Briquetting of subbituminous coal and torrefied biomass using bentonite as inorganic binder

Sci Rep. 2022 May 24;12(1):8716. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-12685-5.


The use of inorganic binder for briquetting of subbituminous coal and torrefied biomass for energy generation is scarce. The present study focuses on the physicomechanical durability and energy content of briquettes produced from subbituminous coal (SubC) and torrefied biomass (TM) using bentonite as binder. Briquettes were produced using 95% SubC and 5% TM. Bentonite was varied at 2-10% of the total SubC and TM weight. The briquettes were produced with a constant pressure (28 MPa) in a hydraulic press. The briquettes were primarily cured at room temperature and then at 300 [Formula: see text] in a tubular furnace under an inert condition for 60 min. The density and water resistance (WRI) of the briquettes were evaluated. Drop to fracture (DF), impact resistance index (IRI), cold crushing strength (CCS) and tumbling strength index (TSI+3 mm) of the briquette were obtained. The reactivity index (RI), proximate, ultimate and calorific values analyses were assessed based on different ASTM standards. Microstructural studies and elemental mapping were carried out using scanning electron microscope equipped with EDS and electron probe microanalyzer. The density increased with increment in bentonite content. The WRI decreased with increase in bentonite while the least (95.21%) was obtained at 10% binder content. The DF and IRI ranges from 100 to 150 and 2000-3000, respectively. The CCS were in the range of 19.71 to 40.23 MPa. The RI varies from 34 to 50%. Fixed carbon, carbon and calorific values were impaired as the bentonite content in the briquette increases. Oxygen and silica bridges with mechanical interlocking were observed on the micrographs of the briquettes. The briquettes produced with 2% bentonite content have better physicomechanical durability with equivalent energy content. It is recommended as feedstock for thermal and metallurgical applications.

PMID:35610357 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-022-12685-5


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