Torrefaction is a thermal pretreatment process for biomass where raw biomass is heated in the temperatures of 200-300 °C under an inert or nitrogen atmosphere. The main constituents contained in biomass include hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin; therefore, the thermal decomposition characteristics of these constituents play a crucial role in determining the performance of torrefaction of lignocellulosic materials. To gain a fundamental insight into biomass torrefaction, five basic constituents, including hemicellulose, cellulose, lignin, xylan and dextran, were individually torrefied in a thermogravimetry. Two pure materials, xylose and glucose, were torrefied as well for comparison. Three torrefaction temperatures of 230, 260 and 290 °C, corresponding to light, mild and severe torrefactions, were taken into account. The experiments suggested the weight losses of the tested samples could be classified into three groups; they consisted of a weakly active reaction, a moderately active reaction and a strongly active reaction, depending on the natures of the tested materials. Co-torrefactions of the blend of hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin at the three torrefaction temperatures were also examined. The weight losses of the blend were very close to those from the linear superposition of the individual samples, suggesting that no synergistic effect from the co-torrefactions was exhibited.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes