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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 235163, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/235163
Research Article

An Investigation into the Impact of Reaction Temperature on Various Parameters during Torrefaction of Sugarcane Bagasse Relevant to Gasification

1Fort Hare Institute of Technology, University of Fort Hare, Private Bag X1314, Alice 5700, South Africa
2Department of Chemistry, University of Fort Hare, Private Bag X1314, Alice 5700, South Africa
3Department of Chemistry, Durban University of Technology, P.O. Box 1334, Durban 4000, South Africa

Received 14 September 2015; Accepted 25 November 2015

Academic Editor: Mohsen Farahat

Copyright © 2015 Anthony Anukam et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Torrefaction of sugarcane bagasse was conducted in an electric muffle furnace at 200, 250, and 300°C in order to establish the impact of heat treatment temperature on various parameters and as a method to improve sugarcane bagasse characteristics for the purpose of gasification. The results show that weight loss of bagasse reduced as temperature of torrefaction increased due to excessive devolatilization. A reduced moisture and volatile matter content as well as improved calorific value were also achieved with increasing temperature of torrefaction. The torrefaction progress was again followed by elemental analysis of the material which showed the presence of C, H, and O in varying proportions depending on torrefaction temperature. The decrease in the weight percentages of O2 and H2 as torrefaction reaction temperature increased resulted in the accumulation of C in the solid product. The thermogravimetric analysis conducted established the maximum reactivity temperature of the torrefied material and revealed that the degradation of torrefied sugarcane bagasse was accelerated by thermal treatment of the material prior to analysis. Finally, the study established that torrefaction at 300°C led to a much more degraded material compared to the lower torrefaction reaction temperatures of 200 and 250°C, respectively.