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Rheology measurements of a biomass slurry : an inter-laboratory studyAuthor(s): Jonathan J. Stickel; Jeffrey S. Knutsen; Matthew W. Liberatore; Wing Luu; Douglas W. Bousfield; Daniel J. Klingenberg; Tim Scott; Thatcher W. Root; Max R. Ehrhardt; Thomas O. Monz
Source: Rheologica acta. Vol. 48, no. 9 (Dec. 2009): pages 1005-1015.
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionThe conversion of biomass, specifically lignocellulosic biomass, into fuels and chemicals has recently gained national attention as an alternative to the use of fossil fuels. Increasing the concentration of the biomass solids during biochemical conversion has a large potential to reduce production costs. These concentrated biomass slurries have highly viscous, non-Newtonian behavior that poses several technical challenges to the conversion process. A collaborative effort to measure the rheology of a biomass slurry at four separate laboratories has been undertaken. A comprehensive set of rheological properties were measured using several different rheometers, flow geometries, and experimental methods. The tendency for settling, water evaporation, and wall slip required special care when performing the experiments. The rheological properties were measured at different concentrations up to 30% insoluble solids by mass. The slurry was found to be strongly shear-thinning, to be viscoelastic, and to have a significant concentration-dependent yield stress. The elastic modulus was found to be almost an order of magnitude larger than the loss modulus and weakly dependent on frequency. The techniques and results of this work will be useful to characterize other biomass slurries and in the design of biochemical conversion processing steps that operate at high solids concentrations.
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CitationStickel, Jonathan J.; Knutsen, Jeffrey S.; Liberatore, Matthew W.; Luu, Wing; Bousfield, Douglas W.; Klingenberg, Daniel J.; Scott, C. Tim; Root, Thatcher W.; Ehrhardt, Max R.; Monz, Thomas O. 2009. Rheology measurements of a biomass slurry : an inter-laboratory study. Rheologica acta. Vol. 48, no. 9 (Dec. 2009): pages 1005-1015.
KeywordsRheology, lignocellulose, viscoelasticity, biomass energy, viscosity, elasticity, modulus of elasticity, shear, slurry, biomass conversion, bioconversion, biorefining, biomass fuel
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