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Home » BioRefineries, Feedstock, Feedstocks, Field Crops, Infrastructure, Logistics, Pretreatment, R & D Focus, Saudi Arabia, University/College Programs

Research Focus: Improving the Conversion Process for Sorghum Bagasse Biomass

Submitted by on April 14, 2017 – 10:26 amNo Comment
by Abdul-Sattar Nizami (King Abdulaziz University, Center of Excellence in Environmental Studies (CEES)) (RenewableEnergyFocus.com)  The conservation of biomass is essential for ensuring a continuous and quality supply of feedstock for biofuel facilities around the year. However, the conservation of biomass needs appropriate pretreatments in order to guarantee a high quality (and yield) of fuel and fiber production. This study looked into the possibility of developing a large-scale drying system for Sorghum Bagasse. ... The conservation of biomass is essential for ensuring a continuous and quality supply of feedstock for biofuel facilities around the year. However, this conservation needs appropriate pretreatments in order to guarantee a high quality and yield of fuel and fiber production. The primary objective of this research was to facilitate and optimise large-scale drying systems for biomass conservation. Drying is a critical step in biomass pretreatment and conservation. In the drying process, important factors to consider are energy efficiency, heat integration, emissions control and dryer performance. The air velocity in the dryer relies on the pressure head and power consumption of the fans to be used. The reduction in air velocity causes less pressure head and energy consumption by the fan. Therefore during crop storage, if the moisture contents are not reduced under field drying, forced aeration or drying by air is performed. We also focused strongly on Sorghum Bagasse, which has emerged as a potential feedstock for biofuels (and value-added products) production in recent years. However, research is still being conducted into the conservation of Sorghum Bagasse as a feedstock, investigating areas such as how to achieve continuous feedstock supply to biofuels plants year-round, as well as how to maximise the economic and efficient production of fuel and energy. In the research paper we examined the pressure drop as a function of airflow velocity, and constructed Shedd’s curves for Sorghum Bagasse. The ambition was to develop large-scale drying systems for biomass conservation, and ultimately maximise the economic and environmental benefits of biofuel plants (nb - there is limited research on the mechanism of pressure drop in drying systems for chopped biomass or documented in the D272.3 ASABE standard that presents pressure drop values as a function of airflow for 33 crop seeds). We found that the Shedd’s curves developed for Sorghum Bagasse samples could lead to designing large-scale aeration systems for chopped energy sorghum. In addition, the results of the optimised drying system could assist the whole production chain of biofuels by conserving biomass, and allowing it to be used more economically around the year in biofuel plants.   READ MORE

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