Energy Consumption of Corn Stover Size Reduction

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Cao, Xiong
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Rosentrater, Kurt
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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.

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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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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Corn-based ethanol, the most common first generation biofuel in the US, plays an important role as a fossil fuels alternative. Second generation biofuels, which are mostly based on lignocellulosic biomass, have gained great attention in recent years. Size reduction of the lignocellulosic biomass is a key step to the efficiency of downstream processes (i.e., pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, and fermentation), which will affect the yield of ethanol significantly. However, size reduction consumes considerable energy itself, it is an expensive process and needs to be optimized. Some studies have been done on corn stover size reduction, but none of them have examined the initial particle size of feedstock as a variable, and they failed to take the biomass harvest and storage conditions and downstream process requirements into consideration when setting the variables. The objective of this research was to study the effect of initial particle size of corn stover, moisture content, and screen size on energy consumption of corn stover size reduction. Consequently, these results should be generally applicable over a range of conditions that are affected by corn stover harvest and storage conditions and downstream processing.


This proceeding is from 2015 ASABE Annual International Meeting, Paper No. 152188476, pages 1-9 (doi: 10.13031/aim.20152188476). St. Joseph, Mich.: ASABE. Posted with permission.

Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2015