skip to main content

Evaluating the role of operating temperature and residence time in the torrefaction of betel nutshells for solid fuel production

1Institute for innovative learning, Mahidol University, 999 Phuttamonthon 4 Road, Salaya, Phutthamonthon, Nakhon Pathom, 73170, Thailand

2Institute of Energy Science, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, 18 Hoang Quoc Viet, Cau Giay, Ha Noi, 10072, Viet Nam

3Graduate University of Science and Technology, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, 18 Hoang Quoc Viet, Cau Giay, Ha Noi, 10072, Viet Nam

4 Faculty of Architecture and Design, Rajamangala University of Technology Rattanakosin, 96 Phutthamonthon Sai 5 Road, Salaya, Phutthamonthon, Nakhon Pathom, 73170, Thailand

View all affiliations
Received: 17 Aug 2023; Revised: 5 Oct 2023; Accepted: 20 Oct 2023; Available online: 26 Oct 2023; Published: 1 Nov 2023.
Editor(s): H Hadiyanto
Open Access Copyright (c) 2023 The Author(s). Published by Centre of Biomass and Renewable Energy (CBIORE)
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Citation Format:

This research addresses the urgent need for sustainable bioenergy alternatives, specifically evaluating betel nutshells as potential replacements for conventional biomass materials like coconut and palm fibers. The objective of the study was to gauge the inherent bioenergy potential of betel nutshells through an investigation of torrefaction under varying conditions, specifically temperatures ranging from 200-300 °C and residence times between 20-60 minutes in an inert environment. In this study, proximate analyses were utilized to investigate essential characteristics including moisture content, volatile matter, ash content, and fixed carbon, while a bomb calorimeter was used to determine their higher heating values. Initial results indicated that untreated betel nutshells had higher heating values and compositional similarities to coconut and palm fibers, highlighting their potential as a bioenergy source. Advanced torrefaction processes, involving increased temperatures and extended residence times, raised the fixed carbon content and reduced moisture in betel nutshells, thereby optimizing their higher heating value. This improvement is attributed to the decomposition of covalent bonds in the biomass structures, leading to the release of volatile compounds and consequent reductions in both oxygen-to-carbon and hydrogen-to-carbon ratios. Remarkably, at an operating temperature of 300 °C and a residence time of 60 minutes, torrefied betel nutshells reached a higher heating value of 25.20 MJ/kg, marking a substantial 31.39 % increase compared to untreated specimens. This study conclusively positions betel nutshells, typically considered agricultural waste, as competitive alternatives to traditional biomass resources in the biofuel industry.

Fulltext View|Download
Keywords: Torrefaction; Torrefied biomass; Betel Nutshells; Higher heating value; Biomass composition

Article Metrics:

  1. Abelha, P., & Kiel, J. (2020). Techno-economic assessment of biomass upgrading by washing and torrefaction. Biomass and Bioenergy, 142, 105751.
  2. Acharjee, T. C., Coronella, C. J., & Vasquez, V. R. (2011). Effect of thermal pretreatment on equilibrium moisture content of lignocellulosic biomass. Bioresource technology, 102(7), 4849-4854.
  3. Akhtar, J., Imran, M., Ali, A. M., Nawaz, Z., Muhammad, A., Butt, R. K., ... & Naeem, H. A. (2021). Torrefaction and thermochemical properties of agriculture residues. Energies, 14(14), 4218.
  4. Anukam, A., Mamphweli, S., Okoh, O., & Reddy, P. (2017). Influence of torrefaction on the conversion efficiency of the gasification process of sugarcane bagasse. Bioengineering, 4(1), 22.
  5. Asonja, A., Desnica, E., & Radovanovic, L. (2017). Energy efficiency analysis of corn cob used as a fuel. Energy Sources, Part B: Economics, Planning, and Policy, 12(1), 1-7.
  6. Basu, P. (2018). Biomass gasification, pyrolysis and torrefaction: practical design and theory. Academic press.
  7. Batidzirai, B., Mignot, A. P. R., Schakel, W. B., Junginger, H. M., & Faaij, A. P. C. (2013). Biomass torrefaction technology: Techno-economic status and future prospects. Energy, 62, 196-214.
  8. Cardona, S., Gallego, L. J., Valencia, V., Martínez, E., & Rios, L. A. (2019). Torrefaction of eucalyptus-tree residues: A new method for energy and mass balances of the process with the best torrefaction conditions. Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments, 31, 17-24.
  9. Chen, D., Zheng, Z., Fu, K., Zeng, Z., Wang, J., & Lu, M. (2015). Torrefaction of biomass stalk and its effect on the yield and quality of pyrolysis products. Fuel, 159, 27-32.
  10. Chen, W. H., Lu, K. M., Liu, S. H., Tsai, C. M., Lee, W. J., & Lin, T. C. (2013). Biomass torrefaction characteristics in inert and oxidative atmospheres at various superficial velocities. Bioresource technology, 146, 152-160.
  11. Chen, W. H., Peng, J., & Bi, X. T. (2015). A state-of-the-art review of biomass torrefaction, densification and applications. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 44, 847-866.
  12. Chih, Y. K., Chen, W. H., Ong, H. C., & Show, P. L. (2019). Product characteristics of torrefied wood sawdust in normal and vacuum environments. Energies, 12(20), 3844.
  13. Demirbas, A. (2009). Pyrolysis mechanisms of biomass materials. Energy Sources, Part A, 31(13), 1186-1193.
  14. Di Blasi, C., & Lanzetta, M. (1997). Intrinsic kinetics of isothermal xylan degradation in inert atmosphere. Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, 40, 287-303.
  15. Dirgantara, M., Cahyana, B. T., Suastika, K. G., & Akbar, A. R. (2020). Effect of temperature and residence time torrefaction palm kernel shell on the calorific value and energy yield. In Journal of Physics: Conference Series (Vol. 1428, No. 1, p. 012010). IOP Publishing.
  16. Garba, M. U., Gambo, S. U., Musa, U., Tauheed, K., Alhassan, M., & Adeniyi, O. D. (2018). Impact of torrefaction on fuel property of tropical biomass feedstocks. Biofuels, 9(3), 369-377.
  17. Gent, S., Twedt, M., Gerometta, C., & Almberg, E. (2017). Chapter three–fundamental theories of torrefaction by thermochemical conversion. Theoretical and Applied Aspects of Biomass Torrefaction, 2017, 41-75.
  18. Granados, D. A., Velásquez, H. I., & Chejne, F. (2014). Energetic and exergetic evaluation of residual biomass in a torrefaction process. Energy, 74, 181-189.
  19. Hoogwijk, M., Faaij, A., Eickhout, B., De Vries, B., & Turkenburg, W. (2005). Potential of biomass energy out to 2100, for four IPCC SRES land-use scenarios. Biomass and Bioenergy, 29(4), 225-257.
  20. Ibitoye, S. E., Jen, T. C., Mahamood, R. M., & Akinlabi, E. T. (2021). Improving the combustion properties of corncob biomass via torrefaction for solid fuel applications. Journal of Composites Science, 5(10), 260;
  21. Jekayinfa, S. O., Orisaleye, J. I., & Pecenka, R. (2020). An assessment of potential resources for biomass energy in Nigeria. Resources, 9(8), 92.
  22. Jekayinfa, S. O., Pecenka, R., & Orisaleye, J. I. (2019). Empirical model for prediction of density and water resistance of corn cob briquettes. International Journal of Renewable Energy Technology, 10(3), 212-228.
  23. Kanwal, S., Munir, S., Chaudhry, N., & Sana, H. (2019). Physicochemical characterization of Thar coal and torrefied corn cob. Energy Exploration & Exploitation, 37(4), 1286-1305.
  24. Kelz, J., Zemann, C., Muschick, D., Krenn, O., Hofmeister, G., Weissinger, A., ... & Hochenauer, C. (2017, June). Evaluation of the combustion behaviour of straw, poplar and maize in a small-scale biomass boiler. In Proceeding of the 25th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, Stockholm, Sweden (pp. 12-15)
  25. Klaas, M., Greenhalf, C., Ouadi, M., Jahangiri, H., Hornung, A., Briens, C., & Berruti, F. (2020). The effect of torrefaction pre-treatment on the pyrolysis of corn cobs. Results in Engineering, 7, 100165.
  26. Lauri, P., Havlík, P., Kindermann, G., Forsell, N., Böttcher, H., & Obersteiner, M. (2014). Woody biomass energy potential in 2050. Energy policy, 66, 19-31
  27. Li, H., Liu, X., Legros, R., Bi, X. T., Lim, C. J., & Sokhansanj, S. (2012). Torrefaction of sawdust in a fluidized bed reactor. Bioresource technology, 103(1), 453-458.
  28. Li, S. X., Chen, C. Z., Li, M. F., & Xiao, X. (2018). Torrefaction of corncob to produce charcoal under nitrogen and carbon dioxide atmospheres. Bioresource technology, 249, 348-353.
  29. Liu, Z., Zhang, T., Zhang, J., Xiang, H., Yang, X., Hu, W., ... & Mi, B. (2018). Ash fusion characteristics of bamboo, wood and coal. Energy, 161, 517-522.
  30. Lou, H., He, X., Cai, C., Lan, T., Pang, Y., Zhou, H., & Qiu, X. (2019). Enhancement and mechanism of a lignin amphoteric surfactant on the production of cellulosic ethanol from a high-solid corncob residue. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 67(22), 6248-6256.
  31. Luo, H., Niedzwiecki, L., Arora, A., Mościcki, K., Pawlak-Kruczek, H., Krochmalny, K., ... & Lu, Z. (2020). Influence of torrefaction and pelletizing of sawdust on the design parameters of a fixed bed gasifier. Energies, 13(11), 3018.
  32. Lu, J. J., & Chen, W. H. (2013). Product yields and characteristics of corncob waste under various torrefaction atmospheres. Energies, 7(1), 13-27.
  33. Martínez, L. V., Rubiano, J. E., Figueredo, M., & Gómez, M. F. (2020). Experimental study on the performance of gasification of corncobs in a downdraft fixed bed gasifier at various conditions. Renewable Energy, 148, 1216-1226
  34. Medic, D., Darr, M., Shah, A., & Rahn, S. (2012). The effects of particle size, different corn stover components, and gas residence time on torrefaction of corn stover. Energies, 5(4), 1199-1214.
  35. Nhuchhen, D. R., Basu, P., & Acharya, B. (2014). A comprehensive review on biomass torrefaction. Int. J. Renew. Energy Biofuels, 2014, 1-56.
  36. Ning, S., Jia, S., Ying, H., Sun, Y., Xu, W., & Yin, H. (2018). Hydrogen-rich syngas produced by catalytic steam gasification of corncob char. Biomass and Bioenergy, 117, 131-136.
  37. Nyakuma, B. B., Wong, S. L., Faizal, H. M., Hambali, H. U., Oladokun, O., & Abdullah, T. A. T. (2020). Carbon dioxide torrefaction of oil palm empty fruit bunches pellets: characterisation and optimisation by response surface methodology. Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery, 1-20.
  38. Ojolo, S. J., Orisaleye, J. I., & Abolarin, S. M. (2012). Technical potential of biomass energy in Nigeria. Ife Journal of Technology, 21(2), 60-65
  39. Oladeji, J. T., & Enweremadu, C. C. (2012). The effects of some processing parameters on physical and densification characteristics of corncob briquettes. International Journal of Energy Engineering, 2(1), 22-27.
  40. Orisaleye, J. I., Jekayinfa, S. O., Adebayo, A. O., Ahmed, N. A., & Pecenka, R. (2018). Effect of densification variables on density of corn cob briquettes produced using a uniaxial compaction biomass briquetting press. Energy Sources, Part A: Recovery, Utilization, and Environmental Effects, 40(24), 3019-3028.
  41. Orisaleye, J. I., Jekayinfa, S. O., Ogundare, A. A., Adefuye, O. A., & Bamido, E. (2022). Effect of screen size on particle size distribution and performance of a small-scale design for a combined chopping and milling machine. Cleaner Engineering and Technology, 7, 100426.
  42. Pahla, G., Mamvura, T. A., & Muzenda, E. (2018). Torrefaction of waste biomass for application in energy production in South Africa. South African Journal of Chemical Engineering, 25(1), 1-12.
  43. Phanphanich, M., & Mani, S. (2011). Impact of torrefaction on the grindability and fuel characteristics of forest biomass. Bioresource technology, 102(2), 1246-1253.
  44. Prins, M. J., Ptasinski, K. J., & Janssen, F. J. (2006). More efficient biomass gasification via torrefaction. Energy, 31(15), 3458-3470.
  45. Ramos-Carmona, S., Pérez, J. F., Pelaez-Samaniego, M. R., Barrera, R., & Garcia-Perez, M. (2017). Effect of torrefaction temperature on properties of Patula pine. Maderas. Ciencia y tecnología, 19(1), 39-50.
  46. Rodrigues, T. O., & Rousset, P. L. A. (2009). Effects of torrefaction on energy properties of Eucalyptus grandis wood. Cerne, 15(4), 446-452.
  47. Strandberg, M., Olofsson, I., Pommer, L., Wiklund-Lindström, S., Åberg, K., & Nordin, A. (2015). Effects of temperature and residence time on continuous torrefaction of spruce wood. Fuel Processing Technology, 134, 387-398.
  48. Tian, X., Dai, L., Wang, Y., Zeng, Z., Zhang, S., Jiang, L., & Ruan, R. (2020). Influence of torrefaction pretreatment on corncobs: A study on fundamental characteristics, thermal behavior, and kinetic. Bioresource Technology, 297, 122490
  49. Tumuluru, J. S., Sokhansanj, S., Wright, C. T., Hess, J. R., & Boardman, R. D. (2011). A review on biomass torrefaction process and product properties.
  50. Tumuluru, J. S. (2015). Comparison of chemical composition and energy property of torrefied switchgrass and corn stover. Frontiers in Energy Research, 3, 46.
  51. Vamvuka, D., Panagopoulos, G., & Sfakiotakis, S. (2022). Investigating potential co-firing of corn cobs with lignite for energy production. Thermal analysis and behavior of ashes. International Journal of Coal Preparation and Utilization, 42(8), 2493-2504.
  52. Van der Stelt, M. J. C., Gerhauser, H., Kiel, J. H. A., & Ptasinski, K. J. (2011). Biomass upgrading by torrefaction for the production of biofuels: A review. Biomass and bioenergy, 35(9), 3748-3762.
  53. Wakudkar, H., & Jain, S. (2022). A holistic overview on corn cob biochar: A mini-review. Waste Management & Research, 40(8), 1143-1155.
  54. Wang, L., Barta-Rajnai, E., Skreiberg, Ø., Khalil, R., Czégény, Z., Jakab, E., ... & Grønli, M. (2018). Effect of torrefaction on physiochemical characteristics and grindability of stem wood, stump and bark. Applied Energy, 227, 137-148.
  55. Wang, M. J., Huang, Y. F., Chiueh, P. T., Kuan, W. H., & Lo, S. L. (2012). Microwave-induced torrefaction of rice husk and sugarcane residues. Energy, 37(1), 177-184.
  56. Wang, Z., Lim, C. J., Grace, J. R., Li, H., & Parise, M. R. (2017). Effects of temperature and particle size on biomass torrefaction in a slot-rectangular spouted bed reactor. Bioresource technology, 244, 281-288.
  57. Yang, Y., Qu, X., Huang, G., Ren, S., Dong, L., Sun, T., & Cai, J. (2023). Insight into lignocellulosic biomass torrefaction kinetics with case study of pinewood sawdust torrefaction. Renewable Energy, 118941.
  58. Zhang, C., Yang, W., Chen, W. H., Ho, S. H., Pétrissans, A., & Pétrissans, M. (2022). Effect of torrefaction on the structure and reactivity of rice straw as well as life cycle assessment of torrefaction process. Energy, 240, 122470.
  59. Zheng, A., Zhao, Z., Chang, S., Huang, Z., Wang, X., He, F., & Li, H. (2013). Effect of torrefaction on structure and fast pyrolysis behavior of corncobs. Bioresource technology, 128, 370-377.
  60. Zheng, A., Zhao, Z., Chang, S., Huang, Z., Zhao, K., Wei, G., & Li, H. (2015). Comparison of the effect of wet and dry torrefaction on chemical structure and pyrolysis behavior of corncobs. Bioresource technology, 176, 15-22.
  61. Zheng, A., Zhao, Z., Huang, Z., Zhao, K., Wei, G., Wang, X., & Li, H. (2014). Catalytic fast pyrolysis of biomass pretreated by torrefaction with varying severity. Energy & Fuels, 28(9), 5804-5811.
  62. Zou, H., Jiang, Q., Zhu, R., Chen, Y., Sun, T., Li, M., ... & He, Q. (2020). Enhanced hydrolysis of lignocellulose in corn cob by using food waste pretreatment to improve anaerobic digestion performance. Journal of environmental management, 254, 109830
  63. Zych, D. (2008). The viability of corn cobs as a bioenergy feedstock. A report of the West Central Research and Outreach Center, University of Minnesota, 1, 1-25.

Last update:

  1. Improving the prediction of biochar production from various biomass sources through the implementation of eXplainable machine learning approaches

    Van Giao Nguyen, Prabhakar Sharma, Ümit Ağbulut, Huu Son Le, Dao Nam Cao, Marek Dzida, Sameh M. Osman, Huu Cuong Le, Viet Dung Tran. International Journal of Green Energy, 2024. doi: 10.1080/15435075.2024.2326076

Last update: 2024-05-23 06:41:44

No citation recorded.