We have introduced CELLEBRIQTM in the above in terms of turn key applications as well as individual unit technologies.
Key to the technology is the initial briquetting, which launces a series of benefits to cellulosic ethanol production including logistics as well as the further downstream processing including final autohydrolysis pre-treatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, and the chemistry of process.
This series of advantages emanate from the initial briquetting, the first phase of CELLEBRIQTM.
The basic phenomena of briquetting:
The mechanical briquetting is a uniquely specific technology in terms of the working mechanism; a reciprocating piston at high speed and frequency, compresses raw straw with repeated strokes of the piston against the raw shredded straw in the dye of the mechanical press.
The stroke is one dimensional in that straw is simply and literally compacted in a split second by the horizontal movement of the piston, while at the same time dissipating the kinetic energy of the piston into the straw (hence the name Kinetic Biofuel A/S)
The result is astounding.
Straw, from being highly hydrophobic, is simply rendered highly hydrophilic! It now absorbs up to 10 times its own weight in water, which is exactly the property needed in order convert it to biofuels. It is necessary to mix it in water to achieve this conversion and it actually helps fundamentally that straw is rendered highly hydrophilic by this briquetting.
This technology does not compare to extrusion or similar technologies because the compaction is one dimensional (horizontal) and does not include grinding, milling, squeezing or in short extrusion.
This is essential because briquetting essentially conserves the original straw structural matrix arrangements (of cellulose and hemicellulose) allowing for unimpaired functions of hydrolytic enzymes.
Below please find a picture of an internode fiber from vascular bundle tissue of straw with parenchyma cells. The first picture is of the dry briquetted straw fiber and the second picture is of the rewetted fiber. As may be seen, the individual cells are completely filled with water and therefore available for enzymatic and microbial digestion.
Please also note the video of the same rewetting sequence, where the actual rewetting is filmed in real time.
The study of the effect of briquetting and the photos and videos are produced by Copenhagen University for Biofuel Technology A/S under the auspices of the Innovationsfund project 101-2014-1: Effective production of biofuel – via compression and plug flow hydrolysis.
As may be seen from the pictures and videos the compacted straw internode fiber simply springs back into its original shape due to water rapidly penetrating into and filling all pores of the fiber. See additional video in real time here
Dry briquetted internode fiber from a vascular bundle of wheat straw
The rewetted briquetted internode fiber from a vascular bundle of wheat straw
The video: here details in real time how water is rapidly absorbed by the wheat straw internode fiber parenchyma cells:
The uniqueness of the technology is additionally used in the production of bedding material by the company EasyAgriCare. They exploit the absorbing nature of the rendered straw as a prime feature of bedding material; which subsequently may very well be co-digested by anaerobic digestion or even cellulosic ethanol.