Vol 6, No 7 (2015) > Chemical Engineering >

Effect of Heating Rate of Torrefaction of Sugarcane Bagasse on its Physical Characteristics

Dijan Supramono, Yosephine Merry Devina, Dewi Tristantini



Torrefaction, which is used to improve the
properties of sugarcane bagasse as fuel in pulverised fuel combustion and as
carbon feed in gasification, is a low heating rate pyrolysis of biomass carried
out at a temperature of 200–300oC, at an atmospheric pressure, and in an inert environment. In the present work, sugarcane
bagasse was torrefied at heating rates of 3, 6, and 10oC/minute, respectively, to achieve a final temperature of 275oC and after the final temperature was reached, hold times of 0 and 15 minutes, respectively occurred at a constant
temperature of 275oC for a heating
rate of 6oC/minute. The
physical characteristics of torrefied sugarcane bagasse samples to be
determined were a particle size
distribution accomplished by grinding,
hydrophobicity by allowing the samples to absorb moisture from the ambient air, and pellet hardness of the sample pellets. The
torrefaction results show that increasing heating rate and hold time reduced
the cellulose content of the sugarcane
bagasse to as low as between 5.35% to 10.61%
by weight composition, respectively. As the
lignin content increased, the sample pellets resulted in better hardness in comparison
to that measured on raw sugarcane bagasse. As the hemicellulose content
increased, the samples, after grinding and
stronger hydrophobicity, produced a higher fraction of smaller particle sizes.
The maximum weight fraction of particles in these samples with sizes smaller than 105 µm achieved was
83.43% weight
in contrast to 0.62% weight in
raw sugarcane bagasse. The maximum water absorption by the samples in 3 hours
was 1.28% weight in contrast to 8.02% weight by raw sugarcane bagasse. The
results indicate that torrefaction is able to improve sugarcane bagasse
physical characteristics, which are favourable for biomass pelletization, storage and transportation.

Keywords: Hardness; Heating rate; Hydrophobicity; Sugarcane bagasse; Torrefaction

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