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The bulk density of raw corn stover is a major limitation to its large-scale viability as a biomass feedstock. Raw corn stover has a bulk density of 50 kg/m3, which creates significant transportation costs and limits the optimization of transport logistics. Producing a densified corn stover product during harvest would reduce harvest and transportation costs, resulting in viable pathways for the use of corn stover as a biomass feedstock. This research investigated the effect of different process variables (compression pressure, moisture content, particle size, and material composition) on a densification method that produces briquettes from raw corn stover. A customized bench-scale densification system was designed to evaluate different corn stover inputs. Quality briquette production was possible using non-reduced particle sizes and low compression pressures achievable in a continuous in-field production system. At optimized bench settings, corn stover was densified to a dry bulk density of 190 kg/m3. Corn stover with a moisture content above 25%wb was not suitable for this method of bulk densification, and greater cob content had a positive effect on product quality.
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Thoreson, Curtis Peder; Webster, Keith E.; Darr, Matthew J.; and Kapler, Emily J., "Investigation of Process Variables in the Densification of Corn Stover Briquettes" (2014). Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Publications. 599.