Special Issue "Biomass Energy Utilization Systems"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Borja Velazquez-Marti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Departamento de Ingeniería Rural y Agroalimentaria, Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
Interests: biomass; bioenergy; sutainability systems; agricultural mechanization; remote sensing
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue will focus on Biomass Energy and will cover some emerging and real-world application research topics concerning new trends in applied databases. We welcome high-quality and original works in these areas that have not been published. The selected proposed manuscripts will be subject to a careful peer review and editorial process.

Main lines:

Biomass Quantification and Inventory

  • Introduction;
  • Indirect quantification of biomass in plant structures;
  • Quantification of forest biomass;
  • Quantification of fruit tree biomass;
  • Quantification of shrub biomass;
  • Biomass from pruning;
  • Quantification of biomass linked to production;
  • Quantification of the energy biomass obtainable from energy crops;
  • Determination of biomass by remote sensing;

Woody Biomass Harvesting Systems

  • Introduction;
  • Equipment for the adaptation of biomass logs for transport and subsequent use;
  • Harvest of fruit pruning waste;
  • Harvest of forest biomass;
  • Agricultural herbaceous crop harvesting systems;

Evaluation of Harvesting Systems

  • Technical evaluation of a machine;
  • Definition of the duty cycle and evaluation of the most used machines in the use of biomass;
  • Parameters in the organization of several machines working together;
  • Economic evaluation of a machine;
  • Parameters for feasibility evaluation of exploitation projects of biomass;

Logistic Models for Biomass Supply

  • Introduction;
  • Selection of sources of supply; linear programming models;
  • Analysis of transport networks; determination of the shortest route;
  • Determination of cyclic routes; traveler’s problem;
  • Project programming and control techniques;
  • Location problems. Borvemar model;
  • Theory of tails;

Power Generation–Steam Cycles

  • Balances of matter and energy.;
  • Analysis of energy transfer in open systems;
  • Analysis of thermodynamic circuit elements;
  • Properties of compressible simple substances—P–V–T ratio;
  • Steam power installations: Rankine cycle;
  • Rankine cycle with overheating;
  • Regenerative power cycle: Heater open and closed;
  • Binary cycle and cogeneration;

Thermal Facilities

  • Boiler definition;
  • Operation of the solid fuel boiler;
  • Elements of the boiler installation;
  • Operation of liquid and gaseous fuel boilers;
  • Technical specifications of the boilers and data in the project;
  • Determination of the power of boilers in buildings;
  • Boiler air needs;
  • Performance and combustion control;
  • Industrial thermal installations;
  • Non-stationary systems;

Pyrolysis, Gasification and Carbonization

  • Fundamentals of the process;
  • Decomposition process;
  • Gasification system design;
  • Types of gasifiers;
  • Operating conditions;
  • Debugging of the syngas;
  • Gas engines and gas turbines;
  • Installation dimensioning;
  • Fisher–Tropsch process;
  • Carbonization.

Dr. Borja Velazquez-Marti
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • biomass
  • bioenergy
  • combustion
  • pyrolysis
  • gasification

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Article
Effect of Sawdust Particle Size on Physical, Mechanical, and Energetic Properties of Pinus durangensis Briquettes
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 3805; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11093805 - 23 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 450
Abstract
Particle size is a physical property that sometimes limits the quality of briquettes, so it is recommended to use different sizes in mixtures for their manufacture. The objective of this research was to evaluate the effect of different particle sizes of sawdust in [...] Read more.
Particle size is a physical property that sometimes limits the quality of briquettes, so it is recommended to use different sizes in mixtures for their manufacture. The objective of this research was to evaluate the effect of different particle sizes of sawdust in mixtures on some physical, mechanical, and energetic properties of briquettes made from Pinus durangensis sawdust, as well as set the ranges within the appropriate values found to obtain desired values. Three particle sizes were established (large, medium, and small), and 10 mixtures were prepared using different percentages of each particle classification. The particle density, volumetric swelling, compressive strength, impact resistance index (IRI), and gross calorific value of the briquettes were evaluated. For the determination of optimal mixtures, the surface response methodology was used under a three-factor simplex-lattice model. The particle density values were in the range 0.92 to 1.02 g cm−3 and the volumetric swelling was 0.96 to 3.9%. The highest resistance to compression was 37.01 N mm−1, and the IRI was found in the range of 53 to 107%. The gross calorific values were from 19.35 to 21.63 MJ kg−1. The selection of different particle sizes for the mixtures increases the quality of the briquettes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Energy Utilization Systems)
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Article
A Prospective Study of the Exploitation of Pelagic Sargassum spp. as a Solid Biofuel Energy Source
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(23), 8706; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10238706 - 04 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 989
Abstract
This study presents a prospective study for the potential exploitation of pelagic Sargassum spp. as a solid biofuel energy source. It was carried out in three stages. First we conducted a morphological, physical-chemical, and structural characterization using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), infrared spectroscopy [...] Read more.
This study presents a prospective study for the potential exploitation of pelagic Sargassum spp. as a solid biofuel energy source. It was carried out in three stages. First we conducted a morphological, physical-chemical, and structural characterization using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and X-ray diffraction (DRX), respectively. Second we evaluated the material’s functional properties as a solid biofuel based on its calorific value and the quantification of polymeric components like hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin, as well as thermogravimetric and differential analysis to study the kinetics of its pyrolysis and determine parameters like activation energy (Ea), reaction order (n), and the pre-exponential factor (Z). Third we analyzed the energetic potential considering the estimated volume of pelagic Sargassum spp. that was removed from beaches along the Mexican Caribbean coast in recent years. Results of the kinetic study indicate that Sargassum spp. has an enormous potential for use as a complement to other bioenergy sources. Other results show the high potential for exploiting these algae as an energy source due to the huge volumes that have inundated Caribbean, West African, and northern Brazil shorelines in recent years. As a solid biofuel, Sargassum spp. has a potential energy the order of 0.203 gigajoules (GJ)/m3. In the energy matrix of the residential sector in Mexico, its potential use as an energy source is comparable to the national consumption of firewood. The volume of beachcast Sargassum spp. that was removed from ~8 km of coastline around Puerto Morelos, Mexico in 2018–2019, could have generated over 40 terajoules/year of solid biofuel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Energy Utilization Systems)
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Article
Experimental Study on Co-Firing of Coal and Brewery Wastewater Sludge
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(21), 7589; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10217589 - 28 Oct 2020
Viewed by 437
Abstract
The environmental pollution and high energy consumption caused by the coal-dominated energy structure in China have been the focus of attention for a long time. The co-firing of biomass with coal can save coal resources and realize effective utilization of biomass. In this [...] Read more.
The environmental pollution and high energy consumption caused by the coal-dominated energy structure in China have been the focus of attention for a long time. The co-firing of biomass with coal can save coal resources and realize effective utilization of biomass. In this paper, brewery wastewater sludge (SD) and bituminous coal (BC) were blended for an experimental study which aimed to provide basic experimental data and operational guidance as a reference for practical application in power plants. The co-firing characteristics of sludge and bituminous coal were studied. The results show that the burnout temperature and ignition temperature decrease with an increase in the sludge blending ratio. The Comprehensive Combustion Index (CCI) first rises, then decreases, reaching a maximum at about 15%. Compared with the atmosphere with 79% N2/21% O2, under the 79% CO2/21% O2 atmosphere, ignition is delayed and the burnout temperature is higher. Under an O2/CO2 atmosphere, as the O2 concentration improves, the thermo-gravimetric (TG) curve shifts to the low-temperature region, the burnout temperature drops significantly, and the comprehensive combustion characteristics are improved. With an increment of the heating rate, the curve of TG analysis shifts to the high-temperature region and the CCI increases. This study could provide helpful information on practical blending in coal-fired power plants for energy savings and emission reductions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Energy Utilization Systems)
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Article
Estimation of the Energy Consumption of the Rice and Corn Drying Process in the Equatorial Zone
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(21), 7497; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10217497 - 25 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1010
Abstract
Drying is considered one of the industrial processes that requires more energy than other processes, being a topic of much interest to the agricultural sector, especially the evaluation of energy consumption for rice and corn dryers. To meet this goal, an overview survey [...] Read more.
Drying is considered one of the industrial processes that requires more energy than other processes, being a topic of much interest to the agricultural sector, especially the evaluation of energy consumption for rice and corn dryers. To meet this goal, an overview survey matrix and protocols for temperature measurements of dryers were developed. The study evaluated 49 rice dryers and 14 yellow corn dryers. As a result, it was determined that the oversizing of the fan/extractor and the dryer engine generates a high energy consumption, added to the lack of insulation in the heat ducts. Therefore, the drying productivity index is very low in dryers using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) being 0.14 dollar/quintal for rice and 0.27 dollar/quintal for corn and using biomass reaches 1.4 dollars/quintal. In relation to energy losses, these account for more than 55%. Inadequate energy management in drying processes directly influences the marketing chain of products, the losses of which are caused by fluctuations in the price of rice and corn on the domestic market, with the agricultural sector having to generate an energy efficiency plan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Energy Utilization Systems)
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Article
Agro-Pellets from Oil Palm Residues/Pine Sawdust Mixtures: Relationships of Their Physical, Mechanical and Energetic Properties, with the Raw Material Chemical Structure
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(18), 6383; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10186383 - 13 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 647
Abstract
The need for biomass as an alternative source for energy purposes points toward oil palm fruit residues (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) as an attractive solution. Oil palm industry residue, such as oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) composites and mesocarp fiber (PMF), have [...] Read more.
The need for biomass as an alternative source for energy purposes points toward oil palm fruit residues (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) as an attractive solution. Oil palm industry residue, such as oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) composites and mesocarp fiber (PMF), have a high gross calorific value and could help countries meet their energy demands. However, information concerning physical, mechanical, and energy characteristics of agro-pellets made from mixtures of oil palm residue with pine sawdust, is not available. In this research, oil palm residues were mixed at ratios of 100:0, 80:20, 60:40, 40:60, 20:80, and 0:100 with pine sawdust, and were chemically analyzed. Agro-pellets from mixtures were tested on their physical and mechanical properties, and the relationship of these properties with the chemical composition of oil palm residue mixtures was determined. Normality distribution tests of the variables were performed using the Kolmogorov–Smirnov test. Normal variables were analyzed through one-way ANOVA tests. When differences were found, they were validated using the Tukey’s honestly significant difference (HSD) test and were considered statistically significant at p ≤ 0.05. Data not normally distributed were analyzed by the Kruskal–Wallis test. Bulk density, particle density, and gross calorific value of agro-pellets (from mixing 80:20 oil palm residues with pine sawdust) were statistically higher (p < 0.05) to agro-pellets of 100% oil palm residues. Adding pine sawdust to oil palm residues increases some mechanical agro-pellet properties. Addition of pine sawdust to oil palm residues acts to increase some mechanical properties of agro-pellets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Energy Utilization Systems)
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Article
Evaluation of Forest Industry Scenarios to Increase Sustainable Forest Mobilization in Regions of Low Biomass Demand
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(18), 6297; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10186297 - 10 Sep 2020
Viewed by 551
Abstract
There is an increasing interest in forest biomass for energy throughout Europe, which is seen as a way of promoting forest mobilization and economic development locally, in particular in regions where forest biomass is available but its use is limited by lack of [...] Read more.
There is an increasing interest in forest biomass for energy throughout Europe, which is seen as a way of promoting forest mobilization and economic development locally, in particular in regions where forest biomass is available but its use is limited by lack of demand. This study was conducted to define, evaluate and select viable forest industry scenarios to increasing forest mobilisation in the North of Portugal using AppTitude®, a Forest Management Decision Support Systems (FMDSS) considering spatially explicitly supply (biomass growth and yield), demand (industry), and supply–demand interactions (markets). The protocol followed combined a set of indicators of sustainable forest management to guide the selection of the best industry solutions in terms of location, dimension, forest biomass and other variables defined as objectives. The simulations allowed the selection of a small set of industry scenarios compatible with an existing plant outside the study area, increasing wood mobilization, preventing overexploitation and competition among industries but increasing value and price of forest biomass. The results of the application of this FMDSS showed that introducing new biomass plants in the region will increase sustainable forest mobilization and related local development. AppTitude® revealed to be a powerful and reliable tool to assist forest planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Energy Utilization Systems)
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Article
Thermochemical and Economic Analysis for Energy Recovery by the Gasification of WEEE Plastic Waste from the Disassembly of Large-Scale Outdoor Obsolete Luminaires by LEDs in the Alto Alentejo Region (Portugal)
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(13), 4601; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10134601 - 02 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 884
Abstract
The recovery of urban waste is a social demand and a measure of the energy-environmental sustainability of cities and regions. In particular, waste of electrical origin, waste of electrical and electronic materials (WEEE) can be recovered with great success. The plastic fraction of [...] Read more.
The recovery of urban waste is a social demand and a measure of the energy-environmental sustainability of cities and regions. In particular, waste of electrical origin, waste of electrical and electronic materials (WEEE) can be recovered with great success. The plastic fraction of these wastes allows their gasification mixed with biomass, and the results allow for producing syngas with a higher energy potential. This work allows for obtaining energy from the recovery of obsolete materials through thermochemical conversion processes of the plastic waste from the disassembly of the luminaires by mixing the said plastic waste in different proportions with the biomass of crop residues (olive). The gasification tests of these mixtures were carried out in a downstream fixed-bed drown daft reactor, at temperatures of approximately 800 °C. The results demonstrate the applied technical and economic feasibility of the technology by thermal gasification, for the production of LHV (Low Heating Value) syngas with highest power energy (more than 5 MJ/m3) produced in mixtures of up to 20% of plastic waste. This study was complemented with the economic-financial analysis. This research can be used as a case study for the energy recovery through gasification processes of plastic waste from luminaires (WEEE), mixed with agricultural biomass that is planned to be carried out on a large scale in the Alentejo (Portugal), as a solution applied in circular economy strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Energy Utilization Systems)
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Article
Bioenergy on Islands: An Environmental Comparison of Continental Palm Oil vs. Local Waste Cooking Oil for Electricity Generation
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(11), 3806; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10113806 - 30 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 931
Abstract
Energy security on islands is a challenging issue due to their isolation from energy markets and fossil fuel dependence. In addition, islands’ average energy intensity has increased in recent years due to economic development. This research explores the environmental performance of two alternative [...] Read more.
Energy security on islands is a challenging issue due to their isolation from energy markets and fossil fuel dependence. In addition, islands’ average energy intensity has increased in recent years due to economic development. This research explores the environmental performance of two alternative non-variable bioelectricity feedstocks to increase energy resilience on islands. The study was developed for the Galápagos islands to address the environmental impacts from the direct use of waste cooking oil (WCO) and refined palm oil (RPO) to produce 1 MWh using the life cycle assessment methodological framework. A combination of primary and secondary data sources was used. The results show better performance for the electricity derived from WCO in all the impact categories considered when compared to RPO. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Energy Utilization Systems)
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Article
Exploitation of Wood Waste of Pinus spp for Briquette Production: A Case Study in the Community of San Francisco Pichátaro, Michoacán, Mexico
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(8), 2933; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10082933 - 23 Apr 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1389
Abstract
This study describes the exploitation of wood waste (Pinus spp.) in the form of sawdust and shavings generated during the production of furniture and artisanal items in a community in the state of Michoacán, western Mexico. A process is described to densifying [...] Read more.
This study describes the exploitation of wood waste (Pinus spp.) in the form of sawdust and shavings generated during the production of furniture and artisanal items in a community in the state of Michoacán, western Mexico. A process is described to densifying this raw material, to produce solid-type biofuel briquettes that can be used to satisfy the need to generate low-power heat for residential sectors. Briquette production involved six stages: (a) gathering samples of sawdust and shavings from artisanal workshops in the community; (b) proximal characterization of the samples; (c) elaborating the briquettes; (d) physicochemical characterization of the briquettes; (e) evaluation of the physical-thermal combustion of the briquettes; and (f) an economic evaluation of briquette production to determine viability. Finally, we performed a comparative analysis of the energy, economic, and environmental indicators of the briquettes produced and conventional pine and oak firewood (Pinus spp., Quercus spp.) in the study community. The results show the viability of using biomass residues to make briquettes, which are efficient, economic and easy to make and use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Energy Utilization Systems)
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