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Title: Application of air classification and formulation to manage feedstock cost, quality and availability for bioenergy

Biomass such as agricultural residues, energy crops and yard waste has significant potential to be used as renewable feedstocks for production of fuels, chemicals and energy. However, in a given location, biomass availability, cost and quality can vary markedly. Strategies to manage these traits must be identified and implemented so that consistent low-cost and high-quality feedstocks can be delivered to biorefineries year round. In this study, we examine air classification as a method to mitigate high ash concentrations in corn stover, switchgrass, and grass clippings. Formulation techniques were then used to produce blends that met ash quality and biomass quantity specifications at the lowest possible cost for biopower and biochemical conversion applications. It was found that air classification can separate the biomass into light fractions which contain concentrated amounts of elemental ash components introduced through soil contamination such as sodium, alumina, silica, iron and titania; and heavy fractions that are depleted in these components and have relatively lower total ash content. Light fractions of corn stover and grass clippings were found to be suitable for combustion applications since they had less propensity to slag than the whole biomass material. The remaining heavy fractions of corn stover or grass clippings couldmore » then be blended with switchgrass to produce blends that met the 5% total ash specifications suggested for biochemical conversions. However, ternary blends of the three feedstocks were not possible due to the high ash content of grass clippings. Lastly, it was determined that air classification by itself was not suitable to prepare these feedstocks for pyrolysis due to high ash content.« less
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  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0016-2361; PII: S001623611630196X
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 180; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0016-2361
Research Org:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS; air classification; formulation; biochemical conversion; biopower; quality; ash
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1328219