AbstractBecause of its energy and mechanical properties, babassu shell is a promising energy crop for the future. Its production potential in Brazil is estimated at 6.8 million tons of fruits/year. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of torrefaction on the main energy and mechanical properties of Orbignya speciosa (Babassu). Three different torrefaction temperatures (220, 250, and 280°C) and two different durations (15 and 30 minutes) were employed. The influence of sample orientation was taken into account. The results showed that the energy properties of babassu are greatly improved during heat treatment. Torrefaction also led to uniform resistance to babassu shell compression. It was found that low temperature treatment was sufficient to envisage grinding and babassu use in pulverulent form.