From Biowastes to Biofuels and Biobased Chemicals: Latest Advances and Prospects

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2019) | Viewed by 28219

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Sciences, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain
Interests: biomass; biowastes; aqueous-phase reforming; hydrodechlorination water treatment; mesoporous carbon; doped carbon; environmental chemistry
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Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

In the framework of sustainable development and climate change mitigation, the scaling up of known processes and the development of new ones focused on the production of fuels, chemical and other products of industrial and social interest from renewable resources are currently one of the main challenges of the scientific–technical community. Among these renewable raw materials, biowastes have been revealed as one of the most interesting, integrating the concerns described above to the newest circle economy and bioeconomy proposals.

The Special Issue “From Biowastes to Biofuels and Biobased Chemicals: Latest Advances and Prospects” of Applied Sciences will present the most recent research and design works in valorization of biowastes trough the production of different biobased chemicals, as biofuels, platform molecules, etc.

I encourage you to share your last research in all the fields related to the scope of the Special Issue, including biomass and biowastes pyrolysis and other thermal, hydrothermal, and catalytic processes, biofuels from waste biomass, platform molecules (furfural, levoglucosane, levulinic acid, etc.) production from biowaste raw materials, fermentation and other biotechnological valorization of biowastes, etc.

Best Regards,

Prof. Francisco Heras
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Biowastes
  • Biofuels
  • Biobased chemicals
  • Biogas
  • Biochar
  • Bio-oil
  • Lignocellulose
  • lignocellulosic
  • Agroforest
  • Agricultural

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 3194 KiB  
Article
Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Glucose Production from Maize Starch and Woody Biomass Residues as a Feedstock
by Jorge Blanco, Jose Iglesias, Gabriel Morales, Juan A. Melero and Jovita Moreno
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(8), 2946; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10082946 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 5006
Abstract
The sustainability of glucose production from two different feedstocks, maize starch (MS) and woody biomass residues (WBR), was evaluated by means of life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. The aim of this work was to compare the environmental performance of conventional technology (glucose from [...] Read more.
The sustainability of glucose production from two different feedstocks, maize starch (MS) and woody biomass residues (WBR), was evaluated by means of life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. The aim of this work was to compare the environmental performance of conventional technology (glucose from MS by enzymatic hydrolysis) with a novel alternative (glucose from WBR by a three-step process: pretreatment -crushing, deacetylation, and diluted-acid treatment-; conditioning -acid-alkali-acid treatment-; and enzymatic hydrolysis), which is specifically oriented towards the circular economy context. Life cycle inventory was completed by simulation of the different processes, followed by integration of the mass and energy inputs and outputs in an LCA software (GaBi 7.3). LCA results evidenced benefits in all the evaluated environmental impacts when using WBR as a glucose source alternative. Environmental damages associated with the starch production process, which involves more than 60% of the impacts calculated for glucose production from maize starch, has been detected as the key step in which focusing the improvement efforts for this process. On the other hand, pretreating of the biomass residues was the most contributing stage in the WBR process, principally due to the large heat and electricity requirements associated with this stage. Finally, we concluded that the WBR process proposed here might be considered as a valuable alternative in sustainability terms for the production of glucose within the biorefinery concept. Likewise, we have identified the critical points that should be considered to further improve this technology. Full article
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12 pages, 1803 KiB  
Article
Production of Sorbitol via Catalytic Transfer Hydrogenation of Glucose
by Beatriz García, Jovita Moreno, Gabriel Morales, Juan A. Melero and Jose Iglesias
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 1843; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10051843 - 07 Mar 2020
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 9828
Abstract
Sorbitol production from glucose was studied through catalytic transfer hydrogenation (CTH) over Raney nickel catalysts in alcohol media, used as solvents and hydrogen donors. It was found that alcohol sugars, sorbitol and mannitol, can be derived from two hydrogen transfer pathways, one produced [...] Read more.
Sorbitol production from glucose was studied through catalytic transfer hydrogenation (CTH) over Raney nickel catalysts in alcohol media, used as solvents and hydrogen donors. It was found that alcohol sugars, sorbitol and mannitol, can be derived from two hydrogen transfer pathways, one produced involving the sacrificing alcohol as a hydrogen donor, and a second one involving glucose disproportionation. Comparison between short-chain alcohols evidenced that ethanol was able to reduce glucose in the presence of Raney nickel under neutral conditions. Side reactions include fructose and mannose production via glucose isomerization, which occur even in the absence of the catalyst. Blank reaction tests allowed evaluating the extension of the isomerization pathway. The influence of several operation parameters, like the temperature or the catalyst loading, as well as the use of metal promoters (Mo and Fe-Cr) over Raney nickel, was examined. This strategy opens new possibilities for the sustainable production of sugar alcohols. Full article
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18 pages, 1993 KiB  
Article
Odour Emissions of Municipal Waste Biogas Plants—Impact of Technological Factors, Air Temperature and Humidity
by Marta Wiśniewska, Andrzej Kulig and Krystyna Lelicińska-Serafin
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(3), 1093; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10031093 - 06 Feb 2020
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3175
Abstract
Biogas plants processing municipal waste are an important part of a circular economy (energy generation from biogas and organic fertiliser production for the treatment of selectively collected biowaste). However, the technological processes taking place may be associated with odour nuisance. The paper presents [...] Read more.
Biogas plants processing municipal waste are an important part of a circular economy (energy generation from biogas and organic fertiliser production for the treatment of selectively collected biowaste). However, the technological processes taking place may be associated with odour nuisance. The paper presents the results of pilot research conducted at six municipal waste biogas plants in Poland. It shows the relations between odour intensity and concentration and the occurring meteorological and ambient conditions (air temperature and relative humidity) and technological factors at biogas plants processing municipal waste. The impact of meteorological and ambient conditions was identified by measuring air temperature and relative humidity and observing their changes. The impact of technological factors was identified by measuring odorant concentration (volatile organic compounds and ammonia) and observing their changes between individual measurement series. At most analysed biogas plants, the influence of technological factors on odour emissions took place and was clearly noted. The elements of biogas installations characterised by the highest concentration of these odorants were indicated. Special attention should be paid to the choice of technological solutions and technical and organisational measures to reduce the impact of unfavourable atmospheric conditions on odour emissions. Full article
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Review

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28 pages, 2008 KiB  
Review
Chemical and Bioenergetic Characterization of Biofuels from Plant Biomass: Perspectives for Southern Europe
by Donatella Grippi, Rafael Clemente and M. Pilar Bernal
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(10), 3571; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10103571 - 21 May 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4398
Abstract
The global demand for and, therefore, the production of primary energy is continuously increasing. Consequently, the need to intervene with appropriate measures has arisen in order to achieve sustainable economic, social, and environmental objectives. The reduction of fuel and electricity consumption, the containment [...] Read more.
The global demand for and, therefore, the production of primary energy is continuously increasing. Consequently, the need to intervene with appropriate measures has arisen in order to achieve sustainable economic, social, and environmental objectives. The reduction of fuel and electricity consumption, the containment of atmospheric emissions of greenhouse gases (like carbon dioxide, methane, other hydrocarbons, and nitrous oxide), and the improvement of environmental quality in urban centers can be considered to be among these objectives. The search for efficient measures for the overall improvement of the environment is directed towards the replacement of traditional fossil fuels with the production of bioenergy (also known as green energy) from different materials and biomasses obtained from specific agricultural activities and/or plant residues. These materials have physico-chemical and biological characteristics of interest regarding their use as sources of renewable energy. The purpose of this review was to provide an overview of the chemical and bioenergetic characteristics of biofuels, the main techniques and processes employed for their production, and the characteristics of the different feedstock materials, especially potential energy crops. Full article
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18 pages, 325 KiB  
Review
Integrated System Technology of POME Treatment for Biohydrogen and Biomethane Production in Malaysia
by Bidattul Syirat Zainal, Mohd Azwan Ahmad, Mahmoud Danaee, Nashrah Jamadon, Nuruol Syuhadaa Mohd and Shaliza Ibrahim
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(3), 951; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10030951 - 02 Feb 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 5405
Abstract
In recent years, production of biohydrogen and biomethane (or a mixture of these; biohythane) from organic wastes using two-stage bioreactor have been implemented by developing countries such as Germany, USA and the United Kingdom using the anaerobic digestion (AD) process. In Thailand, biohythane [...] Read more.
In recent years, production of biohydrogen and biomethane (or a mixture of these; biohythane) from organic wastes using two-stage bioreactor have been implemented by developing countries such as Germany, USA and the United Kingdom using the anaerobic digestion (AD) process. In Thailand, biohythane production in a two-stage process has been widely studied. However, in Malaysia, treating organic and agricultural wastes using an integrated system of dark fermentation (DF) coupled with anaerobic digestion (AD) is scarce. For instance, in most oil palm mills, palm oil mill effluent (POME) is treated using a conventional open-ponding system or closed-digester tank for biogas capture. This paper reviewed relevant literature studies on treating POME and other organic wastes using integrated bioreactor implementing DF and/or AD process for biohydrogen and/or biomethane production. Although the number of papers that have been published in this area is increasing, a further review is needed to reveal current technology used and its benefits, especially in Malaysia, since Malaysia is the second-largest oil palm producer in the world. Full article
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