INL Researchers Investigate Loblolly Pine Flow Issues
INL bioenergy research team addressing feedstock flowability challenges by modeling and testing. Photo courtesy of INL
Bioenergy researchers are always on the lookout for natural materials that can be used as biomass or bioproducts. As biomass processing becomes more efficient, the more economically competitive it becomes, and the easier it is for consumers to make environmentally conscious consumption choices. Toward making this a reality, an Idaho National Laboratory (INL) research team has identified models that could help scale-up processing to industry scale at an economically low cost.
In three peer-reviewed journal articles, INL researchers Yidong Xia, Wencheng Jin, and their collaborators—Jonathan Stickel of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Jordan Klinger of INL—have made significant strides in characterizing and modeling the flow behavior of ground loblolly pine. Flowability dictates how well granular biomass material moves through feeding and handling equipment during preprocessing and conversion at a biorefinery. By combining physical experiments and model simulations, they have identified a complete set of material flow attributes that must be incorporated into the design of reliable feeding and handling processes.
Read more about the team’s work, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office, on assembling a toolset that can be applied to milled biomass for biorefining on the Bioprose: Bioenergy R&D Blog, “INL Researchers Investigate Loblolly Pine Flow Issues.”