Effects of Harvest Maturity on the Chemical and Energetic Properties of Corn Stover Biomass Combustion

Wojcieszak D., Przybył J., Czajkowski Ł., Majka J., Pawłowski A. (2022). Effects of Harvest Maturity on the Chemical and Energetic Properties of Corn Stover Biomass Combustion. Materials 15(8), 2831.

Over the last decade, there has been increased interest in applying biomass as a raw material for producing biofuels used for thermochemical conversions. Extensive use of biomass could lead to controversial competition for arable land, water, and food; therefore, only waste materials and agricultural by-products and residues should be used to produce biofuels. One suitable by-product of agricultural production is crop residue from the harvest of maize for grain (corn stover). The harvest residues of corn stover consist of four fractions, i.e., husks, leaves, cobs, and stalks, which are structurally and morphologically distinct. The aim of the study was to determine the effect of selected maize cultivars with distinct FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) earliness classifications on the chemical and energetic properties of their corn cob cores. We determined the chemical properties based on elemental analysis, and the energy properties based on the heat of combustion and calorific values. The content of ash and volatile compounds in the corn cobs were also determined. The results indicated that the heat of combustion of fresh and seasoned corn cob cores ranged from 7.62–10.79 MJ/kg and 16.19–16.53 MJ/kg, respectively. The heat of combustion and calorific value of corn cob cores in the fresh state differed significantly and were strongly correlated with maize cultivars with distinct FAO earliness.

https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15082831

Keywords: corn stover; corn cobs; high heat value; combustion; corn stover fraction