Start Date: Oct 01, 2013
End Date: Sep 30, 2015
1. Measure the dielectric properties of commonly used pelletized and woodchip biomass products with appropriate laboratory instruments (e.g., free-space technique, open-ended coaxial-line probe technique) over a range of moisture contents, temperatures, bulk densities and frequencies. 2. Based on these measurements, develop suitable algorithms for predicting the moisture content of biomass from the dielectric properties and identify suitable fixed operating frequencies that minimize both the hardware cost and prediction error. 3. Design and build microwave sensors, based on existing techniques, for measuring the dielectric properties of solid biomass in-line on conveyors and in pipes. 4. Develop and implement simple calibration routines for these sensors. 5. Implement the sensors in an industrial production facility.