Title

Assessing the Energy Production Potential of Mississippi Crops and Crop Residue Using Adiabatic Bomb Calorimetry

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-1-2014

Department

Chemistry and Biochemistry

School

Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Abstract

A variety of crops and crop components are being considered for their potential as alternative fuel sources for synthesis of biofuels. Development and continued improvements in conversion technologies have increased potential sources of alternative fuels. More importantly, recycling of crop residues formerly discarded as waste may enhance the sustainability of agricultural production. We are interested in exploring the total potential energy stored in crops and crop residue. Caloric values of all portions of several agricultural crops commonly grown in Mississippi were measured by adiabatic bomb calorimetry to evaluate their potential as an energy source. Corn, cotton, rice, soybeans, sweet potatoes and winter wheat were included in this study. Crops were grown and harvested under traditional production practices. Total crop biomass was harvested, and separated into individual plant components. Total energy content of each plant component was determined using standard procedures for adiabatic bomb calorimetry. Additional parameters evaluated were moisture content, density, and ash content. The experimental results show that corn cobs, cotton seeds and stalks, soybean seeds and leaves, sweet potatoes, and wheat have sufficient energy to make them feasible to use as alternative fuel sources. Efficiency of conversion of biomass will reduce the net potential energy production of this biomass material.

Publication Title

Journal of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences

Volume

59

Issue

3

First Page

396

Last Page

407

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