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Biosolids and microalgae as alternative binders for biomass fuel briquetting

Muazu, RI; Stegemann, JA; (2017) Biosolids and microalgae as alternative binders for biomass fuel briquetting. Fuel , 194 pp. 339-347. 10.1016/j.fuel.2017.01.019. Green open access

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Abstract

Binders can be employed to improve the particle adhesion, compressive strength, abrasion resistance and energy content of densified biomass, such as briquettes. They may also reduce the energy cost of producing such briquettes, by reducing the compaction pressure, conditioning temperature and the wear on production equipment. This study explored and compared the effects of three different binders, including starch, enhanced treated biosolids and microalgae, on density, durability, energy content and combustion characteristics of fuel briquettes produced from blends of rice husks, corn cobs and bagasse, in a multilevel factorial design experiment. Briquettes had relaxed unit densities of 1.9–3.3 times the loose biomass bulk density, and were stronger than briquettes from the individual materials, with an average unconfined compressive strength of 125 kPa. An unconfined compressive strength of 175 kPa was achieved for a 2:4:1 blend of rice husks, corn cobs and bagasse with the microalgae binder at a compaction pressure of 31 MPa. Statistical analysis of the results showed that the addition of biosolids and microalgae binders significantly improved briquette density, while the addition of starch reduced briquette density, and biosolids reduced briquette strength. Of all the briquettes produced with the three binders, those containing the microalgae binder were found to be most durable, with a higher energy value, slower mass loss during briquette combustion, and a higher afterglow time. Since microalgae may be grown using CO2 from biomass combustion, discovery of their advantages as a binder in briquetting is particularly welcome.

Type: Article
Title: Biosolids and microalgae as alternative binders for biomass fuel briquetting
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.fuel.2017.01.019
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2017.01.019
Language: English
Keywords: Engineering, Chemical, Engineering, Biosolids, Microalgae, Starch, Biomass, Briquettes, CHEMICAL-COMPOSITION, CALORIFIC VALUES, THERMAL-ANALYSIS, SEWAGE-SLUDGE, CORN COB, PERFORMANCE, LIGNIN, COMBUSTION, BAGASSE, PROTEIN
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1563435
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