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Prokkola, H., Kuokkanen, M., Kuokkanen, T., and Lassi, U. (2014). "Chemical study of wood chips drying: Biodegradation of organic pollutants in condensate waters from the drying process," BioRes. 9(3), 3761-3778.

Abstract

In 2008, the European Union Commission put forward a proposal for a new directive on renewable forms of energy. Each of the member states should increase its share of renewable energies in an effort to boost the total share of the EU from the current 8.5% to 20% by 2020. The level of renewable energy in Finland was 28.5% in 2005, and the national target share of renewable energy by 2020 is 38%. To assist in reaching this goal, one solution is to further develop drying techniques of biomasses and utilization of untapped biomasses, because in Finland, up to 20 million tons of waste wood biomass per year are left unused during forestry operations. In this study the drying of biomasses and the condensate, including biodegradation of organic pollutants, is examined. The cost-efficiency and energy-efficiency of wood chips combustion can be increased by drying the wood to optimize moisture content before being utilized in different applications. However, the removal of moisture is the most expensive unit process in combustion. Studied wood species were pine (Pinus sylvestris), spruce (Picea abies), aspen (Populus tremula) and two birch species (Betula pendula and Betula pubescens). The biodegradation degrees of studied organic pollutants in condensing waters were between 25% and 61%. Furthermore, the biodegradation of organic compounds in condensing waters showed that at least the studied condensates can be safely disposed via municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP).
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