Optimizing the Production of Fuel Briquettes from Pruning Wastes of Urban Trees and Grass

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Dept of biosystems Engineering School of Agriculture Ferdowsi University of Mashhad Mashhad, Iran

2 Department of Biosystems Engineering, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad. Iran


Abstract: Conversion of tree and grass pruning wastes, as abundant and available lignocellulosic sources, into biofuels can be a viable alternative to fossil fuels that pollute the environment. In the present study, flammable briquettes were produced from the pruning remnants of urban trees including mulberry, elm, acacia and ash, as well as grass using a natural binder i.e. frankincense. Then, the optimal density and friction of the produced briquettes under the influence of pressure, moisture, temperature, mixing percentage and additive parameters were investigated using regression methods, support vector machine (SVM) and genetic algorithm. The results showed that with increasing moisture between 9 to 17%, the density of briquettes decreases. Also, the examination of mixing percentage showed that by decreasing the percentage of sawdust and increasing the percentage of grass, density and friction force decrease. The most optimal sample of this experiment was determined with a mixing percentage of 87.5% sawdust and frankincense 10% at a temperature of 100 °C, a pressure of 10 bar and a moisture content of 13%. In this case, the average density and friction force of the briquettes were 1020 kg/m3 and 44 N/mm respectively. The results showed that regression model of the density and friction test related variables are significant at 5% level. Hence, the variables are involved in the explanation of friction and density. According to the results, the high calorific value and low calorific value of briquettes produced from grass and sawdust are more, and the calorific value of additives has a significant impact on the process of briquette production due to the high sticking effect.


Main Subjects

Abyaz, A., Afra, E., & Saraeyan A. (2020). Production of bagasse biofuel briquettes reinforced by nanocellulose and nanolignocellulose binders. Journal of Forest and Wood Products, 72(4), 365-376. (In Farsi)
Agarwal, A. K., & Agarwala, G. D. (1999). Recent technologies for the conversion of biomass into energy, New Delhi: Indian Institute of Technology.
Alborz Province Municipality. (2020). Sima Manzar Green Space of Alborz Province. Retrieved January 18, 2020, from https://www.karaj.ir.
Artemio, C., Maginot, N., Serafín, C., & Rahim, F. (2018). Physical, mechanical and energy characterization of wood pellets obtained from three common tropical species. Journal PeerJ, 6:5504: 1-18.
Atli, A., Candelier, K., & Alteyrac, J. (2018). Mechanical, thermal and biodegradable properties of bioplast-spruce green wood polymer composites. International Journal of Chemical, Molecular, Nuclear, Materials and Metallurgical Engineering, 12(5), 226.
Carley, K.M., Kamneva, N.Y., & Reminga, J. (2004). Response surface methodology. CASOS Technical Report. Institute for Software Research International, (pp.32).
Cesprini, E., Resente, G., Causin, V., Urso, T., Cavalli, R., & Zanetti, M. (2020). Energy recovery of glued wood waste – A review. Journal of Fuel, 262, 1-12.
Chen, W.S., Chang, F.C., Shen, Y.H., & Tsai, M.S. (2011). The characteristics of organic sludge/sawdust derived fuel. Bioresource Technology, 102(9), 5406-5410.
Chen, W.H. (2015). Torrefaction. In Pretreatment of Biomass – Processes and Technologies, ed. A. Pandey, S. Negi, P. Binod and C. Larroche. (Vol. 1). (pp. 173-189). Netherlands.
Department of Energy. (2018). Bioenergy Technologies Office, Algae biomass summit: U.S. department of energy biomass program. Retrieved March 27, 2018, from https://www.karaj.ir. https://www.energy.gov.
Ebrahimi Meymand, H., Rahimi, M., & Bagheri Marashi, M. (2014). Possibility of using pistachio waste as fuel in Rafsanjan city. Third Annual Clean Energy, 3, 1-10.
Falemara, B., Joshua, V., Aina, O., & Nuhu, R. (2018). Performance evaluation of the physical and combustion properties of briquettes produced from agro-wastes and wood residues. Journals Recycling, 3, 10-21.
Fiorineschi, L., Cascini, G., Rotini, F., & Tonarelli, A. (2020). Versatile Grinder Technology for the Production of Wood Biofuels. Fuel Processing and Technology, 197, 106217.
Garcia, D., Caraschi, J., Ventorim, G., Vieira, F., & Protasio, T. (2019). Assessment of plant biomass for pellet production using multivariate statistics (PCA and HCA). Journal of Renewable Energy, 139, 796-805.
Hosseini, M., Ghazanfari Moghadam, A., Hashemipour Rafsanjani, H., & Ataei, A. (2017). Investigation and modeling of thermal decomposition kinetics of pistachio leaves and wood in order to produce biofuels. Journal of Agricultural Machinery, 6(2), 429-439.
Handra, N., & Hafni. (2017). Effect of binder on combustion quality on EFB bio-briquettes. International Conference on Environmental and Technology, 97, 1–7.
Jamradloedluk, J., & Lertsatitthanakorn, C. (2017). Influence of mixing ratios and binder types on properties of biomass pellets. Energy Procida, 138, 1147-1152.
Jiang, L., Yuan, X., Xiao, Z., Liang, J., Li, H., Cao, L., & Zeng, G. (2016). A comparative study of biomass pellet and biomass-sludge mixed pellet: Energy input and pellet properties. Energy Conversion and Management, 126, 509-515.
Kaliyan, N., & Morey, R.V. (2009). Factors affecting strength and durability of densified biomass products. Biomass and Bioenergy, 33(3), 337–359.
Kaliyan, N., & Morey, R.V. (2010). Natural binders and solid bridge type binding mechanisms in briquettes and pellets made from corn stover and switchgrass. Bioresource Technology, 101:1082–1090.
Krohn, K., & Paschke, R. (2001). Progress in understanding the etiology of thyroid autonomy. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 86(7), 3336-3345.
Mir Emadi, T., & Rahimi Rad, Z. (2016). Identification of system failures in the analysis of biofuel technological innovation system in Iran. Journal of Science and Technology Policy, 8(1): 27-41.
Madadian, E., Akbarzadeh, A., & Lefsrud, M. (2018). Pelletized Composite Wood Fiber Mixed with Plastic as Advanced Solid Biofuels: Thermo-Chemical Analysis. Waste and Biomass Valorization, 9(9), 1629–1643.
Masche, M., Puig-Arnavat, M., Jensen, P., & Holm, J. (2019). From wood chips to pellets to milled pellets: The mechanical processing pathway of Austrian pine and European beech. Journals Powder Technology, 350, 134-145.
Millward-Hopkins, J., & Purnell, P. (2019). Circulating blame in the circular economy: The case of wood-waste biofuels and coal ash. Journal Energy Policy, 129, 168–172.
Najafzadeh, A., Tabatabai Nasab, Z., & Dehghan Tafti, M. (2014). Health and environmental effects in the process of pellet production and combustion. In: Proceedings of 1th national conference on new and clean energy management, 14-16 Oct., Hegmataneh Environmental Assessors Associatio, Shahid Mofteh College, Hamedan, Iran, pp. 122-133. (In Farsi)
Najafzadeh, A., Tabatabai, Z., & Dehghan Tafti, M. (2014). Production of pellet fuel using wood and agricultural waste. In: Proceedings of National Conference on Agricultural Science and Technology. 22-23 Nov., Malayer University, Malayer, Iran. pp. 14-25. (In Farsi)
Nguyen, Q. N., Cloutier, A., Achim, A., & Stevanovic, T. (2015). Effect of process parameters and raw material characteristics on physical and mechanical properties of wood pellets made from sugar maple particles. Biomass and Bioenergy, 80, 338-349.
Pattiya, A., & Suttibak, S. (2012). Production of bio-oil via fast pyrolysis of agricultural residues from cassava plantations in a fluidised-bed reactor with a hot vapour filtration unit. Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, 95, 227-235.
Pradhan, P., Mahajani, S. M., & Arora, A. (2018). Production and utilization of fuel pellets from biomass: A review. Fuel Processing Technology, 181, 215-232.
Ramezanzade, M. (2017). Production of fuel pellets from pruning residues of pistachio trees and evaluation some physical, mechanical and thermal properties of them. Master of Science Thesis, Department of Mechanics of Biosystems Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman. (In Farsi)
Rezaei, M., Livani, A., & Haghparast Kashani, A. (2013). Estimation of pellet production potential from wood biomass sources in Iran. In: Proceedings of 3th National Conference on Fuel, Energy and Environment, 28-30 Oct., Material and Energy Research Center, Tehran, Iran, pp. 1-11. (In Farsi)
Rashidi Kia, M. & Moradi, M. (2016). Biofuel for optimal use of agricultural waste and its role in sustainable development. Shabak Monthly, 3(3), 28-17. (In Farsi)
Russell, A., Larsson, S., Shekhar, S., Solomon, I., Salehi, H., & Subirana, J. (2020). Deformation and breakage of biofuel wood. Journal Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 153, 419–426.
Rudolfsson, M., Agar, D., Lestander, T., & Larsson, S. (2020). Energy savings through late-steam injection – A new technique for improving wood pellet production. Journal of Cleaner Production, 254(1): 120099.
Ríos-Badrán, I., Luzardo-Ocampo, I., García-Trejo, J., Santos-Cruz, J., & Gutierrez-Antonio, C. (2020). Production and characterization of fuel pellets from rice husk and wheat straw. Journal Renewable Energy, 145, 500-5 07.
Sadeghi, S. (2020). Investigation of the effect of biomass composition and natural binders on mechanical and thermal properties of fuel pellets. M.Sc. dissertation, Sari University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering, Sari, Iran. (In Farsi)
Shafaie, H., Kermani, A. M., Kianmehr, M. H., & Hassanbeygi, S. R. (2020). Investigating of effective parameters on the production process of briquettes from bagasse and walnut shell. 12th National Congress of Mechanical Biosystems Engineering and Mechanization of Iran, 5 February 2020, Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz, Iran. (In Farsi)
Rajput, S., Jadhav, S., & Thorat, B. (2020). Methods to improve properties of fuel pellets obtained from different biomass sources: Effect of biomass blends and binders. Fuel Processing and Technology, 199, 106255.
Samiei, L., Jalali, R., Shakeri, A., & Nikokhtar, M. (2014). Potential assessment of the provinces in the field of using agricultural waste to produce fuel pellets. In: Proceedings of 3th International Conference on New Approaches to Energy Conservation, 15-16 Dec., University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran, pp. 1-12. (In Farsi)
Ståhl, M., Frodeson, S., Berghel, J., & Olsson, S. (2019). Using Secondary Pea Starch in Full-Scale Wood Fuel Pellet Production Decreases the Use of Steam Conditioning. Proceedings of the World Sustainable Energy Days, 1, 1-12.
Stelte, W., Holm, J. K., Sanadi, A. R., Barsberg, S., Ahrenfeldt, J., & Henriksen, U. B. (2011a). Fuel pellets from biomass: The importance of the pelletizing pressure and its dependency on the processing conditions. Fuel, 90(11), 3285-3290.
Stelte, W., Clemons, C., Holm, J.K., Ahrenfeldt, J., Henriksen U. B., & Sanadi A.R. (2011b). Thermal transitions of the amorphous polymers in wheat straw. Industrial Crops and Products, 34(1), 1053-1056.
Stelte, W., Barsberg, S., Clemons, C., & Morais, J. (2019). Coir Fibers as Valuable Raw Material for Biofuel Pellet Production. Waste and Biomass Valorization, 10(11), 3535–3543.
Theerarattananoon, K., Xu, F., Wilson, J., Ballard, R., Mckinney, L., Staggenborg, S., & Wang, D. (2011). Physical properties of pellets made from sorghum stalk, corn stover, wheat straw, and big bluestem. Industrial Crops and Products, 33(2), 325-332.
Tumuluru, J., Wright, C.T., Hess, J.R., & Kenney, K.L. (2011). A review of biomass densification systems to develop uniform feedstock commodities for bioenergy application. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, 5, 683-707.
Wang, Y., Wu, K., & Sun, Y. (2016). Effects of raw material particle size on the briquetting process of rice straw. Journal of the Energy Institute, 91(1), 1-10.
Whalen, J., Xu C., Shen F., Kumar A., Eklund M., & Yan J. (2017). Sustainable biofuel production from forestry, agricultural and waste biomass feedstocks. Applied Energy 198, 281–283.
Volume 53, Issue 2
September 2022
Pages 195-214
  • Receive Date: 19 February 2022
  • Revise Date: 12 June 2022
  • Accept Date: 28 August 2022
  • First Publish Date: 28 August 2022