Transport of Compressed Woody Biomass: Correlating Rheology and Microcompounder Measurements

Ehsan Fakhrabadi, Chris Kajzer, Jonathan Stickel, Matthew Liberatore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus Citations


Transport of milled solid biomass can be problematic in biomass conversion processes due to the material’s high cohesiveness, low bulk density, and poor flowability. Here, the goal is to investigate the flow behavior of compressed biomass under conditions similar to compression-screw feeders. To mimic the flow of woody biomass inside a compression-screw feeder, two lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks were fed to a co-rotating twin-screw microcompounder. Force and screw speed from the microcompounder were correlated to viscosity in a traditional rheometer, where low-density polyethylene served as a control. The deformation of compressed biomass in a lab-scale compounder is strongly dependent on screw speed and moisture content. Shear stress in woody biomass decreased with the shear rate, indicating negative plastic viscosity. Moreover, viscosity decreased one order of magnitude as screw speed increased from 10 to 90 rpm. Increasing moisture from 10 to 50% reduced the viscosity of the compressed biomass by 60%.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)11470-11478
Number of pages9
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
StatePublished - 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2800-79209


  • biomass
  • compressibility
  • rheology


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