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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCE OF BIOMASS FEEDSTOCK PRODUCTION IN THE NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS
2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The objective of this specific cooperative agreement is for the University utilizing a number of its departments to cooperate with ARS to provide economic and ecologically based science that will sustain farm operations producing biomass as feedstock for bio-based energy production. Included will be research to add value to the resulting co-products. The specific objective will be (1) to determine appropriate bio-energy crops for maximizing bio-fuel production capacity and (2) to develop economically feasible management systems that reduce input requirements for transitioning into and out of bio-energy crops.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Novel research addressing feedstock production systems will be conducted. Specifically trials will be initiated to measure adaptation and endurance of a multiple of potential feedstocks in comparison to Switchgrass. Included will be research evaluation conversion of the feedstock as bio-based energy sources. Initial plot areas will be at five University Centers and one ARS location.


3.Progress Report:

Densification studies on switchgrass, bromegrass and wheat straw were completed and results were published in Bioresource Technology (Bioresource Technology, 2012, 116: 36-41).

Storage characteristics of switchgrass, big bluestem and bromegrass determined through moisture adsorption measurements using an environment control chamber were completed. Measured moisture adsorption kinetics (20, 40, 60 °C – at 95% RH) as well as the effect of temperature were modeled using exponential, Page, Peleg, and Arrhenius equations. Moisture sorption rates were reduced very sharply during first hour (= 73%) and then quickly plateaued. This study indicated the Peleg model in combination with the Arrhenius equation would perform best for moisture sorption predictions. The results were submitted as a peer reviewed publication in Transactions of the ASABE (Ref: FPE-10130-2013).


Last Modified: 12/19/2014
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