Description: Transportation costs can be a prohibitive step in bringing biomass to a preprocessing location or biofuel refinery. One alternative to transporting biomass in baled or loose format to a preprocessing location, is to utilize a mobile preprocessing system that can be relocated to various locations where biomass is stored, preprocess and densify the biomass, then ship it to the refinery as needed. The Idaho National Laboratory has a full scale 'Process Demonstration Unit' PDU which includes a stage 1 grinder, hammer mill, drier, pellet mill, and cooler with the associated conveyance system components. Testing at bench and pilot scale has been conducted to determine effects of moisture on preprocessing, crop varieties on preprocessing efficiency and product quality. The INLs PDU provides an opportunity to test the conclusions made at the bench and pilot scale on full industrial scale systems. Each component of the PDU is operated from a central operating station where data is collected to determine power consumption rates for each step in the process. The power for each electrical motor in the system is monitored from the control station to monitor for problems and determine optimal conditions for the system performance. The data can then be viewed to observe how changes in biomass input parameters (moisture and crop type for example), mechanical changes (screen size, biomass drying, pellet size, grinding speed, etc.,), or other variations effect the power consumption of the system. Sorgum in four foot round bales was tested in the system using a series of 6 different screen sizes including: 3/16 in., 1 in., 2 in., 3 in., 4 in., and 6 in. The effect on power consumption, product quality, and production rate were measured to determine optimal conditions.
Date: August 1, 2011
Creator: Yancey, Neal A.; Tumuluru, Jaya Shankar; Conner, Craig C. & Wright, Christopher T.
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