Thermal Pretreatment of Lignocellulosic Biomass

Thermochemical conversion can alter lignocellulosic biomass to fuel, chemicals and renewable power. However, pyrolysis and gasification of raw biomass feedstock have technical barriers that must be eliminated before successful commercialization. Feedstock handling is complex due to the varying natures of commercial timber, agricultural residues (rice hulls, corn stover, wheat chaff), and energy crops (switch grass), among others. Two distinct thermal pretreatment technologies are investigated in this project: wet torrefaction and dry torrefaction.

This project is in collaboration with Charles Coronella from University of Nevada, Reno.