Category Archives: Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts

Smokeless Biomass Pyrolysis for Producing Biofuels and Biochar as a Possible Arsenal to Control Climate Change

James Weifu Lee and Danny M. Day Abstract Smokeless (emission-free, clean, and efficient) biomass pyrolysis for biochar and biofuel production is a possible arsenal for global carbon capture and sequestration at gigatons of carbon (GtC) scales. The world’s annual unused waste biomass, such as crop stovers, is about 3.3 GtC y_1. If this amount of biomass (3.3 GtC y-1) is […]

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Synthetic Biology for Photobiological Production of Biofuels from Carbon Dioxide and Water

This multidisciplinary R&D area involves synthetic biology and genetic transformation of photosynthetic organisms to create designer transgenic organisms that can photo­biologically produce biofuels such as hydrogen, lipids/biodiesel, ethanol, butanol, and/or other related higher alcohols (e. g., pentanol and hexanol), or hydrocarbons directly from water and carbon dioxide. Chapter 20 reports inventions on creating designer algae for photobiological production of hydrogen […]

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Lipid-Based Biodiesels

Biodiesel is a mixture of fatty acid alkyl esters obtained typically by transesterification of triglycerides from vegetable oils, algal lipids, or animal fats. Transesterification of the lipid feedstocks is already a quite well-established chemical engineering process with a multiple-step reaction, including three reversible steps in series, where triglycerides are converted to diglycerides, then diglycerides are converted to monoglycerides, and monoglycerides […]

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Future R&D Opportunities

Since this technology concept of smokeless biomass pyrolysis with biochar soil application is still in its early developing stage, much more research and development work is needed before this approach could be considered for practical implementation. To achieve the mission, a number of technical issues still need to be addressed. First, as pointed out previously, the process technology must be […]

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Life-Cycle Energy and Environmental Impact Analysis

To assess a new energy technology before considering its implementation, it is essential to perform a life-cycle analysis on its total energy efficiency and environ­ment impact, including both its potential benefits and risks. A viable energy tech­nology should have a significant net energy gain or a carbon footprint reduction based on its objective life-cycle analysis. Chapter 30 reports the process […]

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Oxygenation of Biochar for Enhanced Cation Exchange Capacity

James Weifu Lee, A. C. Buchanan III, Barbara R. Evans, and Michelle Kidder Abstract This chapter reports a technological concept for producing a partially oxygenated biochar material that possesses enhanced cation-exchanging property by reaction of a biochar source with one or more oxygenating compounds in such a manner that the biochar material homogeneously acquires oxygen-containing cation-exchanging groups. This concept is […]

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High Value Bioproducts and Biomethane

Use of biomass technology can produce high-value products also. For example, cer­tain cyanobacteria and green algae have been used as human foods, sources for vita­mins, proteins, fine chemicals, and bioactive compounds. Chapter 33 reports fed-batch cultivation of Spirulina platensis, which can be used as high-value health nutrient supplement. Chapter 34 discusses the bioprocess development for Chlorophyll extraction from microalgae while […]

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Technological Concept to Produce Partially Oxygenated Biochar with Higher Cation Exchange Capacity

The key concept is the production of a partially oxygenated biochar material, which possesses enhanced cation-exchanging property. The technology concept is based on our recent experimental finding that the oxygen (O) to carbon (C) atom (O:C) ratio in biochar material correlates with its cation-exchange capacity [8, 9]. This makes sense, since the cation-exchanging groups are generally oxygen-containing chemical groups, such […]

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Electrofuels

Electrofuels is a newly created biofuel technology concept that may have significant potential in producing transportation fuel from non-biomass feedstocks such as CO2, H2 and/or electricity. One of its key features is the application of certain chemolithoautotrophic organisms with synthetic biology to synthesize biofuel(s), such as butanol through fixation of CO2 using H2 and/or electrons as a source of reductant. […]

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