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A new torrefaction system employing spontaneous self-heating of livestock manure under elevated pressure

Itoh, Takanori, Iwabuchi, Kazunori, Maemoku, Naohiro, Sasaki, Izumi, Taniguro, Katsumori
Waste management 2019 v.85 pp. 66-72
animal manure management, ash content, biochar, dairy manure, drying, elemental composition, evaporation, feedstocks, heat, management systems, oxidation, oxygen, temperature, torrefaction
This report describes a new oxidative torrefaction method employing spontaneous self-heating of feedstock as a means of overcoming practical difficulties in converting livestock manure to biochar. We examined the initiating temperature required to induce self-heating of wet dairy cattle manure under 1.0 MPa pressure and conducted elemental and calorific analyses of the solid products prepared at 200, 250, and 300 °C. Self-heating was initiated with oxidation below 100 °C, and the lower limit of the initiation temperature was between 85 and 90 °C. Comparing processes performed at 0.1 and 1.0 MPa, the higher pressure promoted self-heating by both preventing heat loss due to moisture evaporation occurring at approximately 100 °C and supplying oxygen to the high-moisture feedstock. In addition, as drying occurred at 160–170 °C during the process, the system did not require pre- or post-drying. Although the heating values of the solid products decreased due to high ash content, the elemental composition of the products was altered to that of peat-like (200 °C) and lignite-like (250 and 300 °C) materials. Cessation of self-heating of the manure is recommended at approximately 250 °C to avoid severe decomposition at higher temperatures. Overall, these results demonstrated the utility of the proposed method for converting wet manure into dried biochar through self-heating as well as potential applications in manure management systems.