Sample records for biorefining


    John J. Kilbane II


    The objective of this project was to isolate and characterize thermophilic bacterial cultures that can be used for the selective removal of nitrogen, sulfur, and/or metals in the biorefining of petroleum. The project was completed on schedule and no major difficulties were encountered. Significant progress was made on multiple topics relevant to the development of a petroleum biorefining process capable of operating at thermophilic temperatures. New cultures capable of selectively cleaving C-N or C-S bonds in molecules relevant to petroleum were obtained, and the genes encoding the enzymes for these unique biochemical reactions were cloned and sequenced. Genetic tools were developed that enable the use of Thermus thermophilus as a host to express any gene of interest, and information was obtained regarding the optimum conditions for the growth of T. thermophilus. The development of a practical biorefining process still requires further research and the future research needs identified in this project include the development of new enzymes and pathways for the selective cleavage of C-N or C-S bonds that have higher specific activities, increased substrate range, and are capable of functioning at thermophilic temperatures. Additionally, there is a need for process engineering research to determine the maximum yield of biomass and cloned gene products that can be obtained in fed-batch cultures using T. thermophilus, and to determine the best configuration for a process employing biocatalysts to treat petroleum.

  2. BioRefine Yearbook 2011

    Maekinen, T.; Kauppi, M. (eds.) (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Espoo (Finland)); Alakangas, E. (ed.) (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Jyvaeskylae (Finland))


    The BioRefine - new biomass products programme is approaching its final active year 2012. The programme contains several significant industrial research and development projects that aim to demonstrate large scale biorefineries. At the same time, a number of projects are led by SMEs focusing on smaller localised solutions. The programme is co-operating closely with Forestcluster Ltd, one of the Strategic Centres for Science, Technology and Innovation in Finland, which is owned by major forest-related companies and institutes. Forestcluster has launched a second phase of its Future Biorefinery (FuBio) programme, which aims to create a new world-leading-competence platform in the field of biorefinery and to develop new value chains in which wood is refined into materials and chemicals. Together the two programmes are a central part of the Finnish biorefining entity. One of the main goals of the BioRefine programme has been to bring together multidisciplinary research and development competences and different business areas for creating sustainable and commercially viable biorefinery concepts. With the increasing pressure on low-carbon processes and on the efficient and sustainable use of raw materials, the need for a multidisciplinary approach has become evident. Bioeconomy aims to bring these different competence and business areas into close co-operation for creating new solutions based on non-fossil raw materials. In the future, the holistic and multidisciplinary approach to utilising biomass resources efficiently and in an environmentally and economically sustainable way will be increasingly emphasized

  3. Recent advances in membrane technologies for biorefining and bioenergy production.

    He, Yi; Bagley, David M; Leung, Kam Tin; Liss, Steven N; Liao, Bao-Qiang


    The bioeconomy, and in particular, biorefining and bioenergy production, have received considerable attention in recent years as a shift to renewable bioresources to produce similar energy and chemicals derived from fossil energy sources, represents a more sustainable path. Membrane technologies have been shown to play a key role in process intensification and products recovery and purification in biorefining and bioenergy production processes. Among the various separation technologies used, membrane technologies provide excellent fractionation and separation capabilities, low chemical consumption, and reduced energy requirements. This article presents a state-of-the-art review on membrane technologies related to various processes of biorefining and bioenergy production, including: (i) separation and purification of individual molecules from biomass, (ii) removal of fermentation inhibitors, (iii) enzyme recovery from hydrolysis processes, (iv) membrane bioreactors for bioenergy and chemical production, such as bioethanol, biogas and acetic acid, (v) bioethanol dehydration, (vi) bio-oil and biodiesel production, and (vii) algae harvesting. The advantages and limitations of membrane technologies for these applications are discussed and new membrane-based integrated processes are proposed. Finally, challenges and opportunities of membrane technologies for biorefining and bioenergy production in the coming years are addressed. PMID:22306168

  4. Maximizing the liquid fuel yield in a biorefining process.

    Zhang, Bo; von Keitz, Marc; Valentas, Kenneth


    Biorefining strives to recover the maximum value from each fraction, at minimum energy cost. In order to seek an unbiased and thorough assessment of the alleged opportunity offered by biomass fuels, the direct conversion of various lignocellulosic biomass was studied: aspen pulp wood (Populus tremuloides), aspen wood pretreated with dilute acid, aspen lignin, aspen logging residues, corn stalk, corn spathe, corn cob, corn stover, corn stover pellet, corn stover pretreated with dilute acid, and lignin extracted from corn stover. Besides the heating rate, the yield of liquid products was found to be dependent on the final liquefaction temperature and the length of liquefaction time. The major compounds of the liquid products from various origins were identified by GC-MS. The lignin was found to be a good candidate for the liquefaction process, and biomass fractionation was necessary to maximize the yield of the liquid bio-fuel. The results suggest a biorefinery process accompanying pretreatment, fermentation to ethanol, liquefaction to bio-crude oil, and other thermo-conversion technologies, such as gasification. Other biorefinery options, including supercritical water gasification and the effectual utilization of the bio-crude oil, are also addressed. PMID:18781691

  5. Studies of Heterogeneous Catalyst Selectivity and Stability for Biorefining Applications

    O'Neill, Brandon J.

    The conversion of raw resources into value-added end products has long underlain the importance of catalysts in economic and scientific development. In particular, the development of selective and stable heterogeneous catalysts is a challenge that continues to grow in importance as environmental, sociological, and economic concerns have motivated an interest in sustainability and the use of renewable raw materials. Within this context, biomass has been identified as the only realistic source of renewable carbon for the foreseeable future. The development of processes to utilize biomass feedstocks will require breakthroughs in fundamental understanding and practical solutions to the challenges related to selectivity and stability of the catalysts employed. Selectivity is addressed on multiple fronts. First, the selectivity for C-O bond scission reactions of a bifunctional, bimetallic RhRe/C catalyst is investigated. Using multiple techniques, the origin of Bronsted acidity in the catalyst and the role of pretreatment on the activity, selectivity, and stability are explored. In addition, reaction kinetics experiments and kinetic modeling are utilized to understand the role of chemical functional group (i.e. carboxylic acid versus formate ester) in determining the decarbonylation versus decarboxylation selectivity over a Pd/C catalyst. Finally, kinetic studies over Pd/C and Cu/gamma-Al2O3 were performed so that that may be paired with density functional theory calculations and microkinetic modeling to elucidate the elementary reaction mechanism, identify the active site, and provide a basis for future rational catalyst design. Next, the issue of catalyst stability, important in the high-temperature, liquid-phase conditions of biomass processing, is examined, and a method for stabilizing the base-metal nanoparticles of a Cu/gamma-Al2O 3 catalyst using atomic layer deposition (ALD) is developed. This advancement may facilitate the development of biorefining by enabling

  6. Papermaking science and technology. Book 20, Biorefining of forest resources

    Alen, R. (ed.) (Univ. of Jyvaeskylae, Lab. of Applied Chemistry (Finland))


    Much interest has been directed to the versatile possibilities of using wood and forestry residues as well as other forms of biomass, such as annual crops and agricultural residues, for the production of liquid, gaseous and solid fuels together with various chemicals. Recently, the practice has been adopted of expressing these biorefinery conversion concepts in terms of 'green chemistry' and 'green engineering'. It can be claimed with good reason that today is the most exciting time to be working in these areas, since they comprise the essential building blocks of a new potential technology platform. On the other hand, it is a fact that the utilisation of wood and other biomass has a long history, involving a tremendous interest in creating new technologies. However, the field of green chemistry has developed through a significant range of technological breakthroughs over nearly two decades. In general, biomass-derived feedstocks are renewable (i.e., all feedstocks for both materials and energy are renewable) and also 'clean', as they have a relatively low content of sulphur, nitrogen and ash. In addition, for example, during combustion zero net emissions of CO{sub 2} can be achieved because the CO{sub 2} released from biomass will be recycled quantitatively into the plants by photosynthesis. In biorefining, it is important that the process in question is not only technically feasible but also economically sustainable, and, for this reason, its efficiency alone is not necessarily the most significant parameter. In spite of these clear considerations, the future strategic decisions are still rather complicated in view of the general challenges in society and the world, including - in addition to the need for economical energy production and the looming climate change (i.e., global warming due to emissions of greenhouse gases) - also other factors such as food production, water resources and resource depletion. The basic intention of

  7. Review on technological and scientific aspects of feruloyl esterases: A versatile enzyme for biorefining of biomass.

    Gopalan, Nishant; Rodríguez-Duran, L V; Saucedo-Castaneda, G; Nampoothiri, K Madhavan


    With increasing focus on sustainable energy, bio-refining from lignocellulosic biomass has become a thrust area of research. With most of the works being focused on biofuels, significant efforts are also being directed towards other value added products. Feruloyl esterases (EC. can be used as a tool for bio-refining of lignocellulosic material for the recovery and purification of ferulic acid and related hydroxycinnamic acids ubiquitously found in the plant cell wall. More and more genes coding for feruloyl esterases have been mined out from various sources to allow efficient enzymatic release of ferulic acid and allied hydroxycinnamic acids (HCAs) from plant-based biomass. A sum up on enzymatic extraction of HCAs and its recovery from less explored agro residual by-products is still a missing link and this review brushes up the achieved landmarks so far in this direction and also covers a detailed patent search on this biomass refining enzyme. PMID:26159377

  8. Bio-Refining of Carbohydrate-Rich Food Waste for Biofuels

    Hoang-Tuong Nguyen Hao


    Full Text Available The global dependence on finite fossil fuel-derived energy is of serious concern given the predicted population increase. Over the past decades, bio-refining of woody biomass has received much attention, but data on food waste refining are sorely lacking, despite annual and global deposition of 1.3 billion tons in landfills. In addition to negative environmental impacts, this represents a squandering of valuable energy, water and nutrient resources. The potential of carbohydrate-rich food waste (CRFW for biofuel (by Rhodotorulla glutinis fermentation and biogas production (by calculating theoretical methane yield was therefore investigated using a novel integrated bio-refinery approach. In this approach, hydrolyzed CRFW from three different conditions was used for Rhodotorulla glutinis cultivation to produce biolipids, whilst residual solids after hydrolysis were characterized for methane recovery potential via anaerobic digestion. Initially, CRFW was hydrolysed using thermal- (Th, chemical- (Ch and Th-Ch combined hydrolysis (TCh, with the CRFW-leachate serving as a control (Pcon. Excessive foaming led to the loss of TCh cultures, while day-7 biomass yields were similar (3.4–3.6 g dry weight (DW L−1 for the remaining treatments. Total fatty acid methyl ester (FAME content of R. glutinis cultivated on CRFW hydrolysates were relatively low (~6.5% but quality parameters (i.e., cetane number, density, viscosity and higher heating values of biomass extracted biodiesel complied with ASTM standards. Despite low theoretical RS-derived methane potential, further research under optimised and scaled conditions will reveal the potential of this approach for the bio-refining of CRFW for energy recovery and value-added co-product production.

  9. A closed-loop biorefining system to convert organic residues into fuels

    Chen, Rui

    This project delivers an energy positive and water neutral, closed-loop biorefining system that converts organic wastes into renewable energy and reduces the overall impacts on the environment. The research consisted of three major stages: The first stage of this project was conducted in an anaerobic co-digestion system. Effects of the ratio of dairy manure-to-food waste as well as operating temperature were tested on the performance of the co-digestion system. Results illustrated an increase in biogas productivity with the increase of supplemental food waste; fiber analysis revealed similar chemical composition (cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin) of final solid digestate regardless their different initial feedstock blends and digestion conditions. The molecular genetic analyses demonstrated that anaerobic methanogenic microorganisms were able to adjust their community assemblage to maximize biogas production and produce homogenized solid digestate. The second stage utilized electrocoagulation (EC) pretreated liquid digestate from previous stage to culture freshwater algae. Kinetics study showed a similar maximum growth rate (0.201-0.207 g TS day-1) in both 2x and 5x dilutions of EC solution; however, the algal growth was inhibited in original EC solution (1x), possibly due to the high ammonia-to-phosphate ratio. Algal community assemblage changed drastically in different dilutions of EC solution after a 9-day culture. The following semi-continuous culture in 2x and 5x EC media established steady biomass productivities and nitrogen removal rates; in addition, both conditions illustrated a phenomenon of phosphorus luxury uptake. Biomass composition analyses showed that algae cultured in medium containing higher nitrogen (2x EC medium) accumulated more protein but less carbohydrate and lipid than the 5x EC medium. The last stage involved hydrolyzing the algal biomass cultured in anaerobic digestion effluent and analyzing the effects of the neutralized algal

  10. Challenges of the refining and bio-refining integration: a future view; O desafio da integracao refino-bio-refino: uma visao do futuro

    Baptista, Claudia Alvarenga; Oliveira, Sandra Lima de [PETROBRAS S. A., Rio de de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Silva, Suely Coutinho da [Hope Consultoria Ltda., Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)


    As the world economy growths, it is expected an increase in the fuels demand. In the other hand, there is a public denounce against the harmful of gas emissions from the mineral fuels, especial the emission of greenhouse gases. Based on this scenario, there is a growing search for renewable fuels as an alternative for the present world energetic matrix. Therefore the biofuel has conquered more and more participation in the economy as a clean grow-your-own fuel. It is not only a renewable fuel but also a way to reduces Co2 emission. The use of this kind of fuel can bring environmental, social and economic advantages. So, a feasible proposal for the near future could be the performance of a binomial and dynamic model that takes place in the integration between biorefining and conventional refining. Biorefining is similar in concept to the petroleum refining industry, except that renewable biomass materials or vegetable oil are the feedstocks rather than crude oil. An important incentive to the integration of these two concepts is the alternative to process the majority of the conventional refining residue or by products in the biorefining. It is possible to produce high quality low emission fuel from co-conversion of biomass and petroleum residue. There are important processes that can be used to carry out this object, such as gasification coupled with Fischer-Tropsch. Besides the production of PREMIUM quality fuel, the energy and the hydrogen obtained in the gasification process can be used in the conventional refining. Biomass can also be turned into alcohol fuel by enzymatic hydrolysis and can be mixed in the refinery gasoline pool for emissions reduction. Another possibility is to process vegetable oil together with middle distillate in the conventional hydrotreating unity. Although the optimized integration involves technical and economic challenges, it is known that this is an important opportunity to mitigate the environmental problems and to allow the world

  11. A Cost-Benefit Assessment of Gasification-Based Biorefining in the Kraft Pulp and Paper Industry

    Eric D. Larson; Stefano Consonni; Ryan E. Katofsky; Kristiina Iisa; W. James Frederick


    Production of liquid fuels and chemicals via gasification of kraft black liquor and woody residues (''biorefining'') has the potential to provide significant economic returns for kraft pulp and paper mills replacing Tomlinson boilers beginning in the 2010-2015 timeframe. Commercialization of gasification technologies is anticipated in this period, and synthesis gas from gasifiers can be converted into liquid fuels using catalytic synthesis technologies that are in most cases already commercially established today in the ''gas-to-liquids'' industry. These conclusions are supported by detailed analysis carried out in a two-year project co-funded by the American Forest and Paper Association and the Biomass Program of the U.S. Department of Energy. This work assessed the energy, environment, and economic costs and benefits of biorefineries at kraft pulp and paper mills in the United States. Seven detailed biorefinery process designs were developed for a reference freesheet pulp/paper mill in the Southeastern U.S., together with the associated mass/energy balances, air emissions estimates, and capital investment requirements. Commercial (''Nth'') plant levels of technology performance and cost were assumed. The biorefineries provide chemical recovery services and co-produce process steam for the mill, some electricity, and one of three liquid fuels: a Fischer-Tropsch synthetic crude oil (which would be refined to vehicle fuels at existing petroleum refineries), dimethyl ether (a diesel engine fuel or LPG substitute), or an ethanol-rich mixed-alcohol product. Compared to installing a new Tomlinson power/recovery system, a biorefinery would require larger capital investment. However, because the biorefinery would have higher energy efficiencies, lower air emissions, and a more diverse product slate (including transportation fuel), the internal rates of return (IRR) on the incremental capital investments would be

  12. Case studies of large-scale biorefining concepts for production of biofuels, fertilizer, and feed - recent Danish developments

    Holm-Nielsen, Jens Bo; Boland, Ludovic; Honnay, Stephanie; Cybulska, Iwona; Brudecki, Grzegorz (Aalborg Univ., Esbjerg Inst. of Technology, Bioenergy and Biotechnology Research Group, DK-6700 Esbjerg (Denmark)). e-mail:; Madsen, Michael (Aalborg Univ., Esbjerg Inst. of Technology, ACABS Research Group, DK-6700 Esbjerg (Denmark))


    Biorefinery concepts have attracted much attention over the past years, since these integrated systems based on renewable carbon sources can substitute a wide range of inefficient chemical syntheses and on top supply the global society with renewable energy in the form of biofuels, but the challenge is to make the carbon footprint as low as possible. It has to outrange the fossil transport fuels and the old first generation biofuels, fossil fuel energy generation based. The biotechnological approach exerts some fundamental advantages compared to the classical chemical synthesis. Low process temperature, low energy consumption, and high product specificity are the most important ones. Meanwhile, many biorefinery projects have been criticized for not being sustainable and they often hit very low scores in Life Cycle Analyses compared to fossil fuel technology, since current biorefineries utilize fossil fuels for both cultivation of the agricultural feedstocks and the biorefining itself. The core in any biorefinery concept must be to utilize the feedstock(s) optimally and to exert optimal energy efficiency, mainly based on renewable energy in order for the concept to be truly sustainable. In the context of bioenergy production, the best possible carbon dioxide reduction effect must also be obtained given the circumstances. The challenge is to make biomass based products with as low carbon footprint as possible. Several large-scale biorefinery projects are being planned in Denmark in these years. The debate is very much focused on the applied technologies in the proposed concepts (i.e. 1st generation versus 2nd generation liquid biofuels). In this paper, the authors would like to draw the attention to the base assumptions feedstock yield (kg dry matter/ha) and feedstock composition. Feedstocks such as sugar beets and maize silage both have huge potentials in the context of biorefining and can show excellent efficiencies provided they are cultivated and processed in a

  13. Catalyst design for biorefining.

    Wilson, Karen; Lee, Adam F


    The quest for sustainable resources to meet the demands of a rapidly rising global population while mitigating the risks of rising CO2 emissions and associated climate change, represents a grand challenge for humanity. Biomass offers the most readily implemented and low-cost solution for sustainable transportation fuels, and the only non-petroleum route to organic molecules for the manufacture of bulk, fine and speciality chemicals and polymers. To be considered truly sustainable, biomass must be derived from resources which do not compete with agricultural land use for food production, or compromise the environment (e.g. via deforestation). Potential feedstocks include waste lignocellulosic or oil-based materials derived from plant or aquatic sources, with the so-called biorefinery concept offering the co-production of biofuels, platform chemicals and energy; analogous to today's petroleum refineries which deliver both high-volume/low-value (e.g. fuels and commodity chemicals) and low-volume/high-value (e.g. fine/speciality chemicals) products, thereby maximizing biomass valorization. This article addresses the challenges to catalytic biomass processing and highlights recent successes in the rational design of heterogeneous catalysts facilitated by advances in nanotechnology and the synthesis of templated porous materials, as well as the use of tailored catalyst surfaces to generate bifunctional solid acid/base materials or tune hydrophobicity. PMID:26755755

  14. Enzyme technology: Key to selective biorefining

    Meyer, Anne S.


    Development of selective biomass upgrading processes is a crucial prerequisite for unfolding the potential of biomass in biorefinery processes. The biorefinery concept designates that different value-added compounds are produced from the same crop or biomass stream. Selectivity with respect to the...... reaction is a unique trait of enzyme catalysis. Since enzyme selectivity means that a specific reaction is catalysed between particular species to produce definite products, enzymes are particularly fit for converting specific compounds in mixed biomass streams. Since enzymes are protein molecules their...... rational use in biorefinery processes requires an understanding of the basic features of enzymes and reaction traits with respect to specificity, kinetics, reaction optima, stability and structure-function relations – we are now at a stage where it is possible to use nature’s enzyme structures as starting...

  15. Macroalgae - Production and Biorefining in Denmark

    Seghetta, Michele; Hou, Xiaoru; Bastianoni, Simone;

    Macroalgae is a key biomass for the development of circular economy. This study analyzes the environmental sustainability of a macroalgae production and conversion system in Denmark. A brown algae model based on Laminaria digitata and Saccharina latissima is utilized as feedstock for a biorefinery...... system which produces bioethanol, fish feed and liquid fertilizers. A Life Cycle Assessment was conducted from cradle to grave; i.e. from cultivation and harvest of biomass, to the use phase of the products....

  16. Bioremediation capacity, nutritional value and biorefining of macroalga Saccharina latissima

    Silva Marinho, Goncalo

    Macroalgae have the ability to assimilate and convert waste nutrients (N and P) into valuable biomass. In this context, they have been extensively studied for their bioremediation potential for integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA). With a global aquaculture production of 23.8 million tonnes...... increasing attention as sustainable feedstock for biorefinery. Nevertheless, macroalgae resources are still very little explored in western countries. The aim of this study was fulfilled by the investigation of the bioremediation potential of the macroalga Saccharina latissima cultivated at a reference site...... in 2012, macroalgae are a valuable source of vitamins, minerals, lipids, protein, and dietary fibres. Macroalgae have been used as food since ancient times in Asian countries, while in Europe they have lately been introduced as healthy food. Moreover, recently macroalgae have been receiving...

  17. Potential of rice straw for bio-refining: An overview.

    Abraham, Amith; Mathew, Anil Kuruvilla; Sindhu, Raveendran; Pandey, Ashok; Binod, Parameswaran


    The biorefinery approach for the production of fuels and chemicals is gaining more and more attraction in recent years. The major advantages of biorefineries are the generation of multiple products with complete utilization of biomass with zero waste generation. Moreover the process will be economically viable when it targets low volume high value products in addition to high volume low value products like bioethanol. The present review discuss about the potential of rice straw based biorefinery. Since rice is a major staple food for many Asian countries, the utilization of the rice straw residue for fuel and chemicals would be very economical. The review focuses the availability and the potential of this residue for the production of fuel and other high value chemicals. PMID:27067674

  18. Biomass for biorefining: Resources, allocation, utilization, and policies

    The importance of biomass in the development of renewable energy, the availability and allocation of biomass, its preparation for use in biorefineries, and the policies affecting biomass are discussed in this chapter. Bioenergy development will depend on maximizing the amount of biomass obtained fro...

  19. Nanoparticle Technology for Biorefining of Non-Food Source Feedstocks

    Pruski, Marek; Trewyn, Brian G.; Lee, Young-Jin; Lin, Victor S.-Y.


    The goal of this proposed work is to develop and optimize the synthesis of mesoporous nanoparticle materials that are able to selectively sequester fatty acids from hexane extracts from algae, and to catalyze their transformation, as well as waste oils, into biodiesel. The project involves studies of the interactions between the functionalized MSN surface and the sequestering molecules. We investigate the mechanisms of selective extraction of fatty acids and conversion of triglycerides and fatty acids into biodiesel by the produced nanoparticles. This knowledge is used to further improve the properties of the mesoporous nanoparticle materials for both tasks. Furthermore, we investigate the strategies for scaling the synthesis of the catalytic nanomaterials up from the current pilot plant scale to industrial level, such that the biodiesel obtained with this technology can successfully compete with food crop-based biodiesel and petroleum diesel.

  20. Characterization and analysis of the molecular weight of lignin for biorefining studies

    Tolbert, Allison [Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta; Akinosho, Hannah [Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta; Khunsupat, Taya Ratayakorn [ORNL; Naskar, Amit K [ORNL; Ragauskas, Arthur [Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta


    The molecular weight of lignin is a fundamental property that infl uences the recalcitrance of biomass and the valorization of lignin. The determination of the molecular weight of lignin in native biomass is dependent on the bioresources used and the isolation and purifi cation procedures employed. The three most commonly employed isolation methods are milled wood lignin (MWL), cellulolytic enzyme lignin (CEL), and enzymatic mild acidolysis lignin (EMAL). Common characterization techniques for determining the molecular weight of lignin will be addressed, with an emphasis on gel permeation chromatography (GPC). This review also examines the mechanisms behind several biological, physical, and chemical pre-treatments and their impact on the molecular weight of lignin. The number average molecular weight (Mn), weight average molecular weight (Mw) and polydispersity index (D) all vary in magnitude depending on the biomass source, pre-treatment conditions, and isolation method. Additionally, there is a growing body of literature that supports changes in the molecular weight of lignin in response to genetic modifi cations in the lignin biosynthetic pathways. This review summarizes different procedures for obtaining the molecular weight of lignin that have been used in recent years and highlight future opportunities for applications of lignin.

  1. Sustainable Liquid Biofuels from Biomass Biorefining (SUNLIBB). Policy Brief No. 2



    The SUNLIBB project is funded under the European Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) within the Energy theme: Second Generation Biofuels -- EU Brazil Coordinated Call. SUNLIBB started on 1 October 2010 for 4 years and collaborates with a parallel project in Brazil, CeProBIO. This is the second in a series of policy briefs providing an update on the project. The first brief was issued in March 2012. The project focus is on looking at developing second generation biofuels that hope to improve on issues seen with the first generation options. Second generation biofuels are manufactured from inedible sources, such as woody crops, energy grasses, or even agricultural and forestry residues. Residues from sugarcane and biomass from maize, as well as 'whole-crop' miscanthus are all potential raw material (called 'feedstock') for second generation bioethanol production. Because these three plants are all closely related, processing the biomass from these crops raises common technical challenges, which offers the opportunity for breakthroughs in one species to be rapidly exploited in the others. Despite the potential sustainability benefits of second generation bioethanol, the current inefficiency of production makes it economically uncompetitive. Taking up this challenge, the SUNLIBB consortium's multidisciplinary team of scientists -- in cooperation with CeProBIO, the sister project in Brazil -- combines European and Brazilian research strengths so as to open the way for environmentally, socially and economically sustainable second generation bioethanol production.

  2. Biorefine: Recovery of nutrients and metallic trace elements from different wastes by chemical and biochemical processes

    Tarayre, Cédric; Fischer, Christophe; De Clercq, Lies; Michels, Evi; Meers, Erik; Buysse, Jeroen; Delvigne, Frank; Thonart, Philippe


    At present, most waste processing operations are not oriented towards the valorization of valuable reusable components such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and even Metallic Trace Elements (MTEs). Currently, sewage sludge, for example is usually used as a fertilizer in agriculture, in energy production or in the field of construction. Ashes originating from sludge incineration contain heavy metals and minerals in large quantities. Manure is mainly used in agriculture, although considerable...

  3. Paving the Way for Lignin Valorisation: Recent Advances in Bioengineering, Biorefining and Catalysis.

    Rinaldi, Roberto; Jastrzebski, Robin; Clough, Matthew T; Ralph, John; Kennema, Marco; Bruijnincx, Pieter C A; Weckhuysen, Bert M


    Lignin is an abundant biopolymer with a high carbon content and high aromaticity. Despite its potential as a raw material for the fuel and chemical industries, lignin remains the most poorly utilised of the lignocellulosic biopolymers. Effective valorisation of lignin requires careful fine-tuning of multiple "upstream" (i.e., lignin bioengineering, lignin isolation and "early-stage catalytic conversion of lignin") and "downstream" (i.e., lignin depolymerisation and upgrading) process stages, demanding input and understanding from a broad array of scientific disciplines. This review provides a "beginning-to-end" analysis of the recent advances reported in lignin valorisation. Particular emphasis is placed on the improved understanding of lignin's biosynthesis and structure, differences in structure and chemical bonding between native and technical lignins, emerging catalytic valorisation strategies, and the relationships between lignin structure and catalyst performance. PMID:27311348

  4. A Distributed Model of Oilseed Biorefining, via Integrated Industrial Ecology Exchanges

    Ferrell, Jeremy C.

    As the demand for direct petroleum substitutes increases, biorefineries are poised to become centers for conversion of biomass into fuels, energy, and biomaterials. A distributed model offers reduced transportation, tailored process technology to available feedstock, and increased local resilience. Oilseeds are capable of producing a wide variety of useful products additive to food, feed, and fuel needs. Biodiesel manufacturing technology lends itself to smaller-scale distributed facilities able to process diverse feedstocks and meet demand of critical diesel fuel for basic municipal services, safety, sanitation, infrastructure repair, and food production. Integrating biodiesel refining facilities as tenants of eco-industrial parks presents a novel approach for synergistic energy and material exchanges whereby environmental and economic metrics can be significantly improved upon compared to stand alone models. This research is based on the Catawba County NC EcoComplex and the oilseed crushing and biodiesel processing facilities (capacity-433 tons biodiesel per year) located within. Technical and environmental analyses of the biorefinery components as well as agronomic and economic models are presented. The life cycle assessment for the two optimal biodiesel feedstocks, soybeans and used cooking oil, resulted in fossil energy ratios of 7.19 and 12.1 with carbon intensity values of 12.51 gCO2-eq/MJ and 7.93 gCO2-eq/MJ, respectively within the industrial ecology system. Economic modeling resulted in a biodiesel conversion cost of 1.43 per liter of fuel produced with used cooking oil, requiring a subsidy of 0.58 per liter to reach the break-even point. As subsidies continue significant fluctuation, metrics other than operating costs are required to justify small-scale biofuel projects.

  5. White biotechnology: State of the art strategies for the development of biocatalysts for biorefining.

    Heux, S; Meynial-Salles, I; O'Donohue, M J; Dumon, C


    White biotechnology is a term that is now often used to describe the implementation of biotechnology in the industrial sphere. Biocatalysts (enzymes and microorganisms) are the key tools of white biotechnology, which is considered to be one of the key technological drivers for the growing bioeconomy. Biocatalysts are already present in sectors such as the chemical and agro-food industries, and are used to manufacture products as diverse as antibiotics, paper pulp, bread or advanced polymers. This review proposes an original and global overview of highly complementary fields of biotechnology at both enzyme and microorganism level. A certain number of state of the art approaches that are now being used to improve the industrial fitness of biocatalysts particularly focused on the biorefinery sector are presented. The first part deals with the technologies that underpin the development of industrial biocatalysts, notably the discovery of new enzymes and enzyme improvement using directed evolution techniques. The second part describes the toolbox available by the cell engineer to shape the metabolism of microorganisms. And finally the last part focuses on the 'omic' technologies that are vital for understanding and guide microbial engineering toward more efficient microbial biocatalysts. Altogether, these techniques and strategies will undoubtedly help to achieve the challenging task of developing consolidated bioprocessing (i.e. CBP) readily available for industrial purpose. PMID:26303096

  6. Sustainable Liquid Biofuels from Biomass Biorefining (SUNLIBB). Policy Brief No. 1



    The SUNLIBB project is funded under the European Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) within the Energy theme: Second Generation Biofuels -- EU Brazil Coordinated Call. SUNLIBB started on 1 October 2010 for 4 years and collaborates with a parallel project in Brazil, CeProBIO. First generation biofuels -- which are mainly produced from food crops such as grains, sugarcane and vegetable oils -- have triggered one of the most highly contentious debates on the current international sustainability agenda, given their links to energy security, transport, trade, food security, land-use impacts and climate change concerns. Developing second generation biofuels has emerged as a more attractive option, as these are manufactured from inedible sources, such as woody crops, energy grasses, or even agricultural and forestry residues. Residues from sugarcane and biomass from maize, as well as 'whole-crop' miscanthus are all potential raw material (called 'feedstock') for second generation bioethanol production. Because these three plants are all closely related, processing the biomass from these crops raises common technical challenges, which offers the opportunity for breakthroughs in one species to be rapidly exploited in the others. Despite the potential sustainability benefits of second generation bioethanol, the current inefficiency of production makes it economically uncompetitive. Taking up this challenge, the SUNLIBB consortium's multidisciplinary team of scientists -- in cooperation with CeProBIO, the sister project in Brazil -- combines European and Brazilian research strengths so as to open the way for environmentally, socially and economically sustainable second generation bioethanol production.

  7. Biorefining: heterogeneously catalyzed reactions of carbohydrates for the production of furfural and hydroxymethylfurfural.

    Karinen, Reetta; Vilonen, Kati; Niemelä, Marita


    Furfurals are important intermediates in the chemical industry. They are typically produced by homogeneous catalysis in aqueous solutions. However, heterogeneously catalyzed processes would be beneficial in view of the principles of green chemistry: the elimination of homogeneous mineral acids makes the reaction mixtures less corrosive, produces less waste, and facilitates easy separation and recovery of the catalyst. Finding an active and stable water-tolerant solid acid catalyst still poses a challenge for the production of furfural (furan-2-carbaldehyde) and 5-(hydroxymethyl)-2-furaldehyde (HMF). Furfural is produced in the dehydration of xylose, and HMF is formed from glucose and fructose in the presence of an acidic catalyst. Bases are not active in dehydration reaction but do catalyze the isomerization of monosaccharides, which is favorable when using glucose as a raw material. In addition to the desired dehydration of monosaccharides, many undesired side reactions take place, reducing the selectivity and deactivating the catalyst. In addition, the catalyst properties play an important role in the selectivity. In this Review, catalytic conversion approaches are summarized, focusing on the heterogeneously catalyzed formation of furfural. The attractiveness of catalytic concepts is evaluated, keeping in mind productivity, sustainability, and environmental footprint. PMID:21728248

  8. Biorefining of wheat straw using an acetic and formic acid based organosolv fractionation process

    Snelders, J.; Dornez, E.; Benjelloun-Mlayah, B.; Huijgen, W.J.J.; Wild, de P.J.; Gosselink, R.J.A.; Gerritsma, J.; Courtin, C.M.


    To assess the potential of acetic and formic acid organosolv fractionation of wheat straw as basis of an integral biorefinery concept, detailed knowledge on yield, composition and purity of the obtained streams is needed. Therefore, the process was performed, all fractions extensively characterized

  9. Processi di biorefining per l'estrazione di secondary chemical building blocks da sottoprotti dell'agro-industria

    Zanichelli, Dario


    Phenol and cresols represent a good example of primary chemical building blocks of which 2.8 million tons are currently produced in Europe each year. Currently, these primary phenolic building blocks are produced by refining processes from fossil hydrocarbons: 5% of the world-wide production comes from coal (which contains 0.2% of phenols) through the distillation of the tar residue after the production of coke, while 95% of current world production of phenol is produced by the...

  10. Engineering plant oils as high-value industrial feedstocks for biorefining: the need for underpinning cell biology research

    Plant oils represent renewable sources of long-chain hydrocarbons that can be used as both fuel and chemical feedstocks, and genetic engineering offers an opportunity to create further high-value specialty oils for specific industrial uses. While many genes have been identified for the production of...

  11. Evolution of Lignocellulosic Macrocomponents in the Wastewater Streams of a Sulfite Pulp Mill: A Preliminary Biorefining Approach

    Tamara Llano


    Full Text Available The evolution of lignin, five- and six-carbon sugars, and other decomposition products derived from hemicelluloses and cellulose was monitored in a sulfite pulp mill. The wastewater streams were characterized and the mass balances throughout digestion and total chlorine free bleaching stages were determined. Summative analysis in conjunction with pulp parameters highlights some process guidelines and valorization alternatives towards the transformation of the traditional factory into a lignocellulosic biorefinery. The results showed a good separation of cellulose (99.64% during wood digestion, with 87.23% of hemicellulose and 98.47% lignin dissolved into the waste streams. The following steps should be carried out to increase the sugar content into the waste streams: (i optimization of the digestion conditions increasing hemicellulose depolymerization; (ii improvement of the ozonation and peroxide bleaching stages, avoiding deconstruction of the cellulose chains but maintaining impurity removal; (iii fractionation of the waste water streams, separating sugars from the rest of toxic inhibitors for 2nd generation biofuel production. A total of 0.173 L of second-generation ethanol can be obtained in the spent liquor per gram of dry wood. The proposed methodology can be usefully incorporated into other related industrial sectors.

  12. Synthesis and characterization of zeolite from waste coal flyash for tailored application in bio-refining and process water cleaning: An innovative approach towards a cleaner circular economy

    Das, Gaurav


    The purpose of the investigation was to assess if Finnish coal flyash (CFA) waste could be used to synthesize zeolites. The world produces 750 million tonnes of CFA annually which is also the largest quantity waste produced. This figure will only increase as India, China, South America and Africa charges ahead with industrialization. The global recycle rate is 15% annually. Finland produces about 750,000 tonnes of CFA per year. It is also estimated that millions of tonnes of CFA is backfilled...

  13. BioRefine: Recovery of Nutrients from Sewage Sludge, Manure and Digestate by a Combination of Chemical and Biochemical Unit Operations

    Tarayre, Cédric; Delvigne, Frank; Michels, Evi; Buysse, Jeroen; Meers, Erik


    At this time, many wastes are exploited through processes that do not really consider applications potentially more profitable. Such wastes contain reusable components, such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, whereas heavy metals may also be considered. Their composition depends on input materials, and considerable heterogeneities must be highlighted. Sewage sludge is usually exploited as a fertilizer in agriculture, in energy production or in the field of construction. The main applicat...

  14. Biorefining of wheat straw: accounting for the distribution of mineral elements in pretreated biomass by an extended pretreatment – severity equation

    Le, Duy Michael; Sørensen, Hanne Risbjerg; Knudsen, Niels Ole;


    Background: Mineral elements present in lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks may accumulate in biorefinery process streams and cause technological problems, or alternatively can be reaped for value addition. A better understanding of the distribution of minerals in biomass in response to pretreatment...... factors is therefore important in relation to development of new biorefinery processes. The objective of the present study was to examine the levels of mineral elements in pretreated wheat straw in response to systematic variations in the hydrothermal pretreatment parameters (pH, temperature, and...... treatment time), and to assess whether it is possible to model mineral levels in the pretreated fiber fraction. Results: Principal component analysis of the wheat straw biomass constituents, including mineral elements, showed that the recovered levels of wheat straw constituents after different hydrothermal...

  15. BioREFINE-2G project – Engineering of industrial yeast strains for production of dicarboxylic acids from side and waste streams

    Stovicek, Vratislav; Chen, Xiao; Borodina, Irina;


    compounds can be polymerised to biodegradable polymersthat can find application as plastics, coatings or adhesives. To reach the goals, the identification of relevant metabolic routes, strain engineering and the development of a toolbox for manipulation of industrial S. cerevisiae strains are required. Here......, we present advanced genetic engineering tools applicable for generally hardly amenable strains with industrial background. This involves tools forstable heterologous gene (over-)expression and a strategy for fast performance of gene disruption inmultiple ploidy strains. The use of the developed...... generation biorefineries utilize less than 20% of the biomass feedstock for ethanol production. Major side-streams are produced such as pentose and lignin waste streams that are used for biogas and energy production. Converting the carbon from these waste streams into added-value products would improve the...

  16. Biorefining of by-product streams from sunflower-based biodiesel production plants for integrated synthesis of microbial oil and value-added co-products.

    Leiva-Candia, D E; Tsakona, S; Kopsahelis, N; García, I L; Papanikolaou, S; Dorado, M P; Koutinas, A A


    This study focuses on the valorisation of crude glycerol and sunflower meal (SFM) from conventional biodiesel production plants for the separation of value-added co-products (antioxidant-rich extracts and protein isolate) and for enhancing biodiesel production through microbial oil synthesis. Microbial oil production was evaluated using three oleaginous yeast strains (Rhodosporidium toruloides, Lipomyces starkeyi and Cryptococcus curvatus) cultivated on crude glycerol and nutrient-rich hydrolysates derived from either whole SFM or SFM fractions that remained after separation of value-added co-products. Fed-batch bioreactor cultures with R. toruloides led to the production of 37.4gL(-1) of total dry weight with a microbial oil content of 51.3% (ww(-1)) when a biorefinery concept based on SFM fractionation was employed. The estimated biodiesel properties conformed with the limits set by the EN 14214 and ASTM D 6751 standards. The estimated cold filter plugging point (7.3-8.6°C) of the lipids produced by R. toruloides is closer to that of biodiesel derived from palm oil. PMID:25930941

  17. Guayule (parthenium argentatum) pyrolysis biorefining: production of hydrocarbon compatible bio-oils from guayule bagasse via tail-gas reactive pyrolysis

    Guayule (Parthenium argentatum) is a woody desert shrub grown in the southwestern United States as a source of natural rubber, organic resins, and high energy biofuel feedstock from crop residues. We used guayule bagasse, the residual biomass after latex extraction as feedstock in a pyrolysis proces...

  18. Biorefining of wheat straw: accounting for the distribution of mineral elements in pretreated biomass by an extended pretreatment – severity equation

    Le, Duy Michael; Sørensen, Hanne Risbjerg; Knudsen, Niels Ole;


    Background: Mineral elements present in lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks may accumulate in biorefinery process streams and cause technological problems, or alternatively can be reaped for value addition. A better understanding of the distribution of minerals in biomass in response to pretreatment......) Silicon, iron, copper, aluminum correlated with lignin and cellulose levels, but the levels of these constituents showed no severity-dependent trends. For the first group, an expanded pretreatment-severity equation, containing a specific factor for each constituent, accounting for variability due to...... pretreatment pH, was developed. Using this equation, the mineral levels could be predicted with R 2 > 0.75; for some with R 2 up to 0.96. Conclusion: Pretreatment conditions, especially pH, significantly influenced the levels of phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, manganese, zinc, and calcium in the resulting...

  19. Biorefining in the prevailing energy and materials crisis: a review of sustainable pathways for biorefinery value chains and sustainability assessment methodologies

    Parajuli, Ranjan; Dalgaard, Tommy; Jørgensen, Uffe;


    platform enables the extraction of protein from grasses, producing an important alternative to importing protein sources for food products and animal feed, while also allowing processing of residues to deliver bioethanol. Currently, there are several approaches to integrate biorefinery platforms, which...

  20. Method for extracting protein from a fermentation product

    Lawton, Jr., John Warren; Bootsma, Jason Alan; Lewis, Stephen Michael


    A method of producing bioproducts from a feedstock in a system configured to produce ethanol and distillers grains from a fermentation product is disclosed. A system configured to process feedstock into a fermentation product and bioproducts including ethanol and meal is disclosed. A bioproduct produced from a fermentation product produced from a feedstock in a biorefining system is disclosed.

  1. System for extracting protein from a fermentation product

    Lawton, Jr., John Warren; Bootsma, Jason Alan; Lewis, Stephen Michael


    A method of producing bioproducts from a feedstock in a system configured to produce ethanol and distillers grains from a fermentation product is disclosed. A system configured to process feedstock into a fermentation product and bioproducts including ethanol and meal is disclosed. A bioproduct produced from a fermentation product produced from a feedstock in a biorefining system is disclosed.

  2. The binding of cellulase variants to dislocations: a semi-quantitative analysis based on CLSM (confocal laser scanning microscopy) images

    Hidayat, Budi J.; Weisskopf, Carmen; Felby, Claus;


    Binding of enzymes to the substrate is the first step in enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulose, a key process within biorefining. During this process elongated plant cells such as fibers and tracheids have been found to break into segments at irregular cell wall regions known as dislocations or ...

  3. Influence of substrate pre-treatment by steam explosion on the acidogenic fermentation of lignocellulosic substrate by mixed microbial cultures

    Perimenis, Anastasios; van aarle, Ingrid; Nicolay, Thomas; Jacquet, N.; Meyer, L.; PAQUOT, M.; Gerin, Patrick A.; Ph.D. Student Day of the Environmental sciences, Technologies and Management (ENVITAM) and Process engineering (GEPROC) Graduate Schools


    The energetic and material valorisation of biomass resources and especially those with a lignocellulosic structure is gaining increasing attention. Among various processes within the biorefining concept, anaerobic digestion has been extensively implemented for the production of methane from organic waste fractions. Acidogenic fermentation (acidogenesis) is an intermediate stage during anaerobic digestion (following hydrolysis and followed by acetogenesis and methanogenesis) that could be inve...

  4. Mobilizing Sustainable Bioenergy Supply Chains

    Smith, Tat; Lattimore, Brenna; Berndes, Göran;

    International Bioenergy Trade: Securing Supply and Demand), 42 (Biorefining – Sustainable Processing of Biomass into a Spectrum of Marketable Bio-based Products and Bioenergy), and 43 (Biomass Feedstocks for Energy Markets). The purpose of the collaboration has been to analyze prospects for large...

  5. Engineering yeast for the expression and secretion of cellulase cocktails

    Enzyme systems that digest the cellulose in plant cell walls have potential value in the biorefining of renewable feedstocks such as crop residues, straws, and grasses to biofuels and other bioproducts. The bacterium Clostridium cellulovorans is a useful source of biomass-degrading enzymes because ...

  6. Pressurised Fluid Extraction of Bioactive Species in Tree Barks : Analysis using Hyphenated Electrochemical Mass Spectrometric Detection

    Co, Michelle


    Analytical chemistry has developed throughout time to meet current needs. At present, the interest in biorefinery is growing, due to environmental awareness and the depletion of fossil resources. Biomass from agricultural and forestry industries has proven to be excellent raw material for different processes. Biorefinering valuable species such as bioactive species from biomass, without compromising the primary process of the biomass is highly desirable. Pressurised fluid extraction (PFE) usi...

  7. Biorefinery of leafy biomass using green tea residue as a model material

    Zhang, C.


    Summary With the rapidly growing world population and improving living standards, food demand is increased with a simultaneous desire for less human impact on the environment, such that “Twice the food production at half the ecological footprint” could be the EU goal for 2050. In fact, a boost in food demand is mainly required in developing countries, where the farmlands are limited and/or they are of poor quality. Rather than improving crop-production yield, developing biorefiner...

  8. Metagenomic scaffolds enable combinatorial lignin transformation

    Strachan, Cameron R.; Singh, Rahul; VanInsberghe, David; Ievdokymenko, Kateryna; Budwill, Karen; Mohn, William W.; Eltis, Lindsay D.; Steven J Hallam


    Plant biomass conversion into biofuels and chemicals can reduce human reliance on petroleum and promote sustainable biorefining processes. The structural polymer lignin can comprise up to 40% of plant biomass, but resists decomposition into valuable monoaromatic compounds. In this study, we devised a previously unidentified biosensor responsive to lignin transformation products. We used this biosensor in a functional screen to recover metagenomic scaffolds sourced from coal bed bacterial comm...

  9. Saccharification of newspaper waste after ammonia fiber expansion or extractive ammonia

    Montella, Salvatore; Balan, Venkatesh; da Costa Sousa, Leonardo; Gunawan, Christa; Giacobbe, Simona; Pepe, Olimpia; Faraco, Vincenza


    The lignocellulosic fractions of municipal solid waste (MSW) can be used as renewable resources due to the widespread availability, predictable and low pricing and suitability for most conversion technologies. In particular, after the typical paper recycling loop, the newspaper waste (NW) could be further valorized as feedstock in biorefinering industry since it still contains up to 70 % polysaccharides. In this study, two different physicochemical methods—ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX) and e...

  10. Engineering better biomass-degrading ability into a GH11 xylanase using a directed evolution strategy

    Song Letian; Siguier Béatrice; Dumon Claire; Bozonnet Sophie; O'Donohue Michael J


    Abstract Background Improving the hydrolytic performance of hemicellulases on lignocellulosic biomass is of considerable importance for second-generation biorefining. To address this problem, and also to gain greater understanding of structure-function relationships, especially related to xylanase action on complex biomass, we have implemented a combinatorial strategy to engineer the GH11 xylanase from Thermobacillus xylanilyticus (Tx-Xyn). Results Following in vitro enzyme evolution and scre...

  11. The Mechanisms of Plant Cell Wall Deconstruction during Enzymatic Hydrolysis

    Thygesen, Lisbeth G; Thybring, Emil E.; Johansen, Katja S.; Claus Felby


    Mechanical agitation during enzymatic hydrolysis of insoluble plant biomass at high dry matter contents is indispensable for the initial liquefaction step in biorefining. It is known that particle size reduction is an important part of liquefaction, but the mechanisms involved are poorly understood. Here we put forward a simple model based on mechanical principles capable of capturing the result of the interaction between mechanical forces and cell wall weakening via hydrolysis of glucosidic ...

  12. Feasibility Study of a Multiproduct Biorefinery in West Texas From Using Cotton Gin Waste

    Tangaoui, Abbes; Michael, Farmer


    This research is a feasibility study of a multiproduct Biorefinery from using cotton gin waste in West Texas. This region is traditionally known by its important production of upland cotton and where there is an important concentration of gin mills. An important and cheap quantity of cotton gin waste results from the ginning process could be transformed from a liability with respect to environment to a valuable feedstock to produce a portfolio of bio-products in small and distributed biorefin...

  13. Corn stover availability for biomass conversion: situation analysis

    As biorefining conversion technologies become commercial, feedstock availability, supply system logistics, and biomass material attributes are emerging as major barriers to the availability of corn stover for biorefining. While systems do exist to supply corn stover as feedstock to biorefining facilities, stover material attributes affecting physical deconstruction, such as densification and post-harvest material stability, challenge the cost-effectiveness of present-day feedstock logistics systems. In addition, the material characteristics of corn stover create barriers with any supply system design in terms of equipment capacity/efficiency, dry matter loss, and capital use efficiency. However, analysis of a conventional large square bale corn stover feedstock supply system concludes that (1) where other agronomic factors are not limiting, corn stover can be accessed and supplied to a biorefinery using existing bale-based technologies, (2) technologies and new supply system designs are necessary to overcome biomass bulk density and moisture material property challenges, and (3) major opportunities to improve conventional bale biomass feedstock supply systems include improvements in equipment efficiency and capacity and reducing biomass losses in harvesting, collection, and storage. Finally, the backbone of an effective stover supply system design is the optimization of intended and minimization of unintended material property changes as the corn stover passes through the individual supply system processes from the field to the biorefinery conversion processes.

  14. Corn Stover Availability for Biomass Conversion: Situation Analysis

    As biorefining conversion technologies become commercial, feedstock availability, supply system logistics, and biomass material attributes are emerging as major barriers to the availability of corn stover for biorefining. While systems do exist to supply corn stover as feedstock to biorefining facilities, stover material attributes affecting physical deconstruction, such as densification and post-harvest material stability, challenge the cost-effectiveness of present-day feedstock logistics systems. In addition, the material characteristics of corn stover create barriers with any supply system design in terms of equipment capacity/efficiency, dry matter loss, and capital use efficiency. However, this study of a large, square-bale corn stover feedstock supply system concludes that (1) where other agronomic factors are not limiting, corn stover can be accessed and supplied to a biorefinery using existing bale-based technologies, (2) technologies and new supply system designs are necessary to overcome biomass bulk density and moisture material property challenges, and (3) major opportunities to improve conventional-bale biomass feedstock supply systems include improvements in equipment efficiency and capacity and reducing biomass losses in harvesting and collection and storage. Finally, the backbone of an effective stover supply system design is the optimization of intended and minimization of unintended material property changes as the corn stover passes through the individual supply system processes from the field to the biorefinery conversion processes

  15. Cellulose is not just cellulose

    Hidayat, Budi Juliman; Felby, Claus; Johansen, Katja S.;


    Most secondary plant cell walls contain irregular regions known as dislocations or slip planes. Under industrial biorefining conditions dislocations have recently been shown to play a key role during the initial phase of the enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose in plant cell walls. In this review we...... not regions where free cellulose ends are more abundant than in the bulk cell wall. In more severe cases cracks between fibrils form at dislocations and it is possible that the increased accessibility that these cracks give is the reason why hydrolysis of cellulose starts at these locations. If acid...

  16. Succinic acid production from xylose mother liquor by recombinant Escherichia coli strain

    Wang, Honghui; Pan, Jiachuan; Wang, Jing; Wang, Nan; Jie ZHANG; Li, Qiang; Wang, Dan; Zhou, Xiaohua


    Succinic acid (1,4-butanedioic acid) is identified as one of important building-block chemicals. Xylose mother liquor is an abundant industrial residue in xylitol biorefining industry. In this study, xylose mother liquor was utilized to produce succinic acid by recombinant Escherichia coli strain SD121, and the response surface methodology was used to optimize the fermentation media. The optimal conditions of succinic acid fermentation were as follows: 82.62 g L−1 total initial sugars, 42.27 ...


    Joseph J. Bozell


    Full Text Available The current state of biorefinery development is focused almost entirely on the production of fuel ethanol. However, an ethanol-centric approach misses the crucial example set by the petrochemical industry. The ability to fractionate a raw material, rather than simply pretreating it, enables the parallel production of low value, high volume fuels and high value, low volume chemicals. By developing analogous fractionation processes for biomass, giving separate process streams of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, the biorefining industry will be able to recognize the synergistic advantages of producing both energy and profits.

  18. Tailored enzymatic production of oligosaccharides from sugar beet pectin and evidence of differential effects of a single DP chain length difference on human faecal microbiota composition after in vitro fermentation

    Holck, Jesper; Hjernø, K.; Lorentzen, A.;


    polymerization (DP) from 2 to 8 and six different rhamnogalacturonide (RGI) structures, ranging from DP4 to 6 with defined galactose substitutions were purified. Total recoveries of 200 mg homogalacturonides and 67 mg rhamnogalacturonides per gram sugar beet pectin were obtained. This integrated biorefining...... method provides an option for advanced upgrading of sugar beet pectin into HG and RGI oligosaccharides of defined size and structure. In vitro microbial fermentation by human faecal samples (n = 9) showed a different response to the DP4 and DP5 HG structures on the ratio between Bacteroidetes and...

  19. The Mechanisms of Plant Cell Wall Deconstruction during Enzymatic Hydrolysis

    Thygesen, Lisbeth Garbrecht; E. Thybring, Emil; Johansen, Katja Salomon;


    Mechanical agitation during enzymatic hydrolysis of insoluble plant biomass at high dry matter contents is indispensable for the initial liquefaction step in biorefining. It is known that particle size reduction is an important part of liquefaction, but the mechanisms involved are poorly understood....... Here we put forward a simple model based on mechanical principles capable of capturing the result of the interaction between mechanical forces and cell wall weakening via hydrolysis of glucosidic bonds. This study illustrates that basic material science insights are relevant also within biochemistry...

  20. Solubility of xylitol and sorbitol in ionic liquids – Experimental data and modeling

    Highlights: ► Measurements of density of three pure ionic liquids. ► Empirical correlation of density data. ► Solubility measurement for two alditols in three ionic liquids. ► Correlation of the solubility data using local composition models. ► Calculation of the apparent thermodynamic functions of dissolution. - Abstract: Solubility of biomass-derived compounds in ionic liquids is an important parameter for the design of future processes incorporating ionic liquids as solvents for biorefining. Sugar alcohols such as sorbitol and xylitol are carbohydrate derivatives which have been identified as building blocks for biorefining. Therefore, in this work the solubility of these two sugar alcohols was measured experimentally within the temperature range of 288 K to 433 K, in three ionic liquids: [emim][EtSO4], Aliquat®336 (N-Methyl-N,N-dioctyloctan-1-ammonium chloride), and Aliquat®[NO3] (N-Methyl-N,N-dioctyloctan-1-ammonium nitrate). In addition, the densities of the ionic liquids were also measured and correlated. Local composition models such as NRTL, e-NRTL, and UNIQUAC were successfully applied to represent the experimental solubility data. The thermodynamic functions of dissolution were also calculated from the experimental data.

  1. Fungal-mediated consolidated bioprocessing: the potential of Fusarium oxysporum for the lignocellulosic ethanol industry.

    Ali, Shahin S; Nugent, Brian; Mullins, Ewen; Doohan, Fiona M


    Microbial bioprocessing of lignocellulose to bioethanol still poses challenges in terms of substrate catabolism. The most important challenge is to overcome substrate recalcitrance and to thus reduce the number of steps needed to biorefine lignocellulose. Conventionally, conversion involves chemical pretreatment of lignocellulose, followed by hydrolysis of biomass to monomer sugars that are subsequently fermented into bioethanol. Consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) has been suggested as an efficient and economical method of manufacturing bioethanol from lignocellulose. CBP integrates the hydrolysis and fermentation steps into a single process, thereby significantly reducing the amount of steps in the biorefining process. Filamentous fungi are remarkable organisms that are naturally specialised in deconstructing plant biomass and thus they have tremendous potential as components of CBP. The fungus Fusarium oxysporum has potential for CBP of lignocellulose to bioethanol. Here we discuss the complexity and potential of CBP, the bottlenecks in the process, and the potential influence of fungal genetic diversity, substrate complexity and new technologies on the efficacy of CPB of lignocellulose, with a focus on F. oxysporum. PMID:26888202

  2. Modelling of the biorefinery scenarios - Bioscen

    Pitkanen, J.-P. [VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Espoo (Finland)], email:


    The purpose of the BioScen project was to develop quantitative modelling approaches for the future biomass based processes producing fuels and chemicals. The aim of the project was in developing methods to estimate the necessary material properties for phase and reaction equilibria, for the calculation of unit processes and their integration to biorefining production plant simulations. Additional focus was laid on model optimisation and product life cycle analysis. As the biorefining technologies possess an extensive range from thermal pyrolysis to biochemical processing at ambient temperatures, a most generic thermodynamically based approach was selected to enable usage of the methods to the wide variety of possible applications. The methods were then applied to a number of case studies including modelling of flash condensation of pyrolysis oil, hydrolysis of cellulosic biomass and its product recovery and the subsequent fermentation processes for bioethanol and biobutanol, for which also a comparative life cycle analysis was performed. Flowsheet process simulation was applied to a conceptual wood bark biorefinery. Metamodelling techniques were used for both model and parameter optimisation, including their sensitivity analysis.

  3. Heterologous expression of cellobiohydrolases in filamentous fungi

    Zoglowek, Marta; Lübeck, Peter S.; Ahring, Birgitte K.;


    Cellobiohydrolases are among the most important enzymes functioning in the hydrolysis of crystalline cellulose, significantly contributing to the efficient biorefining of recalcitrant lignocellulosic biomass into biofuels and bio-based products. Filamentous fungi are recognized as both well...... into valuable products. However, due to low cellobiohydrolase activities, certain fungi might be deficient with regard to enzymes of value for cellulose conversion, and improving cellobiohydrolase expression in filamentous fungi has proven to be challenging. In this review, we examine the effects of altering...... promoters, signal peptides, culture conditions and host post-translational modifications. For heterologous cellobiohydrolase production in filamentous fungi to become an industrially feasible process, the construction of site-integrating plasmids, development of protease-deficient strains and glycosylation...

  4. Modelling of the biorefinery scenarios - Bioscen

    Koukkari, P. (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Espoo (Finland)), e-mail:; Alopaeus, V. (Aalto Univ., Espoo (Finland)), e-mail:; Miettinen, K. (Jyvaeskylae Univ. (Finland)), e-mail: (and others)


    Bioscen project develops methods for modeling of biorefinery concepts. The project covers a range of approaches starting from collecting and predicting minute details of molecular properties of biorefining chemicals to optimizing energy efficiency and estimating the life cycle analysis of a complete production plant. The unit operations that are in the focus of the project are condensation of pyrolysis oil, chemical and enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass and microbial fermentation. The project develops surrogate-model based simulation and optimization of computationally demanding biorefinery scenarios. These metamodels are applied in flowsheet models of production plants in order to enable estimation of optimum for instance in terms of productivity, energy efficiency and running costs. Furthermore, sensitivity analysis for determining the most critical parameters in the process models is developed. As an example case of complete production process the project uses a concept of bark biorefinery to bioethanol and fine chemicals. (orig.)

  5. Lactic acid and methane: improved exploitation of biowaste potential.

    Dreschke, G; Probst, M; Walter, A; Pümpel, T; Walde, J; Insam, H


    This feasibility study investigated a two-step biorefining approach to increase the value gained by recycling of organic municipal solid waste. Firstly, lactic acid was produced via batch fermentation at 37°C using the indigenous microbiome. Experiments revealed an optimal fermentation period of 24h resulting in high yields of lactic acid (up to 37gkg(-1)). The lactic acid proportion of total volatile fatty acid content reached up to 83%. Lactobacilli were selectively enriched to up to 75% of the bacterial community. Additionally conversion of organic matter to lactic acid was increased from 22% to 30% through counteracting end product inhibition by continuous lactic acid extraction. Secondly, fermentation residues were used as co-substrate in biomethane production yielding up to 618±41Nmlbiomethaneg(-1) volatile solids. Digestate, the only end product of this process can be used as organic fertilizer. PMID:25460983

  6. Mechanisms employed by cellulase systems to gain access through the complex architecture of lignocellulosic substrates.

    Donohoe, Bryon S; Resch, Michael G


    To improve the deconstruction of biomass, the most abundant terrestrial source of carbon polymers, en route to renewable fuels, chemicals, and materials more knowledge is needed into the mechanistic interplay between thermochemical pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis. In this review we highlight recent progress in advanced imaging techniques that have been used to elucidate the effects of thermochemical pretreatment on plant cell walls across a range of spatial scales and the relationship between the substrate structure and the function of various glycoside hydrolase components. The details of substrate and enzyme interactions are not yet fully understood and the challenges of characterizing plant cell wall architecture, how it dictates recalcitrance, and how it relates to enzyme-substrate interactions is the focus for many research groups in the field. Better understanding of how to match pretreatments with improved enzyme mixtures will lead to lower costs for industrial biorefining. PMID:26529490

  7. Strategy and design of Innovation Policy Road Mapping for a waste biorefinery.

    Rama Mohan, S


    Looming energy crisis, climate change concerns coupled with decreasing fossil fuel resources has garnered significant global attention toward development of alternative, renewable, carbon-neutral and eco-friendly fuels to fulfil burgeoning energy demands. Waste utilization and its management are being pursued with renewed interest due to the gamut of biobased products it can offer apart from providing enough energy to meet a major fraction of the world's energy demand. Biorefining is the sustainable processing of biomass into a spectrum of marketable products and energy. Integrating all components of waste treatment culminating into biobased products and energy recovery in a single integrated waste biorefinery is self sufficient, highly sustainable and is very beneficial. Designing systematic innovation policies are essential for development and commercialization of new technologies in this important futuristic research area. This communication explores Innovation Policy Road Mapping (IPRM) methodology available in the literature and applies it to design integrated waste biorefinery. PMID:27039350

  8. Critical fluid technology for the processing of lipid-related natural products

    King, J.W. [Los Alamos National Lab., Supercritical Fluid Facility, Chemistry Div. NM (United States)


    In recent years, the technology envelope that embraces critical fluids can involve a wide range of conditions, different types of pure and modified fluids, as well as processing options involving extractions, fractionations or reactions. Technological development drivers continue to be environmentally and consumer-benign processing and/or products, however in recent years expansion of the use of sub- and supercritical fluids has been catalyzed by applications in such opportune fields as nutraceuticals, conversion of biomass (bio-refining), and the ability to modify natural products by reactions. The use of critical fluid technology is an important facet of any sustainable development program, particularly when utilized over a broad, interconnected application platform. In this overview presentation, concepts and applications of critical fluids from the author's research as well as the literature will be cited to support the above trends. A totally 'green' processing platform appears to be viable using carbon dioxide in the appropriate form, ethanol and water as intermediate co-solvents/reactants, and water from above its boiling point to supercritical conditions. These fluids can be combined in overall coupled unit processes, such as combining trans-esterification with hydrogenation, or glycero-lysis of lipid moieties with supercritical fluid fractionation. Such fluids also can exploited sequentially for bio-refining processes or the segregation of value-added products, but may require using coupled fluid or unit operations to obtain the targeted product composition or purity. Changing the reduced temperatures and/or pressures of critical fluids offers a plethora of opportunity, an excellent example being the relative critical fluid state of water. For example, sub-critical water slightly above its boiling point provides a unique medium that mimics polar organic solvents, and has been used even for the extraction of thermally labile solutes or


    Ángel-Darío González-Delgado


    Full Text Available Biorefining is sustainable biomass processing to obtain energy, biofuels and high value products through processes and equipment for biomass transformation. The biorefinery concept has been identified as the most promising way to create a biomass-based industry. Microalgae are classified as promising candidates in biorefinery processes because they are particularly important for obtaining multiple products. This review article describes the biorefinery concept taking into account its different interpretations and comparing it with the traditional biomass transformation processes. It describes the general characteristics of microalgae, and their potential to be used as a raw material in the biorefinery process. The review focuses on the state of the art of products obtained from microalgae for the biofuel industry, mainly for biodiesel production, and the different methods to extract oil for biodiesel production as well as other products. Based on this information, several aspects are suggested to be taken into account for the development of a topology for a microalgae-based biorefinery.Biorefinar es procesar biomasa de forma sostenible para obtener biocombustibles, productos comercializables y energía mediante procesos y equipos para la transformación de biomasa. El concepto de biorefinería ha sido identificado como el camino más prometedor para la creación de una industria basada en la biomasa. Las microalgas se catalogan como candidatas promisorias en procesos de biorefinería, siendo particularmente importantes por la obtención de múltiples productos. Este artículo de revisión, describe el concepto de biorefinería teniendo en cuenta sus diferentes interpretaciones y se compara con los procesos tradicionales de transformación de biomasa, se describen las características generales de las microalgas, y su potencial para ser utilizadas como materia prima en procesos de biorefinería, la revisión se enfoca en el estado del arte de los

  10. Sustainable Biofuels Development Center

    Reardon, Kenneth F. [Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO (United States)


    The mission of the Sustainable Bioenergy Development Center (SBDC) is to enhance the capability of America’s bioenergy industry to produce transportation fuels and chemical feedstocks on a large scale, with significant energy yields, at competitive cost, through sustainable production techniques. Research within the SBDC is organized in five areas: (1) Development of Sustainable Crops and Agricultural Strategies, (2) Improvement of Biomass Processing Technologies, (3) Biofuel Characterization and Engine Adaptation, (4) Production of Byproducts for Sustainable Biorefining, and (5) Sustainability Assessment, including evaluation of the ecosystem/climate change implication of center research and evaluation of the policy implications of widespread production and utilization of bioenergy. The overall goal of this project is to develop new sustainable bioenergy-related technologies. To achieve that goal, three specific activities were supported with DOE funds: bioenergy-related research initiation projects, bioenergy research and education via support of undergraduate and graduate students, and Research Support Activities (equipment purchases, travel to attend bioenergy conferences, and seminars). Numerous research findings in diverse fields related to bioenergy were produced from these activities and are summarized in this report.

  11. Plus 10 million tons plan. Feasible increased Danish production of sustainable biomass for bio-refineries; + 10 mio. tons planen - muligheder for en oeget dansk produktion af baeredygtig biomasse til bioraffinaderier

    Gylling, M.; Scott Bentsen, N.; Felby, C.; Kvist Johannsen, V. (Koebenhavns Univ., Frederiksberg (Denmark)); Joergensen, Uffe; Kristensen, Inge T.; Dalgaard, T. (Aarhus Univ., Aarhus (Denmark))


    The desire to create sustainable solutions in the energy sector has led researchers at the University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University and research and development staff from DONG Energy to enter into a cooperation agreement that will start concrete initiatives in research and education in green energy. An important part of the collaboration is a study of how we can produce more biomass compared to today without compromising food production, feed production or the environment. The present study shows that it can be done through a total commitment to sustainable technology and biology. The report also describes the effects of the establishment of a Danish supplied bio-refinery sector. In order to achieve this required additional research and development is required, particularly in agriculture and forestry but also in biological and chemical conversion of biomass. The initiative supports the BioRefining Alliance, which brings together Danish companies, public partners and organizations with world-class knowledge and technologies for bio-refinery. (LN)

  12. Optimizing fermentation process miscanthus-to-ethanol biorefinery scale under uncertain conditions

    Ethanol produced from cellulosic feedstocks has garnered significant interest for greenhouse gas abatement and energy security promotion. One outstanding question in the development of a mature cellulosic ethanol industry is the optimal scale of biorefining activities. This question is important for companies and entrepreneurs seeking to construct and operate cellulosic ethanol biorefineries as it determines the size of investment needed and the amount of feedstock for which they must contract. The question also has important implications for the nature and location of lifecycle environmental impacts from cellulosic ethanol. We use an optimization framework similar to previous studies, but add richer details by treating many of these critical parameters as random variables and incorporating a stochastic sub-model for land conversion. We then use Monte Carlo simulation to obtain a probability distribution for the optimal scale of a biorefinery using a fermentation process and miscanthus feedstock. We find a bimodal distribution with a high peak at around 10–30 MMgal yr−1 (representing circumstances where a relatively low percentage of farmers elect to participate in miscanthus cultivation) and a lower and flatter peak between 150 and 250 MMgal yr−1 (representing more typically assumed land-conversion conditions). This distribution leads to useful insights; in particular, the asymmetry of the distribution—with significantly more mass on the low side—indicates that developers of cellulosic ethanol biorefineries may wish to exercise caution in scale-up. (letters)

  13. Plant synthetic biology: a new platform for industrial biotechnology.

    Fesenko, Elena; Edwards, Robert


    Thirty years after the production of the first generation of genetically modified plants we are now set to move into a new era of recombinant crop technology through the application of synthetic biology to engineer new and complex input and output traits. The use of synthetic biology technologies will represent more than incremental additions of transgenes, but rather the directed design of completely new metabolic pathways, physiological traits, and developmental control strategies. The need to enhance our ability to improve crops through new engineering capability is now increasingly pressing as we turn to plants not just for food, but as a source of renewable feedstocks for industry. These accelerating and diversifying demands for new output traits coincide with a need to reduce inputs and improve agricultural sustainability. Faced with such challenges, existing technologies will need to be supplemented with new and far-more-directed approaches to turn valuable resources more efficiently into usable agricultural products. While these objectives are challenging enough, the use of synthetic biology in crop improvement will face public acceptance issues as a legacy of genetically modified technologies in many countries. Here we review some of the potential benefits of adopting synthetic biology approaches in improving plant input and output traits for their use as industrial chemical feedstocks, as linked to the rapidly developing biorefining industry. Several promising technologies and biotechnological targets are identified along with some of the key regulatory and societal challenges in the safe and acceptable introduction of such technology. PMID:24638901

  14. Future Biorefinery strategic focus area of Forestcluster Ltd. - FuBio

    Gaedda, L. (Forestcluster Ltd, Helsinki (Finland)), email:; Weymarn, N. von (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Espoo (Finland)), email:


    Forestcluster Ltd. was founded in 2007 to aid in the implementation of the National Research Strategy of the Finnish forest-based sector. Forestcluster is also one of the six Strategic Centres for Science, Technology and Innovation in Finland. Future Biorefinery (hereinafter: Fu- Bio) is one of the three strategic focus areas of Forestcluster. FuBio is planned to last for five years. The main objective of FuBio is to establish, in Finland, globally competitive knowledge platforms within the field of wood biorefinery R and D for the renewal of the forest industry and creation of new business. FuBio is focused on development of novel value chains, in which wood is refined into especially materials and chemicals. A knowledge platform, in this context, includes people, but also new process concepts, improved processing technologies, including new propriety technologies, as well as state-of-the-art preindustrial processing equipment, novel business ideas and coarse tools to evaluate the business potential of the concepts. The FuBio activities were initiated in March 2009, when the 2-year research programme, 'FuBio Joint Research 1', was launched. In June 2011, two new programmes were launched, namely: 'FuBio Joint Research 2' and 'FuBio Products from dissolved cellulose'. The FuBio programmes are partly financed by the Tekes BioRefine programme. (orig)

  15. The binding of cellulase variants to dislocations: a semi-quantitative analysis based on CLSM (confocal laser scanning microscopy) images.

    Hidayat, Budi J; Weisskopf, Carmen; Felby, Claus; Johansen, Katja S; Thygesen, Lisbeth G


    Binding of enzymes to the substrate is the first step in enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulose, a key process within biorefining. During this process elongated plant cells such as fibers and tracheids have been found to break into segments at irregular cell wall regions known as dislocations or slip planes. Here we study whether cellulases bind to dislocations to a higher extent than to the surrounding cell wall. The binding of fluorescently labelled cellobiohydrolases and endoglucanases to filter paper fibers was investigated using confocal laser scanning microscopy and a ratiometric method was developed to assess and quantify the abundance of the binding of cellulases to dislocations as compared to the surrounding cell wall. Only Humicola insolens EGV was found to have stronger binding preference to dislocations than to the surrounding cell wall, while no difference in binding affinity was seen for any of the other cellulose variants included in the study (H. insolens EGV variants, Trichoderma reesei CBHI, CBHII and EGII). This result favours the hypothesis that fibers break at dislocations during the initial phase of hydrolysis mostly due to mechanical failure rather than as a result of faster degradation at these locations. PMID:26626331

  16. Le bioraffinage, une alternative prometteuse à la pétrochimie

    Laurent, P.


    Full Text Available Biorefining, a promising alternative to petrochemistry. Because of the price increase of fossil resources, of their uncertain availability and because of environmental concerns, alternative solutions able to mitigate global warming, and reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and carbon dioxide emissions should be promoted. The replacement of petroleum with biomass as raw material for bioenergy (biofuels, power and heat and chemical production is an interesting option and is the driving force for the development of biorefinery complexes that will have a critical role to play in our common future. A biorefinery is a facility that integrates biomass conversion processes and equipment to produce fuels, power, heat and chemicals from biomass. In biorefinery, almost all types of biomass feedstocks can be converted to different classes of biofuels and biochemicals through various processes that maximize economic and environmental benefits, while minimizing waste and pollution. Through the integration of green chemistry into biorefineries, and the use of low environmental impact technologies, future sustainable production chains of biofuels and high value chemicals from biomass can therefore be established. Currently, the green biorefinery, the whole-crop biorefinery, the oilseed biorefinery and the lignocellulosic feedstock biorefinery are favoured in research, development and industrial implementation, essentially through fully integrated biorefinery complexes.

  17. Cascading of Biomass. 13 Solutions for a Sustainable Bio-based Economy. Making Better Choices for Use of Biomass Residues, By-products and Wastes

    Odegard, I.; Croezen, H.; Bergsma, G.


    Smarter and more efficient use of biomass, referred to as cascading, can lead to an almost 30% reduction in European greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared with 2010. As the title study makes clear, cascading of woody biomass, agricultural and industrial residues and other waste can make a significant contribution to a greening of the economy. With the thirteen options quantitatively examined annual emissions of between 330 and 400 Mt CO2 can be avoided by making more efficient use of the same volume of biomass as well as by other means. 75% of the potential CO2 gains can be achieved with just four options: (1) bio-ethanol from straw, for use as a chemical feedstock; (2) biogas from manure; (3) biorefining of grass; and (4) optimisation of paper recycling. Some of the options make multiple use of residues, with biomass being used to produce bioplastics that, after several rounds of recycling, are converted to heat and power at the end of their life, for example. In other cases higher-grade applications are envisaged: more efficient use of recyclable paper and wood waste, in both economic and ecological terms, using them as raw materials for new paper and chipboard rather than as an energy source. Finally, by using smart technologies biomass can be converted to multiple products.

  18. Ethanol from a biorefinery waste stream: Saccharification of amylase, protease and xylanase treated wheat bran.

    Wood, Ian P; Cook, Nicola M; Wilson, David R; Ryden, Peter; Robertson, James A; Waldron, Keith W


    Biorefining aims to exploit the full value of plant material by sequentially extracting and valorising its components. Many studies focus on the saccharification of virgin biomass sources, but it may be more efficient to pre-extract high-value components before hydrolysis to fermentable sugars. In the current study, a bran residue from de-starched, protein depleted and xylanase treated wheat bran has been subjected to hydrothermal pretreatment, saccharification and fermentation procedures to convert the residue to ethanol. The most effective pretreatment conditions (>190 °C, 10 min) and saccharification conditions were identified following bench-scale liquid hot water pretreatment. Pre-extraction of enzymatically-hydrolysable starch and xylan reduced the release of furfural production, particularly when lower pretreatment severities were used. Pilot-scale steam explosion of the lignocellulosic residue followed by cellulase treatment and conversion to ethanol at a high substrate concentration (19%) gave an ethanol titre of ≈ 25 g/L or a yield of 93% of the theoretical maximum. PMID:26769514

  19. Chemical conversion of hemicellulose coproducts from forest biorefineries to polymers and chemicals

    Boluk, Y.; Jost, R. [Alberta Research Council, Edmonton, AB (Canada)


    Raw material is the basis of the chemical industry. This presentation discussed the chemical conversion of hemicellulose coproducts from forest biorefineries to polymers and chemicals. Biorefining pretreatment processes open up the biomass structure, release hemicelluloses and overcome the resistance to enzymatic hydrolysis. Although hemicellulose is the second most abundant carbohydrate, it does not have many industrial applications. The state of released hemicellulose whether polymeric, oligomeric or monosaccharides depends primarily on the pretreatment process conditions. Physical pretreatment methods include high-pressure steaming and steam explosion; milling and grinding; extrusion; and high-energy radiation. The chemical pretreatment methods involve the use of alkali, acid, gas and oxidizing agents as well as solvents. The biological pretreatment methods involve the use of lignin consuming fungi and cellulose consuming fungi. A profitable use of C5 sugars in monomeric, oligomeric and polymeric forms is necessary for a viable wood to bioethanol process. Hemicellulose composition varies depending on the biomass source. It usually has a lower molecular weight than cellulose, contains branching, and is comprised of several different monosaccharides. The existing commercial chemical products include xylitol, mannitol, and furfural. The hemicellulose coproducts from a lignocellulosic biorefinery have the potential to become a feasible replacement for their fossil-based equivalents. tabs., figs.

  20. Effect of commercial cellulases and refining on kraft pulp properties: correlations between treatment impacts and enzymatic activity components.

    Cui, Li; Meddeb-Mouelhi, Fatma; Laframboise, François; Beauregard, Marc


    The importance of enzymes as biotechnological catalysts for paper industry is now recognized. In this study, five cellulase formulations were used for fibre modification. The number of PFI revolutions decreased by about 50% while achieving the same freeness value (decrease in CSF by 200 mL) with the enzymatic pretreatment. The physical properties of handsheets were modified after enzymatic pretreatment followed by PFI refining. A slight decrease in tear strength was observed with enzymes C1 and C4 at pH 7 while the most decrease in tear was observed after C2, C3, C5 treatments. C1 and C4 which had xylanase activity improved paper properties, while other enzymes had a negative impact. Therefore, the intricate balance between cellulolytic and hemicellulolytic activity is the key to optimizing biorefining and paper properties. It was also observed that C1 impact was pH dependent, which supports the importance of pH in developing an enzymatic strategy for refining energy reduction. PMID:25439885

  1. Bioethanol production using genetically modified and mutant wheat and barley straws

    Li, Z. [Washington State Univ., Pullman, WA (US). Dept. of Biological Engineering; East China Univ. of Science and Technology, Shanghai (CN). State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering; Liu, Y. [Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (US). Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering; Chen, S. [Washington State Univ., Pullman, WA (US). Dept. of Biological Systems Engineering; Zemetra, R.S. [Univ. of Idaho, Moscow, ID (US). Plant, Soil, and Entomological Sciences


    To improve the performance of wheat and barley straws as feedstocks for ethanol biorefining, the genetic modifications of down regulating Cinnamoyl-CoA reductase and low phytic acid mutation have been introduced into wheat and barley respectively. In this study, total 252 straw samples with different genetic background and location were collected from the field experiment based on a randomized complete block design. The fiber analysis (neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, and acid detergent lignin) indicated that there were no significant differences between modified and wild type straw lines in terms of straw compositions. However, the difference did exist among straw lines on fiber utilization. 16 straw samples were further selected to conduct diluted acid pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation. The data indicated that the phytic acid mutant and transgenic straws have changed the fiber structure, which significantly influences their hydrolysibility. These results may lead to a possible solution of mutant or genetic modified plant species that is capable to increase the hydrolysibility of biomass without changing their compositions and sacrificing their agronomy performance. (author)

  2. Robust enzymatic hydrolysis of Formiline-pretreated oil palm empty fruit bunches (EFB) for efficient conversion of polysaccharide to sugars and ethanol.

    Cui, Xingkai; Zhao, Xuebing; Zeng, Jing; Loh, Soh Kheang; Choo, Yuen May; Liu, Dehua


    Oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) was pretreated by Formiline process to overcome biomass recalcitrance and obtain hemicellulosic syrup and lignin. Higher formic acid concentration led to more lignin removal but also higher degree of cellulose formylation. Cellulose digestibility could be well recovered after deformylation with a small amount of lime. After digested by enzyme loading of 15 FPU+10 CBU/g solid for 48 h, the polysaccharide conversion could be over 90%. Simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) results demonstrated that ethanol concentration reached 83.6 g/L with approximate 85% of theoretic yield when performed at an initial dry solid consistency of 20%. A mass balance showed that via Formiline pretreatment 0.166 kg of ethanol could be produced from 1 kg of dry EFB with co-production of 0.14 kg of high-purity lignin and 5.26 kg hemicellulosic syrup containing 2.8% xylose. Formiline pretreatment thus can be employed as an entry for biorefining of EFB. PMID:24956030

  3. Partnering with Industry to Advance Biofuels and Bioproducts (Fact Sheet)


    Fact sheet describing NREL's Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility, a biochemical pilot plant and partnership facility containing equipment and lab space for pretreatement, enzymatic hydrolysis, fermentation, compositional analysis, and downstream processing. For more than 30 years, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has been at the leading edge of research and technology advancements to develop renewable fuels and bioproducts. NREL works to develop cost-competitive alternatives to conventional transportation fuels and value-added biobased chemicals that can be used to manufacture clothing, plastics, lubricants, and other products. NREL is developing technologies and processes to produce a range of sustainable, energy-dense advanced biofuels that are compatible with our existing transportation fuel infrastructure. As part of that effort, NREL's National Bioenergy Center has entered into more than 90 collaborations in the past five years with companies ranging in size from start-ups to those that appear on Fortune magazine's Fortune 100 list. The new Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility (IBRF) showcases NREL's commitment to collaboration and to meeting the nation's biofuels and bioproducts development and deployment goals. Designed to speed the growth of the biofuels and bioproducts industries, the IBRF is a unique $33.5 million pilot facility capable of supporting a variety of projects. The IBRF is available to industry partners who work with NREL through cooperative research and development, technical, and analytical service agreements. With 27,000 ft2 of high bay space, the IBRF provides industry partners with the opportunity to operate, test, and develop their own biorefining technology and equipment.

  4. Review on the situation and trend of producing biodiesel from microalgae%微藻生物柴油的发展现状及趋势

    游金坤; 余旭亚; 崔佳丽


    Biodiesel is a source of environmental friendly and renewable energy.However, a serious shortage of raw materials restricts its development.Recently, more attentions have been paid to microalgae because microalgae as a material to produce biodiesel has many special advantages.The advantages of using microalgae oil to produce biodiesel were introduced, and the research progesses on microalgae selection, large- scale cultivation and biorefining were briefly reviewed.In addition, the industrialization bottlenecks and tendency of biodiesel production from microalage were summarized.At present, the industrialization bottlenecks were scale and cost.%生物柴油是一种环保型可再生资源,但由于原料严重不足制约了其发展.而微藻作为生物柴油原料具有很多特殊优势,近年来成为研究热点.介绍了微藻生产生物柴油的特殊优势,对微藻选育、大规模培养、生物炼制的国内外研究进展进行简要的综述,并对微藻生产生物柴油产业化技术瓶颈及发展趋势进行总结.目前,微藻生产生物柴油的产业化瓶颈是规模和成本,未来的研究主要是解决这两个问题.

  5. Oleaginous crops as integrated production platforms for food, feed, fuel and renewable industrial feedstock

    Beaudoin Frédéric


    Full Text Available The world faces considerable challenges including how to produce more biomass for food, feed, fuel and industrial feedstock without significantly impacting on our environment or increasing our consumption of limited resources such as water or petroleum-derived carbon. This has been described as sustainable intensification. Oleaginous crops have the potential to provide renewable resources for all these commodities, provided they can be engineered to meet end-use requirements, and that they can be produced on sufficient scale to meet current growing world population and industrial demand. Although traditional breeding methods have been used successfully to modify the fatty acid composition of oils, metabolic engineering provides a more rapid and direct method for manipulating plant lipid composition. Recent advances in our understanding of the biochemical mechanisms of seed oil biogenesis and the cloning of genes involved in fatty acid and oil metabolic pathways, have allowed the generation of oilseed crops that produce ‘designer oils’ tailored for specific applications and the conversion of high biomass crops into novel oleaginous crops. However, improvement of complex quantitative traits in oilseed crops remains more challenging as the underlying genetic determinants are still poorly understood. Technological advances in sequencing and computing have allowed the development of an association genetics method applicable to crops with complex genomes. Associative transcriptomics approaches and high throughput lipidomic profiling can be used to identify the genetic components controlling quantitative variation for lipid related traits in polyploid crops like oilseed rape and provide molecular tools for marker assisted breeding. In this review we are citing examples of traits with potential for bio-refining that can be harvested as co-products in seeds, but also in non-harvested biomass.

  6. Biohydrogen, biomethane and bioelectricity as crucial components of biorefinery of organic wastes: a review.

    Poggi-Varaldo, Héctor M; Munoz-Paez, Karla M; Escamilla-Alvarado, Carlos; Robledo-Narváez, Paula N; Ponce-Noyola, M Teresa; Calva-Calva, Graciano; Ríos-Leal, Elvira; Galíndez-Mayer, Juvencio; Estrada-Vázquez, Carlos; Ortega-Clemente, Alfredo; Rinderknecht-Seijas, Noemí F


    Biohydrogen is a sustainable form of energy as it can be produced from organic waste through fermentation processes involving dark fermentation and photofermentation. Very often biohydrogen is included as a part of biorefinery approaches, which reclaim organic wastes that are abundant sources of renewable and low cost substrate that can be efficiently fermented by microorganisms. The aim of this work was to critically assess selected bioenergy alternatives from organic solid waste, such as biohydrogen and bioelectricity, to evaluate their relative advantages and disadvantages in the context of biorefineries, and finally to indicate the trends for future research and development. Biorefining is the sustainable processing of biomass into a spectrum of marketable products, which means: energy, materials, chemicals, food and feed. Dark fermentation of organic wastes could be the beach-head of complete biorefineries that generate biohydrogen as a first step and could significantly influence the future of solid waste management. Series systems show a better efficiency than one-stage process regarding substrate conversion to hydrogen and bioenergy. The dark fermentation also produces fermented by-products (fatty acids and solvents), so there is an opportunity for further combining with other processes that yield more bioenergy. Photoheterotrophic fermentation is one of them: photosynthetic heterotrophs, such as non-sulfur purple bacteria, can thrive on the simple organic substances produced in dark fermentation and light, to give more H2. Effluents from photoheterotrophic fermentation and digestates can be processed in microbial fuel cells for bioelectricity production and methanogenic digestion for methane generation, thus integrating a diverse block of bioenergies. Several digestates from bioenergies could be used for bioproducts generation, such as cellulolytic enzymes and saccharification processes, leading to ethanol fermentation (another bioenergy), thus completing

  7. Biopolímeros y su aplicación en medio ambiente

    Sonia Ospina


    Full Text Available Título en ingles: Biopolymers and its aplication on environment El uso de empaques desechables ha hecho que en el mundo se generen millones de toneladas de desechos no biodegradables. Durante muchos años utilizamos empaques plásticos no degradables, derivados del petróleo. Tardíamente nos hemos dado cuenta de que de continuar con este ritmo de contaminación, muy pronto ocasionaremos daños irreparables al medio ambiente. Es por ello que todos los esfuerzos en torno a buscar alternativas al uso de empaques no biodegradables, son de gran importancia, con el fin de recuperar el medio ambiente dañado hasta ahora, así como prevenir el deterioro en adelante. En este sentido, la investigación en distintas áreas de la biotecnología ha permitido la obtención de empaques biodegradables producidos a partir de biopolímeros microbianos. Los biopolímeros por su biodegradabilidad, procesos de manufactura ecoamigables y su vasto rango de aplicación, son alternativas importantes a productos no sustentables y pueden ser producidos a través de biorefinerías como parte de bioprocesos integrados (1. El desarrollo de los procesos fermentativos, junto con la obtención de microorganismos recombinantes sobre-productores de este tipo de compuestos, así como los adelantos en procesos de purificación, han permitido llevar a nivel industrial diferentes procesos para la obtención de biopolímeros.

  8. Desarrollo de biocatalizadores hidrofóbicos y termotolerantes mediante técnicas de evolución dirigida Development of hydrofobic and thermotolerant biocatalysts by directed evolution techniques

    Mogollón G. Leonardo Ivan


    Full Text Available

    La evolución dirigida se presenta hoy como una de las alternativas más efectivas en el desarrollo y adaptación de biocatalizadores a los requerimientos industriales. Este trabajo muestra el desarrollo de biocatalizadores más hidrofóbicos y termotolerantes útiles en procesos de biorefinación. Para la Industria del Petróleo. Se presenta la obtención de una segunda librería del gen de la enzima Cloroperoxidasa por Error-Prone PCR (EP-PCR y la selección de los mejores mutantes de acuerdo con el grado de hidrofobicidad, termorresistencia y estabilidad en medios orgánicos. Estas proteínas fueron más activas que las obtenidas en la primera librería y que la proteína nativa. Se demuestra que esta técnica de evolución dirigida es eficiente en la generación de variedades enzimáticas de interés industrial.

    Directed evolution has emerged as one of the most effective approaches in developing and adapting biocatalysts to industrial requirements. This work shows the development of hidrophobic and thermotolerant biocatalyst useful in biorefining processes for the Petroleum Industry. We generated a second library of Cloroperoxidase enzyme gene by Error-Prone PCR (EP-PCR with the selection of the best mutants based on their hidrophobicity, thermoresistance and stability in organic media. These proteins were more active than the first library mutants and the wildtype enzyme. We demonstrated that this directed evolution technique is efficient in generating chimeric libraries of enzymes of industrial interest. 

  9. Engineering better biomass-degrading ability into a GH11 xylanase using a directed evolution strategy

    Song Letian


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Improving the hydrolytic performance of hemicellulases on lignocellulosic biomass is of considerable importance for second-generation biorefining. To address this problem, and also to gain greater understanding of structure-function relationships, especially related to xylanase action on complex biomass, we have implemented a combinatorial strategy to engineer the GH11 xylanase from Thermobacillus xylanilyticus (Tx-Xyn. Results Following in vitro enzyme evolution and screening on wheat straw, nine best-performing clones were identified, which display mutations at positions 3, 6, 27 and 111. All of these mutants showed increased hydrolytic activity on wheat straw, and solubilized arabinoxylans that were not modified by the parental enzyme. The most active mutants, S27T and Y111T, increased the solubilization of arabinoxylans from depleted wheat straw 2.3-fold and 2.1-fold, respectively, in comparison to the wild-type enzyme. In addition, five mutants, S27T, Y111H, Y111S, Y111T and S27T-Y111H increased total hemicellulose conversion of intact wheat straw from 16.7%tot. xyl (wild-type Tx-Xyn to 18.6% to 20.4%tot. xyl. Also, all five mutant enzymes exhibited a better ability to act in synergy with a cellulase cocktail (Accellerase 1500, thus procuring increases in overall wheat straw hydrolysis. Conclusions Analysis of the results allows us to hypothesize that the increased hydrolytic ability of the mutants is linked to (i improved ligand binding in a putative secondary binding site, (ii the diminution of surface hydrophobicity, and/or (iii the modification of thumb flexibility, induced by mutations at position 111. Nevertheless, the relatively modest improvements that were observed also underline the fact that enzyme engineering alone cannot overcome the limits imposed by the complex organization of the plant cell wall and the lignin barrier.

  10. The prospects of cellulase-producing bacteria for the bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass

    Miranda Maki, Kam Tin Leung, Wensheng Qin


    Full Text Available Lignocellulosic biomass is a renewable and abundant resource with great potential for bioconversion to value-added bioproducts. However, the biorefining process remains economically unfeasible due to a lack of biocatalysts that can overcome costly hurdles such as cooling from high temperature, pumping of oxygen/stirring, and, neutralization from acidic or basic pH. The extreme environmental resistance of bacteria permits screening and isolation of novel cellulases to help overcome these challenges. Rapid, efficient cellulase screening techniques, using cellulase assays and metagenomic libraries, are a must. Rare cellulases with activities on soluble and crystalline cellulose have been isolated from strains of Paenibacillus and Bacillus and shown to have high thermostability and/or activity over a wide pH spectrum. While novel cellulases from strains like Cellulomonas flavigena and Terendinibacter turnerae, produce multifunctional cellulases with broader substrate utilization. These enzymes offer a framework for enhancement of cellulases including: specific activity, thermalstability, or end-product inhibition. In addition, anaerobic bacteria like the clostridia offer potential due to species capable of producing compound multienzyme complexes called cellulosomes. Cellulosomes provide synergy and close proximity of enzymes to substrate, increasing activity towards crystalline cellulose. This has lead to the construction of designer cellulosomes enhanced for specific substrate activity. Furthermore, cellulosome-producing Clostridium thermocellum and its ability to ferment sugars to ethanol; its amenability to co-culture and, recent advances in genetic engineering, offer a promising future in biofuels. The exploitation of bacteria in the search for improved enzymes or strategies provides a means to upgrade feasibility for lignocellulosic biomass conversion, ultimately providing means to a 'greener' technology.

  11. Flexible biorefinery for producing fermentation sugars, lignin and pulp from corn stover.

    Kadam, Kiran L; Chin, Chim Y; Brown, Lawrence W


    A new biorefining process is presented that embodies green processing and sustainable development. In the spirit of a true biorefinery, the objective is to convert agricultural residues and other biomass feedstocks into value-added products such as fuel ethanol, dissolving pulp, and lignin for resin production. The continuous biomass fractionation process yields a liquid stream rich in hemicellulosic sugars, a lignin-rich liquid stream, and a solid cellulose stream. This paper generally discusses potential applications of the three streams and specifically provides results on the evaluation of the cellulose stream from corn stover as a source of fermentation sugars and specialty pulp. Enzymatic hydrolysis of this relatively pure cellulose stream requires significantly lower enzyme loadings because of minimal enzyme deactivation from nonspecific binding to lignin. A correlation was shown to exist between lignin removal efficiency and enzymatic digestibility. The cellulose produced was also demonstrated to be a suitable replacement for hardwood pulp, especially in the top ply of a linerboard. Also, the relatively pure nature of the cellulose renders it suitable as raw material for making dissolving pulp. This pulping approach has significantly smaller environmental footprint compared to the industry-standard kraft process because no sulfur- or chlorine-containing compounds are used. Although this option needs some minimal post-processing, it produces a higher value commodity than ethanol and, unlike ethanol, does not need extensive processing such as hydrolysis or fermentation. Potential use of low-molecular weight lignin as a raw material for wood adhesive production is discussed as well as its use as cement and feed binder. As a baseline application the hemicellulosic sugars captured in the hydrolyzate liquor can be used to produce ethanol, but potential utilization of xylose for xylitol fermentation is also feasible. Markets and values of these applications are

  12. Efficient Surface Display of Diisopropylfluorophosphatase (DFPase) in E. coli for Biodegradation of Toxic Organophosphorus Compounds (DFP and Cp).

    Latifi, Ali Mohammad; Karami, Ali; Khodi, Samaneh


    Compounds including organophosphorus pesticides (OPs) and chemical nerve agents are toxic compounds synthesized recently which disrupt the mechanisms of neural transmission. Therefore, a critical requirement is the development of a bio-refining technology to facilitate the biodegradation of organophosphorus pollutants. The diisopropylfluorophosphatase (DFPase, EC from the ganglion and brain of Loligo vulgaris acts on P-F bonds present in some OPs. Intracellular production of OPs-degrading enzymes or the use of native bacteria and fungi leads to a low degradation rate of OPs due to a mass transfer issue which reduces the overall catalytic efficiency. To overcome this challenge, we expressed DFPase on the surface of E. coli for the first time by employing the N-terminal domain of the ice nucleation protein (InaV-N) as an anchoring motif. Tracking the recombinant protein confirmed that DFPase is successfully located on the outer membrane. Further studies on its activity to degrade diisopropylfluorophosphate (DFP) showed its significant ability for the biodegradation of diisopropylfluorophosphate (DFP) with a specific activity of 500 U/mg of wet cell weight. Recombinant cells could also degrade chlorpyrifos (Cp) with an activity equivalent to a maximum value of 381.44 U/ml with a specific activity of 476.75 U/mg of cell, analyzed using HPLC technique. The optimum activity of purified DFPase was found at 30 °C. A more increased activity was also obtained in the presence of glucose-mineral-salt (GMS) supplemented with tryptone and 100 mg/L Co(2+) ion. These results highlight the high potential of the InaV-N anchoring domain to produce an engineered bacterium that can be used in the bioremediation of pesticide-contaminated environments. PMID:26239441

  13. Jerusalem artichoke as a platform for inulin, ethanol and feed production in Canada

    Anyia, A.O.; Mostafa, H.; Melnichuk, R.; Slaski, J.J. [Alberta Research Council, Vegreville, AB (Canada). Bioresource Technologies Unit


    The Alberta Research Council (ARC) is developing an extraction and fermentation process for making ethanol from Jerusalem artichoke (JA). In particular, ARC has collaborated with Olds College in developing an extraction process and an engineering process for the commercial production of inulin, ethanol, polymers and animal feed from JA tubers. Fresh JA tubers contain about 20 per cent of water soluble carbohydrates, which occur primarily in the form of inulin. Several health promoting benefits are associated with intake of inulin. High volumes of dry residual aerial biomass following tuber harvest contain 40 to 50 per cent water soluble carbohydrates that are fermentable to ethanol. Some studies have shown that under optimal climatic conditions, JA can yield more ethanol per ha than sugarcane. ARC has the exclusive North American rights to several high yielding JA cultivars. Jerusalem artichoke is not a designated food crop and has a high biomass yield for soluble sugars. This perennial crop forms tubers, has a deep root system that can be adapted to marginal lands. ARC's research involves a seed to final product technology development approach that includes new variety development, agronomy and processing. ARC applied a hot water extraction technique along with a low liquid to JA stalk ratio to achieve more than 40 per cent total water soluble carbohydrates per gram of biomass that are fermentable to ethanol without the need for weak acid or enzymatic hydrolysis. A 400 hectare plantation of JA in Alberta could produce about 1,500 tonnes of inulin and 1.5 million liters of ethanol per year in a pilot scale bio-refining plant. An economic and market analysis showed that capital investments in an inulin production plant in Alberta will be a profitable venture. ARC has estimated a 5 year Internal Rate of Return (IRR) to range from 10 to 30 per cent and payback period of 4 to 5 years depending on plant location and value of by-products. tabs., figs.

  14. Chemical and morphological characterization of sugarcane bagasse submitted to a delignification process for enhanced enzymatic digestibility

    Rezende Camila


    Full Text Available Abstract Background In recent years, biorefining of lignocellulosic biomass to produce multi-products such as ethanol and other biomaterials has become a dynamic research area. Pretreatment technologies that fractionate sugarcane bagasse are essential for the successful use of this feedstock in ethanol production. In this paper, we investigate modifications in the morphology and chemical composition of sugarcane bagasse submitted to a two-step treatment, using diluted acid followed by a delignification process with increasing sodium hydroxide concentrations. Detailed chemical and morphological characterization of the samples after each pretreatment condition, studied by high performance liquid chromatography, solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance, diffuse reflectance Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy, is reported, together with sample crystallinity and enzymatic digestibility. Results Chemical composition analysis performed on samples obtained after different pretreatment conditions showed that up to 96% and 85% of hemicellulose and lignin fractions, respectively, were removed by this two-step method when sodium hydroxide concentrations of 1% (m/v or higher were used. The efficient lignin removal resulted in an enhanced hydrolysis yield reaching values around 100%. Considering the cellulose loss due to the pretreatment (maximum of 30%, depending on the process, the total cellulose conversion increases significantly from 22.0% (value for the untreated bagasse to 72.4%. The delignification process, with consequent increase in the cellulose to lignin ratio, is also clearly observed by nuclear magnetic resonance and diffuse reflectance Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy experiments. We also demonstrated that the morphological changes contributing to this remarkable improvement occur as a consequence of lignin removal from the sample. Bagasse unstructuring is favored by the loss of cohesion between

  15. Fermentation of bio-based product 2,3-butanediol%2,3-丁二醇的发酵生产

    宋源泉; 许赟珍; 李强; 刘德华


    The development of chemical industry is hindered by energy crisis and environment pollution, and a new model of development is urgently to be exploited. Biorefining technology with renewable resources as feedstock is proposed as one possible solution, in which 2,3-butanediol fermentation is one important issue. 2,3-Butanediol, a bulk chemical product, has extensive applications, especially in chemical processes, food, fuel and medicine. The metabolic pathway of 2,3-butanediol is briefly described, and the progress of biotechnological production of 2,3-butanediol is reviewed, including microbial strains, strains mutagenization, genetic modifications and operating conditions (substrates, pH value, aeration, temperature and fermentation mode). Finally, 2,3-butanediol fermentation research directions are proposed.%能源危机和环境污染使得化工行业的发展举步维艰,亟待开发新的发展模式,以可再生能源为原料的生物炼制技术成为可行的途径之一.2,3-丁二醇的发酵生产是现代生物炼制的重要课题之一.2,3-丁二醇作为一种大宗的化学产品具有广泛的应用价值,尤其在化工、食品、燃料、医药等领域.本文简要描述了2,3-丁二醇在微生物体内的代谢途径,着重讨论了2,3-丁二醇的发酵生产,对发酵的菌种种类、菌种诱变和定向改造、各种发酵影响因素(包括底物、pH值、溶氧、温度以及发酵方式)进行了详细的归纳总结,同时展望了2,3-丁二醇发酵生产的研究发展方向.

  16. Multidisciplinary Graduate Education in Bioprocess Engineering

    Mark A. Eiteman


    graduate students in several engineering and science degree programs. Other significant developments have arisen as direct or indirect consequences of this project. The University of Georgia has established a B.S. Biochemical Engineering degree and an M.S. Biochemical Engineering degree. A strong component of these degree programs is education toward a biobased economy. We will integrate particularly positive components of this project (such as the distinguished lecture series) into these degree programs. The University of Georgia is establishing a Center for Biorefining and Carbon Cycling. This multidisciplinary Center houses a pilot scale biorefinery, comprising a pyrolysis unit and an ethanol plant. Together with new faculty positions that are currently being advertised, this project has encouraged the University of Georgia to assume a leadership role in the preparation of students in the biobased industries of the future.

  17. Saccharification of newspaper waste after ammonia fiber expansion or extractive ammonia.

    Montella, Salvatore; Balan, Venkatesh; da Costa Sousa, Leonardo; Gunawan, Christa; Giacobbe, Simona; Pepe, Olimpia; Faraco, Vincenza


    The lignocellulosic fractions of municipal solid waste (MSW) can be used as renewable resources due to the widespread availability, predictable and low pricing and suitability for most conversion technologies. In particular, after the typical paper recycling loop, the newspaper waste (NW) could be further valorized as feedstock in biorefinering industry since it still contains up to 70 % polysaccharides. In this study, two different physicochemical methods-ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX) and extractive ammonia (EA) were tested for the pretraetment of NW. Furthermore, based on the previously demonstrated ability of the recombinant enzymes endocellulase rCelStrep, α-L-arabinofuranosidase rPoAbf and its evolved variant rPoAbf F435Y/Y446F to improve the saccharification of different lignocellulosic pretreated biomasses (such as corn stover and Arundo donax), in this study these enzymes were tested for the hydrolysis of pretreated NW, with the aim of valorizing the lignocellulosic fractions of the MSW. In particular, a mixture of purified enzymes containing cellulases, xylanases and accessory hemicellulases, was chosen as reference mix and rCelStrep and rPoAbf or its variant were replaced to EGI and Larb. The results showed that these enzymatic mixes are not suitable for the hydrolysis of NW after AFEX or EA pretreatment. On the other hand, when the enzymes rCelStrep, rPoAbf and rPoAbf F435Y/Y446F were tested for their effect in hydrolysis of pretreated NW by addition to a commercial enzyme mixture, it was shown that the total polysaccharides conversion yield reached 37.32 % for AFEX pretreated NW by adding rPoAbf to the mix whilst the maximum sugars conversion yield for EA pretreated NW was achieved 40.80 % by adding rCelStrep. The maximum glucan conversion yield obtained (45.61 % for EA pretreated NW by adding rCelStrep to the commercial mix) is higher than or comparable to those reported in recent manuscripts adopting hydrolysis conditions similar to those used

  18. Fundamental Studies on the Enzymatic Liquefaction and Rheology of Cellulosic Biomass viaMagnetic Resonance Imaging Velocimetry

    Cardona, Maria Jose

    Worldwide need for alternatives to fossil fuels has driven significant research effort toward the development and scale-up of sustainable forms of energy. Second-generation biofuels, obtained from the breakdown of lignocellulosic biomass (e.g., agricultural residues), present a promising alternative. In biofuel production, the enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose to glucose is currently one of the most expensive steps in the biochemical breakdown of lignocellulosic biomass. Economic considerations for large-scale implementation of this process demand operation at high solids loadings of biomass (>15% (w/w)) due to potential for higher product concentrations and reduction of water usage throughout the biorefining process. In the high-solids regime, however, biomass slurries form a high viscosity, non-Newtonian slurry that introduces processing challenges, especially during the initial stages of hydrolysis (liquefaction), due to the low availability of water in the bulk phase. Furthermore, a concomitant reduction in glucose yields with increase in solids loadings has been observed, a phenomenon that is not well understood, but if overcome could hold the key to achieving desirable yields during hydrolysis. In order to better understand liquefaction, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) rheometer was used to perform in-line, in situ, real-time, and noninvasive studies on biomass slurries undergoing enzymatic hydrolysis. Batch and fed-batch experiments were done on lignocellulosic and cellulosic substrates with both purified and mixtures of enzymes, under various reaction conditions. The mechanism of liquefaction was found to be decoupled from the mechanism of saccharification. In addition, end product inhibition was found to have an impact on both saccharification and liquefaction during the initial stage of hydrolysis, which has an impact on scale-up of hydrolysis processes. Lastly, to address and overcome high-solids limitations, a fed-batch liquefaction process based on

  19. Cadre de planification integree de la chaine logistique pour la gestion et l'evaluation de strategies de bioraffinage forestier

    Dansereau, Louis Patrick

    Biorefining is now recognized as a promising solution to transform the struggling forestry industry and to generate value-added pathways. The implementation of new products and processes will help companies to diversify revenues, but implies several strategic changes in the business model. Companies will face the dilemma of exiting or not traditional pulp and paper operations, while selecting their biorefinery product and process portfolio. As well, they will have to enter new markets and manage production to minimize the risk of market volatility. Over the past decades, both industry and academia paid a lot of attention to supply-chain management in order to increase the cost effectiveness of overall operations. The application of supply-chain management concepts could therefore greatly help the transforming North American forestry industry to compete globally. The objective of this Ph.D. project was to propose and illustrate an integrated supply-chain planning framework for the management and the evaluation of forest biorefinery strategies. This framework, named margins-based , integrates principles from revenue management, activity-based cost accounting, and manufacturing flexibility in a tactical planning model that maximizes profit of a company. The structure of the mathematical model and its associated cost model aims to represent as closely as possible the activities of a company, from procurement to sales. It enables the modeling of different process configurations leading to manufacturing flexibility. The model can thus be used as a platform for evaluating various operating strategies of a company, at both production and supply-chain levels. A case study of a newsprint mill implementing a parallel biomass fractionation line producing several bioproducts was used to illustrate this margins-based approach. Various strategic and tactical analyses were conducted to show the relevance of the approach as a decision-making tool for management problems related to

  20. Bio-inspired MOF-based Catalysts for Lignin Valorization.

    Allendorf, Mark D.; Stavila, Vitalie; Ramakrishnan, Parthasarathi; Davis, Ryan Wesley


    Lignin is a potentially plentiful source of renewable organics, with ~50Mtons/yr produced by the pulp/paper industry and 200-300 Mtons/yr projected production by a US biofuels industry. This industry must process approximately 1 billion tons of biomass to meet the US Renewable Fuel goals. However, there are currently no efficient processes for converting lignin to value-added chemicals and drop-in fuels. Lignin is therefore an opportunity for production of valuable renewable chemicals, but presents staggering technical and economic challenges due to the quantities of material involved and the strong chemical bonds comprising this polymer. Aggressive chemistries and high temperatures are required to degrade lignin without catalysts. Moreover, chemical non-uniformity among lignins leads to complex product mixtures that tend to repolymerize. Conventional petrochemical approaches (pyrolysis, catalytic cracking, gasification) are energy intensive (400-800 degC), require complicated separations, and remove valuable chemical functionality. Low-temperature (25-200 degC) alternatives are clearly desirable, but enzymes are thermally fragile and incompatible with liquid organic compounds, making them impractical for large-scale biorefining. Alternatively, homogeneous catalysts, such as recently developed vanadium complexes, must be separated from product mixtures, while many heterogenous catalysts involve costly noble metals. The objective of this project is to demonstrate proof of concept that an entirely new class of biomimetic, efficient, and industrially robust synthetic catalysts based on nanoporous Metal- Organic Frameworks (MOFs) can be developed. Although catalytic MOFs are known, catalysis of bond cleavage reactions needed for lignin degradation is completely unexplored. Thus, fundamental research is required that industry and most sponsoring agencies are currently unwilling to undertake. We introduce MOFs infiltrated with titanium and nickel species as catalysts for

  1. Biobased Economy. Sustainable and Transparent. Recommendation for solid biomass sustainability criteria; Biobased Economy. Duurzaam en Duidelijk. Advies over duurzaamheidscriteria vaste biomassa



    The 'Commissie Duurzaamheidsvraagstukken Biomassa (CDB or committee for biomass sustainability matters), was asked to make a recommendation to the Dutch government on the subject of sustainability criteria applying to solid biomass for energy-related uses. One of CDB's assumptions was that, in a biobased economy, the difference between biomass flows for transport fuels and electricity generation would gradually fade away. In the future, biomass flows will be used increasingly for different applications, with biorefining enabling the use of high-quality fractions in high-value processing (chemical plants for example) and the residues in low-value processing (such as generating electricity or heat). As a result, the difference between liquid flows and solid flows is also disappearing, as is that between primary cultivated crops and residual flows. In the EU Directive on renewable energy, sustainability principally concerns land use, and not the utilisation of biomass, even though there are things to be said about efficiency in this context. To establish clarity for producers and traders, it is necessary to have just one generic set of sustainability criteria. A multitude of criteria for different uses and varying from country to country is definitely undesirable. An unambiguous set of criteria also ensures a level playing field for all the applications concerned (transport, electricity, heat and green gas). CDB has noted that some countries (the Scandinavian ones being the most prominent) have already voiced their opposition to sustainability criteria for solid biomass, based on the view that their existing systems are adequate for guaranteeing sustainable forestry. CDB would like to point out, however, that solid biomass has a variety of sources: apart from residues from forestry, this includes agricultural residual flows, by-products and even primary crops. Such a range demands dependable guarantees for sustainability. Existing certification systems could

  2. Advanced modelling, monitoring, and process control of bioconversion systems

    Schmitt, Elliott C.

    Production of fuels and chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass is an increasingly important area of research and industrialization throughout the world. In order to be competitive with fossil-based fuels and chemicals, maintaining cost-effectiveness is critical. Advanced process control (APC) and optimization methods could significantly reduce operating costs in the biorefining industry. Two reasons APC has previously proven challenging to implement for bioprocesses include: lack of suitable online sensor technology of key system components, and strongly nonlinear first principal models required to predict bioconversion behavior. To overcome these challenges batch fermentations with the acetogen Moorella thermoacetica were monitored with Raman spectroscopy for the conversion of real lignocellulosic hydrolysates and a kinetic model for the conversion of synthetic sugars was developed. Raman spectroscopy was shown to be effective in monitoring the fermentation of sugarcane bagasse and sugarcane straw hydrolysate, where univariate models predicted acetate concentrations with a root mean square error of prediction (RMSEP) of 1.9 and 1.0 g L-1 for bagasse and straw, respectively. Multivariate partial least squares (PLS) models were employed to predict acetate, xylose, glucose, and total sugar concentrations for both hydrolysate fermentations. The PLS models were more robust than univariate models, and yielded a percent error of approximately 5% for both sugarcane bagasse and sugarcane straw. In addition, a screening technique was discussed for improving Raman spectra of hydrolysate samples prior to collecting fermentation data. Furthermore, a mechanistic model was developed to predict batch fermentation of synthetic glucose, xylose, and a mixture of the two sugars to acetate. The models accurately described the bioconversion process with an RMSEP of approximately 1 g L-1 for each model and provided insights into how kinetic parameters changed during dual substrate

  3. Sustainable bioethanol production combining biorefinery principles and intercropping strategies

    Thomsen, M.H.; Haugaard-Nielsen, H.; Petersson, A.; Thomsen, A.B.; Jensen, E.S. [Risoe National Lab., DTU, Biosystems Dept., Roskilde (Denmark)


    Ethanol produced from pretreatment and microbial fermentation of biomass has great potential to become a sustainable transportation fuel in the near future. First generation biofuel focus on starch (from grain) fermentation, but in the present study that is regarded as a too important food source. In recent years 2nd generation technologies are developed utilizing bulk residues like wheat straw, woody materials, and corn stover. However, there is a need for integrating the biomass starting point into the energy manufacturing steps to secure that bioenergy is produced from local adapted raw materials with limited use of non-renewable fossil fuels. Produced crops can be transformed into a number of useful products using the concept of biorefining, where no waste streams are produced. An advantage of intercropping is that the intercrop components composition can be designed to produce a medium (for microbial fermentation) containing all essential nutrients. Thereby addition of e.g. urea and other fermentation nutrients produced from fossil fuels can be avoided. Intercropping, defined as the growing of two or more species simultaneously on the same area of land, is a cropping strategy based on the manipulation of plant interactions in time and space to maximize growth and productivity. Cereal-legume intercropping data from field trials show the possibility to improve the use of nitrogen resources, because the non fixing species (e.g. wheat) efficiently exploits soil mineral N sources while at the same time atmospheric N from the N{sub 2}-fixing species (e.g. pea) enter the cropping system reducing the need for N fertilizer application. Nitrogen fertilization is responsible for more than 85 % of the greenhouse gas emissions from wheat grain production in Denmark. Increase of fertilizer N supply promotes the growth of wheat and results in a decreased pea N accumulation and a different proportion of intercrop components. Intercropping introduce a dynamic change of plant

  4. Nouvelle methode d'integration energetique pour la retro-installation des procedes industriels et la transformation des usines papetieres

    Bonhivers, Jean-Christophe

    The increase in production of goods over the last decades has led to the need for improving the management of natural resources management and the efficiency of processes. As a consequence, heat integration methods for industry have been developed. These have been successful for the design of new plants: the integration principles are largely employed, and energy intensity has dramatically decreased in many processes. Although progress has also been achieved in integration methods for retrofit, these methods still need further conceptual development. Furthermore, methodological difficulties increase when trying to retrofit heat exchange networks that are closely interrelated to water networks, such as the case of pulp and paper mills. The pulp and paper industry seeks to increase its profitability by reducing production costs and optimizing supply chains. Recent process developments in forestry biorefining give this industry the opportunity for diversification into bio-products, increasing potential profit margins, and at the same time modernizing its energy systems. Identification of energy strategies for a mill in a changing environment, including the possibility of adding a biorefinery process on the industrial site, requires better integration methods for retrofit situations. The objective of this thesis is to develop an energy integration method for the retrofit of industrial systems and the transformation of pulp and paper mills, ant to demonstrate the method in case studies. Energy is conserved and degraded in a process. Heat can be converted into electricity, stored as chemical energy, or rejected to the environment. A systematic analysis of successive degradations of energy between the hot utilities until the environment, through process operations and existing heat exchangers, is essential in order to reduce the heat consumption. In this thesis, the "Bridge Method" for energy integration by heat exchanger network retrofit has been developed. This method

  5. Top chemical opportunities from carbohydrate biomass: a chemist's view of the Biorefinery.

    Dusselier, Michiel; Mascal, Mark; Sels, Bert F


    Cheap fossil oil resources are becoming depleted and crude oil prices are rising. In this context, alternatives to fossil fuel-derived carbon are examined in an effort to improve the security of carbon resources through the development of novel technologies for the production of chemicals, fuels, and materials from renewable feedstocks such as biomass. The general concept unifying the conversion processes for raw biomass is that of the biorefinery, which integrates biofuels with a selection of pivot points towards value-added chemical end products via so-called "platform chemicals". While the concept of biorefining is not new, now more than ever there is the motivation to investigate its true potential for the production of carbon-based products. A variety of renewable chemicals have been proposed by many research groups, many of them being categorized as drop-ins, while others are novel chemicals with the potential to displace petrochemicals across several markets. To be competitive with petrochemicals, carbohydrate-derived products should have advantageous chemical properties that can be profitably exploited, and/or their production should offer cost-effective benefits. The production of drop-ins will likely proceed in short term since the markets are familiar, while the commercial introduction of novel chemicals takes longer and demands more technological and marketing effort.Rather than describing elaborate catalytic routes and giving exhaustive lists of reactions, a large part of this review is devoted to creating a guideline for the selection of the most promising (platform) chemicals derived via chemical-catalytic reaction routes from lignocellulosic biomass. The major rationale behind our recommendations is a maximum conservation of functionality, alongside a high atom economy. Nature provides us with complex molecules like cellulose and hemicellulose, and it should be possible to transform them into chemical products while maintaining aspects of their