Switchgrass, also know as panicum virgatum, is a perennial gramineous plant naturally grown in the North United States. Because of the abounding cellulose content, it begins to become famous as a bio energy crop for processing biofuel pellets, briquettes, boiler fuel to reduce petroleum use and cut down greenhouse gas production during heating. Scientists from America and Britain have done a lot of researches on the potential bio energy resource and they developed tens of species of the switchgrass to promote its application for biofuel processing.
Benefits of Switchgrass for Bio-pellet Processing
Switchgrass is adaptable with a variety of environment. It grows well in arid grassland, saline-alkali land and open forests. It’s teeming crop and will get the largest yield at the third year after planting. Extra care is not necessary, however, periodically mowing is needed to promote its growing. Through test and analysis, the main ingredients of dry switchgrass are cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. By comparing, the calorific value of switchgrass when burning is equal to 70%-80% heat of coal of the same quality. As we all know, wood waste and biomass energy crop are the main source of the biomass fuel resources. With high carbon content and low price, the switchgrass has great potential to be an important raw material in the early stage of biomass energy development
Switchgrass Pellets Making Procedure
The switchgrass pellets processing includes these steps: raw material collecting, drying ,crushing, pelletizing, cooling and packing. The switchgrass is low in price and it won’t cost much for collecting and transport. After drying and crushing, a bio-pellet machine is needed to processing the switchgrass sawdust into biomass fuel pellets. After cooling and packing, the biofuel switchgrass pellets can be store for use or transport to market for sale. Besides pellets, switchgrass can be processed into briquettes or powder to heat for home or commercial use.
Consumption Market and Prospects of Switchgrass Pellets
The production of transportation fuels, such as ethanol, and the traditional electricity are two big applications of biomass energy resources. Besides pellets, switchgrass can also be used for processing a wide variety biofuel such as briquettes, powder, boiler fuel and alcohol. With high yield, high carbon content and low cost, the switchgrass is quite suitable for biomass energy processing. That is to say, switchgrass has great potential to be an important raw material in the early stage of biomass energy development.