A new prototype of harvester for the increasing of the chip size of Arundo donax (L.)
Assirelli, A.; Santangelo, E.; Acampora, A.; Del Giudice, A.; Civitarese, V.; Pari, L.
Sixth edition of the International Conference on Agricultural Development and Sustainability Agrocentro 2014, 9 - 11 April 2014 VI Symposium of Agriculture Engineering
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Raciel Lima Orozco
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The particle size distribution is one of the main parameter affecting the compliance of a feedstock to the requirements claimed for energy purposes. Giant reed (Arundo donax L.), one of the most promising energy crop, is currently harvested using the common self-propelled forage harvesters. Often the final product presents a distribution skewed towards the finer particles that can negatively influence the qualitative traits of fuel and on the efficiency of power plants. The Consiglio per la ricerca e la sperimentazione in agricoltura, in collaboration with Spapperi Ltd, has designed and developed a prototype for cutting and sectioning the Arundo plants aimed at producing a higher proportion of chips longer than the ones obtainable from a common harvester for forage crop. A study has been conducted in order to assess the performance of the prototype and to evaluate the characteristics of the product obtained. In order to obtain a feedstock with different length, the counter-blades (positioned on the frame of rotor), were installed or removed, this latter setup aimed at reducing the additional fragmentation of the stems. The first results have been shown that the lengthening of the particle size may be possible. In a perspective view, the further improvement of the prototype efficiency will positively affect the feedstock quality, the availability of mechanical solutions, the extension of the harvesting windows and, finally, the diversification of the final utilization