Academic Venture Fund - 2009

Micropowdered Biomass Combustion

Wood burning flames

Converting solid biomass to liquid fuels is a primary focus of biomass energy research—but this conventional approach wastes much of the available plant energy. When the plant itself is burned directly to generate heat, the full fuel energy of the biomass is released. Burner design remains a challenge. Cornell researchers will test a prototype of an innovative micropowdered biomass combustion system to characterize emissions and determine how to control pollutant levels. Initial experiments will use powdered hardwoods, the most abundant biomass feedstock in upstate New York. This clean combustion technology offers a local, sustainable energy solution with the potential to replace liquid fuels like heating oil, kerosene, and propane.

Investigators: Robert Thorne, Elizabeth Fisher, Frederick Gouldin, K. Max Zhang, Antonio Bento