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The purpose of this study was to obtain high-quality pellets from natural biomass sources with improved fuel properties and durability. Two biomass types, namely residues of mixed coniferous wood and olive pomace, were selected as feedstock for this purpose. It was found that olive pomace is a promising natural source for the production of fuel pellets. The chosen biomasses were used for pelletization along with auxiliary materials, such as starch, polyvinyl acetate (PVA) and pine wood resin (PWR). The milled biomass samples and their mixtures with binders were compacted under increased pressure and temperature, and then cooled. Besides, part of the pellets was coated with layer of hydrophobic agent, such as melt of PWR. The pellets were studied by methods of calorimetry, water vapor sorption and durability testing. The results have shown that fuel characteristics of the pellets containing starch binder were lesser than those of coals; moreover both fuel properties and durability of these pellets were reduced after sorption of water vapor. The use of hydrophobic binder (PVA) improves durability of the pellets, whereas the additional coating with PWR layer allows obtaining the especial high-quality pellets with high fuel properties and high durability both in dry and wet state. As a result, the energetic features of these especial solid biofuels become comparable with those of fossil coals.
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