(379d) Rheology of Biomass Slurries to Determine Pumpability for Hydrothermal Liquefaction
This work takes a unique approach to studying biomass slurry rheology by combining traditional rheometric measurements, such as viscosity and storage/loss moduli, with a novel flow characterization system. Traditional rheometric measurements are made on a rheometer capable of analysis at temperatures up to 300 °C and 2000 psi, which mimics conditions found in some traditional HTL systems. Novel flow studies performed at Idaho National Laboratory are made on an in-house designed syringe attached to an Instron load frame. This system measures the force required to push biomass through a reducing orifice and can study plugging phenomena in biomass slurry transport systems. These studies have shown how plugging can be related to biomass dewatering, followed by bridging across the flow channel. Pumpability studies have been performed on a wide variety of materials from herbaceous to woody crops and residues. In addition to characterizing pumpability in biomass slurries this work has also focused on improving the pumpability of such slurries through preprocessing techniques including: size reduction, blending, and torrefaction. This work will ultimately lead to improvements in feed handling related to hydrothermal liquefaction and other biomass slurry transport systems.
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