Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

biofuels Related Abstracts

11 Sustainable Energy Production from Microalgae in Queshm Island, Persian Gulf

Authors: N. Moazami, R. Ranjbar, A. Ashori


Out of hundreds of microalgal strains reported, only very few of them are capable for production of high content of lipid. Therefore, the key technical challenges include identifying the strains with the highest growth rates and oil contents with adequate composition, which were the main aims of this work. From 147 microalgae screened for high biomass and oil productivity, the Nannochloropsis sp. PTCC 6016, which attained 52% lipid content, was selected for large scale cultivation in Persian Gulf Knowledge Island. Nannochloropsis strain PTCC 6016 belongs to Eustigmatophyceae (Phylum heterokontophyta) isolated from Mangrove forest area of Qheshm Island and Persian Gulf (Iran) in 2008. The strain PTCC 6016 had an average biomass productivity of 2.83 g/L/day and 52% lipid content. The biomass productivity and the oil production potential could be projected to be more than 200 tons biomass and 100000 L oil per hectare per year, in an outdoor algal culture (300 day/year) in the Persian Gulf climate.

Keywords: biofuels, Microalgae, Nannochloropsis, raceway open pond, bio-jet

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10 A New Tactical Optimization Model for Bioenergy Supply Chain

Authors: Christian Prins, Birome Holo Ba, Caroline Prodhon


Optimization is an important aspect of logistics management. It can reduce significantly logistics costs and also be a good tool for decision support. In this paper, we address a planning problem specific to biomass supply chain. We propose a new mixed integer linear programming (MILP) model dealing with different feed stock production operations such as harvesting, packing, storage, pre-processing and transportation, with the objective of minimizing the total logistic cost of the system on a regional basis. It determines the optimal number of harvesting machine, the fleet size of trucks for transportation and the amount of each type of biomass harvested, stored and pre-processed in each period to satisfy demands of refineries in each period. We illustrate the effectiveness of the proposal model with a numerical example, a case study in Aube (France department), which gives preliminary and interesting, results on a small test case.

Keywords: Supply Chain, Modelling, Optimization, biofuels, Bioenergy, Biomass Logistics

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9 Synthesis of Biofuels of New Generation

Authors: Selena Gutiérrez, Araceli Martínez


One of the most important challenges worldwide, scientific and technological, is to have a sustainable energy source; friendly to the environment and widely available. Currently, the 85% of the energy used comes from the fossil sources. Another important environmental problem is that several rubber products (tires, gloves, hoses, among others) are discarded practically without any treatment. In nature, the degradation of such products will take at least 500 years. In 2009, the worldwide rubber production was about 23.6 million tons. In order to solve this problems, our research focus in an alternative synthesis of biofuels in a two-step approach: The metathesis degradation of industrial rubber (models of rubber waste), and the oligomers transesterification. Thus, cis-1,4-polybutadiene (Mn= 9.1x105, Mw/Mn= 2.2) and styrene-butadiene block copolymers with 30% (Mn= 1.61x105; Mw/Mn= 1.3) and 21% wt styrene (Mn= 1.92x105; Mw/Mn= 1.4) were degraded via metathesis with soybean oil as chain transfer agent (CTA) and green solvent; using [(PCy3)2Cl2Ru=CHPh] and [(1,3-diphenyl-4,5-dihydroimidazol-2-ylidene)(PCy3)Ru=CHPh] catalysts. Afterwards, the products were transesterified by basic homogeneous catalysis. Before transesterification, the polystyrene microblocks (Mn= 16,761; Mw/Mn= 1.2) were isolated. Finally, the biofuels obtained (BO) were purified, characterized and showed similar properties to standards biodiesel (SB) (Norms: EN 14214-03 and ASTM D6751-02), i.e. (SB / BO): molecular weight [Daltons] (570 / 543-596), density [g/cm3] (0.86-0.90 / 0.88), kinematic viscosity [mm2/s] (1.90-6.0 / 3.5-4.5), iodine (97 / 97-98) and cetane number (Min.47 / 56-58).

Keywords: biofuels, vegetable oils, metathesis, industrial rubber

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8 Macroalgae as a Gaseous Fuel Option: Potential and Advanced Conversion Technologies

Authors: Muhammad Rizwan Tabassum, Ao Xia, Jerry D. Murphy


The aim of this work is to provide an overview of macroalgae as an alternative feedstock for gaseous fuel production and key innovative technologies. Climate change and continuously depleting resources are the key driving forces to think for alternative sources of energy. Macroalgae can be favored over land based energy crops because they are not in direct competition with food crops. However, some drawbacks, such as high moisture content, seasonal variation in chemical composition and process inhibition limit the economic practicability. Macroalgae, like brown seaweed can be converted into gaseous and liquid fuel by different conversion technologies. Biomethane via anaerobic digestion is the appealing technology due to its dual advantage of a commercially applicable and environment friendly technology. Other technologies like biodiesel and bioethanol conversion technologies from seaweed are still under progress. Screening of high yielding macroalgae species, peak harvesting season and process optimization make the technology economically feasible for alternative source of feedstock for biofuel production in future.

Keywords: biofuels, macroalgae, Anaerobic Digestion, bio-methane, advanced conversion technologies

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7 Biofuels from Hybrid Poplar: Using Biochemicals and Wastewater Treatment as Opportunities for Early Adoption

Authors: Kevin W. Zobrist, Patricia A. Townsend, Nora M. Haider


Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest (AHB) is a consortium funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to research the potential for a system to produce advanced biofuels (jet fuel, diesel, and gasoline) from hybrid poplar in the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. An Extension team was established as part of the project to examine community readiness and willingness to adopt hybrid as a purpose-grown bioenergy crop. The Extension team surveyed key stakeholder groups, including growers, Extension professionals, policy makers, and environmental groups, to examine attitudes and concerns about growing hybrid poplar for biofuels. The surveys found broad skepticism about the viability of such a system. The top concern for most stakeholder groups was economic viability and the availability of predictable markets. Growers had additional concerns stemming from negative past experience with hybrid poplar as an unprofitable endeavor for pulp and paper production. Additional barriers identified included overall land availability and the availability of water and water rights for irrigation in dry areas of the region. Since the beginning of the project, oil and natural gas prices have plummeted due to rapid increases in domestic production. This has exacerbated the problem with economic viability by making biofuels even less competitive than fossil fuels. However, the AHB project has identified intermediate market opportunities to use poplar as a renewable source for other biochemicals produced by petroleum refineries, such as acetic acid, ethyl acetate, ethanol, and ethylene. These chemicals can be produced at a lower cost with higher yields and higher, more-stable prices. Despite these promising market opportunities, the survey results suggest that it will still be challenging to induce growers to adopt hybrid poplar. Early adopters will be needed to establish an initial feedstock supply for a budding industry. Through demonstration sites and outreach events to various stakeholder groups, the project attracted interest from wastewater treatment facilities, since these facilities are already growing hybrid poplar plantations for applying biosolids and treated wastewater for further purification, clarification, and nutrient control through hybrid poplar’s phytoremediation capabilities. Since these facilities are already using hybrid poplar, selling the wood as feedstock for a biorefinery would be an added bonus rather than something requiring a high rate of return to compete with other crops and land uses. By holding regional workshops and conferences with wastewater professionals, AHB Extension has found strong interest from wastewater treatment operators. In conclusion, there are several significant barriers to developing a successful system for producing biofuels from hybrid poplar, with the largest barrier being economic viability. However, there is potential for wastewater treatment facilities to serve as early adopters for hybrid poplar production for intermediate biochemicals and eventually biofuels.

Keywords: wastewater treatment, biofuels, biochemicals, hybrid poplar

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6 Saccharification and Bioethanol Production from Banana Pseudostem

Authors: Noeli Sellin, Cintia Marangoni, Ozair Souza, Elias L. Souza


Among the different forms of reuse and recovery of agro-residual waste is the production of biofuels. The production of second-generation ethanol has been evaluated and proposed as one of the technically viable alternatives for this purpose. This research work employed the banana pseudostem as biomass. Two different chemical pre-treatment methods (acid hydrolisis with H2SO4 2% w/w and alkaline hydrolysis with NaOH 3% w/w) of dry and milled biomass (70 g/L of dry matter, ms) were assessed, and the corresponding reducing sugars yield, AR, (YAR), after enzymatic saccharification, were determined. The effect on YAR by increasing the dry matter (ms) from 70 to 100 g/L, in dry and milled biomass and also fresh, were analyzed. Changes in cellulose crystallinity and in biomass surface morphology due to the different chemical pre-treatments were analyzed by X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. The acid pre-treatment resulted in higher YAR values, whether related to the cellulose content under saccharification (RAR = 79,48) or to the biomass concentration employed (YAR/ms = 32,8%). In a comparison between alkaline and acid pre-treatments, the latter led to an increase in the cellulose content of the reaction mixture from 52,8 to 59,8%; also, to a reduction of the cellulose crystallinity index from 51,19 to 33,34% and increases in RAR (43,1%) and YAR/ms (39,5%). The increase of dry matter (ms) bran from 70 to 100 g/L in the acid pre-treatment, resulted in a decrease of average yields in RAR (43,1%) and YAR/ms (18,2%). Using the pseudostem fresh with broth removed, whether for 70 g/L concentration or 100 g/L in dry matter (ms), similarly to the alkaline pre-treatment, has led to lower average values in RAR (67,2% and 42,2%) and in YAR/ms (28,4% e 17,8%), respectively. The acid pre-treated and saccharificated biomass broth was detoxificated with different activated carbon contents (1,2 and 4% w/v), concentrated up to AR = 100 g/L and fermented by Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The yield values (YP/AR) and productivity (QP) in ethanol were determined and compared to those values obtained from the fermentation of non-concentrated/non-detoxificated broth (AR = 18 g/L) and concentrated/non-detoxificated broth (AR = 100 g/L). The highest average value for YP/AR (0,46 g/g) was obtained from the fermentation of non-concentrated broth. This value did not present a significant difference (p<0,05) when compared to the YP/RS related to the broth concentrated and detoxificated by activated carbon 1% w/v (YP/AR = 0,41 g/g). However, a higher ethanol productivity (QP = 1,44 g/L.h) was achieved through broth detoxification. This value was 75% higher than the average QP determined using concentrated and non-detoxificated broth (QP = 0,82 g/L.h), and 22% higher than the QP found in the non-concentrated broth (QP = 1,18 g/L.h).

Keywords: biomass, biofuels, Bioethanol, saccharification

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5 Production of Bioethanol through Hydrolysis of Agro-Industrial Banana Crop Residues

Authors: Sánchez Acuña, Juan Camilo, Granados Gómez, Mildred Magaly, Navarrete Rodríguez, Luisa Fernanda


Nowadays, the main biofuels source production as bioethanol is food crops. This means a high competition between foods and energy production. For this reason, it is necessary to take into account the use of new raw materials friendly to the environment. The main objective of this paper is to evaluate the potential of the agro-industrial banana crop residues in the production of bioethanol. A factorial design of 24 was used, the design has variables such as pH, time and concentration of hydrolysis, another variable is the time of fermentation that is of 7 or 15 days. In the hydrolysis phase, the pH is acidic (H2SO4) or basic (NaOH), the time is 30 or 15 minutes and the concentration is 0.1 or 0.5 M. It was observed that basic media, low concentrations, fermentation, and higher pretreatment times produced better performance in terms of biofuel obtained.

Keywords: biofuels, Bioethanol, Hydrolysis, banana waste

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4 The Potential of Sown Pastures as Feedstock for Biofuels in Brazil

Authors: Danilo G. De Quadros


Biofuels are a priority in the renewable energy agenda. The utilization of tropical grasses to ethanol production is a real opportunity to Brazil reaches the world’s leadership in biofuels production because there are 100 million hectares of sown pastures, which represent 20% of all land and 80% of agricultural areas. Basically, nowadays tropical grasses are used to raise livestock. The results obtained in this research could bring tremendous advance not only to national technology and economy but also to improve social and environmental aspects. Thus, the objective of this work was to estimate, through well-established international models, the potential of biofuels production using sown tropical pastures as feedstocks and to compare the results with sugarcane ethanol, considering state-of-art of conversion technology, advantages and limitations factors. There were used data from national and international literature about forage yield and biochemical conversion yield. Some scenarios were studied to evaluate potential advantages and limitations for cellulosic ethanol production, since non-food feedstock appeal to conversion strategies, passing through harvest, densification, logistics, environmental impacts (carbon and water cycles, nutrient recycling and biodiversity), and social aspects. If Brazil used only 1% of sown pastures to ethanol production by biochemical pathway, with average dry matter yield of 15 metric tons per hectare per year (there are results of 40 tons), resulted annually in 721 billion liters, that represents 10 times more than sugarcane ethanol projected by the Government in 2030. However, more research is necessary to take the results to commercial scale with competitive costs, considering many strategies and methods applied in ethanol production using cellulosic feedstock.

Keywords: biofuels, Sustainability, cellulosic ethanol, biochemical pathway

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3 Assessment of Biofuel Feedstock Production on Arkansas State Highway Transportation Department's Marginalized Lands

Authors: Ross J. Maestas


Biofuels are derived from multiple renewable bioenergy feedstocks including animal fats, wood, starchy grains, and oil seeds. Transportation agencies have considered growing the latter two on underutilized and nontraditional lands that they manage, such as in the Right of Way (ROW), abandoned weigh stations, and at maintenance yards. These crops provide the opportunity to generate revenue or supplement fuel once converted and offer a solution to increasing fuel costs and instability by creating a ‘home-grown’ alternative. Biofuels are non-toxic, biodegradable, and emit less Green House Gasses (GHG) than fossil fuels, therefore allowing agencies to meet sustainability goals and regulations. Furthermore, they enable land managers to achieve soil erosion and roadside aesthetic strategies. The research sought to understand if the cultivation of a biofuel feedstock within the Arkansas State Highway Transportation Department’s (AHTD) managed and marginalized lands is feasible by identifying potential land areas and crops. To determine potential plots the parcel data was downloaded from Arkansas’s GIS office. ArcGIS was used to query the data for all variations of the names of property owned by AHTD and a KML file was created that identifies the queried parcel data in Google Earth. Furthermore, biofuel refineries in the state were identified to optimize the harvest to transesterification process. Agricultural data was collected from federal and state agencies and universities to assess various oil seed crops suitable for conversion and suited to grow in Arkansas’s climate and ROW conditions. Research data determined that soybean is the best adapted biofuel feedstock for Arkansas with camelina and canola showing possibilities as well. Agriculture is Arkansas’s largest industry and soybean is grown in over half of the state’s counties. Successful cultivation of a feedstock in the aforementioned areas could potentially offer significant employment opportunity for which the skilled farmers already exist. Based on compiled data, AHTD manages 21,489 acres of marginalized land. The result of the feasibility assessment offer suggestions and guidance should AHTD decide to further investigate this type of initiative.

Keywords: biofuels, Arkansas highways, renewable energy initiative, marginalized lands

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2 Structural and Morphological Characterization of the Biomass of Aquatics Macrophyte (Egeria densa) Submitted to Thermal Pretreatment

Authors: Rubens Maciel Filho, Joyce Cruz Ferraz Dutra, Marcele Fonseca Passos, Douglas Fernandes Barbin, Gustavo Mockaitis


The search for alternatives to control hunger in the world, generated a major environmental problem. Intensive systems of fish production can cause an imbalance in the aquatic environment, triggering the phenomenon of eutrophication. Currently, there are many forms of growth control aquatic plants, such as mechanical withdrawal, however some difficulties arise for their final destination. The Egeria densa is a species of submerged aquatic macrophyte-rich in cellulose and low concentrations of lignin. By applying the concept of second generation energy, which uses lignocellulose for energy production, the reuse of these aquatic macrophytes (Egeria densa) in the biofuels production can turn an interesting alternative. In order to make lignocellulose sugars available for effective fermentation, it is important to use pre-treatments in order to separate the components and modify the structure of the cellulose and thus facilitate the attack of the microorganisms responsible for the fermentation. Therefore, the objective of this research work was to evaluate the structural and morphological transformations occurring in the biomass of aquatic macrophytes (E.densa) submitted to a thermal pretreatment. The samples were collected in an intensive fish growing farm, in the low São Francisco dam, in the northeastern region of Brazil. After collection, the samples were dried in a 65 0C ventilation oven and milled in a 5mm micron knife mill. A duplicate assay was carried, comparing the in natural biomass with the pretreated biomass with heat (MT). The sample (MT) was submitted to an autoclave with a temperature of 1210C and a pressure of 1.1 atm, for 30 minutes. After this procedure, the biomass was characterized in terms of degree of crystallinity and morphology, using X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), respectively. The results showed that there was a decrease of 11% in the crystallinity index (% CI) of the pretreated biomass, leading to the structural modification in the cellulose and greater presence of amorphous structures. Increases in porosity and surface roughness of the samples were also observed. These results suggest that biomass may become more accessible to the hydrolytic enzymes of fermenting microorganisms. Therefore, the morphological transformations caused by the thermal pretreatment may be favorable for a subsequent fermentation and, consequently, a higher yield of biofuels. Thus, the use of thermally pretreated aquatic macrophytes (E.densa) can be an environmentally, financially and socially sustainable alternative. In addition, it represents a measure of control for the aquatic environment, which can generate income (biogas production) and maintenance of fish farming activities in local communities.

Keywords: biofuels, Morphology, Crystallinity, aquatics macrophyte, pretreatment thermal

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1 Molecular Profiling of an Oleaginous Trebouxiophycean Alga Parachlorella kessleri Subjected to Nutrient Deprivation

Authors: Pannaga Pavan Jutur


Parachlorella kessleri, a marine unicellular green alga belonging to class Trebouxiophyceae, accumulates large amounts of oil, i.e., lipids under nutrient-deprived (-N, -P, and -S) conditions. Understanding their metabolic imprints is important for elucidating the physiological mechanisms of lipid accumulations in this microalga subjected to nutrient deprivation. Metabolic and lipidomic profiles were obtained respectively using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) of P. kessleri under nutrient starvation (-N, -P and -S) conditions. Relative quantities of more than 100 metabolites were systematically compared in all these three starvation conditions. Our results demonstrate that in lipid metabolism, the quantities of neutral lipids increased significantly followed by the decrease in other metabolites involved in photosynthesis, nitrogen assimilation, etc. In conclusion, the metabolomics and lipidomic profiles have identified a few common metabolites such as citric acid, valine, and trehalose to play a significant role in the overproduction of oil by this microalga subjected to nutrient deprivation. Understanding the entire system through untargeted metabolome profiling will lead to identifying relevant metabolites involved in the biosynthesis and degradation of precursor molecules that may have the potential for biofuel production, aiming towards the vision of tomorrow’s bioenergy needs.

Keywords: biofuels, Omics, Algae, nutrient stress

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