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Pirraglia, A., Gonzalez, R., Saloni, D., Wright, J., and Denig, J. (2012). "Fuel properties and suitability of Eucalyptus benthamii and Eucalyptus macarthurii for torrefied wood and pellets," BioRes. 7(1), 217-235.


Torrefaction is the process of heating a material in the absence of oxygen, a pretreatment that represents a promising option for biofuels. Two eucalyptus species harvested in South Carolina, E. benthamii and E. macarthurii, were processed in a torrefier, and wood pellets were manufactured. Eucalyptus represents a promising biomass source in southern U.S. due to fast growth rates and the availability of cold-tolerant plantations. Analyses of moisture content, proximate and elemental composition, and net heating value of “light roasted” wood were assessed. The heating value of the eucalypts and pellets was enhanced by 19% (average), compared to the original material, while the moisture and volatiles content were drastically reduced. This reduction leads to an increase in the amount (w/w) of carbon, enhancing the energy content in the material. Thus, torrefaction is useful for improving the heating value of woody biomass, consuming little external energy due to recirculation and burning of gases for the process. The pellets showed increased energy density, providing improved properties for transportation and handling.
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