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Hydrochar Enhanced Wood Pellets
Chemical and Materials Engineering
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The goal of this project was to design a process to manufacture industrial wood pellets with superior handling capabilities to traditional wood pellets without sacrificing the energy density of the pellets and conforming to standards. In the design of the process, the objectives were to minimize cost, environmental impacts, and industrial hazards. The sponsor of the project provided the specific constraints of a 30,000 ton per year production capacity and a pellet composition of 10% hydrochar and 90% loblolly pine. The key deliverables of the design process were also defined by the sponsor. A flowsheet for the process was created that includes process considerations for the minimization of fuel usage as well as minimization of waste production. Mass balances were performed for the entire process and energy balances were implemented where necessary. The process design includes a detailed HTC (Hydrothermal Carbonization) reactor design. Thorough economic analysis and hazard analysis were performed. The engineering design process and results of the project are provided in the sections that follow.