Energy potential of densified biomass from maize straw in form of pellets and briquettes
University of Agriculture in Nitra, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Machines and Production Biosystems, Tr. A. Hlinku 2, SK94976 Nitra, Slovakia
The aim of the study was the evaluation and comparison of energy potential of briquettes and pellets produced from the maize straw and woody biomass based on various diameters of pellets. By experimental measurements a calorific value and ash content was observed. Calorific value was measured by laboratory calorimeter IKA C 6000 (IKA® Works, Inc., USA) and laboratory combustion chamber Lindberg/Blue M (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc., USA). Individual calorific values and ash content was observed and subsequently confronted to obtain differences with replication. The analysis showed that calorific value of pellets with diameter 6 mm ranged from 16.99 MJ kg-1 to 17.80 MJ kg-1. Calorific value of pellets with 8 mm diameter ranged from 16.63 MJ kg-1 to 17.20 MJ kg-1. However, compared calorific value of briquettes ranged from 14.99 MJ kg-1 to 15.66 MJ kg-1. Further analysis showed that ash content of samples varied as well and it’s even affected by diameter of pellets. While ash content of pellets with diameter 6 mm was observed as 4.9% of total volume in case of pellets with 8 mm it was observed at value 5.5%. Briquettes produced from maize straw have ash content at value 5.4%. In contrary, ash content of woody biomass was significantly higher, 11% of volume, specifically. At the basis of observed parameters it can be concluded that maize straw densified in form of briquettes and pellets have a great energy potential which is comparable and competitive with currently used materials for production of briquettes and pellets.