• Feedstocks Analysed at Celignis

Background on Foliage

Foliage is another word for the leaves of a plant. Leaves can constitute a significant biomass resource, particularly in forestry residues.

Analysis of Foliage at Celignis

Celignis Analytical can determine the following properties of Foliage samples:

Lignocellulosic Properties of Foliage

Cellulose Content of Foliage

It is usually the case that the cellulose content of foliage is significantly less than in the main stem of the plant.

The chemical composition of foliage can vary significantly, according to the plant. For example, hardwood trees typically have broad leaves whilst softwood trees have needles. Furthermore, whilst hardwoods are deciduous, meaining that their leaves are shed each year, softwood conifers are evergreen.

Foilage from softwoods tends to have a higher cellulose content than foliage from hardwoods, but this will depend on the species in question.

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Hemicellulose Content of Foliage

The hemicelluloses in foilage from softwoods tend to have more mannose than xylose present, whilst for hardwood foliage mannose is a minor component with xylose being the most abundant hemicellulosic sugar.

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Lignin Content of Foliage

Lignin content can vary significantly in foliage, depending on the plant species in question. Foliage can also contain a significant, and highly variable, extractives content.

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Starch Content of Foliage

Starch content can be relatively high in foliage but will vary according to the maturity of the plant. The content can also vary significantly between tree species.

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Uronic Acid Content of Foliage

Uronic acid content tends to be higher in foliage than in the stems of plants.However, the uronic acid content and composition can vary according to the type of foliage and its stage of maturation.

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Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Foliage

We can undertake tests involving the enzymatic hydrolysis of Foliage. In these experiments we can either use a commercial enzyme mix or you can supply your own enzymes. We also offer analysis packages that compare the enzymatic hydrolysis of a pre-treated sample with that of the native original material.

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Bioenergy Properties of Foliage

Ash Content of Foliage

It is usually the case that foliage contains significantly more ash than the stem of the plant. Ash content can be highly variable between leaves of different species.

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Heating (Calorific) Value of Foliage

The heating value of foliage will depend on chemical composition and moisture content. Some foliage can have attractive heating values, on a dry matter basis, due to the presence of significant amounts of high calorific value extractives.

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Ash Melting Behaviour of Foliage

Ash melting, also known as ash fusion and ash softening, can lead to slagging, fouling and corrosion in boilers which may reduce conversion efficiency. We can determine the ash melting behaviour of Foliage using our Carbolite CAF G5 BIO ash melting furnace. It can record the following temperatures:

Ash Shrinkage Starting Temperature (SST) - This occurs when the area of the test piece of Foliage ash falls below 95% of the original test piece area.

Ash Deformation Temperature (DT) - The temperature at which the first signs of rounding of the edges of the test piece occurs due to melting.

Ash Hemisphere Temperature (HT) - When the test piece of Foliage ash forms a hemisphere (i.e. the height becomes equal to half the base diameter).

Ash Flow Temperature (FT) - The temperature at which the Foliage ash is spread out over the supporting tile in a layer, the height of which is half of the test piece at the hemisphere temperature.

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Major and Minor Elements in Foliage

Examples of major elements that may be present in Foliage include potassium and sodium which are present in biomass ash in the forms of oxides. These can lead to fouling, ash deposition in the convective section of the boiler. Alkali chlorides can also lead to slagging, the fusion and sintering of ash particles which can lead to deposits on boiler tubes and walls.

We can also determine the levels of 13 different minor elements (such as arsenic, copper, and zinc) that may be present in Foliage.

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Analysis of Foliage for Anaerobic Digestion

Biomethane potential (BMP) of Foliage

At Celignis we can provide you with crucial data on feedstock suitability for AD as well as on the composition of process residues. For example, we can determine the biomethane potential (BMP) of Foliage. The BMP can be considered to be the experimental theoretical maximum amount of methane produced from a feedstock. We moniotor the volume of biogas produced allowing for a cumulative plot over time, accessed via the Celignis Database. Our BMP packages also involve routine analysis of biogas composition (biomethane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, ammonia, oxygen). We also provide detailed analysis of the digestate, the residue that remains after a sample has been digested. Our expertise in lignocellulosic analysis can allow for detailed insight regarding the fate of the different biogenic polymers during digestion.

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Physical Properties of Foliage

Bulk Density of Foliage

At Celignis we can determine the bulk density of biomass samples, including Foliage, according to ISO standard 17828 (2015). This method requires the biomass to be in an appropriate form (chips or powder) for density determination.

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Particle Size of Foliage

Our lab is equipped with a Retsch AS 400 sieve shaker. It can accommodate sieves of up to 40 cm diameter, corresponding to a surface area of 1256 square centimetres. This allows us to determine the particle size distribution of a range of samples, including Foliage, by following European Standard methods EN 15149- 1:2010 and EN 15149-2:2010.

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Publications on Foliage By The Celignis Team

V.P. Zambare, Lew P. Christopher (2012) Biopharmaceutical potential of lichens, Pharmaceutical Biology 50(6): 778-798


Context: Lichens are composite organisms consisting of a symbiotic association of a fungus (the mycobiont) with a photosynthetic partner (the phytobiont), usually either a green alga or cyanobacterium. The morphology, physiology and biochemistry of lichens are very different from those of the isolated fungus and alga in culture. Lichens occur in some of the most extreme environments on the Earth and may be useful to scientists in many commercial applications. Objective: Over the past 2 decades, there has been a renewed and growing interest in lichens as a source of novel, pharmacologically active biomolecules. This review summarizes the past and current research and development trends in the characterization and use of lichens and their bioactive compounds in traditional medicine and other biopharmaceutical applications of commercial interest. Methods: The present review contains 10 illustrations and 188 references compiled from major databases including Science Direct, Chemical Abstracts, PubMed and Directory of Open Access Journals. Results: Lichen morphology, symbiosis, diversity and bioactivities including enzyme inhibitory, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, anticancer, anti-insecticidal and antioxidant actions were reviewed and summarized. Recent progress in lichens and lichen-forming fungi was discussed with emphasis on their potential to accelerate commercialization of lichen-based products. Conclusions: Lichens are an untapped source of biological activities of industrial importance and their potential is yet to be fully explored and utilized. Lichen-derived bioactive compounds hold great promise for biopharmaceutical applications as antimicrobial, antioxidant and cytotoxic agents and in the development of new formulations or technologies for the benefit of human life.

Examples of Other Feedstocks Analysed at Celignis