Thermal characterization of tropical biomass feedstocks
2011 (English)In: Energy Conversion and Management, ISSN 0196-8904, Vol. 52, no 1, 191-198 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The processing of agricultural crops results in waste, which is a potential energy resource for alleviating commercial energy supply problems to agricultural-led economies like Tanzania. The energy content of the individual agricultural waste is largely dependent on its chemical composition (C, H and O) and it is negatively affected by the inclusion of inorganic elements and moisture. In this work, fifteen tropical agricultural wastes emanating from export crops for Tanzania were analyzed. The methods used to analyze involved performing proximate and ultimate analysis for determining the biomass composition. Thermal degradation characteristic was established to five selected wastes (coffee husks, sisal bole, cashew nut shells, palm stem, and bagasse) using a thermogravimetric analyzer type NETZSCH STA 409 PC Luxx at a heating rate of 10 K/min. On the basis of elemental composition, the palm fibre and cashew nut shells exhibited high energy content due to their higher H:C ratio with relatively low O:C ratio. Results of the thermal degradation characteristic study showed that the cashew nut shells were the most reactive feedstocks due to their highest overall mass loss and lowest burnout temperatures of 364 °C. Further, kinetic studies done to the five tropical biomass feedstocks under the pseudo single-component overall model established the activation energy for the bagasse, palm stem, and cashew nut shells to be 460 kJ/mole, 542 kJ/mole, and 293 kJ/mole, respectively. The respective activation energies for coffee husks and sisal bole were 370 kJ/mole and 239 kJ/mole. With the exception of the sisal bole, which exhibited zero order reaction mechanism, the remaining materials´ reaction mechanism was of first order. These experimental findings form a basis for ranking these materials for energy generation and provide necessary input to equipment and process designers.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 52, no 1, 191-198 p.
Thermogravimetry, Kinetics, Tropical biomass composition, Agricultural waste, Bioenergy, Tanzania
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-24713DOI: 10.1016/j.enconman.2010.06.058ISI: 000284746800022ScopusID: 2-s2.0-78049526069OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-24713DiVA: diva2:352988
QC 201009232010-09-232010-09-232011-01-04Bibliographically approved