Masters Theses

Keywords and Phrases



"Biomass field liquefaction is a concept where green biomass is chemically treated to produce organic liquids using small-scale equipment in the field. If liquefaction occurs as the crop is harvested, the energy requirements for growing the biomass can be charged to the crop as if the biomass were left in the field. The energy in the organic liquid product is available at the expense of the energy required by the process. A simplified process was simulated using ASPEN to assess the energy production feasibility.

Acid catalyzed liquefaction of cellulose and hemicellulose solids produces furfural and hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF). The simulation assumed furfural from xylans and HMF from hexosans were the only organic products. Reaction rate was regressed from published data. Complete physical properties were estimated for HMF using group contribution methods (Marrero-Pardillo, critical properties; Benson, ideal gas heat capacity and standard heat of formation; UNIFAC, vapor-liquid-liquid equilibrium).

Two figures of merit were determined over a range of process temperatures, residence times, and feed compositions (xylan, hexosan, and a mixture representative of corn stover). Maximum energy recovery ratio was nearly 2/3 and represents the ratio of combustion energy in the organic liquid product minus energy required for the reactor to biomass feed combustion energy. This value occurred at short residence time, desirable for field liquefaction. The product to process energy ratio is the ratio of the combustion energy in the organic liquid product to the process energy requirements. The 9:1 maximum occurred with low temperature and high conversion (long residence time). The value was greater than 7:1 for high temperature and conversion (short residence time), which compares favorably with the enzymatic ethanol biomass reported value of 2.61:1."--Abstract, page iii.


Book, Neil L.

Committee Member(s)

Al-Dahhan, Muthanna H.
Smith, Joseph D.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Chemical Engineering


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Summer 2014


viii, 54 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 52-53).


© 2014 Zachary Daniel King, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Chemical process control -- Simulation methods

Thesis Number

T 10515

Electronic OCLC #