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Superheated steam torrefaction of biomass residues with valorisation of platform chemicals - Part 1: Ecological assessment

  • Within the last decade, research on torrefaction has gained increasing attention due to its ability to improve the physical properties and chemical composition of biomass residues for further energetic utilisation. While most of the research works focused on improving the energy density of the solid fraction to offer an ecological alternative to coal for energy applications, little attention was paid to the valorisation of the condensable gases as platform chemicals and its ecological relevance when compared to conventional production processes. Therefore, the present study focuses on the ecological evaluation of an innovative biorefinery concept that includes superheated steam drying and the torrefaction of biomass residues at ambient pressure, the recovery of volatiles and the valorisation/separation of several valuable platform chemicals. For a reference case and an alternative system design scenario, the ecological footprint was assessed, considering the use of different biomass residues. The results show that the newly developed process can compete with established bio-based and conventional production processes for furfural, 5-HMF and acetic acid in terms of the assessed environmental performance indicators. The requirements for further research on the synthesis of other promising platform chemicals and the necessary economic evaluation of the process were elaborated.

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Author of HS ReutlingenKleine-Möllhoff, Peter; Roy, Baharam
Erschienen in:Sustainability
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Article
Year of Publication:2022
Tag:biorefinery; environmental assessment; platform chemicals; superheated steam torrefaction; volatile recovery
Page Number:21
Article Number:1212
DDC classes:333.7 Natürliche Ressourcen, Energie und Umwelt
Open Access?:Ja
Licence (German):License Logo  Creative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International