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Torrefaction to reduce stubble burning

Topics Covered:

Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment


Torrefaction to reduce stubble burning

What to study?

For Prelims: the technology.

For Mains: Significance for India.


Context: India tests Swedish torrefaction technology to reduce stubble burning.


What is torrefaction?

It is a thermal process used to produce high-grade solid biofuels from various streams of woody biomass or agro residues.

The end product is a stable, homogeneous, high quality solid biofuel with far greater energy density and calorific value than the original feedstock, providing significant benefits in logistics, handling and storage, as well as opening up a wide range of potential uses.

How it works?

  1. Biomass torrefaction involves heating the biomass to temperatures between 250 and 300 degrees Celsius in a low-oxygen atmosphere.
  2. When biomass is heated at such temperatures, the moisture evaporates and various low-calorific components (volatiles) contained in the biomass are driven out.
  3. During this process the hemi-cellulose in the biomass decomposes, which transforms the biomass from a fibrous low quality fuel into a product with excellent fuel characteristics.


Sources: the Hindu.