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Modifications to Fixed Cutter Grinders for Improved Capacity and Efficiency

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

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1009512.(doi:10.13031/2013.29923)
Authors:   Neal A Yancey, Christopher T Wright, Craig C Conner
Keywords:   Key Words: Biomass Preprocessing, Biomass Deconstruction, Biomass Feedstocks, Bioenergy, Lignocellulosic Ethanol.

Preprocessing is a critical operation in the biomass feedstock assembly system of a lignocellulosic biorefinery. Preprocessing is typically accomplished using industrial grinders to grind, chop, or otherwise size-reduce biomass materials into a suitable feedstock for conversion to biofuels and bioproducts. Various components of commercial preprocessing equipment capable of handling large-format material (such as large square bales) can be modified or altered to change the overall productivity and efficiency of the process. Many factors affect machine capacity and efficiency and the physical characteristics of preprocessed biomass. Ultimately, grinder capacity and efficiency can be enhanced by selecting hammer and screen configurations that optimize grinder performance-based mass flow and energy consumption. Variations in grinder capacity and efficiency were evaluated by altering the type, number, and orientation of the hammer; the screen type and size; and the rotational drum speed of the grinder. Fuel use and grinder capacity were compared with each modification made to the grinder system and the original design of the horizontal grinder test platform. Modifications evaluated in this study resulted in a significant increase in grinder capacity and efficiency.

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