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Villenave-d'Ornon, France

Ratte J.,Thermya | Fardet E.,Thermya | Mateos D.,Thermya | Hery J.-S.,Thermya
Biomass and Bioenergy

Torrefaction is a soft thermal process usually applied to cocoa or coffee beans to obtain the Maillard reaction to produce aromatics and enhance the flavour. In the case of biomass the main interest of torrefaction it is to break the fibers. To do so, Thermya company has developed and patented a biomass torrefaction/depolymerisation process called TORSPYD™. It is a homogeneous " soft" thermal process that takes place in an inert atmosphere. The process progressively eliminates the biomass water content transforms a portion of the biomass organic matter and breaks the biomass structure by depolymerisation of the fibers. This produces a high performance solid fuel, called Biocoal, which offers a range of benefits over and above that of normal biomass fuel. To develop such a process, this company has developed two main tools:. - a continuous torrefaction laboratory pilot with a capacity to produce 3 - 8 kg/h of torrefied biomass; - a mathematical model dedicated to the design and optimisation of the TORSPYD reactor.The mathematical model is able to describe the chemical and physical processes that take place in the torrefaction column at two different scales, namely: the particle, and the surrounding gas. The model enables the gas temperature profiles inside the column to be predicted, and the results of the model are then validated through experiment in the laboratory pilot. The model also allows us to estimate the thermal power necessary to torrefy any type of biomass for a given moisture content. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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