Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Field Demonstration of Grass Pellet Production(ST10052-1)

Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Law


Pellet-fired stoves have become increasingly popular for heating of residential and small commercial buildings. The production of pellet fuel can be limited by the availability of waste wood and sawdust from forestry operations. Further research is needed in the United States to increase the agricultural production of crops, such as traditional hay grasses and switchgrass,that can be used to produce pellet fuels. Extrusion processes also need to be developed or modified for production of pellet fuels from varying biomass feedstock, such as hay grasses.

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Project Description

Several species of grass hay (including switchgrass, reed canary grass, timothy and orchardgrass) as well as crop byproducts (soybean and corn stover) will be grown at the Cornell University Cooperative Extension research farm in Canton, New York. The hay and crop byproducts will be chopped in a hammer mill and fed into a hydraulic-powered extruder to produce one-quarter inch diameter grass pellets. The pellets will subsequently be burned in biomass-burning type furnaces that are outfitted with instrumentation. Initial combustion testing will be performed. SUNY Canton will assist in data collection, and analysis of energy performance and particulate emissions. Modifications to the test furnaces will be made as necessary to achieve improved combustion performance and ash management.


•Reduced consumption of fossil fuels •Reduced global warming emissions •Possible energy cost savings, depending on market prices for grass-based pellets, compared with natural gas, heating oil, and propane

Project Results


Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Law
1894 State Highway 68
Canton, NY 13617

Principle Investigator

Brent Buchanan

Universities Involved

Cornell University


Project Type:

Research Study

Technologies Types:

Indigenous Resources

NYSERDA Contact Information

Megan Bulman


R&D - Buildings Research

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST10052-1

Last Updated: 11/13/2013