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A study on raw, torrefied, and steam-exploded wood: Fine grinding, drop-tube reactor combustion tests in N2/O2 and CO2/O2 atmospheres, particle geometry analysis, and numerical kinetics modeling

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-164
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


The purpose of this study was to compare the fine grinding properties and combustion behavior of three wood pellet products: raw, torrefied, and steam-exploded wood. The energy required to fine grind the pellets was tested, and so was the geometry and size distribution of the resulting ground products. Out of all the samples the steam-exploded wood pellet required the most energy for grinding. However, it also produced more sphere-like particles compared to the other two types of samples. The combustion behavior of the samples was tested in a laminar drop-tube reactor (DTR). The samples were preground and the particles were sieved with vibration sieves with an opening of 112–125 μm. The pyrolysis process was examined separately at a temperature range of 973–1173 K. The combined pyrolysis and combustion tests were carried out at a reactor temperature of 1123 K. The O2 concentrations used in the measurements were 3–21 vol-% in either N2 or CO2 atmospheres. The initial size distribution of the sample particles as well as their diameter evolution during pyrolysis and combustion was studied by using optical techniques. The surface temperature of the combusting particles was measured with a two-color pyrometer from within the DTR. The density, specific surface area, and pore diameter were measured from the ground samples with a mercury porosimeter. The chemical kinetic parameters, which describe the pyrolysis and char oxidation rates of the samples, were determined by using the data from the measurements.


  • Combustion, Biomass, Chemical kinetics, Carbon dioxide, Drop-tube reactor

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