Center for Advanced BioEnergy Research, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Oodles and Oodles of Biomass, Oh My!
Posted by Joanna Schroeder – August 6th, 2010

There are several barriers to the success of converting biomass to biofuels including harvesting, transportation and storage. But of these three challenges, one of utmost importance is not only how to store the biomass but how long can it be stored without compromising the feedstock?

The most advanced commercial scale corn stover to ethanol project in the U.S. is Project Liberty, a biomass project funding by POET. Ultimately, the plant will produce 25 million gallons per year of cellulosic ethanol, but how much biomass will that take? According to POET, the plant will need 770 dry tons of biomass (corn cobs, some leaves and husks) for each day of operation. Yet how do you store that much material?

This is the very question that the Project Liberty team is working on with researchers at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). They are studying factors at POET plants in Hurley, SD and Emmestburg, IA, like the heat and moisture content of the biomass bale to determine how different types of piles and configurations will affect the quality of the bale. The answer to this question will aid farmers in storing the biomass in their fields until it is needed at the plant.

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1 comment:

htomfields said...

Here's a video about a new "supercritical catalyst" project that converts biowaste to clean burning biofuel.

And here's a video about E85 benefits and infrastructure.