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Characterization and Utilization of Agroforestry Residues as Energy Source in Brazil (Mechanical Project)

Brazil is very much rich in agriculture and forestry. The agro industry occupies an area of 28840726 ha. The more important crops are sugarcane (7080920 ha), rice (289030 ha), wheat (1853220 ha), coconut (283205 ha), cassava (1894460 ha), corn (13767400 ha) and grass (140000 ha). These crops generated 597 million tons of residues. Forest plantations in Brazil supplied 102.9 million m3 of industrial roundwood, of which nearly half is for renewable fuelwood and charcoal.

Part of this plantation output is destined for the pulp and paper industry:

The renewable sources are fulfilling 46.4% of the total Brazilian energy demands.

Energy forestation in Brazil includes mainly Eucalyptus and Bracatingas.

In this study three biomasses abundant in the Brazil are studied:  i.e. Eucalyptus, Garapeira/Peroba (wood dust) and Sewage Sludge.

The wood samples (Eucalyptus and Peroba/Garapeira) have higher heating value than the sewage sludge because the wood samples have higher amounts of carbon and hydrogen than the sewage sludge. The sewage sludge has higher ash content and lower amount of volatiles and fixed carbon than the wood samples resulting in a lower heating value.

The pyrolysis of eucalyptus, garapeira/peroba and sewage sludge has been studied in a thermobalance over a wide range of degradation temperatures. Between 225 °C – 375 °C (for eucalyptus) and 225 °C – 425 °C (for garapeira), the thermal decomposition of the biomass leads to significant weight loss.

The weight loss for Eucalyptus between 265°C and 350°C is 0.48 % / °C and taking into account a heating rate of 10°C/min, the weight loss is 4.8 % /min. Garapeira has a similar behaviour than eucalyptus. The weight loss for garapeira between 265°C and 365°C is 0.4 % / °C and taking into account a heating rate of 10°C/min, the weight loss is 4 % /min.

The behaviour of the sewage sludge to the increase of temperature from 25°C to 700 °C in an inert atmosphere do not show such different zones as the behaviour of the woody biomass. Between 150 °C and 235°C the weight loss of the sewage sludge was 0.07 %/°C (0.7 %/min). The highest weight loss takes place between 300 °C and 390 °C (0.15 %/°C or 1.5 %/min). In the third zone, between 500 °C and 600°C, the weight loss was 0.03 %/°C (0.3 %/min).

The pyrolysis is assumed to be a first order decomposition. The activation energy (E) and the pre exponential factor (A) are calculated for the studied samples.

The proximate analysis shows differences between the woody biomass and the sewage sludge. The sewage sludge has higher ash content and lower fixed carbon and volatiles. Eucalyptus has lower carbon fixed and higher volatiles than peroba-garapeira.
Source: KTH
Authors: Abdul Hayee, Muhammad

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