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Author: Subject: Biomass to ???? - Methanol, Formaldehyde, methane, biochar, ??? What else?
RogueRose
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[*] posted on 7-6-2016 at 12:23
Biomass to ???? - Methanol, Formaldehyde, methane, biochar, ??? What else?


I have a very serious question that I need as much help as possible answering. The situation is that there is a lot of biomass available as "junk" biomass. Think of it as wild fields mowed/cut and bailed. Wild grasses. Probably a 8-16% moisture content depending upon year.

Now there are also a lot of other sources that will be added to this, like tons of leaves, corn husk, grass clippings, all by the truck loads (semi's).


I'm trying to figure out what possible products (read chemicals) can be made from this stuff and or what can be extracted from it and what will be left over. The idea is to get as much high value commodity product, like methanol, from it, possibly heat (syngas) and biochar if possible.

I've read hundreds of pages about this stuff over the last few years and I get a lot of conflicting reports, some saying that there is a net loss in energy when making methanol, others say it is almost all profit, so I have a feeling there are some industry biases playing along with this game.

Here is my take.

Anaerobic digestion aided with catalysts (some really nifty ones have come out recently greatly increasing speed) to produce CO, CO2 and methane. I'm not sure where the H2 is coming from, the water and anerobic respiration?

Anyway, if heat is needed, some material can be burnt for heat, or the syngas can be burnt. If electric is needed, solar is available for this in large quantities.

I'm looking at how viable a methanol plant would be given various inputs.
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aga
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[*] posted on 7-6-2016 at 12:37


Quote:
I've read hundreds of pages

... yet not even 1 cited.

There has been quite a lot of research on this, where is yours ?

Even a quick google would be helpful to anyone actually interested in making use of bio-digestion of organic 'waste'.

As you are well aware by now, unreferenced speculation should be posted in Beginnings.

With at least some references, maybe some actual experiments/data it starts to become Science, otherwise it's the Beginnings of an idea, not actual science or even chemistry.




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Metacelsus
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[*] posted on 7-6-2016 at 14:41


Alternatively, you might be able to make a compost pile, and sell the compost as fertilizer.



As below, so above.
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Bert
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[*] posted on 7-6-2016 at 17:18


I vote for compost. Technology is mature, process costs little beyond moving the materials- and end product is in high demand.

Pardon me, I'm going back outside now to till the chicken house wood chips and shit into my kitchen garden.




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Paddywhacker
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[*] posted on 7-6-2016 at 19:13


The two biggies are furfural from pentoses and hydroxymethylfurfural from hexoses, both by dehydration of the carbohydrates.
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RogueRose
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[*] posted on 7-6-2016 at 21:21


The process of using wood chips, "waste" field grass", grass clippings, leaves and municipal sludge (possibly farm sludge of some kind as well) is used here in a 12-18 acre indoor facility (it's huge!!!). It does produce a very dark, fairly fine material that is sterilized by heat.

The thing is that I'm kind of worried about is the amount of municipal sludge with god only knows what in it. Heavy metals, metabolized drugs and lots of other possible issues.


They said they had a nitrogen analysis ant is was like (1.5-2)-0-0 so I guess that is less than 2% nitrogen, not all that great but there is some humus in it. Here the soil doesn't need it as farmers are very good at returning humus to soil.
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RogueRose
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[*] posted on 7-6-2016 at 21:23


Quote: Originally posted by Paddywhacker  
The two biggies are furfural from pentoses and hydroxymethylfurfural from hexoses, both by dehydration of the carbohydrates.


Thank you I will look into those to see how their synthesis may be possible.

On another note, what about growing mushrooms and then using the old soil for compost. Can old mushroom soil be just as good as compost, maybe minus a little nitrogen??
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Paddywhacker
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[*] posted on 8-6-2016 at 15:05


Quote: Originally posted by RogueRose  
Quote: Originally posted by Paddywhacker  
The two biggies are furfural from pentoses and hydroxymethylfurfural from hexoses, both by dehydration of the carbohydrates.


Thank you I will look into those to see how their synthesis may be possible.

...


There is a prep for furfural around somewhere. You steam distil something like corn husks with the right strength of H2SO4 and furfural comes over.
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