Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulation of Lignocellulosic Biomass Transport in a Compression-Screw Feeder

Mohammad Rahimi, Hariswaran Sitaraman, James Lischeske, David Sievers, Erik Kuhn, Jonathan Stickel

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


There is continued interest in lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks for producing power, heat, and transportation liquid fuels in order to increase energy diversification and security. However, there are a few problems associated with the biomass production that must be resolved before biorefineries are considered economical. One of these problematic operations is the process of feeding biomass to reactor systems. Compression-screw feeders have been widely used as a way to fulfill this purpose. However, due to variability of feedstock properties and its complex challenges, production plants operate at less than 50% of their design capacity due to process upsets along with mechanical wear and failure. The objective of this study is to numerically investigate the screw-feeder operation and performance for various biomass physical properties and under different operating conditions. Therefore, the findings from this study will reduce the number of physical experiments needed to improve the plant design.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2018
Event2018 AIChE Annual Meeting - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Duration: 28 Oct 20182 Nov 2018


Conference2018 AIChE Annual Meeting
CityPittsburgh, Pennsylvania

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-2C00-71365


  • CFD
  • dynamic mesh simulation
  • non-Newtonian
  • screw-feeder


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