Proof-of-Concept of Spent Mushrooms Compost Torrefaction—Studying the Process Kinetics and the Influence of Temperature and Duration on the Calorific Value of the Produced Biocoal
Poland, being the 3rd largest and growing producer of mushrooms in the world, generates almost 25% of the total European production. The generation rate of waste mushroom spent compost (MSC) amounts to 5 kg per 1 kg of mushrooms produced. We proposed the MSC treatment via torrefaction for the production of solid fuel—biocoal. In this research, we examined the MSC torrefaction kinetics using thermogravimetric analyses (TGA) and we tested the influence of torrefaction temperature within the range from 200 to 300 °C and treatment time lasting from 20 to 60 min on the resulting biocoal’s (fuel) properties. The estimated value of the torrefaction activation energy of MSC was 22.3 kJ mol−1. The highest calorific value = 17.9 MJ kg−1 d.m. was found for 280 °C (60 min torrefaction time). A significant (p < 0.05) influence of torrefaction temperature on HHV increase within the same group of torrefaction duration, i.e., 20, 40, or 60 min, was observed. The torrefaction duration significantly (p < 0.05) increased the HHV for 220 °C and decreased HHV for 300 °C. The highest mass yield (98.5%) was found for 220 °C (60 min), while the highest energy yield was found for 280 °C (60 min). In addition, estimations of the biocoal recirculation rate to maintain the heat self-sufficiency of MSC torrefaction were made. The net quantity of biocoal (torrefied MSC; 65.3% moisture content) and the 280 °C (60 min) torrefaction variant was used. The initial mass and energy balance showed that MSC torrefaction might be feasible and self-sufficient for heat when ~43.6% of produced biocoal is recirculated to supply the heat for torrefaction. Thus, we have shown a concept for an alternative utilization of abundant biowaste (MSC). This research provides a basis for alternative use of an abundant biowaste and can help charting improved, sustainable mushroom production.
This article is published as Syguła, Ewa, Jacek A. Koziel, and Andrzej Białowiec. "Proof-of-Concept of Spent Mushrooms Compost Torrefaction—Studying the Process Kinetics and the Influence of Temperature and Duration on the Calorific Value of the Produced Biocoal." Energies 12, no. 16 (2019): 3060. DOI: 10.3390/en12163060. Posted with permission.