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Figure 1
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Mechanical Engineering
Team 5

Team Members

Advisor

Jevon Chambers
Alexander Davlos

Bryan Weber

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Optimizing Biochar Production and Quality from Cow Manure and Food Waste

BioMass Controls is a sanitation company whose main focus is their biogenic refinery system. It is a system which processes waste, such as pressed manure, human waste, or other biomaterials.The waste acts as fuel and enters into the system by way of the fuel auger, and is then dropped into the pyrolysis pot where it is subject to a combustion-pyrolysis process. In this process, some of the fuel is combusted in order to create high temperatures which is necessary for the rest of the fuel to pyrolyze. Not only does this this process create a cleaner burn than regular combustion, but the smoke that it does create is filtered through a catalyst which reacts with the smoke cleaning it further. What you are left with at the bottom of the pyrolysis pot is biochar, which is mostly carbon and inorganic ash. This biochar is pulled out of the pot by the char auger, making room for more fuel to be continuously fed in. Currently BioMass is developing the final stage of the system, and our team has been tasked with the objective of optimizing the production of biochar and its quality. After researching key qualities in biochar as well as their system, our team concluded that the best approach to improving biochar quality could be found in the quenching component to their system.