Effects of process parameters and selective heating on microwave pyrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass for biochar production

Dutta, Baishali; Gariepy, Yvan; Raghavan, G. S. Vijaya
January 2015
Canadian Biosystems Engineering;2015, Vol. 57, p3.23
Academic Journal
Biochar has successfully emerged as a solid biofuel to address the concerns of greenhouse gas emissions. This research investigated microwave pyrolysis of maple wood in a laboratory-scale microwave pyrolysis reactor to study the effects of final pyrolysis temperature, holding time and selective heating on the biochar yield through microwave absorbers. A regression model was developed to predict the biochar yield as a function of pyrolysis temperature, holding time and doping ratio. The analysis indicated that microwave heating can fasten the process of pyrolysis conversion reactions and the yield of the pyrolysis products increased with increase in holding time and decrease in process temperature. On the other hand, variation in doping ratio did not have a significant effect on the biomass conversion to biochar. The biochar was analyzed through proximate analysis and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) to determine its thermodynamic potential. A biochar sample can be characterized as a carbon-rich solid fuel with high fixed carbon content or residual matter but low volatile or volatile matter. The proximate analysis indicated that the highest residual matter (%) to volatile matter (%) ratio was obtained for the pyrolysis temperature of 290°C, holding time of 1 min and dope ratio of 24% while biochar produced at pyrolysis temperature of 250°C, holding time of 1 min and dope ratio of 32% had the highest energy in the DSC analyses. The regression model devel;oped indicated that the predicted values for the exothermic energies were in good agreement to the observed values (P ≤ 0.05).


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