Scientific Program

Conference Series Ltd invites all the participants across the globe to attend 4th Annual Congress and Expo on Biofuels and Bioenergy Dubai, UAE.

Day 1 :

Keynote Forum

Jizhong Zhou

University of Oklahoma, USA

Keynote: Functional genomics analysis of Clostridium cellulolyticum for lignocellulose bioconversion

Time : 10:00-10:40

OMICS International Biofuels Conference 2017 International Conference Keynote Speaker Jizhong Zhou photo

Jizhong Zhou is a George Lynn Cross Research Professor, Presidential Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology and Director of the Institute for Environmental Genomics, University of Oklahoma (OU) Norman, OK, an Adjunct Senior Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and an Adjunct Professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. His expertise is in microbial ecology and genomics with current research focused on: (i) molecular community ecology and metagenomics, particularly of terrestrial soils and groundwater ecosystems important to climate changes and environmental remediation, (ii) experimental evolution and functional genomics of microorganisms important to environment and bio-energy, (iii) pioneering development of high throughput metagenomic technologies, particularly functional gene arrays for biogeochemical, environmental, and ecological applications, and (iv) theoretical ecology, particularly network ecology.


The lack of efficient genetic tools for targeted genome editing and transcriptional control hinders functional genomics studies and microbial engineering. Research in the model organism of mesophilic cellulolytic clostridia, Clostridium cellulolyticum, which is capable of one-step lignocellulose bioconversion, is facing the same challenge. Here, we successfully developed an efficient Cas9 nickase-based genome editing tool to modify the C. cellulolyticum genome. This tool not only successfully overcame the toxicity of previously reported severe DNA damage caused by Cas9-based editing methods, but also demonstrated the advantage of marker-independent gene delivery, versatile editing, and multiplex editing in a single step at a very high editing efficiency and specificity. The combinatorial method using the Cas9 nickase editing tool to chromosomally integrate RNA repression modules enabled us to stably manipulate essential metabolic genes in this bacterium in a plasmid-independent way. With this superior editing tool, we conducted comprehensive studies on cellulose-degrading cellulosomes and carbon catabolite regulation (CCR), aiming to increase our understanding of lignocellulose degradation and carbohydrate assimilation in this bacterium. First, we genetically identified three important cellulosomal components (Dpi, Cel48F endocellulase and Cel9E exoglucanase). Our results revealed that Dpi, as an effective cysteine protease inhibitor, protects indispensable cellulases from proteolysis, providing the first evidence showing the in situ importance of cellulosomal protease inhibitors in cellulose degradation. Second, chromosomal integration of promoters into the cip-cel operon which encodes major cellulose-degrading enzymes dramatically enhanced both exoglucanase and endoglucanase By transforming pCas9n-3198D-donor into the LM mutant, integrants were generated within a single step. activities of    isolated cellulosome complexes, and subsequently improved the hydrolysis of cellulose to soluble sugars. Third, C. cellulolyticum lost the sugar-transporting phosphotransferase system and catabolically exhibited a very mild reverse catabolite repression. Mutagenesis of the predicted CCR regulatory system, including hprK, crh and ccpA, showed that cellobiose assimilation was independent of CCR, but the utilization of monomers (both pentoses and hexoses) and insoluble cellulose were tightly associated with CCR. This study also provided the first genetic evidence to show the indispensability of the crh and ccpA genes in cellulose catabolism. The observed differential reliance of carbohydrate utilization on this reduced CCR was explained by our transcriptomic analysis. The aforementioned functional genomics analysis provides novel insights into sugar assimilation, cellulose degradation, and cellular metabolism in C. cellulolyticum. These discoveries will help microbial engineers to develop feasible strategies to improve lignocellulose bioconversion, which can be technically further facilitated by the advent of our robust Cas9 nickase-based genome editing tool.

Keynote Forum

Rick Musleh

Government of Saskatchewan, Canada

Keynote: Investment opportunities for biofuels in the Province of Saskatchewan, Canada

Time : 10:40-11:20

OMICS International Biofuels Conference 2017 International Conference Keynote Speaker Rick Musleh photo

Rick Musleh is Deputy Director, Investment, with the Ministry of the Economy, which is part of the Government of Saskatchewan, in the Province of Saskatchewan, Canada Rick is responsible for business development and investment attraction in Saskatchewan’s energy sector, which includes biofuels, oil and gas, and renewable energy. Rick works closely with industry to help them advance their interest into Saskatchewan and access new markets. Examples include assisting companies navigate through the regulatory requirements, as well as identifying suitable feedstocks and off-takers. Rick has been working in the energy sector for over 25 years between government and private sector oil and gas companies, and has university degrees in business and economics.


Located in central Canada, the Province of Saskatchewan has a diverse wealth of energy resources. The province accounts for a third of Canada's primary energy production, including, but not limited to, uranium, natural gas, oil, and coal. Saskatchewan is Canada’s second largest oil producer and Canada’s third largest natural gas and coal producer. Renewable energy such as wind also makes an important contribution to Saskatchewan's energy mix. Saskatchewan has a large agricultural industry producing products such as wheat, lentils, dried peas and canola. The province also has a large forest sector were over half of Saskatchewan is forested, representing 34 million hectares. Rick will be providing an overview about Saskatchewan, its resources, as well as biofuels opportunities in the Province.

  • Biofuels
    Production of Biofuels
    Aviation biofuels

Session Introduction

Qaun (Sophia)

Dalhousie University, Canada

Title: Utilization of spent K-cups for crude bio-oil production

Time : 11:40-12:10


Qaun (Sofia) has her expertise in the development of biofuels from low value biomass and organic waste. Research interests include: 1) biodiesel synthesis and application in non-energy sectors; 2) hydrothermal liquefaction of biomass; 3) catalyst development and application; and 4) development of oil-based preservatives for wood treatment.


Statement of the Problem: K-cup is a popular single-serve coffee brewing system in North-America. With the growing popularity, the waste produced from this “convenient” process, referred to as spent K-Cups, has raised concern over their potential environmental impact, and thus disposal and/or utilization have attracted increasing attention.

Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: Hydrothermal liquefaction is a thermochemical process for the transformation of biomass or organic waste into liquid biofuels under reaction conditions of temperature and pressure in sub-/supercritical water or organic solvents. In this study, spent K-Cups were liquefied to crude bio-oil in water-ethanol mixture of 50/50 (v/v)

Findings: The optimum reaction conditions for maximizing crude bio-oil yield were determined: temperature of 276°C, reaction time of 3 min and solvent/feedstock mass ratio of 11:1, giving the crude bio-oil yield of 60.0%. GC-MS and FT-IR helped identify that the volatile compounds in the resulting crude bio-oil were long-chain aliphatic acids, esters and aromatic compounds. The addition of a catalyst, NaOH, promoted the decomposition of feedstock and thus significantly enhanced the bio-oil production and liquefaction efficiency. However, the addition of acidic catalyst, H2SO4 showed a negative impact on the liquefaction process, decreasing the crude bio-oil yield.

Conclusion & Significance: This study offered not only a viable route for the production of crude bio-oil and also an effective approch for waste management.


The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

Title: Transition metal oxide based heterogeneous catalyst for green biodiesel production

Time : 12:10-12:40


Ka Fu Yung obtained his PhD in The Hong Kong University and is currently an associated professor and the associate head of the Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He won a few awards including Early Career Awards from HK UGC and Gold Medals from Inventions Geneva for his findings in renewable energy related catalysis. His current research interest is mainly focused on the design of metal based material with precise surface control and high up-scalability for biofuel and fuel cell application.


Application of various metal oxide based catalysts for green biofuel production will be discussed. Two different approaches have been explored to yield new biodiesel catalysts. The first approach is the preparation of sulfated zirconia as acidic catalyst for biodiesel synthesis. In light of the weak association of the sulfation using sulfuric acid, chlorosulfonic acid was chosen to react with zirconium hydroxide precursor to enhance the overall stability. Catalytic studies confirm the presence of abundant medium and strong acidic sites to achieve high catalytic activity for simultaneous esterification and transesterification which shows high adaptability to crude plant oil with high acidity. The second approach is using bimetallic alkaline earth metal oxide as basic catalyst to enhance its reactivity and lifetime towards the crude oil feedstock. A series of mixed metal Ca and Mg with Fe, Mn, Cr and Ti were prepared and their catalysis was studied towards the crude plant oil for biodiesel production. It was proved that the bimetallic design can enhance their tolerance towards free fatty acid and helps to reduce the leaching of Ca or Mg ions. Other mechanistic investigation of transition metal oxide as biofuel catalyst will also be discussed.

Ib Johannsen

Aarhus University, Denmark

Title: Hydrothermal liquefaction in an integrated bio-refining platform

Time : 13:40-14:10


Ib Johannsen is curently working as a Professor at Department of Engineering, Aarhus University, Denmark


As environmental issues and depletion of the fossil fuel reserves becomes more pressing concerns, it is a must to find alternatives.  In 2012 the global petrochemical production was just shy of 2000 million tons, most of which needs to be replaced within the coming decades. Some of the petrochemicals can be replaced by sugar- and biogas-based chemicals. Other chemicals, especially aromatic compounds, are more difficult to produce. The Biobase initiative at Aarhus University in collaboration with a large national biorefining program under the Biovalue brand is involving other Danish universities and several international industrial partners.  In this context a unique pilot scale centre has been established in which a wide range of bio-refining processes can be developed and demonstrated in kg to ton scale. Existing facilities include a wide range of pilot-scale reactors, fermenters, large-scale extruders, decanters, separators etc.   Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of biomass forms the overall key element in this facility and provides the opportunity to fulfil part of the overall bio-refinery objective by being able to convert non-food plant/bio-material into liquid fuels and value added chemicals. In this presentation, the overall bio-refining facility with special focus to a large HTL pilot facility recently established with several novel technical developments will be covered. The plant is a 135 m plug flow system with a constant inner diameter. It can operate at up to 350 bars and 450°C. The flow rate can be up to 100 L/h and 30% dry matter content, depending on biomass type. A novel setup for pumping and oscillating the reactor contents as well as novel heat-recovery methods is included. In addition, new results from wood and other lignocellulose based waste streams including lignin will be presented and its potential as a source of bio-based aromatic compounds will be discussed.

Sean D O Brien

Air Sumatra Airlines, USA

Title: Why Every Airline Should Use Biofuel

Time : 14:10-14:40


Sean founded Air Sumatra Airlines® on December 14th, 2011 with a precise vision to connect consumers to an effective global network of destinations while envisioning rapid progress for our environment. Aside from his aviation experience and passion, Sean has been involved within the agricultural industry for 8 years by heavily participating at his 4-H club (U.S. non-profit youth organization) by raising turkeys, chickens, and rabbits while exemplifying the core values of time management, innovation, collaboration, and being accountable. Not only being a volunteer Moderator for this year’s event, Sean also encompasses the responsibility of leadership and honest work ethics required to reach out to agricultural industry leaders, biorefineries, government officials, and is currently seeking for strategic partnerships in hopes to implement the “7-7-7 Plan” on a global-scale.


This carefully crafted presentation and it’s contents using proven scientific research embodies 7 pros, 7 cons, and 7 solutions to allow biofuel to become the best and most suitable source of fuel for commercial airlines worldwide. In a summary, it describes explicitly detailed solutions for cons such as potential food shortages and incentives to increase occupations within the agricultural industry, overuse of fertilizer and it’s negative impacts for nearby water sources, regional suitability and specific environmental characteristics, and more. Sean believes that the contents of this oral presentation and proposal will not only attract members of the audience, but will also engage and intrigue potential partners as well as global and local investors that can collaboratively share and help create a vision for a cleaner and more economical future that is cleared for takeoff!


Henry Persson is a PhD Candidate and holds his expertise in Chemical Engineering with focus on biomass pyrolysis processes for production of bio-oils. He holds a MSc degree in Chemical Engineering from KTH Royal Institute of Technology, with Diploma work in catalytic process development for gaseous systems. His current research is focusing on pretreatment of biomass combined with fast pyrolysis systems. At KTH, Royal Institute of Technology, the research group is working on pyrolysis processes for different feedstocks by investigating different process conditions in order to optimize energy and material recycling. Besides research, he is also teaching and supervising Master’s students in risk analysis projects and diploma works.


Palm Kernel Shells (PKS) is a residue product from palm oil production and is today mainly used as a fuel for production of heat and power. Pyrolysis of PKS is an alternative way to increase the amount of oil produced from the material (both for fuels and chemicals) at the same time as producing a solid and gaseous fuel. Compared to conventional biomass types used in today’s pyrolysis processes PKS has a higher lignin content of 51% relative to 18-35% in lignocellulosic biomass and 10-30% in agricultural residues, i.e. enhanced production of phenolic compounds. Further on, the high oxygen content of approximately 1/3 of elemental composition in PKS tends to reduce the heating value of pyrolytic liquids as well as its thermodynamic stability, which is mainly caused by compounds derived from hemicellulose, e.g. water and reactive carbonyl compounds. Torrefaction is today used to increase the energy density of biomass to facilitate logistic issues. Also, the volatile fraction of biomass released during torrefaction temperatures includes acids, carbonyls and other oxygenated compounds that are involved in aging reactions in pyrolytic liquids as well as reducing its fuel properties. By controlling the torrefaction process either with temperature, and/or residence time, it is possible to produce more stable pyrolysis oil by removing these limiting compounds during the torrefaction process for downstream fast pyrolysis. The objective of this study is to investigate torrefaction as a pretreatment method of PKS in order to produce more thermodynamically stable pyrolysis oil. In this work, PKS is torrefied at different temperatures (200-300°C) followed by pyrolysis at 550°C. Experiments are performed in a fixed bed batch pyrolyzer followed by analysis of pyrolytic liquids by

GC/MS and gases by micro-GC. Preliminary results show that pyrolytic liquid from raw PKS exist in aqueous and bio-oil separated phases, i.e. water production is relatively high. Figure 1 shows the comparison of bio-oil between raw and torrefied PKS. It is found that the concentration of phenolic compounds is significantly higher in bio-oils derived from torrefied PKS at 250°C compared with that derived from raw PKS. Concentration of acids and aldehydes were reduced in the aqueous phase for torrefied PKS, at the same time as sugar concentration was increased. Pyrolytic gases of torrefied biomass show enhanced potential as a gaseous fuel, with a reduced fraction of non-combustible gases (presented in Figure 2).

Mande K H

Kaduna State University, Nigeria

Title: Forest biomass recovering and soil respiration rate

Time : 15:30-16:00


Mande K H obtained his PhD degree from the University Putra Malaysia. He did his Post-doctoral research at the Institute of Tropical Forest, University Putra Malaysia. His expertise is in climate change, CO2 efflux and deforestation. He modified an improved portable CO2 efflux measuring chamber with a total measurement of below and above biomass. Presently, he is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Environmental Management, Head of Environmental Management department, Co-ordinator of Projects and Research of the Department, Chairman of Research and Publication Committee of the Faculty of Environmental Science, Kaduna State University, Nigeria and Deputy Director at the University College of Basic Studies. He has published over 24 papers in reputed impact factor journals, book chapters and has presented 21 papers in international conferences. He has also won three international research grants.


Forest biomass is used for renewable energy and it also plays a significant role in soil nutrients, to influence soil respiration. This study was conducted to investigate the rate of soil respiration from a recovering forest biomass of the tropics and its relationship to changes in the environmental factors after years of deforestation. Soil respiration measurement was conducted using the continuous open flow chamber technique connected to a multi gas-handling unit and infrared gas analyser while the forest biomass and soil properties were directly measured and further quantified using the Kjeldahl method and Walkley-black wet oxidation technique. The average mean soil respiration rates were 341.23, 383.07, 340.30, 308.12, 286.07, 256.05 mg m-2 h-1 between June and December and the recovering forest biomass was found to host an estimated Total Above Ground Biomass (TAGB), Below Ground Biomass (BGB), Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) and Soil Organic Carbon stock (SOC stock) of 1.8 x 103, 1.0 x 103, 2.4 x 103 mg and 52.28 mg ha-1 respectively. Soil respiration exhibited a variation pattern that was similar to soil temperature pattern and the occurrences of forest carbon input from biomass and soil properties as they were found to be significantly correlated with soil respiration to provide nutrients for microorganism to emit soil CO2. The remarkable soil CO2 emission from the recovering forest biomass was attributed to changes in environmental factors as the forest was recovering from deforestation. The correlation and multiple regression model proved forest biomass and environmental factors to influence the high rate of soil CO2 emission, indicating a strong positive relationship (0.94; p<0.01). These results suggest that, forest recovering could still emit considerable percentages of soil CO2 due to impact from deforestation, which could have a great implication on environmental factors and the atmospheric carbon balance.

Kamal Sood

Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, India

Title: A brief review: Physiochemical properties and solubility of ionic liquids for carbon dioxide capture

Time : 16:00-16:20


Kamal Sood is pursing bachelor degree of Chemical engineering at Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, INDIA. He has presented a poster in CHEMCON-2015 at IIT Guwahati. Apart from this, He is currently working in research project funded by his university. Moreover, He has also presented on “Advanced Oxidation Process” in university presentation. He has also presented a technical paper in university conference in 2014.


Over past decades, astounding climatic changes throughout the globe have gained the worldwide attention. The rapid increase in the amount of greenhouse gases essentially carbon dioxide is the major concern for developing a sustainable future. Carbon dioxide concentrations have increased
by 40% since pre-industrial times, primarily due to fossil fuel emissions. Carbon Capture is a technology to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced from the large point sources of electricity generation and industrial processes which uses fossil fuels; which in turn helps in the prevention of the carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. Many of the carbon capturing
technologies are widely available and commercialized. The proposed article reviews on the alternative approach of carbon capture by using ionic liquids. The article also focuses on the types of ionic liquids used for capturing CO2 mainly: Room temperature ionic liquids, Task specific ionic liquids, supported ionic-liquid membranes and polymerized ionic liquids. A brief review of physiochemical properties and VLE data of the ionic liquids and CO2 systems are also mentioned. Later the current developments in ionic liquids which will make them well adaptive and efficient enough for adequately capturing CO2 from large point sources are also given a focus


Rahulkumar Kotadiya is pursuing his Bachelor Degree at the age of 20 years from Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University. He has presented a poster in CHEMCON-2015 at IIT Guwahati. He is also working on simulation of the process Methanol to olefin Technology (MTO) by using Aspen Plus.


Biodiesel, other than being environment friendly based on combustion emission profile, is essentially bio degradable and non-toxic and thus has emerged as a sustainable alternative to petroleum origin diesel. The comparative study is based on the analysis of bio diesel produced from waste cooking oil and virgin cooking oil. Conventional way of biodiesel production is mechanical stirring which is time consuming for both preparation and separation of biodiesel. Hence, literature suggests the use of ultrasound cavitation technology which covers limitations faced by mechanical stirring. In the present experimental study, waste cooking oil and virgin cooking oil has been used for production of biodiesel using ultrasound cavitation. Sonication was done using microprocessor based and programmable ultrasonic processor with a frequency of 20kHz. Homogeneous catalyst (KOH) is used for the comparative study of the biodiesel keeping alcohol/oil ratio constant. Figure 1 shows a schematic diagram of sonicator set-up that was used for production of the Bio-diesel.