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[en] Pre-treatment is a crucial step in biomass processing prior to the hydrolysis or fermentation to bioethanol. Herein, the potential of deep eutectic solvent (DES) in the pretreatment of oil palm biomass were described. The mechanism of swelling and dissolution of oil palm trunk (OPT) was studied under optical microscopy. The OPT fibres were stirred and heated at 100 degree Celsius in choline chloride:glycerol (ChCl:Gly), choline chloride:ethylene glycol (ChCl:EG), ethylammonium chloride:glycerol (EAC:Gly) and ethylammonium chloride:ethylene glycol (EAC:EG) with 1:2 molar ratio each. All DESs tested had showed homogenous swelling and disintegration of small fragments interaction mode with OPT. There were more small fragments observed in EACbased DES compared to ChCl-based DES. This finding supports the result for the percentage of dissolution where OPT in EACbased DES recorded higher dissolution with 55 % and 50 % in EAC:EG and EAC:Gly respectively whereas ChCl-based DES recorded only 33 % and 29 % in ChCl:EG and ChCl:Gly, respectively. In ChCl-based DESs the fragmentations were accompanied by large unswollen section of fibres. The formation of small fragments indicates that the fibres experienced a fast dissolution. Therefore, the EAC-based DESs proved to be a better swelling and dissolution media for oil palm biomass pretreatment compared to ChCl-based DES. (author)
[en] Highlights: • A model to simulate field drying of sorghum was developed, calibrated and validated. • Late sorghum variety had the highest dry matter production at harvest. • Duration and dynamics of field drying were affected by variety earliness. • Early variety had the highest probability to be baled at suitable moisture content. • Early variety had the shorted drying period and permanence in the field. - Abstract: A major constraint to the use of biomass sorghum varieties (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) to generate electricity by direct combustion is the high biomass moisture content at harvest that, under unfavourable weather conditions during field drying limits the possibility to achieve a suitable moisture content for baling. In this work, the CropSyst model was calibrated and validated with data collected in experimental trials conducted in the Po Valley (northern Italy). It was then used to simulate biomass production of three sorghum varieties of contrasting earliness (early, medium-late, and late). In order to simulate the dynamics of biomass moisture content during field drying, a specific model, “sorghum haying model”, was developed and validated. The two models combined were used to simulate, for three sorghum varieties of contrasting earliness (early, medium-late and late), biomass production and the probability to achieve during field drying a biomass moisture content suitable for baling. In a long term simulation (140 years), the late sorghum variety achieved the highest dry biomass production (16.5 Mg ha−1) followed by the medium-late (15.4 Mg ha−1) and early (15.1 Mg ha−1) variety. The early variety had the highest probability (0.66) of being baled at a moisture content ≤ 18%, followed by the medium-late (0.53) and late (0.37) varieties. The early variety, also having the shortest average field drying (9.2 days), was considered the most suitable for the selected environmental conditions.
[en] Highlights: • Establishing biomass briquette as a substitute to coal. • First ever usage of biomass briquettes as a reductant of iron ore. • Iron recovery from iron ore slime using reduction roasting and magnetic separation. • Product with ∼64–65% Fe at a weight recovery ∼63–64% from a slime of 56.2% Fe. - Abstract: The present study explores the application of biomass briquette, produced from the unutilized vegetative remnants, as an alternative reductant for the reduction roasting-magnetic separation of an iron ore slime sample assaying 56.2% Fe. The X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) studies indicated tridymite and quartz to be the only crystalline mineral phases present in the biomass briquettes while the Fourier Transform Infra Red (FTIR) spectra identified several organic functional groups representing the biomass. Iron ore concentrates with ∼65% Fe and ∼64% weight recovery were obtained with reduction conditions such as temperature: 650–750 °C, reductant to feed ratio: 0.15, reduction time: 30–45 min and reductant size: −3+1 mm. The analysis of the statistically designed experiments suggested that temperature is the most crucial factor followed by time, reductant to feed ratio and reductant size. Magnetite and hematite were found to be the only major phases present in the magnetic fractions produced from roasting at the optimum conditions. Many feebly magnetic phases like wustite, fayalite and clinoferrosilite appeared at higher temperature and reductant to feed ratios, which was confirmed by XRD, reflected light microscopy and quantitative mineralogical analysis.
[en] Highlights: • Grass yields from marginal land were comparable with those from good agricultural land. • Perennial rhizomatous grasses such as festulolium outyielded perennial ryegrass when grown on marginal land. • Grass from marginal land in Ireland could provide enough energy to power both the private car and the heavy goods vehicle fleets. - Abstract: The production of biomass feedstock from marginal land has attracted much attention as a means of avoiding conflict between the production of food and fuel. Yield potentials from marginal lands have generally not been quantified although it is generally assumed that lower biomass yields can be expected from marginal lands. A three year study was conducted in Ireland in order to determine if grass yields of perennial rhizomatous grasses (cocksfoot, tall fescue, reed canary grass, festulolium) for anaerobic digestion from three marginal land sites (very wet site, very dry site, site prone to flooding) could match yields from better soils. Randomised complete block designs were established on each site in 2012 with two varieties of each grass species as treatments. Three grass harvests were taken from each site in 2013 and in 2014. There was no significant difference between yields from the control site and those from the very dry site and the site prone to flooding. Biomass yields from the very wet site were 85% of those from the control site. Highest yields were obtained from festulolium which were significantly higher than yields from perennial ryegrass. An energy analysis showed that maximising the production of grass from low lying mineral marginal grassland in Ireland could provide enough energy to meet the energy requirements of both the private car fleet and the heavy goods vehicle fleet while avoiding conflict with food production which could be concentrated on conventional land.
[en] Today's power generation sources are largely dependent on fossil fuels due to which the future sustainable development has become a challenge. A significant amount of the pollutant emissions such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide from the power sector is related to the use of fossil fuels for power generation. As the demand for electricity is growing rapidly, emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants from this sector can be expected to increase unless other alternatives are made available. Among the energy sources that can substitute fossil fuels, biomass fuels appear as one of the options with a high worldwide potential. In the Punjab region of India, Fluidized-bed combustion technology is being used for converting biomass into thermal energy and power generation in various small scale units. The investigation of biomass-based plant through experimental activities and numerical simulation is the scope of this study. The investigations were done at Captive Power Plant (CPP), Ambuja Cement Limited, a project of Holcim, District Ropar, India. During experimental investigations, the study of bed temperatures and steam temperatures at different zones has been done for coal fired and biomass fired combustors with 30% share. No clear effects of co-firing on boiler performance are observed. However, the operational behavior of the boiler in terms of bed temperature and stack emissions shows a different trend. During simulation, the contours of temperature have been obtained for both the boilers and the trends are found in agreement with real process. (author)