Design Specifications for the Development of a Continuous Pelletizing Process for the Production of Spherical, Torrefied Biomass Pellets
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A novel compacted, torrefied, spherical biomass pellet, known as the "Q'Pellet", is aimed at overcoming the challenges of modern biomass pellets by building on the bene fits of torrefaction and utilizing the durability of a sphere. Pellets were made from both untreated hybrid poplar sawdust and material that had been partially torrefied at 250 C, allowing the torrefaction and pelletizing stages to be decoupled. A pelletizing die pre-heated to 280 C was successfully used to heat and torrefy room temperature raw and pre-torrefi ed material, greatly reducing the time required to produce each pellet. All Q'Pellets demonstrated 100% mechanical durability, and did not abrade during a tumbling can test or fracture during an impact resistance (drop) test. The gross calori fic value (GCV), ash and nitrogen content of pellets produced from raw hybrid poplar were 21.29+/-0.08 MJ/kg, 2.42+/-0.23 wt%, and <0.01 wt%, respectively. The GCV, ash and nitrogen content of pellets produced from pre-torre ed material were 21.25+/-0.34 MJ/kg, 3.58+/-1.11 wt%, and 0.42+/-0.03 wt%, respectively. The Q'Pellet was compared to biomass fuel speci fications in Europe and North America. The experiments performed herein provided an understanding of the material and process properties and limitations. Design speci fications for the development of a continuous pelletizing process were outlined. BGM Metalworks Inc has been hired by Queen's University to assist in the design and to fabricate the continuous pelletizing apparatus.
URI for this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/1974/12179
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