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.
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%).
Landfills present long-term threats to soil, air, groundwater and surface water due to the formation of greenhouse gases (methane gas and carbon dioxide) and leachate from decomposing garbage. The composition of leachate differs from site to site and also within the landfill. The leachates alter with time (from weeks to years) since the landfilled waste is biologically highly active and their composition varies. Mainly, the composition of the leachate depends on factors such as characteristics of the waste, the moisture content, climatic conditions, degree of compaction and the age of the landfill. Therefore, the leachate composition cannot be generalized and the traditional treatment models should be adapted in each case. Although leachate composition is highly variable, what different leachates have in common is hazardous constituents and their potential eco-toxicological effects on human health and on terrestrial ecosystems. Since leachate has distinct compositions, each landfill or dumping site would represent a different type of risk on its environment. Nevertheless, leachates consist always of high organic concentration, conductivity, heavy metals and ammonia nitrogen. Leachate could affect the current and future quality of water bodies due to uncontrolled infiltrations. Therefore, control and treatment of leachate is one of the biggest issues in urban solid waste treatment plants and landfills design and management. This work presents a treatment model that will be carried out "in-situ" using a cost-effective novel technology that combines solar evaporation/condensation plus forward osmosis. The plant is powered by renewable energies (solar energy, biomass and residual heat), which will minimize the carbon footprint of the process. The final effluent quality is very high, allowing reuse (preferred) or discharge into watercourses. In the particular case of this work, the final effluents will be reused for cleaning and gardening purposes. A minority semi-solid residual stream is also generated in the process. Due to its special composition (rich in metals and inorganic elements), this stream will be valorized in ceramic industries to improve the final products characteristics.
Forest inventories are essential to assess the composition, structure and distribution of forest vegetation that can be used as baseline information for management decisions. Classical forest inventory is labor intensive and time-consuming and sometimes even dangerous. The use of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) in forest inventory would improve and overcome these restrictions. This study was conducted to determine the possibility of using LiDAR derived data in extracting high accuracy forest biophysical parameters and as a non-destructive method for forest status analysis of San Manual, Pangasinan. Forest resources extraction was carried out using LAS tools, GIS, Envi and .bat scripts with the available LiDAR data. The process includes the generation of derivatives such as Digital Terrain Model (DTM), Canopy Height Model (CHM) and Canopy Cover Model (CCM) in .bat scripts followed by the generation of 17 composite bands to be used in the extraction of forest classification covers using ENVI 4.8 and GIS software. The Diameter in Breast Height (DBH), Above Ground Biomass (AGB) and Carbon Stock (CS) were estimated for each classified forest cover and Tree Count Extraction was carried out using GIS. Subsequently, field validation was conducted for accuracy assessment. Results showed that the forest of San Manuel has 73% Forest Cover, which is relatively much higher as compared to the 10% canopy cover requirement. On the extracted canopy height, 80% of the tree’s height ranges from 12 m to 17 m. CS of the three forest covers based on the AGB were: 20819.59 kg/20x20 m for closed broadleaf, 8609.82 kg/20x20 m for broadleaf plantation and 15545.57 kg/20x20m for open broadleaf. Average tree counts for the tree forest plantation was 413 trees/ha. As such, the forest of San Manuel has high percent forest cover and high CS.
The commercial production of biodiesel using microalgae demands a high-energy input for harvesting biomass, making production economically unfeasible. Methods currently used involve mechanical, chemical, and biological procedures. In this work, a flocculation system is presented as a cost and energy effective process to increase biomass production of Phaeodactylum tricornutum. This diatom is the only species of the genus that present fast growth and lipid accumulation ability that are of great interest for biofuel production. The algae, selected from the Bank of Microalgae, Institute of Biology, Federal University of Bahia (Brazil), have been bred in tubular reactor with photoperiod of 12 h (clear/dark), providing luminance of about 35 μmol photons m-2s-1, and temperature of 22 °C. The medium used for growing cells was the Conway medium, with addition of silica. The seaweed growth curve was accompanied by cell count in Neubauer camera and by optical density in spectrophotometer, at 680 nm. The precipitation occurred at the end of the stationary phase of growth, 21 days after inoculation, using two methods: centrifugation at 5000 rpm for 5 min, and electro-flocculation at 19 EPD and 95 W. After precipitation, cells were frozen at -20 °C and, subsequently, lyophilized. Biomass obtained by electro-flocculation was approximately four times greater than the one achieved by centrifugation. The benefits of this method are that no addition of chemical flocculants is necessary and similar cultivation conditions can be used for the biodiesel production and pharmacological purposes. The results may contribute to improve biodiesel production costs using marine microalgae.
Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), being a rich source of organic materials, can be used for agricultural applications as an important source of nutrients for soil and plants. This is also an alternative beneficial management practice for MSW generated in developing countries. In the present study, MSW treated soil samples from last four to six years at farmer’s field in Rohtak and Gurgaon states (Haryana, India) were collected. The samples were analyzed for all-important agricultural parameters and compared with the control untreated soil samples. The treated soil at farmer’s field showed increase in total N by 48 to 68%, P by 45.7 to 51.3%, and K by 60 to 67% compared to untreated soil samples. Application of sewage sludge at different sites led to increase in microbial biomass C by 60 to 68% compared to untreated soil. There was significant increase in total Cu, Cr, Ni, Fe, Pb, and Zn in all sewage sludge amended soil samples; however, concentration of all the metals were still below the current permitted (EU) limits. To study the adverse effect of heavy metals accumulation on various soil microbial activities, the sewage sludge samples (from wastewater treatment plant at Gurgaon) were artificially contaminated with heavy metal concentration above the EU limits. They were then applied to soil samples with different rates (0.5 to 4.0%) and incubated for 90 days under laboratory conditions. The samples were drawn at different intervals and analyzed for various parameters like pH, EC, total N, P, K, microbial biomass C, carbon mineralization, and diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) exactable heavy metals. The results were compared to the uncontaminated sewage sludge. The increasing level of sewage sludge from 0.5 to 4% led to build of organic C and total N, P and K content at the early stages of incubation. But, organic C was decreased after 90 days because of decomposition of organic matter. Biomass production was significantly increased in both contaminated and uncontaminated sewage soil samples, but also led to slight increases in metal accumulation and their bioavailability in soil. The maximum metal concentrations were found in treatment with 4% of contaminated sewage sludge amendment.
The paper discovers biotechonomy development analysis by use of system dynamics modelling. The research is connected with investigations of biomass application for production of bioproducts with higher added value. The most popular bioresource is wood, and therefore, the main question today is about future development and eco-design of products. The paper emphasizes and evaluates energy sector which is open for use of wood logs, wood chips, wood pellets and so on. The main aim for this research study was to build a framework to analyse development perspectives for wood pellet production. To reach the goal, a system dynamics model of energy wood supplies, processing, and consumption is built. Production capacity, energy consumption, changes in energy and technology efficiency, required labour source, prices of wood, energy and labour are taken into account. Validation and verification tests with available data and information have been carried out and indicate that the model constitutes the dynamic hypothesis. It is found that the more is invested into pellets production, the higher the specific profit per production unit compared to wood logs and wood chips. As a result, wood chips production is decreasing dramatically and is replaced by wood pellets. The limiting factor for pellet industry growth is availability of wood sources. This is governed by felling limit set by the government based on sustainable forestry principles.
Producer gas is a biomass derived gaseous fuel which is extensively used in internal combustion engines for power generation application. Unlike the conventional hydrocarbon fuels (Gasoline and Natural gas), the combustion properties of producer gas fuel are much different. Therefore, setting of optimal spark time for efficient engine operation is required. Owing to the fluctuating tendency of producer gas composition during gasification process, the heat release patterns (dictating the power output and emissions) obtained are quite different from conventional fuels. It was found that, valve lift timing is yet another factor which influences the burn rate of producer gas fuel, and thus, the heat release rate of the engine. Therefore, the present study was motivated to estimate the influence of valve lift timing analytically (Wiebe model) on the burn rate of producer gas through curve fitting against experimentally obtained mass fraction burn curves of several producer gas compositions. Furthermore, Wiebe models are widely used in zero-dimensional codes for engine parametric studies and are quite popular. This study also addresses the influence of hydrogen and methane concentration of producer gas on combustion trends, which are known to cause dynamics in engine combustion.
This paper presents a small tube/wire type electrostatic precipitator (ESP). In the ESPs present form, particle charging and collecting voltages and airflow rates were individually varied throughout 200 ambient temperature test runs ranging from 10 to 30 kV in increments on 5 kV and 0.5 m/s to 1.5 m/s, respectively. It was repeatedly observed that, at input air velocities of between 0.5 and 0.9 m/s and voltage settings of 20 kV to 30 kV, the collection efficiency remained above 95%. The outcomes of preliminary tests at combustion flue temperatures are, at present, inconclusive although indications are that there is little or no drop in comparable performance during ideal test conditions. A limited set of similar tests was carried out during which the collecting electrode was grounded, having been disconnected from the static generator. The collecting efficiency fell significantly, and for that reason, this approach was not pursued further. The collecting efficiencies during ambient temperature tests were determined by mass balance between incoming and outgoing dry PM. The efficiencies of combustion temperature runs are determined by analysing the difference in opacity of the flue gas at inlet and outlet compared to a reference light source. In addition, an array of Leit tabs (carbon coated, electrically conductive adhesive discs) was placed at inlet and outlet for a number of four-day continuous ambient temperature runs. Analysis of the discs’ contamination was carried out using scanning electron microscopy and ImageJ computer software that confirmed collection efficiencies of over 99% which gave unequivocal support to all the previous tests. The average efficiency for these runs was 99.409%. Emissions collected from a woody biomass combustion unit, classified to a diameter of 100 µm, were used in all ambient temperature trials test runs apart from two which collected airborne dust from within the laboratory. Sawdust and wood pellets were chosen for laboratory and field combustion trials. Video recordings were made of three ambient temperature test runs in which the smoke from a wood smoke generator was drawn through the precipitator. Although these runs were visual indicators only, with no objective other than to display, they provided a strong argument for the device’s claimed efficiency, as no emissions were visible at exit when energised. The theoretical performance of ESPs, when applied to the geometry and configuration of the tested model, was compared to the actual performance and was shown to be in good agreement with it.
One way to utilize biomass is to thermochemically convert it into gases and chemicals. For conversion of biomass, glucose is a particularly popular model compound for cellulose, or more generally for biomass. The present study takes a different approach by employing lactic acid as the model compound for cellulose. Since lactic acid and glucose have identical elemental composition, they are expected to produce similar results as they go through the conversion process. In the current study, lactic acid was thermochemically converted to assess its reactivity and reaction mechanism in subcritical and supercritical water, by using a 16-ml autoclave reactor. The major operating parameters investigated include: The reaction temperature, from 673 to 873 K, the reaction pressure, 10 and 25 MPa, the dosage of oxidizing agent, 0 and 0.5 chemical oxygen demand, and the concentration of lactic acid in the feed, 0.5 and 1.0 M. Gaseous products from the conversion were generally found to be comparable to those derived from the conversion of glucose.
Biomass such as corn and cassava wastes if left to decay will release significant quantities of greenhouse gases (GHG) including carbon dioxide and methane. The biomass wastes can be converted into biochar via thermochemical process such as slow pyrolysis. This approach can reduce the biomass wastes as well as preserve its carbon content. Biochar has the potential to be used as a carbon sequester and soil amendment. The aim of this study is to investigate the characteristics of the corn cob, cassava stem, and cassava rhizome in order to identify their potential as pyrolysis feedstocks for biochar production. This was achieved by using the proximate and elemental analyses as well as calorific value and lignocellulosic determination. The second objective is to investigate the effect of pyrolysis temperature on the biochar produced. A fixed bed slow pyrolysis reactor was used to pyrolyze the corn cob, cassava stem, and cassava rhizome. The pyrolysis temperatures were varied between 400 °C and 600 °C, while the heating rate and the holding time were fixed at 5 °C/min and 1 hour, respectively. Corn cob, cassava stem, and cassava rhizome were found to be suitable feedstocks for pyrolysis process because they contained a high percentage of volatile matter more than 80 mf wt.%. All the three feedstocks contained low nitrogen and sulphur content less than 1 mf wt.%. Therefore, during the pyrolysis process, the feedstocks give off very low rate of GHG such as nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides. Independent of the types of biomass, the percentage of biochar yield is inversely proportional to the pyrolysis temperature. The highest biochar yield for each studied temperature is from slow pyrolysis of cassava rhizome as the feedstock contained the highest percentage of ash compared to the other two feedstocks. The percentage of fixed carbon in all the biochars increased as the pyrolysis temperature increased. The increment of pyrolysis temperature from 400 °C to 600 °C increased the fixed carbon of corn cob biochar, cassava stem biochar and cassava rhizome biochar by 26.35%, 10.98%, and 6.20% respectively. Irrespective of the pyrolysis temperature, all the biochars produced were found to contain more than 60 mf wt.% fixed carbon content, much higher than its feedstocks.
The first objective of this study is to investigate the suitability of coconut frond (CF) and coconut husk (CH) as feedstocks using a laboratory-scale slow pyrolysis experimental setup. The second objective is to investigate the effect of pyrolysis temperature on the biochar yield. The properties of CF and CH feedstocks were compared. The properties of the CF and CH feedstocks were investigated using proximate and elemental analysis, lignocellulosic determination, and also thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The CF and CH feedstocks were pyrolysed at 300, 400, 500, 600 and 700 °C for 2 hours at 10 °C/min heating rate. The proximate analysis showed that CF feedstock has 89.96 mf wt% volatile matter, 4.67 mf wt% ash content and 5.37 mf wt% fixed carbon. The lignocelluloses analysis showed that CF feedstock contained 21.46% lignin, 39.05% cellulose and 22.49% hemicelluloses. The CH feedstock contained 84.13 mf wt% volatile matter, 0.33 mf wt% ash content, 15.54 mf wt% fixed carbon, 28.22% lignin, 33.61% cellulose and 22.03% hemicelluloses. Carbon and oxygen are the major component of the CF and CH feedstock compositions. Both of CF and CH feedstocks contained very low percentage of sulfur, 0.77% and 0.33%, respectively. TGA analysis indicated that coconut wastes are easily degraded. It may be due to their high volatile content. Between the temperature ranges of 300 and 800 °C, the TGA curves showed that the weight percentage of CF feedstock is lower than CH feedstock by 0.62%-5.88%. From the D TGA curves, most of the weight loss occurred between 210 and 400 °C for both feedstocks. The maximum weight loss for both CF and CH are 0.0074 wt%/min and 0.0061 wt%/min, respectively, which occurred at 324.5 °C. The yield percentage of both CF and CH biochars decreased significantly as the pyrolysis temperature was increased. For CF biochar, the yield decreased from 49.40 wt% to 28.12 wt% as the temperature increased from 300 to 700 °C. The yield for CH biochars also decreased from 52.18 wt% to 28.72 wt%. The findings of this study indicated that both CF and CH are suitable feedstock for slow pyrolysis of biochar.
The conversion of lignocellulosic waste materials, such as sugar cane bagasse, to biofuels such as ethanol has attracted significant interest as a potential element for transforming transport fuel supplies to totally renewable sources. However, the refractory nature of the cellulosic structure of lignocellulosic materials has impeded progress on developing an economic process, whereby the cellulose component may be effectively broken down to glucose monosaccharides and then purified to allow downstream fermentation. Ionic liquid (IL) treatment of lignocellulosic biomass has been shown to disrupt the crystalline structure of cellulose thus potentially enabling the cellulose to be more readily hydrolysed to monosaccharides. Furthermore, conventional hydrolysis of lignocellulosic materials yields byproducts that are inhibitors for efficient fermentation of the monosaccharides. However, selective extraction of monosaccharides from an aqueous/IL phase into an organic phase utilizing a combination of boronic acids and quaternary amines has shown promise as a purification process. Hydrolysis of sugar cane bagasse immersed in an aqueous solution with IL (1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate) was conducted at different pH and temperature below 100 ºC. It was found that the use of a high concentration of hydrochloric acid to acidify the solution inhibited the hydrolysis of bagasse. At high pH (i.e. basic conditions), using sodium hydroxide, catalyst yields were reduced for total reducing sugars (TRS) due to the rapid degradation of the sugars formed. For purification trials, a supported liquid membrane (SLM) apparatus was constructed, whereby a synthetic solution containing xylose and glucose in an aqueous IL phase was transported across a membrane impregnated with phenyl boronic acid/Aliquat 336 to an aqueous phase. The transport rate of xylose was generally higher than that of glucose indicating that a SLM scheme may not only be useful for purifying sugars from undesirable toxic compounds, but also for fractionating sugars to improve fermentation efficiency.
Leaves of Stevia rebaudiana contain steviol glycoside which mainly comprise of stevioside, a natural sweetener compound that is 100-300 times sweeter than sucrose. Current cultivation method of Stevia rebaudiana in Indonesia has yet to reach its optimum efficiency and productivity to produce stevioside as a safe sugar substitute sweetener for people with diabetes. An alternative method that is not limited by environmental factor is in vitro temporary immersion system (TIS) culture method using recipient for automated immersion (RITA®) bioreactor. The aim of this research was to evaluate the effect of red LED light induction towards shoot growth and stevioside accumulation in TIS RITA® bioreactor system, as an endeavour to increase the secondary metabolite synthesis. The result showed that the stevioside accumulation in TIS RITA® bioreactor system induced with red LED light for one hour during night was higher than that in TIS RITA® bioreactor system without red LED light induction, i.e. 71.04 ± 5.36 μg/g and 42.92 ± 5.40 μg/g respectively. Biomass growth rate reached as high as 0.072 ± 0.015/day for red LED light induced TIS RITA® bioreactor system, whereas TIS RITA® bioreactor system without induction was only 0.046 ± 0.003/day. Productivity of Stevia rebaudiana shoots induced with red LED light was 0.065 g/L medium/day, whilst shoots without any induction was 0.041 g/L medium/day. Sucrose, salt, and inorganic consumption in both bioreactor media increased as biomass increased. It can be concluded that Stevia rebaudiana shoot in TIS RITA® bioreactor induced with red LED light produces biomass and accumulates higher stevioside concentration, in comparison to bioreactor without any light induction.
Sorghum byproducts, namely bran, stalk, and panicle are examples of lignocellulosic biomass. These raw materials contain large amounts of polysaccharides, in particular hemicelluloses, celluloses, and lignins, which if efficiently extracted, can be utilised for the development of a range of added value products with potential applications in agriculture and food packaging sectors. The aim of this study was to characterise fractions extracted from sorghum bran and stalk with regards to their physicochemical properties that could determine their applicability as food-packaging materials. A sequential alkaline extraction was applied for the isolation of cellulosic, hemicellulosic and lignin fractions from sorghum stalk and bran. Lignin content, phenolic content and antioxidant capacity were also investigated in the case of the lignin fraction. Thermal analysis using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) revealed that the glass transition temperature (Tg) of cellulose fraction of the stalk was ~78.33 oC at amorphous state (~65%) and water content of ~5%. In terms of hemicellulose, the Tg value of stalk was slightly lower compared to bran at amorphous state (~54%) and had less water content (~2%). It is evident that hemicelluloses generally showed a lower thermal stability compared to cellulose, probably due to their lack of crystallinity. Additionally, bran had higher arabinose-to-xylose ratio (0.82) than the stalk, a fact that indicated its low crystallinity. Furthermore, lignin fraction had Tg value of ~93 oC at amorphous state (~11%). Stalk-derived lignin fraction contained more phenolic compounds (mainly consisting of p-coumaric and ferulic acid) and had higher lignin content and antioxidant capacity compared to bran-derived lignin fraction.
Biotechnology in recent times has tried to develop a mechanism whereby sustainable electricity can be generated by the activity of microorganisms on waste and renewable biomass (often regarded as “negative value”) in a device called microbial fuel cell, MFC. In this paper, we established how the biocatalytic activities of bacteria on organic matter (substrates) produced some electrons with the associated removal of some water pollution parameters; Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD) to the tune of 77.2% and 88.3% respectively from a petrochemical sanitary wastewater. The electricity generation was possible by conditioning the bacteria to operate anaerobically in one chamber referred to as the anode while the electrons are transferred to the fully aerated counter chamber containing the cathode. Power densities ranging from 12.83 mW/m2 to 966.66 mW/m2 were achieved using a dual-chamber starch membrane MFC experimental set-up. The maximum power density obtained in this research shows an improvement in the use of low cost MFC set up to achieve power production. Also, the level of organic matter removal from the sanitary waste water by the operation of this device clearly demonstrates its potential benefit in achieving an improved benign environment. The beauty of the MFCs is their potential utility in areas lacking electrical infrastructures like in most developing countries.
Dunaliella salina has great potential as a system for generating commercially valuable products, including beta-carotene, pharmaceuticals, and biofuels. Our goal is to improve this potential by enhancing growth rate and other properties of D. salina under optimal growth conditions. We used ethyl methane sulfonate (EMS) to generate random mutants in D. salina KU11, a strain classified in Thailand. In a preliminary experiment, we first treated D. salina cells with 0%, 0.8%, 1.0%, 1.2%, 1.44% and 1.66% EMS to generate a killing curve. After that, we randomly picked 30 candidates from approximately 300 isolated survivor colonies from the 1.44% EMS treatment (which permitted 30% survival) as an initial test of the mutant screen. Among the 30 survivor lines, we found that 2 strains (mutant #17 and #24) had significantly improved growth rates and cell number accumulation at stationary phase approximately up to 1.8 and 1.45 fold, respectively, 2 strains (mutant #6 and #23) had significantly decreased growth rates and cell number accumulation at stationary phase approximately down to 1.4 and 1.35 fold, respectively, while 26 of 30 lines had similar growth rates compared with the wild type control. We also analyzed cell size for each strain and found there was no significant difference comparing all mutants with the wild type. In addition, mutant #24 had shown an increase of biomass accumulation approximately 1.65 fold compared with the wild type strain on day 5 that was entering early stationary phase. From these preliminary results, it could be feasible to identify D. salina mutants with significant improved growth rate, cell accumulation and biomass production compared to the wild type for the further study; this makes it possible to improve this microorganism as a platform for biotechnology application.