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Research Papers

Ultrasonic Vibration-Assisted Pelleting of Cellulosic Biomass for Biofuel Manufacturing: A Study on Pellet Cracks

[+] Author and Article Information
Yongjun Tang

Faculty of Electromechanical Engineering,  Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510006, China; Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering,  Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506

Pengfei Zhang, Weilong Cong

Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering,  Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506

Defu Liu

Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering,  Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506; College of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering,  Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410083, China

Z. J. Pei1

Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering,  Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506zpei@ksu.edu

1

Corresponding author.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 134(5), 051016 (Sep 28, 2012) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4007467 History: Received March 22, 2012; Revised August 15, 2012; Published September 25, 2012; Online September 28, 2012

Biofuels produced from cellulosic biomass are an alternative to petroleum-based liquid transportation fuels. The costs of cellulosic biofuel manufacturing are high partly due to the low density of raw cellulosic materials. Processing cellulosic biomass into pellets can increase density and handling efficiency of cellulosic feedstocks, resulting in reduction of transportation and handling costs. The literature on ultrasonic vibration-assisted (UV-A) pelleting includes studies about effects of pelleting parameters on pellet quality, pelleting temperature, charring, and sugar yield. However, there are no studies on pellet cracks. This paper, for the first time, presents a study on pellet cracks in UV-A pelleting of wheat straw. It first describes experimental conditions and then presents experimental results about effects of pelleting parameters on crack size. Afterward, it proposes a hypothesis on crack formation in UV-A pelleting and discusses some evidences that support this hypothesis. Finally, it provides explanations to experimental results based on the hypothesis.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 8

Temperature of pellet center when pelleting time = 120 s (other conditions are the same as those in Fig. 5)

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Figure 9

Effects of pelleting time on pellet weight loss at different levels of moisture content (ultrasonic power = 40%, pelleting pressure = 40 psi, pellet weight = 2.0 g)

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Figure 10

Effects of tool holding time on crack size at different levels of moisture content (pelleting time = 60 s, ultrasonic power = 40%, pelleting pressure = 40 psi, pellet weight = 2.0 g, moisture content = 10%)

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Figure 11

Temperature curve at the pellet center when tool holding time = 0 s (other conditions are the same as those in Fig. 1)

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Figure 12

Temperature curve at the pellet center when tool holding time = 5 s (other conditions are the same as those in Fig. 1)

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Figure 13

Temperature curve at the pellet center when tool holding time = 10 s (other conditions are the same as those in Fig. 1)

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Figure 14

Temperature curve at the pellet center when tool holding time = 20 s (other conditions are the same as those in Fig. 1)

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Figure 15

Temperature curve at the pellet center when tool holding time = 30 s (other conditions are the same as those in Fig. 1)

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Figure 16

Effects of ultrasonic power on temperature at the pellet center (pelleting time = 60 s, pelleting pressure = 40 psi, pellet weight = 2.0 g, moisture content = 10%)

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Figure 2

Experimental setup of UV-A pelleting

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Figure 1

Major steps for manufacturing of cellulosic biofuels (after Refs. [3] and [4])

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Figure 3

Illustration of crack size measurement

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Figure 4

Illustration of temperature measurement in UV-A pelleting

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Figure 5

Temperature curves when pelleting time = 30 s (ultrasonic power = 40%, pelleting pressure = 40 psi, pellet weight = 2.0 g, moisture content = 10%)

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Figure 6

Temperature at pellet center (T2) when pelleting time = 60 s (other conditions are the same as those in Fig. 5)

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Figure 7

Temperature of pellet center (T2) when pelleting time = 90 s (other conditions are the same as those in Fig. 5)

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