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Corn Stover Densification Methods and their Large-Scale Logistical Impacts—Preliminary Analysis

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1009074.(doi:10.13031/2013.29800)
Authors:   Curtis Peder Thoreson, Matt J Darr, Keith E Webster
Keywords:   Stover, Densification, Briquettes, Logistics, Biomass, Pellets, Corn.

The bulk density of corn stover poses a major obstruction to its large scale acceptance as a biomass feedstock. The loose bulk density of corn stover is low enough to create large inefficiencies during the harvest, transport, and storage phases of production. Overall production costs of stover could be reduced if a densification method were developed that provided adequate bulk density at a low specific energy during the harvest phase of production. So far, stover densification has been accomplished either by baling, grinding, or briquetting processes. Baling faces a logistical challenge with the handling cost of an individual bale, grinding systems dont achieve high enough bulk densities alone, and briquetting systems generally require stover preprocessing (grinding), and the addition of heat energy. All of these factors for each system drive up the unit cost of corn stover production.

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