Enhancing the potential of sugarcane bagasse for the production of ENplus quality fuel pellets by torrefaction: an economic feasibility study

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Faculty of Science, Energy and Environment, King Mongkut's University of Technology North Bangkok, Rayong Campus, Rayong 21120, Thailand.

2 Tree Moments Co., Ltd, Bangkok 10500, Thailand.

3 Energy Research Institute, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand.


When fossil fuel substitution with biomass is viewed as a potential solution to global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions, the demand for biomass fuel pellets has increased worldwide. Although agricultural waste is an attractive potential feedstock for fuel pellet production due to its relatively high calorific value and low cost, its excessive ash content is a major drawback. This research investigates the properties of sugarcane bagasse fuel pellets treated by dry and wet torrefaction and evaluates the economic value of selling the fuel pellets, which were priced based on their quality. It was found that the wet torrefaction could significantly reduce the ash content in the product (1% ash content at a torrefaction temperature of above 180°C), resulting in higher quality and more marketable fuel pellets. Consequently, the yield and the net present value of the production of wet torrefied fuel pellets were greater than those of dry torrefied pellets. Nevertheless, the production of fuel pellets from sugarcane bagasse treated by either process is shown to be economically viable.

Graphical Abstract

Enhancing the potential of sugarcane bagasse for the production of ENplus quality fuel pellets by torrefaction: an economic feasibility study


  • Production of sugarcane bagasse fuel by dry and wet torrefaction was investigated.
  • Both wet and dry torrefaction could increase the calorific value of sugarcane bagasse.
  • Wet torrefaction could reduce the ash content of the fuel to the standard level.
  • Wet and dry torrefaction was both economically viable for fuel pellet production.


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