Dr. Yuanhui Zhang
Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Ph.D., Agricultural Engineering,
University of Saskatchewan, Canada, 1989
332C AESB, MC-644
1304 W. Pennsylvania Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801
A thermochemical conversion process, consisting of a batch reactor and a continuous reactor, has be successfully developed to convert swine manure into crude oil. The processors need to be modified to handle the cellulose and fibrous materials. In 2005, we replaced the high pressure pumping system with a hydraulic continuous feeding system more suited for fiber stream supply. Preliminary batch tests were conducted at temperatures of 285, 305, and 325 degrees C without using any process gases. At 325 degrees C, we were able to obtain a combination of char/tar type of product, indicating that oxidation occurred during the conversion process. Our next step is to experiment with processing Miscanthus at a higher temperature (350 degrees C) with different process gases. Currently, we are in the process of modifying the reactor so a different process gas can be used to replace the headspace oxygen, thus reducing the oxidation of during processing and producing oil.