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Physical, Ignition, and Volatilization Properties of Biomass Feedstock Dusts

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

Citation:  Transactions of the ASABE. 58(6): 1425-1437. (doi: 10.13031/trans.58.11233) @2015
Authors:   Jaskaran Dhiman, Anshu Shrestha, Oladiran Fasina, Sushil Adhikari, Brian Via, Tom Gallagher
Keywords:   Activation energy, Density, Fire, Hot surface, Volatilization.

Abstract. Biomass feedstocks generate dusts when they are preprocessed prior to preparation for conversion into fuels, chemicals, and products. Since dusts have the potential to cause fire and explosions in biomass processing plants and storage depots, the goal of this study was to quantify the physical, chemical, ignition, and volatilization properties of dusts of eight biomass feedstocks (Bermuda grass, corn cobs, corn stover, Eucalyptus, loblolly pine, sugarcane bagasse, sweetgum, and switchgrass). Ash contents of the biomass dusts were two to three fold higher than the biomass feedstock from which they were obtained. The bulk and particle densities of the dust samples varied from 112.3 to 217.6 kg m-3 and from 1167.3 to 1500.9 kg m-3, respectively. Dusts energy (16.69 to 20.55 MJ kg-1) contents were also linearly related to their carbon (45.3% to 52.4% d.b.) contents. In addition, volatilization properties (onset temperature of rapid volatilization that ranged between 266.1°C and 306.1°C, and temperature of maximum volatilization release that ranged between 312.4°C and 348.8°C) can be used to estimate the temperature at which a hot surface will ignite dust (275°C to 315°C). The results from this study will be useful in designing and selecting equipment and systems that minimize the risk of dust causing ignition, fire, and explosion in biomass processing plants.

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