2024 journal article

Characterizing value-added pellets obtained from blends of miscanthus, corn stover, and switchgrass

Renewable Energy.

UN Sustainable Development Goal Categories
7. Affordable and Clean Energy (OpenAlex)
Source: ORCID
Added: April 22, 2024

The current pellet industry primarily relies on woody biomass. Inclusion of a diverse feedstock, such as herbaceous biomass, is necessary to meet the rising demand for pellets in heat and power generation, and for biofuel production. This study was motivated by the need to densify biomass, improving its naturally low energy density, to reach the required pellet standards for biofuel conversion. We developed value-added miscanthus pellets blended with different ratios of corn stover and switchgrass and analyzed their chemical, physical, and mechanical properties. Pure miscanthus pellet durability index (PDI) was less than 85%, well below the ISO 17225-6 standard for herbaceous pellets. While increasing switchgrass and corn stover ratios increases durability beyond 94%, it also increases ash content from 1.6% to 4.6%, a quality unfavorable for biofuel conversion. The moisture content of the blended pellets varied from 7.12% to 12.45%, and positively correlated with the durability of the pellets. Pure miscanthus pellets had the highest bulk density, 633 kg/m3, while pellets containing 75% miscanthus and 25% corn stover had the lowest density, 564 kg/m3. The findings of this study also identified a decrease in the pellet bulk density with the increase in ash content and pellet diameter.