The potential for production of high quality bio-coal from early harvested Miscanthus by hydrothermal carbonisation

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Smith, A. M., Whittaker, C., Shield, I. F. and Ross, A. B. 2018. The potential for production of high quality bio-coal from early harvested Miscanthus by hydrothermal carbonisation. Fuel. 220 (15 May), pp. 546-557.

AuthorsSmith, A. M., Whittaker, C., Shield, I. F. and Ross, A. B.
Abstract

To meet combustion quality requirements, Miscanthus is conventionally harvested in late winter/early spring after senescence due to a lowering of fuel nitrogen, chlorine and ash content. This can overcome combustion issues such as slagging, fouling and corrosion however there is a significant reduction in dry matter yields compared to early harvesting in the autumn. In this study, Miscanthus × giganteus harvested conventionally (after senescence) and early (green) have been pre-treated by hydrothermal carbonisation (HTC) at 200 °C and 250 °C. HTC at 200 °C improves the grindability of the biomass but results in limited energy densification. HTC at 250 °C results in increased energy densification producing a bio-coal with a HHV ranging from 27 to 28 MJ/kg for early and 25 to 26 MJ/kg for conventional harvesting; the Hardgrove Grindability Index (HGI) increases from 0 to 150. At higher HTC temperatures, the combustion profile of the bio-coal exhibits a ‘coal like’ single stage combustion profile. HTC results in a significant reduction in alkali metal content, increases safe combustion temperatures and reduces the theoretical propensity of the derived fuel to slag, foul and corrode. The results indicate that HTC can valorise both conventional and early harvested Miscanthus without producing any adverse effect on the yields and quality of the bio-coal. The challenges associated with early harvesting of Miscanthus appear to be largely overcome by HTC resulting in increased yields of up to 40% per hectare due to reduction in dry matter loss.

KeywordsCombustion; Slagging; Fouling; Grinding; Pre-treatment
Year of Publication2018
JournalFuel
Journal citation220 (15 May), pp. 546-557
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.fuel.2018.01.143
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
Funder project or codeEPSRC SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub
FunderEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online22 Feb 2018
Publication process dates
Accepted03 Feb 2018
Copyright licenseCC BY
ISSN00162361
PublisherElsevier
Grant IDEP/J017302/1

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