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jueves, 7 de junio de 2018

Purdue University receives grant from DOE to minimize blockages in lignocellulosic biorefineries

Type of post: NEWS IN BRIEF.

Materials handling issues are very important in being able to scale up technology for converting cellulosic feedstocks into ethanol. Lignocellulosic biomass often accumulates and compacts while moving through augers, forcing costly shutdowns for cleaning and repairs. A research team will receive a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) to solve that kind of problems (see press release, 29/5/2018).

Project data
To transform solid biomass into a slurry that can act more like a liquid flowing freely through material transportation systems in biorefineries.
- To create models to predict the physical properties necessary for a liquid-like flow of solid materials.
- To create regime maps for robust operation, which would tell engineers and operators how to adjust screw feeder and reactor operating parameters
- To develop methods for modifying the biomass to meet the models’ specifications, changing particle size, shape and charge.
Researchers will start with corn stover.
The work could be the foundation to develop similar technology for other biomass products as wood chips, soybean hulls and wheat straw.
- Departments of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Engineering
- Discovery Park Energy Center
- Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering (LORRE)
- Center for Particulate Products and Processes (CP3)
National laboratories:
- Argonne National Laboratory
- Idaho National Laboratory
Industrial partners:
- Forest concepts
- AdvanceBio systems
1.8 M$.
The total funding will amount to 2.3 M$ with cost share from partners.

Figure 1. Mechanical engineering doctoral student working on computer simulation of biomass particle movement through a screw conveyor (courtesy of Purdue Ag Communication)

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