Experimental Study on Dry Torrefaction of Beech Wood

Eyerusalem M. Gucho, Khurram Shahzad, Eddy A. Bramer, Niaz A. Akhtar, Gerrit Brem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)
73 Downloads (Pure)


Torrefaction is a thermochemical pre-treatment process for upgrading the properties of biomass to resemble those of fossil fuels such as coal. Biomass properties of particular interest are chemical composition, physical property and combustion characteristics. In this work, torrefaction of beech wood and miscanthus (sinensis) was carried out to study the influence of torrefaction temperature (240–300 °C) and residence time (15–150 min) on the aforementioned properties of the biomass. Results of the study revealed that torrefaction temperature has a significant influence on mass and energy yields, whereas the influence of the residence time becomes more apparent for the higher torrefaction temperatures (>280 °C). Torrefied miscanthus resulted in higher energy densification compared to beech wood for a residence time of 30 min. A significant improvement in grindability of the torrefied beech wood was obtained even for lightly torrefied beech wood (at 280 °C and 15 min of residence time). Observation from the combustion study showed that the ignition temperature is slightly affected by the torrefaction temperature. As a whole, the torrefaction temperature determines the characteristics of the torrefied fuel compared to other process parameters like residence time. Furthermore, with optimal process conditions, torrefaction produces a solid fuel with combustion reactivity and porosity comparable to raw biomass, whereas grindability and heating value are comparable to low quality coal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3903-3923
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • METIS-314520
  • IR-100813

Cite this