Scientific Program

Conference Series Ltd invites all the participants across the globe to attend International Congress and Expo on Biofuels & Bioenergy Valencia, Spain.

Day 3 :

  • Track 1: Algae Fuel
Speaker

Chair

Philip T. Pienkos

National Renewable Energy Energy Laboratory
USA

Session Introduction

Philip T. Pienkos

National Renewable Energy Laboratory
USA

Title: The Algae Testbed Public Private Partnership (ATP3): facilitating the commercialization of algal technologies

Time : 10:00-10:20

Speaker
Biography:

Philip T. Pienkos earned his BS in Honors Biology at the University of Illinois and his Ph.D, in Molecular Biology at the University of Wisconsin. He has nearly 30 years of biotechnology experience in the pharmaceutical, chemical and energy sectors. He is a co-founder of two companies: Celgene, an established biotech/pharma company, and Molecular Logix, a case study for technology-rich/funding-poor biotech startup. He joined NREL in 2007 as a section supervisor and now holds the title of Principal Group Manager for the Bioprocess R&D Group in the National Bioenergy Center. His group is involved in various aspects of strain development, process integration, compositional analysis, catalytic upgrading, and molecular modeling for advanced biofuels based on a wide variety of feedstocks including lignocellulosic biomass, algal biomass and methane. In addition to his line management responsibilities, he is also the Algal Biofuels Platform Lead for the National Bioenergy Center at NREL and serves as lead for a number of projects that are relevant to this proposal, including the BETO funded Lipid Catalysis Project and the ARPA-E funded Biological Gas to Liquid Project (part of the REMOTE Program). He is part of a team of algae experts from NREL and Sandia National Laboratories who worked with the Department of Energy to organize National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap Workshop held in December, 2008 and was a contributor to the National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap document, published in May, 2010. Philip is a founding member of the Algae Biomass Organization and has served as a member of the board of directors for that organization from 2008 to 2013. He is currently on the board of directors of the Algae Foundation. He was named in Biofuels Digest’s list of the top 100 people in biofuels for four years running.

Abstract:

The Algae Testbed Public Private Partnership (ATP3), a multi-institutional effort funded by the US Department of Energy has established a network of operating testbeds that brings together world-class scientists, engineers and business executives whose goal it is to increase stakeholder access to high quality facilities by making available an unparalleled array of outdoor cultivation, downstream equipment, and laboratory facilities. ATP3 utilizes the same powerful combination of facilities, technical expertise to support TEA, LCA and resource modeling and analysis activities, helping to close critical knowledge gaps and inform robust analyses of the state of technology for algal biofuels. ATP3 includes testbed facilities at ASU’s Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation (AzCATI), and augmented by university and commercial facilities in Hawaii (Cellana), California (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo), Georgia (Georgia Institute of Technology), and Florida (Florida Algae). ATP3 uses its facilities to perform coordinated long term cultivation trials producing robust, meaningful datasets from this regional network determining the effects of seasonal and geographic variations on algal cultivation productivity. This presentation will provide a summary of the ATP3 capabilities as a user facility as well as outreach efforts to connect both local and international customers with resources. It will also provide a summary of the experimental framework termed “Unified Field Studies” (UFS), with year-long cultivation experiments using two different algal strains across five distinct geographic regions using standardized mini-raceway ponds.

Vincenzo Piemonte

Università Campus Bio-Medico
Italy

Title: Biofuels production from wastewater treatment plants

Time : 10:20-10:40

Speaker
Biography:

Vincenzo Piemonte is an associate professor at the University “Campus Bio-medico” of Rome (chair on Refinery and Biorefinery Processes) and an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering of University “La Sapienza” of Rome (Chair on Artificial Organs Engineering). His research activity is primarily focused on the study of Transport phenomena in the artificial and bioartificial organs; new biotreatment technology platform for the elimination of toxic pollutants from water and soil; Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of petroleum-based plastics and bio-based plastics; extraction of valuable substances (polyphenols, tannins) from natural matrices; hydrogen production by membrane reactors for water gas shift reaction; concentrated Solar Power Plant integrated with membrane steam reforming reactor for the production of hydrogen and hydro-methane. He has about 100 publications on chemical thermodynamics, kinetics, biomedical devices modeling, Bioreactors, LCA studies, etc.

Abstract:

Biofuels represent a sustainable option to fossil fuels, since they are sufficiently similar to themand derived from potentially renewable, non-food sources (biological wastes). In this perspective, wastewaters high carbohydrate content can be exploited for the biomass growth and biofuels production. Thus, classical wastewater treatments could berecast for biofuels production from waste sludge. Two microorganisms phyla are able to convert nutrients in wastewater into biofuels: microalgae, transforming light and carbohydrates into biofuels through a photosynthetic path, and Clostridia, spontaneously present in civil wastewaters, which convert carbohydrates into methane and hydrogen through a solventogenic pattern. In this work, we present a study about the combination of wastewater treatment plants with biofuels production (biohydrogen and biogas by Clostridia activity). In this perspective, the wastewater remediation and reuse would come side by side with the production of biofuels by integrating specific devices (bioreactors for biofuels production) into the consolidated technology of biological wastewater treatment plants, with a high economical and environmental gain.

Dorinde M.M. Kleinegris

Institute of Food & Biobased Research
Netherlands

Title: An outlook on microalgae production chains

Time : 10:40-11:00

Speaker
Biography:

Dr. ir Dorinde M.M. Kleinegris is a senior scientist in the field of microalgae at the Research Institute Food & Biobased Research at Wageningen UR. She is involved in several research projects in the field of microalgae cultivation and the combination with a biorefinery approach for the production of commodity products, as food, feed, chemicals and biofuels, from the microalgal biomass. She is project leader of several projects (a.o. FUEL4ME, WP-3 leader of the EU project SPLASH, and various bilateral projects), works on project acquisition (a.o. EU FP7 FUEL4ME and SPLASH, and many bilateral and smaller, national proposals). Moreover, she supervises two PhD theses and is involved in supervision of research assistants, BSc., MSc. and visiting PhD students.

Abstract:

An outlook on microalgal production and biorefinery, from sunlight to products will be given. Algal production needs to develop from a craft to a major industrial process for the production of commodities. Major challenges are to reduce production costs and energy requirements and increase production scale. Although microalgae are not yet produced at large-scale for bulk applications, recent advances – particularly in the methods of systems biology, genetic engineering, process control, and biorefinery – present opportunities to develop this process in a sustainable and economical way within the next 10 to 15 years. Production costs have been recalculated based on experimental data of pilot plant studies. In addition costs for biorefinery have been included. Total costs of the production and biorefinery chain have been compared to the market values resulting from different combinations of end products from microalgae to assess economic viability of an industrial production chain. A description of the model for cultivation will be provided. The outlook is given for different locations. Production costs have been done based on state of the art of technology. Improvement in production costs will be shown, supported by real production data and a more detailed insight on the process and technology. A research overview of various projects will be addressed to show examples of various approaches to improve productivity and decrease production costs. The effect of improvements were studied by means of a sensitivity analysis for the most promising systems. Industrial microalgae chains are within reach, a number of market combinations could already be possible if the systems are scaled up to industrial production units. Further reduction costs will allow more markets combinations.

Speaker
Biography:

Abstract:

Co-financed by the FP 7 programme of the EU Commission, the project “ENERGY.2010.3.4-1: Bio-fuels from algae” intends to demonstrate on large scale the sustainable production of bio-fuels based on low cost microalgae cultures. The objective of the project is: (1) Implement on a 10 ha scale the full process chain, from growth to harvesting to processing; (2) Demonstrate sustainable algae culture ponds, integrated with biomass separation; (3) Processing for oil and other chemicals extraction, and downstream biofuel production and (4) Treat and reuse wastewater for nutrient recovery. In the FP7 All-GAS project the major fuel component will be biogas, derived from anaerobic digestion of algal biomass grown in high-rate algal ponds and from the anaerobic digestion of the raw wastewater in UASB reactors. CO2 is separated from the biogas and recycled, together with a proportion of the carbon of the residual biomass after combustion together with supplements from local agricultural biomass. The overall process produces more than 150 L of biomethane per cubic meter of treated wastewater, and a net energy of 0.5 kWh th/m3. This process allows to convert WWTPs from energy consumers to net producers, creating a new concept of process sustainability based on microalgae

Speaker
Biography:

Harrison Onome Tighiri, holds a B.Sc. in Fisheries and Aquaculture technology from Delta State University, Nigeria (class of 2012) and a M.Sc. in Environmental Science from Cyprus International University, KKTC, Turkey (class of 2015). He is actively involve in microlagae biofuel production, wastewater treatment, Biomass scenario modeling, life cycle analysis research, he has also won several academic and research awards and currectly looking forward to start his PhD.

Abstract:

The objectives of this study is to evaluate the effect of aeration inlet gas flow rate on the growth of microalgae as a sustainable biofuel feedstock and also the use of these cultured microalgae as a means of biological nutrient removal medium in wastewater. The natural lagoon water from the New Nicosia membrane bioreactor WWTP containing microalgae was inoculated at 5% (Vinoculation/Vmedia) in 2000 mL BG 11 culture medium and was placed under Esco Class II Biosafety Cabinet photobioreactor in the laboratory and was supplied with different levels of aeration, under continuous illumination of white fluorescent light of 45-50µmol photon m-2s-1 for two weeks, afterwards the microalgae from the BG 11 was adjusted to an absorbance of 1.5 and further innoculated to treat wastewater collected from fine screen chambers of New Nicosia membrane bioreactor WWTP. The final biomass yield of trial II (4.5 L/Min aeration flow rate) culture media with value of 0.605 g/L was higher than trial I (9.0 L/Min aeration flow rate) and III (without aeration) with values of 0.418 g/L and 0.207 g/L respectively. The final Chlorophyll α content of the microalgae cultivated in trial II was higher with value of 2.450 µg/mL than trial I and III with values of 0.906 µg/mL and 0.903 µg/mL respectively. The concentration of total nitrogen and phosphorus from the fine screen chamber wastewater of NNMBRWWTP was reduced 105.909 mgN/L to 1.847 mgN/L and 6.442 mg P/L to 0.932 mg P/L respectively, with microalgae dry biomass yield value of 1.284 g/L and the nitrogen and phosphorus removal efficiency was 98.256% and 83.078 % respectively over 5 days. From the result gotten from the study, we could say that aeration culture media with 4.5 L/Min was better, since it increase the growth rate of microalgae which is therefore suitable for biofuel production and also microalgae could be used as a secondary treatment for wastewater containing high nutrient from the research resulted reported.

Break: Coffee Break 11:30-11:45
  • Session on Bio-oils Upgrading Into Advanced Biofuels.
    Track 6: Biorefineries
Speaker

Chair

David Serrano

IMDEA Energy Institute & Rey Juan Carlos University
Spain

Speaker

Co-Chair

Andrea Kruze

University Hohenheim
Germany

Session Introduction

Andrea Kruse

University Hohenheim
Germany

Title: Hydrothermal liquefaction and carbonization for fuels and materials

Time : 12:05-12:25

Speaker
Biography:

Abstract:

Hydrothermal biomass conversion processes provide the opportunity to use feedstocks with high water content for the formation of energy carriers, materials or platform chemicals. The water plays an active role in the processes as solvent, reactant and catalyst or catalyst precursor. This paper focus on the hydrothermal liquefaction of algae to produce fuel. Here algae without further treatment, like extraction with organic solvents, are used. Instead of lipids, here carbohydrates in algae are the resource to produce oil. A special process is the conversion of carbohydrates in plants to 2-hydroxymethylfurfural, which is an important platform application and e.g. basis of polymers. This process is now applied by the company AVA-Biochem. The hydrothermal carbonization is a process leading to a dark polymer with a heating value of coal. It is a fuel but also other applications like to improve soils are discussed. These processes are enabled by the special properties of liquid water at high temperatures. The influence of water will be discussed and how the change of water properties enables the different products. The water is necessary, on the other hand beside the wanted product a water phase with organic contaminates is formed in the hydrothermal processes. This water phase may be treated by chemical or biological gasification; results will be presented. Other, new applications are introduced as well.
Speaker
Biography:

Abstract:

Fast pyrolysis is a feedstock-flexible thermo-chemical process that can convert low-quality lignocellulosic biomass to a liquid bio-oil fuel with high yields. However, the minerals (ash) in biomass are known to act catalytically during fast pyrolysis and shift the selectivity away from the desired bio-oil, to char and gases. An efficient strategy for minimizing char and gas formation and optimizing the bio-oil yield from ash-rich feedstocks is to remove the inorganics from the biomass prior to pyrolysis. In this work, water and acid washing were investigated as biomass pre-treatment techniques for the removal of inorganic matter from biomass and maximization of the bio-oil yields from pyrolysis. Water washing and acid washing were first carried out with a lignocellulosic feedstock from beech wood. The effect of treatment duration, temperature and acid type (acetic or nitric acid) was investigated. Optimal conditions were established and then applied for the demineralization of two wood residues (oak and pine), two agricultural residues (wheat and barley straws) and two energy crops (eucalyptus and miscanthus). It was found that washing biomass with acidic solutions is more efficient. For all six biomass samples, washing with water decreased the ash content in a range of 17-43% depending on the sample, whereas acidic washing led to ash removals of up to 90%. Among the two acids studied, nitric acid proved to be much more efficient than acetic acid. Concerning the different biomass types, removal of ash from the forestry residues (which have much lower ash contents to begin with) was much easier than with from the other types of biomasses. Removals of over 87% were recorded for both pine and oak after pre-treatment with nitric acid solution. On the other hand, the agricultural residues, straw from wheat and straw from barley, exhibited much lower ash removal rates. The effect of the different biomass pre-treatment methods on the removal of specific elements of the ash in relation with the type of biomass was also examined. It was found that the alkali metals, K and Na, and P are easy to remove and exhibit over 80% removal rate for any of the applied pre-treatment methods. Calcium is the element that was most affected by the treatment method and its removal increased in the order nitric acid > acetic acid > water treatment. Overall, washing biomass with 1% aq. solution of HNO3 at 50°C for 2h was determined as the most effective in removing all of the abundant elements of ash from biomass. The optimal acid washing treatment was up-scaled and applied for the production of sufficient quantities of demineralized biomass samples for pyrolysis in a bench-scale fixed bed pyrolyzer in order to investigate the effect of demineralization on the yields of the pyrolysis products and their composition. Deashing the feedstocks had a positive effect in the pyrolysis performance of all biomass types. Tests on the untreated and pretreated biomass types showed that the deashing helps by increasing the liquid organic yields and decreasing the coke and gas yields. Among the six feedstocks, the high ash content straws were the feedstocks that benefited the most from the pretreatment procedure, producing about 16-17 wt.% more bio-oil compared to the non-treated biomasses.

David Kubička

UniCRE-RENTECH (Renewables and Environmental Technologies)
Czech Republic

Title: Catalytic deoxygenation – industrial applications and catalysts

Time : 12:45-13:05

Speaker
Biography:

Abstract:

Biomass is the most valuable renewable resource for the sustainable development of chemical industry, as it is the only renewable source of carbon. In contrast to the traditional carbon-containing fossil resources, biomass is rich in oxygen containing compounds. Consequently, there is a mismatch between the chemical compositions of the current products of the chemical industry and that of biomass. Catalytic deoxygenation is a key process to overcome this gap. Depending on the raw material composition, different catalytic deoxygenation strategy has to be selected. These can be classified as hydrogenation, decarboxylation or decarbonylation with water, CO2 or CO, being the primary oxygen-containing product. In this regard, the conversion of triglycerides is an interesting example, as all three reaction pathways take place to a different extent under the deoxygenation conditions. In the first part, the presentation will briefly highlight the fundamentals of catalytic deoxygenation on the case study of triglycerides deoxygenation. In particular, it will look at different aspects of designing robust and efficient deoxygenation catalysts. The catalyst structure–activity and selectivity will be discussed and different possibilities to control hydrogen consumption during deoxygenation will be compared. In the second part, the alternatives of industrial implementation of catalytic deoxygenation within the existing infrastructure will be discussed from both automotive fuels as well as chemicals perspective. The last part will be focused on the potential application of HDO processes and catalysts for pyrolysis bio-oil upgrading.

Break: Lunch Break 13:05-13:50
Speaker
Biography:

Patricia Pizarro de Oro completed her academic degree in Chemical Engineering in 1999 at Complutense University of Madrid. After that, she joined Rey Juan Carlos University where she received her PhD in 2005 with the Extraordinary Doctorate Award. Currently she is working as Associate Professor at the Chemical and Environmental Engineering Group of Rey Juan Carlos University and as Associate Researcher at IMDEA Energy Institute (Móstoles, Madrid). Her research is mainly focused on the design of heterogeneous catalysts and materials for different chemical processes such as hydrogen production, energy storage and biofuels generation. She is co-author of 30 scientific publications; she has presented 58 communications to national and international conferences and has participated in 22 research projects.

Abstract:

Biomass forestry and agricultural residues can be thermally decomposed via fast-pyrolysis to maximize the production of bio-oil. This bio-oil offers advantages in terms of storage, transport and flexibility in applications like fuels for transportation. Nevertheless, this application is still in a relatively early stage of development, and fundamental understanding of the thermal decomposition behavior of biomass during fast-pyrolysis is crucial to control the end-product composition. Bio-oil obtained by conventional non-catalytic fast-pyrolysis is formed by complex mixtures of compounds and contains a high oxygen concentration (35-40 wt.%), acid pH and water contents between 20-50% wt. Catalytic fast-pyrolysis can promote partial deoxygenation reactions that could proceed by different pathways: dehydration, decarbonylation and decarboxylation, leading to the H2O, CO and CO2 formation, respectively. In this work, catalytic and no-catalytic fast-pyrolysis of Eucalyptus woodchips have been carried out at lab-scale. For catalytic tests, nanostructured materials having mild acidic properties and high accessibility (e.g. h-ZSM5 zeolite) have been employed. The catalytic properties of these materials for biomass catalytic pyrolysis have been also modified and adjusted by incorporation of different metal oxides. Likewise, Pd-containing h-ZSM5 zeolite has been tested. The catalysts activity has been analyzed in terms of their capacity to deoxygenate the bio-oil and compared with the non-catalytic tests. For that purpose, several parameters, including mass products yield (gas, char, coke and bio-oil (bio-oil*+H2O), gas composition, bio-oil* elemental analysis and H2O content, have been determined. The catalysts tested led to a higher gas yield than the thermal pyrolysis route, mostly due to the higher production of both CO and CO2. On the other hand, two phases (organic and aqueous) were distinguished in the catalytic bio-oil as a consequence of its higher H2O content (from 26.9 to 33.8-41.1 wt.%). All of these resulted in partially deoxygenated bio-oils*, whose oxygen contents decreased from 37.3 to 27.5-32.3 wt.%; but to the detriment also of the bio-oil* yield, which decreased from 42.5 to 26.1-30.7 wt.%.

Speaker
Biography:

T.M.Sankaranarayanan is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Thermochemical Processes Unit of the IMDEA Energy Institute. Before joining IMDEA, he worked as a senior research fellow at the National Centre for Catalysis Research for his doctoral research (2008-2013). During his doctoral research, he studied the Transesterification and Hydroprocessing of vegetable oil (non-edible oils) on mixed metal oxides. He was also involved in collaboration with others for the Hydrogenolysis of polyols, Catalytic cracking and Hydrotreating (viz. HDS, HDM, HDN and HDO) reactions. His postdoctoral research is focused on the Second Generation Biofuels from lignocellulose biomass. He has 11 publications in international journals.

Abstract:

Lignocellulosic biomass becomes very attractive as feedstock for the production of pyrolysis bio-oils, both scientifically and economically. Still, these products cannot be used as a liquid fuel or additive due to their excessive oxygen content, and poor chemical stability. Therefore, upgrading treatments are required. Catalytic hydrodeoxygenation is considered to be one of the most effective routes for bio-oil transformation. The present work involves the study and understanding the reaction pathway of the hydrodeoxygenation of guaiacol as a representative chemical of the bio-oil obtained from pyrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass, which contains 25.8% of oxygen due to the characteristic of methoxyphenol linkages. For this purpose catalysts based on Ni (5 wt.%) loaded on various supports (hierarchical ZSM-5, SBA-15, Al-SBA-15 and commercial H-ZSM-5). The samples were characterized in detail using N2 adsorption-desorption isotherms, Powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Temperature Programmed Reduction and Desorption (H2-TPR/NH3-TPD). Subsequently, all the prepared catalysts were tested in HDO of guaiacol (3.3 wt.% in decaline (50 ml) in a 100 ml stainless steel (SS) high pressure stirred batch reactor. The reaction was carried out under 40 bars of hydrogen partial pressure and the temperature was 260 ˚C, with the constant stirring speed (1000 rpm) for 2 hours. The liquid and gas products were analyzed by GC and GC-MS. These catalysts reveal different hydrogenation and hydrogenolysis routes based on supports. Ni/h-ZSM-5 exhibits a better deoxygenation activity with a percentage of HDO around 98 % at 260 ˚C, 2 hours. In addition, we correlated hydrophobic and hydrophilicity of the catalysts with HDO results.

Speaker
Biography:

Marta Arroyo is finishing now her PhD in the Rey Juan Carlos University (Spain) in which has been working in the development of heterogeneous acid catalysts for the conversion of plastic wastes and biomass derived oils into fuel. This work is supervised by prof. David Serrano and José María Escola. She will undertake these months a predoctoral research in the group of Prof. Adam Lee and Karen Wilson in European Bioenergy Research Institute (Birmingham) in bio oil esterification. At the same time, she has different graduate teaching responsibilities at Rey Juan Carlos University.

Abstract:

Recently, hydroconversion of triglycerides to produce hydrocarbons has been considered as an alternative way to produce high quality fuels, but it has the considerable drawback of requiring hydrogen. Catalytic cracking of vegetable oils appears as a possible alternative to obtain biofuels in the absence of hydrogen. In the present work, Pd supported over nanocrystalline (Pd/n-ZSM-5) and hierarchical ZSM-5 (Pd/h-ZSM-5) were tested in the catalytic cracking of stearic acid, which is a fatty acid usually present in the makeup of vegetable oils. These supports were chosen because of their strong acidity and high external surface/mesoporosity which enhanced the accessibility toward the acid sites. Additionally, Pd was incorporated since this metal favours decarboxylation and hydrogenation / dehydrogenation reactions, which are highly desirable for the preparation of biofuels. The catalytic experiments were carried out in autoclave reactor and the solution of 10 wt % stearic acid in dodecane was used as feedstock. The reactions were carried out under 6 bar of nitrogen, at different temperatures and reactions times. Pd/h-ZSM-5 almost doubled the conversion of stearic acid with regard to Pd/n-ZSM-5 (67 vs 33 %), pointing out that the remarkable properties of hierarchical supports in terms of accessibility really pays off. Additionally, this catalyst outperforms Pd/n-ZSM-5 not only in the attained conversion but also in the selectivity, since higher gasoline share was attained. Consequently, Pd/h-ZSM-5 was a better catalyst than Pd/n-ZSM-5 for the cracking of stearic acid.

Tobias C. Keller

Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering
Switzerland

Title: Design of base catalysts for the catalytic deoxygenation of bio-oil by aldol condensation

Time : 14:40-14:50

Speaker
Biography:

Abstract:

The development of cost-efficient pathways to deoxygenate crude bio-oil will contribute greatly to the sustainable production of biomass-derived fuels, as established methods, such as catalytic cracking or hydrodeoxygenation, suffer from low carbon yield and excessive hydrogen consumption, respectively. A cascade combination of three catalytic transformations combining pyrolysis, intermediate deoxygenation, and a subsequent hydrodeoxygenation step could address both issues simultaneously. Among different deoxygenation strategies, we are investigating the development of efficient base catalysts to exploit the intrinsic reactivity of aldehydes for deoxygenation via aldol condensations. Three different catalytic systems are considered: alkali metal-doped high-silica zeolites, supported MgO catalysts, and hydroxyapatites. The optimization of the concentration and strength of basic sites is shown to be the key to attain catalysts combining excellent activity and stability with a high selectivity in the self-condensation of propanal, which is studied as a model reaction. To evaluate the deoxygenation performance of the optimized catalysts under more realistic conditions, the complexity of the reaction mixture is increased stepwise by co-feeding water and acetic acid as representative components in bio-oil. Preliminary results for acetic acid-propanal mixtures (5-95%v/v) have revealed that the alkali metal-doped high-silica zeolites and supported MgO catalysts retain their stable and selective character, whereas the activity decreases (by ca. 50%) in all cases. The catalytic insights obtained with realistic mixtures are expected to be key to rationalize the performance obtained with real bio-oil.

Chenyu Du

University of Huddersfield
UK

Title: The development of a wheat straw based biorefinery for bioethanol fermentation

Time : 14:50-15:10

Speaker
Biography:

Dr. Chenyu Du is a Reader in Chemical Engineering in the School of Applied Sciences at the University of Huddersfield. His main research area is biosynthesis of biofuels, biochemicals and biopolymers using sustainable raw materials. He got both his bachelor and PhD degrees from Tsinghua University, China. Then he moved to the University of Manchester in 2006 working on a platform chemical production from sustainable raw materials project (funded by EPSRC). He developed four biorefinery strategies to convert wheat or wheat milling by-products into microbial generic feedstocks based on submerged fungal fermentation or solid-state fungal fermentation. Since joined the University of Nottingham in June, 2010, he has been involved in the research pertaining to the Lignocellosic Conversion to Ethanol programme. He is also interested in yeast genetic modification, yeast strain screening and yeast viability improvement.

Abstract:

The development of the 2nd generation of bioethanol production process from lignocellulosic raw materials has attracted increasing attention worldwide. Wheat straw is the most abundant lignocellulosic biomass in the UK and approximately 1.32 million tons wheat straw is available in the UK for the production of bioethanol. However wheat straw need to be pre-treated and hydrolyzed into simple sugars before it could be used for bioethanol fermentations. In this study, we report a biological pre-treatment strategy to convert wheat straw into a generic fermentation feedstock and then to convert the wheat straw hydrolysate into bioethanol via yeast fermentation.In this biorefining strategy, Aspergillus niger was firstly cultured on the wheat straw for the cellulosic enzyme production and then the cellulase-rich fungal extract was used to hydrolyse the fermented wheat straw. In a solid state fungal fermentation using autoclaved wheat straw, an cellulase activity of 9.5 FPU/g was achieved. When 0.5% yeast extract and a mineral solution were added, the enzyme activity increased to 24.0 FPU/g after 5 days of cultivation. When an alkali soaking modified wheat straw (1% NaOH at room temperature for overnight) was used, the cellulase activity reached 23.3 FPU/g just after 1 day of culture. The hydrolysis of the fermented wheat straw using the fungal culture filtrate led to 4.34 g/L glucose in the hydrolysate at a solid loading rate of 5%. Increase in solid loading rate resulted in a higher glucose concentration of over 10 g/L in the wheat straw hydrolysate. The wheat straw hydrolysate has then been utilized in bioethanol fermentation using saccharomyces cerevisiae strains, no substrate inhibitory affect was observed.

Speaker
Biography:

Abstract:

Municipal solid waste (MSW) contains high concentration of organic matters, which has been widely used for biogas production via anaerobic digestion. However, MSW also contains significant amount of lignicellulose, which is resistant to anaerobic digestion. In this project, we explored the possibility of converting the lignocellulosic components of MSW into bioethanol. In this first step, microwave, dilute acid, concentrate acid and alkali hydrolyses of MSW were assessed to identify a suitable condition to release fermentable sugars from MSW. The monomeric sugar compositions of the hydrolysate were determined together with the inhibitor concentrations. Phenotypic microarray analysis was used to identify a suitable yeast strain for the utilisation of MSW hydrolysate. Then yeast fermentations were carried out to examine the bioethanol production. The results revealed that the hydrolysate resulted from 30% sulphuric acid treatment led to the highest monomeric fermentable sugars, but a lower ethanol conversion yield (around 25%). In comparison, hydrolysis using 2% sulphuric acid led to a lower sugar release yield in the hydrolysate, but a higher ethanol conversion yield (around 47%).

Break: Coffee Break 15:20 -15:35

Amina Ahmed El-Imam

University of Nottingham
UK

Title: Itaconic acid production from soghum bran-a biorefining approach

Time : 15:35- 15:45

Speaker
Biography:

Amina Ahmed El-Imam is currently a PhD student in Life Sciences in the University of Nottingham United Kingdom, with interests in the application of biotechnology in the production of biofuels and bio-based chemicals. Ahmed El-Imam obtained her BSc. and M.Sc. in Microbiology and Industrial Microbiology respectively from the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, in Nigeria. She is currently looking at the fermentative production of itaconic acid, a high-value albeit less-investigated monomeric organic acid from sorghum bran, a food-processing waste.

Abstract:

Itaconic acid (IA) is a unique di-carboxylic acid widely used as a platform chemical to produce several value-added industrial products. It is currently produced industrially by the fermentation of glucose-based sugar solutions using Aspergillus terreus which compete with potential food applications and this in turn limits its industrial applications. This work replaces commercial glucose with glucose from a relatively underutilised feedstock, sorghum bran the residue of the starch extraction process, for the production of IA to decrease its production cost. Compositional analyses of brans from the white and red sorghum varieties did not reveal significant differences in most parameters. The starch content was high in both brans, with white bran having 52.96% and Red bran having 67.26% starch content. They also contained fairly considerable amounts of minerals (1.4% and 1.7% respectively) and protein (19.2% and 21.4% respectively). The brans were saccharified enzymatically and using various chemicals and the hydrolysates obtained from the most efficient conditions were tested for their ability to support A. terreus growth using a phenotypic microarray process. The hydrolysates were then utilised in shake flask fermentations to produce IA. No inhibitory effect on A. terreus growth in the dilute acid hydrolysates while production was limited relative to glucose controls. The effects of various factors including phosphates, sulphates, sorghum tannins and buffer type as potential inhibitors of IA production were investigated. A yield of around 10g/L IA was produced from the enzymatic hydrolysate.

Speaker
Biography:

At present Dr. Mandegari is a postdoctoral fellow in the process engineering department at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. His Current research work is to develop biorefinery simulations annexed to an existing sugar mill in South Africa and these include a baseline bioethanol plant as well as the production of biobutanol, lactic acid, furfural, syn-crude, methanol and electricity. In addition to my thesis, He conducted and cooperated in eight research projects, seven of which have been finished. The results of his research are summarized by six ISI published papers, three ISI papers and one book chapter in preparation and twenty two presented conference papers. Also,he supervised undergraduate students in their major research projects, under the direction of the course instructor and he was advisor and consulting advisor of four MSc thesis of chemical engineering. Apart from his research and teaching activities, he have more than 8 years industrial experience in the petroleum, gas and petrochemical plants as R&D manager, Project engineer, Engineering manager and Energy auditor

Abstract:

Sugar is one of the main agricultural industries in South Africa and approximately livelihoods of one million South Africans are indirectly dependent on sugar industry which is economically struggling with some problems and should re-invent in order to ensure a long-term sustainability. Second generation biorefinery is defined as a process to use waste fibrous for the production of biofuel, chemicals animal food, and electricity. Bioethanol is by far the most widely used biofuel for transportation worldwide and many challenges in front of bioethanol production were solved. Biorefinery annexed to the existing sugar mill for production of bioethanol and electricity is proposed to sugar industry and is addressed in this study. Since flowsheet development is the key element of the bioethanol process, in this work, a biorefinery (bioethanol and electricity production) annexed to a typical South African sugar mill considering 65ton/h dry sugarcane bagasse and tops/trash as feedstock was simulated. Aspen PlusTM V8.6 was applied as simulator and realistic simulation development approach was followed to reflect the practical behaviour of the plant. Latest results of other researches considering pretreatment, hydrolysis, fermentation, enzyme production, bioethanol production and other supplementary units such as evaporation, water treatment, boiler, and steam/electricity generation units were adopted to establish a comprehensive biorefinery simulation. Steam explosion with SO2 was selected for pretreatment due to minimum inhibitor production and simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) configuration was adopted for enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation of cellulose and hydrolyze. Bioethanol purification was simulated by two distillation columns with side stream and fuel grade bioethanol (99.5%) was achieved using molecular sieve in order to minimize the capital and operating costs. Also boiler and steam/power generation were completed using industrial design data. Results indicates 256.6 kg bioethanol per ton of feedstock and 31 MW surplus power were attained from biorefinery while the process consumes 3.5, 3.38, and 0.164 (GJ/ton per ton of feedstock) hot utility, cold utility and electricity respectively. Developed simulation is a threshold of variety analyses and developments for further studies.

Somayeh Farzad

University of Stellenbosch
South Africa

Title: Biorefinery annexed to South African Sugar mill, part II; energy sufficiency analysis

Time : 15:55-16:05

Speaker
Biography:

Currently Dr. Farzad is a postdoctoral researcher at Process Engineering Department of Stellenbosch University. Besides supervision of postgrad students, her current research involves biorefinery techno-economic analysis and also environmentally friendly tire production. Her PhD thesis and previous expertise were focused on petroleum industry in which she has 7 ISI published papers and three papers in progress. She supervised three master students while working as “Assistant Professor” at University of Environment. Apart from academic activities, she is having more than 6 years industrial experience in gas and petrochemical plants as R&D manager and project engineer.

Abstract:

The South African Sugar Industry which has significant impact on the national economy, is currently facing problems due to increasing energy price and low global sugar price. The available bagasse is already combusted in low efficiency boilers of the sugar mills while bagasse is generally recognized as promising feedstock for second generation bioethanol production. Establishment of biorefinery annexed to the existing sugar mills, as an alternative for re-vitalisation of sugar industry producing biofuel and electricity has been proposed and considered in this study. Since scale is an important issue in feasibility of the technology, this study has taken into account a typical sugar mill with 300 ton/hr sugar cane capacity. The biorefinery simulation is carried out using Aspen PlusTM V8.6, in which the sugar mill’s power and steam demand has been considered. Hence sugar mills in South Africa can be categorized as highly efficient, efficient and not efficient with steam consumption of 33, 40 and 60 tons of steam per ton of cane and electric power demand of 10 MW, three different scenarios are studied. The sugar cane bagasse and tops/trash are supplied to the biorefinery process and the wastes/residues (mostly lignin) from the process are burnt in the CHP plant in order to produce steam and electricity for the biorefinery and sugar mill as well. Considering the efficient sugar mill, the CHP plant has generated 5 MW surplus electric power, but the obtained energy is not enough for self-sufficiency of the plant (Biorefinery and Sugar mill) due to lack of 34 MW heat. One of the advantages of second generation biorefinery is its low impact on the environment and carbon footprint, thus the plant should be self-sufficient in energy without using fossil fuels. For this reason, a portion of fresh bagasse should be sent to the CHP plant to meet the energy requirements. An optimisation procedure was carried out to find out the appropriate portion to be burnt in the combustor. As a result, 20% of the bagasse is re-routed to the combustor which leads to 5 tonnes of LP Steam and 8.6 MW electric power surplus.