AbstractThis study investigated the influence of heat treatment on the chemical composition and energy properties of maritime pine (Pinus pinaster) and pedunculate oak (Quercus robur). Samples were treated in a new experimental device at 220, 250, or 280 °C for 1 or 5 hours. Chemical and energy analyses were performed using standard methods. Our results clearly demonstrated an increased degradation of the material due to the combined effects of temperature and treatment duration. This mass loss was basically due to degradation of acid-soluble materials. The energy analysis showed that the fixed carbon content and higher heating value increased, for both species, whereas the volatile matter content decreased with increased extent of treatment (cumulated effects of temperature and time). In the range of temperature and duration studied here, the dimensionless energy properties for both species obeyed the same functions of overall mass loss. The relationships obtained allow quantification of the increase in wood energy concentration due to torrefaction. Mass loss is an excellent indicator of treatment extent. Analytical expressions allowing the prediction of energy and chemical properties as a function of overall mass loss, within the range of treatment extents studied here, are provided.