Optimization of the Pyrolysis of Distillers Dried Grains with Solubles
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As the quantity of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) produced in the U.S. continues to expand, so too does the need for value-added applications. This study examined the use of extracting energy from DDGS using pyrolysis. Various pyrolysis parameters were used to produce bio-oil and bio-char from DDGS. Characterization of the bio-oil and bio-char included mass density, thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, apparent viscosity, and energy content and was used to determine optimal processing parameters. The bio-oil produced from DDGS was found to be comparable to bio-oils produced from other biomass, but also had some more desirable characteristics. Heating values were determined to range from 16.7 to 27.6 MJ/kg (7,200 to 11,800 Btu/lb), while the pH ranged from 4.2 to 5.5. The mass density of the bio-oils produced in this study ranged from 0.839 to 1.007 g/cm3, which is lower than that of other known pyrolysis oils (1.16-1.28 g/cm3). This type of application could expand the portfolio of coproduct uses, and thus improve the sustainability of the industry.