Upgradation of chemical, fuel, thermal, and structural properties of rice husk through microwave-assisted hydrothermal carbonization
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The process parameters of microwave hydrothermal carbonization (MHTC) have significant effect on yield of hydrochar. This study discusses the effect of process parameters on hydrochar yield produced from MHTC of rice husk. Results revealed that, over the ranges tested, a lower temperature, lower reaction time, lower biomass to water ratio, and higher particle size produce more hydrochar. Maximum hydrochar yield of 62.8% was obtained at 1000 W, 220 °C, and 5 min. The higher heating value (HHV) was improved significantly from 6.80 MJ/kg of rice husk to 16.10 MJ/kg of hydrochar. Elemental analysis results showed that the carbon content increased and oxygen content decreased in hydrochar from 25.9 to 47.2% and 68.5 to 47.0%, respectively, improving the energy and combustion properties. SEM analysis exhibited modification in structure of rice husk and improvement in porosity after MHTC, which was further confirmed from BET surface analysis. The BET surface area increased from 25.0656 m 2 /g (rice husk) to 92.6832 m 2 /g (hydrochar). Thermal stability of hydrochar was improved from 340 °C for rice husk to 370 °C for hydrochar.
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