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Melkior T.,CEA Grenoble | Jacob S.,CEA Grenoble | Jacob S.,Institute technologique FCBA | Gerbaud G.,Service de Chimie Inorganique et Biologique | And 7 more authors.

The injection of biomass in a pressurised entrained flow reactor is challenging. Biomass preparation by torrefaction before gasification could be a suitable option to improve it. Transformation of the material induced by this treatment lead to interesting features: increased brittleness, improved fluidisation properties of the powder, hydrophobicity, higher energy content. The major biomass constituents, cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin are variously affected by torrefaction, depending on their respective reactivity. The objective of this work is to investigate the transformation of the biomass constitutive polymers induced by this thermal treatment. For that purpose, both solid-state NMR and EPR investigations have been performed on wood samples (beech) torrefied at different temperatures ranging from 200 °C to 300 °C. The results of these investigations have been compared with data obtained on untreated wood. These characterizations have brought to light different transformations of the polymers: de-acetylation of hemicelluloses, demethoxylation of lignin, changes in the cellulose structure. Furthermore, the temperature at which depolymerisation of the different components begins to occur has been identified. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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