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Torrefaction/biochar production by microwave and conventional slow pyrolysis – comparison of energy properties

TitleTorrefaction/biochar production by microwave and conventional slow pyrolysis – comparison of energy properties
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsGronnow, Mark J., Budarin Vitaliy L., Masek Ondrej, Crombie Kyle N., Brownsort Peter A., Shuttleworth Peter S., Hurst Peter R., and Clark James H.
JournalGCB Bioenergy
Abstract

The energy efficiency of torrefaction/pyrolysis of biomass to fuel/biochar was studied using conventional (slow) and microwave (low temperature) pyrolysis. Conventional pyrolysis is approximately three times as energy efficient as microwave pyrolysis, in terms of the energy required to process a unit of feedstock. However, this is more than compensated for by the higher energy content of the condensable and gaseous coproducts from microwave pyrolysis, as these can be utilized to generate the electricity required to drive the process. It is proposed that the most efficient method of torrefaction/biochar production is a combination of conventional heating with ‘catalytic’ amount of microwave irradiation.