1246–1253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Almeida G, Brito JO, Perre P (2010) Alterations in energy properties of eucalyptus wood and bark subjected to torrefaction: the potential of mass loss as a synthetic indicator. Biores Technol J 101(24):9778–9784CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Bergman PCA, Boersma AR, Kiel JHA, Prins MJ, Ptasinski KJ, and Janssen FGGJ (2005) Torrefied biomass for entrained-flow gasification of biomass. Report ECN-C--05-026, ECNGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
  26. 26.
    Govin A, Repellin V, Rolland M, and Duplan J (1988) Effect of torrefaction on grinding energy requirement for thin wood particle production [online materials]. http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/46/23/39/PDF/AG-SFGP09.pdf
  27. 27.
    Rousset P, Davrieux F, Macedo L, Perré P (2011) Characterisation of the torrefaction of beech wood using NIRS: combined effects of temperature and duration. Biomass Bioenergy J 35(3):1219–1226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Chen W, Kuo P (2011) Torrefaction and co-torrefaction characterization of hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin as well as torrefaction of some basic constituents in biomass. Energy J 36(2):803–811CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Prins MJ, Ptasinski KJ, Janssen FJJG (2006) More efficient biomass gasification via torrefaction. Energy Fuels J 31(15):3458–3470Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Pimchuai A, Dutta A, Basu P (2010) Torrefaction of agricultural residue to enhance combustible properties. Energy Fuel J 24(9):4638–4645Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Jenkins BM, Baxter LL, Miles TR Jr (1998) Combustion properties of biomass. Fuel Process Technol 54:17–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Yan W, Acharjee TC, Coronella CJ, Vásquez VR (2009) Thermal pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass. Environ Prog Sustain Energy 28:435–440CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Waje SS, Patel AK, Thorat BN, Mujumdar AS (2006) An experimental study of the thermal performance of a screw conveyor dryer. Dry Technol 24(3):293–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Sule I (2012) Torrefaction behaviour of agricultural biomass and their commercial feasibilities, M.A.Sc. Thesis, University of GuelphGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Pipatmanomai S (2011) Overview and experiences of biomass fluidized bed gasification in Thailand. J Sustain Energy Environ Spec Issue 29–11Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Koukios EG (1993) Progress in thermochemical, solid state refining of biofuels: from research to commercialization. In: Bridgwater AV (ed) Advances in thermochemical biomass conversion, Proceedings of the International Conference, 11–15 May 1992, Vol. 2. Blackie Academic& Professional, London, pp 1678–1693Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Ciolkosz D, Wallace R (2011) A review of torrefaction for bioenergy feedstock production. Biofuels Bioprod Bioref. doi: 10.1002/bbb.275
  38. 38.
    Chen W-H, Hsu H-C, Lu K-M, Lee W-J, Lin T-C (2011) Thermal pretreatment of woo(Lauan) block by torrefaction and its influence on the properties of the biomass. Energy 36:3012–3021CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Chen W-H, Cheng W-Y, Lu K-M, Huang Y-PA (2011) In evaluation on improvement of pulverized biomass property for solid fuel through torrefaction. Appl Energy 88:3636–3644CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Ciolkosz D, Wallace R (2011) A review of torrefaction for bioenergy feedstock production. Biofuels, Bioprod Biorefin 5(3):317–329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Prins MJ, Ptasinski KJ, Janssen FJJG (2006) Torrefaction of wood: part 1. Weight loss kinetics. J Anal Appl Pyrolysis 77:28–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Van der Stelt MJC, Gerhauser H, Kiel JHA, Ptasinski KJ (2011) Biomass upgrading by torrefaction for the production of biofuels: a review. Biomass Bioenergy 35:3748–e3762Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Acharjee TC, Coronella CJ, Vasquez VR (2011) Effect of thermal pretreatment on equilibrium moisture content of lignocellulosic biomass. Biores Technol J 102(7):4849–4854CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Bourgeois J, Bartholin MC, Guyonnet R (1989) Thermal treatment of wood: analysis of the obtained product. Wood Sci Technol 23:303–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Deng J, Wang G-J, Kuang J-H, Zhang Y-L, Luo Y (2009) Pretreatment of agricultural residues for co-gasification via torrefaction. J Anal Appl Pyrolysis 86:331–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Ferro DT, Vigouroux V, Grimm A, Zanzi R (2004) Torrefaction of agricultural and forest residues. Cubasolar 2004. Guantánamo, CubaGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Felfli FF, Luengo CA, Soler PB, Rocha JD (2004) Mathematical modelling of woods and briquettes torrefaction. In: Proceedings of the 5th Encontro de Energia no Meio Rural, Campinas, Spain, October 19–2. http://www.feagri.unicamp.br/energia/agre2004/Fscommand/PDF/Agrener/Trabalho%205.pdf
  48. 48.
    Leonelli C, Mason TJ (2010) Microwave and ultrasonic processing: now a realistic option for industry. Chem Eng Process J 49(9):885–900CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Amos WA (1998) Report on biomass drying technology. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, report no. NREL/TP-570-25885. http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy99osti/25885.pdf
  50. 50.
    Kudra T, Mujumdar AS (2002) Advanced drying technologies. Marcel Dekker, New York, pp 69–70, 81–83, and 335–336Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Chandran AN, Rao SS, Varma YBG (1990) Fluidized bed drying of solids. AlChE J 36(1):29–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Marb CM, Vortmeyer D (1988) Multiple steady states of a cross flow moving bed reactor. Chem Eng Sci 43(4):811–819CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Linghong Z, Chunbao CX, Pascale C (2010) Overview of recent advances in thermo-chemical conversion of biomass. Energy 51:969–982Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Barrozo MAS, Murata VV, Assis AJ, Freire JT (2006) Modeling of drying in moving bed. Drying Technology 24:269–279Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Waje SS, Patel AK, Thorat BN, Mujumdar AS (2007) Study of residence time distribution in a pilot-scale screw conveyor dryer. Dry Technol 25(1):249–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Tsamba AJ, Yang W, Blasiak W (2006) Pyrolysis characteristics and global kinetics of coconut and cashew nut shells. Fuel Process Technol 87:523–530CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Shafizadeh F, Chin Peter PS (1977) Thermal deterioration of wood. Wood technology: chemical aspects. American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, pp 57–81Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Shu-de Q, Fang-Zhen G, Dong-li Z (1996) The study on performance of twin screw conveyor. Dry Technol 14(7and 8):1859–1870CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    De la Hoz A, Díaz-Ortiz A, Moreno A (2005) Microwaves in organic synthesis. Thermal and non-thermal microwave effects. Chem Soc Rev 34:164–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Miura M, Kaga H, Sakurai A, Kakuchi T, Takahashi K (2004) Rapid pyrolysis of wood block by microwave heating. J Anal Appl Pyrolysis 71:187–199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Salem AA, Ani FN (2011) Microwave induced pyrolysis of oil palm biomass. Biosource Technol J 102(3):3388–3395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Dangtran KY, Mullen JF and Mayrose DT (2000) A comparison of fluid bed and multiple hearth biosolids incineration. In: The 14th Annual Residuals & Sludge Management ConferenceGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    FGC Group (2010) http://www.fgcgroupllc.com/multiple_hearth_furnaces.html. Accessed 30 May 2011
  64. 64.
    Kleinschmidt CP (2011) Overview of international developments in torrefaction. Bio-energy Trade, Torrefaction workshop, http://www.bioenergytrade.org/downloads/grazkleinschmidtpaper2011.pdf
  65. 65.
    Mosier N, Wyman C, Dale B, Elander R, Lee YY, Holtzapple M et al (2005) Features of promising technologies for pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass. Bioresour Technol 96:673–686CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    IEA Bioenergy (2010) Technology roadmaps. International Energy Agency (IEA), ParisGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Helwig T, Jannasch R, Samson R, DeMaio A, Caumartin D (2010) Agricultural biomass residue inventories and conversion systems for energy production in Eastern Canada. Prepared for Natural Resources—Canada [online material]. http://www.reapCanada.com/online_library/feedstockbiomass/7Agricultural%20Biomass%20Residue%20Inventories%20and%20Conversion..Samson%20et%20al.%202002.pdf
  68. 68.
    Dana Mitchell, Tom Elder (2010) Fueling the future. In: 2010 Council on Forest Engineering Annual Meeting June 6–9; Devall Drive, Auburn, AlabamaGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    White RH, Dietenberger MA (2001) Wood products: thermal degradation and fire. In: The encyclopedia of materials: science and technology. Elsevier Applied Science, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Twidell J, Weir T (2005) Biomass and biofuels. In: Renewable energy resources, 2nd edn. Spon, London, pp 351–99Google Scholar
  71. 71.
    Hakansson K (2007) Torrefaction and gasification of hydrolysis residue. MSc thesis, Umea Institute of TechnologyGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Prins MJ, Ptasinski KJ, Janssen FJJG (2003). Thermodynamics of gas-char reactions: first and second law analysis. Chem Eng Sci 58 (13–16):1003–1011CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. 73.
    Josheph J James (2010) Creating power from biomass: torrefaction a key facilitating technology. http://www1.eere.energy.gov/biomass/biomass2010/pdfs/biomass2010_plenary2_james.pdf
  74. 74.
    Kaliyan N, Vance Morey R (2009) Factors affecting strength and durability of densified biomass products. Biomass Bioenergy 33:337–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. 75.
    Kumar A, Cameron JB, Flynn PC (2003) Biomass power cost and optimum plant size in Western Canada. Biomass Bioenergy J 24(6):445–464CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. 76.
    Nalladurai KR, Vance M (2009) Factors affecting strength and durability of densified biomass products. Biomass Bioenergy 33(3):337–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. 77.
    Holley CA (1983) The densification of biomass by roll briquetting. In: Proceedings of the Institute for Briquetting and Agglomeration (IBA), Vol. 18, No., pp 95–102Google Scholar
  78. 78.
    Obernberger I, Thek G (2004) Physical characterization and chemical composition of densified biomass fuels with regard to their combustion behavior. Biomass Bioenergy 27(6):653–669CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. 79.
    McMullen J, Fasina OO, Wood CW, Feng Y (2005) Storage and handling characteristics of pellets from poultry litter. Appl Eng Agric 21(4):645–651Google Scholar
  80. 80.
    Couhert C, Salvador S, Commandré JM (2009) Impact of torrefaction on syngas production from wood. Fuel 88:2286–2290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. 81.
    Kuang X, Tumuluru JS, Bi XT, Lim CJ, Sokhansanj S, Melin S (2009) Rate and peak concentrations of off-gas emissions in stored wood pellets—sensitivities to temperature, relative humidity, and headspace volume. Ann Occup Hyg 53(8):789–796CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. 82.
    Zwart RWJ, Boerrigter H, Drift AVD (2006) The impact of biomass pretreatment on the feasibility of overseas biomass conversion to Fischer-Tropsch products. Energy Fuel J 20(5):2192–2197Google Scholar
  83. 83.
    Svoboda K, Pohořelý M, Hartman M, Martinec J (2009) Pretreatment and feeding of biomass for pressurized entrained flow gasification. Fuel Process Technol J 90(5):629–635CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. 84.
    Douglas B (2010) Canada report on bioenergy [Online Material]. http://www.canbio.ca/documents/publications/canadacountryreport2009.pdf
  85. 85.
    Felfli FF, Luengo CA, Suárez JA, Beatón PA (2005) Wood briquette torrefaction. Energy Sustain Dev 9:19–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. 86.
    Gilbert P, Ryu C, Sharifi V, Swithenbank J (2009) Effect of process parameters on pelletization of herbaceous crops. Fuel 88:1491–1497CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. 87.
    UNEP (2010) Global trends in green energy 2009: new power capacity from renewable sources tops fossil fuels again in US, Europe. REN 21Google Scholar
  88. 88.
    Lam PS, Sokhansanj S, Bi XT, Lim CJ (2012) Colorimetry applied to steam-treated biomass and pellets made from western Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii, L.). Trans ASABE 55(2):673–678Google Scholar
  89. 89.
    Magalhaes A, Petrovic D, Rodriguez A, Putra Z, Thielemans G (2009) Techno economic assessment of biomass pre-conversion processes as a part of biomass-to-liquids line-up. Biofuels, Bioprod Bioref 3:584–600CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. 90.
    Rosillo-Calle F (2007) Biomass assessment handbook—bioenergy for a sustainable environment, 1st edn. Earthscan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  91. 91.
    Rousset P, Turner I, Donnot A, Perré P (2006) The choice of a low temperature pyrolysis model at the microscopic level for use in amacroscopic formulation. Ann For Sci 63:213–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EngineeringUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada

Personalised recommendations