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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Using the macromolecular composition to predict process settings that give high pellet durability in ring-die biomass pellet production

Larsson, Sylvia H.; Agar, David A.; Rudolfsson, Magnus; Perez, Denilson da Silva; Campargue, Matthieu; Kalen, Gunnar; Thyrel, Mikael

Abstract

This study was performed to investigate if the process settings that give high pellet durability can be modelled from the biomass’ macromolecular composition. Process and chemical analysis data was obtained from a previous pilot-scale study of six biomass assortments that by Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was confirmed as representative for their biomass types: hardwood, softwood bark, short rotation coppice (SRC), and straw and energy crops. Orthogonal Partial Least Squares Projections to Latent Structures (OPLS) models were created with the content of macromolecules as factors and the die compression ratio and the feedstock moisture content at which the highest pellet durability was obtained as responses. The models for die compression ratio (R2X = 0.90 and Q2 = 0.58) and feedstock moisture content (R2X = 0.87 and Q2 = 0.60), rendered a prediction error for obtained mechanical durability of approximately ±1%-unit, each. Important factors for modelling of the die compression ratio were: soluble lignin (negative), acetyl groups (negative), acetone extractives (positive), and arabinan (positive). For modelling of the feedstock moisture content, Klason lignin (negative), xylan (positive), water-soluble extractives (negative), and mannan (negative), were the most influential. Results obtained in this study indicate that it is possible to predict optimal process conditions in pelletizing based on the macromolecular composition of the raw material. In practice, this would mean a higher raw material flexibility in the pellet factories through drastically reduced risk when introducing new raw materials.

Keywords

PCA; OPLS; Hardwoods; Softwood; Straw; Pelletizing; Lignocellulose

Published in

Fuel
2021, volume: 283, article number: 119267

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Biomaterials and Technology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Biomaterials and Technology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Biomaterials and Technology
Da Silva Perez, Denilson
Institut technologique FCBA
Campargue, Matthieu
RAGT Energie
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Biomaterials and Technology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Biomaterials and Technology

UKÄ Subject classification

Organic Chemistry
Paper, Pulp and Fiber Technology
Energy Engineering

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2020.119267

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/107964