Evaluation of Fuel Quality of Invasive Alien Plants and Tropical Hardwoods as Potential Feedstock Materials for Pyro‑Gasifcation

Okoro, N.M.
Ikegwu, U.M.
Harding, K.G.
Daramola, M.O.
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INTRODUCTION: Despite several studies carried out on the efects of the fuel properties of raw biomass on the fnal fuel properties of the biofuel after a thermochemical conversion, an identifcation and grading of various biomass types with respect to the level of their viability for pyro-gasifcation has not been established. OBJECTIVES: The primary objective of this study was to identify and rank eight waste wood feedstocks based on the suitability of their fuel properties for an efcient pyro-gasifcation using experimental data. METHODS: The wood samples were characterized using standard experimental procedures to determine their fuel properties. Five fuel evaluators relevant to the efciency of a pyro-gasifcation process, were developed. The experimental data collated for each sample was used to carry out an evaluation exercise of the samples under each of the fve fuel evaluators. Finally, the result of this exercise was used to rank the wood samples based on their suitability as feedstock for pyro-gasifcation. RESULTS: The hardwoods such as the Eucalyptus and African mesquite exhibited high fuel ratios, heating value and energy density which was as result of their higher lignin content. However, they exhibited minimal char reactivity. Conversely due to its higher holocellulose-to-lignin ratio, the Bugweed exhibited high char reactivity but lower fuel ratio, heating value and energy density. In comparison to the literature, the experimental results in this study were somewhat consistent with those of other biomass samples previously reported. The Fuel characterization exercise reveals that no wood sample can be considered completely efcient for pyro-gasifcation. The Jacaranda was however ranked lowest across the board. CONCLUSION: The variations in the hierarchy of the samples under the diferent fuel evaluators due to the disparities in their fuel properties paves way for further studies on the blending of waste wood samples with contrasting fuel properties in diferent mix ratios. This would enable the production of feedstock with the right balance in fuel properties suitable for an efcient pyro-gasifcation process. This study provides stakeholders with a framework for blending diferent lignocellulosic biomass species for thermochemical conversion.
Okoro, N.M. et al. 2022. Evaluation of Fuel Quality of Invasive Alien Plants and Tropical Hardwoods as Potential Feedstock Materials for Pyro‑Gasifcation. Waste and Biomass Valorization 13, pp. 1293-1310.