Biomass Torrefaction for the Production of High-Grade Solid Biofuels : a Review

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)999-1015
Journal / PublicationBioenergy Research
Issue number4
Online published14 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


Torrefaction of biomass materials has received a tremendous attention over the years due to its ability to produce a high-grade solid biofuel with enhanced durability, excellent grindability, higher bulk density and calorific value, and greater energy density, as compared to the original untreated biomass material. It is a mild pyrolysis treatment technology under inert atmosphere which can improve the chemical and physical properties of raw biomass through the elimination of oxygen, reduction of moisture content, and change of chemical compositions. When raw biomass is mildly pyrolyzed in a default-oxygen or N2 atmosphere at moderate temperatures, the properties of raw biomass including low calorific value, hydrogen-carbon ratio, hygroscopicity, and grindability can be significantly enhanced. In the present review, the operating mechanism of different torrefaction processes including wet, dry, and ionic-liquid-assisted torrefaction is analyzed and discussed. More importantly, the reactor design for commercialization purpose, reaction kinetics and mechanism, economics, and sustainability of biomass torrefaction is discussed in detail. This review is extended to the torrefaction of agro-residue biomass since torrefied agro-residue-based pellets can be produced from agro-residues. The various technological applications of biomass torrefaction are also reviewed and the prospects in ensuring the continuous production of high-grade fuels are summarized.

Research Area(s)

  • Thermochemical process, Biomass, Economics, Sustainability, Reaction kinetics, Agro-residue