Assessing the Bioenergy Production Capability of Native Grasses Using Wet Chemical Techniques and Bench-Scale Biochemical and Thermo Chemical Conversion Approaches

The goal of this proposed research is to investigate the influence of biomass composition on the quality of bio-oil produced by a thermochemical method called fast pyrolysis. Native grass cultivars from established stands will undergo pyrolysis using an analytical pyroprobe in tandem with a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer. Mass spectra from the pyrolyzed grasses are to be compared with wet-chemical characterization to relate pyrolysis gas composition to grass composition. Grass varieties that result in desirable gas compositions upon pyrolysis will be selected for scale-up to a screw conveyor reactor at Michigan State University and a process model will be formulated to simulate the reactor's performance. The specific objectives of the proposed research are to: (1) characterize the chemical composition of native grass varieties using wetchemical techniques, including: fiber, protein and ash analysis (2) characterize the chemical composition of the pyrolysis gas generated by fast pyrolysis using a pyroprobe interfaced with a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometerconstruct a process model by performing mass and energy balances on a screw-conveyor reactor that is used to convert selected grass varieties into bio-oil Our research involves the thermochemical conversion of biomass to liquid fuels. The liquid product of biomass pyrolysis, bio-oil, is an intermediate that could support both transportation and stationary energy supply chains. Traditional methods of analysis are being compared to pyrolysis to determine what inherent traits of plant biomass result in bio-oil with desired qualities. This strategy can be used to select amongst biomass varieties for improved yields and qualities of bio-oil, and ultimately, liquid fuel. Scale-up of selected grass varieties in a screw-conveyor reactor will determine the robustness of this analytical technique for predicting bio-oil qualities. Mass and energy balance data will be collected at this scale to formulate a process model that describes the conversion of plant biomass into the products of pyrolysis.


    • English


    • Status: Proposed
    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Department of Transportation

      Research and Innovative Technology Administration
      Washington, DC  USA  20590
    • Performing Organizations:

      Michigan State University, East Lansing

      East Lansing, MI  USA  48824
    • Principal Investigators:

      Saffron, Chrisristopher

    • Start Date: 20091001
    • Actual Completion Date: 20120930
    • Source Data: RiP Project 25223

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01461690
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Northeast Sun Grant Institute
    • Files: RiP, USDOT
    • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 1:50PM