Biomass fuel production from cellulosic sludge through biodrying: Aeration strategies, quality of end-products, gaseous emissions and techno-economic assessment

N. Guerra-Gorostegi, D. González, B. Puyuelo, J. Ovejero, J. Colón, D. Gabriel, A. Sánchez, S. Ponsá*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This study assesses the technological, environmental and economic feasibility of biodrying to valorise cellulosic sludge as a renewable energy source. Specifically, three different aeration strategies were compared in terms of biodrying performance, energetic consumption, gaseous emissions, quality of end-products and techno-economic analysis. These strategies were based on different combinations of convective drying with biogenic heat produced. Two innovative biodrying performance indicators (Energetic Biodrying Index and Biodrying Performance Index) were proposed to better assess the initial and operational conditions that favour the maximum energy process efficiency and the highest end-product quality. The end-products obtained consistently presented moisture contents below 40% and lower heating values above 9.4 MJ·kg-1. However, the best values achieved were 32.6% and 10.4 MJ·kg-1 for moisture content and lower heating value, respectively. Low N2O and CH4 emissions confirmed the effective aeration of all three strategies carried out, while NH4 and tVOCs were related either to temperature or biological phenomena. A techno-economic analysis proved the economic viability and attractiveness of the biodrying technology for cellulosic sludge in all the strategies applied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-496
Number of pages10
JournalWaste Management
Volume126
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021

Keywords

  • Aeration strategies
  • Biodrying
  • Cellulosic sludge
  • Gaseous emissions
  • Techno-economic analysis

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