NC State
Frodeson, S., Henriksson, G., and Berghel, J. (2018). "Pelletizing pure biomass substances to investigate the mechanical properties and bonding mechanisms," BioRes. 13(1), 1202-1222.


Solid fuel for heating is an important product, and for sustainability reasons, it is important to replace nonrenewable fuels with renewable resources. This entails that the raw material base for pellet production has to increase. A broader spectrum of materials for pelleting involves variation in biomass substances. This variation, due to lack of knowledge, limits the possibilities to increase the pellet production using new raw materials. In this study, pellets were produced with a single pellet press from 16 different pure biomass substances representing cellulose, hemicellulose, other polysaccharides, protein, lignin, and extractives, and five different wood species, representing softwoods and hardwoods. All pellets were analyzed for the work required for compression and friction, maximum force needed to overcome the backpressure, pellet hardness, solid density, and moisture uptake. The results showed that the hardest pellets were produced from the group of celluloses, followed by rice xylan and larch arbinogalactan. The weakest pellets were from the group of mannans. Conclusions are that the flexible polysaccharides have a greater impact on the pelletizing process than previously known, and that the differences between xylan and glucomannan may explain the difference in the behavior of pelletizing softwoods and hardwoods.

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