Determining the Potential of Inedible Weed Biomass for Bio-Energy and Ethanol Production

Siripong Premjet, Boondarick Pumira, Duangporn Premjet

Abstract


Surveys of indigenous weeds in six provinces located in the low northern part of Thailand were undertaken to determine the potential of weed
biomass for bio-energy and bio-ethanol. The results reveal that most of the weed samples had low moisture contents and high lower heating values (LHVs). The LHVs at the highest level, ranging from 17.7 to 18.9 Mg/kg, and at the second highest level, ranging from 16.4 to 17.6 Mg/kg, were obtained from 11 and 31 weed species, respectively. It was found that most of the collected weed samples contained high cellulose and low lignin contents. Additionally, an estimate of the theoretical ethanol
yields based on the amount of cellulose and hemicellulose in each weed species indicated that a high ethanol yield resulted from weed biomasses with high cellulose and hemicellulose contents. Among the collected weed species, the highest level of ethanol yield, ranging from 478.9 to 548.5 L/ton (substrate), was achieved from 11 weed species. It was demonstrated that most of the collected weed species tested have the potential for thermal conversion and can be used as substrates for ethanol production.

Keywords


Weed; Biomass; Bioenergy; Low heating values (LHVs); Theoretical ethanol yield

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