Assessing the suitability of recovering shrub biowaste involved in wildland fires in the South of Europe through torrefaction mobile units

María González Martínez (Corresponding Author), Capucine Dupont, Denilson da Silva Perez, Luis Míguez-Rodríguez, Maguelone Grateau, Sébastien Thiéry, Tarja Tamminen, Xuân Mi Meyer, Christophe Gourdon

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Several types of shrubs and oak inducing high wildland fire risk in the South of Europe were evaluated for their potential valorization through torrefaction. Biomasses were firstly characterized in terms of macromolecular and elemental composition. Lab-scale TGA-GC/MS torrefaction experiments allowed the in-depth study of the solid mass transformation and the production profile of 23 volatile species (200 to 300 °C at 3 °C·min −1 and 300 °C for 30 min). The proportion of the torrefied products (solid, CO, CO 2 , water and volatile species) was evaluated through mass balance in a lab-scale furnace under typical torrefaction conditions (300 °C, 40 min). The results show a similar characterization and behavior in torrefaction for oak and shrublands, and slightly different characteristics for fern. However, fern may grow separately from shrublands and is considered to present a low fire risk. This suggests that the in-situ direct valorization of these biomasses through torrefaction mobile units seems promising. However, other properties, such as density, flowability and grindability need to be studied to confirm the feasibility of the process. Regarding torrefaction products, a higher carbon content and an interesting increase in heating value were measured for the torrefied solid, which makes it suitable for energetic valorization, among other uses. The composition of permanent gases was evaluated and found in agreement with previous studies. Finally, the volatile species released were studied in function of the torrefaction temperature, in view of their possible valorization as green chemicals.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)551-560
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Environmental Management
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Oak
    • Shrubs
    • Solid mass loss
    • Torrefaction
    • Volatile species
    • Wildland fire


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