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[en] To impart usability in waste based biomass through thermo-chemical reactions, several physical and chemical pre-treatments were conducted to gain an insight on their mode of action, effect on the chemistry and the change in thermal degradation profiles. Two different waste biomasses (Douglas fir, a softwood and hybrid poplar, a hardwood) were subjected to four different pre-treatments, namely, hot water pre-treatment, torrefaction, acid (sulphuric acid) and salt (ammonium phosphate) doping. Post pre-treatments, the changes in the biomass structure, chemistry, and thermal makeup were studied through electron microscopy, atomic absorption/ultra violet spectroscopy, ion exchange chromatography, and thermogravimetry. The pre-treatments significantly reduced the amounts of inorganic ash, extractives, metals, and hemicellulose from both the biomass samples. Furthermore, hot water and torrefaction pre-treatment caused mechanical disruption in biomass fibres leading to smaller particle sizes. Torrefaction of Douglas fir wood yielded more solid product than hybrid poplar. Finally, the salt pre-treatment increased the activation energies of the biomass samples (especially Douglas fir) to a great extent. Thus, salt pre-treatment was found to bestow thermal stability in the biomass. - Highlights: • Pre-treatments reduce ash, extractives, alkalines and hemicellulose from biomass. • Torrefaction of Douglas fir yields more solid product than hybrid poplar. • Salt pretreatment significantly increases the activation energy of biomass. • Acid and salt pretreatment bestows thermal stability in biomass.