The application of combustion technologies for thermal conversion of biomass and solid wastes to energy has been a major solution to the effective handling of wastes over a long period of time. Lab-scale biomass combustion systems have been observed to be economically viable and socially acceptable, but major concerns are the environmental impacts of the process and deviation of temperature distribution within the combustion chamber. Both high and low combustion chamber temperature may affect the overall combustion efficiency and gaseous emissions. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop a control system which measures the deviations of chamber temperature from set target values, sends these deviations (which generates disturbances in the system) in the form of feedback signal (as input), and control operating conditions for correcting the errors. In this research study, major components of the feedback control system were determined, assembled, and tested. In addition, control algorithms were developed to actuate operating conditions (e.g., air velocity, fuel feeding rate) using ladder logic functions embedded in the Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). The developed control algorithm having chamber temperature as a feedback signal is integrated into the lab-scale swirling fluidized bed combustor (SFBC) to investigate the temperature distribution at different heights of the combustion chamber based on various operating conditions. The air blower rates and the fuel feeding rates obtained from automatic control operations were correlated with manual inputs. There was no observable difference in the correlated results, thus indicating that the written PLC program functions were adequate in designing the experimental study of the lab-scale SFBC. The experimental results were analyzed to study the effect of air velocity operating at 222-273 ft/min and fuel feeding rate of 60-90 rpm on the chamber temperature. The developed temperature-based feedback control system was shown to be adequate in controlling the airflow and the fuel feeding rate for the overall biomass combustion process as it helps to minimize the steady-state error.
Microalgae-based photobioreactors (PBR) for Life Support Systems (LSS) are currently being investigated for future space missions such as a crewed base on planets or moons. Biological components may help reducing resupply masses by closing material mass flows with the help of regenerative components. Via photosynthesis, the microalgae use CO2, water, light and nutrients to provide oxygen and biomass for the astronauts. These capabilities could have synergies with Earth applications that tackle current problems and the developed technologies can be transferred. For example, a current worldwide discussed issue is the increased nitrate and phosphate pollution of ground water from agricultural waste waters. To investigate the potential use of a biological system based on the ability of the microalgae to extract and use nitrate and phosphate for the treatment of polluted ground water from agricultural applications, a scalable test stand is being developed. This test stand investigates the maximization of intake rates of nitrate and quantifies the produced biomass and oxygen. To minimize the required energy, for the uptake of nitrate from artificial waste water (AWW) the Flashing Light Effect (FLE) and the adaption of the illumination spectrum were realized. This paper describes the composition of the AWW, the development of the illumination unit and the possibility of non-invasive process optimization and control via the adaption of the illumination spectrum and illumination cycles. The findings were a doubling of the energy related growth rate by adapting the illumination setting.
Gasification and carbonization are two of the most common ways for biomass utilization. Both processes are using part of the waste to be accomplished, either by incomplete combustion or for heating for both gasification and carbonization, respectively. The focus of this paper is to minimize the part of the waste that is used for heating biomass for gasification and carbonization. This will occur by combining both gasifiers and carbonization reactors in a single unit to utilize the heat in the product biogas to heating up the wastes in the carbonization reactors. Three different designs are proposed for the combined gasification/carbonization (CGC) reactor. These include a parallel combination of two gasifiers and carbonized syngas, carbonizer and combustion chamber, and one gasifier, carbonizer, and combustion chamber. They are tested numerically using ANSYS Fluent Computational Fluid Dynamics to ensure homogeneity of temperature distribution inside the carbonization part of the CGC reactor. 2D simulations are performed for the three cases after performing both mesh-size and time-step independent solutions. The carbonization part is common among the three different cases, and the difference among them is how this carbonization reactor is heated. The simulation results showed that the first design could provide only partial homogeneous temperature distribution, not across the whole reactor. This means that the produced carbonized biomass will be reduced as it will only fill a specified height of the reactor. To keep the carbonized product production high, a series combination is proposed. This series configuration resulted in a uniform temperature distribution across the whole reactor as it has only one source for heat with no temperature distribution on any surface of the carbonization section. The simulations provided a satisfactory result that either the first parallel combination of gasifier and carbonization reactor could be used with a reduced carbonized amount or a series configuration to keep the production rate high.
In this study, apricot seed shell, walnut shell, and sawdust were chosen as biomass sources. The materials were sorted by using a sieve No. 50 and the sieved materials were subjected to pyrolysis process at 400 °C, resulting in three different biochar products. The resulting biochar products were added to the bitumen at three different rates (5%, 10% and 15%), producing modified bitumen. Penetration, softening point, rotation viscometer and dynamic shear rheometer (DSR) tests were conducted on modified binders. Thus the modified bitumen, which was obtained by using additives at 3 different rates obtained from biochar produced at 400 °C temperatures of 3 different biomass sources were compared and the effects of pyrolysis temperature and additive rates were evaluated. As a result of the conducted tests, it was determined that the rheology of the pure bitumen improved significantly as a result of the modification of the bitumen with the biochar. Additionally, with biochar additive, it was determined that the rutting parameter values obtained from softening point, viscometer and DSR tests were increased while the values in terms of penetration and phase angle decreased. It was also observed that the most effective biomass is sawdust while the least effective was ground apricot seed shell.
To fight against climate change, California government issued the Senate Bill No. 100 (SB-100) in 2018 September, which aims at achieving a target of 100% renewable electricity by the end of 2045. A capacity expansion problem is solved in this case study using a binary quadratic programming model. The optimal locations and capacities of the potential renewable power plants (i.e., solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and hydropower), the phase-out schedule of existing fossil-based (nature gas) power plants and the transmission of electricity across the entire network are determined with the minimal total annualized cost measured by net present value (NPV). The results show that the renewable electricity contribution could increase to 85.9% by 2030 and reach 100% by 2035. Fossil-based power plants will be totally phased out around 2035 and solar and wind will finally become the most dominant renewable energy resource in California electricity mix.
The synergistic impact and optimization of gas flow rate, concentration of CO2, and light intensity on CO2 biofixation rate were investigated using wastewater as a medium to cultivate Chlorella vulgaris under different conditions (gas flow rate 1-8 L/min), CO2 concentration (0.03-7%), and light intensity (150-400 µmol/m2.s)). Response Surface Methodology and Box-Behnken experimental Design were applied to find optimum values for gas flow rate, CO2 concentration, and light intensity. The optimum values of the three independent variables (gas flow rate, concentration of CO2, and light intensity) and desirability were 7.5 L/min, 3.5%, and 400 µmol/m2.s, and 0.904, respectively. The highest amount of biomass produced and CO2 biofixation rate at optimum conditions were 5.7 g/L, 1.23 gL-1d-1, respectively. The synergistic effect between gas flow rate and concentration of CO2, and between gas flow rate and light intensity was significant on the three responses, while the effect between CO2 concentration and light intensity was less significant on CO2 biofixation rate. The results of this study could be highly helpful when using microalgae for CO2 biofixation in wastewater treatment.
In order to evaluate the growth and yield properties of two Sorghum-Sudangrass hybrids under different irrigation levels, an investigation was done in the experiment site of Collage of Agriculture, University of Duhok, Kurdistan region of Iraq (36°5´38⸗ N, 42°52´02⸗ E) in the years 2015-16. The experiment was conducted under Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications, which main factor was irrigation treatments (I100, I75 and I50) according to evaporation pan class A and type of Sorghum-Sudangrass hybrids (KH12SU9001, G1) and (KH12SU9002, G2) were factors of subplots. The parameters studied were: plant height (cm), number of green leaves per plant; leaf area (m2/m2), stem thickness (mm), percent of protein, fresh and dry biomass (ton.ha-1) and also crop water productivity. The results of variance analysis showed that KH12SU9001 variety had more amount of leaf area, percent of protein, fresh and dry biomass yield in comparison to KH12SU9002 variety. By comparing effects of irrigation levels on vegetative growth and yield properties, results showed that amount of plant height, fresh and dry biomass weight was decreased by decreasing irrigation level from full irrigation regime to 5 o% of irrigation level. Also, results of crop water productivity (CWP) indicated that improvement in quantity of irrigation would impact fresh and dry biomass yield significantly. Full irrigation regime was recorded the highest level of CWP (1.28-1.29 kg.m-3).
Formulation for drying and pyrolysis process in packed beds at slow heating rates is presented. Drying of biomass particles bed is described by mass diffusion equation and local moisture-vapour-equilibrium relations. In gasifiers, volatilization rate during pyrolysis of biomass is modeled by using apparent kinetic rate expression, while product compositions at slow heating rates is modeled using empirical fitted mass ratios (i.e., CO/CO2, ME/CO2, H2O/CO2) in terms of pyrolysis temperature. The drying module is validated fairly with available chemical kinetics scheme and found that the testing zone in gasifier bed constituted of relatively smaller particles having high airflow with high isothermal temperature expedite the drying process. Further, volatile releases more quickly within the shorter zone height at high temperatures (isothermal). Both, moisture loss and volatile release profiles are found to be sensitive to temperature, although the influence of initial moisture content on volatile release profile is not so sensitive.
‘Energy for all’, is a global issue of concern for the past many years. Despite the number of technological advancements and innovations, significant numbers of people are living without access to electricity around the world. India, an emerging economy, tops the list of nations having the maximum number of residents living off the grid, thus raising global attention in past few years to provide clean and sustainable energy access solutions to all of its residents. It is evident from developed economies that centralized planning and electrification alone is not sufficient for meeting energy security. Implementation of off-grid and consumer-driven energy models like Decentralized Renewable Energy (DRE) systems have played a significant role in meeting the national energy demand in developed nations. Cases of DRE systems have been reported in developing countries like India for the past few years. This paper attempts to profile the status of DRE projects in the Indian context with their scope and relevance to ensure universal electrification. Diversified cases of DRE projects, particularly solar, biomass and micro hydro are identified in different Indian states. Critical factors affecting the sustainability of DRE projects are extracted with their interlinkages in the context of developers, beneficiaries and promoters involved in such projects. Socio-techno-economic indicators are identified through similar cases in the context of DRE projects. Exploratory factor analysis is performed to evaluate the critical sustainability factors followed by regression analysis to establish the relationship between the dependent and independent factors. The generated EFA-Regression model provides a basis to develop the sustainability and replicability framework for broader coverage of DRE projects in developing nations in order to attain the goal of universal electrification with least carbon emissions.
Yeast cells are generally used as a model system of eukaryotes due to their complex genetic structure, rapid growth ability in optimum conditions, easy replication and well-defined genetic system properties. Thus, yeast cells increased the knowledge of the principal pathways in humans. During fermentation, carbohydrates (hexoses and pentoses) degrade into some toxic by-products such as 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF or HMF) and furfural. HMF influences the ethanol yield, and ethanol productivity; it interferes with microbial growth and is considered as a potent inhibitor of bioethanol production. In this study, yeast single cell behavior under HMF application was monitored by using a continuous flow single phase microfluidic platform. Microfluidic device in operation is fabricated by hot embossing and thermo-compression techniques from cyclo-olefin polymer (COP). COP is biocompatible, transparent and rigid material and it is suitable for observing fluorescence of cells considering its low auto-fluorescence characteristic. The response of yeast cells was recorded through Red Fluorescent Protein (RFP) tagged Nop56 gene product, which is an essential evolutionary-conserved nucleolar protein, and also a member of the box C/D snoRNP complexes. With the application of HMF, yeast cell proliferation continued but HMF slowed down the cell growth, and after HMF treatment the cell proliferation stopped. By the addition of fresh nutrient medium, the yeast cells recovered after 6 hours of HMF exposure. Thus, HMF application suppresses normal functioning of cell cycle but it does not cause cells to die. The monitoring of Nop56 expression phases of the individual cells shed light on the protein and ribosome synthesis cycles along with their link to growth. Further computational study revealed that the mechanisms underlying the inhibitory or inductive effects of HMF on growth are enriched in functional categories of protein degradation, protein processing, DNA repair and multidrug resistance. The present microfluidic device can successfully be used for studying the effects of inhibitory agents on growth by single cell tracking, thus capturing cell to cell variations. By metabolic engineering techniques, engineered strains can be developed, and the metabolic network of the microorganism can thus be manipulated such that chemical overproduction of target metabolite is achieved along with the maximum growth/biomass yield.
Jatropha curcas is a perennial oleaginous plant that is currently considered an energy crop with high potential as an environmentally sustainable biofuel. During the last decades, research in biofuels has grown in tropical and subtropical regions in Latin America. However, as far we know, there are no reports on the growth and yield patterns of Jatropha curcas under the specific agro climatic scenarios of the State of Morelos, Mexico. This study presents the results of 52 months monitoring of 10 toxic and non-toxic ecotypes of Jatropha curcas (E1M, E2M, E3M, E4M, E5M, E6O, E7O, E8O, E9C, E10C) in an experimental plantation with minimum watering and fertilization resources. The main objective is to identify the ecotypes with the highest potential as biodiesel raw material in the select region, by developing experimental information. Specifically, we monitored biophysical and growth parameters, including plant survival and seed production (at the end of month 52), to study the performance of each ecotype and to establish differences among the variables of morphological growth, net seed oil content, and toxicity. To analyze the morphological growth, a statistical approach to the biophysical parameters was used; the net seed oil content -80 to 192 kg/ha- was estimated with the first harvest; and the toxicity was evaluated by examining the phorbol ester concentration (µg/L) in the oil extracted from the seeds. The comparison and selection of ecotypes was performed through a methodology developed based on the normalization of results. We identified four outstanding ecotypes (E1M, E2M, E3M, and E4M) that can be used to establish Jatropha curcas as energy crops in the state of Morelos for feasible agro-industrial production of biodiesel and other products related to the use of biomass.
In the present work, a remediation bioprocess based on the use of a local isolate of the microalgae Chlorella vulgaris immobilized in alginate beads is proposed. This process was shown to be effective for the reduction of several chemical and microbial contaminants present in Cildáñez stream, a water course that is part of the Matanza-Riachuelo Basin (Buenos Aires, Argentina). The bioprocess, involving the culture of the microalga in autotrophic conditions in a stirred-tank bioreactor supplied with a marine propeller for 6 days, allowed a significant reduction of Escherichia coli and total coliform numbers (over 95%), as well as of ammoniacal nitrogen (96%), nitrates (86%), nitrites (98%), and total phosphorus (53%) contents. Pb content was also significantly diminished after the bioprocess (95%). Standardized cytotoxicity tests using Allium cepa seeds and Cildáñez water pre- and post-remediation were also performed. Germination rate and mitotic index of onion seeds imbibed in Cildáñez water subjected to the bioprocess was similar to that observed in seeds imbibed in distilled water and significantly superior to that registered when untreated Cildáñez water was used for imbibition. Our results demonstrate the potential of this simple and cost-effective technology to remove urban-water contaminants, offering as an additional advantage the possibility of an easy biomass recovery, which may become a source of alternative energy.
This study investigated the biosorption of the azo dye reactive Black B (RBB) from aqueous solution using the nonviable biomass of Cladosporium cladosporioides LM1. The biosorption systems were carried out in batch mode considering different conditions of initial pH, contact time, temperature, initial dye concentration and biosorbent dosage. Higher removal rate of RBB was obtained at pH 2. Biosorption data were successfully described by pseudo-second-order kinetic model and Langmuir isotherm model with the maximum monolayer biosorption capacity estimated at 71.43 mg/g. The values of thermodynamic parameters such as ∆G°, ∆H° and ∆S° indicated that the biosorption of RBB onto fungal biomass was spontaneous and exothermic in nature. It can be concluded that nonviable biomass of Cladosporium cladosporioides LM1 may be an attractive low-cost biosorbent for the removal of azo dye RBB from aqueous solution.
Combustion of biomass is a promising alternative to reduce the high pollutant emission levels associated to the combustion of fossil flues due to the net null emission of CO2 attributed to biomass. However, the biomass selected should also have low contents of nitrogen and sulfur to limit the NOx and SOx emissions derived from its combustion. In this sense, olive stone is an excellent fuel to power combustion reactors with reduced levels of pollutant emissions. In this work, the combustion of olive stone particles is analyzed experimentally in a thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) and in a bubbling fluidized bed reactor (BFB). The bubbling fluidized bed reactor was installed over a scale, conforming a macro-TGA. In both equipment, the evolution of the mass of the samples was registered as the combustion process progressed. The results show a much faster combustion process in the bubbling fluidized bed reactor compared to the thermogravimetric analyzer measurements, due to the higher heat transfer coefficient and the abrasion of the fuel particles by the bed material in the BFB reactor.
The present study aims to assess the biological nitrogen fixation in the soybean tested in different Moroccan soils combined with the rhizobial inoculation. These effects were evaluated by the plant growth mainly by the aerial biomass production, total nitrogen content and the proportion of the nitrogen fixed. This assessment clearly shows that the inoculation with bacteria increases the growth of soybean. Five different soils and a control (peat) were used. The rhizobial inoculation was performed by applying the peat that contained a mixture of 2 strains Sinorhizobium fredii HH103 and Bradyrhizobium. The biomass, the total nitrogen content and the proportion of nitrogen fixed were evaluated under different treatments. The essay was realized at the greenhouse the Faculty of Sciences, Moulay Ismail University. The soybean has shown a great response for the parameters assessed. Moreover, the best response was reported by the inoculated plants compared to non- inoculated and to the absolute control. Finally, good production and the best biological nitrogen fixation present an important ecological technology to improve the sustainable production of soybean and to ensure the increase of the fertility of soils.
Next generation bio-alcohols produced from non-food based sources like cellulosic biomass are promising renewable energy sources. The present study investigates engine performance, combustion characteristics, and emissions of a small single cylinder direct injection diesel engine fueled by four kinds of next generation bio-alcohol isomer and diesel fuel blends with a constant blending ratio of 3:7 (mass). The tested bio-alcohol isomers here are n-butanol and iso-butanol (C4 alcohol), and n-pentanol and iso-pentanol (C5 alcohol). To obtain simultaneous reductions in NOx and smoke emissions, the experiments employed supercharging combined with EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation). The boost pressures were fixed at two conditions, 100 kPa (naturally aspirated operation) and 120 kPa (supercharged operation) provided with a roots blower type supercharger. The EGR rates were varied from 0 to 25% using a cooled EGR technique. The results showed that both with and without supercharging, all the bio-alcohol blended diesel fuels improved the trade-off relation between NOx and smoke emissions at all EGR rates while maintaining good engine performance, when compared with diesel fuel operation. It was also found that regardless of boost pressure and EGR rate, the ignition delays of the tested bio-alcohol isomer blends are in the order of iso-butanol > n-butanol > iso-pentanol > n-pentanol. Overall, it was concluded that, except for the changes in the ignition delays the influence of bio-alcohol isomer blends on the engine performance, combustion characteristics, and emissions are relatively small.
Nowadays, the progressive decrease of primary natural resources and ongoing upward trend in terms of energy demand, have resulted in development of new generation technological processes which are focused on step-wise production and residues utilization. Thus, microalgae-based 3rd generation bioeconomy is considered one of the most promising approaches that allow production of value-added products and sophisticated utilization of residues biomass. In comparison to conventional biomass, microalgae can be cultivated in wide range of conditions without compromising food and feed production, and thus, addressing issues associated with negative social and environmental impacts. However, one of the most challenging tasks is to undergo seasonal variations and to achieve optimal growing conditions for indoor closed systems that can cover further demand for material and energetic utilization of microalgae. For instance, outdoor cultivation in St. Petersburg (Russia) is only suitable within rather narrow time frame (from mid-May to mid-September). At earlier and later periods, insufficient sunlight and heat for the growth of microalgae were detected. On the other hand, without additional physical effects, the biomass increment in summer is 3-5 times per week, depending on the solar radiation and the ambient temperature. In order to increase biomass production, scientists from all over the world have proposed various technical solutions for cultivators and have been studying the influence of various physical factors affecting biomass growth namely: magnetic field, radiation impact, and electric field, etc. In this paper, the influence of infrared radiation (IR) and fluorescent light on the growth rate of microalgae Chlorella sorokiniana has been studied. The cultivation of Chlorella sorokiniana was carried out in 500 ml cylindrical glass vessels, which were constantly aerated. To accelerate the cultivation process, the mixture was stirred for 15 minutes at 500 rpm following 120 minutes of rest time. At the same time, the metabolic needs in nutrients were provided by the addition of micro- and macro-nutrients in the microalgae growing medium. Lighting was provided by fluorescent lamps with the intensity of 2500 ± 300 lx. The influence of IR was determined using IR lamps with a voltage of 220 V, power of 250 W, in order to achieve the intensity of 13 600 ± 500 lx. The obtained results show that under the influence of fluorescent lamps along with the combined effect of active aeration and variable mixing, the biomass increment on the 2nd day was three times, and on the 7th day, it was eight-fold. The growth rate of microalgae under the influence of IR radiation was lower and has reached 22.6·106 cells·mL-1. However, application of IR lamps for the biomass growth allows maintaining the optimal temperature of microalgae suspension at approximately 25-28°C, which might especially be beneficial during the cold season in extreme climate zones.
The production of low cost and environmentally friendly products represents an important step for developing countries. Biomass is one of the largest renewable energy sources, and Serbia is among the top European countries in terms of the amount of available and unused biomass. Substituting cement with the ashes obtained by the combustion of biomass would reduce the negative impact of concrete industry on the environment and would provide a waste valorization by the reuse of this type of by-product in mortars and concretes manufacture. The study contains data on physical properties, chemical characteristics and pozzolanic properties of obtained biomass ashes: wheat straw ash and mixture of wheat and soya straw ash in Serbia, which were, later, used as supplementary cementitious materials in preparation of mortars. Experimental research of influence of biomass ashes on physical and mechanical properties of cement mortars was conducted. The results indicate that the biomass ashes can be successfully used in mortars as substitutes of cement without compromising their physical and mechanical performances.
The use of biomass to produce renewable energy is one of the forms that can be used to reduce the impact of energy production. Like any other energy resource, there are limitations for biomass use, and it must compete not only with fossil fuels but also with other renewable energy sources such as solar or wind energy. Combustion is currently the most efficient and widely used waste-to-energy process, in the areas where direct use of biomass is possible, without the need to make large transfers of raw material. Many industrial facilities can use agricultural or forestry waste, straw, chips, bagasse, etc. in their thermal systems without making major transformations or adjustments in the feeding to the ovens, making this waste an attractive and cost-effective option in terms of availability, access, and costs. In spite of the facilities and benefits, the environmental reasons (emission of gases and particulate material) are decisive for its use for energy purpose. This paper describes a valorization of residues from forest industry to generate energy, using a case study.
In this study, malt bagasse, a low-cost waste biomass, was tested as a biosorbent to remove the cationic dye Malachite green (MG) from aqueous solution. Batch biosorption experiments were investigated as functions of different experimental parameters such as initial pH, salt (NaCl) concentration, contact time, temperature and initial dye concentration. Higher removal rates of MG were obtained at pH 8 and 10. The equilibrium and kinetic studies suggest that the biosorption follows Langmuir isotherm and the pseudo-second-order model. The maximum monolayer adsorption capacity was estimated at 117.65 mg/g (at 45 °C). According to Dubinin–Radushkevich (D-R) isotherm model, biosorption of MG onto malt bagasse occurs physically. The thermodynamic parameters such as Gibbs free energy, enthalpy and entropy indicated that the MG biosorption onto malt bagasse is spontaneous and endothermic. The results of the ionic strength effect indicated that the biosorption process under study had a strong tolerance under high salt concentrations. It can be concluded that malt bagasse waste has potential for application as biosorbent for removal of MG from aqueous solution.
In order to prove the applicability of a conical spouted bed combustor for the thermal exploitation of vineyard pruning wastes, the flow regimes of beds consisting of vine shoot beds and an inert bed were established under different operating conditions. The effect of inlet air temperature on the minimum spouted velocity was evaluated. Batch combustion of vine shoots in a conical spouted bed combustor was conducted at temperatures in the range 425-550 ºC with an inert bed. The experimental values of combustion efficiency of vine shoot calculated from the concentration the exhaust gases were assessed. The high experimental combustion efficiency obtained evidenced the proper suitability of the conical spouted bed combustor for the thermal combustion of vine shoots.
Carbon dioxide and methane, the major components of biomass pyrolysis/gasification gas and biogas, top the list of substances that cause climate change, but they are also among the most important renewable energy sources in modern society. The purpose of this study is to convert carbon dioxide and methane into high-quality energy using char and commercial activated carbon obtained from biomass pyrolysis as a microwave receptor. The methane reforming process produces hydrogen and carbon. This carbon is deposited in the pores of the microwave receptor and lowers catalytic activity, thereby reducing the methane conversion rate. The deposited carbon was removed by carbon gasification due to the supply of carbon dioxide, which solved the problem of microwave receptor inactivity. In particular, the conversion rate remained stable at over 90% when the ratio of carbon dioxide to methane was 1:1. When the reforming results of carbon dioxide and methane were compared after fabricating nickel and iron catalysts using commercial activated carbon as a carrier, the conversion rate was higher in the iron catalyst than in the nickel catalyst and when no catalyst was used.
Degradative solvent extraction is the method developed for biomass upgrading by dewatering and fractionation of biomass under the mild condition. However, the conversion mechanism of the degradative solvent extraction method has not been fully understood so far. The rice straw was treated in 1-methylnaphthalene (1-MN) at a different solvent-treatment temperature varied from 250 to 350 oC with the residence time for 60 min. The liquid membrane-Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) technique is applied to study the processing mechanism in-depth without separation of the solvent. It has been found that the strength of the oxygen-hydrogen stretching (3600-3100 cm-1) decreased slightly with increasing temperature in the range of 300-350 oC. The decrease of the hydroxyl group in the solvent soluble suggested dehydration reaction taking place between 300 and 350 oC. FTIR spectra in the carbonyl stretching region (1800-1600 cm-1) revealed the presence of esters groups, carboxylic acid and ketonic groups in the solvent-soluble of biomass. The carboxylic acid increased in the range of 200 to 250 oC and then decreased. The prevailing of aromatic groups showed that the aromatization took place during extraction at above 250 oC. From 300 to 350 oC, the carbonyl functional groups in the solvent-soluble noticeably decreased. The removal of the carboxylic acid and the decrease of esters into the form of carbon dioxide indicated that the decarboxylation reaction occurred during the extraction process.
The Galápagos Marine Reserve (GMR) is an internationally-recognized region of consistent upwelling events, high productivity, and rich biodiversity. Despite its high-nutrient, low-chlorophyll condition, the archipelago has experienced phytoplankton blooms, especially in the western section between Isabela and Fernandina Islands. However, little is known about how climate variability will affect future phytoplankton standing stock in the Galápagos, and no consistent protocols currently exist to quantify phytoplankton biomass, identify species, or monitor for potential harmful algal blooms (HABs) within the archipelago. This analysis investigates physical, chemical, and biological oceanic variables that contribute to algal blooms within the GMR, using 4 km Aqua MODIS satellite imagery and 0.125-degree wind stress data from January 2003 to December 2016. Furthermore, this study analyzes chlorophyll-a concentrations at varying spatial scales— within the greater archipelago, as well as within five smaller bioregions based on species biodiversity in the GMR. Seasonal and interannual trend analyses, correlations, and hotspot identification were performed. Results demonstrate that chlorophyll-a is expressed in two seasons throughout the year in the GMR, most frequently in September and March, with a notable hotspot in the Elizabeth Bay bioregion. Interannual chlorophyll-a trend analyses revealed highest peaks in 2003, 2007, 2013, and 2016, and variables that correlate highly with chlorophyll-a include surface temperature and particulate organic carbon. This study recommends future in situ sampling locations for phytoplankton monitoring, including the Elizabeth Bay bioregion. Conclusions from this study contribute to the knowledge of oceanic drivers that catalyze primary productivity and consequently affect species biodiversity within the GMR. Additionally, this research can inform policy and decision-making strategies for species conservation and management within bioregions of the Galápagos.
Wastes from a vegetal extracts industry (cocoa, oak, Guarana and mate) were characterized by particle size, proximate and ultimate analysis, lignocellulosic fractions, high heating value, thermal analysis (Thermogravimetric analysis – TGA, and Differential thermal analysis - DTA) and energy density to evaluate their potential as biomass in the form of briquettes for power generation. All wastes presented adequate particle sizes to briquettes production. The wastes showed high moisture content, requiring previous drying for use as briquettes. Cocoa and oak wastes had the highest volatile matter contents with maximum mass loss at 310 ºC and 450 ºC, respectively. The solvents used in the aroma extraction process influenced in the moisture content of the wastes, which was higher for mate due to water has been used as solvent. All wastes showed an insignificant loss mass after 565 °C, hence resulting in low ash content. High carbon and hydrogen contents and low sulfur and nitrogen contents were observed ensuring a low generation of sulfur and nitrous oxides. Mate and cocoa exhibited the highest carbon and lignin content, and high heating value. The dried wastes had high heating value, from 17.1 MJ/kg to 20.8 MJ/kg. The results indicate the energy potential of wastes for use as fuel in power generation.
Since filamentous fungi are capable of assimilating several types of sugars (hexoses and pentoses), they are potential candidates for bioconversion of spent sulfite liquor (SSL). Three filamentous fungi such as Aspergillus oryzae, Mucor indicus, and Rhizopus oryzae were investigated in this work. The SSL was diluted in order to obtain concentrations of 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90% and supplemented with two types of nutrients. The results from cultivations in shake flask showed that A. oryzae and M. indicus were not able to grow in pure SSL and SSL90% while R. oryzae could grow only in SSL50% and SSL60%. Cultivation with A. oryzae resulted in the highest yield of produced fungal biomass, while R. oryzae cultivation resulted in the lowest fungal biomass yield. Although, the mediums containing yeast extract, (NH4)2SO4, KH2PO4, CaCl2∙2H2O, and MgSO4∙7H2O as nutrients supplementations produced higher fungal biomass compared to the mediums containing NH4H2PO4 and ammonia, but there was no significant difference between two types of nutrients in terms of sugars and acetic acid consumption rate. The sugars consumption in M. indicus cultivation was faster than A. oryzae and R. oryzae cultivation. Acetic acid present in SSL was completely consumed during cultivation of all fungi. M. indicus was the best and fastest ethanol producer from SSL among the fungi examined, when yeast extract and salts were used as nutrients supplementations. Furthermore, no further improvement in ethanol concentration and rate of sugars consumption was obtained in medium supplemented with NH4H2PO4 and ammonia compared to medium containing yeast extract, (NH4)2SO4, KH2PO4, CaCl2∙2H2O, and MgSO4∙7H2O. On the other hand, the higher dilution of SSL resulted in a better fermentability, and better consumption of sugars and acetic acid.
The utilization of biomass as a source of new and renewable energy is being carried out. One of the technologies to convert biomass as an energy source is pyrolysis which is converting biomass into more valuable products, such as bio-oil. Bio-oil is a liquid which is produced by steam condensation process from the pyrolysis of coconut shells. The composition of a coconut shell e.g. hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin will be oxidized to phenolic compounds as the main component of the bio-oil. The phenolic compounds in bio-oil are corrosive; they cause various difficulties in the combustion system because of a high viscosity, low calorific value, corrosiveness, and instability. Phenolic compounds are very valuable components which phenol has used as the main component for the manufacture of antiseptic, disinfectant (known as Lysol) and deodorizer. The experiments typically occurred at the atmospheric pressure in a pyrolysis reactor at temperatures ranging from 300 oC to 350 oC with a heating rate of 10 oC/min and a holding time of 1 hour at the pyrolysis temperature. The Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy (GC-MS) was used to analyze the bio-oil components. The obtained bio-oil has the viscosity of 1.46 cP, the density of 1.50 g/cm3, the calorific value of 16.9 MJ/kg, and the molecular weight of 1996.64. By GC-MS, the analysis of bio-oil showed that it contained phenol (40.01%), ethyl ester (37.60%), 2-methoxy-phenol (7.02%), furfural (5.45%), formic acid (4.02%), 1-hydroxy-2-butanone (3.89%), and 3-methyl-1,2-cyclopentanedione (2.01%).