Effect of Thermal Pretreatment on Equilibrium Moisture Content of Lignocellulosic Biomass
The equilibrium moisture content (EMC) of raw lignocellulosic biomass, along with four samples subjected to thermal pretreatment, was measured at relative humidities ranging from 11% to 97% at a constant temperature of 30 °C. Three samples were prepared by treatment in hot compressed water by a process known as wet torrefaction, at temperatures of 200°C, 230°C, and 260°C. An additional sample was prepared by dry torrefaction at 300°C. Pretreated biomass shows EMC below that of raw biomass. This indicates that pretreated biomass, both dry and wet torrefied, is more hydrophobic than raw biomass. The EMC results were correlated with a recent model that takes into account additional non-adsorption interactions of water, such as mixing and swelling. The model offers physical insight into the water activity in lignocellulosic biomass.