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Title: Method to produce durable pellets at lower energy consumption using high moisture corn stover and a corn starch binder in a flat die pellet mill

Biomass from plants can serve as an alternative renewable energy resources for energy production. Low densities of 40–60 kg/m3 for ground lignocellulosic biomass like corn stover limit its operation for energy purposes. The common drawbacks are inefficient transportation, a bigger storage foot print, and handling problems. Densification of biomass using pellet mill helps to overcome these limitations. This study helps to understand the effect of binder on high moisture biomass with a focus on the quality (density and durability), the pelleting efficiency and the specific energy consumption of its pelleting process. Raw corn stover was pelleted at high moisture of 33% (w.b.) at both varying preheating temperatures and binder percentage. The die speed of the pellet mill was set at 60Hz. The pellets produced were analyzed and showed higher moisture content. They were further dried in a laboratory oven at 70°C for 3-4 hr bringing the pellet moisture to <9%. The dried pellets were evaluated for their physical properties like unit, bulk and tapped density, and durability. Furthermore, the results indicated increasing the binder percentage to 4% improved the physical properties of the pellets and reduced the specific energy consumption. Higher binder addition of 4% reduced the feedstock moisture lossmore » during pelleting to <4%, which can be due reduced residence time of the material in the die. On the other hand the physical properties like density and durability improved significantly with binder addition. At 4% binder and 33% feedstock moisture content, the bulk density and durability values observed were >510 kg/m3 and >98% and the percent fines generation has reduced to <3%. Also at these conditions the specific energy consumption was reduced by about 30-40% compared no binder pelleting test.« less
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  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1940-087X; jove
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Visualized Experiments
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Issue: 112; Journal ID: ISSN 1940-087X
MyJoVE Corp.
Research Org:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS; biomass; corn stover; starch binder; high moisture pelleting; process variables; pellet properties; specific energy consumption; environmental sciences; Issue 112
OSTI Identifier: