Handling and feeding of materials represent a substantial challenge in biomass feedstock supply systems and have been primary factors causing pioneer industrial biorefineries to struggle to achieve their production targets. The focus of this chapter is handling and feeding within the plant prior to conversion. The dominant material properties that impact biorefinery operations are presented, and biomass flow patterns and behavior in silos, bins and hoppers are briefly explained. Methods to measure key properties are reviewed, including the Jenike method as well as the efficacy of newer ring shear methods. Finally, areas are identified in which future effort should focus to have the greatest impact to alleviate the challenges that currently plague the emerging biomass industry.
Part of the book: Advances in Biofuels and Bioenergy