||Technology in Australia 1788-1988
Table of Contents
I The Present Energy Economy
II Australian Energy Consumption
III Research And Development
V Oil And Natural Gas
VI Solar Energy
VII Nuclear Energy
VIII Bagasse Firewood And Other Biomass
iii Other biomass
IX Electric Power Generation And Distribution electric Power Generation And Distribution
X Manufactured Gas
XI Industrial Process Heat
Bagasse (continued)As a result of the good research effort and good application of the results by the technologists in the mills, Australia is the acknowledged world leader in milling theory and performance. The effect of this is that Australian final bagasse has a moisture level of 45 to 50 per cent, whereas overseas the moisture level is generally 50 to 56 per cent. Australia has also led the world in its development of chopped-cane harvesting and is giving increased attention to cleaning of billets of cane in the harvesting operation. By reducing the level of soil entering the factory the plant can be maintained in better condition and sand in the final bagasse is reduced. These improvements give a significant improvement to the calorific value of the fuel and as a consequence bagasse has been made a more attractive fuel.
The greatest drawback for the storage and transport of bagasse is its low bulk density (130-160 kg/cubic metre as fired). Work done by Sugar Research Institute (SRI) in Mackay has shown that bagasse may be baled with some difficulty; made into 8 mm diameter pellets with great difficulty and with high wear; and made into 100 mm diameter logs at some expense but with fewer problems.
SRI has developed new techniques for drying and subjecting bagasse to pressure by rolling (as in milling), then constraining it for a period immediately upon its discharge from the constriction of the rollers. This has resulted in bulk densities of about 600 kg/cubic metre. The work followed on from studies made in co-operation with the University of Queensland's Department of Mechanical Engineering; they established relationships for parameters: moisture content, pressure, temperature and dwell time, in forming a stable, high-density bagasse product (MacArthur 1981). Methods were developed at SRI for drying bagasse by conveying it in a high temperature air stream (Edwards, 1981).
The potential of bagasse as a fuel has been enhanced by the current work with a prototype swirl-burner at SRI (Dixon, 1987). This is discussed in the section of this report dealing with Industrial Process Heat. (See p. 842).
Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Sugar Research Institute, Mackay; University of Queensland
People in Bright Sparcs - Dixon, T. F.; Edwards, B. P.; MacArthur, D. S.
© 1988 Print Edition pages 821 - 822, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher