Japanese researchers find new method for effective compression of plant biomass for alternate fuel

January 5, 2023 |

In Japan, the University of Okayama said that a group of researchers have developed a novel mechanical compression method to squeeze maximum benefits from plant biomass for alternate fuel and anti-viral applications. “Biomass is readily available in nature and its organic composition makes it a top choice for an environment-friendly energy resource. However, plant biomass contains more than 50% moisture, which needs to be reduced by mechanical methods or through heating and natural seasoning to about 35% for increasing the power generation efficiency when used as fuel. For optimal benefits, this drying process should be fast, economic, and energy efficient,” the university said. After compression, the researchers crushed and pelletized the residues to determine their combustion performance, an indicator of their potential as biomass for power generation. The liquid obtained as a byproduct of compression was filtered, its lignin content and structure determined, and its antiviral properties evaluated using cell viability assays. Dr. Yuta Nishina from the Research Core for Interdisciplinary Sciences at the Okayama University, said: “The non-chemically extracted water soluble lignin obtained by this method can find applications in the fields of medicine, cosmetics, and livestock husbandry.” Besides, the high-carbon content water-soluble lignin may find use in carbon nanomaterial production and contribute to reducing carbon-driven pollution, the university said.

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Category: Research

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