Research Papers

Ultrasonic Vibration-Assisted Pelleting of Wheat Straw: A Designed Experimental Investigation on Pellet Quality and Sugar Yield

[+] Author and Article Information
Z. J. Pei

e-mail: zpei@ksu.edu
Department of Industrial and Manufacturing
Systems Engineering,
Kansas State University,
2037 Durland Hall
,Manhattan, KS 66506

D. H. Wang

Department of Biological and Agricultural
Kansas State University,
150 Seaton Hall,
Manhattan, KS 66506

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MANUFACTURING SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. Manuscript received August 7, 2012; final manuscript received September 29, 2012; published online November 12, 2012. Assoc. Editor: Yong Huang.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 134(6), 061013 (Nov 12, 2012) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4007782 History: Received August 07, 2012; Revised September 29, 2012

Increasing demands and concerns for reliable supply of liquid transportation fuels make it important to find alternative sources to petroleum-based fuels. One such alternative is cellulosic ethanol. However, several technical barriers have hindered large-scale, cost-effective manufacturing of cellulosic ethanol, such as low density of cellulosic feedstocks (causing high transportation and storage costs) and low efficiency of enzymatic hydrolysis (causing longer processing time and low sugar yield). Ultrasonic vibration-assisted (UV-A) pelleting can increase the density of cellulosic materials and sugar yield in enzymatic hydrolysis. At present, effects of process variables in UV-A pelleting on pellet quality (density, durability, and spring-back) and sugar yield have not been adequately investigated. This paper reports an experimental investigation on UV-A pelleting of wheat straw. A 24 factorial design is employed to evaluate effects of process variables (moisture content, sieve size, pelleting pressure, and ultrasonic power) on output variables (pellet density, durability, spring-back, and sugar yield).

Copyright © 2012 by ASME
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Fig. 1

Major steps in manufacturing of cellulosic ethanol (after [4])

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Fig. 2

Milling chamber of knife mill

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Fig. 3

Illustration of experimental setup for UV-A pelleting

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Fig. 4

Picture of a pellet produced by UV-A pelleting

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Fig. 5

Significant main and interaction effects on pellet density

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Fig. 6

Significant main and interaction effects on pellet durability

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Fig. 7

Significant main and interaction effects on pellet spring-back

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Fig. 8

Significant main and interaction effects on sugar yield




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