DOE Awards Purdue University Team $1.8 Million Grant To Solve Blockages

A problem facing biorefinery operations is the flow of biomass into and throughout facilities. Lignocellulosic biomass, often made up of post-harvest agricultural materials such as corn stover and soybean hulls, often accumulates and compacts while moving through augers, forcing shutdowns for maintenance. A team led by Purdue University scientists is to receive a $1.8 million […]

A problem facing biorefinery operations is the flow of biomass into and throughout facilities. Lignocellulosic biomass, often made up of post-harvest agricultural materials such as corn stover and soybean hulls, often accumulates and compacts while moving through augers, forcing shutdowns for maintenance.

A team led by Purdue University scientists is to receive a $1.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office to solve that problem.

Researchers from Purdue University, the Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering (LORRE), and the Center for Particulate Products and Processes (CP3) will work with scientists from Argonne National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory, as well as the industry partners Forest Concepts and AdvanceBio Systems.

The goal is to transform solid biomass into a slurry that can act more like a liquid flowing freely through material transportation systems in biorefineries. To do that, the researchers are going to create models to predict the physical properties (particle shape, size and surface charge) necessary for a liquid-like flow of solid materials.

“We plan to use these models to create regime maps for robust operation, which would tell engineers and operators how to adjust screw feeder and reactor operating parameters given measured biomass characteristics so that the inlet portion of the biorefinery can operate without difficulty,” said Carl Wassgren, a Purdue professor of mechanical engineering and director of the CP3.

From Bioenergy Insight: https://www.bioenergy-news.com/display_news/13741/american_researchers_get_18_million_from_department_of_energy_to_solve_biorefinery_blockages/

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