Hydrothermal carbonization and torrefaction of cabbage waste
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In recent years, waste biomass has been increasingly becoming an energy source. The utilization of biomass includes a number of potential treatments: thermochemical, physicochemical and biochemical. In the food industry, significant amounts of biodegradable wastes are produced which have to be quickly treated to not pose an environmental problem. In this work cabbage waste (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) was treated by hydrothermal carbonization and torrefaction. Hydrothermal carbonization experiments were carried out in a pressure reactor vessel Berghof BR-300 (inner volume 400 mL, temperature regulation by Berghof BTC 3000). The carbonization took place at target temperatures 180 °C and 225 °C. Torrefaction tests were carried out in a thermogravimetric programmable oven LECO TGA701 under nitrogen atmosphere at temperatures 225 °C, 250 °C and 275 °C. The residence time was 30 min for both processes. Proximate and elemental composition, as well as calorific value was analysed in all samples. To express the influence of the treatments on combustion behaviour, stoichiometric combustion calculations were performed. The analyses show a positive effect of both torrefaction and hydrothermal carbonization on fuel properties in the samples. Most obvious is the reduction in oxygen content which depends on the process temperature. After hydrothermal carbonization at 225 °C the oxygen content was lowered by 46.7%. The net calorific value increased proportionally with temperature in both processes. After hydrothermal carbonization at 225 °C the net calorific value increased on average by 3 MJ kg-1 to 20.89 MJ kg-1 . Both tested processes significantly increased the fuel value of this biodegradable waste.