Introduction to frictional carbonization (FC)

Introduction to frictional carbonization (FC)

One the most significant sources of primary energy is coal and has an increasing demand that will reach the level of 9 billion tons by the year 2019. On the other hand there is a demand for a sustainable turn to renewable energy from the power production sector. Thus, the Emission Trading Scheme has been developed and EU has committed to reduce the domestic greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by the year 2030 relative to 1990 levels. Hence, the planned reduction in CO2 emissions from the coal sector is intended to be achieved by co-combusting coal with biomass which is a renewable and carbon neutral resource or with biomass derived products with even better combustion properties like charcoal or biochar. Thus, several methods are being utilized like carbonization in rotary kilns, hydrothermal carbonization and torrefaction. In the framework of this manuscript a new method for charcoal/biocoal production is introduced and is defined from now on as frictional carbonization. It mainly consists of a friction auger and a series of other auxiliary augers. It uses only the application of pressure and friction whereas no external heat transfer is needed for the propagation of the process. This novel method is compared with torrefaction in order to assess its potential to process non-woody biomass and agricultural residues such as corn stover, miscanthus, sorghum stover, etc. Frictionally carbonized corn stover has a higher recovered mass yield, higher recovered energy yield and fixed carbon content than torrefied corn stover. Finally frictional carbonization showed higher exothermicity than torrefaction.

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