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  6. Biomass Evaluation

Biomass Evaluation

The usage of biomass resources is seen as a promising means to tackle the issue of global warming. Research continues to make progress on using energy, key chemical products, and industrial products produced from biomass as carbon-neutral resources. Sumika Chemical Analysis Service offers a range of support services to help realize a sustainable society, such as biofuel specification testing, composition analysis, and safety evaluation. We can even help to find useful chemical products based on the biorefinery concept. The following table lists just cases and evaluation items. Please contact us for other examples.

Evaluation Items of Biomass

Evaluation Examples Evaluation Items
Biofuel specification testing
  • Test whether biofuel conforms with standards
  • Confirm the calorific value of biofuel
  • Bioethanol JASO and JIS testing
  • Biodiesel JASO and JIS testing
  • Wood pellet testing
Biofuel composition analysis
  • Investigate causes of biofuel deposition and corrosion
  • Confirm incombustible components to improve combustion efficiency
  • Impurity (metal, organic acid, etc.) analysis
  • Gain understanding of methane fermentation and gas composition in each process in BTL plant
  • Investigate whether gases are being generated that could corrode plant pipes
  • Biogas composition analysis
Biochemical product composition analysis
  • Search for biomass materials and substances that could be used as high added-value products or key chemical products in manufacturing processes
  • Survey by-product composition to improve process yields
  • Lignin structure analysis using cryoprobe high sensitivity NMR
  • Biorefinery-related substance analysis
  • Key chemical product analysis (such as organic acids and monomers)
  • High added value product analysis
  • Saccharide analysis
  • Molecular weight analysis
    Biomass Evaluation
  • Survey factors inhibiting the biomass fermentation process in order to improve yield.
Fuel and product safety evaluation
  • Evaluate whether biofuel could corrode fuel system parts
  • Biofuel immersion test
  • Test according to Fire Service Act and confirm storage method for biofuel
Catalyst/powder/physical property test (catalyst evaluation)
  • Improve yield during the catalyst process in biofuel manufacturing processes
  • Reduce the amount of rare metals used in catalysts
  • Screen highly active enzymes to reduce the amount of enzymes used
  • Oxygen activity measurement
Biomass raw material evaluation
  • Survey composition differences across tree species in order to optimize raw materials
  • Cellulose and lignin fixed quantity
  • Confirm biomass raw material microstructure in order to improve enzymic saccharification ratio
  • Biomass raw material microstructure observation

Evaluation Examples

Risk assessment for recycled resource materials, etc.

With increasing concern over global warming and other environmental issues, active efforts are being made to reuse garbage, sewage sludge, and other waste as fuel, with the goal of transitioning to a recycling-oriented society. Wood pellets are also being increasingly used as biomass fuel in the industrial field and in home stoves and the like. Storing these recycled resource materials in large quantities for a long time can result in self-heating, spontaneous ignition, explosion, and other dangers. There have even been cases of large-scale accidents. For this reason, the National Research Institute of Fire and Disaster has investigated the risk posed by recycled resource materials, and has released the “Investigation and Examination Report on Ensuring Safety of Recycled Resource Materials.” In response, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has called for each prefecture in Japan to refer to the “Sewage Sludge Solid Fuel Calorific Property Evaluation Testing Manual (issued by Japan Sewage Works Agency)” and make sure that safety is managed.
The Sewage Sludge Solid Fuel Calorific Property Evaluation Testing Manual recommends the following risk assessment tests. Special care is required when using manufacturing methods and raw materials for which there are few examples of use and little knowledge.

Risk assessment test items and test methods

Recommended Test Items Test Method
Hazard evaluation test Generated gas analysis H2,CH4,CO GC/TCD
Fermentation test H2,CH4,CO,O2 GC/TCD
Dust explosion test Lower concentration limit JIS Z8818
Thermal analysis Thermogravimetric measurement TG-DTA
Calorific value SC-DSC
Vented pyrogenicity test SIT
Storage test Wire basket

We are capable of conducting all of these evaluation tests. Please contact us if you have any questions.

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