Characterization of Guar Residues for Thermochemical Conversion to Fuels

Description:

Guar and guayule are two crops with potential for large-scale production in the arid Southwest. The target products are natural rubber, resin (for commodity chemicals), and bagasse (for liquid fuels) from guayule, and guar gum (emulsifier), guar meal (animal feed) and bagasse (for liquid fuels) from guar. This project is part of a larger USDA-funded and University of Arizona-led coordinated agricultural project with research, extension, outreach and education components.
One of the project’s research components is understanding the characteristics of the guar residue materials so that the potential conversion routes to liquid transportation fuels can be evaluated for technical and economic feasibility. Legume residues in general have not been much investigated for bioenergy and almost no information about guar materials (beyond the properties of the seeds and gums) exists in the literature. Characterization data gathered in this project will be used to inform best harvesting practices and to apply sustainability models to guar production in the desert Southwest.

Completion Objectives:

  • Collect guar residue materials from NMSU Plant Science Center test/demonstration plots and compile cultural practice information.
  • Characterize guar residue biomass using NREL methods for bioenergy crops.
  • Complete a literature review of available legume residue material properties and conversion research outcomes.
  • Draft relevant sections of the literature review and materials & methods chapters of an MS thesis.

Faculty Advisor:

Brewer

Required Competencies

CHME 441, CHME 452, CHEM 313

Student Researcher:

Travis LeDoux


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