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Size Reduction of Poplar Wood Using a Lathe for Biofuel Manufacturing: A Preliminary Experiment

[+] Author Affiliations
Xiaoxu Song, Meng Zhang, Z. J. Pei, T. Deines, Q. Zhang, P. F. Zhang, D. H. Wang

Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

Paper No. IMECE2011-63748, pp. 683-690; 8 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 3: Design and Manufacturing
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, November 11–17, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5489-1
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Poplar wood can be used as feedstocks for manufacturing of cellulosic biofuels (e.g., ethanol) as liquid transportation fuels. Producing ethanol from poplar wood involves reducing poplar wood into small particles, hydrolyzing cellulose inside poplar particles to fermentable sugars, and converting these sugars to ethanol. Size reduction is usually done by wood chipping and biomass milling. In the literature on poplar biofuels, there are no reports on particle formation mechanisms or effects of size reduction on sugar yield. One important reason for the lack of such knowledge is that particle formation in current size reduction methods is not well controlled. This paper presents the first attempt to use a lathe to generate poplar particles (or chips) with well controlled mechanisms of chip formation. The objective is to experimentally determine relations among chip thickness, uncut chip cross-section area, shear angle (representing the deformation severity of the chips), crystallinity index, and sugar yield.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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