Mechanical and physical properties of ground corn stover, switchgrass, and willow were measured and compared in addition to the quality of pellets. Biomass was size-reduced with two different screen sizes (3.175 and 6.35 mm) and conditioned to obtain samples at two different moisture contents (17.5 and 20% on wet basis). Ground switchgrass had the smallest and willow had the highest D50 when size-reduced with the same screen size. Hydrostatic triaxial compression tests were performed using the cubical triaxial tester to determine the bulk modulus, compression index, and spring-back index at specific unloading pressures (20, 45, 70, and 95 kPa). The trends of pressure vs. volumetric strain and void ratio vs. natural log of pressure were similar for all three materials; however, the magnitudes were different. Willow, size-reduced with 3.175 mm screen size at 17.5% wet basis, had the highest bulk modulus among different conditions of all the three biomass. Pellet durability values for all the three materials were higher than 80%. Corn stover pellets formed with 3.175 mm screen size at 20% wet basis had the highest diametral tensile and axial compressive strengths among different conditions for all the three biomass, however the values were not significantly different (p > 0.05).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)