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Augmented Leaching Pretreatments for Forest Wood Waste and Their Effect on Ash Composition and the Lignocellulosic Network

Taylor, Martin J.; Alabdrabalameeer, Hassan A.; Michopoulos, Apostolos K.; Volpe, Roberto; Skoulou, Vasiliki


Apostolos K. Michopoulos

Roberto Volpe

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Dr Vicky Skoulou
Director of Research in Chemical Engineering ;Lecturer in Chemical Engineering-Bioenergy ; PI of the B3: Biomass waste- Bioenergy- Biochars Challenge Group


By augmenting conventional leaching technologies for the removal of ash constituents from lignocellulosic waste residues, a cleaner and energy efficient solution can be provided for critical industrial problems such as, biomass feeding, defluidization and reactor corrosion. It has been found that not only are inorganic constituents (ash) effectively removed by coupling a physicochemical technology with conventional leaching, the intermolecular interactions within the lignocellulosic matrix can be modified, as shown by a variable crystallinity index (PXRD) without the loss of physical bonding (FTIR). Ultimately, this allowed for a greater thermochemical transformation of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin for all technologies used; conven-tional leaching, indirect/directed ultrasound and microwave. However, the use of directed ultrasound was found to be the standout, energy efficient technology (8.6 kJ/g) to radically improve the thermochemical transformation of wood waste, especially in the reduction of fixed carbon at high temperatures. It was also found to be efficient at removing vital eutectic mixture causing elements, a common cause of thermochemical reactor damage and shut downs, including Si, a notoriously difficult element to remove via leaching. In comparison, hotplate leaching and microwave use 39 and 116 times more ener-gy, respectively. The integration of this technology into the energy production sector will prove vital in the future due to its scalability as compared with microwave alternatives which are currently not suitable for large scale operations. Additionally, the residence time required for directed ultrasound was found to be negligible as compared to the various other physico-chemical techniques, 0.1 h opposed to 4 h.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering
Print ISSN 2168-0485
Electronic ISSN 2168-0485
Publisher American Chemical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
APA6 Citation Taylor, M. J., Alabdrabalameeer, H. A., Michopoulos, A. K., Volpe, R., & Skoulou, V. (in press). Augmented Leaching Pretreatments for Forest Wood Waste and Their Effect on Ash Composition and the Lignocellulosic Network. ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering,
Keywords Biomass; Solid fuels; Energy assessment; Multi-parameter analysis; Enhanced leaching processes; Waste-to-energy; Clean technology
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