Innovative physical separation of biomass concentrates higher value components, decreases bulk for wet separation processes, decreases drying costs, and improves transportation and use efficiencies of a voluminous, chemically diverse feedstock. Particle size, shape, and density are the connecting factors for integrating biomass separation with size reduction. The rationale is that a physical pre-separation of different plant parts depends on particle characteristics and hence the size reduction process. Results are expected to pertain to both dedicated biomass crops and agricultural crop residues. This will enable a more economical means to fractionate biomass constituents using a physical process in conjunction with, but not limited to, chemical-, enzyme-, catalyst-, or combustion-conversions.
Project objectives are as follows:
To develop a proof-of-concept integrated biomass size reduction and separation system that uses energy-optimized, low-cost physical processes, and a commercialization path,
To identify commercially-needed process control factors for the integrated size reduction and separation system to universally accommodate a variety of biomass feedstocks, and
To demonstrate the integrated biomass size reduction and separation system to biomass processors, converters, and users through exhibit and one-on-one contact.