THERMOCHEMICAL PROCESSING OF AGRICULTURAL WASTES TO VALUE-ADDED PRODUCTS AND BIOENERGY
Commodity Utilization Research
Project Number: 6435-41000-089-00
Start Date: Oct 29, 2009
End Date: Oct 28, 2014
The research objectives are to develop slow pyrolysis (or torrefaction) and activation processes to convert agricultural feedstock (crop residues, manures, processing wastes, and biorefinery by-products) into:
(1) chars that can be used as industrial adsorbents;
(2) chars that can be used as soil amendments which improve soil quality, water quality, and sequester carbon;
(3) chars that can be used as energy sources (in combustion or gasification); and
(4) bio-gas and bio-oil co-products that provide some of the heat and power requirements of the pyrolysis/torrefaction/activation operations and possibly excess heat/power for sale.
The approach will be to take agricultural feedstocks (crop residues, animal manure, and biorefinery waste) and heat them under different gas atmospheres to a set temperature. In order to create chars for target applications, the temperature, heating time, and gas atmosphere will be varied, as well as performing pretreatment (before heating) or post treatment of the chars to obtain desired properties. The products will be tested for target applications in our laboratories and also with collaborators with expertise in ammonia adsorption, soil amendments, bio-oil production, and large-scale pyrolysis.