Modeling of Wheat Straw Torrefaction as a Preliminary Tool for Process Design
Torrefaction is considered as a kind of mild pyrolysis that is carried out under inert atmosphere (usually nitrogen) conditions. During this process, the moisture of the initial fuel and a portion of its volatiles are removed from the biomass particles towards the inert atmosphere. The resulted torrefied solid biomass has high energy density, durability and less hydrophilic character. The most beneficial result of torrefaction process is that biomass feedstock logistics cost can be reduced, as less tones of biomass are required for a given amount of energy input. The development of a process model examining basic parameters as reaction temperature and residence time can provide useful information, which can be used for the more efficient design of a torrefaction reactor. This study presents such a process model for a straw torrefaction pilot plant. This model is based on the thermodynamic calculation of a single and/or a two batch reactor, built on the commercial software ASPEN Plus. The calculation of required flow rates of inert gas, cooling medium for a specific biomass feedstock value, is based on relevant results found in literature.