Evaluating the fuel characteristics of wood pellets fabricated with wood tar and starch as an additive

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This study was conducted to investigate the potential of non-used forest biomass residues as raw materials for making wood pellets with additives such as wood tar and starch and to evaluate fuel characteristics of the pellets. Wood tar, a by-product provided from the carbonization process of wood, could be a suitable additive for wood pellet production due to its higher calorific value and lower hazardous heavy metals, such as cadmium and mercury, compared to woody biomass. When the wood tar (10 wt%) was added, the calorific value was increased from 4,630 kcal/kg (wood pellet without additive) to 4,800 kcal/kg (wood pellet with additive). With the increase of additive amount into wood pellet, the length and individual density of wood pellet increased. In addition, bulk density of the pellets was increased, whereas the fine content was decreased. Consequently the overall productivity of wood pellets was improved by adding 2 w% additives into wood pellets; the percentage of productivity increase was 5.9% and 4.9% for adding starch and wood tar, respectively.

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