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Microscale Mechanical Testing of Biomass Particles

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

Citation:  2022 ASABE Annual International Meeting  2200704.(doi:10.13031/aim.202200704)
Authors:   Yiming Li, James C Slosson, Hojae Yi
Keywords:   Biomass, Mechanical properties, Microscale tester, Southern pine residue, Flow behavior.


Mechanical behavior of biomass, e.g., flow, varies due to different physical and mechanical structures and properties. The efficiencies of the biomass feedstock handling system are strongly affected by such variability of bulk feedstock behavior. The unknown variability of feedstocks flow behavior and mechanical properties create uncertainty in the performance of biomass feedstock handling systems. This study aims to quantify such variability in the biomass interparticle behavior, which is thought to result in the variability of the biomass flow behavior. To that end, we characterized the mechanical behavior of biomass particles when they contact each other, i.e., friction and adhesion. Using the Interparticle Mechanics tester developed in-house, this study produced experimental data quantifying the magnitude and variability of properties of biomass particle interactions. For Southern pine residue particles of different anatomical origins, it was found that needle particle at ambient temperature (~25°C) and moisture content of 8% (w.b.) has significantly lower (p<0.05) friction coefficient (μ = 0.15 ± 0.05) compared to other anatomical fractions (chip particle μ = 0.41 ± 0.11; bark particle μ = 0.39 ± 0.08;twig particle μ = 0.32 ± 0.12), which is attributed to the smoother surface. Because of its significantly different friction coefficient from particles from other anatomical origins, needle particle has the potential to alter biomass flow behavior while it mixed with other particles. The novel data will contribute to improving the reliability and efficiency of biomass feedstock handling devices and benefit the biomass industry.

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