Integration of a cob separation system into a biomass harvesting combine

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2010-01-01
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Johnson, Jeremiah
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Stuart J. Birrell
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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

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In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

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1905–present

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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Abstract

Before the invention of a combine harvester, corn was picked on the ear and threshed later. This led to an availability of corn cobs and many uses were found. A renewed interest in the heat/energy value of the cob has increased the focus on harvesting corn cobs. A corn cob separation system was developed and installed on a single pass biomass harvesting combine. The system included a blower and two fans and the combine was capable of harvesting grain only, grain and stover, and grain and cobs. The cob separation system was evaluated using a stationary test with earcorn and stover bales with minimal field testing to validate the lab tests. The stationary tests evaluated 5 different separation zone configurations, 2 blower speeds, and 2 fan speeds. Cob purity averaged 71% and the collection efficiency averaged 84% with fan power consumption of 20 and 36 kW and blower power consumption of 3.1 and 5.3 kW. Field tests showed cob purity averages of 84% while the collection efficiency averaged 76%.

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Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2010