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Biomass and Waste Valorisation Laboratory

Biomass Laboratory is dedicated to development of innovative biomass processing technologies for energy and non-energy purposes. An important research area of ​​the Laboratory is the analysis of physico-chemical parameters of biomass, biomass pelleting processes, as well as research on energy crops in relation to specific soil conditions, especially degraded soils.

The Laboratory is equipped not only with infrastructure for analytical research on biomass, but also an industrial pellet production line for biomass drying and granulating. The line can produce prototypes of composite pellets based on straw, energy willow and other crops. The line includes:

  • A crusher,
  • An automatic wet feeder with disc sifting for larger fractions,
  • A chain floor scraper with smooth adjustment of the amount of feed,
  • A wet feed conveyor belt, wet material feeder for the drum dryer,
  • An automatic drying torch burner with fuel tank,
  • A steel stove dryer with emergency flue gas discharge,
  • A 100kg/h dryer with a conveyor fan for pneumatic feed conveying, with a belt drive, carrier frame and cyclone separator to provide dry separation of the raw material from the steam and gases produced by the drying process, equipped with a dispenser separating the drying system from the receiving system,
  • A screw conveyor with reversible operation,
  • A set of raw material whipping and buffering equipment designed to prepare a fraction of dried raw material (pellet mill) for pellet production and temporary storage in a tank to ensure continuity of dosing to the installed granulator,
  • A granulator with a power of 18.5 kW,
  • A pellet cooler.

Calculation of calorific value

The calorific values ​​of the analyzed samples can be determined by the Biomass Laboratory. For this purpose, the combustion heat, humidity and hydrogen content is measured.

PARR 6400 calorimeter bomb is used to measure the combustion heat. Samples of test materials in the form of a pressed pellet is burned in an oxygen-rich atmosphere. The oxygen fills the bomb at a pressure of 2-2.5 MPa before measurement.  

The moisture measurement is performed in the ELTRA TGA THERMOSTEP thermogravimeter. Test samples weighing approximately 5 mg undergo thermal degradation at 20°C to 320°C without oxygen, under inert atmosphere (usually nitrogen or argon) and atmospheric pressure. Thermoweight records the mass loss of individual components from the biofuel type tested. The thermogravimeter serves also to determine the content of ashes and volatiles in the samples tested.

The content of hydrogen, carbon and sulfur is determined using ELTRA CHS-580 elementary analyzer. It is based on the classic Pregl-Dumas method, in which samples are burned in pure oxygen atmosphere, and the resulting compounds are analyzed by frontal chromatography.

Key words: biomass, pelleting, energy crops, calorific value, thermogravimeter, calorimeter bomb, clean energy, pellet composite