Category Archives: Sustainable Biotechnology

Applications of Biotechnology for the Utilization of Renewable Energy Resources

Om V. Singh and Steven P. Harvey Introduction Even given the seemingly unlikely near-term resolution of issues involving atmo­spheric CO2 levels and their effect on the climate, the adoption of global conser­vation measures, and the stabilization of fossil fuel prices, it is still a certainty that global oil and gas supplies will be largely depleted in a matter of decades. […]

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Technical Details

1.2 Gasification of Lignocellulosic Biomass 1.2.1 Overview Gasification is a process where carbonaceous feedstocks react with oxygen and steam at elevated temperatures (500-1500°C) and pressures (up to 33 bar or 480 psi) to yield a mixture of gasses. The mixed-gas product is called synthesis gas or “syngas,” consisting primarily of hydrogen (H2) and carbon monoxide (CO), with varying amounts of […]

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Summary

Global energy consumption will continue to increase, even as the reserves of eas­ily available fossil fuels decline. Until alternative energy sources are developed for transportation, liquid fuels will remain in high demand. Crude oil production will be unable to meet future demands at affordable prices and fuels from renewable feedstocks will play a key role in contributing to the supply […]

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Heat and Mass Transport in Processing of Lignocellulosic Biomass for Fuels and Chemicals

Sridhar Viamajala, Bryon S. Donohoe, Stephen R. Decker, Todd B. Vinzant, Michael J. Selig, Michael E. Himmel, and Melvin P. Tucker Abstract Lignocellulosic biomass, a major feedstock for renewable biofuels and chemicals, is processed by various thermochemical and/or biochemical means. This multi-step processing often involves reactive transformations limited by heat and mass transport. These limitations are dictated by restrictions including […]

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Gasification Process

Depending on how heat is generated, gasification technology can be classified as either directly — or indirectly-heated gasification. For directly-heated gasification, pyrolysis and gasification reactions are conducted in a single vessel, with heat arising from feedstock combustion with oxygen. The syngas generated from this method has low heating values (4-6 MJ/m3 or ~100-140 Btu/ft3). For indirectly — heated gasification, the […]

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Environmentally Sustainable Biofuels — The Case for Biodiesel, Biobutanol and Cellulosic Ethanol

Palligarnai T. Vasudevan, Michael D. Gagnon, and Michael S. Briggs Abstract Due to diminishing petroleum reserves and the deleterious environmental consequences of exhaust gases from fossil-based fuels, research on renewable and environmentally friendly fuels has received a lot of impetus in recent years. With oil at high prices, alternate renewable energy has become very attractive. Many of these technologies are […]

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Macroscopic Transport Through Plant Tissues

In a large-scale process, pre-impregnation of catalyst into large pieces of biomass (>1 cm) is often overlooked; however, milling biomass to reduce this problem can incur large energy and equipment costs [1, 14, 15]. This problem is compounded by the widespread use of process irrelevant biomass sizes for laboratory exper­iments. Most laboratory studies on biomass to ethanol conversion processes use […]

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Biodiesel

1.1 Background Over the past decade, interest in biodiesel use has grown due to the increasing price of petroleum and the effect of carbon emissions on climate change. Biodiesel is a non-toxic and biodegradable alternative fuel, which can be used in conjunction with or as a substitute for petroleum diesel fuel. The first account for the production of biodiesel was […]

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