Evaluation of solvent for pressurized liquid extraction of PCDD, PCDF, PCN, PCBz, PCPh and PAH in torrefied woody biomass
Biomass torrefaction for sustainable energy production has gained an increasing interest. However, there is a lack of information on the thermal formation of persistent organic pollutants such as dioxins in the torrefied solid product. In this paper, we investigated the applicability of pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) for simultaneous extraction of a number of polychlorinated planar aromatic compounds from torrefied wood. The targeted compounds included polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins
... benzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), dibenzofurans (PCDFs), naphthalenes (PCNs), benzenes (PCBz), phenols (PCPhs) and PAHs. PLE tests were conducted on torrefied and non-torrefied (i.e. raw) eucalyptus wood chips using 5 single solvents (n-hexane, toluene, dichloromethane, acetone and methanol) and a mixture of n-hexane/toluene (1:1, v/v). The performance of each solvent was evaluated in terms of recoveries of spiked internal standards and the amount of co-extracted sample matrix. High polarity solvents such as methanol and acetone resulted in poor recoveries from torrefied wood for most of the target compounds, probably due to the high coextraction of thermally degraded lignocellulosic compounds. Raw wood was less solvent-dependent and comparable results were obtained for polar and non-polar solvents. Toluene showed the best performance of the investigated solvents, with average recoveries of 79 ± 14% and 66 ± 9% for raw and torrefied wood, respectively. The method was validated using pentachlorophenol-tainted spruce wood chips. The proposed PLE method was compared to the traditional Soxhlet method. Results show that PLE gave equivalent or better extraction for all target compounds.