Determination of energy requirements for densifying miscanthus and switchgrass feedstock with a medium-scaled compressor

Zewei Miao, James W. Phillips, Tony E. Grift, Sunil K. Mathanker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Biomass transportation is hampered by the inherent low bulk density of herbaceous materials, causing containing equipment to reach their volume limit far before their weight limit. To evaluate the purported efficiency increase, it is imperative to determine the energy requirement of the compression process. In addition, to design containers for compressed biomass transportation, mechanical parameters of the biomass, such as Poisson's ratio, must be determined. This paper describes the measurement of these quantities for Miscanthus giganteus and switchgrass under uni-axial compression, using four particle sizes ranging from unground (about10-30 cm) to 25.4mm, 12.7mm, and 6.35mm, at three repetitions each. Tests were conducted using an instrumented machine capable of generating a compressive force of 890kN, which, using a biomass containing cylinder with an inner diameter of 396mm, exerted a maximum pressure of 7.2MPa on the biomass. The energy requirement for compression of Miscanthus giganteus and switchgrass, expressed in a Percentage of the Inherent Heating Value (PIHV) of the materials, ranged from 0.01 to 0.047 PIHV. These low values indicate that the energy requirement of compression is not prohibitive, but rather, that the maximum density attainable is limited by the size and costs of the machinery required. For Miscanthus giganteus, the energy requirement among the four particle sizes, ordered from highest to lowest was unground, 12.7mm, 6.35mm and 25.4 mm. For switchgrass, the energy requirement ordered from highest to lowest was unground, 12.7mm, 25.4mm and 6.35 mm. These results indicate that the compression process of biomass is not easily understood using intuition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting 2012, ASABE 2012
PublisherAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
Pages3844-3854
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781622762088
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012
EventAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting 2012 - Dallas, TX, United States
Duration: Jul 29 2012Aug 1 2012

Publication series

NameAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting 2012, ASABE 2012
Volume5

Other

OtherAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting 2012
CountryUnited States
CityDallas, TX
Period7/29/128/1/12

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Keywords

  • Bioenergy
  • Biomass feedstock
  • Uni-axial and transverse compression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Bioengineering

Cite this

Miao, Z., Phillips, J. W., Grift, T. E., & Mathanker, S. K. (2012). Determination of energy requirements for densifying miscanthus and switchgrass feedstock with a medium-scaled compressor. In American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting 2012, ASABE 2012 (pp. 3844-3854). (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting 2012, ASABE 2012; Vol. 5). American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.