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Hydrothermal carbonization of tobacco stalk for fuel application

Cai, Jiaxiao, Li, Bin, Chen, Chaoying, Wang, Jing, Zhao, Min, Zhang, Ke
Bioresource technology 2016 v.220 pp. 305-311
activation energy, biomass, carbon, chemical composition, combustion, energy, energy density, evolution, fuels, heat, hydrochars, hydrogen, hydrothermal carbonization, models, oxygen, temperature, tobacco, wastes, weight loss
Tobacco stalks are an abundant biomass resource which are otherwise treated as waste. In this work, the effect of hydrothermal carbonization temperature and time on the structures, chemical compositions and combustion characteristics of hydrochars obtained from tobacco stalks were evaluated. The carbon content, higher heating value, and energy yield increased with accompanying decrease in hydrogen and oxygen contents with the increase of treatment temperature and time. The evolution of the H/C and O/C atomic ratios indicated dehydration and devolatilization processes occurred during hydrothermal carbonization. The weight loss, combustion range and characteristic temperatures of tobacco stalks were significantly modified after hydrothermal carbonization, resulting in higher ignition temperatures and higher energy density. The kinetics model, Coats–Redfern method revealed the activation energy of hydrochars in zone 2 and 3 were among 43.7–74.8kJ/mol and 46.7–85.8kJ/mol, respectively. Our results show that hydrothermal carbonization reaction can facilitate transforming tobacco stalks into energy-rich solid fuel.