Overview

Project status: In progress

This project addresses the fundamental problem of safely storing bagasse (sugar cane fibre residue) in large stockpiles in order to significantly extend its availability as a high quality feedstock for renewable energy products.

This will be achieved by applying an innovative, multi-scale, mathematical modelling approach to develop a computational model that accurately predicts the temperature and moisture profiles of large scale stockpiles. The modelling work will be motivated and validated by a series of experimental investigations performed at the laboratory-scale on small samples of bagasse as well as on two purpose built 40,000 tonne, commercial-scale, bagasse stockpiles.

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Spontaneous Combustion of Bagasse

Enable the development of bagasse as a financially viable feedstock in the production of renewable energy products such as diesel, ethanol and electricity.

The model developed in this project will be used as a cutting edge design tool by the Australian sugar industry in order to build stockpiles which maximise storage capacity while minimising the risk of spontaneous combustion. This will enable the development of bagasse as a financially viable feedstock in the production of renewable energy products such as diesel, ethanol and electricity. In addition, the methodology developed in this project will have broader applicability in situations where the stockpiling of biomass materials occurs, such as the woodchip, grain and composting industries.

This project is a collaboration between researchers in the Mathematical discipline, the Sugar Research and Innovation Group at QUT and industrial scientists from a syndicate of 14 Australian sugar mills, ranging in geographical location from northern New South Wales to Far North Queensland.

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  • Sugar Research and Innovation Group

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