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Theoretical study of pneumatic separation of sugarcane bagasse particles

de Almeida, Eduardo, Spogis, Nicolas, Taranto, Osvaldir Pereira, Silva, Maria Aparecida
Biomass and bioenergy 2019 v.127 pp. 105256
cellulose, computer software, drying, enzymatic hydrolysis, equilibrium moisture content, equipment, fluid mechanics, gasification, glucose, hydrolysis, milling, pyrolysis, simulation models, sugarcane bagasse, sugarcane juice
Sugarcane bagasse is a byproduct generated at sugarcane mills after sugarcane juice extraction. Studies on the enzymatic hydrolysis of fine pneumatic classified particles at ambient equilibrium moisture content have shown good cellulose to glucose conversion without any extra pretreatments as milling, enzymatic, acid or a combination of these, which is one of the current hydrolysis process bottlenecks. Avoid such pretreatments is extremely important for reducing process costs. Based on previous work, this study performed a theoretical investigation of bagasse particles' separation aiming a better understanding of this phenomena permitting development and improvement of equipment used for it. Numerical simulations were carried out using ANSYS Fluent® and Rocky® DEM software, which modelled separation experiments based on computational fluid dynamics and discrete element method, respectively. The comparison between simulation and actual experimental results showed that the model is predictive and can be extended to several processes that use the fluidisation of sugarcane bagasse, such as drying, pyrolysis, and gasification. The studied simulation models can also serve as a basis for fluidisation simulations of other biomasses.