Storage numerical simulation models for moisture migration

Storage numerical simulation models for moisture migration 

Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has developed a model for describing dry matter loss from microbial degradation and moisture migration in a variety of industrial storage configurations.

Biomass is susceptible to fungal and microbial degradation at moisture contents above about 25 percent, leading to physical and chemical degradation that negatively impacts feeding, handling and conversion operations. Our simulations generally represent a bed of moist biomass with internal heating caused by microbial respiration of the biomass

The model uses numerical simulations to solve the partial differential equations describing the flow of air and water vapor through biomass material in four industrial-scale storage techniques:

  1. Open storage or unprotected stacks,
  2. Tarped stacks,
  3. Permanent structures such as hoop sheds and pole barns, and
  4. Anaerobic storage using wrapped stacks.

Each method has use in different conditions of climate, biomass cost and moisture content, storage duration and timing of use.

The model will aid in predicting the evolution of moisture content and dry matter loss in stored biomass.