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Energies 2014, 7(6), 4019-4032; doi:10.3390/en7064019

Investigation of Process Variables in the Densification of Corn Stover Briquettes

*  and
Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University, 100 Davidson Hall, Ames, IA 50011, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 March 2014 / Revised: 6 June 2014 / Accepted: 17 June 2014 / Published: 24 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy for Agriculture)
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The bulk density of raw corn stover is a major limitation to its large-scale viability as a biomass feedstock. Raw corn stover has a bulk density of 50 kg/m3, which creates significant transportation costs and limits the optimization of transport logistics. Producing a densified corn stover product during harvest would reduce harvest and transportation costs, resulting in viable pathways for the use of corn stover as a biomass feedstock. This research investigated the effect of different process variables (compression pressure, moisture content, particle size, and material composition) on a densification method that produces briquettes from raw corn stover. A customized bench-scale densification system was designed to evaluate different corn stover inputs. Quality briquette production was possible using non-reduced particle sizes and low compression pressures achievable in a continuous in-field production system. At optimized bench settings, corn stover was densified to a dry bulk density of 190 kg/m3. Corn stover with a moisture content above 25%wb was not suitable for this method of bulk densification, and greater cob content had a positive effect on product quality.
Keywords: biomass; compression pressure; density; logistics; moisture content; pellet biomass; compression pressure; density; logistics; moisture content; pellet
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Thoreson, C.P.; Webster, K.E.; Darr, M.J.; Kapler, E.J. Investigation of Process Variables in the Densification of Corn Stover Briquettes. Energies 2014, 7, 4019-4032.

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