Innovative Research and Applications of Biofuels and Bioplastics

A special issue of Inventions (ISSN 2411-5134). This special issue belongs to the section "Inventions and Innovation in Biotechnology and Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 3384

Special Issue Editors

Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell'Ambiente, del Territorio e delle Infrastrutture, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy
Interests: irreversible thermodynamics; thermodynamics of biosystems; exergoeconomics; thermoeconomics; life cycle assessment; sustainability
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In this Special Issue, we present the cutting-edge topic of "Innovative Research and Applications of Biofuels and Bioplastics", wherein engineering prowess and innovation converge to address critical challenges in biofuels and bioplastics.

Sustainability and sustainable development are taking center stage in today’s world, particularly in the context of global warming and localized pollution. A multidisciplinary perspective is integral to sustainability, and recent decades have witnessed a surge in corresponding research.

Biofuels have emerged as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, driven by environmental concerns and resource depletion. Key characteristics include easy availability, technical and environmental feasibility, and economic competitiveness. Biofuels' diverse biomass sources offer supply diversification, enabling localized production and harnessing photosynthesis for CO2 utilization.

Optimizing biofuel production processes is imperative for transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable alternatives. Join us in exploring the forefront of engineering, innovation, and invention within the dynamic realms of biofuels and bioplastics. We welcome original manuscripts and review articles addressing this topic.

Dr. Umberto Lucia
Dr. Giulia Grisolia
Prof. Dr. Debora Fino
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 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

  • biofuels
  • bacteria in biofuels production
  • algae for biofuels production
  • biotechnology for fuels
  • bioplastics
  • thermodynamics and industrial bioengineering
  • industrial bioengineering
  • sustainability
  • climate change
  • pollution

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 1570 KiB  
Article
Anaerobic Digestion of Cuttings from Grassland in Protected Landscape Areas
Inventions 2024, 9(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/inventions9010023 - 17 Feb 2024
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Abstract
Orchard meadows are biodiversity hotspots, as the understory often consists of species-rich lowland hay meadows. Due to the low energy density of the grass, it is not suitable as feed, but the energetic utilisation of cuttings from orchard meadows for biogas production could [...] Read more.
Orchard meadows are biodiversity hotspots, as the understory often consists of species-rich lowland hay meadows. Due to the low energy density of the grass, it is not suitable as feed, but the energetic utilisation of cuttings from orchard meadows for biogas production could facilitate the protection of these semi-natural grasslands. Here, lowland hay meadows and extensively used orchards were investigated to assess their potential for anaerobic digestion in biogas plants. Aboveground biomass was harvested weekly from three lowland hay meadows differing in conservation statuses and analysed for cell wall components (aNDF, ADF, and ADL), nutritional values (XF, XL, XP), and methane formation potential by anaerobic digestion. Further, orchard meadows were harvested twice during summer and analysed in the same way. Specific methane yield decreased linearly with cutting dates from 0.325 m3 kg−1(oDM) to 0.237 m3 kg−1(oDM). The cumulated area-related methane yields of the orchards ranged from 818 m3 ha−1 to 1036 m3 ha−1. Specific methane yields were linearly correlated with XL, aNDF, ADF, and ADL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Research and Applications of Biofuels and Bioplastics)
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31 pages, 10260 KiB  
Article
Particle Number Concentration and SEM-EDX Analyses of an Auxiliary Heating Device in Operation with Different Fossil and Renewable Fuel
Inventions 2024, 9(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/inventions9010013 - 11 Jan 2024
Viewed by 803
Abstract
Pollution from road vehicles enters the air environment from many sources. One such source could be if the vehicle is equipped with an auxiliary heater. They can be classified according to whether they work with diesel or gasoline and whether they heat water [...] Read more.
Pollution from road vehicles enters the air environment from many sources. One such source could be if the vehicle is equipped with an auxiliary heater. They can be classified according to whether they work with diesel or gasoline and whether they heat water or air. The subject of our research series is an additional heating system that heats the air, the original fuel is gasoline. This device has been built up in a modern engine test bench, where the environmental parameters can be controlled. The length of the test cycle was chosen to be 30 min. The tested fuels were E10, E30, E100 and B7. A 30-min operating period has been chosen in the NORMAL operating mode of the device as a test cycle. The focus of the tests was particle number concentration and soot composition. The results of the particle number concentration showed that renewable fuel content significantly reduces the number concentration of the emitted particles (9.56 × 108 #/cycle for E10 vs. 1.65 × 108 #/cycle for E100), while B7 causes a significantly higher number of emissions than E10 (3.92 × 1010 #/cycle for B7). Based on the elemental analysis, most deposits are elemental carbon, but non-organic compounds are also present. Carbon (92.18 m/m% for E10), oxygen (6.34 m/m% for E10), fluorine (0.64 m/m% for E10), and zinc (0.56 m/m% for E10) have been found in the largest quantity of deposits taken form the combustion chamber. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Research and Applications of Biofuels and Bioplastics)
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25 pages, 3761 KiB  
Article
Mini-Kilns for Charcoal-Making: An Eco-Friendly Solution for Small-Scale Production of Charcoal and Wood Vinegar
Inventions 2023, 8(6), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/inventions8060146 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1772
Abstract
Charcoal is one of the most essential energy sources in the world and is used mainly for domestic and industrial purposes. Brazilian charcoal production occurs in rudimentary masonry kilns without concern for process safety or energy waste. This work aimed to develop a [...] Read more.
Charcoal is one of the most essential energy sources in the world and is used mainly for domestic and industrial purposes. Brazilian charcoal production occurs in rudimentary masonry kilns without concern for process safety or energy waste. This work aimed to develop a mini carbonization system of three kilns coupled to a vertical smoke burner for optimized and environmentally correct charcoal and wood vinegar (WV) production on small farms. The project was divided into three parts for dimensioning: the three-kiln set, the WV condensing device, and the smoke burner. The condenser was designed following the procedures from the standards of TEMA (Tubular Exchangers Manufacturers Association); ASME (Society of Mechanical Engineers of the United States) Section VIII, Division 1; and the NR-13 (Regulatory Standard) of ABNT (Brazilian Association of Technical Standards). In contrast to the current scenario, in which primitive carbonization technologies are still employed, bringing about low charcoal yields and significant pollution release, the use of a mini-kiln that allows charcoal production and wood vinegar recovery combined with pollutant smoke burning is an interesting eco-friendly solution. Thus, the mini-kiln model presented here brings a low cost and environmental safety to the charcoal production chain, reaching sustainability parameters and offering higher income opportunities to small producers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Research and Applications of Biofuels and Bioplastics)
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