Characterization and comparison of biomass produced from various sources: Suggestions for selection of pretreatment technologies in biomass-to-energy

Kung Yuh Chiang, Kuang Li Chien, Cheng Han Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigated the characteristics of 26 varieties of biomass produced from forestry, agriculture, municipality, and industry in Taiwan to test their applicability in thermal conversion technologies and evaluation of enhanced energy efficiency. Understanding the reactivity of the tested biomass, the cluster analysis was also used in this research to classify into characteristics groups of biomass. This research also evaluated the feasibility of energy application of tested biomass by comparing it to the physicochemical properties of various coals used in Taiwan's power plants. The experimental results indicated that the volatile matter content of the all tested biomass was 60% and above. It can be concluded that the higher carbon conversion rate will occur in the thermal conversion process of all tested biomass. Based on the results of lower heating value (LHV) of MSW and non-hazardous industrial sludge, the LHV was lower than other tested biomass that was between 1000 and 1800. kcal/kg. This is due to the higher moisture content of MSW and sludge that resulted in the lower LHV. Besides, the LHV of other tested biomass and their derived fuels was similar to the tested coal. However, the energy densities of woody and agricultural waste were smaller than that of the coal because the bulky densities of woody and agricultural wastes were low. That is, the energy utilization efficiency of woody and agricultural waste was relatively low. To improve the energy density of tested biomass, appropriate pre-treatment technologies, such as shredding, pelletizing or torrefied technologies can be applied, that will enhance the energy utilization efficiency of all tested biomass.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-171
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Energy
Volume100
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2012

Keywords

  • Biomass
  • Cluster analysis
  • Energy density
  • Gasification

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