Feedstock Development programs

Engineering Solutions For Biomass Feedstock Production

This program is developing effective and efficient engineering solutions and machinery for successful production of biomass feedstock, including pre-harvest crop production, harvesting, transport, storage and systems informatics and analysis.
 

program Highlights

2014 Highlights

The performance of sugarcane harvesters in energy cane, sugarcane and napier grass was monitored in Florida. Lower travel speeds and throughput rates, and approximately twice the energy consumption were measured with energy cane as compared to sugarcane, resulting in higher harvesting costs of $5.91 Mg-1 (wet-basis) versus $1.87 Mg-1. Real-time analysis of harvester performance generated information useful for machine management and logistics. A stem-bending yield sensor fitted to a sugarcane harvester predicted napier grass yield with 85-90% accuracy. Serrated cutting blades fitted to harvesters consumed less energy for Miscanthus and provided greater shoot emergence rates for napier grass. Greater shattering of stems was observed for energy cane compared to sugarcane.

2013 Highlights

1) Harvesting of Biomass – Miscanthus bending force sensor and swath volume sensor for controlling the ground speeds of mower-conditioner and baler, respectively, were developed and field tested. Blades with oblique angles of 20° and 30° were tested on a mower-conditioner to assess the effect of blade angles on energy requirement.

 

2) Transportation of Biomass – The effect of forms, including five Miscanthus forms, three sugarcane forms and one blending feedstock, on biomass digestion were studied. The relationships among biomass electrical capacitance, bulk density, moisture content, and particle size during densification were investigated. Feasibility of secondary compression of biomass pellets was evaluated.

 

3) Storage of Biomass – Partial least squares regression models using FT-NIR to predict the composition (glucan, xylan, arabinan, lignin, and ash contents) of Miscanthus have been completed. A computational fluid dynamics model has been developed to predict the temperature, moisture, carbon dioxide concentration, and dry matter loss in stored Miscanthus under different conditions.

 

4) Systems Informatics and Analysis – A BioTraNS computer model was developed for optimal dispatch scheduling of biomass transporting vehicles. The BioScope model has been expanded to optimize the logistics from farms to the points of liquid fuel consumption. The strategic BioScope and tactical BioFeed supply chain models have been integrated. A CyberGIS-enabled biomass supply chain decision support platform has been developed.

2012 Highlights

1) Pre-harvest Crop Monitoring – Crop imaging data were collected using an unmanned aerial vehicle. A gantry sensing system was used to collect proximity data on energy crops. NDVI values of Miscanthus determined by a multispectral camera on a tower were correlated with the dry mass data manually collected by another EBI program. 

 

2) Harvesting (of Miscanthus) – Modified disk heads on a mower/conditioner improved work rate by 37%. Angled blades lowered energy consumption of cutting by 32%. Stem bending force measured by a push bar could be used to monitor harvesting yield and control ground speed of the mower.  A LIDAR sensor was mounted behind a mower to measure yield within an accuracy of 81-96%.

 

3) Transportation – A unifying biomass grinding law was developed for scaling up of machine parameters. Biomass Poisson’s ratios and rebounding force curves were determined. Biomass compression under very high pressure (750 MPa) was investigated. Impact of biomass forms was evaluated using dilute acid pretreatment in collaboration with the EBI chemical analysis group. Biomass mechanical preprocessing experimental data were provided to the Systems Informatics and Analysis task group as input values to its BioFeed model. 

 

4) Storage – Biomass isotherm models have been developed for Miscanthus, energy sorghum, energy cane, and switchgrass. Equations for airflow resistance through biomass have been established for chopped Miscanthus and milled pressed energy sorghum stalks. Progress has been made to develop a regression model that correlates FT-NIR spectral signals with Miscanthus quality. 

 

5) Systems Informatics and Analysis – BioFeed model was used to investigate biomass size reduction and compression impacts on overall supply chain costs. BioScope model was used to study the effect of dynamic demand and supply changes over time based on the Renewable Fuel Standard. Visualization tools have been developed to display the output of both models. 

2011 Highlights

Ting’s team determined that, with minor modifications, existing machinery can be used to harvest switchgrass and Miscanthus. The group also determined that systems for drying corn may also be used to dry or aerate a bed of chopped Miscanthus because the airflow patterns are comparable to that of shelled corn. His group also developed a computer model, BioFeed, that optimizes more than 300,000 variables, including weather, crop yield, farm size, transportation distances, harvest schedule, and equipment selection. BioFeed found, for example, that storing the harvested grasses in a protected site on the farm would typically reduce the overall cost of the system more than if it were stored uncovered on-site, or stored at a centralized facility.

2010 Highlights

Ting established laboratories for crop monitoring, harvest, transport, storage, and systems analysis. The team also developed and tested algorithms for analysis of energy crop spectral images and conducted experiments using the biomass harvesting laboratory, instrumented mower-conditioner and bailing machinery. Other lab members measured energy requirements for biomass size reduction and compression and developed an agent-based model and a web-based decision support system.

2009 Highlights

Ting’s group developed and tested a stand-alone multispectral imaging tower remote sensing system and a reconfigurable ground reference data acquisition vehicle (DAV). They also developed data processing algorithms to explore the optimum harvesting window for quality assurance of different biomass feedstocks. Ting’s team studied the biophysical properties of Miscanthus relevant to cutting and have begun to design and test new cutting systems. They measured energy efficiencies of pelletization and densification and designed a bale-scale compressor and biomass “Elevator” scenario. Finally, they began to develop Web-based biomass transportation management systems.

 

Publications

Published in 2014

Engineering and Science of Biomass Feedstock Production and Provision, Y. Shastri, A. Hansen, L. Rodriguez, K. C. Ting, eds., Springer Publishing, New York, NY, doi: 10.1007/978-1-4899-8014-4, 2014. 

 

Biomass Feedstock Production and Provision: Overview, Current Status, and Challenges, Y. Shastri, K. C. Ting, book chapter, pp. 1-15, doi: 10.1007/978-1-4899-8014-4_1, January 18, 2014. 

 

Preharvest Monitoring of Biomass Production, L. Li, L. Tian, and T. Ahamed, book chapter, pp. 61-83, doi: 10.1007/978-1-4899-8014-4_4, January 18, 2014. 

 

Harvesting System Design and Performance, S. Mathanker, A. Hansen, book chapter, pp. 85-139, doi: 10.1007/978-1-4899-8014-4_5. Transportation, T. Grift, T., Z. Miao, A. Hansen, K. C. Ting, book chapter, pp. 141-164, doi: 10.1007/978-1-4899-8014-4_6, 2014. 

 

Biomass Feedstock Storage for Quantity and Quality Preservation, H. Chaoui, S. Eckhoff, book chapter, pp. 165-193, doi: 10.1007/978-1-4899-8014-4_7, January 18, 2014. 

 

Systems Informatics and Analysis, Y. Shastri, A. Hansen, L. Rodríguez, K. C. Ting, book chapter, pp. 195-232, doi: 10.1007/978-1-4899-8014-4_8, 2014. 

 

Field Assessment of Energy Requirement for Mowing Miscanthus With Varying Cutting Blade Angles, J. D. Maughan, S. K. Mathanker, T. E. Grift, A. C. Hansen, K. C. Ting, Transactions of the ASABE, V. 57 (4): pp. 999-1006, doi: 10.13031/trans.57.10373, 2014. 

 

Impact of Cutting Speed and Blade Configurations on Energy Requirement for Miscanthus Harvesting, J. D. Maughan, S. K. Mathanker, B. M. Fehrenbacher, and A. C. Hansen, Applied Engineering in Agriculture, V. 30 (2): pp. 137-142, doi: 10.13031/aea.30.10161, 2014. 

 

Sensing Miscanthus Swath Volume for Maximizing Baler Throughput Rate, S. K. Mathanker, J. D. Maughan, A. C. Hansen, T. E. Grift, K. C. Ting, Transactions of the ASABE, V. 57 (2), pp. 355-362, doi: 10.13031/trans.57.10167, 2014. 

 

Sensing Miscanthus Stem Bending Force for Maximizing Throughput Rate in a Disk Mower-Conditioner, S. K. Mathanker, A. C. Hansen, T. E. Grift, K. C. Ting, Transactions of the ASABE, V. 57 (1), pp. 5-12, doi: 10.13031/trans.57.10121, 2014. 

 

Size Reduction and Densification of Lignocellulosic Biomass for Biopower, Bioproducts and Liquid Biofuel Production, Z. Miao, T.E. Grift, K.C. Ting, Encyclopedia of Agricultural, Food and Biological Engineering (second edition), doi: 10.1081/E-EAFE2-120051298, May 19, 2014. 

 

Flow Performance of Ground Biomass in a Commercial Auger, Z. Miao, T.E. Grift, A.C. Hansen, K.C. Ting, Powder Technology, V. 267, pp. 354-361, doi: 10.1016/j.powtec.2014.07.038, November 2014. 

 

Measurement of Mechanical Compressive Properties and Densification Energy Requirement of Miscanthus x giganteus and Switchgrass, Z. Miao, J.W. Phillips, T.E. Grift, S.K. Mathanker, Bioenergy Research, doi 10.1007/s12155-014-9495-8, 2014. 

 

Integrated Strategic and Tactical Biomass-Biofuel Supply Chain Optimization, T. Lin, L.F. Rodríguez, Y.N. Shastri, A.C. Hansen, K.C. Ting, Bioresource Technology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2013.12.121, March 2014. 

 

Determining Optimal Size Reduction and Densification for Biomass Feedstock Using the BioFeed Optimization Model, Y. N. Shastri , Z. Miao, L.F. Rodríguez, T.E. Grift, A.C. Hansen, K.C. Ting, Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining V. 8, pp. 423–437, doi: 10.1002/bbb, May 2014. 

Published in 2013

GIS-Enabled Biomass-Ethanol Supply Chain Optimization: Model Development and Miscanthus Application, Tao Lin,  Luis F. Rodríguez, Yogendra N. Shastri, Alan C. Hansen, K.C. Ting, Biofuels, Bioproducts, and Biorefining, 7(3), pp. 314-333, doi: 10.1002/bbb.1394, April 2013.

 

An Overview of Lignocellulosic Biomass Feedstock Harvest, Processing and Supply for Biofuel Production (2013), Z. Miao, T. E. Grift, A. C. Hansen, K. C. Ting, Biofuels 4(1): pp. 5–8.

 

Energy Requirement for Lignocellulosic Feedstock Densifications in Relation to Particle Physical Properties, Pre-Heating and Binding Agents (2013), Z. Miao, T. E. Grift, A. C. Hansen, K. C. Ting, Energy & Fuels 27: pp. 588–595.

 

Lignocellulosic Biomass Feedstock Supply Logistics and System Integration (2013), Z. Miao, Y. N. Shastri, T. E. Grift, K. C. Ting, Biomass Processing, Conversion and Biorefinery (Chapter 2, pp. 37-60), B. Zhang, and Y. Wang (eds), NOVA Science Publishers, Hauppauge, New York.

 

Systems Informatics and Analysis of Biomass Feedstock Production (2013), Y. N. Shastri, A. C. Hansen, L. F. Rodriguez, K. C. Ting, Pertanika Journal of Science and Technology 21(1), pp. 273-280.

 

Energy and Pressure Requirement for Compression of Miscanthus giganteus to an Extreme Density (2013), Z. Miao, J. W. Phillips, T. E. Grift, S. K. Mathanker, Biosystems Engineering 114: 21-25.

Lignocellulosic Biomass Feedstock Transportation Alternatives, Logistics, Equipment Configuration and Modeling (2013), Z. Miao, Y. N. Shastri, T. E. Grift, A. C. Hansen, K. C. Ting, Biofeuls, Bioproducts and Biorefining 6: 351-362.

Published in 2012

Tower Remote-Sensing System for Monitoring Energy Crops; Image Acquisition and Geometric Corrections, Tofael Ahamed, Lei Tian, Yanshui Jiang, Bin Zhao, Hx Liu, Kuan Chong Ting, Biosystems Engineering, doi: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2012.03.003, April 18, 2012.

Cutting Energy Chracteristics of Miscanthus x giganteus Stems With Varying Oblique Angle and Cutting Speed, Phillip Johnson, Clairmont Clementson, Sunil Mathanker, Tony Grift, Alan Hansen, Biosystems Engineering, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2012.02.003, March 6, 2012.

Biomechanical Properties of Miscanthus Stems, Q. Liu, S.K. Mathanker, Q. Zhang, A.C. Hansen, Transactions of the ASABE, 55(4):1125-1131.

Impact of Probability of Working Day on Planning and Operation of Biomass Feedstock Production Systems, Yogendra Shastri, Alan Hansen, Luis Rodriguez, K.C. Ting, Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, doi: 10.1002/bbb.1329, March 2012.

Lignocellulosic Biomass Feedstock Transportation Alternatives, Logistics, Equipment Configurations, and Modeling, Zewei Miao, Yogendra Shastri, Tony Grift, Alan Hansen, K.C. Ting, Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, doi: 10.1002/bbb.1322, February 17, 2012.


Switchgrass-Practical Issues in Developing a Fuel Crop, Y. Shastri, A.C. Hansen, L.F. Rodriguez, K.C. Ting, CAB Reviews 7 No. 037.

Impact of Distributed Storage and Pre-Processing on Miscanthus Production and Provision System, Y. Shastri, L.F. Rodriguez, A.C. Hansen, K.C. Ting, Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, 6:21-31.

Published in 2011

Impact of Distributed Storage and Pre-Processing on Miscanthus Production and Provision Systems, Yogendra Shastri, Luis Rodriguez, Alan Hansen, K.C. Ting, Biofuels Bioproducts and Biorefining, DOI: 10.1002/bbb.326, August 25, 2011.

Agent-Based Analysis of Biomass Feedstock Production Dynamics, Yogendra Shastri, Luis Rodriguez, Alan Hansen, K.C. Ting, BioEnergy Research, doi: 10.1007/s12155-011-9139-1, August 3, 2011.

Influence of Feedstock Particle Size on Lignocellulose Conversion, Bernardo Vidal Jr., Bruce Dien, K.C. Ting, Vijay Singh, Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 164(8): pp. 1405-1421, doi: 10.1007/s12010-011-9221-3, August 2011.

Development and Application of BioFeed Model for Optimization of Herbaceous Biomass Feedstock Production, Yogendra Shastri, Alan Hansen, Luis Rodriguez, KC Ting, Biomass and Bioenergy, doi:10.1016/j.biombioe.2011.03.035, April 12, 2011.

A Review of Remote Sensing Methods for Biomass Feedstock Production, Tofael Ahamed, Lei Tian, Yuliang Zhang, K.C. Ting, Biomass and Bioenergy, doi:10.1016/j.biombioe.2011.02.028, April 8, 2011.

A Novel Decomposition and Distributed Computing Approach for the Solution of the Large-Scale Optimization Models, Yogendra Shastri, Alan Hansen, Luis Rodriguez, K.C. Ting, Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, DOI:10.1016/j.compag.2011.01.006, February 16, 2011.

Energy Requirement for Comminution of Biomass in Relation to Particle Physical Properties, Zewei Maio, Tony Grift, Alan Hansen, K. C. Ting, Industrial Crops and Products, doi: 10.1016j.indcrop.2010.12.016, January 2011.

Published in 2010

Optimization of Miscanthus Harvesting and Handling as an Energy Crop: BioFeed Model Application, Yogandra Shastri, Alan Hansen, Luis Rodriguez, K.C. Ting, Biological Engineering, 3(1): pp. 37-69, November 2010.

Development of an Application Programming Interface (API) for Biomass Feedstock Production Engineering, Konstantinos Domdouzis, Luis Rodriguez, Alan Hansen, KC Ting, presentation at the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International Meeting, June 2010.

Spectral Sensing for Dry Matter Biomass Estimation of Energy Crops, Tofael Ahamed, Lei Tian, Casimiro Gadanha Junior, Francisco Pinto, Hx Liu, Bin Zhao, KC Ting, presentation at the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International Meeting, June 20-23, 2010.

Development of Stand-Alone Tower Remote Sensing for Energy Crops, Tofael Ahamed, Lei Tian, Yanshui Jiang, Hx Liu, KC Ting, presentation at the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International Meeting, June 20-23, 2010.

Published in 2009

Biomass Feedstock Production and Provision: A System-Level Optimization Approach, Yogendra Shastri, Alan Hansen, Luis Rodriguez and K.C. Ting, presentation at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Meeting, November 2009.

Systems Level Analysis of Biomass Feedstock Production for Bioenergy Sector, Yogendra Shastri, Konstantinos Domdouzis, Ming-Che Hu, Luis Rodriguez, Alan Hansen, K. C. Ting, Meeting of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, June 2009.

Systems Informatics Techniques in Biomass Feedstock Production Engineering, Konstantinos Domdouzis, Yogendra Shastri, Ming-Che Hu, Luis Rodriguez, Alan Hansen, K. C. Ting, Meeting of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, June 2009.

Engineering Solutions for Biomass Feedstock Production, K.C. Ting, Resource, pp. 12-13, April/May 2009.

 


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