Location: Poultry ResearchTitle: Determination of densified biomass mass properties using 3D laser scanning and image analysis) Author
Submitted to: Proceedings of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International (ASABE)
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/18/2009
Publication Date: 10/11/2009
Citation: Igathinathane, C., Davis, J.D., Purswell, J.L., Columbus, E.P. 2009. Determination of densified biomass mass properties using 3D laser scanning and image analysis. Proceedings of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International (ASABE). ASABE #BIO-097995. Interpretive Summary: Accurate measurement of dimensional and mass properties is essential for analysis and design of biomass handling systems. Densified biomass is hygroscopic and methods to asses critical parameters such as envelope volume are limited. A 3D laser scanner was evaluated for measurement of metal reference samples and densified biomass samples including cotton gin trash briquettes, switchgrass pellets, switchgrass cubes, hardwood pellets, and softwood chips. Physical properties estimated from 3D images were within 2% of physical measurement values. 3D scanning is an accurate and non-destructive means of assessing physical properties of densified biomass samples.
Technical Abstract: Biomass densification is viewed as the indispensable feedstock preprocessing operation for efficient transport, storage, material flow through machines, and handling activities. Accurate mass properties of densified biomass such as surface area, volume, and envelope density form fundamental data for design of various structures, machines, and processes of feedstock bioenergy facilities. Limited methods are available for mass property evaluation of hygroscopic materials such as densified biomass. In this research, we propose to use a 3D laser scanner, commonly used in machine prototyping applications, as a mass property measurement device — an alternative application strategy. Five densified biomass test materials namely switchgrass pellets (1/2²; Æ and 7/8² Æ), switchgrass cube (1 1/4² square cross-section), hardwood pellets (1/4² Æ), and cotton gin trash briquette (2² Æ), as well as softwood chips were considered. Mass property measurement performance of the scanner was evaluated with reference to precision machined aluminum blocks of known surface area and volume. The 3D scanner produced cloud point data that was processed with the operating software to an enclosed surface mesh of triangular elements representing the solid object. Another 3D image analysis software analyzed the surface area and volume mass properties. The 3D laser scanning method successfully determined the mass properties of the reference and test materials. The scanning method had good accuracy (Volume: 98.4±1.2%; Area: 99.5±0.4%). The outlined non-destructive 3D scanning procedure can be utilized to evaluate the mass properties of several hygroscopic densified biomass and extended to similar irregular shaped materials.