Theses and Dissertations


Cody Blake

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Street, Jason T.

Committee Member

Seale, R. Dan

Committee Member

Barnes, H. Michael

Committee Member

Wan, Hui

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Forest Resources

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Forest Resources


Department of Sustainable Bioproducts


The objectives of this dissertation’s studies were to determine the effects of different additives on biomass wood pellets’ physical properties and the production energy required to produce each treatment. Chapter II was completed using a pneumatic pelletizer as a small scale test to determine effects of different additives. The pneumatic pelletizer was a good indicator of which additives can be successfully pelletized. The results of this chapter show that using bio-oil can significantly increase calorific value, without significantly decreasing durability and significantly increasing production energy required. Corn starch, in a 4% treatment, was shown to not hinder durability or calorific value significantly, but significantly lower production energy. Biochar was shown to be an additive insignificant in production due to such a low durability. Chapter III is a scaled up pelleting study, which takes additives from Chapter II as well as multiple new additives to determine each one’s effects on the physical properties and production energy effects. The larger scale, Sprout Walden pelletizer gave much different results than that of the pneumatic pelletizer. The results tend to prove beneficial to durability, calorific value, and bulk density with multiple of the treatments. Vegetable oil was a treatment shown to be less beneficial with each increase in additive and would not be recommended in a production setting at such levels. Chapter IV focused on the economic effect of the pellets produced in Chapter III. Equations were made to determine the possible marginal revenue using each of the treatments. The marginal revenue equations take into account the changes in durability and calorific value. Biochar 4%, and vegetable oil at 1% and 2% show that an increase in marginal revenue could be possible with these treatments.