Variability in composition of individual botanical fractions of Miscanthus × giganteus and their blends

Daniel A. Williams, Mary-Grace Danao, Kent D. Rausch, Marvin R. Paulsen, Vijay Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Biorefineries require a consistent biomass feedstock to ensure optimal processing efficiency and a convenient method to evaluate biomass delivered at the factory gate. The combination of fractionation, selective blending of biomass streams, and densification is one strategy of ensuring feedstock with uniform quality attributes. In this study, dry mass fraction and compositional variability of botanical fractions of Miscanthus × giganteus harvested post-senescence were determined. Fourier transform near infrared (FT-NIR) spectroscopy was used to monitor composition of blends. Results showed that the majority of miscanthus stalks were composed of rind (48-63%) followed by sheath (17-28%), nodes (10-16%), and pith (8-13%). Rind had the highest glucan content (46.1%) while lignin content was highest in node (25.5%) and rind fractions (24.2%). Ash content was highest in blade fractions (8.9%) and was less than 1% in rind, pith, and nodes. Variability in composition was reflected in the 4250-4350 cm-1 and 5500-6000 cm-1 regions of the botanical fractions' FT-NIR spectra. Principal components analysis (PCA) of FT-NIR spectra of rind-blade blends were useful in screening blends based on structural carbohydrates, lignin and ash contents demonstrating the use of NIR spectroscopy in monitoring feedstock formulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-70
Number of pages8
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2015


  • Blending
  • Feedstock
  • Formulation
  • Near infrared spectroscopy
  • Principal components analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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