Impact of torrefaction on the chemical structure of birch wood

Tooran Khazraie Shoulaifar (Corresponding Author), Nikolai Demartini, Stefan Willför, Andrey Pranovich, Annika I. Smeds, Tommi Antti Petteri Virtanen, Sirkka Liisa Maunu, Fred Verhoeff, Jacop H.A. Kiel, Mikko Hupa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Torrefaction is the thermal pretreatment of biomass at temperatures of 200-300 °C in an inert atmosphere with the objectives of improving resistance to biodegradation, reducing hydrophilicity, improving grindability and increasing energy density. In this work, we studied the effect of torrefaction temperature (240-280 °C) on the chemistry of birch wood. The samples were from a pilot plant at ECN, and in that way, they were representative of industrially produced samples. We have measured the concentration of hemicellulose and cellulose; changes in the extractives content and composition; and in the lignin structure. We used acid methanolysis and acid hydrolysis for hemicellulose and cellulose analysis, respectively; Klason lignin method, 13C CP-MAS NMR, Dipolar Dephasing NMR, and Py-GC-MS analysis for lignin characterization; and acetone extraction, HPSEC, GC-FID, and GC-MS analysis for extractives characterization. The results provide a more complete picture of the chemical changes in wood by torrefaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3863-3872
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy & Fuels
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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