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Thermal pre-treatment of hybrid poplar wood (Populus nigra-NM 6)

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Title: Thermal pre-treatment of hybrid poplar wood (Populus nigra-NM 6)
Author: Regmi, Bharat
Department: School of Engineering
Program: Engineering
Advisor: Dutta, Animesh
Abstract: This present thesis focuses on production of biochar with good fuel characteristics through torrefaction of lignocellulosic biomass. The changes in physicochemical characteristics of hybrid poplar at various torrefaction temperatures for 1.0 h reaction time were investigated. Increase in torrefaction temperature resulted in an increase in carbon content and decrease in hydrogen and oxygen content. The best results based on mass and energy yield were evaluated for their physiochemical and kinetic characteristics. A decreased activation energy of 168 kJ/mol of torrefied poplar compared to raw poplar’s 202 kJ/mol was observed. The overall torrefaction process was modelled using Aspen Plus to observe the dependency of process variables on biomass moisture content and reactor temperature. The comparative combustion and pyrolysis behavior of raw and torrefied fuels showed that torrefaction enhanced the combustion and pyrolysis properties hybrid poplar. Further, a model was developed using COMSOL to observe the heat transfer mechanism during torrefaction.
Date: 2017-03
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