When biomass is pyrolyzed, volatile organic components are vaporized and removed from the resulting biochar, producing a honeycomb structure, drastically increasing surface area and porosity. When the hot biochar is removed from the oxygen free environment inside the pyrolysis reactor, it’s new structure and properties absorb a lot of oxygen quickly. Oxidation is an exothermal process and can produce self-heating in biochar. In addition, unstable and highly flammable volatile gases can condense and be absorbed by the highly absorbent fresh char. These volatiles can easily ignite, if the biochar self- heats, or if an external source of ignition occurs, such as a static discharge or heat from friction. Also, burning embers are sometimes produced as the hot biochar exits the reactor. These small embers can be loaded into supersacks, and can grow as ignited char is exposed to oxygen over time.
Torresak’s Modified Amosphere Packaging design removes oxygen from inside the bulk bag, which prevents rapid oxidation of the fresh, highly absorbent biochar. In addition, the Torresak system uses nitrogen purge during the bagging operation to help create an oxygen free environment next to the char. In addition, Torresak is made from special anti-static materials to prevent static sparking, which can easily ignite any volatiles present in the biochar. Torresak also uses a vibratory compaction system to immobilize the char particles, which helps to reduce agitation and friction during transport.
When used properly, Torresak can be an important component in fire risk mitigation.