Volume 27: Closing Carbon Cycles – A Transformation Process Involving Technology, Economy, and Society: Part II

Potassium Carbonate as a Catalyst for Wood Torrefaction Larissa Richa, Baptiste Colin, Anélie Pétrissans, Rafael L. Quirino, Wei-Hsin Chen, Mathieu Pétrissans



Potassium carbonate (K2CO3) is known to influence the kinetics of degradation of lignocellulosic biomass. Its effect has been studied in the literature on wood particles, but its catalytic effect on wood boards remains unexplored. In this work, beech wood blocks were impregnated with solutions having different concentrations ranging from 0 (demineralized water) to 0.012 M of K2CO3. After torrefaction at 300°C for 15 min, potassium impregnated samples were degraded up to 7.49 wt% (0.012 M) more than the raw one. The impregnation procedure and torrefaction changed the wood’s color, the desired aspect for construction. The increased HHV with torrefaction (around 24 MJ.kg-1 for 0.012 M impregnated samples) is attractive for energy production from end-of-life wood products. The obtained results validate the possibility of using potassium carbonate as a catalyst for wood torrefaction to reduce the torrefaction duration/temperature. Moreover, the torrefied wood has upgraded properties that make it useful for bioenergy production.

Keywords Potassium carbonate, Torrefaction, Wood, Energy, Carbon neutrality

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