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Sustainable Energy from Biomass and Waste

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "A: Sustainable Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (17 January 2024) | Viewed by 15526

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
Interests: conversion of biomass and wet wastes into bioenergy and bioproducts; algal biotechnology; waste to energy; energy and nutrient cycling; thermochemical and biological processing of biomass
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Guest Editor
Environmental Science and Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai 400 076, India
Interests: energy from waste; municipal solid waste (MSW); advanced oxidation processes; wastewater treatment; hydrothermal conversion; treatment of leachates

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Guest Editor is inviting submissions to a Special Issue of Energies on the subject area of "Sustainable Energy from Biomass and Waste”. Development of thermochemical and biotechnological processes for utilisation of biomass and waste are gaining importance across the world for the generation of sustainable energy and the valorisation and disposal of waste. This innovation is being driven, in particular, by the development of waste to energy strategies needed to treat waste in developing regions and megacities.

This Special Issue will deal with novel developments in the conversion of biomass and waste to produce sustainable energy, in particular, the technology options being developed for utilisation of biomass, agricultural wastes, and municipal solid wastes. Topics include developments in integrated systems combining thermochemical and biological conversion, integrated hybrid systems utilising other renewable energy technologies such as solar thermal, optimisation of conversion routes, resource assessment and life cycle analysis, and development in waste to energy strategies. Topics of interest for publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Biomass and waste resource assessment and characterisation
  • Hybrid conversion technologies
  • Pretreatment approaches for improved energy
  • Anaerobic digestion and fermentation
  • Combustion and incineration
  • Gasification and pyrolysis
  • Hydrothermal conversion
  • Production of solid recovered fuel/refuse-derived fuel
  • Evaluation of fuel quality
  • Material flow analysis
  • Life cycle and risk assessment
  • Technoeconomic analysis
  • Environmental considerations

Prof. Dr. Andrew Ross
Prof. Dr. Anurag Garg
Guest Editors

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. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2600 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

  • Resource assessment
  • Thermochemical conversion
  • Biological conversion
  • Integrated thermal and biological conversion
  • Pretreatment
  • Life cycle and risk analysis
  • Technoeconomics
  • Hybrid systems
  • Waste to energy

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 1794 KiB  
Article
Techno-Economic Feasibility of Biomass Gasification for the Decarbonisation of Energy-Intensive Industries
by Jaime Guerrero, Simón Sala, Alejandro Fresneda-Cruz, Irene Bolea, Alessandro A. Carmona-Martínez and Clara Jarauta-Córdoba
Energies 2023, 16(17), 6271; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16176271 - 29 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1379
Abstract
The current climatic and geopolitical situation leads to strong decarbonisation policies in several industries worldwide. Moreover, the European Union is pushing intensive industries to achieve a 55% reduction in CO2 emissions towards 2030. Among them, the steel manufacturing sector is at the [...] Read more.
The current climatic and geopolitical situation leads to strong decarbonisation policies in several industries worldwide. Moreover, the European Union is pushing intensive industries to achieve a 55% reduction in CO2 emissions towards 2030. Among them, the steel manufacturing sector is at the lead of alternative projects that can help achieve this ambitious target. Co-production of syngas and biochar is one potential solution for this sector. Herein, a techno-economic analysis is provided to evaluate the economic feasibility and the effect of the most influential parameters for a successful deployment. A bibliographic review has been carried out to establish a clear baseline for such an analysis in terms of investment costs at several scales for gasification projects. Additionally, the cost evolution for coke, natural gas, and CO2 emission credits on the profitability of these projects are given. The case scenario processing 20,000 tbiomass/y is the most feasible solution, with a payback of around three years and a net present value (NPV) of around 15 million EUR, showing that biomass gasification can be an up-and-coming alternative in the mid-term. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy from Biomass and Waste)
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17 pages, 2180 KiB  
Article
Simulation and Exergoeconomic Analysis of a Trigeneration System Based on Biofuels from Spent Coffee Grounds
by Diana L. Tinoco Caicedo, Myrian Santos Torres, Medelyne Mero-Benavides, Oscar Patiño Lopez, Alexis Lozano Medina and Ana M. Blanco Marigorta
Energies 2023, 16(4), 1816; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16041816 - 11 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1715
Abstract
Biofuels have become a source of renewable energy to offset the use of fossil fuels and meet the demand for electricity, heat, and cooling in the industrial sector. This study aims to (a) develop a simulation of a trigeneration system based on a [...] Read more.
Biofuels have become a source of renewable energy to offset the use of fossil fuels and meet the demand for electricity, heat, and cooling in the industrial sector. This study aims to (a) develop a simulation of a trigeneration system based on a gas turbine cycle and an absorption chiller unit, using biomass and syngas from spent coffee grounds (SCGs) to replace the conventional system currently supplying the energy requirements of an instant coffee plant located in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and (b) carry out an exergoeconomic analysis of the simulated system to compare the effects of different fuels. The results showed an increase in the exergetic efficiency from 51.9% to 84.5% when using a trigeneration system based on biomass instead of the conventional non-integrated system. Furthermore, the biomass-based system was found to have the lowest operating costs ($154.7/h) and the lowest heating, cooling, and power costs ($10.3/GJ, $20.2/GJ, and $23.4/GJ, respectively). Therefore, the results of this analysis reveal that using SCGs as biofuel in this instant coffee plant is feasible for producing steam, chilled water, and power. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy from Biomass and Waste)
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12 pages, 927 KiB  
Article
Process Economy of Alternative Fuel Production from Sewage Sludge and Waste Celluloses Biomass
by Kamila Vávrová, Tomas Králík, Lukáš Janota, Olga Šolcová, Milan Čárský, Karel Soukup and Miroslav Vítek
Energies 2023, 16(1), 518; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16010518 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1783
Abstract
The treatment and disposal of sewage sludge is one of the most important and critical problems of wastewater treatment plants. 8.7 million tonnes of dry matter of sewage sludge were produced annually in the European Union in the year 2020. Due to the [...] Read more.
The treatment and disposal of sewage sludge is one of the most important and critical problems of wastewater treatment plants. 8.7 million tonnes of dry matter of sewage sludge were produced annually in the European Union in the year 2020. Due to the fact that sewage sludge contains a large number of substances that are not beneficial for human health, the conditions for sludge management will be significantly tightened in the EU countries. One option for sludge liquidation is the production of biofuel in a form of granules or pellets from sewage sludge enriched by waste celluloses. The achieved results show that the resulting quality of such alternative biofuel is fully comparable to conventional fossil fuels. The economic analysis is based on the simulation of cash flows associated with the implementation of the project over the lifetime and the calculation of levelised cost (LCOE). Results shows (under the current economic situation) that solar dryer technology ensures the lowest LCOE at the level of 26 EUR/GJ in fuel. If the LCOE of the alternative biofuel includes the price of the saved emission allowance and the future costs of sewage sludge disposal, the resulting price is directly competitive with lignite. The results thus clearly show that there is an ecological and economically competitive substitute for solid fossil fuels, which may be an important step for the future use of local combustion sources such as district heating plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy from Biomass and Waste)
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20 pages, 4256 KiB  
Article
Effect of Fertilization with Meat and Bone Meal on the Production of Biofuel Obtained from Corn Grain
by Arkadiusz Stępień and Wojciech Rejmer
Energies 2023, 16(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16010021 - 20 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1668
Abstract
The large volumes of meat and bone meal (MBM) being produced are leading to an increased demand for research into innovative methods of utilizing MBM and obtaining further benefits. The object of this study is to analyze the efficiency of bioethanol and biodiesel [...] Read more.
The large volumes of meat and bone meal (MBM) being produced are leading to an increased demand for research into innovative methods of utilizing MBM and obtaining further benefits. The object of this study is to analyze the efficiency of bioethanol and biodiesel production obtained from corn grain fertilized with meat and bone meal produced from animal waste. For the realization of this study, a four-year field experiment was carried out with grain corn fertilized with different doses of meat and bone meal in comparison to fertilization with mineral fertilizers and no fertilization. Fertilization with meat and bone meal should be considered not only for its direct effect but also for the after-effect. The effect of meat and bone meals on obtaining a grain yield higher than that obtained on objects without fertilization and those fertilized with mineral fertilizers was noticeable after applying higher doses from the third year of the study. Fertilization with meat and bone meals did not significantly affect the average fat content of grain, and it only slightly affected the starch content. The positive effect of meat and bone meals on the yield of bioethanol from grain extracted from one hectare was responsible for their yield-forming effect. The differences obtained between years and between fertilizer variants in the yields of ethyl biodiesel and methyl biodiesel per one hectare were mainly related to grain yields, rather than the obtained volume per 1 kg from grain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy from Biomass and Waste)
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16 pages, 2185 KiB  
Article
The Cultivation of Water Hyacinth in India as a Feedstock for Anaerobic Digestion: Development of a Predictive Model for Scaling Integrated Systems
by Douglas G. Bray, Gaurav Nahar, Oliver Grasham, Vishwanath Dalvi, Shailendrasingh Rajput, Valerie Dupont, Miller Alonso Camargo-Valero and Andrew B. Ross
Energies 2022, 15(24), 9599; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15249599 - 17 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1495
Abstract
A novel, integrated system is proposed for the cultivation and co-digestion of the invasive macrophyte water hyacinth (WH) with cow manure (CM) for the production of biogas for cooking in rural India. This study investigates the pre-treatment approaches and performs a techno-economic analysis [...] Read more.
A novel, integrated system is proposed for the cultivation and co-digestion of the invasive macrophyte water hyacinth (WH) with cow manure (CM) for the production of biogas for cooking in rural India. This study investigates the pre-treatment approaches and performs a techno-economic analysis of producing biogas in fixeddome digesters as a replacement for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Methodologies have been developed for the cultivation of WH collected from wild plants in the Indrayani River, Pune, India. Cultivation trials were performed in 350 litre tanks using water, which was nutrient fed with CM. Cultivation trials were performed over a 3 week period, and growth rates were determined by removing and weighing the biomass at regular time intervals. Cultivation results provided typical yields and growth rates of biomass, allowing predictions to be made for cultivation scaling. Samples of cultivated WH have been co-digested with CM at a 20:80 ratio in 200 L anaerobic digesters, allowing for the prediction of bio-methane yields from fixed-dome anaerobic digesters in real world conditions, which are commonly used in the rural locations of India. A calculator has been developed, allowing us to estimate the scaling requirements for the operation of an integrated biomass cultivation and anaerobic co-digestion unit to produce an equivalent amount of biogas to replace between one and three LPG cylinders per month. A techno-economic analysis of introducing WH into fixed-dome digesters in India demonstrated that the payback periods range from 9 years to under 1 year depending on the economic strategies. To replace between one and three LPG cylinders per month using the discussed feedstock ratio, the cultivation area of WH required to produce sufficient co-feedstock ranges within 10–55 m2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy from Biomass and Waste)
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23 pages, 5342 KiB  
Article
Ammonia and Biogas from Anaerobic and Sewage Digestion for Novel Heat, Power and Transport Applications—A Techno-Economic and GHG Emissions Study for the United Kingdom
by Oliver Grasham, Valerie Dupont, Timothy Cockerill and Miller Alonso Camargo-Valero
Energies 2022, 15(6), 2174; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15062174 - 16 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2439
Abstract
Anaerobic digestion (AD) and sewage sludge digestion (SD) plants generate significant quantities of ammoniacal nitrogen in their digestate liquor. This article assesses the economic viability and CO2 abatement opportunity from the utilisation of this ammonia under three scenarios and proposes their potential [...] Read more.
Anaerobic digestion (AD) and sewage sludge digestion (SD) plants generate significant quantities of ammoniacal nitrogen in their digestate liquor. This article assesses the economic viability and CO2 abatement opportunity from the utilisation of this ammonia under three scenarios and proposes their potential for uptake in the United Kingdom. Each state-of-the-art process route recovers ammonia and uses it alongside AD-produced biomethane for three different end goals: (1) the production of H2 as a bus transport fuel, (2) production of H2 for injection to the gas grid and (3) generation of heat and power via solid oxide fuel cell technology. A rigorous assessment of UK anaerobic and sewage digestion facilities revealed the production of H2 as a bus fleet transport fuel scenario as the most attractive option, with 19 SD and 42 AD existing plants of suitable scale for process implementation. This is compared to 3 SD/1 AD and 13 SD/23 AD existing plants applicable with the aim of grid injection and SOFC processing, respectively. GHG emission analysis found that new plants using the NWaste2H2 technology could enable GHG reductions of up to 4.3 and 3.6 kg CO2e for each kg bio-CH4 supplied as feedstock for UK SD and AD plants, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy from Biomass and Waste)
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13 pages, 1625 KiB  
Article
The Potential Utilizing of Critical Element from Coal and Combustion Residues
by Yunhu Hu, Mu You, Guijian Liu, Zhongbing Dong, Facun Jiao and Ying Meng
Energies 2021, 14(15), 4710; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14154710 - 3 Aug 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2312
Abstract
Strategically critical elements are becoming significant for the rising demand of emerging energy-efficient technologies and high-tech applications. These critical elements are mostly geologically dispersed, and mainly recovered from recycled materials. Coal with high concentrations of critical elements is supposed to stable alternative sources. [...] Read more.
Strategically critical elements are becoming significant for the rising demand of emerging energy-efficient technologies and high-tech applications. These critical elements are mostly geologically dispersed, and mainly recovered from recycled materials. Coal with high concentrations of critical elements is supposed to stable alternative sources. The abundances of critical elements in coal varies widely among different deposits and regions. The high concentrations of critical elements are found in many Chinese and Russian coal ores. The global mining potential ratio (MPR) is applied and suggests scandium, hafnium, cesium, yttrium, germanium, gallium, thallium, strontium and rare-earth elements could be potential recovery from coal. A number of benefits are expected with the extraction of critical elements during coal utilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy from Biomass and Waste)
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Review

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38 pages, 5526 KiB  
Review
Insights into Properties of Biomass Energy Pellets Made from Mixtures of Woody and Non-Woody Biomass: A Meta-Analysis
by Rajitha Lakshan Rupasinghe, Priyan Perera, Rangika Bandara, Hiran Amarasekera and Richard Vlosky
Energies 2024, 17(1), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17010054 - 21 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1380
Abstract
There is a widespread global shift toward renewable energy sources, where the emphasis is on enhancing the utilization of renewable energy due to the rising costs associated with fossil fuels. In this light, biomass pellets made from woody and non-woody biomass and blends [...] Read more.
There is a widespread global shift toward renewable energy sources, where the emphasis is on enhancing the utilization of renewable energy due to the rising costs associated with fossil fuels. In this light, biomass pellets made from woody and non-woody biomass and blends have gained increased attention. Extensive research has been conducted globally to enhance the quality of biomass pellets and to explore the potential to combine woody biomass with other non-woody forms of biomass in biomass pellet production. The heterogeneity of the raw materials used and resulting properties of the biomass pellets have led to the establishment of internationally recognized benchmarks such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 17225 standard to regulate pellet quality. In this article, the key mechanical, physical, chemical, and energy properties of pellets made of different non-woody herbaceous biomass are investigated, and the available test values for such properties of the pellets were meta-analyzed. A comparison of the properties of these pellets with the relevant standards was also performed. A meta-analysis of studies on biomass pellet production was conducted via a comprehensive Systematic Literature Review (SLR). The SLR focuses on determining and analyzing the average values for the key physical properties of biomass pellets using woody biomass as a component in concert with other biomass materials. In addition, the optimal range of mixtures of woody and non-woody biomass was reviewed to produce biomass pellets with potential acceptance in the marketplace. The majority of studies included in the SLR concentrate on pellets made from a mixture of biomass materials. The results show that the average values for wood/non-wood mixtures such as pellet diameter, pellet length, moisture content, ash content, fine particle content, gross calorific value, and bulk density were found to adhere to the ISO standards. However, the average mechanical durability fell short of meeting the requirements of the standards. Additional comparisons were nitrogen, sulfur, volatile matter, and fixed carbon content. The findings in this meta-analysis could be useful in directing future research focused on producing high-quality and efficient biomass pellets derived from biomass blends and mixtures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy from Biomass and Waste)
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