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Understanding the Impact of Lignocellulosic Biomass Variability on the Size Reduction Process: A Review...

by Oluwafemi A Oyedeji, Philip Gitman, Jun Qu, Erin G Webb
Publication Type
Journal Name
ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering
Publication Date
Page Numbers
2327 to 2343

The importance of size reduction to the commercial deployment of biomass utilization technologies cannot be overemphasized. Size reduction is necessary to create good flowing, easily digestible lignocellulosic biomass. However, inefficiencies and inconsistencies have not been well addressed for the process of size reduction. This has motivated quite a few research studies, some of which have reported the influence of process variables and pretreatment on the size reduction performance as well as the development of novel size reduction equipment and empirical mathematical models. In this Perspective, we present a systematic and critical evaluation of the state of lignocellulosic biomass size reduction research to provide insights for engineers and scientists for future development and investigation. We first briefly discuss the structural biology and failure mode of lignocellulosic biomass. Then, we present a comprehensive, data-driven picture of the interactions among lignocellulosic biomass attributes, size reduction process variables, pretreatment processes, and size reduction process performance (as defined by product characteristics and size reduction energy consumption). The sizing equipment tool wear issues are also summarized. Finally, we highlight some existing gaps and future research opportunities for lignocellulosic biomass size reduction to inform the development of newer technologies that could effectively produce high-value lignocellulosic biomass particles.