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Steam explosion pilot plant

Referent: dr. Isabella De Bari - e mail: - tel. 0835.974618

The Steam Explosion (SE) is a hydrothermal treatment for making easier and less impactive the separation between the different fractions of the common vegetal substrates (hemicelluloses, cellulose and lignin)

The process uses saturated steam and high pressure to warm up the biomass inside a continue or discontinue reactor.

The material is kept at a certain temperature (180-230°C) for a short period (1-10 minutes) during which hemicelluloses is hydrolysed and becomes soluble. Soon after  the pressure is rapidly reconducted to the atmospheric value to obtain a decompress explosion that further scrapers the biomass.

The tests in Trisaia are made by using a batch plant of 0.5kg/cycle.


The scale up is made by using the pilot plant for treating 300kg/h of biomasses. Also the labs for instrumental chemistry and biological chemistry operate through advanced instruments and bio-reactors on different scales (2 to 10 litres for laboratory tests and pilot of 50l for scale up tests). The chemical labs realize also the characterization of biomasses and of all the process currents by using modern techniques such as: HPLC, HPIC, GC, GC-MS, ICP-MS, TGA, DTA, AA, FTIR, UV.