(276d) Effect of Steam Explosion On Wood Pellet Quality

Authors: 
Lam, P. S., University of British Columbia
Sokhansanj, S., Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Bi, X., University of British Columbia
Lim, C. J., University of British Columbia

            The effect of steam explosion processing conditions (temperature and time) and material parameters (particle size and moisture content) of biomass grinds on pelletization were studied. Steam explosion was used as a physiochemical pretreatment to modify the structure and chemical composition of the biomass grinds. The pellets made from treated grinds were shown with an improvement in terms of binding, durability and hydrophobicity. Denser pellets would be advantageous for long distance transportation with higher energy per unit volume fuel to the end users. Durable pellets eliminate the loss of materials as fines during handling. Fines is also a major problem leading to dust explosion in practice. High moisture sorption of pellets would lead to temperature rise (self heating) due to bacteria growth. The uncontrolled temperature rise would lead to the silo cause fire. All of these improved properties of woody biomass brought by steam explosion pretreatment could ease the handling, storage and transportation of densified pellets.  

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