Timko, Michael T.
Ethanol is produced by pretreating biomass to breakdown recalcitrant structures and fermenting the remaining sugars into fuel. Flow-through (FT) pretreatment is currently being explored as a more efficient alternative to batch processes. Biomass swelling in these systems, and the associated change in pressure drop over the length of the reactor, need to be characterized in order to produce accurate models for industrial-scale processes. In this report, we analyze the pressure drop characteristics of a small-scale FT pretreatment reactor using pine sawdust and corn stover biomass. While further work is needed to fully understand the system that we created, the data that has been generated should prove useful for future modelling of FT pretreatment systems.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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