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Common Terms Used In Biomass Densification

With the increase in environment awareness, most of the countries are finding alternatives to the conventional fossil fuels.In fact, in some of the developing countries like india, biomass has become fourth largest source of energy; providing its basic use for cooking and heating rural households.On the contrary, developed countries are using biomass for the purpose of power generation and space heating.The contribution of biomass in total energy consumption has been increasing day by day.Biomass fuels are the prime source of obtaining renewable energy.The main problem with biomass is low energy content as compared to traditional fossil fuels.This simply means that more fuel is needed to get the desired amount of energy.Densification is the effective way of increasing energy density of biomass.This process makes mechanical handling and feeding easier.It also minimizes dust production and also reduces cost of transportation due to rise in density.Various key terms associated with biomass densification are: bulk density it is defined as the weight per unit volume of a material.Kilograms per cubic unit meter (kg/m3).Energy density energy density is a term used to define the amount of energy stored per volume.Pre-treatment of biomass to optimize the energy content and bulk density of the biomass pre-treatment is conducted.It incorporates drying to the required moisture content, steaming, addition of a binding agent, torrefaction and grinding.Let's discuss them in detail: drying- low moisture content ensures high durability and improved density of the fuel.Majority of biomass densification processes in a biomass briquetting project have 8-20% moisture content.Some of the compaction technologies require very small amount of moisture to soften the biomass.Steaming-steaming processes before densification of biomass helps in the release and activation of natural binding agents that exists already in the biomass.Addition of binding agent- density and durability of the biomass are greatly influenced by binding agents of the material.Addition of binding agent depends upon the moisture content and the type of waste selected for conversion.Torrefaction- it is a kind of pyrolysis that includes heating of biomass in the absence of air and oxygen.It also helps in improving the properties of pellets and sometimes biomass itself.Grinding- grinding process is done to get denser products and low energy use in the densification process.After describing these terms it is the time to mention about the products obtained after densification.Here is the list with description: pellets- pellets obtained by the briquetting presses are very high in density.In addition, these are also easier to handle than densified biomass products.Cubes- these are large pellets available in square in shape.Cubes are less dense than the pellets and its size mainly ranges from 13-28 mm.Briquettes- briquettes are almost similar to pellet with a difference in size.These are formed when biomass is punched by using a piston press in a die under extreme pressure.Briquettes may be cylinder cal in shape is used to start and maintain the fire in a smokeless way.So, use them as an alternate source of fuel and energy.

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