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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Off-gassing from pilot-scale torrefied pine chips: Impact of torrefaction severity, cooling technology, and storage times

Boren, Eleonora; Pommer, Linda; Nordin, Anders; Larsson, Sylvia H.


During handling and storage of conventional wood pellets, O-2 depletion as well as CO and CO2 off-gassing can reach acutely hazardous levels and certain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) may reach concerning levels from an occupational health and safety perspective. With new thermally pre-treated biomass commodities entering consumer markets, corresponding knowledge is needed on these assortments' off-gassing behaviour. In this study, relative concentrations of VOCs, CO, CO2, and O-2 in the closed storage space of five different pilotscale torrefied pine wood chip assortments were monitored over 12 days. The VOCs composition in the storage space differed between torrefaction treatment settings; terpenes decreased while furans and lignin degradation products peaked at narrow ranges with increased torrefaction severity, indicating that VOC off-gassing composition of individual compounds is highly specific. Generally, VOC amounts decreased with storage time, but for the mildest torrefied chips certain VOCs increased, predominantly compounds of higher volatility such as hexanal, acetone, and 2-pentylfuran. Also, the newly produced torrefied chips were cooled with two different post-process technologies: i) heat exchanging, and ii) heat exchanging with additional water spraying. Water spraying resulted in higher VOC concentrations, stronger O-2 depletion, and factor four higher concentration of CO2 in the storage headspace.


VOCs; CO; CO2; Softwood; Enclosed storage

Published in

Fuel Processing Technology
2020, Volume: 202, article number: 106380

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Analytical Chemistry
    Environmental Health and Occupational Health
    Chemical Process Engineering

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