Wood Chip Drying through the Using of a Mobile Rotary Dryer
Drying is a critical point for the exploitation of biomass for energy production. High moisture content negatively affects the efficiency of power generation in combustion and gasification systems. Different types of dryers are available however; it is known that rotary dryers have low cost of maintenance and consume 15% and 30% less in terms of specific energy. The study analyzed the drying process of woody residues using a new prototype of mobile rotary dryer cocurrent flow. Woodchip of
... . Woodchip of poplar (Populus spp.), black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.), and grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) pruning were dried in a rotary drier. The drying cycle lasted 8 h for poplar, 6 h for black locust, and 6 h for pruning of grapevine. The initial biomass had a moisture content of around 50% for the poplar and around 30% for grapevine and black locust. The study showed that some characteristics of the biomass (e.g., initial moisture content, particle size distribution, bulk density) influence the technical parameters (i.e., airflow temperature, rate, and speed) of the drying process and, hence, the energy demand. At the end of the drying process, 17% of water was removed for poplar wood chips and 31% for grapevine and black locust wood chips. To achieve this, result the three-biomass required 1.61 (poplar), 0.86 (grapevine), and 1.12 MJ kgdry solids−1 (black locust), with an efficiency of thermal drying (η) respectively of 37%, 12%, and 27%. In the future, the results obtained suggest an increase in the efficiency of the thermal insulation of the mobile dryer, and the application of the mobile dryer in a small farm, for the recovery of exhaust gases from thermal power plants.