Microwave Hydrothermal Carbonization of Rice Straw: Optimization of Process Parameters and Upgrading of Chemical, Fuel, Structural and Thermal Properties.
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The process parameters of microwave-induced hydrothermal carbonization (MIHTC) play an important role on the hydrothermal chars (hydrochar) yield. The effect of reaction temperature, reaction time, particle size and biomass to water ratio was optimized for hydrochar yield by modeling using the central composite design (CCD). Further, the rice straw and hydrochar at optimum conditions have been characterized for energy, chemical, structural and thermal properties. The optimum condition for hydrochar synthesis was found to be at a 180 °C reaction temperature, a 20 min reaction time, a 1:15 weight per volume (w/v) biomass to water ratio and a 3 mm particle size, yielding 57.9% of hydrochar. The higher heating value (HHV), carbon content and fixed carbon values increased from 12.3 MJ/kg, 37.19% and 14.37% for rice straw to 17.6 MJ/kg, 48.8% and 35.4% for hydrochar. The porosity, crystallinity and thermal stability of the hydrochar were improved remarkably compared to rice straw after MIHTC. Two characteristic peaks from XRD were observed at 2? of 15° and 26°, whereas DTG peaks were observed at 50?150 °C and 300?350 °C for both the materials. Based on the results, it can be suggested that the hydrochar could be potentially used for adsorption, carbon sequestration, energy and agriculture applications.
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