Biomass Conversion

A special issue of Bioengineering (ISSN 2306-5354).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 July 2020) | Viewed by 19534

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There is plenty of room at the upcoming biorefinery and biochemical industries. Ground breaking inversions as great as the process of ammonia synthesis from elemental N2 and H2 on supported Fe catalyst (the Haber Bosch process) are envisioned in the field of biomass conversion to biofuels, biochemicals, and biomaterials. This hypothesis is further supported by the award of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the year 2019 to the invention related to clean renewable energy for the alleviation of climate change, namely, rechargeable Li-ion batteries.

Clean energy and environment are the vital needs for the development and wellbeing of human societies. There is a synergy between energy sources and the environment we live in. Among several clean and renewable energy alternatives, “Biomass conversion to Biofuels/bioenergy” stands out. This is due to the abundance of cellulosic and lipid carbon, both on the earth’s surface and in marine/fresh water sources, which serves as feedstock for the sustainable production of biofuels (like biodiesel, bioethanol, biohydrogen, gamma valerolactone, methyl tetra hydro furan), biochemicals (like glucose, xylose, isosorbide, sebacic acid, succinic acidfurfural, hydroxymethyl furfural, levulinic acid, lactic acid, pentanoic acid, adipic acid, aromatic arenes, benzene, toluene, xylene, methanol, formic acid), and biomaterials (like poly lactic acid, polyester and Nylon).

As the demand for clean energy, recyclable materials, and biochemicals is increasing with a corresponding decrease in fossil-based carbon feedstock, the definition of biomass itself is evolving from terrestrial lignocellulosic to marine/freshwater algae, oils (lipids) and environmental pollutants like CO2 emissions. The aim of this Special Issue on “Biomass Conversion” is to provide industrially adaptable processes with sound scientific and technological knowledge for the conversion of biomass to biofuels, biochemicals, and biomaterials leading to the alleviation of the catastrophic consequences of climate change mainly accelerated by the indiscriminate use of fossil resources. The scope of the Special Issue encompasses the following research pursuits:

  1. Pretreatment/fractionation of lignocellulosic biomass;
  2. Catalytic/enzymatic/photochemical/electrochemical/biochemical/bioelectrochemical conversion of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin to biofuels, biochemicals, and biomaterials;
  3. Cultivation of algal biomass (marine/fresh water) and utilization of algal biomass for biofuels, biochemicals, and biomaterials;
  4. Transesterification of lipids to biodiesel;
  5. CO2 capture and conversion of fuels and chemicals;
  6. Biomaterials from biomass for biomedical applications

Dr. Indra Neel Pulidindi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Bioengineering is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

Biomass; Bioresources; Biofuels; Bioenergy; Biochemicals; Biomaterials: Biopolymers; Biorefinery; Biochemical industry; Renewable energy; Climate change; Energy; Environment; CO2

Published Papers (4 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

9 pages, 1247 KiB  
Communication
Influence of Liquid-to-Gas Ratio on the Syngas Fermentation Efficiency: An Experimental Approach
Bioengineering 2020, 7(4), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering7040138 - 31 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2457
Abstract
Syngas fermentation by methanogens is a novel process to purify biogas. Methanogens are able to ferment non-desirable CO2, H2, and CO to methane. However, to use methanogens on an industrial scale, more research has to be done. There are studies [...] Read more.
Syngas fermentation by methanogens is a novel process to purify biogas. Methanogens are able to ferment non-desirable CO2, H2, and CO to methane. However, to use methanogens on an industrial scale, more research has to be done. There are studies that discuss the growth of methanogens on syngas in combination with acetate. In this research, growth of methanogens on syngas as sole carbon source is discussed. Effluent of an anaerobic fed-batch was selectively cultivated with syngas in 400 mL Eppendorf© bioreactors. After a period of 7 days, fifteen 120 mL flasks were filled with three different liquid-to-gas ratios (1:1, 1:3, 1:5). Results showed that different liquid-to-gas ratios change the metabolic preference of the anaerobic microbial community. Moreover, complete conversion in a four-to-eight-day period, via the carboxidotrophic pathway, was observed in all three liquid-to-gas ratios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Conversion)
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 3051 KiB  
Article
Techno-Economic Assessment of Bio-Syngas Production for Methanol Synthesis: A Focus on the Water–Gas Shift and Carbon Capture Sections
Bioengineering 2020, 7(3), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering7030070 - 04 Jul 2020
Cited by 46 | Viewed by 7544
Abstract
The biomass-to-methanol process may play an important role in introducing renewables in the industry chain for chemical and fuel production. Gasification is a thermochemical process to produce syngas from biomass, but additional steps are requested to obtain a syngas composition suitable for methanol [...] Read more.
The biomass-to-methanol process may play an important role in introducing renewables in the industry chain for chemical and fuel production. Gasification is a thermochemical process to produce syngas from biomass, but additional steps are requested to obtain a syngas composition suitable for methanol synthesis. The aim of this work is to perform a computer-aided process simulation to produce methanol starting from a syngas produced by oxygen–steam biomass gasification, whose details are reported in the literature. Syngas from biomass gasification was compressed to 80 bar, which may be considered an optimal pressure for methanol synthesis. The simulation was mainly focused on the water–gas shift/carbon capture sections requested to obtain a syngas with a (H2CO2)/(CO + CO2) molar ratio of about 2, which is optimal for methanol synthesis. Both capital and operating costs were calculated as a function of the CO conversion in the water–gas shift (WGS) step and CO2 absorption level in the carbon capture (CC) unit (by Selexol® process). The obtained results show the optimal CO conversion is 40% with CO2 capture from the syngas equal to 95%. The effect of the WGS conversion level on methanol production cost was also assessed. For the optimal case, a methanol production cost equal to 0.540 €/kg was calculated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Conversion)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

18 pages, 3115 KiB  
Article
Flax Biomass Conversion via Controlled Oxidation: Facile Tuning of Physicochemical Properties
Bioengineering 2020, 7(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering7020038 - 27 Apr 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4269
Abstract
The role of chemical modification of pristine linen fiber (LF) on its physicochemical and adsorption properties is reported in this contribution. The surface and textural properties of the pristine LF and its peroxyacetic acid- (PAF) and chlorite-treated (CF) fiber forms were characterized by [...] Read more.
The role of chemical modification of pristine linen fiber (LF) on its physicochemical and adsorption properties is reported in this contribution. The surface and textural properties of the pristine LF and its peroxyacetic acid- (PAF) and chlorite-treated (CF) fiber forms were characterized by several complementary methods: spectroscopy (SEM, TEM, FT-IR, and XPS), thermal analysis (DSC and TGA), gas/water adsorption isotherms, and zeta potential (ξ). The results obtained reveal that the surface charge and textural properties (surface area and pore structure) of the LF material was modified upon chemical treatment, as indicated by changes in the biomass composition, morphology, ξ-values, and water/dye uptake properties of the fiber samples. Particularly, the pristine LF sample displays preferential removal efficiency (ER) of methylene blue (MB) dye with ER ~3-fold greater (ER~62%) as compared to the modified materials (CF or PAF; ER~21%), due to the role of surface charge of pectins and lignins present in pristine LF. At higher MB concentration, the relative ER values for LF (~19%) relative to CF or PAF (~16%) reveal the greater role of micropore adsorption sites due to the contributing effect of the textural porosity observed for the modified flax biomass at these conditions. Similar trends occur for the adsorption of water in the liquid vs. vapour phases. The chemical treatment of LF alters the polarity/charge of the surface functional groups, and pore structure properties of the chemically treated fibers, according to the variable hydration properties. The surface and textural properties of LF are altered upon chemical modification, according to the variable adsorption properties with liquid water (l) vs. water vapor (g) due to the role of surface- vs. pore-sites. This study contributes to an understanding of the structure-adsorption properties for pristine and oxidized flax fiber biomass. The chemical conversion of such biomass yields biomaterials with tunable surface and textural properties, as evidenced by the unique adsorption properties observed for pristine LF and its modified forms (CF and PAF). This study addresses knowledge gaps in the field by contributing insight on the relationship between structure and adsorption properties of such LF biomass in its pristine and chemically modified forms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Conversion)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

10 pages, 1687 KiB  
Article
Economic Assessment of Bioethanol Recovery Using Membrane Distillation for Food Waste Fermentation
Bioengineering 2020, 7(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering7010015 - 11 Feb 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4602
Abstract
Ethanol is a material that has a high demand from different industries such as fuel, beverages, and other industrial applications. Commonly, ethanol has been produced from yeast fermentation using sugar crops as a feedstock. However, food waste (FW) was found to be one [...] Read more.
Ethanol is a material that has a high demand from different industries such as fuel, beverages, and other industrial applications. Commonly, ethanol has been produced from yeast fermentation using sugar crops as a feedstock. However, food waste (FW) was found to be one of the promising resources to produce ethanol because it contained a higher amount of glucose. Generally, column distillation has been used to separate ethanol from the fermentation broth, but this operation is considered an energy-intensive process. On the contrary, membrane distillation is expected to be more practical and cost-effective because of its lower energy requirement. Therefore, this study aims to make a comparison of economic performance on FW fermentation with membrane distillation and a conventional distillation system using techno-economy analysis (TEA) method. A commercial-scale FW fermentation plant was modeled using SuperPro Designer V9.0 Modeling. Discounted cash flow analysis was employed to determine ethanol minimum selling price (MSP) for both distillation systems at 10% of the internal rate of return. Results from this analysis showed that membrane distillation has a higher MSP than a conventional process, $6.24 and $2.41 per gallon ($1.65 and $0.64 per liter) respectively. Hence, this study found that membrane distillation is not economical to be implemented in commercial-scale ethanol production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Conversion)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop