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Agronomy Day 2009

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Engineering Solutions for Biomass Feedstock Production

Investigators: K.C. Ting, Alan Hansen, Qin Zhang, Tony Grift, Lei Tian, Steven Eckhoff, Luis Rodriguez, Konstantinos Domdouzis, Hala Chaoui, Qingting Liu, Yogendra Shastri, Zewei Miao, Tofael Ahamed, Ming-Che Hu, Yung-Chen Liao

Department:   Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Energy Biosciences Institute.

Website: http://www.energybiosciencesinstitute.org/

Contact Person:
Luis Rodriguez
Assistant Professor
Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Phone: (217) 333-2694

Biomass feedstock production (BFP) is a critical subsystem within the overall bio-based energy production and utilization system. This subsystem includes the operations of agronomic production of energy crops and physical handling/delivery of biomass, as well as other enabling logistics. On the technical side, biological, physical, and chemical sciences need to be integrated with engineering and technology to ensure effective and efficient production of biomass feedstock. The overall objective of this research is to develop effective and efficient engineering solutions and machinery for successful production of biomass feedstock. This objective is accomplished through five interrelated and integrated tasks of (1) Pre-harvest Energy Crop Monitoring, (2) Harvesting of Energy Crops, (3) Transportation of Biomass, (4) Storage of Biomass, and (5) Systems Informatics and Analysis. For each task, systematic approaches will be taken to evaluate existing technologies, characterize task features, identify information needs and researchable questions, develop prototypes and computer models, conduct experiments and/or computer simulations, and analyze experimental data and/or simulation output. Results will be delivered in the forms of operational machinery design and prototypes, informational databases, computational platforms, and decision support tools. The display will highlight recent progress made in these areas through posters, audio-visual displays and/or prototypes.

change and challenge