Scientific Program

Conference Series Ltd invites all the participants across the globe to attend 7th International Congress on Biofuels and Bioenergy Toronto, Canada.

Day 1 :

Keynote Forum

Lee Rybeck Lynd

Dartmouth College, USA

Keynote: Cellulosic biofuels: Realizing climate benefits and new processing paradigms

Time : 09:00-09:30

OMICS International Biofuels-2017 International Conference Keynote Speaker Lee Rybeck Lynd photo
Biography:

Lee Lynd is an expert on the production of energy from plant biomass and conducts leading research on microbial cellulose utilization. His H-Index of 59 (Google scholar) is among the highest of researchers with primary activity in the bioenergy field. He has authored over 200 papers, book chapters, and reviews spanning both laboratory research and visionary analysis. In addition to leading his research group, his activities at Thayer School include teaching the undergraduate systemscourse as well as graduate courses in metabolic engineering and energy systems, and curriculum development and strategic planning in the energy area.

Abstract:

Estimation of the climate impacts of biofuels and bioenergy has in general been approached by asking what would be the consequences of deployment assuming land use and other decisions were made without regard to climate. Drawing on recent analysis, the author will demonstrate that different answers result if instead we ask how bioenergy should be produced in order to achieve climate benefits. Notwithstanding important advances, the cellulosic biofuels field has fallen far short of expectations over the last decade and it is clear that technological readiness was widely overestimated. In response to this circumstance, advancing the cellulosic biofuels field needs to be more open to stepwise deployment taking advantage of niche opportunities, and to direct research and development effort to both established processing paradigms and new processing paradigms. Consolidated bioprocessing with treatment will be considered as an example of the latter.

Keynote Forum

Marc Rosen

University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada

Keynote: Bioenergy and energy sustainability

Time : 09:30-10:00

OMICS International Biofuels-2017 International Conference Keynote Speaker Marc Rosen photo
Biography:

Marc A Rosen is a Professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa, Canada. He served as Founding Dean of the Faculty from 2002-08. He was President of the Engineering Institute of Canada for 2008-10. He served as President of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering from 2002 to 2004, and is a registered Professional Engineer in Ontario. He is also Editor-in-Chief of several journals, including Biofuels.

Abstract:

Sustainability is a critically important goal for human activity and development. Energy sustainability is of great importance to any plans for overall sustainability given the pervasiveness of energy use, its importance in economic development and living standards, and the significant impacts that energy processes and systems have on the environment. Many factors that need to be considered and appropriately addressed in moving towards energy sustainability are examined in this presentation. These include appropriate selection of energy resources bearing in mind sustainability criteria, facilitation of the use of sustainable energy resources, enhancement of the efficiency of energy-related processes, and a holistic adoption of environmental stewardship in energy activities. In addition, other key sustainability measures are addressed, such as economics, equity, land use, lifestyle, sociopolitical factors and population. The specific role that bioenergy has in the broader context of energy sustainability is described throughout. Conclusions are provided related both to options and pathways for energy sustainability and to the broader ultimate objective of sustainability.

OMICS International Biofuels-2017 International Conference Keynote Speaker Rajai H Atalla photo
Biography:

Rajai H Atalla has completed his PhD in Chemical Engineering and Chemical Physics from University of Delaware, USA. He has 40+ years of experience in research on cellulosics and lignocellulosics. He has served as a Consultant to many companies in the forest products and cellulosics sectors. He has undertaken research under contract for National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and served as a Member of working group for US Department of Energy. He has also served as a Professor of Engineering and Chemical Physics at Institute of Paper Chemistry in Appleton, Wisconsin. In 1989, he became Head of Chemistry and Pulping Research at the USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin and Adjunct Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has established Cellulose Sciences International (CSI) in 2007 to undertake research for NREL and develop the CSI process. He has well over 200 peer reviewed publications, book chapters and patents to his credit.

 

Abstract:

We have developed a proprietary process for transforming celluloses into previously unknown nanoporous forms. The process is carried out at ambient temperature and pressure by a method that uses only water, ethanol, sodium hydroxide and carbon dioxide. Thus, both capital and operating costs are far less than those of traditional high-temperature and highpressure biomass pretreatment processes. The products are easily converted to monosaccharides that can be used as feedstocks for biosynthetic processes for fermentation to fuels or for other organic synthetic processes. The process can also convert low-value agricultural residues into nutritious feeds for ruminant livestock. The effectiveness of the transformation is reflected by reduction of the enzyme dosages necessary for hydrolysis to monosaccharides by an order of magnitude. When applied to agricultural residues the process increases their digestibility by ruminants from 30-90%. We will describe the process and present results that reflect its effectiveness.

 

Keynote Forum

Henrik V Scheller

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA

Keynote: Engineering of plants for improved conversion into biofuels and bioproducts

Time : 10:45-11:15

OMICS International Biofuels-2017 International Conference Keynote Speaker Henrik V Scheller photo
Biography:

Henrik V. Scheller is a senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Adjunct Professor at Department of Plant & Microbial Biology, University of California Berkeley, and Adjunct Professor at Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen. He earned his Ph.D. in Plant Biochemistry from The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Copenhagen, Denmark, after completing a degree in biology at University of Copenhagen. Henrik V. Scheller was professor of molecular plant biology at University of Copenhagen until before joining Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to work at the Joint BioEnergy Institute where he is Head of the Feedstocks Division.

 

Abstract:

Biomass consists of about 30% xylan, a polysaccharide composed of pentoses. Hexoses are more easily converted to biofuels andbioproducts, and therefore it is advantageous to develop plants with a higher ratio of C6 to C5 sugars in their cell walls.Another major component of biomass is lignin, which is an aromatic polymer that is responsible for biomass recalcitrance and is difficult to convert to fuels or bioproducts. Therefore, it is a goal to decrease the amount of lignin in biofuel feedstocks. However, both xylan and lignin are important components in plants and must be retained in vessels. We have developed strategies to reduce xylan content by at least 30% and lignin content by at least 50% in plant stems without any apparent effecton plant growth and development. The methods are based on dominant genes that can be easily translated to different plant species. Plants modified in this way were further modified to increase the accumulation of pectic galactan by overexpressing a galactan synthase, a UDP-galactose epimerase and a UDP-galactose transporter. The resulting plants are indistinguishable from the wild type under normal growth conditions. Changing the cell walls of plants may lead to altered environmental resilience and we have therefore tested the drought tolerance of some of the engineered plants. Surprisingly, many of the plants show increased drought tolerance.

 

Break:
Networking & Refreshment Break 10:30-10:45 @ Foyer
OMICS International Biofuels-2017 International Conference Keynote Speaker Donald L Smith photo
Biography:

Donald L Smith (James McGill Professor) has conducted research in the production and physiology of crop plants, with an emphasis on plant-microbe interactions, most recently, within the context of biofuel feedstock production. Specific areas of research have been: nitrogen metabolism, nitrogen fixation, low temperature stress and nodulation, methods for injection of metabolites into plants, cereal production, plant growth regulators, intercropping, inter-plant competition, plant-microbe signaling, plants and climate change, biofuel crops, crop stress responses and biochar as a soil amendment. He has trained 66 graduate students, 38 PhD and 28 MSc, published >310 papers, generated 11 patents, started a spin-off company (Bios Agriculture Inc.), and commercialized technologies that are now applied to >100 million ha of crop land per year. He has been principal investigator on research grants totaling >$55 million. He currently leads the BioFuelNet Canada.

Abstract:

Canada has considerable capacity for production of advanced biofuels; feedstock is the major constraint to production. On the agricultural side, feedstocks can be purpose grown biomass crops and/or residues from food crops. Climate change will increase the frequency of conditions stressful to crop growth, and cause greater extremes of crop stress. Purpose grown crops will often be produced on more marginal lands, where stressful conditions are generally more frequent. A plant growing under field conditions is not an individual; it is a community. It has a set of regulated microbes associated with it; the microbes also exert effects over the plants. The microbial community is the phytomicrobiome and, it plus the plants are referred to as the holobiont. Microbial inoculants can improve the growth and productivity of crop plants and reduce overall costs associated with traditional inputs of fertilizers, pesticides, etc. Microbial inoculants can improve the growth and productivity of crops by helping the plants access water and nutrients, fight off diseases, and activate growth responses with signalling compounds. Microbe-to-plant signal compounds (lipo-chitooligosaccharides and thuricin 17) have been shown to increase plant growth when applied at very low concentrations, particularly when plants are growing under stressful conditions. The interaction with stress was demonstrated during the recent 5-year funding period associated with BioFuelNet Canada. They are the hormones of the holobiont. Exploiting the phytomicrobiome constitutes a new opportunity for development of low-input, sustainable practices to improve crop biomass productivity and yield, delivering more biomass from crops and crop residue, leading to greater food production from food crops, a feedstock for fuel production. Meaningful progress has already been made: the lipo-chitooligosaccharide technology is already being applied to millions of hectares of agricultural land each year. However, it is clear that enormous untapped potential remains.

  • Special session
Location: Dorothy
Speaker

Chair

Donald L Rockwood

University of Florida, USA

Session Introduction

Donald L Rockwood

University of Florida, USA

Title: Eucalyptus trees for bioenergy

Time : 11:45-12:05

Speaker
Biography:

Dr. Donald L. Rockwood, President of Florida FGT LLC, has over 30 years of experience on the development and use of Eucalyptus amplifolia, E. grandis, Corymbia torelliana, Populus deltoides, cypress, and slash pine hybrids in Florida and elsewhere. Also Professor Emeritus at the School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, he is actively involved with the genetic improvement of several Short Rotation Woody Crop (SRWC) species, including the commercial release of E. grandis cultivars, and with research on and the development of SRWC systems using these species.

Abstract:

Fast growing trees such as eucalypts have a number of potential bioenergy applications. Eucalyptus species are native to Australia but grown extensively worldwide as short rotation hardwoods for a variety of timber products and as ornamentals. They are the most valuable and widely planted hardwood in the world (18 million ha in 90 countries). Eucalypts are grown extensively as exotic plantation species in tropical and subtropical regions throughout Africa, South America, Asia, and Australia, and, in more temperate regions of Europe, South America, North America, and Australia. India has over 8.0 million mostly low productivity ha followed by Brazil with over 3.0 million mostly intensively cultivated ha reaching average productivities of 45–60 m3/ha/year. We describe their general importance with specific emphasis on existing and emerging markets as energy products and the potential to maximize their productivity as short rotation woody crops. Many conversion technologies are well understood, and several are being developed. Biomass characteristics, difficulty in securing adequate and cost effective supplies early in project development, and planning constraints currently prevent Eucalyptus bioenergy from reaching its full potential. Using experience in Florida, USA and similar locations, we document their current energy applications and assess their productivity as short-term and likely long-term energy and related products. However, increased biomass productivity and quality, prospects for carbon trading, distributed energy systems and hydrogen, multiple products from bio refining, and government incentives should foster the use of fast growing trees for bioenergy.

Ronald S Zalesny Jr

United States Department of Forest Service, USA

Title: Fast growing poplars for bioenergy

Time : 12:05:12:25

Speaker
Biography:

Dr. Ronald S. Zalesny Jr., Team Leader and Research Plant Geneticist at the Northern Research Station’s Institute for Applied Ecosystem Studies, has over 20 years of experience on the development of Populus species and their hybrids for bioenergy, biofuels, and bioproducts. In addition, he is currently conducting ecosystem services research on the use of Populus and other short rotation woody crops for phytoremediation, phyto-recurrent selection, and associated phytotechnologies. He serves on the editorial boards of BioEnergy Research and International Journal of Phytoremediation, as well as being Coordinator of IUFRO working group 2.08.04 (Physiology and Genetics of Poplars and Willows), International Delegate to the Environmental Applications Working Party of FAO’s International Poplar Commission, Board Member of the International Phytotechnology Society, and Chairperson of the Short Rotation Woody Crops Operations Working Group.

Abstract:

Fast growing trees such as poplars have a number of potential bioenergy applications. Currently, the genus Populus is comprised of 32 species belonging to 6 taxonomic sections, each with distinct environmental and economic importance. In addition to being grown within their native ranges, successful natural and planned inter- and intra-species hybridization has resulted in poplars being used worldwide for bioenergy, biofuels, and bioproducts, as well as timber products (e.g., pulpwood, sawn wood, veneer) and ecological applications (e.g., phytoremediation and associated phytotechnologies).
Poplars are among the most valuable and widely planted hardwoods in the world, with 28 countries having significant areas of planted poplar totaling 8.8 million ha. Nearly 90% of these worldwide poplars are grown in Asia, with China producing 85.7% of the global total. Additionally, European countries have 9.4% of the worldwide poplar production, followed by North America (1%), South America (0.6%) and Africa (0.1%). Across the globe, poplar productivities range from 8.6 to 13.9 Mg ha-1 yr-1, with average mean annual increment of 11.2 Mg ha-1 yr-1. In general, the greatest poplar productivities are from Asia and North America, with mean values that are 1.4 and 1.1 times the global average, respectively. In contrast, productivities from Europe and South America are 90% and 54% of the worldwide mean, respectively. I will describe the general importance of poplar energy crops for the provision of ecosystem services such as biomass production and carbon sequestration, and I will emphasize how these uses can be integrated into existing and emerging markets as bioenergy products. Using experiences in the Midwestern USA and similar locations, I will highlight how maximization of productivity potential across the landscape contributes to environmental and economic benefits of these purpose-grown trees, regardless of end use and geographic location of deployment.

Timothy A Volk

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, USA

Title: Shrub willow for bioenergy and ecosystem services

Time : 12:25-12:45

Speaker
Biography:

Timothy A Volk is a Senior Research Associate at State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF), USA. He has over 25 years of experience working in the fields of forestry, agroforestry, short-rotation woody crops, bioenergy and phytoremediation in the Northeastern United States and West Africa. In his current position, he is responsible for projects focused on the development of shrub willow biomass production systems for bioenergy and bioproducts and incorporating willow into sustainable landscape designs. He is also actively involved in the development of harvesting systems for woody crops and sustainability assessments of willow and forest based bioenergy systems.

Abstract:

Short-rotation coppice (SRC) systems, like shrub willow (Salix spp.) and poplar (Populus spp.), are projected to supply over 200 million dry tons of biomass annually in the U.S. by 2040. Shrub willow can be grown on a wide range of sites to generate biomass for heat, power, liquid fuels and renewable bioproducts while providing additional environmental and rural development benefits. Shrub willow has many characteristics that make it anideal biomass feedstock including high yields, the ability to resprout after coppice, two to four year harvest cycles, ease of propagation from dormant stem cuttings, ease of breeding, a broad genetic base and a feedstock composition similar to other sources of woody biomass. Research on shrub willow for biomass energy and alternative applications (bioremediation, vegetative covers, treatment of organic wastes, riparian buffers, living snow fences) has been ongoing in the U.S. for over 30 years. Collaborative efforts involving both private, NGOs and public entities at the local, state and federal level have been critical to facilitating the commercialization of this system. The current expansion of willow in New York has been possible because of government incentive programs, commitment by an end user for the production of renewable power and heat, breeding and commercial scale up of improved cultivars and the development of reliable planting and harvesting systems. Deploying willow in multifunctional value-added systems provides opportunities for potential producers and end users to learn about the system and characteristics of the biomass feedstock, which will help remove barriers to deployment.

Break:
Lunch Break 12:45-13:30 @ Foyer A
  • Biomass | Bioenergy
Location: Dorothy
Speaker

Chair

Prabir Basu

Dalhousie University, Canada

Speaker

Co-Chair

Charles M. Cai

Universitty of California Riverside, USA

Session Introduction

Prabir Basu

Dalhousie University, Canada

Title: A comprehensive study on production of torrefied biofuel using inclined rotary reactor

Time : 13:30-13:50

Speaker
Biography:

Prabir Basu is an educator and specialist in energy and environment, with a 30-year long professional career in energy, environment and power generation. He is consultant to several companies around the world for issues on fluidized bed boilers and gasifiers. He has authored several books on biomass conversion and fluidized bed boilers. He is also the President of Greenfield Research Incorporated, a private R&D company.

Abstract:

Torrefaction produces a char product with higher specific energy, lower equilibrium moisture content than untreated material, brittleness requiring low grinding energy and resistive to environmental degradation. Additionally, torrefaction provides a product of uniform qualities. Torrefaction process, thus, appears as excellent solution for pretreating biomass. A two-stage, inclined continuous rotary torrefier with novel flights has been developed in the Biomass Conversion Laboratory at Dalhousie University for improving biomass torrefaction process as is shown in Figure-1. Experimental work on torrefaction of fine Poplar wood particles (0.5-1.0 mm) in the torrefier was undertaken for a deeper understanding of the working of such torrefiers where the volatile gas released was used as the torrefaction medium instead of nitrogen. The rotary torrefier is operated under different operating conditions by varying its rotational speed, tilt angle and temperature. Chemical and physical properties of the torrefied products included ultimate and proximate analysis, polymeric analysis, energy density, mass yield, energy yield and bulk density were measured. Temperature and conversion at different interior points along the length of the rotary reactor while the biomass was being progressively torrefied in it were measured. Fixed carbon content, volatile and energy density of biomass undergoing torrefaction varied linearly along the length of the torrefier. Typical values of change in heating value, mass yield and energy yield of torrefied biomass was 40%, 34% and 48%, respectively for 300 °C and 5 RPM and 1° of tilt angle. Results showed that temperature is the most important parameter in the torrefaction process.
 

Charles M. Cai

University of California Riverside, USA

Title: Biomass deconstruction towards total carbon utilization for future biorefineries

Time : 13:50-14:10

Speaker
Biography:

Charles M Cai is a Research Engineer and Adjunct Professor at UC Riverside, USA. He is also Co-Founder and CTO of MG Fuels, a bioenergy company. His
research focuses on the biological and catalytic processing of lignocellulosic biomass. He is responsible for creating and advancing the CELF process, one of the most promising new biomass conversion technologies, to enable affordable community scale production of power and liquid fuels. In 2017, he was listed in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Energy. He has received his PhD in Chemical and Environmental Engineering at UC Riverside and his BS in Biochemical Engineering at UC Davis.

Abstract:

Lignocellulosic biomass is the most abundant source of organic carbon on Earth and presents the only option with the potential to economically and sustainably replace fossil resources for large-scale production of renewable chemicals, materials and liquid fuels. However, past methods to achieve the facile deconstruction of biomass has been challenged by processing difficulties, low product recovery and excessive materials and energy costs. Here, we evaluate lessons learned over decades of research and outline key features in advanced technologies for biomass pretreatment that are necessary to help achieve more economically feasible deconstruction of biomass. We demonstrate how atomic-scale interactions simulated by supercomputers could help understand key chemical mechanisms responsible for biomass breakdown to help improve design of bulk-scale pretreatment processes that can be subsequently integrated with biological or catalytic conversion pathways. The objective of biomass deconstruction is then to maximize the total carbon utilization of biomass to products by improving recovery of sugars and lignin and managing the removal of trace inorganics. Towards these goals we have created a breakthrough pretreatment technology called as CELF (Co-solvent Enhanced Lignocellulosic Fractionation) that provides a front-end platform for biomass-based bio-refineries to achieve the highest utilization of sugars to liquid fuels and lignin to fuels and value-added co-products. CELF can then be coupled with both advanced biological and catalytic methods to help achieve unprecedented performance at significantly lower material and energy costs.

Alberto Abad

ICB-CSIC, Spain

Title: Biomass combustion with CO2 capture by chemical looping

Time : 14:10-14:30

Speaker
Biography:

Alberto Abad is Tenured Scientist at the Instituto de Carboquímica at Zaragoza, belonging to the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). His research has been always close linked to environmental challenges in energy production processes. Since 2002, he has been involved in the development of the Chemical Looping Combustion (CLC), one of the most promising technologies within the area of CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS) aiming to reduce global warming. More recently he has been actively engaged in the use of renewable fuels, such as biomass in Chemical Looping processes (bio-CLC) with the main objective to reach negative CO2 emissions in energy processes. He is author of more than 140 publications in international peer reviewed journals (h-index: 44) and 3 patents related to the development of oxygen carrier materials.

Abstract:

Bioenergy and Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS), is an interesting option to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, thus mitigating the CO2 emissions from the use of non-renewable sources, i.e., fossil fuels. BECCS has been identified as a relevant measure toachieve the target enforced by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in the Paris Agreement:To limit the increase in the average world temperature to 2ºC above pre-industrial levels. However, implementing CO2 capturein bioenergy through common technologies has the drawback of high economic and energetic costs. In this sense, the Chemical Looping Combustion (CLC) technology allows inherent CO2 capture at low cost during combustion. The benefits of CLC are based on avoiding the costly separation steps required in commercial CO2 capture processes, e.g., CO2 separation in flue gases or O2 production for oxy-fuel combustion, by the use of an oxygen carrier. The purpose of the oxygen carrier, usually a particulate metal oxide, is to transfer oxygen from air to fuel in order to avoid the direct contact between them. Thus, the oxygen carrier provides the oxygen required for combustion in the so-called fuel reactor. The oxygen carrier is later regenerated by air in the air reactor. The most common design of a CLC unit includes two fluidized bed reactors, being those mentioned fuel and air reactors with the oxygen carrier continuously circulating among them. CLC has been widely investigated for the use of gaseous fuels and coal but the interest of using biomass has recently increased considering that negative CO2 emissions would be possible. The objective of this work is to contributeto the development of biomass combustion by CLC evaluating the use of new and highly reactive Mn-based materials as oxygen carriers. Experiments were performed in a continuous 500 Wth CLC unit at Instituto de Carboquimica (ICB-CSIC), consisting oftwo interconnected fluidized-bed reactors. After determination of both gas streams composition, the performance of the CLC process was assessed by calculating the CO2 capture rate and the combustion efficiency as a function of the operating conditions. During the experimental campaign, the temperature in fuel reactor and the circulation rate of the oxygen carrier were varied. In general, CO2 capture rates close to 100% were obtained, which increased with temperature. In addition, high values of combustion efficiency were obtained. When the combustion was incomplete, the major unburnt compounds from the fuel reactor were H2, CO and CH4. Likely, these unburnt gases could proceed from the volatile matter as a high conversion of char would be expected. Interestingly, the amount of tar detected was low and they do not contribute significantly to the combustion efficiency.
 
 
 

Niclas Scott Bentsen

University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Title: Carbon debt of forest bioenergy - Fact or fantasy?

Time : 14:30-14:50

Speaker
Biography:

Niclas Scott Bentsen is an Associate Professor at Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. With a background in Forest Engineering, his research focuses on quantifying agriculture and forest biomass resources, on resource allocation in energy systems and on sustainability of bioenergy with emphasis on carbon dynamics and climate impacts.

Abstract:

In later years the potential contribution of forest bioenergy to mitigate climate change has been increasingly questioned due to temporal displacement between CO2 emissions when forest biomass is used for energy and subsequent sequestration of carbon in new biomass. Also disturbance of natural decay of dead biomass when used for energy affect the carbon dynamics of forest ecosystems. These perturbations of forest ecosystems are summarized under the concept of carbon debt and its payback time. In the vast body of literature one can find support for almost any view on the climate impact of forest bioenergy, from being instantly beneficial to analyses showing that it will not in the next 10,000 years contribute to global warming mitigation. The objectives of the paper is to identify patterns and commonalities in assumptions and outcomes across the current scientific literature on forest bioenergy, carbon dynamics and global warming mitigation potential and to identify factors influencing carbon debt and payback times of energy production based on forest biomass. Binary recursive partitioning was used for pattern search. Partitioning is a multivariate non-parametric procedure that recursively partitions data to find groupings in predictor variables that best predicts a response variable. Partitioning does not require prior knowledge of distributions, models and interactions. The meta-analysis confirms that the outcome of carbon debt studies lie in the assumptions and find that methodological rather than ecosystem and management related assumptions determine the findings. The study implies that at the current development of carbon debt methodologies and their lack of consensus the concept in itself is inadequate for informing and guiding policy development. At the management level the carbon debt concept may provide valuable information directing management principles in more benign climate directions.
 
 

Speaker
Biography:

Scott Sattler is a Research Molecular Biologist for USDA-ARS, whose expertise is in the areas of plant biochemistry and molecular genetics. For the past 10 years,
he has led research efforts for to develop sorghum as a feedstock, and improve the biomass of composition sorghum for bioenergy uses

Abstract:

Modifying lignin content and composition are major targets for bioenergy feedstock improvement for both cellulosic and thermal bioenergy conversion. Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) is currently being developed as a dedicated bio-energy feedstock. To increase the energy content of sorghum biomass for thermal bioenergy conversion processes, including pyrolysis and direct combustion, a series of transgenic events ectopically expressing ten monolignol biosynthetic genes and a Myb transcription factor, SbMyb60, were developed. Higher lignin content is desirable, because lignin has greater energy content than cellulose or hemicellulose cell wall components. The events overexpressing SbMyb60 have elevated levels of enzymes from the lignin biosynthetic pathway, increased levels of phenolic compounds and increased energy content. This result indicated that overexpression of this transcription factor is sufficient to induce phenyl propanoid synthesis in sorghum. Likewise, overexpression of caffeoyl CoA O-methyltransferase (SbCCoAOMT) resulted in increased energy content, but without increasing lignin concentration. In contrast, reducing lignin content is desirable for improving cellulosic bioenergy conversion. To reduce lignin content and alter lignin composition, brown midrib (bmr) mutants are being utilized. bmr6 and 12 sorghum lines have been previously shown to significantly increase ethanol conversion through saccharification and fermentation. Currently, five other bmr loci are being evaluated for the potential to improve biomass conversion. In addition, both the bmr and the transgenic strategies are being combined together with the goal of tailoring lignin content and composition beyond what has been previously observed in sorghum. The development of these experimental lines with altered phenyl propanoid metabolism will lead to a greater understanding of how these modifications impact plant fitness and affect bioenergy conversion technologies in sorghum and other bioenergy grasses
 
 

James B Houser

Appalachian State University, USA

Title: Cold climate anaerobic digestion

Time : 15:10:15:30

Speaker
Biography:

James B Houser is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment at Appalachian State University, where he focuses on issues of resource management, biomass energy and the relationship of technology and society and recently co-authored a book entitled Starting the Dialogue: Perspectives on Technology and Society. He has been actively involved with issues of sustainability at Appalachian State University, serving as Faculty Co-Chair of the Sustainability Council. He has received BA in Biology from Wake Forest University, MA in Appropriate Technology from Appalachian State University and a PhD in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from Cornell University. His Post-doctorate work was at the University of Georgia in the Agricultural Water Use program. He was also a licensed Waste Water Treatment Plant Operator in the state of North Carolina.

Abstract:

Small-scale animal farmers face unique challenges in bringing products to local markets. To stay profitable amid changing market conditions, on-farm systems that integrate inputs and outputs to keep nutrient and energy flows within the farm are essential. Anaerobic digestion (AD) of wastes is a powerful technology that serves this function, as it transforms manure into two valuable onfarm byproducts: Renewable biogas that can replace fossil fuels and nutrient-rich digestate that can be used as an organic replacement of petrochemical fertilizers. However, small-scale digesters that function passively (and therefore cost-effectively) in cold climates previously did not exist. In the last decade, such digesters that passively maintain operating temperatures through the greenhouse effect and thermal mass have been developed and implemented for under $300 in material costs (Figure-1). These digesters have the potential for low-income farmers in cold climates to manage manure more efficiently while creating a yield-boosting organic fertilizer and a fossil fuel substitute that can be used for heating greenhouses, value-added process heating or electricity generation. As food systems become more localized and distributed, such a technology can be a keystone to small farm viability. Researchers at Appalachian State University in the mountains of North Carolina have been designing, constructing and testing multiple prototype systems for cold temperature anaerobic digestion. A solar thermal system that uses thermo-siphoning has proven to be effective in maintaining digester temperatures and gas production through Boone, North Carolina winters that have an average of Soil Loss and Available Water Content to Assess the Sustainability of temperature between 0 and 5oC. We also have a Taiwanese type digester that is buried, insulated and heated through heat exchangers in-line with a static compost pile that has been able to maintain proper temperatures during periods of cold weather. We are also experimenting with a super-insulated digester building that should require very little energy for temperature maintenance.
 
 

Speaker
Biography:

Jacob K Jensen has his expertise in plant cell wall materials and their formation. His particular area of interest is cell wall molecular architecture and design principles.

Abstract:

Biomass recalcitrance is one of the major impediments to the success of biofuels. High recalcitrance requires extended pretreatment procedures, high enzyme loading and extended digestion conditions, each adding to overall production cost. The biomass feedstock consists of approximately equal amounts of cellulose, lignin and hemicellulose, the latter consisting of a range
of more complex polysaccharide species that play important roles in cellulose deposition and organization. In this work, we are exploring two principles for achieving improved feedstock materials based on genetically manipulating hemicellulose production in the plant material: (1) The effects of the hemicellulose component on cellulose microfibril organization and hence on overall biomass recalcitrance, and (2) the overproduction and deposition of an easily degradable hemicellulose to improve biomass glucose yields. In one study, we manipulate xylan formation during secondary cell wall formation and document altered cellulose microfilbril organization and improved enzymatically digestibility as a consequence. Some of these have the advantage of being genetically dominant, stackable with other favorable biomass traits and having a minimal impact on plant growth and physiology. A second line
of research involves over production of mixed-linked glucan, an all glucose cell wall polymer, in grass stem pith cells. In this case, the hemicellulose functions as storage compound for fixed carbon, a mechanism that seems to already be in place in the plant. Mixedlinked glucan is highly soluble and easily enzymatically degradable. By increasing the carbon storages in this form, more glucose is released under milder processing conditions.
 

Speaker
Biography:

Dr. Krigstin’s research interests are focused on value-added applications for wood and biomass materials as well as by-product streams from related processing industries. Being practical and focused, this research tends to resolve industrial issues in the Forest and Pulp and Paper Industry. Dr. Krigstin has spent many cyears working in the Pulp and Paper Industry and uses her practical knowledge to bring feasible solutions to challenges facing one of Canada’s main manufacturing sectors. The current research on bioenergy centres around characterization of biomass during the natural degradation occurring over storage phase in bioenergy supply chain.

Abstract:

Biomass piles spontaneously combust due to internal heat generation from biological and chemical activity in the woody materials. The biological and chemical activity also causes the breakdown of biomass to greenhouse gasses (GHG’s); this breakdown is further enhanced by rising temperature within the pile. Both the conversion of biomass matter to GHG’s and spontaneous combustion of biomass results in decreased material available for bioenergy generation, resulting in increased cost of storage and decreased efficiency of the biomass supply chain. Small-scale and industrial field trials have led to an improved understanding of the biological and chemical processes that occur in woody biomass piles. Models that simulate GHG generation and temperature changes in stored woody biomass piles have been developed. Current parameters being investigated are moisture content, oxygen levels, pile height and bulk density. Work is being conducted in developing mathematical relationships between the parameters and biomass growth rates. The growth rates are used to predict heat generation and GHG emissions. The model outputs are used to recommend test conditions for storage trials across Canada in order to determine best practices for minimizing GHG emissions and spontaneous combustion. The consolidation of these best practices into a CSA standard will allow for the safe and cost-effective storage of biomass, as it reduces the need for expensive GHG and temperature monitoring while minimizing matter losses. It is the hope that removing this barrier for biomass storage will increase the use of biomass feedstock throughout Canada.

Break:
Networking & Refreshment Break 16:10-16:20 @ Foyer
  • Biomass | Bioenergy | Session-2
Location: Dorothy
Speaker

Chair

Vosatka Miroslav

Institute of Botany Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic

Speaker

Co-Chair

Niclas Scott Bentsen

University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Speaker
Biography:

Adam Campen joined Imerys as a Combustion Engineer in 2014. His experience with fuel additives covers a wide range of solid fuels and furnace configurations. Adam has a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in Engineering Science from Southern Illinois University, where he researched coal and biomass gasification, synthesis gas processes, and fly ash utilization.

Abstract:

Most steam/power producing facilities burning solid fuels encounter slagging, fouling, agglomeration, or corrosion at some point in the life of their units. These effects are a direct result of fuel chemistry and producers are often tied to a fuel. The fuel may be a waste from another on-site process (i.e. stripped bark from a paper mill), a contractual obligation, or a requirement to receive subsidies. In addition to inefficiencies and burdensome cleaning schedules, producers may also have to tolerate frequent unplanned outages; all of which can add up to significant financial loss. Aurora is a portfolio of engineered additives formulated to address the problematic components of ash in solid fuels. Depending on the furnace design and issues faced, the additive may be blown into the furnace or applied directly to the fuel prior to entering the furnace, to optimize performance in problematic areas. The additives are aluminosilicate blends that preferentially react with volatile alkalis (sodium and potassium) at standard furnace temperatures to form higher melting point compounds. This decreases the abundance of molten phases, and lowers the potential for deposits and agglomerates to form. Another mechanism of the additive is to infuse non-cohesive layers between deposited particles, acting as a mechanical barrier which limits densification and eases removal. As a consequence of decreased deposit build-up on tube surfaces, corrosion is significantly reduced. Two recent success stories using Aurora in biomass boilers will be presented: Boiler rating: 2x12.5 steam tons per hour furnace configuration: Grate stoker with fire-tube boiler Fuel: Municipal waste and wood blend main challenges: Superheater fouling and deposition in fire tubes; Boiler rating: 450 steam tons per hour furnace configuration: Circulating fluidized bed fuel: Bark and petcoke blend main challenges: Unstable operation and loop seal plugging.

Speaker
Biography:

Dorado is a research chemist for the Citrus and Other Subtropical Products Research Unit located at the US Horticultural Research Laboratory (USHRL). She is currently working on various collaborative projects with USHRL scientists implementing steam explosion technology on sweet orange, grapefruit and processed lime peel. She has interests in implementing steam explosion technology on other Florida crops including sugar beets, olive leaves and banana plant residues. She is a Member of the Farm2Fly working group which explores the potential of utilizing locally grown sugar beets to create sustainable jet fuel. She has over four years of experience in biomass valorization methods including thermochemical, high pressure and catalytic processes for the conversion of biomass

Abstract:

Statement of the Problem: 95 percent of oranges harvested in the state of Florida are used for juice processing. Citrus processing waste (CPW) is 44% of the fruit mass wet. Currently, processors convert most of the CPW to animal feed pellets and molasses which results in small to negative profit margins due to the energy consumed in the process. CPW contains sugars, pectin, phenolics,
flavonoids and oil that can be extracted and converted to value added products to increase the overall value of the fruit. The US Horticultural Research Laboratory has completed extensive research on the use of steam explosion technology for the extraction of these valuable components of CPW. To date this work has focused on a narrow range of temperatures and hold times and in many cases only monitored the effects on only some of the components from CPW.
Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: In this work we intend to investigate the effect of steam explosion using three different temperatures (130oC, 150oC and 170oC) and various holds times (1,2,4 and 8 minutes) on the two major varieties of CPW from juicing oranges (Valencia and Hamlin) to determine the optimum conditions for the extraction of sugars, phenolics, pectin and limonene from CPW. This work is necessary for determining the conditions for optimizing the extraction of the valuable components found in CPW based on the variety of orange being processed and the compounds of interest for isolation in a comprehensive manner.
Conclusion & Significance: Maximization of the amount of fructose and glucose from CPW required, on average, higher temperatures and longer hold times than sucrose. The concentration of the flavonoid hesperidin increased with increasing temperature and hold time. Pectic hydrocolloids were recovered in greater amounts at higher temperatures but shorter hold times.
 

 

Serpil Özmıhçı

Dokuz Eylül University, Turkey

Title: Evaluation of rise husk for bio-hydrogen production

Time : 17:00-17:20

Speaker
Biography:

Serpil Ozmihci has completed her PhD in Dokuz Eylul University in 2005. She is a Assistant Professor in Environmental Engineering Department of Dokuz Eylul
University. She has published nearly 20 articles related to biofuels reasearch.

Abstract:

Fossil fuels do not meet needs of increasing energy demands and bring along as well as the climate change, global warming, environmental issues, such as the deterioration of air quality. Bio-hydrogen production from organic wastes is an attractive approach, since it can remove organic biomass while simultaneously producing clean hydrogen energy. The EU target till 2020 is to provide 20% energy from renewable energy sources of the total within the use of 10% renewable energy sources in transport rather than the use of petrol and diesel. Among these resources it counts wastes, residues, non-food cellulosic materials and lignocellulosic materials. In achieving the goals of Europe; bio-hydrogen production from waste sources has gained importance in recent years. It stands out as one of the potential responses that could form the backbone of green technology as well as provides to achieve sustainable development, renewable energy use, mitigation of the effects greenhouse gases, high energy value (122 kJ g-1), and from environmental point of view waste reduction and recycling. Rice-husk as a lignocellulosic waste can be utilized for bio-hydrogen production. In this study different rice husk concentrations was subjected to batch dark fermentation for bio-hydrogen production. 310 ml serum bottles were used in mesophilic and static conditions. Effects of substrate concentration (1-20 gdw) on the rate and yield of bio-hydrogen formation were investigated in solid state fermentation. The highest CHF (76 ml) were obtained with 15 gdw substrate concentration. Butyric acid was the main volatile fatty acid produced in the fermentation media. pH varied between 6.5-
5.5. Soluble sugars were around 200-400 mg L-1 and the main monosaccharide in the fermentation media were found as glucose and cellobiose. The highest yield (11 ml H2 g-1 substrate) was obtained with 2 gdw and specific hydrogen production rate was obtained with 15 gdw.

Vosatka Miroslav

Institute of Botany Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic

Title: Ecological management of fast growing trees plantations and biorefinery of added value products from biomass

Time : 17:20:17:40

Speaker
Biography:

Vosatka Miroslav has his expertise in soil microbiology, plant ecology and in the practical applications of biofertilizers in plant production. He has been working at
the Institute of Botany, CAS for the last 30 years he is also an External Lecturer at Charles University and Masaryk University. For several years he has been a fellow at the International Institute of Biotechnology and Kent Science Park in the UK. He has a long term experience in collaborations in organic agriculture and
biofuel plantations worldwide.

Abstract:

During the last 10 years an intensive research activities regarding cultivation of the fast growing trees (poplar, wilow and paulownia) and refinery of added value products have been accomplished within the Centre of Competence Biorefinery project held among several Institutions and private companies in the Czech Republic. Preceding that a 5 years study was conducted to find out whether poplar and willow plantations can be established as an apart from biofuel production the plantations had an added value in increased capability of cover crop to decontaminate polluted soil. Then a 5 years study was conducted to establish the best cultivation practice including fertilizing with sewage sludge and wood ash or bio fertilizing with mycorrhizas and endophytic fungi or PGPB. Manuals for the best cultivation practice were developed for poplar, willow and paulownia plantations. An added value product from plantations was designed (e.g. patented game repellent product from poplar buds, use of edges of tree plantations for production of nutraceutical plants etc.). Sustainability and economic feasibility of biofuel plantations on marginal land can be significantly increased by assignment of other expected ecosystem services such as decontamination of pollutants or by designing the co-products with higher added value that can be produced alongside on biofuel plantations.
 
 

Speaker
Biography:

Janaina Camile Pasqual has completed her Masters in Urban Management and Biogas Issues and currently pursuing PhD at the Pontifical Catholic University of
Parana, in partnership with the University of Arizona, USA. She is a Consultant of the International Center of Renewable Energies/Biogas and International Center of Hydroinformatics, Brazil. She has published more than 10 papers in reputed journals and has participated international committees related to water-energy-nexus and biogas.

Abstract:

Increasing population and industrialization are augmenting the demand for water, energy and food, especially in developing countries. In this context, the analysis of these three elements has gained increasing attention globally in research, business and policy spheres. This article will provide an analysis of this nexus for Brazil and the United States, using current and predicted scenario for 2050. Contemplating the relevance of renewable sources of energy to overcome these challenges and diversify the energy matrix in both countries, the study will also present the biogas potential for these countries, including best practices and case studies implemented in this area. Both countries have similar scenarios regarding the opportunities for use of this energy source are among the five countries with the largest population and territorial extent, leaders in food production, large energy consumers and are among the countries with greater availability of water in the world. It will be concluded that biogas can provide multiple economic, environmental and social benefits, such as electrical, thermal and vehicular energy, high-quality biofertilizer, reduction of odor and pathogenic vectors in the farms, decrease of ground and surface water pollution, promotion of new income for the farmers, reduction the greenhouse gases emissions, among others.

Naz Orang

University of Toronto, Canada

Title: Predictive statistical model for optimized biomass boiler operation

Time : 17:55-18:10

Speaker
Biography:

Naz Orang is a PhD candidate in Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto. Her main research focus is on biomass combustion
and biomass boiler optimization. Her research is under the supervision of Prof. Honghi Tran in the Chemical Recovery Research Group at UofT’s Pulp and Paper
Center. Her practical research approach has made her work uniquely applicable to industrial applications and their challenges.

Abstract:

Biomass boilers provide pulp mills with one third of their required energy in the form of superheated steam. The biomass fuel in these types of boilers is conventionally called hog fuel, which is a mixture of different types of wood waste found on the mill site. Biomass is considered a carbon neutral fuel and is therefore sustainable and provides a feasible way for mills to dispose of their wood waste while harvesting its energy content. Burning wood waste in biomass boilers is an economical and environmentally sustainable way for pulp mills to remain competitive in today’s challenging market. The variability of hog fuel makes stable and optimized boiler operation a challenge. Since the quality of the fuel is constantly changing, there is a need to detect sub optimal operation and to mitigate the adverse effects of fuel variability as early as possible. For this reason, a predictive statistical model is presented which enables the detection of process upsets caused by changes in hog fuel quality before these changes affect steam production. An OPLS (orthogonal projection to latent structures) model was built for operating data from a stoker-grate biomass boiler in a Canadian pulp mill. Biomass boiler operating data is highly
interconnected and correlated, and OPLS is a predictive projection method which is well suited in dealing with these issues. The thermal performance of the boiler, which is the amount of steam produced per amount of biomass burnt, is modeled as the target variable using operating parameters such as inlet air flow rate and temperature, flue gas flow rate, temperature and composition as predictor variables. The model enables the prediction of the onset of a process upset, which will lead to a decrease in thermal performance and the contributing factors to the upset are also identified by the model which can be used to mitigate the situation and increase thermal performance back to optimal values. This way, biomass combustion for the purpose of steam production can be carried out with minimal co-combustion of fossil fuels.

Speaker
Biography:

Augustina EPHRAIM obtained a Masters degree in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London in 2012 and has recently completed her 3 year PhD programme in Process and Environmental Engineering at Ecole des Mines d’Albi in France.

Abstract:

Wood waste is an attractive feedstock for syngas production via pyro-gasification, due to its good fuel properties, abundant supply, and low recycling rate. However, wood waste may contain significant levels of chlorine, which may form hydrogen chloride (HCl) in gasifiers, which in turn may cause corrosion in syngas end-use devices, as well as health and environmental problems. A promising technique to remove HCl from syngas is by dry adsorption of HCl onto solid inorganic sorbents. In this paper, we present an experimental study on the adsorption potential of four sorbents: two industrial solid residues– CCW-S and CCW-D, and two commercial sorbents – Bicar and Lime. The first set of adsorption tests were performed using a gas mixture of 200 ppm HCl in nitrogen (HCl/N2) at ambient conditions. The results revealed that Bicar was the best performing sorbent with an average breakthrough time of 66 h and a HCl adsorption capacity of 27 wt%, whereas the performance of the solid residues was lower (e.g. 7.8 h and 4 wt% for CCW-S). When the adsorption tests were conducted with a simulated HCl/ Syngas atmosphere, a significant decrease in sorbent performance was observed which indicated that inhibitory interactions occured between syngas and the sorbents, in relation to HCl adsorption. Our results reveal a promising opportunity to valorize industrial residues as cheap and effective sorbents for the removal of HCl in syngas. This will enable a wider market penetrating of wood waste-derived syngas, while meeting the quality requirements of increasingly strict environmental regulations.

Speaker
Biography:

Rajesh Munirathinam has completed his PhD from University of Twente and his postdoctoral studies from IFP Energies Nouvelles. Presently, he is working on developing efficient Fischer-Tropsch catalysts as a research engineer in the group of Prof. Ange Nzihou at RAPSODEE Reserch Centre in Ecole des Mines d’Albi.
He has published about 9 papers in reputed journals and he is very passionate about the catalysis research field.

Abstract:

Increasing global demand for a decreased dependence on petroleum for the production of fuels and chemicals in recent years has called for the revival of interest towards Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS). FTS is a heterogeneous catalytic process for the production of hydrocarbon fuels or chemicals from synthesis gas (CO+H2). Synthesis gas (syn gas) is generally derived from non-petroleum feedstocks such as natural gas, coal, or biomass. Growing awareness towards the valorization of biomass for sustainable environment has augmented the production of syn gas, which can be further processed using FTS to produce value added biofuels and chemicals. FT catalysts usually consist of Co or Fe nanoparticles, which are dispersed on a support material such as alumina, silica, titanium oxide, zirconium oxide, niobium oxide, SiC, or carbon. Tuning of acid - base properties of these conventional supports is not very trivial. In recent years, calcium phosphates (CaP), has been investigated as porous support. The presence of phosphate groups in CaP not only stabilize the structure of active sites, but also allow for easy tuning of acid-base properties by varying the calcium/phosphate ratio. This property of CaP would enable to tune the selectivity of the product distribution in FTS. Further, industrially used conventional supports like alumina and silica display strongmetal support interactions (SMSI); as a result, the reducibility of metallic oxide (e.g. Co3O4) to metallic state (Co) is hindered. However, using CaP as a support SMSI can be minimized drastically. In this study, we investigate for the first time, the textural, structural chemistry and catalytic behavior of a series of CaP-supported cobalt samples in the FTS process. The results of catalytic CO conversion and product selectivity in the FTS obtained by tuning the acid-base properties of the CaP support will be discussed.

Speaker
Biography:

Rachna Dhir is PhD candidate at Chemical and Environmental Engineering, UCR Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT). She is a co-author of Mechanisms and characteristics of Biological pretreatment used for lignocellulosic biomass. She also worked as Undergraduate Student Mentor in University of California, Riverside, CA. she is currently primary author of few upcoming publications.

Abstract:

Lignocellulosic biomass consists of strong interlinked components as cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Pretreatment is an important step to recover these structural components from lignocellulosic biomass structure for their higher accessibility during enzymatic hydrolysis stage. Various pretreatments assist disruption of the lignocellulosic structures. However, aqueous pretreatments comes with added advantage of solvent recovery and reuse. Combined sugar yields from pretreatment (Stage 1) and enzymatic hydrolysis (Stage 2) at the end of 7 days used to identify the maximum total glucose and xylose yields for
ethanol organosolv pretreated poplar were compared to the maximum total sugar yielding conditions for THF co-solvent enhanced lignocellulosic fractionated (CELF) pretreated wood. Ethanol organosolv pretreatment applied in this study to identify the maximum total sugar yielding conditions for poplar wood resulted in highest combined total sugar yields of 78.2% at 185°C-15min compared to CELF pretreatment conditions as 160°C-15min illustrating 100% yields at 15mg/g glucan in raw biomass enzyme loading used during hydrolysis stage. Ethanol organosolv pretreated wood showed lower lignin removal of 85% in comparison to the CELF pretreated biomass with over 90% removal during the pretreatment stage. Negligible degradation product formation during CELF pretreatments in comparison to ethanol organosolv makes CELF a desired pretreatment for ethanol fuel production. Focus of the present study is to enumerate the change in yields for the two pretreatments and discuss the advantages of using CELF over organosolv for further insight.