NC State
BioResources
Yao, X., Xu, K., and Liang, Y. (2016). "Research on the thermo-physical properties of corncob residues as gasification feedstock and assessment for characterization of corncob ash from gasification," BioRes. 11(4), 9823-9841.

Abstract

Harnessing energy from biomass is environmentally friendly because of the essentially zero net CO2 impact. As a common agricultural byproduct, corncobs are abundant in quantity. This study was carried out to examine the thermo-physical properties of corncobs and characterize the properties of corncob ash produced from gasification, in order to provide a basis for transforming it into value-added products. The results showed that the pyrolysis of corncobs followed a three-step, stepwise mechanism. Activation energies calculated by the Coats-Redfern method at heating rates of 5, 10, and 20 °C/min were 79.08, 76.73, and 75.78 kJ·mol-1, respectively, implying that the corncobs could be decomposed easily at high heating rates. The emissions of CO, CO2, CH4, H2, H2O, and O2 during pyrolysis corresponded well with thermal curves. Corncob ash could be a good fertilizer because of its high contents of K, P, and Ca. The high SiO2 content makes the corncob ash suitable for ceramics and blended cement concrete. Sylvite (KCl) and quartz (SiO2) were the two major crystal phases in the corncob ash. Relatively large particles of unburnt carbon residues in the ash indicated that low-cost adsorbent could be developed from these carbon residues.


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