Science.gov

Sample records for future biofuel production

  1. Present and potential future oilseed production systems for biofuels

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    U.S. agriculture is now depended on to produce renewable energy in addition to food, feed, and fuel, which if not properly managed could threaten long-term sustainability of our agricultural lands. Biofuels produced from oilseed crops, primarily biodiesel, will be an important addition to the renewa...

  2. Projecting future grassland productivity to assess the sustainability of potential biofuel feedstock areas in the Greater Platte River Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gu, Yingxin; Wylie, Bruce K.; Boyte, Stephen; Phyual, Khem

    2014-01-01

    This study projects future (e.g., 2050 and 2099) grassland productivities in the Greater Platte River Basin (GPRB) using ecosystem performance (EP, a surrogate for measuring ecosystem productivity) models and future climate projections. The EP models developed from a previous study were based on the satellite vegetation index, site geophysical and biophysical features, and weather and climate drivers. The future climate data used in this study were derived from the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Climate System Model 3.0 ‘SRES A1B’ (a ‘middle’ emissions path). The main objective of this study is to assess the future sustainability of the potential biofuel feedstock areas identified in a previous study. Results show that the potential biofuel feedstock areas (the more mesic eastern part of the GPRB) will remain productive (i.e., aboveground grassland biomass productivity >2750 kg ha?1 year?1) with a slight increasing trend in the future. The spatially averaged EPs for these areas are 3519, 3432, 3557, 3605, 3752, and 3583 kg ha?1 year?1 for current site potential (2000–2008 average), 2020, 2030, 2040, 2050, and 2099, respectively. Therefore, the identified potential biofuel feedstock areas will likely continue to be sustainable for future biofuel development. On the other hand, grasslands identified as having no biofuel potential in the drier western part of the GPRB would be expected to stay unproductive in the future (spatially averaged EPs are 1822, 1691, 1896, 2306, 1994, and 2169 kg ha?1 year?1 for site potential, 2020, 2030, 2040, 2050, and 2099). These areas should continue to be unsuitable for biofuel feedstock development in the future. These future grassland productivity estimation maps can help land managers to understand and adapt to the expected changes in future EP in the GPRB and to assess the future sustainability and feasibility of potential biofuel feedstock areas.

  3. Economics of Current and Future Biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Tao, L.; Aden, A.

    2009-06-01

    This work presents detailed comparative analysis on the production economics of both current and future biofuels, including ethanol, biodiesel, and butanol. Our objectives include demonstrating the impact of key parameters on the overall process economics (e.g., plant capacity, raw material pricing, and yield) and comparing how next-generation technologies and fuels will differ from today's technologies. The commercialized processes and corresponding economics presented here include corn-based ethanol, sugarcane-based ethanol, and soy-based biodiesel. While actual full-scale economic data are available for these processes, they have also been modeled using detailed process simulation. For future biofuel technologies, detailed techno-economic data exist for cellulosic ethanol from both biochemical and thermochemical conversion. In addition, similar techno-economic models have been created for n-butanol production based on publicly available literature data. Key technical and economic challenges facing all of these biofuels are discussed.

  4. LIHD biofuels: toward a sustainable future

    E-print Network

    Palmer, Michael W.

    LIHD biofuels: toward a sustainable future 115 Linda Wallace, Department of Botany and Microbiology of America www.frontiersinecology.org Will biofuels help to wean the US off of oil, or at least off simple. First, we need to understand what is meant by the term "biofuel". All biofuels are organic

  5. Cyanobacterial biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Machado, Iara M P; Atsumi, Shota

    2012-11-30

    The development of new technologies for production of alternative fuel became necessary to circumvent finite petroleum resources, associate rising costs, and environmental concerns due to rising fossil fuel CO? emissions. Several alternatives have been proposed to develop a sustainable industrial society and reduce greenhouse emissions. The idea of biological conversion of CO? to fuel and chemicals is receiving increased attention. In particular, the direct conversion of CO? with solar energy to biofuel by photosynthetic microorganisms such as microalgae and cyanobacteria has several advantages compared to traditional biofuel production from plant biomass. Photosynthetic microorganisms have higher growth rates compared with plants, and the production systems can be based on non-arable land. The advancement of synthetic biology and genetic manipulation has permitted engineering of cyanobacteria to produce non-natural chemicals typically not produced by these organisms in nature. This review addresses recent publications that utilize different approaches involving engineering cyanobacteria for production of high value chemicals including biofuels. PMID:22446641

  6. future science group 9ISSN 1759-726910.4155/BFS.11.151 2012 Future Science Ltd Synthetic biology approaches to biofuel production

    E-print Network

    Hasty, Jeff

    : algae n biofuels n biomass n genetically modified organisms n synthetic biology For reprint orders will focus on the use of synthetic biology to engineer organisms for the more efficient production of biofuel

  7. Spatial Modeling of Geographic Patterns in Biodiversity and Biofuel Production

    E-print Network

    Spatial Modeling of Geographic Patterns in Biodiversity and Biofuel Production How can the US of biodiversity. The future of the biofuel industry will depend on public investment and trust that industry for increasing biofuel production have already come under fire because of real and perceived threats

  8. Sustainable Production of Biofuels Rick Gustafson

    E-print Network

    Brown, Sally

    Sustainable Production of Biofuels Rick Gustafson School of Environmental and Forest Sciences College of the Environment #12;Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest http://ahb-nw.com/ #12;Sustainable compatible biofuels Vigorous Extension Comprehensive Education #12;Feedstock ­ Trial Plantations

  9. Metabolomics of Clostridial Biofuel Production

    SciTech Connect

    Rabinowitz, Joshua D; Aristilde, Ludmilla; Amador-Noguez, Daniel

    2015-09-08

    Members of the genus Clostridium collectively have the ideal set of the metabolic capabilities for fermentative biofuel production: cellulose degradation, hydrogen production, and solvent excretion. No single organism, however, can effectively convert cellulose into biofuels. Here we developed, using metabolomics and isotope tracers, basic science knowledge of Clostridial metabolism of utility for future efforts to engineer such an organism. In glucose fermentation carried out by the biofuel producer Clostridium acetobutylicum, we observed a remarkably ordered series of metabolite concentration changes as the fermentation progressed from acidogenesis to solventogenesis. In general, high-energy compounds decreased while low-energy species increased during solventogenesis. These changes in metabolite concentrations were accompanied by large changes in intracellular metabolic fluxes, with pyruvate directed towards acetyl-CoA and solvents instead of oxaloacetate and amino acids. Thus, the solventogenic transition involves global remodeling of metabolism to redirect resources from biomass production into solvent production. In contrast to C. acetobutylicum, which is an avid fermenter, C. cellulolyticum metabolizes glucose only slowly. We find that glycolytic intermediate concentrations are radically different from fast fermenting organisms. Associated thermodynamic and isotope tracer analysis revealed that the full glycolytic pathway in C. cellulolyticum is reversible. This arises from changes in cofactor utilization for phosphofructokinase and an alternative pathway from phosphoenolpyruvate to pyruvate. The net effect is to increase the high-energy phosphate bond yield of glycolysis by 150% (from 2 to 5) at the expense of lower net flux. Thus, C. cellulolyticum prioritizes glycolytic energy efficiency over speed. Degradation of cellulose results in other sugars in addition to glucose. Simultaneous feeding of stable isotope-labeled glucose and unlabeled pentose sugars (xylose or arabinose) to C. acetobutylicum revealed that, as expected, glucose was preferred, with the pentose sugar selectively assimilated into the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP). Simultaneous feeding of xylose and arabinose revealed an unexpected hierarchy among these pentose sugars, with arabinose utilized preferentially over xylose. Pentose catabolism occurred via the phosphoketolase pathway (PKP), an alternative route of pentose catabolism that directly converts xylulose-5-phosphate into acetyl-phosphate and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate. Taken collectively, these findings reveal two hierarchies in Clostridial pentose metabolism: xylose is subordinate to arabinose, and the PPP is used less than the PKP. Thus, in addition to massively expanding the available data on Clostridial metabolism, we identified three key regulatory points suitable for targeting in future bioengineering efforts: phosphofructokinase for enhancing fermentation, the pyruvate-oxaloacetate node for controlling solventogenesis, and the phosphoketolase reaction for driving pentose catabolism.

  10. Environmental impacts of biofuel production and use

    EPA Science Inventory

    The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) required a significant increase in the production and use of renewable fuels. Given the current state of technology and infrastructure, nearly all of the projected volume of biofuel consumption over the foreseeable future is ex...

  11. Future of Liquid Biofuels for APEC Economies

    SciTech Connect

    Milbrandt, A.; Overend, R. P.

    2008-05-01

    This project was initiated by APEC Energy Working Group (EWG) to maximize the energy sector's contribution to the region's economic and social well-being through activities in five areas of strategic importance including liquid biofuels production and development.

  12. WATER IMPLICATIONS OF BIOFUELS PRODUCTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Presentation requested by the National Academy of Science (NAS) for a Colloquium on Water Quality Implications of Biofuels Production, to be held at the NAS in Washington, D.C. on July 12, 2007. This presentation will address the influence of ethanol on hydrocarbon plumes and th...

  13. Towards Sustainable Production of Biofuels from Microalgae

    PubMed Central

    Patil, Vishwanath; Tran, Khanh-Quang; Giselrřd, Hans Ragnar

    2008-01-01

    Renewable and carbon neutral biofuels are necessary for environmental and economic sustainability. The viability of the first generation biofuels production is however questionable because of the conflict with food supply. Microalgal biofuels are a viable alternative. The oil productivity of many microalgae exceeds the best producing oil crops. This paper aims to analyze and promote integration approaches for sustainable microalgal biofuel production to meet the energy and environmental needs of the society. The emphasis is on hydrothermal liquefaction technology for direct conversion of algal biomass to liquid fuel. PMID:19325798

  14. Multiphase Flow Modeling of Biofuel Production Processes

    SciTech Connect

    D. Gaston; D. P. Guillen; J. Tester

    2011-06-01

    As part of the Idaho National Laboratory's (INL's) Secure Energy Initiative, the INL is performing research in areas that are vital to ensuring clean, secure energy supplies for the future. The INL Hybrid Energy Systems Testing (HYTEST) Laboratory is being established to develop and test hybrid energy systems with the principal objective to safeguard U.S. Energy Security by reducing dependence on foreign petroleum. HYTEST involves producing liquid fuels in a Hybrid Energy System (HES) by integrating carbon-based (i.e., bio-mass, oil-shale, etc.) with non-carbon based energy sources (i.e., wind energy, hydro, geothermal, nuclear, etc.). Advances in process development, control and modeling are the unifying vision for HES. This paper describes new modeling tools and methodologies to simulate advanced energy processes. Needs are emerging that require advanced computational modeling of multiphase reacting systems in the energy arena, driven by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, which requires production of 36 billion gal/yr of biofuels by 2022, with 21 billion gal of this as advanced biofuels. Advanced biofuels derived from microalgal biomass have the potential to help achieve the 21 billion gal mandate, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Production of biofuels from microalgae is receiving considerable interest due to their potentially high oil yields (around 600 gal/acre). Microalgae have a high lipid content (up to 50%) and grow 10 to 100 times faster than terrestrial plants. The use of environmentally friendly alternatives to solvents and reagents commonly employed in reaction and phase separation processes is being explored. This is accomplished through the use of hydrothermal technologies, which are chemical and physical transformations in high-temperature (200-600 C), high-pressure (5-40 MPa) liquid or supercritical water. Figure 1 shows a simplified diagram of the production of biofuels from algae. Hydrothermal processing has significant advantages over other biomass processing methods with respect to separations. These 'green' alternatives employ a hybrid medium that, when operated supercritically, offers the prospect of tunable physicochemical properties. Solubility can be rapidly altered and phases partitioned selectively to precipitate or dissolve certain components by altering temperature or pressure in the near-critical region. The ability to tune the solvation properties of water in the highly compressible near-critical region facilitates partitioning of products or by-products into separate phases to separate and purify products. Since most challenges related to lipid extraction are associated with the industrial scale-up of integrated extraction systems, the new modeling capability offers the prospect of addressing previously untenable scaling issues.

  15. Systems-Level Synthetic Biology for Advanced Biofuel Production

    SciTech Connect

    Ruffing, Anne; Jensen, Travis J.; Strickland, Lucas Marshall; Meserole, Stephen; Tallant, David

    2015-03-01

    Cyanobacteria have been shown to be capable of producing a variety of advanced biofuels; however, product yields remain well below those necessary for large scale production. New genetic tools and high throughput metabolic engineering techniques are needed to optimize cyanobacterial metabolisms for enhanced biofuel production. Towards this goal, this project advances the development of a multiple promoter replacement technique for systems-level optimization of gene expression in a model cyanobacterial host: Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002. To realize this multiple-target approach, key capabilities were developed, including a high throughput detection method for advanced biofuels, enhanced transformation efficiency, and genetic tools for Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002. Moreover, several additional obstacles were identified for realization of this multiple promoter replacement technique. The techniques and tools developed in this project will help to enable future efforts in the advancement of cyanobacterial biofuels.

  16. Coupling of Algal Biofuel Production with Wastewater

    PubMed Central

    Panwar, Amit; Bisht, Tara Singh; Tamta, Sushma

    2014-01-01

    Microalgae have gained enormous consideration from scientific community worldwide emerging as a viable feedstock for a renewable energy source virtually being carbon neutral, high lipid content, and comparatively more advantageous to other sources of biofuels. Although microalgae are seen as a valuable source in majority part of the world for production of biofuels and bioproducts, still they are unable to accomplish sustainable large-scale algal biofuel production. Wastewater has organic and inorganic supplements required for algal growth. The coupling of microalgae with wastewater is an effective way of waste remediation and a cost-effective microalgal biofuel production. In this review article, we will primarily discuss the possibilities and current scenario regarding coupling of microalgal cultivation with biofuel production emphasizing recent progress in this area. PMID:24982930

  17. The California Biomass Crop Adoption Model estimates biofuel feedstock crop production across diverse agro-ecological zones within the state, under different future climates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaffka, S.; Jenner, M.; Bucaram, S.; George, N.

    2012-12-01

    Both regulators and businesses need realistic estimates for the potential production of biomass feedstocks for biofuels and bioproducts. This includes the need to understand how climate change will affect mid-tem and longer-term crop performance and relative advantage. The California Biomass Crop Adoption Model is a partial mathematical programming optimization model that estimates the profit level needed for new crop adoption, and the crop(s) displaced when a biomass feedstock crop is added to the state's diverse set of cropping systems, in diverse regions of the state. Both yield and crop price, as elements of profit, can be varied. Crop adoption is tested against current farmer preferences derived from analysis of 10 years crop production data for all crops produced in California, collected by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Analysis of this extensive data set resulted in 45 distinctive, representative farming systems distributed across the state's diverse agro-ecological regions. Estimated yields and water use are derived from field trials combined with crop simulation, reported elsewhere. Crop simulation is carried out under different weather and climate assumptions. Besides crop adoption and displacement, crop resource use is also accounted, derived from partial budgets used for each crop's cost of production. Systematically increasing biofuel crop price identified areas of the state where different types of crops were most likely to be adopted. Oilseed crops like canola that can be used for biodiesel production had the greatest potential to be grown in the Sacramento Valley and other northern regions, while sugar beets (for ethanol) had the greatest potential in the northern San Joaquin Valley region, and sweet sorghum in the southern San Joaquin Valley. Up to approximately 10% of existing annual cropland in California was available for new crop adoption. New crops are adopted if the entire cropping system becomes more profitable. In particular, canola production resulted in less overall water use but increased farm profits. Most crop substitutions were resource neutral. If future climate is drier, more winter annual crops like canola are likely to be adopted. Crop displacement is also important for determining market-mediated effects of biomass crop production. Correctly estimating crop displacement at the local scale greatly improves upon estimates for indirect land use change derived from the macro-scale PE and CGE models currently used by US EPA and the California Air Resources Board.

  18. Modifying plants for biofuel and biomaterial production.

    PubMed

    Furtado, Agnelo; Lupoi, Jason S; Hoang, Nam V; Healey, Adam; Singh, Seema; Simmons, Blake A; Henry, Robert J

    2014-12-01

    The productivity of plants as biofuel or biomaterial crops is established by both the yield of plant biomass per unit area of land and the efficiency of conversion of the biomass to biofuel. Higher yielding biofuel crops with increased conversion efficiencies allow production on a smaller land footprint minimizing competition with agriculture for food production and biodiversity conservation. Plants have traditionally been domesticated for food, fibre and feed applications. However, utilization for biofuels may require the breeding of novel phenotypes, or new species entirely. Genomics approaches support genetic selection strategies to deliver significant genetic improvement of plants as sources of biomass for biofuel manufacture. Genetic modification of plants provides a further range of options for improving the composition of biomass and for plant modifications to assist the fabrication of biofuels. The relative carbohydrate and lignin content influences the deconstruction of plant cell walls to biofuels. Key options for facilitating the deconstruction leading to higher monomeric sugar release from plants include increasing cellulose content, reducing cellulose crystallinity, and/or altering the amount or composition of noncellulosic polysaccharides or lignin. Modification of chemical linkages within and between these biomass components may improve the ease of deconstruction. Expression of enzymes in the plant may provide a cost-effective option for biochemical conversion to biofuel. PMID:25431201

  19. Constructed wetlands as biofuel production systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Dong; Wu, Xu; Chang, Jie; Gu, Baojing; Min, Yong; Ge, Ying; Shi, Yan; Xue, Hui; Peng, Changhui; Wu, Jianguo

    2012-03-01

    Clean biofuel production is an effective way to mitigate global climate change and energy crisis. Progress has been made in reducing greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions and nitrogen fertilizer consumption through biofuel production. Here we advocate an alternative approach that efficiently produces cellulosic biofuel and greatly reduces GHG emissions using waste nitrogen through wastewater treatment with constructed wetlands in China. Our combined experimental and literature data demonstrate that the net life-cycle energy output of constructed wetlands is higher than that of corn, soybean, switchgrass, low-input high-diversity grassland and algae systems. Energy output from existing constructed wetlands is ~237% of the input for biofuel production and can be enhanced through optimizing the nitrogen supply, hydrologic flow patterns and plant species selection. Assuming that all waste nitrogen in China could be used by constructed wetlands, biofuel production can account for 6.7% of national gasoline consumption. We also find that constructed wetlands have a greater GHG reduction than the existing biofuel production systems in a full life-cycle analysis. This alternative approach is worth pursuing because of its great potential for straightforward operation, its economic competitiveness and many ecological benefits.

  20. Impacts of Climate Change on Biofuels Production

    SciTech Connect

    Melillo, Jerry M.

    2014-04-30

    The overall goal of this research project was to improve and use our biogeochemistry model, TEM, to simulate the effects of climate change and other environmental changes on the production of biofuel feedstocks. We used the improved version of TEM that is coupled with the economic model, EPPA, a part of MIT’s Earth System Model, to explore how alternative uses of land, including land for biofuels production, can help society meet proposed climate targets. During the course of this project, we have made refinements to TEM that include development of a more mechanistic plant module, with improved ecohydrology and consideration of plant-water relations, and a more detailed treatment of soil nitrogen dynamics, especially processes that add or remove nitrogen from ecosystems. We have documented our changes to TEM and used the model to explore the effects on production in land ecosystems, including changes in biofuels production.

  1. Potential of biofilm-based biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhi-Wu; Chen, Shulin

    2009-05-01

    Biofilm technology has been extensively applied to wastewater treatment, but its potential application in biofuel production has not been explored. Current technologies of converting lignocellulose materials to biofuel are hampered by costly processing steps in pretreatment, saccharification, and product recovery. Biofilms may have a potential to improve efficiency of these processes. Advantages of biofilms include concentration of cell-associated hydrolytic enzymes at the biofilm-substrate interface to increase reaction rates, a layered microbial structure in which multiple species may sequentially convert complex substrates and coferment hexose and pentose as hydrolysates diffuse outward, and the possibility of fungal-bacterial symbioses that allow simultaneous delignification and saccharification. More importantly, the confined microenvironment within a biofilm selectively rewards cells with better phenotypes conferred from intercellular gene or signal exchange, a process which is absent in suspended cultures. The immobilized property of biofilm, especially when affixed to a membrane, simplifies the separation of biofuel from its producer and promotes retention of biomass for continued reaction in the fermenter. Highly consolidated bioprocessing, including delignification, saccharification, fermentation, and separation in a single reactor, may be possible through the application of biofilm technology. To date, solid-state fermentation is the only biofuel process to which the advantages of biofilms have been applied, even though it has received limited attention and improvements. The transfer of biofilm technology from environmental engineering has the potential to spur great innovations in the optimization of biofuel production. PMID:19300995

  2. Quantifying indirect land use effects of biofuel production: defining a

    E-print Network

    Pennycook, Steve

    Biofuel production in the EU. #12;Definitions ¬1 Land use = Forest + Agriculture + Other ¬2 Agricultural ¬ Production of proteins, feed ¬ Electricity . Biofuel impacts Source: FAO-OECD (2009) Agricultural outlookQuantifying indirect land use effects of biofuel production: defining a research agenda ORNL Oak

  3. Metabolic Engineering of oleaginous yeast for the production of biofuels

    E-print Network

    Tai, Mitchell

    2012-01-01

    The past few years have introduced a flurry of interest over renewable energy sources. Biofuels have gained attention as renewable alternatives to liquid transportation fuels. Microbial platforms for biofuel production ...

  4. Developing symbiotic consortia for lignocellulosic biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Zuroff, Trevor R; Curtis, Wayne R

    2012-02-01

    The search for petroleum alternatives has motivated intense research into biological breakdown of lignocellulose to produce liquid fuels such as ethanol. Degradation of lignocellulose for biofuel production is a difficult process which is limited by, among other factors, the recalcitrance of lignocellulose and biological toxicity of the products. Consolidated bioprocessing has been suggested as an efficient and economical method of producing low value products from lignocellulose; however, it is not clear whether this would be accomplished more efficiently with a single organism or community of organisms. This review highlights examples of mixtures of microbes in the context of conceptual models for developing symbiotic consortia for biofuel production from lignocellulose. Engineering a symbiosis within consortia is a putative means of improving both process efficiency and stability relative to monoculture. Because microbes often interact and exist attached to surfaces, quorum sensing and biofilm formation are also discussed in terms of consortia development and stability. An engineered, symbiotic culture of multiple organisms may be a means of assembling a novel combination of metabolic capabilities that can efficiently produce biofuel from lignocellulose. PMID:22278256

  5. USDA Biofuels Strategic Production Report June 23, 2010

    E-print Network

    USDA Biofuels Strategic Production Report June 23, 2010 1 A USDA Regional Roadmap to Meeting the Biofuels Goals of the Renewable Fuels Standard by 2022 I. INTRODUCTION The U.S. Department of Agriculture. The strategy targets barriers to the development of a successful biofuels market that will achieve, or surpass

  6. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Biofuel production technologies

    E-print Network

    United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Biofuel production technologies: status of the activities of the UNCTAD Biofuels Initiative. The author expresses his thanks to Lucas Assunçăo, Simonetta Zarrilli, Lalen Lleander, Erwin Rose, Jennifer Burnett, and other UNCTAD staff involved in the Biofuels

  7. Plant biotechnology for lignocellulosic biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Li, Quanzi; Song, Jian; Peng, Shaobing; Wang, Jack P; Qu, Guan-Zheng; Sederoff, Ronald R; Chiang, Vincent L

    2014-12-01

    Lignocelluloses from plant cell walls are attractive resources for sustainable biofuel production. However, conversion of lignocellulose to biofuel is more expensive than other current technologies, due to the costs of chemical pretreatment and enzyme hydrolysis for cell wall deconstruction. Recalcitrance of cell walls to deconstruction has been reduced in many plant species by modifying plant cell walls through biotechnology. These results have been achieved by reducing lignin content and altering its composition and structure. Reduction of recalcitrance has also been achieved by manipulating hemicellulose biosynthesis and by overexpression of bacterial enzymes in plants to disrupt linkages in the lignin-carbohydrate complexes. These modified plants often have improved saccharification yield and higher ethanol production. Cell wall-degrading (CWD) enzymes from bacteria and fungi have been expressed at high levels in plants to increase the efficiency of saccharification compared with exogenous addition of cellulolytic enzymes. In planta expression of heat-stable CWD enzymes from bacterial thermophiles has made autohydrolysis possible. Transgenic plants can be engineered to reduce recalcitrance without any yield penalty, indicating that successful cell wall modification can be achieved without impacting cell wall integrity or plant development. A more complete understanding of cell wall formation and structure should greatly improve lignocellulosic feedstocks and reduce the cost of biofuel production. PMID:25330253

  8. Lipid-based biofuel production from wastewater.

    PubMed

    Muller, Emilie E L; Sheik, Abdul R; Wilmes, Paul

    2014-12-01

    Increasing world population, urbanization and industrialization are driving global increases in wastewater production. Wastewater comprises significant amounts of chemical energy primarily in the form of organic molecules (in particular lipids), which are currently not being recovered comprehensively. Within biological wastewater treatment (BWWT) systems, specialized microorganisms assimilate and store lipids anaerobically. These intracellular stores represent interesting feedstocks for biofuel synthesis. Here, we review our current understanding of the genetic and functional basis for bacterial lipid accumulation and processing, and relate this to lipid accumulating bacterial populations which occur naturally in BWWT plants. A grand challenge for microbial ecologists and engineers now lies in translating this knowledge into the design of new BWWT processes for the comprehensive recovery of lipids from wastewater streams and their subsequent conversion into biofuel. PMID:24768793

  9. Biofuels Fuels Technology Pathway Options for Advanced Drop-in Biofuels Production

    SciTech Connect

    Kevin L Kenney

    2011-09-01

    Advanced drop-in hydrocarbon biofuels require biofuel alternatives for refinery products other than gasoline. Candidate biofuels must have performance characteristics equivalent to conventional petroleum-based fuels. The technology pathways for biofuel alternatives also must be plausible, sustainable (e.g., positive energy balance, environmentally benign, etc.), and demonstrate a reasonable pathway to economic viability and end-user affordability. Viable biofuels technology pathways must address feedstock production and environmental issues through to the fuel or chemical end products. Potential end products include compatible replacement fuel products (e.g., gasoline, diesel, and JP8 and JP5 jet fuel) and other petroleum products or chemicals typically produced from a barrel of crude. Considering the complexity and technology diversity of a complete biofuels supply chain, no single entity or technology provider is capable of addressing in depth all aspects of any given pathway; however, all the necessary expert entities exist. As such, we propose the assembly of a team capable of conducting an in-depth technology pathway options analysis (including sustainability indicators and complete LCA) to identify and define the domestic biofuel pathways for a Green Fleet. This team is not only capable of conducting in-depth analyses on technology pathways, but collectively they are able to trouble shoot and/or engineer solutions that would give industrial technology providers the highest potential for success. Such a team would provide the greatest possible down-side protection for high-risk advanced drop-in biofuels procurement(s).

  10. Cyanobacteria as a Platform for Biofuel Production

    PubMed Central

    Nozzi, Nicole E.; Oliver, John W. K.; Atsumi, Shota

    2013-01-01

    Cyanobacteria have great potential as a platform for biofuel production because of their fast growth, ability to fix carbon dioxide gas, and their genetic tractability. Furthermore they do not require fermentable sugars or arable land for growth and so competition with cropland would be greatly reduced. In this perspective we discuss the challenges and areas for improvement most pertinent for advancing cyanobacterial fuel production, including: improving genetic parts, carbon fixation, metabolic flux, nutrient requirements on a large scale, and photosynthetic efficiency using natural light. PMID:25022311

  11. Limitation of Biofuel Production in Europe from the Forest Market

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leduc, Sylvain; Wetterlund, Elisabeth; Dotzauer, Erik; Kindermann, Georg

    2013-04-01

    The European Union has set a 10% target for the share of biofuel in the transportation sector to be met by 2020. To reach this target, second generation biofuel is expected to replace 3 to 5% of the transport fossil fuel consumption. But the competition on the feedstock is an issue and makes the planning for the second generation biofuel plant a challenge. Moreover, no commercial second generation biofuel production plant is under operation, but if reaching commercial status, this type of production plants are expected to become very large. In order to minimize the tranportation costs and to takle the competetion for the feedstock against the existing woody based industries, the geographical location of biofuel production plants becomes an issue. This study investigates the potential of second generation biofuel economically feasible in Europe by 2020 in regards with the competition for the feedsstock with the existing woody biomass based industries (CHP, pulp and paper mills, sawmills...). To assess the biofuel potential in Europe, a techno-economic, geographically explicit model, BeWhere, is used. It determines the optimal locations of bio-energy production plants by minimizing the costs and CO2 emissions of the entire supply chain. The existing woody based industries have to first meet their wood demand, and if the amount of wood that remains is suficiant, new bio-energy production plants if any can be set up. Preliminary results show that CHP plants are preferably chosen over biofuel production plants. Strong biofuel policy support is needed in order to consequently increase the biofuel production in Europe. The carbon tax influences the emission reduction to a higher degree than the biofuel support. And the potential of second generation biofuel would at most reach 3% of the European transport fuel if the wood demand does not increase from 2010.

  12. Environmental indicators for sustainable production of algal biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Efroymson, Rebecca Ann; Dale, Virginia H

    2014-01-01

    For analyzing sustainability of algal biofuels, we identify 16 environmental indicators that fall into six categories: soil quality, water quality and quantity, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, and productivity. Indicators are selected to be practical, widely applicable, predictable in response, anticipatory of future changes, independent of scale, and responsive to management. Major differences between algae and terrestrial plant feedstocks, as well as their supply chains for biofuel, are highlighted, for they influence the choice of appropriate sustainability indicators. Algae strain selection characteristics do not generally affect which indicators are selected. The use of water instead of soil as the growth medium for algae determines the higher priority of water- over soil-related indicators. The proposed set of environmental indicators provides an initial checklist for measures of biofuel sustainability but may need to be modified for particular contexts depending on data availability, goals of the stakeholders, and financial constraints. Use of these indicators entails defining sustainability goals and targets in relation to stakeholder values in a particular context and can lead to improved management practices.

  13. 75 FR 42745 - Production Incentives for Cellulosic Biofuels: Notice of Program Intent

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-22

    ...Production Incentives for Cellulosic Biofuels: Notice of Program Intent AGENCY: Office...EPAct 2005). Through this notice, biofuels producers and other interested parties...Production Incentives for Cellulosic Biofuels; Reverse Auction Procedures and...

  14. 7 CFR 4288.137 - Succession and loss of control of advanced biofuel facilities and production.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ...Succession and loss of control of advanced biofuel facilities and production. 4288.137...AGRICULTURE PAYMENT PROGRAMS Advanced Biofuel Payment Program General Provisions Payment...Succession and loss of control of advanced biofuel facilities and production. (a)...

  15. 7 CFR 4288.137 - Succession and loss of control of advanced biofuel facilities and production.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ...Succession and loss of control of advanced biofuel facilities and production. 4288.137...AGRICULTURE PAYMENT PROGRAMS Advanced Biofuel Payment Program General Provisions ...Succession and loss of control of advanced biofuel facilities and production. (a)...

  16. Directed Evolution of a Cellodextrin Transporter for Improved Biofuel Production Under Anaerobic

    E-print Network

    Zhao, Huimin

    Directed Evolution of a Cellodextrin Transporter for Improved Biofuel Production Under Anaerobic that anaerobic biofuel production could be significantly improved via directed evolution of a sugar transporter: cellodextrin transporter; cellobiose utilization; cellulosic biofuel; anaerobic fermentation; directed

  17. 7 CFR 4288.137 - Succession and loss of control of advanced biofuel facilities and production.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ...Succession and loss of control of advanced biofuel facilities and production. 4288.137...AGRICULTURE PAYMENT PROGRAMS Advanced Biofuel Payment Program General Provisions ...Succession and loss of control of advanced biofuel facilities and production. (a)...

  18. Risks to global biodiversity from fossil-fuel production exceed those from biofuel production

    SciTech Connect

    Dale, Virginia H; Parish, Esther S; Kline, Keith L

    2015-01-01

    Potential global biodiversity impacts from near-term gasoline production are compared to biofuel, a renewable liquid transportation fuel expected to substitute for gasoline in the near term (i.e., from now until c. 2030). Petroleum exploration activities are projected to extend across more than 5.8 billion ha of land and ocean worldwide (of which 3.1 billion is on land), much of which is in remote, fragile terrestrial ecosystems or off-shore oil fields that would remain relatively undisturbed if not for interest in fossil fuel production. Future biomass production for biofuels is projected to fall within 2.0 billion ha of land, most of which is located in areas already impacted by human activities. A comparison of likely fuel-source areas to the geospatial distribution of species reveals that both energy sources overlap with areas with high species richness and large numbers of threatened species. At the global scale, future petroleum production areas intersect more than double the area and higher total number of threatened species than future biofuel production. Energy options should be developed to optimize provisioning of ecosystem services while minimizing negative effects, which requires information about potential impacts on critical resources. Energy conservation and identifying and effectively protecting habitats with high-conservation value are critical first steps toward protecting biodiversity under any fuel production scenario.

  19. Genetically Engineered Materials for Biofuels Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raab, Michael

    2012-02-01

    Agrivida, Inc., is an agricultural biotechnology company developing industrial crop feedstocks for the fuel and chemical industries. Agrivida's crops have improved processing traits that enable efficient, low cost conversion of the crops' cellulosic components into fermentable sugars. Currently, pretreatment and enzymatic conversion of the major cell wall components, cellulose and hemicellulose, into fermentable sugars is the most expensive processing step that prevents widespread adoption of biomass in biofuels processes. To lower production costs we are consolidating pretreatment and enzyme production within the crop. In this strategy, transgenic plants express engineered cell wall degrading enzymes in an inactive form, which can be reactivated after harvest. We have engineered protein elements that disrupt enzyme activity during normal plant growth. Upon exposure to specific processing conditions, the engineered enzymes are converted into their active forms. This mechanism significantly lowers pretreatment costs and enzyme loadings (>75% reduction) below those currently available to the industry.

  20. An Overview of Algae Biofuel Production and Potential Environmental Impact

    EPA Science Inventory

    Algae are among the most potentially significant sources of sustainable biofuels in the future of renewable energy. A feedstock with virtually unlimited applicability, algae can metabolize various waste streams (e.g., municipal wastewater, carbon dioxide from industrial flue gas)...

  1. An overview of algae biofuel production and potential environmental impact.

    PubMed

    Menetrez, Marc Y

    2012-07-01

    Algae are among the most potentially significant sources of sustainable biofuels in the future of renewable energy. A feedstock with virtually unlimited applicability, algae can metabolize various waste streams (e.g., municipal wastewater, carbon dioxide from industrial flue gas) and produce products with a wide variety of compositions and uses. These products include lipids, which can be processed into biodiesel; carbohydrates, which can be processed into ethanol; and proteins, which can be used for human and animal consumption. Algae are commonly genetically engineered to allow for advantageous process modification or optimization. However, issues remain regarding human exposure to algae-derived toxins, allergens, and carcinogens from both existing and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), as well as the overall environmental impact of GMOs. A literature review was performed to highlight issues related to the growth and use of algal products for generating biofuels. Human exposure and environmental impact issues are identified and discussed, as well as current research and development activities of academic, commercial, and governmental groups. It is hoped that the ideas contained in this paper will increase environmental awareness of issues surrounding the production of algae and will help the algae industry develop to its full potential. PMID:22681590

  2. Microbiology of synthesis gas fermentation for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Henstra, Anne M; Sipma, Jan; Rinzema, Arjen; Stams, Alfons J M

    2007-06-01

    A significant portion of biomass sources like straw and wood is poorly degradable and cannot be converted to biofuels by microorganisms. The gasification of this waste material to produce synthesis gas (or syngas) could offer a solution to this problem, as microorganisms that convert CO and H2) (the essential components of syngas) to multicarbon compounds are available. These are predominantly mesophilic microorganisms that produce short-chain fatty acids and alcohols from CO and H2. Additionally, hydrogen can be produced by carboxydotrophic hydrogenogenic bacteria that convert CO and H2O to H2 and CO2. The production of ethanol through syngas fermentation is already available as a commercial process. The use of thermophilic microorganisms for these processes could offer some advantages; however, to date, few thermophiles are known that grow well on syngas and produce organic compounds. The identification of new isolates that would broaden the product range of syngas fermentations is desirable. Metabolic engineering could be employed to broaden the variety of available products, although genetic tools for such engineering are currently unavailable. Nevertheless, syngas fermenting microorganisms possess advantageous characteristics for biofuel production and hold potential for future engineering efforts. PMID:17399976

  3. Downstream Processing of Synechocystis for Biofuel Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheng, Jie

    Lipids and free fatty acids (FFA) from cyanobacterium Synechocystis can be used for biofuel (e.g. biodiesel or renewable diesel) production. In order to utilize and scale up this technique, downstream processes including culturing and harvest, cell disruption, and extraction were studied. Several solvents/solvent systems were screened for lipid extraction from Synechocystis. Chloroform + methanol-based Folch and Bligh & Dyer methods were proved to be "gold standard" for small-scale analysis due to their highest lipid recoveries that were confirmed by their penetration of the cell membranes, higher polarity, and stronger interaction with hydrogen bonds. Less toxic solvents, such as methanol and MTBE, or direct transesterification of biomass (without preextraction step) gave only slightly lower lipid-extraction yields and can be considered for large-scale application. Sustained exposure to high and low temperature extremes severely lowered the biomass and lipid productivity. Temperature stress also triggered changes of lipid quality such as the degree of unsaturation; thus, it affected the productivities and quality of Synechocystis-derived biofuel. Pulsed electric field (PEF) was evaluated for cell disruption prior to lipid extraction. A treatment intensity > 35 kWh/m3 caused significant damage to the plasma membrane, cell wall, and thylakoid membrane, and it even led to complete disruption of some cells into fragments. Treatment by PEF enhanced the potential for the low-toxicity solvent isopropanol to access lipid molecules during subsequent solvent extraction, leading to lower usage of isopropanol for the same extraction efficiency. Other cell-disruption methods also were tested. Distinct disruption effects to the cell envelope, plasma membrane, and thylakoid membranes were observed that were related to extraction efficiency. Microwave and ultrasound had significant enhancement of lipid extraction. Autoclaving, ultrasound, and French press caused significant release of lipid into the medium, which may increase solvent usage and make medium recycling difficult. Production of excreted FFA by mutant Synechocystis has the potential of reducing the complexity of downstream processing. Major problems, such as FFA precipitation and biodegradation by scavengers, account for FFA loss in operation. Even a low concentration of FFA scavengers could consume FFA at a high rate that outpaced FFA production rate. Potential strategies to overcome FFA loss include high pH, adsorptive resin, and sterilization techniques.

  4. Sustainable production of grain crops for biofuels

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grain crops of the Gramineae are grown for their edible, starchy seeds. Their grain is used directly for human food, livestock feed, and as raw material for many industries, including biofuels. Using grain crops for non-food uses affects the amount of food available to the world. Grain-based biofuel...

  5. World Biofuels Production Potential Understanding the Challenges to Meeting the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard

    SciTech Connect

    Sastri, B.; Lee, A.

    2008-09-15

    This study by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates the worldwide potential to produce biofuels including biofuels for export. It was undertaken to improve our understanding of the potential for imported biofuels to satisfy the requirements of Title II of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) in the coming decades. Many other countries biofuels production and policies are expanding as rapidly as ours. Therefore, we modeled a detailed and up-to-date representation of the amount of biofuel feedstocks that are being and can be grown, current and future biofuels production capacity, and other factors relevant to the economic competitiveness of worldwide biofuels production, use, and trade. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) identified and prepared feedstock data for countries that were likely to be significant exporters of biofuels to the U.S. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) calculated conversion costs by conducting material flow analyses and technology assessments on biofuels technologies. Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) integrated the country specific feedstock estimates and conversion costs into the global Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP) MARKAL (MARKet ALlocation) model. The model uses least-cost optimization to project the future state of the global energy system in five year increments. World biofuels production was assessed over the 2010 to 2030 timeframe using scenarios covering a range U.S. policies (tax credits, tariffs, and regulations), as well as oil prices, feedstock availability, and a global CO{sub 2} price. All scenarios include the full implementation of existing U.S. and selected other countries biofuels policies (Table 4). For the U.S., the most important policy is the EISA Title II Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). It progressively increases the required volumes of renewable fuel used in motor vehicles (Appendix B). The RFS requires 36 billion (B) gallons (gal) per year of renewable fuels by 2022. Within the mandate, amounts of advanced biofuels, including biomass-based diesel and cellulosic biofuels, are required beginning in 2009. Imported renewable fuels are also eligible for the RFS. Another key U.S. policy is the $1.01 per gal tax credit for producers of cellulosic biofuels enacted as part of the 2008 Farm Bill. This credit, along with the DOE's research, development and demonstration (RD&D) programs, are assumed to enable the rapid expansion of U.S. and global cellulosic biofuels production needed for the U.S. to approach the 2022 RFS goal. While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has yet to issue RFS rules to determine which fuels would meet the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction and land use restrictions specified in EISA, we assume that cellulosic ethanol, biomass-to-liquid fuels (BTL), sugar-derived ethanol, and fatty acid methyl ester biodiesel would all meet the EISA advanced biofuel requirements. We also assume that enough U.S. corn ethanol would meet EISA's biofuel requirements or otherwise be grandfathered under EISA to reach 15 B gal per year.

  6. High-biomass sorghums for biomass biofuel production 

    E-print Network

    Packer, Daniel

    2011-05-09

    High-biomass sorghums are being developed as a dedicated energy crop for biofuels. Their high biomass yields provide large quantities of structural carbohydrates (cellulose, lignin, etc.) for energy production. Sorghum improvement for applications...

  7. Exergy-based efficiency and renewability assessment of biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Dewulf, J; Van Langenhove, H; Van De Velde, B

    2005-05-15

    This study presents an efficiency and renewability analysis of the production of three biofuels: rapeseed methyl ester (RME), soybean methyl ester (SME) and corn-based ethanol (EtOH). The overall production chains have been taken into account: not only the agricultural crop production and the industrial conversion into biofuel, but also production of the supply of agricultural resources (pesticides, fertilizers, fuel, seeding material) and industrial resources (energy and chemicals) to transform the crops into biofuel. Simultaneously, byproducts of the agricultural and industrial processes have been taken into account when resources have to be allocated to the biofuels. The technical analysis via the second law of thermodynamics revealed that corn-based EtOH results in the highest production rate with an exergetic fuel content of 68.8 GJ ha(-1) yr(-1), whereas the RME and SME results were limited to 47.5 and 16.4 GJ ha(-1) yr(-1). The allocated nonrenewable resource input to deliver these biofuels is significant: 16.5, 15.4, and 5.6 MJ ha(-1) yr(-1). This means that these biofuels, generally considered as renewable resources, embed a nonrenewable fraction of one-quarter for EtOH and even one-third for RME and SME. This type of analysis provides scientifically sound quantitative information that is necessarywith respect to the sustainability analysis of so-called renewable energy. PMID:15952399

  8. Advanced biofuel production by the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Buijs, Nicolaas A; Siewers, Verena; Nielsen, Jens

    2013-06-01

    Replacement of conventional transportation fuels with biofuels will require production of compounds that can cover the complete fuel spectrum, ranging from gasoline to kerosene. Advanced biofuels are expected to play an important role in replacing fossil fuels because they have improved properties compared with ethanol and some of these may have the energy density required for use in heavy duty vehicles, ships, and aviation. Moreover, advanced biofuels can be used as drop-in fuels in existing internal combustion engines. The yeast cell factory Saccharomyces cerevisiae can be turned into a producer of higher alcohols (1-butanol and isobutanol), sesquiterpenes (farnesene and bisabolene), and fatty acid ethyl esters (biodiesel), and here we discusses progress in metabolic engineering of S. cerevisiae for production of these advanced biofuels. PMID:23628723

  9. Impact of Various Biofuel Feedstock Production Scenarios on Water Quality in the Upper Mississippi River Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, M.; Demissie, Y.; Yan, E.

    2010-12-01

    The impact of increased biofuel feedstock production on regional water quality was examined. This study focused on the Upper Mississippi River Basin, from which a majority of U.S. biofuel is currently produced. The production of biofuel from both conventional feedstock and cellulosic feedstock will potentially increase in the near future. Historically, this water basin generates the largest nitrogen loading to the waterway in the United States and is often cited as a main contributor to the anoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. To obtain a quantitative and spatial estimate of nutrient burdens at the river basin, a SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) model application was developed. The model was equipped with an updated nutrient cycle feature and modified model parameters to represent current crop and perennial grass yield as a result of advancements in breeding and biotechnology. Various biofuel feedstock production scenarios were developed to assess the potential environmental implications of increased biofuel production through corn, agriculture residue, and perennial cellulosic feedstock (such as Switchgrass). Major factors were analyzed, including land use changes, feedstock types, fertilizer inputs, soil property, and yield. This tool can be used to identify specific regional factors affecting water quality and examine options to meet the requirement for environmental sustainability, thereby mitigating undesirable environmental consequences while strengthening energy security.

  10. Microalgae as sustainable renewable energy feedstock for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Medipally, Srikanth Reddy; Yusoff, Fatimah Md; Banerjee, Sanjoy; Shariff, M

    2015-01-01

    The world energy crisis and increased greenhouse gas emissions have driven the search for alternative and environmentally friendly renewable energy sources. According to life cycle analysis, microalgae biofuel is identified as one of the major renewable energy sources for sustainable development, with potential to replace the fossil-based fuels. Microalgae biofuel was devoid of the major drawbacks associated with oil crops and lignocelluloses-based biofuels. Algae-based biofuels are technically and economically viable and cost competitive, require no additional lands, require minimal water use, and mitigate atmospheric CO2. However, commercial production of microalgae biodiesel is still not feasible due to the low biomass concentration and costly downstream processes. The viability of microalgae biodiesel production can be achieved by designing advanced photobioreactors, developing low cost technologies for biomass harvesting, drying, and oil extraction. Commercial production can also be accomplished by improving the genetic engineering strategies to control environmental stress conditions and by engineering metabolic pathways for high lipid production. In addition, new emerging technologies such as algal-bacterial interactions for enhancement of microalgae growth and lipid production are also explored. This review focuses mainly on the problems encountered in the commercial production of microalgae biofuels and the possible techniques to overcome these difficulties. PMID:25874216

  11. Microalgae as Sustainable Renewable Energy Feedstock for Biofuel Production

    PubMed Central

    Yusoff, Fatimah Md.; Shariff, M.

    2015-01-01

    The world energy crisis and increased greenhouse gas emissions have driven the search for alternative and environmentally friendly renewable energy sources. According to life cycle analysis, microalgae biofuel is identified as one of the major renewable energy sources for sustainable development, with potential to replace the fossil-based fuels. Microalgae biofuel was devoid of the major drawbacks associated with oil crops and lignocelluloses-based biofuels. Algae-based biofuels are technically and economically viable and cost competitive, require no additional lands, require minimal water use, and mitigate atmospheric CO2. However, commercial production of microalgae biodiesel is still not feasible due to the low biomass concentration and costly downstream processes. The viability of microalgae biodiesel production can be achieved by designing advanced photobioreactors, developing low cost technologies for biomass harvesting, drying, and oil extraction. Commercial production can also be accomplished by improving the genetic engineering strategies to control environmental stress conditions and by engineering metabolic pathways for high lipid production. In addition, new emerging technologies such as algal-bacterial interactions for enhancement of microalgae growth and lipid production are also explored. This review focuses mainly on the problems encountered in the commercial production of microalgae biofuels and the possible techniques to overcome these difficulties. PMID:25874216

  12. Genes related to xylose fermentation and methods of using same for enhanced biofuel production

    DOEpatents

    Wohlbach, Dana J.; Gasch, Audrey P.

    2015-09-29

    The present invention provides isolated gene sequences involved in xylose fermentation and related recombinant yeast which are useful in methods of enhanced biofuel production, particularly ethanol production. Methods of bioengineering recombinant yeast useful for biofuel production are also provided.

  13. Genes related to xylose fermentation and methods of using same for enhanced biofuel production

    SciTech Connect

    Wohlbach, Dana J.; Gasch, Audrey P.

    2014-08-05

    The present invention provides isolated gene sequences involved in xylose fermentation and related recombinant yeast which are useful in methods of enhanced biofuel production, particularly ethanol production. Methods of bioengineering recombinant yeast useful for biofuel production are also provided.

  14. Future testing opportunities to ensure sustainability of the biofuels industry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    For the Soil and Plant Analysis Community, development and expansion of biofuels will create many opportunities to provide a wide variety of analytical services. Our objective is to explore potential areas where those services could be marketed to support sustainable development of biofuels. One of ...

  15. Enzymatic deconstruction of xylan for biofuel production

    PubMed Central

    DODD, DYLAN; CANN, ISAAC K. O.

    2010-01-01

    The combustion of fossil-derived fuels has a significant impact on atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels and correspondingly is an important contributor to anthropogenic global climate change. Plants have evolved photosynthetic mechanisms in which solar energy is used to fix CO2 into carbohydrates. Thus, combustion of biofuels, derived from plant biomass, can be considered a potentially carbon neutral process. One of the major limitations for efficient conversion of plant biomass to biofuels is the recalcitrant nature of the plant cell wall, which is composed mostly of lignocellulosic materials (lignin, cellulose, and hemicellulose). The heteropolymer xylan represents the most abundant hemicellulosic polysaccharide and is composed primarily of xylose, arabinose, and glucuronic acid. Microbes have evolved a plethora of enzymatic strategies for hydrolyzing xylan into its constituent sugars for subsequent fermentation to biofuels. Therefore, microorganisms are considered an important source of biocatalysts in the emerging biofuel industry. To produce an optimized enzymatic cocktail for xylan deconstruction, it will be valuable to gain insight at the molecular level of the chemical linkages and the mechanisms by which these enzymes recognize their substrates and catalyze their reactions. Recent advances in genomics, proteomics, and structural biology have revolutionized our understanding of the microbial xylanolytic enzymes. This review focuses on current understanding of the molecular basis for substrate specificity and catalysis by enzymes involved in xylan deconstruction. PMID:20431716

  16. Biofuel production from microalgae as feedstock: current status and potential.

    PubMed

    Han, Song-Fang; Jin, Wen-Biao; Tu, Ren-Jie; Wu, Wei-Min

    2015-06-01

    Algal biofuel has become an attractive alternative of petroleum-based fuels in the past decade. Microalgae have been proposed as a feedstock to produce biodiesel, since they are capable of mitigating CO2 emission and accumulating lipids with high productivity. This article is an overview of the updated status of biofuels, especially biodiesel production from microalgae including fundamental research, culture selection and engineering process development; it summarizes research on mathematical and life cycle modeling on algae growth and biomass production; and it updates global efforts of research and development and commercialization attempts. The major challenges are also discussed. PMID:24641484

  17. The potential of C4 grasses for cellulosic biofuel production

    PubMed Central

    van der Weijde, Tim; Alvim Kamei, Claire L.; Torres, Andres F.; Vermerris, Wilfred; Dolstra, Oene; Visser, Richard G. F.; Trindade, Luisa M.

    2013-01-01

    With the advent of biorefinery technologies enabling plant biomass to be processed into biofuel, many researchers set out to study and improve candidate biomass crops. Many of these candidates are C4 grasses, characterized by a high productivity and resource use efficiency. In this review the potential of five C4 grasses as lignocellulosic feedstock for biofuel production is discussed. These include three important field crops—maize, sugarcane and sorghum—and two undomesticated perennial energy grasses—miscanthus and switchgrass. Although all these grasses are high yielding, they produce different products. While miscanthus and switchgrass are exploited exclusively for lignocellulosic biomass, maize, sorghum, and sugarcane are dual-purpose crops. It is unlikely that all the prerequisites for the sustainable and economic production of biomass for a global cellulosic biofuel industry will be fulfilled by a single crop. High and stable yields of lignocellulose are required in diverse environments worldwide, to sustain a year-round production of biofuel. A high resource use efficiency is indispensable to allow cultivation with minimal inputs of nutrients and water and the exploitation of marginal soils for biomass production. Finally, the lignocellulose composition of the feedstock should be optimized to allow its efficient conversion into biofuel and other by-products. Breeding for these objectives should encompass diverse crops, to meet the demands of local biorefineries and provide adaptability to different environments. Collectively, these C4 grasses are likely to play a central role in the supply of lignocellulose for the cellulosic ethanol industry. Moreover, as these species are evolutionary closely related, advances in each of these crops will expedite improvements in the other crops. This review aims to provide an overview of their potential, prospects and research needs as lignocellulose feedstocks for the commercial production of biofuel. PMID:23653628

  18. Limits to biofuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johansson, S.

    2013-06-01

    Biofuel production is dependent upon agriculture and forestry systems, and the expectations of future biofuel potential are high. A study of the global food production and biofuel production from edible crops implies that biofuel produced from edible parts of crops lead to a global deficit of food. This is rather well known, which is why there is a strong urge to develop biofuel systems that make use of residues or products from forest to eliminate competition with food production. However, biofuel from agro-residues still depend upon the crop production system, and there are many parameters to deal with in order to investigate the sustainability of biofuel production. There is a theoretical limit to how much biofuel can be achieved globally from agro-residues and this amounts to approximately one third of todays' use of fossil fuels in the transport sector. In reality this theoretical potential may be eliminated by the energy use in the biomass-conversion technologies and production systems, depending on what type of assessment method is used. By surveying existing studies on biofuel conversion the theoretical limit of biofuels from 2010 years' agricultural production was found to be either non-existent due to energy consumption in the conversion process, or up to 2-6000TWh (biogas from residues and waste and ethanol from woody biomass) in the more optimistic cases.

  19. Trade-offs between agricultural production and biodiversity for biofuel production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Growing energy demands and concerns for climate change have pushed forward the time line for biofuel production. However, the effect of large-scale biofuel production in the U.S. on the agricultural industry, primarily responsible for food production and livestock feed, and biodiversity levels of ma...

  20. Managing water resources for biomass production in a biofuel economy

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    One goal of our national security policy is to become more energy independent using biofuels. The expanded production of agricultural crops for bioenergy production has introduced new challenges for management of water. Water availability has been widely presumed in the discussion of bioenergy crop ...

  1. Soil Quality as an Indicator of Sustainable Biofuel Feedstock Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sustainable production of cellulosic feedstocks for second-generation biofuels must not degrade soil, water, or air resources. Critical functions such as (i) sustaining biological productivity, (ii) regulating and portioning soil water, (iii) storing and cycling nutrients, and (iv) filtering and buf...

  2. A Realistic Technology and Engineering Assessment of Algae Biofuel Production

    E-print Network

    Quinn, Nigel

    Division Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Berkeley, California 3 Benemann Associates Walnut biofuels production. Chapter 2 reviews the biology and biotechnology of microalgae, including major taxa in the Imperial Valley in southern California, a #12; ii promising region for algae production. In all five

  3. Bioeconomic Sustainability of Cellulosic Biofuel Production on Marginal Lands

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gutierrez, Andrew Paul; Ponti, Luigi

    2009-01-01

    The use of marginal land (ML) for lignocellulosic biofuel production is examined for system stability, resilience, and eco-social sustainability. A North American prairie grass system and its industrialization for maximum biomass production using biotechnology and agro-technical inputs is the focus of the analysis. Demographic models of ML biomass…

  4. Second Generation Biofuels: High-Efficiency Microalgae for Biodiesel Production

    E-print Network

    Kudela, Raphael M.

    Second Generation Biofuels: High-Efficiency Microalgae for Biodiesel Production Peer M. Schenk range of feedstocks for the production of biodiesel, bioethanol, biomethane and biohydrogen. Biodiesel supply. In contrast, producing biodiesel from algae is widely regarded as one of the most efficient ways

  5. Sustainability of biofuels and renewable chemicals production from biomass.

    PubMed

    Kircher, Manfred

    2015-12-01

    In the sectors of biofuel and renewable chemicals the big feedstock demand asks, first, to expand the spectrum of carbon sources beyond primary biomass, second, to establish circular processing chains and, third, to prioritize product sectors exclusively depending on carbon: chemicals and heavy-duty fuels. Large-volume production lines will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emission significantly but also low-volume chemicals are indispensable in building 'low-carbon' industries. The foreseeable feedstock change initiates innovation, securing societal wealth in the industrialized world and creating employment in regions producing biomass. When raising the investments in rerouting to sustainable biofuel and chemicals today competitiveness with fossil-based fuel and chemicals is a strong issue. Many countries adopted comprehensive bioeconomy strategies to tackle this challenge. These public actions are mostly biased to biofuel but should give well-balanced attention to renewable chemicals as well. PMID:26256682

  6. Watershed scale environmental sustainability analysis of biofuel production in changing land use and climate scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    RAJ, C.; Chaubey, I.; Cherkauer, K. A.; Brouder, S. M.; Volenec, J. J.

    2013-12-01

    One of the grand challenges in meeting the US biofuel goal is producing large quantities of cellulosic biofeedstock materials for the production of biofuels in an environmentally sustainable and economically viable manner. The possible land use and land management practice changes induce concerns over the environmental impacts of these bioenergy crop production scenarios both in terms of water availability and water quality, and these impacts may be exacerbated by climate variability and change. This study aims to evaluate environmental sustainability of various plausible land and crop management scenarios for biofuel production under changing climate scenarios for a Midwest US watershed. The study considers twelve environmental sustainability indicators related hydrology and water quality with thirteen plausible biofuels scenarios in the watershed under nine climate change scenarios. The land use change scenarios for evaluation includes, (1) bioenergy crops in highly erodible soils (3) bioenergy crops in low row crop productive fields (marginal lands); (3) bioenergy crops in pasture and range land use areas and (4) combinations of these scenarios. Future climate data bias corrected and downscaled to daily values from the World Climate Research Programme's (WCRP's) Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 3 (CMIP3) multi-model dataset were used in this study. The distributed hydrological model SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) was used to simulate bioenergy crops growth, hydrology and water quality. The watershed scale sustainability analysis was done in Wildcat Creek basin, which is located in North-Central Indiana, USA.

  7. RESEARCH ARTICLE A model for improving microbial biofuel production using

    E-print Network

    Dunlop, Mary

    be used to regulate gene expression. Microbial biofuel production is one area where synthetic feedback synthetic feedback control systems may yield insight into the roles that feed- back can play in regulation in gene regulation is evidenced by the frequency with which positive and neg- ative feedback loops appear

  8. Will Sulfur Limit Bio-fuel Corn Production?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The short- and long-term effects of striving for higher grain yields and removing crop residues for bio-fuels production on soil-nutrient cycling, physical properties and biological activity must be understood. To provide more quantitative guidelines, soil management studies focusing on tillage, fer...

  9. Spatially Explicit Life Cycle Assessment of Biofuel Feedstock Production

    EPA Science Inventory

    Biofuels derived from renewable resources have gained increased research and development priority due to increasing energy demand and national security concerns. In the US, the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 mandated the annual production of 56.8 billion L of...

  10. Biofuels from Corn Stover: Pyrolytic Production and Catalytic Upgrading Studies 

    E-print Network

    Capunitan, Jewel Alviar

    2013-01-15

    explored, in an attempt to convert an abundant agricultural residue, corn stover, into potential bio-fuels. Pyrolysis of corn stover was carried out at 400, 500 and 600oC and at moderate pressure. Maximum bio-char yield of 37.3 wt.% and liquid product...

  11. Economic Policy and Resource Implications of Biofuel Feedstock Production 

    E-print Network

    Adusumilli, Naveen

    2012-10-19

    used deleted from the total, the cost of producing a gallon of biomass ethanol is substantially higher than that of gasoline. The impacts of an exogenously-specified biofuel mandate fulfilled by the production of a dedicated biomass crop and its...

  12. Water energy nexus in biofuels production and renewable based power

    E-print Network

    Grossmann, Ignacio E.

    the water consumed accordingly. In terms of efficient processes in water­energy consumption, the best oneWater ­ energy nexus in biofuels production and renewable based power Mariano Martína1, Ignacio E and glycerol ethers, as long as the rainfall water is not included in the analysis. Otherwise, solar based

  13. Production of Liquid Biofuels from Biomass: Emerging Technologies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This is an overview of the emerging technologies that have been developed recently or are in the process of development for ethanol (biofuel) production from agricultural residues. In this direction numerous advances have been made. Problems associated with inhibitor generation and detoxification,...

  14. The Role of Synthetic Biology in the Design of Microbial Cell Factories for Biofuel Production

    PubMed Central

    Colin, Verónica Leticia; Rodríguez, Analía; Cristóbal, Héctor Antonio

    2011-01-01

    Insecurity in the supply of fossil fuels, volatile fuel prices, and major concerns regarding climate change have sparked renewed interest in the production of fuels from renewable resources. Because of this, the use of biodiesel has grown dramatically during the last few years and is expected to increase even further in the future. Biodiesel production through the use of microbial systems has marked a turning point in the field of biofuels since it is emerging as an attractive alternative to conventional technology. Recent progress in synthetic biology has accelerated the ability to analyze, construct, and/or redesign microbial metabolic pathways with unprecedented precision, in order to permit biofuel production that is amenable to industrial applications. The review presented here focuses specifically on the role of synthetic biology in the design of microbial cell factories for efficient production of biodiesel. PMID:22028591

  15. Addressing the challenges for sustainable production of algal biofuels: II. Harvesting and conversion to biofuels.

    PubMed

    Abdelaziz, Ahmed E M; Leite, Gustavo B; Hallenbeck, Patrick C

    2013-01-01

    In order to ensure the sustainability of algal biofuel production, a number of issues need to be addressed. Previously, we reviewed some of the questions in this area involving algal species and the important challenges of nutrient supply and how these might be met. Here, we take up issues involving harvesting and the conversion ofbiomass to biofuels. Advances in both these areas are required if these third-generation fuels are to have a sufficiently high net energy ratio and a sustainable footprint. A variety of harvesting technologies are under investigation and recent studies in this area are presented and discussed. A number of different energy uses are available for algal biomass, each with their own advantages as well as challenges in terms of efficiencies and yields. Recent advances in these areas are presented and some of the especially promising conversion processes are highlighted. PMID:24350436

  16. Future Testing Opportunities to Ensure Sustainability of the Biofuels Industry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 increased the intensity of biofuel research and development throughout the U.S. For the Soil and Plant Analysis Community, this will undoubtedly create new opportunities to provide analytical services that will help ensure mandates such as the ...

  17. Tappable Pine Trees: Commercial Production of Terpene Biofuels in Pine

    SciTech Connect

    2012-01-01

    PETRO Project: The University of Florida is working to increase the amount of turpentine in harvested pine from 4% to 20% of its dry weight. While enhanced feedstocks for biofuels have generally focused on fuel production from leafy plants and grasses, the University of Florida is experimenting with enhancing fuel production in a species of pine that is currently used in the paper pulping industry. Pine trees naturally produce around 3-5% terpene content in the wood—terpenes are the energy-dense fuel molecules that are the predominant components of turpentine. The team aims to increase the terpene storage potential and production capacity while improving the terpene composition to a point at which the trees could be tapped while alive, like sugar maples. Growth and production from these trees will take years, but this pioneering technology could have significant impact in making available an economical and domestic source of aviation and diesel biofuels.

  18. Cultivation and Characterization of Cynara Cardunculus for Solid Biofuels Production in the Mediterranean Region

    PubMed Central

    Grammelis, Panagiotis; Malliopoulou, Anastasia; Basinas, Panagiotis; Danalatos, Nicholas G.

    2008-01-01

    Technical specifications of solid biofuels are continuously improved towards the development and promotion of their market. Efforts in the Greek market are limited, mainly due to the climate particularity of the region, which hinders the growth of suitable biofuels. Taking also into account the increased oil prices and the high inputs required to grow most annual crops in Greece, cardoon (Cynara cardunculus L.) is now considered the most important and promising sources for solid biofuel production in Greece in the immediate future. The reason is that cardoon is a perennial crop of Mediterranean origin, well adapted to the xerothermic conditions of southern Europe, which can be utilized particularly for solid biofuel production. This is due to its minimum production cost, as this perennial weed may perform high biomass productivity on most soils with modest or without any inputs of irrigation and agrochemicals. Within this framework, the present research work is focused on the planning and analysis of different land use scenarios involving this specific energy crop and the combustion behaviour characterization for the solid products. Such land use scenarios are based on quantitative estimates of the crop'sproduction potential under specific soil-climatic conditions as well as the inputs required for its realization in comparison to existing conventional crops. Concerning its decomposition behaviour, devolatilisation and char combustion tests were performed in a non-isothermal thermogravimetric analyser (TA Q600). A kinetic analysis was applied and accrued results were compared with data already available for other lignocellulosic materials. The thermogravimetric analysis showed that the decomposition process of cardoon follows the degradation of other lignocellulosic fuels, meeting high burnout rates. This research work concludes that Cynara cardunculus, under certain circumstances, can be used as a solid biofuel of acceptable quality. PMID:19325802

  19. Cultivation and characterization of Cynara Cardunculus for solid biofuels production in the Mediterranean region.

    PubMed

    Grammelis, Panagiotis; Malliopoulou, Anastasia; Basinas, Panagiotis; Danalatos, Nicholas G

    2008-06-01

    Technical specifications of solid biofuels are continuously improved towards the development and promotion of their market. Efforts in the Greek market are limited, mainly due to the climate particularity of the region, which hinders the growth of suitable biofuels. Taking also into account the increased oil prices and the high inputs required to grow most annual crops in Greece, cardoon (Cynara cardunculus L.) is now considered the most important and promising sources for solid biofuel production in Greece in the immediate future. The reason is that cardoon is a perennial crop of Mediterranean origin, well adapted to the xerothermic conditions of southern Europe, which can be utilized particularly for solid biofuel production. This is due to its minimum production cost, as this perennial weed may perform high biomass productivity on most soils with modest or without any inputs of irrigation and agrochemicals. Within this framework, the present research work is focused on the planning and analysis of different land use scenarios involving this specific energy crop and the combustion behaviour characterization for the solid products. Such land use scenarios are based on quantitative estimates of the crop'sproduction potential under specific soil-climatic conditions as well as the inputs required for its realization in comparison to existing conventional crops. Concerning its decomposition behaviour, devolatilisation and char combustion tests were performed in a non-isothermal thermogravimetric analyser (TA Q600). A kinetic analysis was applied and accrued results were compared with data already available for other lignocellulosic materials. The thermogravimetric analysis showed that the decomposition process of cardoon follows the degradation of other lignocellulosic fuels, meeting high burnout rates. This research work concludes that Cynara cardunculus, under certain circumstances, can be used as a solid biofuel of acceptable quality. PMID:19325802

  20. Turning Bacteria into Biofuel: Development of an Integrated Microbial Electrocatalytic (MEC) System for Liquid Biofuel Production from CO2

    SciTech Connect

    2010-08-01

    Electrofuels Project: LBNL is improving the natural ability of a common soil bacteria called Ralstonia eutropha to use hydrogen and carbon dioxide for biofuel production. First, LBNL is genetically modifying the bacteria to produce biofuel at higher concentrations. Then, LBNL is using renewable electricity obtained from solar, wind, or wave power to produce high amounts of hydrogen in the presence of the bacteria—increasing the organism’s access to its energy source and improving the efficiency of the biofuel-creation process. Finally, LBNL is tethering electrocatalysts to the bacteria’s surface which will further accelerate the rate at which the organism creates biofuel. LBNL is also developing a chemical method to transform the biofuel that the bacteria produce into ready-to-use jet fuel.

  1. Molecular breeding of advanced microorganisms for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Sakuragi, Hiroshi; Kuroda, Kouichi; Ueda, Mitsuyoshi

    2011-01-01

    Large amounts of fossil fuels are consumed every day in spite of increasing environmental problems. To preserve the environment and construct a sustainable society, the use of biofuels derived from different kinds of biomass is being practiced worldwide. Although bioethanol has been largely produced, it commonly requires food crops such as corn and sugar cane as substrates. To develop a sustainable energy supply, cellulosic biomass should be used for bioethanol production instead of grain biomass. For this purpose, cell surface engineering technology is a very promising method. In biobutanol and biodiesel production, engineered host fermentation has attracted much attention; however, this method has many limitations such as low productivity and low solvent tolerance of microorganisms. Despite these problems, biofuels such as bioethanol, biobutanol, and biodiesel are potential energy sources that can help establish a sustainable society. PMID:21318120

  2. Methods and materials for deconstruction of biomass for biofuels production

    SciTech Connect

    Schoeniger, Joseph S; Hadi, Masood Zia

    2015-05-05

    The present invention relates to nucleic acids, peptides, vectors, cells, and plants useful in the production of biofuels. In certain embodiments, the invention relates to nucleic acid sequences and peptides from extremophile organisms, such as SSO1949 and Ce1A, that are useful for hydrolyzing plant cell wall materials. In further embodiments, the invention relates to modified versions of such sequences that have been optimized for production in one or both of monocot and dicot plants. In other embodiments, the invention provides for targeting peptide production or activity to a certain location within the cell or organism, such as the apoplast. In further embodiments, the invention relates to transformed cells or plants. In additional embodiments, the invention relates to methods of producing biofuel utilizing such nucleic acids, peptides, targeting sequences, vectors, cells, and/or plants.

  3. Genetic Engineering of Algae for Enhanced Biofuel Production ?

    PubMed Central

    Radakovits, Randor; Jinkerson, Robert E.; Darzins, Al; Posewitz, Matthew C.

    2010-01-01

    There are currently intensive global research efforts aimed at increasing and modifying the accumulation of lipids, alcohols, hydrocarbons, polysaccharides, and other energy storage compounds in photosynthetic organisms, yeast, and bacteria through genetic engineering. Many improvements have been realized, including increased lipid and carbohydrate production, improved H2 yields, and the diversion of central metabolic intermediates into fungible biofuels. Photosynthetic microorganisms are attracting considerable interest within these efforts due to their relatively high photosynthetic conversion efficiencies, diverse metabolic capabilities, superior growth rates, and ability to store or secrete energy-rich hydrocarbons. Relative to cyanobacteria, eukaryotic microalgae possess several unique metabolic attributes of relevance to biofuel production, including the accumulation of significant quantities of triacylglycerol; the synthesis of storage starch (amylopectin and amylose), which is similar to that found in higher plants; and the ability to efficiently couple photosynthetic electron transport to H2 production. Although the application of genetic engineering to improve energy production phenotypes in eukaryotic microalgae is in its infancy, significant advances in the development of genetic manipulation tools have recently been achieved with microalgal model systems and are being used to manipulate central carbon metabolism in these organisms. It is likely that many of these advances can be extended to industrially relevant organisms. This review is focused on potential avenues of genetic engineering that may be undertaken in order to improve microalgae as a biofuel platform for the production of biohydrogen, starch-derived alcohols, diesel fuel surrogates, and/or alkanes. PMID:20139239

  4. Production of biofuels from synthesis gas using microbial catalysts.

    PubMed

    Tirado-Acevedo, Oscar; Chinn, Mari S; Grunden, Amy M

    2010-01-01

    World energy consumption is expected to increase 44% in the next 20 years. Today, the main sources of energy are oil, coal, and natural gas, all fossil fuels. These fuels are unsustainable and contribute to environmental pollution. Biofuels are a promising source of sustainable energy. Feedstocks for biofuels used today such as grain starch are expensive and compete with food markets. Lignocellulosic biomass is abundant and readily available from a variety of sources, for example, energy crops and agricultural/industrial waste. Conversion of these materials to biofuels by microorganisms through direct hydrolysis and fermentation can be challenging. Alternatively, biomass can be converted to synthesis gas through gasification and transformed to fuels using chemical catalysts. Chemical conversion of synthesis gas components can be expensive and highly susceptible to catalyst poisoning, limiting biofuel yields. However, there are microorganisms that can convert the CO, H(2), and CO(2) in synthesis gas to fuels such as ethanol, butanol, and hydrogen. Biomass gasification-biosynthesis processing systems have shown promise as some companies have already been exploiting capable organisms for commercial purposes. The discovery of novel organisms capable of higher product yield, as well as metabolic engineering of existing microbial catalysts, makes this technology a viable option for reducing our dependency on fossil fuels. PMID:20359454

  5. Diagram of the Biofuel Production Process (SPORL -Alcohol Production):Introduction: The Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) is an organization

    E-print Network

    Collins, Gary S.

    Diagram of the Biofuel Production Process (SPORL - Alcohol Production):Introduction: The Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) is an organization that aims to create a sustainable aviation biofuels to determine the atmospheric emissions and emission sources that may be released from proposed NARA biofuels

  6. Impacts of land use change due to biofuel crops on carbon balance, bioenergy production, and agricultural

    E-print Network

    Zhuang, Qianlai

    Impacts of land use change due to biofuel crops on carbon balance, bioenergy production of bioenergy. Switching from food crops to biofuel crops is an option to meet the fast-growing need for biofuel balance, bioenergy produc- tion, and agricultural yield, assuming that several land use change scenarios

  7. Increasing Feedstock Production for Biofuels: Economic Drivers, Environmental Implications, and the Role of Research

    SciTech Connect

    none,

    2009-10-27

    The Biomass Research and Development Board (Board) commissioned an economic analysis of feedstocks to produce biofuels. The Board seeks to inform investments in research and development needed to expand biofuel production. This analysis focuses on feedstocks; other interagency teams have projects underway for other parts of the biofuel sector (e.g., logistics). The analysis encompasses feedstocks for both conventional and advanced biofuels from agriculture and forestry sources.

  8. Integrated Biorefineries with Engineered Microbes and High-value Co-products for Profitable Biofuels Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Corn-based fuel ethanol production processes provide several advantages which could be synergistically applied to overcome limitations of biofuel processes based on lignocellulose. These include resources such as equipment, manpower, nutrients, water, and heat. The fact that several demonstration-...

  9. BIOFUEL AND BIOENERGY PRODUCTION FROM SUGAR BEETS

    EPA Science Inventory

    A design spreadsheet model for sizing and analyzing the integrated ethanol and biogas production system, a prototype of the ethanol and biogas production system in the laboratory that has been tested and documented with performance data, and a design and operating manual for t...

  10. Microalgal Triacylglycerols as Feedstocks for Biofuel Production: Perspectives and Advances

    SciTech Connect

    Hu, Q.; Sommerfeld, M.; Jarvis, E.; Ghirardi, M.; Posewitz, M; Seibert, M.; Darzins, A.

    2008-01-01

    Microalgae represent an exceptionally diverse but highly specialized group of micro-organisms adapted to various ecological habitats. Many microalgae have the ability to produce substantial amounts (e.g. 20-50% dry cell weight) of triacylglycerols (TAG) as a storage lipid under photo-oxidative stress or other adverse environmental conditions. Fatty acids, the building blocks for TAGs and all other cellular lipids, are synthesized in the chloroplast using a single set of enzymes, of which acetyl CoA carboxylase (ACCase) is key in regulating fatty acid synthesis rates. However, the expression of genes involved in fatty acid synthesis is poorly understood in microalgae. Synthesis and sequestration of TAG into cytosolic lipid bodies appear to be a protective mechanism by which algal cells cope with stress conditions, but little is known about regulation of TAG formation at the molecular and cellular level. While the concept of using microalgae as an alternative and renewable source of lipid-rich biomass feedstock for biofuels has been explored over the past few decades, a scalable, commercially viable system has yet to emerge. Today, the production of algal oil is primarily confined to high-value specialty oils with nutritional value, rather than commodity oils for biofuel. This review provides a brief summary of the current knowledge on oleaginous algae and their fatty acid and TAG biosynthesis, algal model systems and genomic approaches to a better understanding of TAG production, and a historical perspective and path forward for microalgae-based biofuel research and commercialization.

  11. National Microalgae Biofuel Production Potential and Resource Demand

    SciTech Connect

    Wigmosta, Mark S.; Coleman, Andre M.; Skaggs, Richard; Huesemann, Michael H.; Lane, Leonard J.

    2011-04-14

    Microalgae continue to receive global attention as a potential sustainable "energy crop" for biofuel production. An important step to realizing the potential of algae is quantifying the demands commercial-scale algal biofuel production will place on water and land resources. We present a high-resolution national resource and oil production assessment that brings to bear fundamental research questions of where open pond microalgae production can occur, how much land and water resource is required, and how much energy is produced. Our study suggests under current technology microalgae have the potential to generate 220 billion liters/year of oil, equivalent to 48% of current U.S. petroleum imports for transportation fuels. However, this level of production would require 5.5% of the land area in the conterminous U.S., and nearly three times the volume of water currently used for irrigated agriculture, averaging 1,421 L water per L of oil. Optimizing the selection of locations for microalgae production based on water use efficiency can greatly reduce total water demand. For example, focusing on locations along the Gulf Coast, Southeastern Seaboard, and areas adjacent to the Great Lakes, shows a 75% reduction in water demand to 350 L per L of oil produced with a 67% reduction in land use. These optimized locations have the potential to generate an oil volume equivalent to 17% of imports for transportation fuels, equal to the Energy Independence and Security Act year 2022 "advanced biofuels" production target, and utilizing some 25% of the current irrigation consumptive water demand for the U. S. These results suggest that, with proper planning, adequate land and water are available to meet a significant portion of the U.S. renewable fuel goals.

  12. National microalgae biofuel production potential and resource demand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wigmosta, Mark S.; Coleman, André M.; Skaggs, Richard J.; Huesemann, Michael H.; Lane, Leonard J.

    2011-03-01

    Microalgae are receiving increased global attention as a potential sustainable "energy crop" for biofuel production. An important step to realizing the potential of algae is quantifying the demands commercial-scale algal biofuel production will place on water and land resources. We present a high-resolution spatiotemporal assessment that brings to bear fundamental questions of where production can occur, how many land and water resources are required, and how much energy is produced. Our study suggests that under current technology, microalgae have the potential to generate 220 × 109 L yr-1 of oil, equivalent to 48% of current U.S. petroleum imports for transportation. However, this level of production requires 5.5% of the land area in the conterminous United States and nearly three times the water currently used for irrigated agriculture, averaging 1421 L water per liter of oil. Optimizing the locations for microalgae production on the basis of water use efficiency can greatly reduce total water demand. For example, focusing on locations along the Gulf Coast, southeastern seaboard, and Great Lakes shows a 75% reduction in consumptive freshwater use to 350 L per liter of oil produced with a 67% reduction in land use. These optimized locations have the potential to generate an oil volume equivalent to 17% of imports for transportation fuels, equal to the Energy Independence and Security Act year 2022 "advanced biofuels" production target and utilizing some 25% of the current irrigation demand. With proper planning, adequate land and water are available to meet a significant portion of the U.S. renewable fuel goals.

  13. Measured and modelled carbon and water fluxes in hybrid willows grown for biofuel production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wertin, T. M.; LeBauer, D.; Volk, T.; Long, S.; Leakey, A. D.

    2014-12-01

    Biofuels have the potential to meet future energy needs. Worldwide, up to 75% of biofuels produced are derived from woody sources. Coppiced hybrid willow is among the most promising woody biofuel sources due to its ability to rapidly regenerate after cutting, high biomass yields, low nutrient requirements and ability to be grown on marginal land, abandoned land and land easily erodible under annual cultivation. However, models used to assess the potential viability and sustainability of commercial biomass production by willow in the northeastern, northern and northwestern USA remain unsophisticated and lack key parameterization data. Most significantly, models do not explicitly represent the coppiced growth form. This study tests the ability of a canopy model to predict carbon and water fluxes in two highly productive, but structurally distinct hybrid willows (Salix miyabeana and Salix purpurea) grown in central NY. S. miyaneana has only a few, large diameter stems per stool prior to harvest, while S. purpurea maintains numerous, small diameter stems until harvest. Canopy structure also varies substantially within a growing season. For example, in S. miyabeana stem number decreased by 40% while total basal area increased by 50% within year 2 of the third coppice cycle. Model predictions of water use are compared with stand transpiration measured by sap flow. Model predictions of biomass production are compared to destructive harvest data. Sensitivity of predicted fluxes to variation between genotypes in key physiological parameters is also tested.

  14. A model for improving microbial biofuel production using a synthetic feedback loop

    SciTech Connect

    Dunlop, Mary; Keasling, Jay; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila

    2011-07-14

    Cells use feedback to implement a diverse range of regulatory functions. Building synthetic feedback control systems may yield insight into the roles that feedback can play in regulation since it can be introduced independently of native regulation, and alternative control architectures can be compared. We propose a model for microbial biofuel production where a synthetic control system is used to increase cell viability and biofuel yields. Although microbes can be engineered to produce biofuels, the fuels are often toxic to cell growth, creating a negative feedback loop that limits biofuel production. These toxic effects may be mitigated by expressing efflux pumps that export biofuel from the cell. We developed a model for cell growth and biofuel production and used it to compare several genetic control strategies for their ability to improve biofuel yields. We show that controlling efflux pump expression directly with a biofuel-responsive promoter is a straight forward way of improving biofuel production. In addition, a feed forward loop controller is shown to be versatile at dealing with uncertainty in biofuel production rates.

  15. Future Diet Scenarios and Their Effect on Regional and Global Biofuel Potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gregg, J.; hvid, A.

    2012-04-01

    Food production has been one of the most significant ways in which humans have changed the surface of the Earth. It is projected that further intensification of agriculture will be necessary to meet a growing population and the increased demand for calories from animal products. This would require substantially more land and resources devoted to animal production. However, globally, the proportion of per capita caloric intake from animal to total caloric intake has remained relatively constant for the last 50 years at slightly above 15%. Nevertheless, there are large discrepancies across regions and through time. For example, northern European countries derive over 30% of calories from animal products, while India is under 10%; between 1961 and 2007, China's per capita consumption of animal calories has increased by over a factor of ten, while in the US, animal calorie consumption has remained constant. In general, per capita consumption of animal products is lower in developing countries than in developed countries, and it is commonly assumed that future animal product consumption will increase as developing countries become wealthier. On the other hand, wealthier countries are remaining constant or even decreasing their proportional consumption of animal calories, and this could be a different way that future diets may evolve. We create different future scenarios for calorie demand from vegetal products, beef, sheep and goat, pork, poultry, and dairy based on historical national trends and estimated income elasticities for these various food products. The extreme scenarios are one in which the world evolves to a highly vegetal calorie diet and, on the other extreme, one in which the world evolves to diets with high meat consumption. Intermediate scenarios include projections of current trends and one in which the world moves to a healthy balanced diet given current recommendations. Using DTU-GCAM, and global integrated assessment model with an included land use module, we explore the effect of these different global and regional diet scenarios on land use and biofuel potential up to the year 2095. The model economically optimizes food production for 14 different regions of the world based on their current and historical land use and land cover, using free market and free trade assumptions.

  16. An Integrative Modeling Framework to Evaluate the Productivity and Sustainability of Biofuel Crop Production Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Xuesong; Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Manowitz, David H.; West, T. O.; Post, W. M.; Thomson, Allison M.; Bandaru, V. P.; Nichols, J.; Williams, J.R.

    2010-09-08

    The potential expansion of biofuel production raises food, energy, and environmental challenges that require careful assessment of the impact of biofuel production on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, soil erosion, nutrient loading, and water quality. In this study, we describe a spatially-explicit integrative modeling framework (SEIMF) to understand and quantify the environmental impacts of different biomass cropping systems. This SEIMF consists of three major components: 1) a geographic information system (GIS)-based data analysis system to define spatial modeling units with resolution of 56 m to address spatial variability, 2) the biophysical and biogeochemical model EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate) applied in a spatially-explicit way to predict biomass yield, GHG emissions, and other environmental impacts of different biofuel crops production systems, and 3) an evolutionary multi-objective optimization algorithm for exploring the trade-offs between biofuel energy production and unintended ecosystem-service responses. Simple examples illustrate the major functions of the SEIMF when applied to a 9-county Regional Intensive Modeling Area (RIMA) in SW Michigan to 1) simulate biofuel crop production, 2) compare impacts of management practices and local ecosystem settings, and 3) optimize the spatial configuration of different biofuel production systems by balancing energy production and other ecosystem-service variables. Potential applications of the SEIMF to support life cycle analysis and provide information on biodiversity evaluation and marginal-land identification are also discussed. The SEIMF developed in this study is expected to provide a useful tool for scientists and decision makers to understand sustainability issues associated with the production of biofuels at local, regional, and national scales.

  17. An integrative modeling framework to evaluate the productivity and sustainability of biofuel crop production systems

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, X; Izaurralde, R. C.; Manowitz, D.; West, T. O.; Thomson, A. M.; Post, Wilfred M; Bandaru, Vara Prasad; Nichols, Jeff; Williams, J.

    2010-10-01

    The potential expansion of biofuel production raises food, energy, and environmental challenges that require careful assessment of the impact of biofuel production on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, soil erosion, nutrient loading, and water quality. In this study, we describe a spatially explicit integrative modeling framework (SEIMF) to understand and quantify the environmental impacts of different biomass cropping systems. This SEIMF consists of three major components: (1) a geographic information system (GIS)-based data analysis system to define spatial modeling units with resolution of 56 m to address spatial variability, (2) the biophysical and biogeochemical model Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) applied in a spatially-explicit way to predict biomass yield, GHG emissions, and other environmental impacts of different biofuel crops production systems, and (3) an evolutionary multiobjective optimization algorithm for exploring the trade-offs between biofuel energy production and unintended ecosystem-service responses. Simple examples illustrate the major functions of the SEIMF when applied to a nine-county Regional Intensive Modeling Area (RIMA) in SW Michigan to (1) simulate biofuel crop production, (2) compare impacts of management practices and local ecosystem settings, and (3) optimize the spatial configuration of different biofuel production systems by balancing energy production and other ecosystem-service variables. Potential applications of the SEIMF to support life cycle analysis and provide information on biodiversity evaluation and marginal-land identification are also discussed. The SEIMF developed in this study is expected to provide a useful tool for scientists and decision makers to understand sustainability issues associated with the production of biofuels at local, regional, and national scales.

  18. PETRO: Higher Productivity Crops for Biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    2012-01-01

    PETRO Project: The 10 projects that comprise ARPA-E’s PETRO Project, short for “Plants Engineered to Replace Oil,” aim to develop non-food crops that directly produce transportation fuel. These crops can help supply the transportation sector with agriculturally derived fuels that are cost-competitive with petroleum and do not affect U.S. food supply. PETRO aims to redirect the processes for energy and carbon dioxide (CO2) capture in plants toward fuel production. This would create dedicated energy crops that serve as a domestic alternative to petroleum-based fuels and deliver more energy per acre with less processing prior to the pump.

  19. New biofuel alternatives: integrating waste management and single cell oil production.

    PubMed

    Martínez, Elia Judith; Raghavan, Vijaya; González-Andrés, Fernando; Gómez, Xiomar

    2015-01-01

    Concerns about greenhouse gas emissions have increased research efforts into alternatives in bio-based processes. With regard to transport fuel, bioethanol and biodiesel are still the main biofuels used. It is expected that future production of these biofuels will be based on processes using either non-food competing biomasses, or characterised by low CO? emissions. Many microorganisms, such as microalgae, yeast, bacteria and fungi, have the ability to accumulate oils under special culture conditions. Microbial oils might become one of the potential feed-stocks for biodiesel production in the near future. The use of these oils is currently under extensive research in order to reduce production costs associated with the fermentation process, which is a crucial factor to increase economic feasibility. An important way to reduce processing costs is the use of wastes as carbon sources. The aim of the present review is to describe the main aspects related to the use of different oleaginous microorganisms for lipid production and their performance when using bio-wastes. The possibilities for combining hydrogen (H?) and lipid production are also explored in an attempt for improving the economic feasibility of the process. PMID:25918941

  20. New Biofuel Alternatives: Integrating Waste Management and Single Cell Oil Production

    PubMed Central

    Martínez, Elia Judith; Raghavan, Vijaya; González-Andrés, Fernando; Gómez, Xiomar

    2015-01-01

    Concerns about greenhouse gas emissions have increased research efforts into alternatives in bio-based processes. With regard to transport fuel, bioethanol and biodiesel are still the main biofuels used. It is expected that future production of these biofuels will be based on processes using either non-food competing biomasses, or characterised by low CO2 emissions. Many microorganisms, such as microalgae, yeast, bacteria and fungi, have the ability to accumulate oils under special culture conditions. Microbial oils might become one of the potential feed-stocks for biodiesel production in the near future. The use of these oils is currently under extensive research in order to reduce production costs associated with the fermentation process, which is a crucial factor to increase economic feasibility. An important way to reduce processing costs is the use of wastes as carbon sources. The aim of the present review is to describe the main aspects related to the use of different oleaginous microorganisms for lipid production and their performance when using bio-wastes. The possibilities for combining hydrogen (H2) and lipid production are also explored in an attempt for improving the economic feasibility of the process. PMID:25918941

  1. Fields of dreams: Agriculture, economy and nature in Midwest United States biofuel production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillon, Sean Thomas

    This work explores the social and ecological dimensions of recent biofuel production increases in the United States (US), focusing on the case of Iowa. Biofuels are proposed to mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, improve US energy security, and support rural economies. Little research has examined how increased US Midwestern biofuels production will change social and ecological outcomes at farm and regional levels or interact with broader governance processes at the nexus of agriculture, energy and environment. These broad questions guide my research: (1) How does biofuel production reconfigure agricultural practice and landscapes in Iowa? (2) What are the costs, benefits and risks of increased biofuels production as seen by farmers and rural residents, and how do these factors influence farmer decisions about agriculture and conservation practice? (3) How and with what effects are biofuels initiatives constituted as a form of environmental governance through scientific knowledge and practice and political economic dynamics? To address these questions, this research integrates both qualitative and quantitative methods, drawing on a political ecological approach complemented by agroecological analysis and theoretical insights from geographical analyses of nature-society relations. Quantitative analysis focuses on changing land use patterns in agriculture and conservation practice in Iowa. Qualitative methods include extensive interviews, participant observation, and policy and document analyses. Fieldwork focused on Northeastern Iowa to understand regional changes in agricultural and conservation practice, the renegotiated position of farmers in agriculture and biofuel production, and biofuel industry development. I find that biofuel production presents significant social and ecological challenges for rural places of production. Longstanding, unequal political economic relations in industrialized agriculture limit rural economic benefits. I describe how biofuel governance focuses on scientific practices that legitimize biofuel production for their capacity to marginally reduce greenhouse gas emissions, despite biofuels' agroecological consequences outside this regulatory purview. These consequences include pressure on conservation and agrienvironmental practice, which could be better supported through existing, highly effective, place-based, democratic institutions dedicated to stewarding the resources upon which agricultural livelihoods depend.

  2. Enhancing microalgal photosynthesis and productivity in wastewater treatment high rate algal ponds for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Sutherland, Donna L; Howard-Williams, Clive; Turnbull, Matthew H; Broady, Paul A; Craggs, Rupert J

    2015-05-01

    With microalgal biofuels currently receiving much attention, there has been renewed interest in the combined use of high rate algal ponds (HRAP) for wastewater treatment and biofuel production. This combined use of HRAPs is considered to be an economically feasible option for biofuel production, however, increased microalgal productivity and nutrient removal together with reduced capital costs are needed before it can be commercially viable. Despite HRAPs being an established technology, microalgal photosynthesis and productivity is still limited in these ponds and is well below the theoretical maximum. This paper critically evaluates the parameters that limit microalgal light absorption and photosynthesis in wastewater HRAPs and examines biological, chemical and physical options for improving light absorption and utilisation, with the view of enhancing biomass production and nutrient removal. PMID:25453429

  3. The impact of extreme drought on the biofuel feedstock production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    hussain, M.; Zeri, M.; Bernacchi, C.

    2013-12-01

    Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus) and Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) have been identified as the primary targets for second-generation cellulosic biofuel crops. Prairie managed for biomass is also considered as one of the alternative to conventional biofuel and promised to provide ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration. These perennial grasses possess a number of traits that make them desirable biofuel crops and can be cultivated on marginal lands or interspersed with maize and soybean in the Corn Belt region. The U.S. Corn Belt region is the world's most productive and expansive maize-growing region, approximately 20% of the world's harvested corn hectares are found in 12 Corn Belt states. The introduction of a second generation cellulosic biofuels for biomass production in a landscape dominated by a grain crop (maize) has potential implications on the carbon and water cycles of the region. This issue is further intensified by the uncertainty in the response of the vegetation to the climate change induced drought periods, as was seen during the extreme droughts of 2011 and 2012 in the Midwest. The 2011 and 2012 growing seasons were considered driest since the 1932 dust bowl period; temperatures exceeded 3.0 °C above the 50- year mean and precipitation deficit reached 50 %. The major objective of this study was to evaluate the drought responses (2011 and 2012) of corn and perennial species at large scale, and to determine the seasonability of carbon and water fluxes in the response of controlling factors. We measured net CO2 ecosystem exchange (NEE) and water fluxes of maize-maize-soybean, and perennial species such as miscanthus, switchgrass and mixture of prairie grasses, using eddy covariance in the University of Illinois energy farm at Urbana, IL. The data presented here were for 5 years (2008- 2012). In the first two years, higher NEE in maize led to large CO2 sequestration. NEE however, decreased in dry years, particularly in 2012. On the other hand, miscanthus, switchgrass, and to a lesser extent, prairie showed higher NEE and gross primary production (GPP) - a partitioned NEE component - than maize during 2012. Although miscanthus uses more water relative to maize (consumed 30 % more water), Net Ecosystem Carbon Balance (NECB) results show that it provides the greatest net benefits of sequestering atmospheric CO2 during drought. Our findings highlight the important role of perennial species in sustaining productivity and sequestering CO2 during drought, as compared to maize. We conclude that changing land use from row crops to perennial species will result in more sequestered carbon, even with drought stress, and will be more resilient to prolonged dry periods.

  4. Greenhouse gas mitigation on marginal land: a quantitative review of the relative benefits of forest recovery versus biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Evans, Samuel G; Ramage, Benjamin S; DiRocco, Tara L; Potts, Matthew D

    2015-02-17

    Decisions concerning future land-use/land cover change stand at the forefront of ongoing debates on how to best mitigate climate change. In this study, we compare the greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation value over a 30-year time frame for a range of forest recovery and biofuel production scenarios on abandoned agricultural land. Carbon sequestration in recovering forests is estimated based on a statistical analysis of tropical and temperate studies on marginal land. GHGs offset by biofuel production are analyzed for five different production pathways. We find that forest recovery is superior to low-yielding biofuel production scenarios such as oil palm and corn. Biofuel production scenarios with high yields, such as sugarcane or high-yielding energy grasses, can be comparable or superior to natural forest succession and to reforestation in some cases. This result stands in contrast to previous research suggesting that restoring degraded ecosystems to their native state is generally superior to agricultural production in terms of GHG mitigation. Further work is needed on carbon stock changes in forests, soil carbon dynamics, and bioenergy crop production on degraded/abandoned agricultural land. This finding also emphasizes the need to consider the full range of social, economic, and ecological consequences of land-use policies. PMID:25582654

  5. Recent trends in nanomaterials immobilised enzymes for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Verma, Madan L; Puri, Munish; Barrow, Colin J

    2016-02-01

    Application of nanomaterials as novel supporting materials for enzyme immobilisation has generated incredible interest in the biotechnology community. These robust nanostructured forms, such as nanoparticles, nanofibres, nanotubes, nanoporous, nanosheets, and nanocomposites, possess a high surface area to volume ratios that can cause a high enzyme loading and facilitate reaction kinetics, thus improving biocatalytic efficiency for industrial applications. In this article, we discuss research opportunities of nanoscale materials in enzyme biotechnology and highlight recent developments in biofuel production using advanced material supports for enzyme immobilisation and stabilisation. Synthesis and functionalisation of nanomaterial forms using different methods are highlighted. Various simple and effective strategies designed to result in a stable, as well as functional protein-nanomaterial conjugates are also discussed. Analytical techniques confirming enzyme loading on nanomaterials and assessing post-immobilisation changes are discussed. The current status of versatile nanomaterial support for biofuel production employing cellulases and lipases is described in details. This report concludes with a discussion on the likely outcome that nanomaterials will become an integral part of sustainable bioenergy production. PMID:25017196

  6. Biofuels Feedstock Development Program: 1995 activities and future directions

    SciTech Connect

    Ferrell, J.E.; Wright, L.L.; Tuskan, G.A.

    1995-12-31

    The Department of Energy`s (DOE`s) Biofuels Feedstock Development Program (BFDP) has led the nation in developing short-rotation woody crops (SRWC) and herbaceous energy crops (HEC) as feedstocks for renewable energy. Since 1978, approximately $60 million has been invested in research projects involving more than 100 federal, university, and private research institutions. The research has been highly leveraged with cost-sharing from USDA Forest Service, private industry, and state agencies. The performance of 154 woody species and 35 herbaceous species has been examined in field trials across the U.S. Results of this effort include the prescription of silvi-cultural systems for hybrid poplars and hybrid willows and agricultural systems for switchgrass. Selected clones of woody species are producing dry weight yields in research plots on agricultural land that are 3 to 7 times greater than those obtained from mixed species stands on forest land, and at least 2 times the yields of southern plantation pines. Selected switchgrass varieties are producing dry weight yields 2 to 7 times greater than average forage grass yields on pasture and crop land. Crop development research is continuing efforts to translate this potential to commercial enterprises over a more geographically diverse acreage. Environmental research on biomass crops is aimed at developing sustainable systems that will contribute to the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes. Systems integration and analysis aim to understand all factors affecting price and potential supplies of biomass crops at regional and national scales. Scale-up studies, feasibility analysis and demonstrations are establishing actual costs and facilitating the commercialization of integrated biomass systems. Information management and dissemination activities are facilitating the communication of results among a community of researchers, policy-makers, and potential users and producers of energy crops. 15 refs.

  7. Biofuel Database

    National Institute of Standards and Technology Data Gateway

    Biofuel Database (Web, free access)   This database brings together structural, biological, and thermodynamic data for enzymes that are either in current use or are being considered for use in the production of biofuels.

  8. Biofuel Production Initiative at Claflin University Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Chowdhury, Kamal

    2011-07-20

    For US transportation fuel independence or reduced dependence on foreign oil, the Federal Government has mandated that the country produce 36 billion gallons (bg) of renewable transportation fuel per year for its transportation fuel supply by 2022. This can be achieved only if development of efficient technology for second generation biofuel from ligno-cellulosic sources is feasible. To be successful in this area, development of a widely available, renewable, cost-effective ligno-cellulosic biomass feedstock that can be easily and efficiently converted biochemically by bacteria or other fast-growing organisms is required. Moreover, if the biofuel type is butanol, then the existing infrastructure to deliver fuel to the customer can be used without additional costs and retrofits. The Claflin Biofuel Initiative project is focused on helping the US meet the above-mentioned targets. With support from this grant, Claflin University (CU) scientists have created over 50 new strains of microorganisms that are producing butanol from complex carbohydrates and cellulosic compounds. Laboratory analysis shows that a number of these strains are producing higher percentages of butanol than other methods currently in use. All of these recombinant bacterial strains are producing relatively high concentrations of acetone and numerous other byproducts as well. Therefore, we are carrying out intense mutations in the selected strains to reduce undesirable byproducts and increase the desired butanol production to further maximize the yield of butanol. We are testing the proof of concept of producing pre-industrial large scale biobutanol production by utilizing modifications of currently commercially available fermentation technology and instrumentation. We have already developed an initial process flow diagram (PFD) and selected a site for a biobutanol pilot scale facility in Orangeburg, SC. With the recent success in engineering new strains of various biofuel producing bacteria at CU, it will soon be possible to provide other technical information for the development of process flow diagrams (PFD’s) and piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&ID’s). This information can be used for the equipment layout and general arrangement drawings for the proposed process and eventual plant. An efficient bio-butanol pilot plant to convert ligno-cellulosic biomass feedstock from bagasse and wood chips will create significant number of green jobs for the Orangeburg, SC community that will be environmentally-friendly and generate much-needed income for farmers in the area.

  9. Sustainable multipurpose biorefineries for third-generation biofuels and value-added co-products

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Modern biorefinery facilities conduct many types of processes, including those producing advanced biofuels, commodity chemicals, biodiesel, and value-added co-products such as sweeteners and bioinsecticides, with many more co-products, chemicals and biofuels on the horizon. Most of these processes ...

  10. Effect of shifting crop production for biofuel demand on soil and water quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The effect of shifting cropping systems to dominantly corn for biofuels, in particular ethanol production, could have serious implications on soil and water quality. Proper land management for biofuels production in agriculture is critical to achieve because of maintaining the sustainability of lan...

  11. Influence of biofuel crops on mosquito production and oviposition site selection

    E-print Network

    Allan, Brian

    Influence of biofuel crops on mosquito production and oviposition site selection E P H A N T U S J and Miscanthus) biofuel crops on production and oviposition site selection by two vector mosquitoes, the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti and the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus. Larvae of the two species

  12. Fatty acid synthesis in Escherichia coli and its applications towards the production of fatty acid based biofuels

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The idea of renewable and regenerative resources has inspired research for more than a hundred years. Ideally, the only spent energy will replenish itself, like plant material, sunlight, thermal energy or wind. Biodiesel or ethanol are examples, since their production relies mainly on plant material. However, it has become apparent that crop derived biofuels will not be sufficient to satisfy future energy demands. Thus, especially in the last decade a lot of research has focused on the production of next generation biofuels. A major subject of these investigations has been the microbial fatty acid biosynthesis with the aim to produce fatty acids or derivatives for substitution of diesel. As an industrially important organism and with the best studied microbial fatty acid biosynthesis, Escherichia coli has been chosen as producer in many of these studies and several reviews have been published in the fields of E. coli fatty acid biosynthesis or biofuels. However, most reviews discuss only one of these topics in detail, despite the fact, that a profound understanding of the involved enzymes and their regulation is necessary for efficient genetic engineering of the entire pathway. The first part of this review aims at summarizing the knowledge about fatty acid biosynthesis of E. coli and its regulation, and it provides the connection towards the production of fatty acids and related biofuels. The second part gives an overview about the achievements by genetic engineering of the fatty acid biosynthesis towards the production of next generation biofuels. Finally, the actual importance and potential of fatty acid-based biofuels will be discussed. PMID:24405789

  13. Methods of dealing with co-products of biofuels in life-cycle analysis and consequent results within the U.S. context.

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, M.; Huo, H.; Arora, S.

    2011-01-01

    Products other than biofuels are produced in biofuel plants. For example, corn ethanol plants produce distillers grains and solubles. Soybean crushing plants produce soy meal and soy oil, which is used for biodiesel production. Electricity is generated in sugarcane ethanol plants both for internal consumption and export to the electric grid. Future cellulosic ethanol plants could be designed to co-produce electricity with ethanol. It is important to take co-products into account in the life-cycle analysis of biofuels and several methods are available to do so. Although the International Standard Organization's ISO 14040 advocates the system boundary expansion method (also known as the 'displacement method' or the 'substitution method') for life-cycle analyses, application of the method has been limited because of the difficulty in identifying and quantifying potential products to be displaced by biofuel co-products. As a result, some LCA studies and policy-making processes have considered alternative methods. In this paper, we examine the available methods to deal with biofuel co-products, explore the strengths and weaknesses of each method, and present biofuel LCA results with different co-product methods within the U.S. context.

  14. Life cycle and landscape impacts of biofuel production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, J.

    2012-12-01

    Achieving the biofuel volumes mandated in the Renewable Fuels Standard of the United States Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 will require large amounts of biomass such as crop residues and dedicated bioenergy crops. Growing sufficient amounts of these feedstocks would greatly transform the agricultural landscape of the United States, and depending on where and how they are grown, may have vastly different implications for the sustainability of the biofuels industry. This presentation describes ongoing research into how biomass can best be produced on the landscape so as to benefit rural economies and provide ecosystem services such as greenhouse gas mitigation and improved air quality. The focus is on newly developed methods for integrating spatial and temporal information into life cycle assessment so as to both allow for more detailed impact assessment and to provide insight into how to improve efficiency along bioenergy production supply chains. Results will benefit stakeholders both by offering recommendations for guiding sustainable growth of the emerging bioeconomy and by advancing understanding of the inherent tradeoffs among alternate scenarios.

  15. A Dynamic Simulation of the Indirect Land Use Implications of Recent Biofuel Production and Use in the United States.

    SciTech Connect

    Oladosu, Gbadebo A; Kline, Keith L

    2013-01-01

    The global indirect land use change (ILUC) implications of biofuel use in the United States of America (USA) from 2001 to 2010 are evaluated with a dynamic general equilibrium model. The effects of biofuels production on agricultural land area vary by year; from a net expansion of 0.17 ha per 1000 gallons produced (2002) to a net contraction of 0.13 ha per 1000 gallons (2018) in Case 1 of our simulation. In accordance with the general narrative about the implications of biofuel policy, agricultural land area increased in many regions of the world. However, oil-export dependent economies experienced agricultural land contraction because of reductions in their revenues. Reducing crude oil imports is a major goal of biofuel policy, but the land use change implications have received little attention in the literature. Simulations evaluating the effects of doubling supply elasticities for land and fossil resources show that these parameters can significantly influence the land use change estimates. Therefore, research that provides empirically-based and spatially-detailed agricultural land-supply curves and capability to project future fossil energy prices is critical for improving estimates of the effects of biofuel policy on land use.

  16. Development of biological platform for the autotrophic production of biofuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, Nymul

    The research described herein is aimed at developing an advanced biofuel platform that has the potential to surpass the natural rate of solar energy capture and CO2 fixation. The underlying concept is to use the electricity from a renewable source, such as wind or solar, to capture CO 2 via a biological agent, such as a microbe, into liquid fuels that can be used for the transportation sector. In addition to being renewable, the higher rate of energy capture by photovoltaic cells than natural photosynthesis is expected to facilitate higher rate of liquid fuel production than traditional biofuel processes. The envisioned platform is part of ARPA-E's (Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy) Electrofuels initiative which aims at supplementing the country's petroleum based fuel production with renewable liquid fuels that can integrate easily with the existing refining and distribution infrastructure (http://arpae. energy.gov/ProgramsProjects/Electrofuels.aspx). The Electrofuels initiative aimed to develop liquid biofuels that avoid the issues encountered in the current generation of biofuels: (1) the reliance of biomass-derived technologies on the inefficient process of photosynthesis, (2) the relatively energy- and resource-intensive nature of agronomic processes, and (3) the occupation of large areas of arable land for feedstock production. The process proceeds by the capture of solar energy into electrical energy via photovoltaic cells, using the generated electricity to split water into molecular hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2), and feeding these gases, along with carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from point sources such as a biomass or coal-fired power plant, to a microbial bioprocessing platform. The proposed microbial bioprocessing platform leverages a chemolithoautotrophic microorganism (Rhodobacter capsulatus or Ralstonia eutropha) naturally able to utilize these gases as growth substrates, and genetically modified to produce a triterpene hydrocarbon fuel molecule (C30+ botryococcenes) native to the alga Botryococcus braunii . In addition to the genetic modification and bioreactor performance studies of these organisms for the production of botryococcene or squalene, the research examined the potential economic feasibility of the proposed platform through the use of bioreactor, microbial energetic models and experimentally measured growth yield and maintenance coefficients. In order to carry out an economic analysis, a process model was created in Aspen with the bioreactor at the center. This is presented in Chapter 2. The model looked at the effects of growth yield and maintenance coefficients of R. capsulatus and R. eutropha, reactor residence time, gas-liquid mass-transfer coefficients, gas composition and specific fuel productivity on the volumetric productivity and fuel yield on H2. It was found that the organism with the lowest maintenance coefficient performed better under very low growth rates evaluated in the model (based on residence time through the reactor) performed the best. The optimum parameter values were then used to determine the capital and operating costs for a 5000 bbl-fuel/day plant and the final fuel cost based on the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE). It was found that under the assumptions used in this analysis and crude oil prices, the LCOE required for economic feasibility must be less than 2˘/kWh. While not feasible under current market prices and costs, this work identifies key variables impacting process cost and discusses potential alternative paths toward economic feasibility. This was the best case scenario of the two organisms evaluated, and an optimally suited organism with high growth yield and low maintenance coefficient should obviously improve the economics. This economic constraint will improve with the rise of fossil fuel prices, which should occur if the environmentally detrimental effects of their use are factored into the price, through higher taxation, for example. A review of the current status of metabolic engineering of chemolithoautotrophs is carried out in order to

  17. Optimization of light use efficiency for biofuel production in algae.

    PubMed

    Simionato, Diana; Basso, Stefania; Giacometti, Giorgio M; Morosinotto, Tomas

    2013-12-01

    A major challenge for next decades is development of competitive renewable energy sources, highly needed to compensate fossil fuels reserves and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Among different possibilities, which are currently under investigation, there is the exploitation of unicellular algae for production of biofuels and biodiesel in particular. Some algae species have the ability of accumulating large amount of lipids within their cells which can be exploited as feedstock for the production of biodiesel. Strong research efforts are however still needed to fulfill this potential and optimize cultivation systems and biomass harvesting. Light provides the energy supporting algae growth and available radiation must be exploited with the highest possible efficiency to optimize productivity and make microalgae large scale cultivation energetically and economically sustainable. Investigation of the molecular bases influencing light use efficiency is thus seminal for the success of this biotechnology. In this work factors influencing light use efficiency in algal biomass production are reviewed, focusing on how algae genetic engineering and control of light environment within photobioreactors can improve the productivity of large scale cultivation systems. PMID:23876487

  18. USING GIS TO DETERMINE PLANTABLE AREA FOR PRAIRIE SWITCHGRASS BIOFUEL PRODUCTION IN KENTUCKY RIGHTS-OF-WAY

    EPA Science Inventory

    (1) The United States’ dependence on foreign fuel and other non-renewable resources has implications across disciplines including international relationships, the environment, and economics. Biofuels have been proposed as an alternative; however, land for biofuel product...

  19. Trade-offs of water use for hydropower generation and biofuel production in the Zambezi basin in Mozambique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanzel, Philipp; Kling, Harald; Nicholson, Kit

    2014-05-01

    Hydropower is the most important energy source in Mozambique, as in many other southern African countries. In the Zambezi basin, it is one of the major economic resources, and substantial hydropower development is envisaged for the next decades. In Mozambique, the extension of the large Cahora Bassa hydropower plant and the construction of several new facilities downstream are planned. Irrigated agriculture currently plays a minor role, but has a large potential due to available land and water resources. Irrigation development, especially for the production of biofuels, is an important government policy goal in Mozambique. This contribution assesses interrelations and trade-offs between these two development options with high dependence on water availability. Potential water demand for large-scale irrigated agriculture is estimated for a mix of possible biofuel crops in three scenarios with different irrigated area sizes. Impacts on river discharge and hydropower production in the Lower Zambezi and its tributaries under two projected future climates are simulated with a hydrological model and a reservoir operation and hydropower model. Trade-offs of increasing biofuel production with decreasing hydropower generation due to diminished discharge in the Zambezi River are investigated based on potential energy production, from hydropower and biofuels, and resulting gross revenues and net benefits. Results show that the impact of irrigation withdrawal on hydropower production is rather low due to the generally high water availability in the Zambezi River. In simulations with substantial irrigated areas, hydropower generation decreases by -2% as compared to a scenario with only small irrigated areas. The economic analyses suggest that the use of water for cultivation of biofuel crops in the Zambezi basin can generate higher economic benefits than the use of water for hydroelectric power production. If world oil prices stay at more than about 80 USD/barrel, then the production of biofuels for oil import substitution will yield strong benefits except for the least efficient producers. Producing biofuels for export is more challenging and requires highly efficient production. Generally, investment in irrigated agriculture is expected to have more impact on local economy and therefore poverty reduction than investment in hydropower development.

  20. Production of bermudagrass for bio-fuels: effect of two genotypes on pyrolysis product yield

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bermudagrass is the perennial grass used as forage for livestock and harvested as hay on 10 to 15 million acres in Southern United States. It has potential as an energy crop for the production of biofuels through the lignocellulosic conversion program. Coastal was released in 1943 and was the pri...

  1. Integrated Biorefineries with Engineered Microbes and High-value Co-products for Profitable Biofuels Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    First-generation (ie., corn-based) fuel ethanol production processes provide several advantages which could be synergistically applied to overcome limitations of second-generation biofuel processes from lignocellulose. These include resources such as equipment, manpower, nutrients, water, and heat....

  2. Synthetic biology for microbial production of lipid-based biofuels.

    PubMed

    d'Espaux, Leo; Mendez-Perez, Daniel; Li, Rachel; Keasling, Jay D

    2015-12-01

    The risks of maintaining current CO2 emission trends have led to interest in producing biofuels using engineered microbes. Microbial biofuels reduce emissions because CO2 produced by fuel combustion is offset by CO2 captured by growing biomass, which is later used as feedstock for biofuel fermentation. Hydrocarbons found in petroleum fuels share striking similarity with biological lipids. Here we review synthetic metabolic pathways based on fatty acid and isoprenoid metabolism to produce alkanes and other molecules suitable as biofuels. We further discuss engineering strategies to optimize engineered biosynthetic routes, as well as the potential of synthetic biology for sustainable manufacturing. PMID:26479184

  3. Biofuels from Microalgae: Review of Products, Processes and Potential, with Special Focus on Dunaliella sp.

    SciTech Connect

    Huesemann, Michael H.; Benemann, John R.

    2009-12-31

    There is currently great interest in using microalgae for the production of biofuels, mainly due to the fact that microalgae can produce biofuels at a much higher productivity than conventional plants and that they can be cultivated using water, in particular seawater, and land not competing for resources with conventional agriculture. However, at present such microalgae-based technologies are not yet developed and the economics of such processes are uncertain. We review power generation by direct combustion, production of hydrogen and other fuel gases and liquids by gasification and pyrolysis, methane generation by anaerobic digestion, ethanol fermentations, and hydrogen production by dark and light-driven metabolism. We in particular discuss the production of lipids, vegetable oils and hydrocarbons, which could be converted to biodiesel. Direct combustion for power generation has two major disadvantages in that the high N-content of algal biomass causes unacceptably high NOx emissions and losses of nitrogen fertilizer. Thus, the use of sun-dried microalgal biomass would not be cost-competitive with other solid fuels such as coal and wood. Thermochemical conversion processes such as gasification and pyrolysis have been successfully demonstrated in the laboratory but will be difficult to scale up commercially and suffers from similar, though sometimes not as stringent, limitations as combustion. Anaerobic digestion of microalgal cells yields only about 0.3 L methane per g volatile solids destroyed, about half of the maximum achievable, but yields can be increased by adding carbon rich substrates to circumvent ammonia toxicity caused by the N-rich algal biomass. Anaerobic digestion would be best suited for the treatment of algal biomass waste after value-added products have been separated. Algae can also be grown to accumulate starches or similar fermentable products, and ethanol or similar (e.g., butanol) fermentations could be applied to such biomass, but research is required on increasing solvent yields. Dark fermentation of algal biomass can also produce hydrogen, but, as for other fermentations, only at low yields. Hydrogen can also be generated by algae in the light, however, this process has not yet been demonstrated in any way that could be scaled up and, in any event, Dunaliella, is not known to produce hydrogen. In response to nutrient deficiency (nitrogen or silicon), some microalgae accumulate neutral lipids which, after physical extraction, could be converted, via transesterification with methanol, to biodiesel. Nitrogen-limitation does not appear to increase either cellular lipid content or lipid productivity in Dunaliella. Results from life cycle energy analyses indicate that cultivation of microalgal biomass in open raceway ponds has a positive energy output ratio (EOR), approaching up to 10 (i.e., the caloric energy output from the algae is 10 times greater than the fossil energy inputs), but EOR are less than 1 for biomass grown in engineered photobioreactors. Thus, from both an energetic as well as economic perspective, only open ponds systems can be considered. Significant long-term R&D will be required to make microalgal biofuels processes economically competitive. Specifically, future research should focus on (a) the improvement of biomass productivities (i.e., maximizing solar conversion efficiencies), (b) the selection and isolation of algal strains that can be mass cultured and maintained stably for long periods, (c) the production of algal biomass with a high content of lipids, carbohydrates, and co-products, at high productivity, (d) the low cost harvesting of the biomass, and (e) the extraction and conversion processes to actually derive the biofuels. For Dunaliella specifically, the highest potential is in the co-production of biofuels with high-value animal feeds based on their carotenoid content.

  4. Use of tamarisk as a potential feedstock for biofuel production.

    SciTech Connect

    Sun, Amy Cha-Tien; Norman, Kirsten

    2011-01-01

    This study assesses the energy and water use of saltcedar (or tamarisk) as biomass for biofuel production in a hypothetical sub-region in New Mexico. The baseline scenario consists of a rural stretch of the Middle Rio Grande River with 25% coverage of mature saltcedar that is removed and converted to biofuels. A manufacturing system life cycle consisting of harvesting, transportation, pyrolysis, and purification is constructed for calculating energy and water balances. On a dry short ton woody biomass basis, the total energy input is approximately 8.21 mmBTU/st. There is potential for 18.82 mmBTU/st of energy output from the baseline system. Of the extractable energy, approximately 61.1% consists of bio-oil, 20.3% bio-char, and 18.6% biogas. Water consumptive use by removal of tamarisk will not impact the existing rate of evapotranspiration. However, approximately 195 gal of water is needed per short ton of woody biomass for the conversion of biomass to biocrude, three-quarters of which is cooling water that can be recovered and recycled. The impact of salt presence is briefly assessed. Not accounted for in the baseline are high concentrations of Calcium, Sodium, and Sulfur ions in saltcedar woody biomass that can potentially shift the relative quantities of bio-char and bio-oil. This can be alleviated by a pre-wash step prior to the conversion step. More study is needed to account for the impact of salt presence on the overall energy and water balance.

  5. Biofuel production: an odyssey from metabolic engineering to fermentation scale-up

    PubMed Central

    Hollinshead, Whitney; He, Lian; Tang, Yinjie J.

    2014-01-01

    Metabolic engineering has developed microbial cell factories that can convert renewable carbon sources into biofuels. Current molecular biology tools can efficiently alter enzyme levels to redirect carbon fluxes toward biofuel production, but low product yield and titer in large bioreactors prevent the fulfillment of cheap biofuels. There are three major roadblocks preventing economical biofuel production. First, carbon fluxes from the substrate dissipate into a complex metabolic network. Besides the desired product, microbial hosts direct carbon flux to synthesize biomass, overflow metabolites, and heterologous enzymes. Second, microbial hosts need to oxidize a large portion of the substrate to generate both ATP and NAD(P)H to power biofuel synthesis. High cell maintenance, triggered by the metabolic burdens from genetic modifications, can significantly affect the ATP supply. Thereby, fermentation of advanced biofuels (such as biodiesel and hydrocarbons) often requires aerobic respiration to resolve the ATP shortage. Third, mass transfer limitations in large bioreactors create heterogeneous growth conditions and micro-environmental fluctuations (such as suboptimal O2 level and pH) that induce metabolic stresses and genetic instability. To overcome these limitations, fermentation engineering should merge with systems metabolic engineering. Modern fermentation engineers need to adopt new metabolic flux analysis tools that integrate kinetics, hydrodynamics, and 13C-proteomics, to reveal the dynamic physiologies of the microbial host under large bioreactor conditions. Based on metabolic analyses, fermentation engineers may employ rational pathway modifications, synthetic biology circuits, and bioreactor control algorithms to optimize large-scale biofuel production. PMID:25071754

  6. Metabolic engineering of microorganisms for biofuels production: from bugs to synthetic biology to fuels

    SciTech Connect

    Kuk Lee, Sung; Chou, Howard; Ham, Timothy S.; Soon Lee, Taek; Keasling, Jay D.

    2009-12-02

    The ability to generate microorganisms that can produce biofuels similar to petroleum-based transportation fuels would allow the use of existing engines and infrastructure and would save an enormous amount of capital required for replacing the current infrastructure to accommodate biofuels that have properties significantly different from petroleum-based fuels. Several groups have demonstrated the feasibility of manipulating microbes to produce molecules similar to petroleum-derived products, albeit at relatively low productivity (e.g. maximum butanol production is around 20 g/L). For cost-effective production of biofuels, the fuel-producing hosts and pathways must be engineered and optimized. Advances in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology will provide new tools for metabolic engineers to better understand how to rewire the cell in order to create the desired phenotypes for the production of economically viable biofuels.

  7. "Trojan Horse" strategy for deconstruction of biomass for biofuels production.

    SciTech Connect

    Sinclair, Michael B.; Hadi, Masood Z.; Timlin, Jerilyn Ann; Thomson, James; Whalen, Maureen; Thilmony, Roger; Tran-Gyamfi, Mary; Simmons, Blake Alexander; Sapra, Rajat

    2008-08-01

    Production of renewable biofuels to displace fossil fuels currently consumed in the transportation sector is a pressing multi-agency national priority. Currently, nearly all fuel ethanol is produced from corn-derived starch. Dedicated 'energy crops' and agricultural waste are preferred long-term solutions for renewable, cheap, and globally available biofuels as they avoid some of the market pressures and secondary greenhouse gas emission challenges currently facing corn ethanol. These sources of lignocellulosic biomass are converted to fermentable sugars using a variety of chemical and thermochemical pretreatments, which disrupt cellulose and lignin cross-links, allowing exogenously added recombinant microbial enzymes to more efficiently hydrolyze the cellulose for 'deconstruction' into glucose. This process is plagued with inefficiencies, primarily due to the recalcitrance of cellulosic biomass, mass transfer issues during deconstruction, and low activity of recombinant deconstruction enzymes. Costs are also high due to the requirement for enzymes and reagents, and energy-intensive and cumbersome pretreatment steps. One potential solution to these problems is found in synthetic biology; they propose to engineer plants that self-produce a suite of cellulase enzymes targeted to the apoplast for cleaving the linkages between lignin and cellulosic fibers; the genes encoding the degradation enzymes, also known as cellulases, are obtained from extremophilic organisms that grow at high temperatures (60-100 C) and acidic pH levels (<5). These enzymes will remain inactive during the life cycle of the plant but become active during hydrothermal pretreatment i.e., elevated temperatures. Deconstruction can be integrated into a one-step process, thereby increasing efficiency (cellulose-cellulase mass-transfer rates) and reducing costs. The proposed disruptive technologies address biomass deconstruction processes by developing transgenic plants encoding a suite of enzymes used in cellulosic deconstruction. The unique aspects of this technology are the rationally engineered, highly productive extremophilic enzymes, targeted to specific cellular locations (apoplast) and their dormancy during normal plant proliferation, which become Trojan horses during pretreatment conditions. They have been leveraging established Sandia's enzyme-engineering and imaging capabilities. Their technical approach not only targets the recalcitrance and mass-transfer problem during biomass degradation but also eliminates the costs associated with industrial-scale production of microbial enzymes added during processing.

  8. Quantifying the climate impacts of albedo changes due to biofuel production: a comparison with biogeochemical effects

    E-print Network

    Caiazzo, Fabio

    Lifecycle analysis is a tool widely used to evaluate the climate impact of greenhouse gas emissions attributable to the production and use of biofuels. In this paper we employ an augmented lifecycle framework that includes ...

  9. BIOWINOL TECHNOLOGIES: A HYBRID GREEN PROCESS FOR BIOFUEL PRODUCTION – PHASE 2

    EPA Science Inventory

    The development of hollow fiber membrane (HFM) reactor will result in improved gas utilization that will positively impact overall process efficiencies. Successful completion of this project could result in the development of many decentralized biofuel production systems near ...

  10. Biofuels: A Look into the Future of Sustainable Transportation Kathryn Abbott, Kyle Becker, Kat Burgoyne, Tara Donohoe

    E-print Network

    Maxwell, Bruce D.

    Biofuels: A Look into the Future of Sustainable Transportation Kathryn Abbott, Kyle Becker, Kat in attempts to explore the future of energy worldwide. LCA Life cycle assessments (LCAs) have become, and transporting the crops is constant in all cases. The intention of these assumptions is to facilitate easier

  11. Water use impacts of future transport fuels: role of California's climate policy & National biofuel policies (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teter, J.; Yeh, S.; Mishra, G. S.; Tiedeman, K.; Yang, C.

    2013-12-01

    In the coming decades, growing demand for energy and water and the need to address climate change will create huge challenges for energy policy and natural resource management. Synergistic strategies must be developed to conserve and use both resources more efficiently. California (CA) is a prime example of a region where policymakers have began to incorporate water planning in energy infrastructure development. But more must be done as CA transforms its energy system to meet its climate target. We analyze lifecycle water use of current and future transport fuel consumption to evaluate impacts & formulate mitigation strategies for the state at the watershed scale. Four 'bounding cases' for CA's future transportation demand to year 2030 are projected for analysis: two scenarios that only meet the 2020 climate target (business-as-usual, BAU) with high / low water use intensity, and two that meet long-term climate target with high / low water use intensity (Fig 1). Our study focuses on the following energy supply chains: (a) liquid fuels from conventional/unconventional oil & gas, (b) thermoelectric and renewable generation technologies, and (c) biofuels (Fig 2-3). We develop plausible siting scenarios that bound the range of possible water sources, impacts, and dispositions to provide insights into how to best allocate water and limit water impacts of energy development. We further identify constraints & opportunities to improve water use efficiency and highlight salient policy relevant lessons. For biofuels we extend our scope to the entire US as most of the biofuels consumed in California are and will be produced from outside of the state. We analyze policy impacts that capture both direct & indirect land use effects across scenarios, thus addressing the major shortcomings of existing studies, which ignore spatial heterogeneity as well as economic effects of crop displacement and the effects of crop intensification and extensification. We use the agronomic-hydrologic model EPIC to capture both green water (GW) and blue water (BW) use at a ~10 square km resolution among three scenarios: (1) a counterfactual scenario with no national biofuel policy, (2) current Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) mandates, and (3) a proposed national Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) plus the RFS scenario. Inputs to EPIC are spatially explicit: (a) cropping areas and yields as projected by a partial equilibrium economic model, (b) daily weather data, (c) soil properties (d) N fertilizer application, and (e) irrigation sources and volumes, by crop (Fig 4-5). We assess the differences among biofuel scenarios from 2007-2035 along the following metrics: (1) crop area expansion on prime & marginal lands (Fig 6), (2) Crop-specific & overall annual/seasonal water balances including (2a) water inflows (irrigation & precipitation), (2b) crop-atmosphere interactions: (evaporation & transpiration) and (2c) soil-water flows (runoff & soil infiltration), in mm3 /acre. We found differential water use impacts among biofuel scenarios are a primarily a function of (1) land use conversion, in particular that of formerly uncropped land classes (2) irrigation practices, (3) feedstock water use efficiency, and (4) the longer growing season and a predominance of rainfed cultivation of dedicated biofuel feedstocks. Fig 1-6 available at the linked urls.

  12. The economic prospects of cellulosic biomass for biofuel production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumarappan, Subbu

    Alternative fuels for transportation have become the focus of intense policy debate and legislative action due to volatile oil prices, an unstable political environment in many major oil producing regions, increasing global demand, dwindling reserves of low-cost oil, and concerns over global warming. A major potential source of alternative fuels is biofuels produced from cellulosic biomass, which have a number of potential benefits. Recognizing these potential advantages, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 has mandated 21 billion gallons of cellulosic/advanced biofuels per year by 2022. The United States needs 220-300 million tons of cellulosic biomass per year from the major sources such as agricultural residues, forestry and mill residues, herbaceous resources, and waste materials (supported by Biomass Crop Assistance Program) to meet these biofuel targets. My research addresses three key major questions concerning cellulosic biomass supply. The first paper analyzes cellulosic biomass availability in the United States and Canada. The estimated supply curves show that, at a price of 100 per ton, about 568 million metric tons of biomass is available in the United States, while 123 million metric tons is available in Canada. In fact, the 300 million tons of biomass required to meet EISA mandates can be supplied at a price of 50 per metric ton or lower. The second paper evaluates the farmers' perspective in growing new energy crops, such as switchgrass and miscanthus, in prime cropland, in pasture areas, or on marginal lands. My analysis evaluates how the farmers' returns from energy crops compare with those from other field crops and other agricultural land uses. The results suggest that perennial energy crops yielding at least 10 tons per acre annually will be competitive with a traditional corn-soybean rotation if crude oil prices are high (ranging from 88-178 per barrel over 2010-2019). If crude oil prices are low, then energy crops will not be competitive with existing crops, and additional subsidy support would be required. Among the states in the eastern half of US, the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia are found to be economically more suitable to cultivate perennial energy crops. The third paper estimates the optimal feedstock composition of annual and perennial feedstocks from a biorefinery's perspective. The objective function of the optimization model is to minimize the cumulative costs covering harvesting, transport, storage, and GHG costs, of biomass procurement over a biorefinery's productive period of 20 years subject to various constraints on land availability, feedstock availability, processing capacity, contracting needs and storage. The results suggest that the economic tradeoff is between higher production costs for dedicated energy crops and higher collection and transport costs for agricultural residues; the delivered costs of biomass drives the results. These tradeoffs are reflected in optimal spatial planting pattern as preferred by the biorefinery: energy crops are grown in fields closer to the biorefinery and agricultural residues can be sourced from fields farther away from the biorefinery. The optimization model also provides useful insights into the price premiums paid for annual and perennial feedstocks. For the parameters used in the case study, the energy crop price premium ranges from 2 to 8 per ton for fields located within a 10 mile radius. For agricultural residues, the price premiums range from 5 to 16 per ton within a 10-20 mile radius.

  13. The value of biodiversity in legume symbiotic nitrogen fixation and nodulation for biofuel and food production.

    PubMed

    Gresshoff, Peter M; Hayashi, Satomi; Biswas, Bandana; Mirzaei, Saeid; Indrasumunar, Arief; Reid, Dugald; Samuel, Sharon; Tollenaere, Alina; van Hameren, Bethany; Hastwell, April; Scott, Paul; Ferguson, Brett J

    2015-01-01

    Much of modern agriculture is based on immense populations of genetically identical or near-identical varieties, called cultivars. However, advancement of knowledge, and thus experimental utility, is found through biodiversity, whether naturally-found or induced by the experimenter. Globally we are confronted by ever-growing food and energy challenges. Here we demonstrate how such biodiversity from the food legume crop soybean (Glycine max L. Merr) and the bioenergy legume tree Pongamia (Millettia) pinnata is a great value. Legume plants are diverse and are represented by over 18,000 species on this planet. Some, such as soybean, pea and medics are used as food and animal feed crops. Others serve as ornamental (e.g., wisteria), timber (e.g., acacia/wattle) or biofuel (e.g., Pongamia pinnata) resources. Most legumes develop root organs (nodules) after microsymbiont induction that serve as their habitat for biological nitrogen fixation. Through this, nitrogen fertiliser demand is reduced by the efficient symbiosis between soil Rhizobium-type bacteria and the appropriate legume partner. Mechanistic research into the genetics, biochemistry and physiology of legumes is thus strategically essential for future global agriculture. Here we demonstrate how molecular plant science analysis of the genetics of an established food crop (soybean) and an emerging biofuel P. pinnata feedstock contributes to their utility by sustainable production aided by symbiotic nitrogen fixation. PMID:25240795

  14. Chlamydomonas as a model for biofuels and bio-products production.

    PubMed

    Scranton, Melissa A; Ostrand, Joseph T; Fields, Francis J; Mayfield, Stephen P

    2015-05-01

    Developing renewable energy sources is critical to maintaining the economic growth of the planet while protecting the environment. First generation biofuels focused on food crops like corn and sugarcane for ethanol production, and soybean and palm for biodiesel production. Second generation biofuels based on cellulosic ethanol produced from terrestrial plants, has received extensive funding and recently pilot facilities have been commissioned, but to date output of fuels from these sources has fallen well short of what is needed. Recent research and pilot demonstrations have highlighted the potential of algae as one of the most promising sources of sustainable liquid transportation fuels. Algae have also been established as unique biofactories for industrial, therapeutic, and nutraceutical co-products. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii's long established role in the field of basic research in green algae has paved the way for understanding algal metabolism and developing genetic engineering protocols. These tools are now being utilized in C. reinhardtii and in other algal species for the development of strains to maximize biofuels and bio-products yields from the lab to the field. PMID:25641390

  15. A comprehensive review of biomass resources and biofuel production in Nigeria: potential and prospects.

    PubMed

    Sokan-Adeaga, Adewale Allen; Ana, Godson R E E

    2015-08-01

    The quest for biofuels in Nigeria, no doubt, represents a legitimate ambition. This is so because the focus on biofuel production has assumed a global dimension, and the benefits that may accrue from such effort may turn out to be enormous if the preconditions are adequately satisfied. As a member of the global community, it has become exigent for Nigeria to explore other potential means of bettering her already impoverished economy. Biomass is the major energy source in Nigeria, contributing about 78% of Nigeria's primary energy supply. In this paper, a comprehensive review of the potential of biomass resources and biofuel production in Nigeria is given. The study adopted a desk review of existing literatures on major energy crops produced in Nigeria. A brief description of the current biofuel developmental activities in the country is also given. A variety of biomass resources exist in the country in large quantities with opportunities for expansion. Biomass resources considered include agricultural crops, agricultural crop residues, forestry resources, municipal solid waste, and animal waste. However, the prospects of achieving this giant stride appear not to be feasible in Nigeria. Although the focus on biofuel production may be a worthwhile endeavor in view of Nigeria's development woes, the paper argues that because Nigeria is yet to adequately satisfy the preconditions for such program, the effort may be designed to fail after all. To avoid this, the government must address key areas of concern such as food insecurity, environmental crisis, and blatant corruption in all quarters. It is concluded that given the large availability of biomass resources in Nigeria, there is immense potential for biofuel production from these biomass resources. With the very high potential for biofuel production, the governments as well as private investors are therefore encouraged to take practical steps toward investing in agriculture for the production of energy crops and the establishment of biofuel-processing plants in Nigeria. PMID:26351798

  16. Membranes with artificial free-volume for biofuel production

    PubMed Central

    Petzetakis, Nikos; Doherty, Cara M.; Thornton, Aaron W.; Chen, X. Chelsea; Cotanda, Pepa; Hill, Anita J.; Balsara, Nitash P.

    2015-01-01

    Free-volume of polymers governs transport of penetrants through polymeric films. Control over free-volume is thus important for the development of better membranes for a wide variety of applications such as gas separations, pharmaceutical purifications and energy storage. To date, methodologies used to create materials with different amounts of free-volume are based primarily on chemical synthesis of new polymers. Here we report a simple methodology for generating free-volume based on the self-assembly of polyethylene-b-polydimethylsiloxane-b-polyethylene triblock copolymers. We have used this method to fabricate a series of membranes with identical compositions but with different amounts of free-volume. We use the term artificial free-volume to refer to the additional free-volume created by self-assembly. The effect of artificial free-volume on selective transport through the membranes was tested using butanol/water and ethanol/water mixtures due to their importance in biofuel production. We found that the introduction of artificial free-volume improves both alcohol permeability and selectivity. PMID:26104672

  17. Membranes with artificial free-volume for biofuel production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petzetakis, Nikos; Doherty, Cara M.; Thornton, Aaron W.; Chen, X. Chelsea; Cotanda, Pepa; Hill, Anita J.; Balsara, Nitash P.

    2015-06-01

    Free-volume of polymers governs transport of penetrants through polymeric films. Control over free-volume is thus important for the development of better membranes for a wide variety of applications such as gas separations, pharmaceutical purifications and energy storage. To date, methodologies used to create materials with different amounts of free-volume are based primarily on chemical synthesis of new polymers. Here we report a simple methodology for generating free-volume based on the self-assembly of polyethylene-b-polydimethylsiloxane-b-polyethylene triblock copolymers. We have used this method to fabricate a series of membranes with identical compositions but with different amounts of free-volume. We use the term artificial free-volume to refer to the additional free-volume created by self-assembly. The effect of artificial free-volume on selective transport through the membranes was tested using butanol/water and ethanol/water mixtures due to their importance in biofuel production. We found that the introduction of artificial free-volume improves both alcohol permeability and selectivity.

  18. Natural Oil Production from Microorganisms: Bioprocess and Microbe Engineering for Total Carbon Utilization in Biofuel Production

    SciTech Connect

    2010-07-15

    Electrofuels Project: MIT is using carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen generated from electricity to produce natural oils that can be upgraded to hydrocarbon fuels. MIT has designed a 2-stage biofuel production system. In the first stage, hydrogen and CO2 are fed to a microorganism capable of converting these feedstocks to a 2-carbon compound called acetate. In the second stage, acetate is delivered to a different microorganism that can use the acetate to grow and produce oil. The oil can be removed from the reactor tank and chemically converted to various hydrocarbons. The electricity for the process could be supplied from novel means currently in development, or more proven methods such as the combustion of municipal waste, which would also generate the required CO2 and enhance the overall efficiency of MIT’s biofuel-production system.

  19. Process energy comparison for the production and harvesting of algal biomass as a biofuel feedstock.

    PubMed

    Weschler, Matthew K; Barr, William J; Harper, Willie F; Landis, Amy E

    2014-02-01

    Harvesting and drying are often described as the most energy intensive stages of microalgal biofuel production. This study analyzes two cultivation and eleven harvest technologies for the production of microalgae biomass with and without the use of drying. These technologies were combined to form 122 different production scenarios. The results of this study present a calculation methodology and optimization of total energy demand for the production of algal biomass for biofuel production. The energetic interaction between unit processes and total process energy demand are compared for each scenario. Energy requirements are shown to be highly dependent on final mass concentration, with thermal drying being the largest energy consumer. Scenarios that omit thermal drying in favor of lipid extraction from wet biomass show the most promise for energy efficient biofuel production. Scenarios which used open ponds for cultivation, followed by settling and membrane filtration were the most energy efficient. PMID:24355501

  20. Sustainability standards for biofuels : analyses of the current standards and recommendations of the future direction

    E-print Network

    Lee, Leebong

    2014-01-01

    Past decades have seen development and expansion of biofuels industry around the world thanks to the environmental and economic contribution that biofuels have promised. As more and more people became concerned about the ...

  1. Soil nutrient budgets following projected corn stover harvest for biofuel production in the conterminous United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tan, Zhengxi; Liu, Shuguang

    2015-01-01

    Increasing demand for food and biofuel feedstocks may substantially affect soil nutrient budgets, especially in the United States where there is great potential for corn (Zea mays L) stover as a biofuel feedstock. This study was designed to evaluate impacts of projected stover harvest scenarios on budgets of soil nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) currently and in the future across the conterminous United States. The required and removed N, P, and K amounts under each scenario were estimated on the basis of both their average contents in grain and stover and from an empirical model. Our analyses indicate a small depletion of soil N (?4 ± 35 kg ha?1) and K (?6 ± 36 kg ha?1) and a moderate surplus of P (37 ± 21 kg ha?1) currently on the national average, but with a noticeable variation from state to state. After harvesting both grain and projected stover, the deficits of soil N, P, and K were estimated at 114–127, 26–27, and 36–53 kg ha?1 yr?1, respectively, in 2006–2010; 131–173, 29–32, and 41–96 kg ha?1 yr?1, respectively, in 2020; and 161–207, 35–39, and 51–111 kg ha?1 yr?1, respectively, in 2050. This study indicates that the harvestable stover amount derived from the minimum stover requirement for maintaining soil organic carbon level scenarios under current fertilization rates can be sustainable for soil nutrient supply and corn production at present, but the deficit of P and K at the national scale would become larger in the future.

  2. Selection, breeding and engineering of microalgae for bioenergy and biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Larkum, Anthony W D; Ross, Ian L; Kruse, Olaf; Hankamer, Ben

    2012-04-01

    Microalgal production technologies are seen as increasingly attractive for bioenergy production to improve fuel security and reduce CO(2) emissions. Photosynthetically derived fuels are a renewable, potentially carbon-neutral and scalable alternative reserve. Microalgae have particular promise because they can be produced on non-arable land and utilize saline and wastewater streams. Furthermore, emerging microalgal technologies can be used to produce a range of products such as biofuels, protein-rich animal feeds, chemical feedstocks (e.g. bioplastic precursors) and higher-value products. This review focuses on the selection, breeding and engineering of microalgae for improved biomass and biofuel conversion efficiencies. PMID:22178650

  3. Energy Policy 36 (2008) 15771583 Towards a sustainably certifiable futures contract for biofuels

    E-print Network

    2008-01-01

    for biofuels John A. MathewsĂ Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109 are biofuels to be certified as produced in a sustainable and responsible fashion? In the global debate over through which a global biofuels market is being created. In this contribution, I propose a solution

  4. Winter Cover Crop Biomass for Biofuel Production, Implications for Soil Coverage and Profitability

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    High residue winter cover crops are critical for maximizing conservation tillage system benefits, including reductions in soil erosion, improved soil productivity, higher crop yields and greater net returns from crop production. With the increasing demand for biofuel production, the potential to har...

  5. NREL's Cyanobacteria Engineering Shortens Biofuel Production Process, Captures CO2

    SciTech Connect

    2015-09-01

    This highlight describes NREL's work to systematically analyze the flow of energy in a photosynthetic microbe and show how the organism adjusts its metabolism to meet the increased energy demand for making ethylene. This work successfully demonstrates that the organism could cooperate by stimulating photosynthesis. The results encourage further genetic engineering for the conversion of CO2 to biofuels and chemicals. This highlight is being developed for the September 2015 Alliance S&T Board meeting. biofuels and chemicals. This highlight is being developed for the September 2015 Alliance S&T Board meeting.

  6. Methodology for calculation of carbon balances for biofuel crops production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerlfand, I.; Hamilton, S. K.; Snapp, S. S.; Robertson, G. P.

    2012-04-01

    Understanding the carbon balance implications for different biofuel crop production systems is important for the development of decision making tools and policies. We present here a detailed methodology for assessing carbon balances in agricultural and natural ecosystems. We use 20 years of data from Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) experiments at the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS), combined with models to produce farm level CO2 balances for different management practices. We compared four grain and one forage systems in the U.S. Midwest: corn (Zea mays) - soybean (Glycine max) - wheat (Triticum aestivum) rotations managed with (1) conventional tillage, (2) no till, (3) low chemical input, and (4) biologically-based (organic) practices; and (5) continuous alfalfa (Medicago sativa). In addition we use an abandoned agricultural field (successionnal ecosystem) as reference system. Measurements include fluxes of N2O and CH4, soil organic carbon change, agricultural yields, and agricultural inputs (e.g. fertilization and farm fuel use). In addition to measurements, we model carbon offsets associated with the use of bioenergy from agriculturally produced crops. Our analysis shows the importance of establishing appropriate system boundaries for carbon balance calculations. We explore how different assumptions regarding production methods and emission factors affect overall conclusions on carbon balances of different agricultural systems. Our results show management practices that have major the most important effects on carbon balances. Overall, agricultural management with conventional tillage was found to be a net CO2 source to the atmosphere, while agricultural management under reduced tillage, low input, or organic management sequestered carbon at rates of 93, -23, -51, and -14 g CO2e m-2 yr-1, respectively for conventionally tilled, no-till, low-input, and organically managed ecosystems. Perennial systems (alfalfa and the successionnal fields) showed net carbon sequestration of -44 and -382 g CO2e m-2 yr-1, respectively. When studied systems were assumed to be used for bioenergy production, all system exhibited carbon sequestration -- between -149 and -841 g CO2e m-2 yr-1, for conventionally tilled and successionnal ecosystems, respectively.

  7. SENT TO LSU AGCENTER/LOUISIANA FOREST PRODUCTS DEVELOPMENT CENTER -FOREST SECTOR / FORESTY PRODUCTS INTEREST GROUP RFS Policy Instability Chilling Advanced Biofuel Investments, Study Says

    E-print Network

    / FORESTY PRODUCTS INTEREST GROUP RFS Policy Instability Chilling Advanced Biofuel Investments, Study Says necessary investment in advanced and cellulosic biofuels just as they reached commercial deployment, says and advanced biofuel producers have now reached commercial status, enabling them to build additional

  8. Developing herbaceous energy crops as feedstocks for biofuel production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Switchgrass, giant canary reed, and alfalfa stems were evaluated as feedstocks for biochemical conversion to biofuels. The sample set consisted of field-grown samples of each of these species harvested at multiple maturities. The samples were examined for chemical composition. All the samples con...

  9. Lifecycle Assessment of Biofuel Production from Wood Pyrolysis Technology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manyele, S. V.

    2007-01-01

    Due to a stronger dependency on biomass for energy, there is a need for improved technologies in biomass-to-energy conversion in Tanzania. This paper presents a life cycle assessment (LCA) of pyrolysis technology used for conversion of wood and wood waste to liquid biofuel. In particular, a survey of environmental impacts of the process is…

  10. Unraveling water quality and quantity effects of biofuels production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Developing a sustainable biofuels industry is crucial for several reasons, but what impact will it have on soil water quantity and quality? This popular press article for ISU alumni, teachers, middle/high school students and others is written to help them understand the complexity of this seemingly ...

  11. BIOWINOL TECHNOLOGIES: A HYBRID GREEN PROCESS FOR BIOFUEL PRODUCTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    The ability of the unique bacteria to produce ethanol by utilizing H2 and CO2 will be determined. The project will be used to educate the community about advances and importance of bioenergy while building consumer confidence in biofuels in addressing...

  12. Biofuels from Pyrolysis: Catalytic Biocrude Production in a Novel, Short-Contact Time Reactor

    SciTech Connect

    2010-01-01

    Broad Funding Opportunity Announcement Project: RTI is developing a new pyrolysis process to convert second-generation biomass into biofuels in one simple step. Pyrolysis is the decomposition of substances by heating—the same process used to render wood into charcoal, caramelize sugar, and dry roast coffee and beans. RTI’s catalytic biomass pyrolysis differs from conventional flash pyrolysis in that its end product contains less oxygen, metals, and nitrogen—all of which contribute to corrosion, instability, and inefficiency in the fuel-production process. This technology is expected to easily integrate into the existing domestic petroleum refining infrastructure, making it an economically attractive option for biofuels production.

  13. Biofuel production system with operation flexibility: Evaluation of economic and environmental performance under external disturbance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kou, Nannan

    Biomass derived liquid hydrocarbon fuel (biofuel) has been accepted as an effective way to mitigate the reliance on petroleum and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions. An increasing demand for second generation biofuels, produced from ligno-cellulosic feedstock and compatible with current infrastructure and vehicle technologies, addresses two major challenges faced by the current US transportation sector: energy security and global warming. However, biofuel production is subject to internal disturbances (feedstock supply and commodity market) and external factors (energy market). The biofuel industry has also heavily relied on government subsidy during the early development stages. In this dissertation, I investigate how to improve the economic and environmental performance of biorefineries (and biofuel plant), as well as enhance its survivability under the external disturbances. Three types of disturbance are considered: (1) energy market fluctuation, (2) subsidy policy uncertainty, and (3) extreme weather conditions. All three factors are basically volatile, dynamic, and even unpredictable, which makes them difficult to model and have been largely ignored to date. Instead, biofuel industry and biofuel research are intensively focused on improving feedstock conversion efficiency and capital cost efficiency while assuming these advancements alone will successfully generate higher profit and thus foster the biofuel industry. The collapse of the largest corn ethanol biofuel company, Verasun Energy, in 2008 calls into question this efficiency-driven approach. A detailed analysis has revealed that although the corn ethanol plants operated by Verasun adopted the more efficient (i.e. higher ethanol yield per bushel of corn and lower capital cost) dry-mill technology, they could not maintain a fair profit margin under fluctuating market condition which made ethanol production unprofitable. This is because dry-mill plant converts a single type of biomass feedstock (corn grain) into a single primary product (ethanol). The traditional lower efficient (i.e. lower ethanol yield per bushel of corn and higher capital cost) wet-mill plant has a more diverse and adjustable product portfolio i.e. corn syrup, starch, and ethanol. The fact that only the dry-mill corn ethanol plants have bankrupted while the wet-mill corn ethanol plants have survived the late 2000s economy recession suggests that the higher conversion efficiency achieved by the dry-mill production mode has jeopardized operational flexibility, a design operational feature I agree that is indispensable for the biofuel plant's long term profit and viability. Based on the analysis of corn ethanol production, operational flexibility has been proposed as a key strategy for the next generation biofuel plants to improve its lifetime economic performance, as well as to enhance its survivability under external disturbances. This strategy requires the biofuel plant to adopt a flexible feedstock management, making it possible to utilize alternative types of biomass feedstock when the primary feedstock supply is disturbed. Biofuel plants also need to produce a wider range of final products that could meet the preference variation that either comes from the energy market or from the subsidy policy. Aspen Plus model based numerical simulations have been carried out for a thermochemical ethanol plant and a Fischer Tropsch plant (both are assumed to be located in southwest Indiana) to test this strategy under the external disturbances of extreme weather impact, different energy price projections and various subsidy policy combinations. For the thermochemical ethanol plant, effects of extreme weather conditions are mainly evaluated. It has been shown that this strategy could effectively increase the net present value of the biofuel plant and significantly decrease the GHG emission comparing with the traditional single-feedstock strategy, when the extreme weather conditions are considered. It has also been demonstrated that this strategy could significantly decrease the possibility for the bio

  14. Determining the global maximum biofuel production potential without conflicting with food and feed consumption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pumkaew, Watcharapol

    This study tries to resolve the competition between food and biofuel by balancing the allocation between food and feed areas and biofuel areas for the entire world. The maximum energy production is calculated by determining the theoretical amount of energy that can be grown, once food and feed consumption is taken into account, based on the assumption that unprotected grass and woody lands and forest lands can be converted into cultivated lands. The total optimum land area for biofuel energy, 4,926.49 Mha, consists of corn, rapeseed, sugar beet, sugar cane, and grasses. When considering energy conversion efficiency, the maximum energy production is 520.5 EJ. Of this amount, 5.9 EJ can be identified with food and feed energy and 514.6 EJ can be identified with biofuel energy. This result is a theoretical value to illustrate the potential global land area for biofuel. The biofuel energy production per area of land in this study is calculated to be 0.12 EJ/Mha. With regards to the limitation in the degree of invasion by grass and woody land and forest land areas, if it is not more than 10 percent, the biofuel energy production can serve about 76 percent of energy demand for transportation in 2009. The total optimum land area is about 45 percent of global cultivated land area. Sensitivity analysis shows that the land area of corn, sweet sorghum, sugarcane, grass, and woody crops is sensitive to energy content. The land area of sweet sorghum and soybeans is sensitive to the land area for food and feed consumption. Also, the land area of corn, sugar beet, and sugarcane is sensitive to the potential crop land area. This study, done at the global level, can also apply in a local area by using local constraints.

  15. Catalytic oxidation of biorefinery lignin to value-added chemicals to support sustainable biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Ma, Ruoshui; Xu, Yan; Zhang, Xiao

    2015-01-01

    Transforming plant biomass to biofuel is one of the few solutions that can truly sustain mankind's long-term needs for liquid transportation fuel with minimized environmental impact. However, despite decades of effort, commercial development of biomass-to-biofuel conversion processes is still not an economically viable proposition. Identifying value-added co-products along with the production of biofuel provides a key solution to overcoming this economic barrier. Lignin is the second most abundant component next to cellulose in almost all plant biomass; the emerging biomass refinery industry will inevitably generate an enormous amount of lignin. Development of selective biorefinery lignin-to-bioproducts conversion processes will play a pivotal role in significantly improving the economic feasibility and sustainability of biofuel production from renewable biomass. The urgency and importance of this endeavor has been increasingly recognized in the last few years. This paper reviews state-of-the-art oxidative lignin depolymerization chemistries employed in the papermaking process and oxidative catalysts that can be applied to biorefinery lignin to produce platform chemicals including phenolic compounds, dicarboxylic acids, and quinones in high selectivity and yield. The potential synergies of integrating new catalysts with commercial delignification chemistries are discussed. We hope the information will build on the existing body of knowledge to provide new insights towards developing practical and commercially viable lignin conversion technologies, enabling sustainable biofuel production from lignocellulosic biomass to be competitive with fossil fuel. PMID:25272962

  16. Biogeochemical research priorities for sustainable biofuel and bioenergy feedstock production in the Americas

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rapid expansion in biomass production for biofuels and bioenergy in the Americas is increasing demands on the ecosystem resources required to sustain soil and site productivity. We review the current state of knowledge and highlight gaps in research on biogeochemical processes and ecosystem sustaina...

  17. Engineering cyanobacteria for direct biofuel production from CO2.

    PubMed

    Savakis, Philipp; Hellingwerf, Klaas J

    2015-06-01

    For a sustainable future of our society it is essential to close the global carbon cycle. Oxidised forms of carbon, in particular CO2, can be used to synthesise energy-rich organic molecules. Engineered cyanobacteria have attracted attention as catalysts for the direct conversion of CO2 into reduced fuel compounds. Proof of principle for this approach has been provided for a vast range of commodity chemicals, mostly energy carriers, such as short chain and medium chain alcohols. More recently, research has focused on the photosynthetic production of compounds with higher added value, most notably terpenoids. Below we review the recent developments that have improved the state-of-the-art of this approach and speculate on future developments. PMID:25305544

  18. Heterologous Expression of Plant Cell Wall Degrading Enzymes for Effective Production of Cellulosic Biofuels

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Sang-Kyu; Parisutham, Vinuselvi; Jeong, Seong Hun; Lee, Sung Kuk

    2012-01-01

    A major technical challenge in the cost-effective production of cellulosic biofuel is the need to lower the cost of plant cell wall degrading enzymes (PCDE), which is required for the production of sugars from biomass. Several competitive, low-cost technologies have been developed to produce PCDE in different host organisms such as Escherichia coli, Zymomonas mobilis, and plant. Selection of an ideal host organism is very important, because each host organism has its own unique features. Synthetic biology-aided tools enable heterologous expression of PCDE in recombinant E. coli or Z. mobilis and allow successful consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) in these microorganisms. In-planta expression provides an opportunity to simplify the process of enzyme production and plant biomass processing and leads to self-deconstruction of plant cell walls. Although the future of currently available technologies is difficult to predict, a complete and viable platform will most likely be available through the integration of the existing approaches with the development of breakthrough technologies. PMID:22911272

  19. Simulating and evaluating best management practices for integrated landscape management scenarios in biofuel feedstock production

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Ha, Miae; Wu, May

    2015-09-08

    Sound crop and land management strategies can maintain land productivity and improve the environmental sustainability of agricultural crop and feedstock production. With this study, it evaluates a strategy of incorporating landscape design and management concepts into bioenergy feedstock production. It examines the effect of land conversion and agricultural best management practices (BMPs) on water quality (nutrients and suspended sediments) and hydrology. The strategy was applied to the watershed of the South Fork Iowa River in Iowa, where the focus was on converting low-productivity land to provide cellulosic biomass and implementing riparian buffers. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) wasmore »employed to simulate the impact at watershed and sub-basin scales. The study compared the representation of buffers by using trapping efficiency and area ratio methods in SWAT. Landscape design and management scenarios were developed to quantify water quality under (i) current land use, (ii) partial land conversion to switchgrass, and (iii) riparian buffer implementation. Results show that implementation of vegetative barriers and riparian buffer can trap the loss of total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and sediment significantly. The effect increases with the increase of buffer area coverage. Implementing riparian buffer at 30 m width is able to produce 4 million liters of biofuels. When low-productivity land (15.2% of total watershed land area) is converted to grow switchgrass, suspended sediment, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and nitrate loadings are reduced by 69.3%, 55.5%, 46.1%, and 13.4%, respectively. The results highlight the significant role of lower-productivity land and buffers in cellulosic biomass and provide insights into the design of an integrated landscape with a conservation buffer for future bioenergy feedstock production.« less

  20. Simulating and evaluating best management practices for integrated landscape management scenarios in biofuel feedstock production

    SciTech Connect

    Ha, Miae; Wu, May

    2015-09-08

    Sound crop and land management strategies can maintain land productivity and improve the environmental sustainability of agricultural crop and feedstock production. With this study, it evaluates a strategy of incorporating landscape design and management concepts into bioenergy feedstock production. It examines the effect of land conversion and agricultural best management practices (BMPs) on water quality (nutrients and suspended sediments) and hydrology. The strategy was applied to the watershed of the South Fork Iowa River in Iowa, where the focus was on converting low-productivity land to provide cellulosic biomass and implementing riparian buffers. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was employed to simulate the impact at watershed and sub-basin scales. The study compared the representation of buffers by using trapping efficiency and area ratio methods in SWAT. Landscape design and management scenarios were developed to quantify water quality under (i) current land use, (ii) partial land conversion to switchgrass, and (iii) riparian buffer implementation. Results show that implementation of vegetative barriers and riparian buffer can trap the loss of total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and sediment significantly. The effect increases with the increase of buffer area coverage. Implementing riparian buffer at 30 m width is able to produce 4 million liters of biofuels. When low-productivity land (15.2% of total watershed land area) is converted to grow switchgrass, suspended sediment, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and nitrate loadings are reduced by 69.3%, 55.5%, 46.1%, and 13.4%, respectively. The results highlight the significant role of lower-productivity land and buffers in cellulosic biomass and provide insights into the design of an integrated landscape with a conservation buffer for future bioenergy feedstock production.

  1. Application of orange peel waste in the production of solid biofuels and biosorbents.

    PubMed

    Santos, Carolina Monteiro; Dweck, Jo; Viotto, Renata Silva; Rosa, André Henrique; de Morais, Leandro Cardoso

    2015-11-01

    This work aimed to study the potential use of pyrolyzed orange peels as solid biofuels and biosorption of heavy metals. The dry biomass and the biofuel showed moderate levels of carbon (44-62%), high levels of oxygen (30-47%), lower levels of hydrogen (3-6%), nitrogen (1-2.6%), sulfur (0.4-0.8%) and ash with a maximum of 7.8%. The activation energy was calculated using Kissinger method, involving a 3 step process: volatilization of water, biomass degradation and volatilization of the degradation products. The calorific value obtained was 19.3MJ/kg. The studies of metal biosorption based on the Langmuir model obtained the best possible data fits. The results obtained in this work indicated that the potential use of waste orange peel as a biosorbent and as a solid biofuel are feasible, this product could be used in industrial processes, favoring the world economy. PMID:26280099

  2. Mathematical modeling of unicellular microalgae and cyanobacteria metabolism for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Baroukh, Caroline; Muńoz-Tamayo, Rafael; Bernard, Olivier; Steyer, Jean-Philippe

    2015-06-01

    The conversion of microalgae lipids and cyanobacteria carbohydrates into biofuels appears to be a promising source of renewable energy. This requires a thorough understanding of their carbon metabolism, supported by mathematical models, in order to optimize biofuel production. However, unlike heterotrophic microorganisms that utilize the same substrate as sources of energy and carbon, photoautotrophic microorganisms require light for energy and CO2 as carbon source. Furthermore, they are submitted to permanent fluctuating light environments due to outdoor cultivation or mixing inducing a flashing effect. Although, modeling these nonstandard organisms is a major challenge for which classical tools are often inadequate, this step remains a prerequisite towards efficient optimization of outdoor biofuel production at an industrial scale. PMID:25827115

  3. Microalgae to biofuels: life cycle impacts of methane production of anaerobically digested lipid extracted algae.

    PubMed

    Quinn, Jason C; Hanif, Asma; Sharvelle, Sybil; Bradley, Thomas H

    2014-11-01

    This study presents experimental measurements of the biochemical methane production for whole and lipid extracted Nannochloropsis salina. Results show whole microalgae produced 430 cm(3)-CH4 g-volatile solids(-1) (g-VS) (?=60), 3 times more methane than was produced by the LEA, 140 cm(3)-CH4 g-VS(-1) (?=30). Results illustrate current anaerobic modeling efforts in microalgae to biofuel assessments are not reflecting the impact of lipid removal. On a systems level, the overestimation of methane production is shown to positively skew the environmental impact of the microalgae to biofuels process. Discussion focuses on a comparison results to those of previous anaerobic digestion studies and quantifies the corresponding change in greenhouse gas emissions of the microalgae to biofuels process based on results from this study. PMID:25181698

  4. Metabolic and process engineering of Clostridium cellulovorans for biofuel production from cellulose.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiaorui; Xu, Mengmeng; Yang, Shang-Tian

    2015-11-01

    Production of cellulosic biofuels has drawn increasing attention. However, currently no microorganism can produce biofuels, particularly butanol, directly from cellulosic biomass efficiently. Here we engineered a cellulolytic bacterium, Clostridium cellulovorans, for n-butanol and ethanol production directly from cellulose by introducing an aldehyde/alcohol dehydrogenase (adhE2), which converts butyryl-CoA to n-butanol and acetyl-CoA to ethanol. The engineered strain was able to produce 1.42g/L n-butanol and 1.60g/L ethanol directly from cellulose. Moreover, the addition of methyl viologen as an artificial electron carrier shifted the metabolic flux from acid production to alcohol production, resulting in a high biofuel yield of 0.39g/g from cellulose, comparable to ethanol yield from corn dextrose by yeast fermentation. This study is the first metabolic engineering of C. cellulovorans for n-butanol and ethanol production directly from cellulose with significant titers and yields, providing a promising consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) platform for biofuel production from cellulosic biomass. PMID:26365585

  5. Process modeling and supply chain design for advanced biofuel production based on bio-oil gasification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Qi

    As a potential substitute for petroleum-based fuel, second generation biofuels are playing an increasingly important role due to their economic, environmental, and social benefits. With the rapid development of biofuel industry, there has been an increasing literature on the techno-economic analysis and supply chain design for biofuel production based on a variety of production pathways. A recently proposed production pathway of advanced biofuel is to convert biomass to bio-oil at widely distributed small-scale fast pyrolysis plants, then gasify the bio-oil to syngas and upgrade the syngas to transportation fuels in centralized biorefinery. This thesis aims to investigate two types of assessments on this bio-oil gasification pathway: techno-economic analysis based on process modeling and literature data; supply chain design with a focus on optimal decisions for number of facilities to build, facility capacities and logistic decisions considering uncertainties. A detailed process modeling with corn stover as feedstock and liquid fuels as the final products is presented. Techno-economic analysis of the bio-oil gasification pathway is also discussed to assess the economic feasibility. Some preliminary results show a capital investment of 438 million dollar and minimum fuel selling price (MSP) of $5.6 per gallon of gasoline equivalent. The sensitivity analysis finds that MSP is most sensitive to internal rate of return (IRR), biomass feedstock cost, and fixed capital cost. A two-stage stochastic programming is formulated to solve the supply chain design problem considering uncertainties in biomass availability, technology advancement, and biofuel price. The first-stage makes the capital investment decisions including the locations and capacities of the decentralized fast pyrolysis plants and the centralized biorefinery while the second-stage determines the biomass and biofuel flows. The numerical results and case study illustrate that considering uncertainties can be pivotal in this supply chain design and optimization problem. Also, farmers' participation has a significant effect on the decision making process.

  6. The current potential of algae biofuels in the United Arab Emirates

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In spite of future uncertainties about industrial algae biofuel production, the UAE is planning to become "a world leader in biofuels from the algae industry by 2020;" thus joining major countries which have already started producing renewable energy and biofuels (biodiesel and bioethanol) from rene...

  7. An integrated modeling framework for exploring flow regime and water quality changes with increasing biofuel crop production in the U.S. Corn Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yaeger, Mary A.; Housh, Mashor; Cai, Ximing; Sivapalan, Murugesu

    2014-12-01

    To better address the dynamic interactions between human and hydrologic systems, we develop an integrated modeling framework that employs a System of Systems optimization model to emulate human development decisions which are then incorporated into a watershed model to estimate the resulting hydrologic impacts. The two models are run interactively to simulate the coevolution of coupled human-nature systems, such that reciprocal feedbacks between hydrologic processes and human decisions (i.e., human impacts on critical low flows and hydrologic impacts on human decisions on land and water use) can be assessed. The framework is applied to a Midwestern U.S. agricultural watershed, in the context of proposed biofuels development. This operation is illustrated by projecting three possible future coevolution trajectories, two of which use dedicated biofuel crops to reduce annual watershed nitrate export while meeting ethanol production targets. Imposition of a primary external driver (biofuel mandate) combined with different secondary drivers (water quality targets) results in highly nonlinear and multiscale responses of both the human and hydrologic systems, including multiple tradeoffs, impacting the future coevolution of the system in complex, heterogeneous ways. The strength of the hydrologic response is sensitive to the magnitude of the secondary driver; 45% nitrate reduction target leads to noticeable impacts at the outlet, while a 30% reduction leads to noticeable impacts that are mainly local. The local responses are conditioned by previous human-hydrologic modifications and their spatial relationship to the new biofuel development, highlighting the importance of past coevolutionary history in predicting future trajectories of change.

  8. Modeling Regional Groundwater Implications of Biofuel Crop Production in the Great Lakes Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parish, A.; Kendall, A. D.; Basso, B.; Hyndman, D. W.

    2013-12-01

    In response to a growing call for renewable sources of energy that do not compete directly with food resources, the use of second-generation 'cellulosic' biofuel feedstocks has gained much attention in recent years. The push to advance the technologies that would make such a transformation possible is motivated by the United States Renewable Fuel Standard mandate to produce 36 billion gallons of biofuels by 2022, an increase of 334 percent from 2009. Many different crops, including maize, miscanthus, switchgrass, and poplar have shown promise as cellulosic feedstocks, and in an attempt to supply the needed biomass to meet the 2022 mandate, production of these crops have been on the rise. Yet little is known about the sustainability of large-scale conversion of land to cellulosic biofuel crop production; more research is needed to understand the effects that these crops will have on the quality and quantity of groundwater. This study presents a model scale-up approach to address three questions: What are the hydrologic and nutrient demands of the primary biofuel crops? Which biofuel crops are more water efficient in terms of demand verses energy produced? What are the types and availabilities of land to expand production of these biofuel crops? To answer these questions, we apply a point-based crop dynamics model in combination with a regional-scale hydrologic model, parameterized using stream discharge and chemistry data collected from two representative watersheds in Wisconsin. Approximately 17 stream sites in each watershed are selected for data collection for model parameterization, including stream discharge, nutrient concentrations, and basic chemical characteristics. We then use the System Approach to Land Use Sustainability (SALUS) model, which predicts crop growth under varying soil and climate conditions, to drive vegetation dynamics and groundwater transport of nutrients within the Integrated Landscape Hydrology Model (ILHM). ILHM predictions of stream discharge and baseflow delivery of nutrients are then compared to field data to validate model predictions.

  9. Microbial conversion of pyrolytic products to biofuels: a novel and sustainable approach toward second-generation biofuels.

    PubMed

    Islam, Zia Ul; Zhisheng, Yu; Hassan, El Barbary; Dongdong, Chang; Hongxun, Zhang

    2015-12-01

    This review highlights the potential of the pyrolysis-based biofuels production, bio-ethanol in particular, and lipid in general as an alternative and sustainable solution for the rising environmental concerns and rapidly depleting natural fuel resources. Levoglucosan (1,6-anhydrous-?-D-glucopyranose) is the major anhydrosugar compound resulting from the degradation of cellulose during the fast pyrolysis process of biomass and thus the most attractive fermentation substrate in the bio-oil. The challenges for pyrolysis-based biorefineries are the inefficient detoxification strategies, and the lack of naturally available efficient and suitable fermentation organisms that could ferment the levoglucosan directly into bio-ethanol. In case of indirect fermentation, acid hydrolysis is used to convert levoglucosan into glucose and subsequently to ethanol and lipids via fermentation biocatalysts, however the presence of fermentation inhibitors poses a big hurdle to successful fermentation relative to pure glucose. Among the detoxification strategies studied so far, over-liming, extraction with solvents like (n-butanol, ethyl acetate), and activated carbon seem very promising, but still further research is required for the optimization of existing detoxification strategies as well as developing new ones. In order to make the pyrolysis-based biofuel production a more efficient as well as cost-effective process, direct fermentation of pyrolysis oil-associated fermentable sugars, especially levoglucosan is highlly desirable. This can be achieved either by expanding the search to identify naturally available direct levoglusoan utilizers or modify the existing fermentation biocatalysts (yeasts and bacteria) with direct levoglucosan pathway coupled with tolerance engineering could significantly improve the overall performance of these microorganisms. PMID:26433384

  10. Designer synthetic media for studying microbial-catalyzed biofuel production

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Tang, Xiaoyu; da Costa Sousa, Leonardo; Jin, Mingjie; Chundawat, Shishir; Chambliss, Charles; Lau, Ming W; Xiao, Zeyi; Dale, Bruce E; Balan, Venkatesh

    2015-01-01

    Background: The fermentation inhibition of yeast or bacteria by lignocellulose-derived degradation products, during hexose/pentose co-fermentation, is a major bottleneck for cost-effective lignocellulosic biorefineries. To engineer microbial strains for improved performance, it is critical to understand the mechanisms of inhibition that affect fermentative organisms in the presence of major components of a lignocellulosic hydrolysate. The development of a synthetic lignocellulosic hydrolysate (SH) media with a composition similar to the actual biomass hydrolysate will be an important advancement to facilitate these studies. In this work, we characterized the nutrients and plant-derived decomposition products present in AFEX™ pretreated corn stover hydrolysate (ACH). Themore »SH was formulated based on the ACH composition and was further used to evaluate the inhibitory effects of various families of decomposition products during Saccharomyces cerevisiae 424A (LNH-ST) fermentation. Results: The ACH contained high levels of nitrogenous compounds, notably amides, pyrazines, and imidazoles. In contrast, a relatively low content of furans and aromatic and aliphatic acids were found in the ACH. Though most of the families of decomposition products were inhibitory to xylose fermentation, due to their abundance, the nitrogenous compounds showed the most inhibition. From these compounds, amides (products of the ammonolysis reaction) contributed the most to the reduction of the fermentation performance. However, this result is associated to a concentration effect, as the corresponding carboxylic acids (products of hydrolysis) promoted greater inhibition when present at the same molar concentration as the amides. Due to its complexity, the formulated SH did not perfectly match the fermentation profile of the actual hydrolysate, especially the growth curve. However, the SH formulation was effective for studying the inhibitory effect of various compounds on yeast fermentation. Conclusions: The formulation of SHs is an important advancement for future multi-omics studies and for better understanding the mechanisms of fermentation inhibition in lignocellulosic hydrolysates. The SH formulated in this work was instrumental for defining the most important inhibitors in the ACH. Major AFEX decomposition products are less inhibitory to yeast fermentation than the products of dilute acid or steam explosion pretreatments; thus, ACH is readily fermentable by yeast without any detoxification.« less

  11. Designer synthetic media for studying microbial-catalyzed biofuel production

    SciTech Connect

    Tang, Xiaoyu; da Costa Sousa, Leonardo; Jin, Mingjie; Chundawat, Shishir; Chambliss, Charles; Lau, Ming W; Xiao, Zeyi; Dale, Bruce E; Balan, Venkatesh

    2015-01-01

    Background: The fermentation inhibition of yeast or bacteria by lignocellulose-derived degradation products, during hexose/pentose co-fermentation, is a major bottleneck for cost-effective lignocellulosic biorefineries. To engineer microbial strains for improved performance, it is critical to understand the mechanisms of inhibition that affect fermentative organisms in the presence of major components of a lignocellulosic hydrolysate. The development of a synthetic lignocellulosic hydrolysate (SH) media with a composition similar to the actual biomass hydrolysate will be an important advancement to facilitate these studies. In this work, we characterized the nutrients and plant-derived decomposition products present in AFEX™ pretreated corn stover hydrolysate (ACH). The SH was formulated based on the ACH composition and was further used to evaluate the inhibitory effects of various families of decomposition products during Saccharomyces cerevisiae 424A (LNH-ST) fermentation. Results: The ACH contained high levels of nitrogenous compounds, notably amides, pyrazines, and imidazoles. In contrast, a relatively low content of furans and aromatic and aliphatic acids were found in the ACH. Though most of the families of decomposition products were inhibitory to xylose fermentation, due to their abundance, the nitrogenous compounds showed the most inhibition. From these compounds, amides (products of the ammonolysis reaction) contributed the most to the reduction of the fermentation performance. However, this result is associated to a concentration effect, as the corresponding carboxylic acids (products of hydrolysis) promoted greater inhibition when present at the same molar concentration as the amides. Due to its complexity, the formulated SH did not perfectly match the fermentation profile of the actual hydrolysate, especially the growth curve. However, the SH formulation was effective for studying the inhibitory effect of various compounds on yeast fermentation. Conclusions: The formulation of SHs is an important advancement for future multi-omics studies and for better understanding the mechanisms of fermentation inhibition in lignocellulosic hydrolysates. The SH formulated in this work was instrumental for defining the most important inhibitors in the ACH. Major AFEX decomposition products are less inhibitory to yeast fermentation than the products of dilute acid or steam explosion pretreatments; thus, ACH is readily fermentable by yeast without any detoxification.

  12. Using mobile distributed pyrolysis facilities to deliver a forest residue resource for bio-fuel production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Duncan

    Distributed mobile conversion facilities using either fast pyrolysis or torrefaction processes can be used to convert forest residues to more energy dense substances (bio-oil, bio-slurry or torrefied wood) that can be transported as feedstock for bio-fuel facilities. All feedstock are suited for gasification, which produces syngas that can be used to synthesise petrol or diesel via Fischer-Tropsch reactions, or produce hydrogen via water gas shift reactions. Alternatively, the bio-oil product of fast pyrolysis may be upgraded to produce petrol and diesel, or can undergo steam reformation to produce hydrogen. Implementing a network of mobile facilities reduces the energy content of forest residues delivered to a bio-fuel facility as mobile facilities use a fraction of the biomass energy content to meet thermal or electrical demands. The total energy delivered by bio-oil, bio-slurry and torrefied wood is 45%, 65% and 87% of the initial forest residue energy content, respectively. However, implementing mobile facilities is economically feasible when large transport distances are required. For an annual harvest of 1.717 million m3 (equivalent to 2000 ODTPD), transport costs are reduced to less than 40% of the total levelised delivered feedstock cost when mobile facilities are implemented; transport costs account for up to 80% of feedstock costs for conventional woodchip delivery. Torrefaction provides the lowest cost pathway of delivering a forest residue resource when using mobile facilities. Cost savings occur against woodchip delivery for annual forest residue harvests above 2.25 million m3 or when transport distances greater than 250 km are required. Important parameters that influence levelised delivered costs of feedstock are transport distances (forest residue spatial density), haul cost factors, thermal and electrical demands of mobile facilities, and initial moisture content of forest residues. Relocating mobile facilities can be optimised for lowest cost delivery as transport distances of raw biomass are reduced. The overall cost of bio-fuel production is determined by the feedstock delivery pathway and also the bio-fuel production process employed. Results show that the minimum cost of petrol and diesel production is 0.86 litre -1 when a bio-oil feedstock is upgraded. This corresponds to a 2750 TPD upgrading facility requiring an annual harvest of 4.30 million m3. The mini?m cost of hydrogen production is 2.92 kg -1, via the gasification of a woodchip feedstock and subsequent water gas shift reactions. This corresponds to a 1100 ODTPD facility and requires an annual harvest of 947,000 m3. The levelised cost of bio-fuel strongly depends on the size of annual harvest required for bio-fuel facilities. There are optimal harvest volumes (bio-fuel facility sizes) for each bio-fuel production route, which yield minimum bio-fuel production costs. These occur as the benefits of economies of scale for larger bio-fuel facilities compete against increasing transport costs for larger harvests. Optimal harvest volumes are larger for bio-fuel production routes that use feedstock sourced from mobile facilities, as mobile facilities reduce total transport requirements.

  13. Life cycle assessment of biofuel production from brown seaweed in Nordic conditions.

    PubMed

    Alvarado-Morales, Merlin; Boldrin, Alessio; Karakashev, Dimitar B; Holdt, Susan L; Angelidaki, Irini; Astrup, Thomas

    2013-02-01

    The use of algae for biofuel production is expected to play an important role in securing energy supply in the next decades. A consequential life cycle assessment (LCA) and an energy analysis of seaweed-based biofuel production were carried out in Nordic conditions to document and improve the sustainability of the process. Two scenarios were analyzed for the brown seaweed (Laminaria digitata), namely, biogas production (scenario 1) and bioethanol+biogas production (scenario 2). Potential environmental impact categories under investigation were Global Warming, Acidification and Terrestrial Eutrophication. The production of seaweed was identified to be the most energy intensive step. Scenario 1 showed better performance compared to scenario 2 for all impact categories, partly because of the energy intensive bioethanol separation process and the consequently lower overall efficiency of the system. For improved environmental performance, focus should be on optimization of seaweed production, bioethanol distillation, and management of digestate on land. PMID:23238340

  14. Scope of Algae as Third Generation Biofuels

    PubMed Central

    Behera, Shuvashish; Singh, Richa; Arora, Richa; Sharma, Nilesh Kumar; Shukla, Madhulika; Kumar, Sachin

    2015-01-01

    An initiative has been taken to develop different solid, liquid, and gaseous biofuels as the alternative energy resources. The current research and technology based on the third generation biofuels derived from algal biomass have been considered as the best alternative bioresource that avoids the disadvantages of first and second generation biofuels. Algal biomass has been investigated for the implementation of economic conversion processes producing different biofuels such as biodiesel, bioethanol, biogas, biohydrogen, and other valuable co-products. In the present review, the recent findings and advance developments in algal biomass for improved biofuel production have been explored. This review discusses about the importance of the algal cell contents, various strategies for product formation through various conversion technologies, and its future scope as an energy security. PMID:25717470

  15. Moving toward energy security and sustainability in 2050 by reconfiguring biofuel production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To achieve energy security and sustainability by 2050 requires reconfiguring biofuel production both by building on current infrastructure and existing technology and also by making substantial improvements and changes in the feedstocks used, the process technologies applied, and the fuels produced....

  16. Fluid Fertilizer's Role in Sustainng Soils Used for Bio-Fuels Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The short- and long-term effects on soil nutrient cycling, physical properties, and biological activity of striving for higher grain yields and removing crop residues for bio-fuels production must be understood to provide more quantitative crop and soil management guidelines. Studies focusing on til...

  17. Establishment of perennial grass species for cellulosic biofuel production in Georgia

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In order for biofuels to become a viable alternative energy source in the state of Georgia, appropriate feed stocks must be developed to supply this burgeoning industry. Georgia is optimum for biomass production because of its warm subtropical climate, large number of growing degree days, and an es...

  18. Comparative genomics of xylose-fermenting fungi for enhanced biofuel production

    E-print Network

    Gasch, Audrey P.

    Comparative genomics of xylose-fermenting fungi for enhanced biofuel production Dana J. Wohlbacha strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae can use the pentose xylose, the fermentative capacity pales- fermenting, beetle-associated fungi, Spathaspora passalidarum and Candida tenuis. To identify genes involved

  19. Switchgrass Production in Washington – Part II of Biofuel Feedstocks in Washington

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Integrated Cropping Systems group at Prosser, WA made up of WSU and USDA-ARS personnel have been evaluating production aspects of a number of irrigated biofuel crops that can be planted in rotation with high value vegetables: oilseeds for biodiesel (safflower, soybeans, mustard, canola/rapeseed...

  20. Industrial-strength ecology: trade-offs and opportunities in algal biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Shurin, Jonathan B; Abbott, Rachel L; Deal, Michael S; Kwan, Garfield T; Litchman, Elena; McBride, Robert C; Mandal, Shovon; Smith, Val H

    2013-11-01

    Microalgae represent one of the most promising groups of candidate organisms for replacing fossil fuels with contemporary primary production as a renewable source of energy. Algae can produce many times more biomass per unit area than terrestrial crop plants, easing the competing demands for land with food crops and native ecosystems. However, several aspects of algal biology present unique challenges to the industrial-scale aquaculture of photosynthetic microorganisms. These include high susceptibility to invading aquatic consumers and weeds, as well as prodigious requirements for nutrients that may compete with the fertiliser demands of other crops. Most research on algal biofuel technologies approaches these problems from a cellular or genetic perspective, attempting either to engineer or select algal strains with particular traits. However, inherent functional trade-offs may limit the capacity of genetic selection or synthetic biology to simultaneously optimise multiple functional traits for biofuel productivity and resilience. We argue that a community engineering approach that manages microalgal diversity, species composition and environmental conditions may lead to more robust and productive biofuel ecosystems. We review evidence for trade-offs, challenges and opportunities in algal biofuel cultivation with a goal of guiding research towards intensifying bioenergy production using established principles of community and ecosystem ecology. PMID:24015819

  1. 75 FR 42745 - Production Incentives for Cellulosic Biofuels: Notice of Program Intent

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-22

    ..., ``Production Incentives for Cellulosic Biofuels; Reverse Auction Procedures and Standards,'' (74 FR 52867... Biomass Program, in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, intends to conduct a Reverse... directed to: Mr. Neil Rossmeissl, Office of the Biomass Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Mailstop...

  2. Fluid Fertilizer’s Role in Sustaining Soils Used for Bio-fuel Feedstock Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The short- and long-term effects on soil nutrient cycling, physical properties, and biological activity of striving for higher grain yields and removing crop residues for bio-fuels production must be understood to provide more quantitative crop and soil management guidelines. This study focuses on p...

  3. Satellite-based assessment of water requirement for biofuel feedstock production in Maui, Hawaii

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Water availability is one of the limiting factors for sustainable production of biofuel crops. A common method for determining crop water requirement is to multiply daily potential evapotranspiration (ETo) calculated from meteorological parameters by a crop coefficient (Kc) to obtain actual crop eva...

  4. Estimating Sugarcane Water Requirements for Biofuel Feedstock Production in Maui, Hawaii Using Satellite Imagery

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Water availability is one of the limiting factors for sustainable production of biofuel crops. A common method for determining crop water requirement is to multiply daily potential evapotranspiration (ETo) calculated from meteorological parameters by a crop coefficient (Kc) to obtain actual crop eva...

  5. Chaotropicity: a key factor in product tolerance of biofuel-producing microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Cray, Jonathan A; Stevenson, Andrew; Ball, Philip; Bankar, Sandip B; Eleutherio, Elis C A; Ezeji, Thaddeus C; Singhal, Rekha S; Thevelein, Johan M; Timson, David J; Hallsworth, John E

    2015-06-01

    Fermentation products can chaotropically disorder macromolecular systems and induce oxidative stress, thus inhibiting biofuel production. Recently, the chaotropic activities of ethanol, butanol and vanillin have been quantified (5.93, 37.4, 174kJ kg(-1)m(-1) respectively). Use of low temperatures and/or stabilizing (kosmotropic) substances, and other approaches, can reduce, neutralize or circumvent product-chaotropicity. However, there may be limits to the alcohol concentrations that cells can tolerate; e.g. for ethanol tolerance in the most robust Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains, these are close to both the solubility limit (<25%, w/v ethanol) and the water-activity limit of the most xerotolerant strains (0.880). Nevertheless, knowledge-based strategies to mitigate or neutralize chaotropicity could lead to major improvements in rates of product formation and yields, and also therefore in the economics of biofuel production. PMID:25841213

  6. Future U.S. water consumption : The role of energy production.

    SciTech Connect

    Elcock, D.; Environmental Science Division

    2010-06-01

    This study investigates how meeting domestic energy production targets for both fossil and renewable fuels may affect future water demand. It combines projections of energy production developed by the U.S. Department of Energy with estimates of water consumption on a per-unit basis (water-consumption coefficients) for coal, oil, gas, and biofuels production, to estimate and compare the domestic freshwater consumed. Although total domestic freshwater consumption is expected to increase by nearly 7% between 2005 and 2030, water consumed for energy production is expected to increase by nearly 70%, and water consumed for biofuels (biodiesel and ethanol) production is expected to increase by almost 250%. By 2030, water consumed in the production of biofuels is projected to account for nearly half of the total amount of water consumed in the production of all energy fuels. Most of this is for irrigation, and the West North Central Region is projected to consume most of this water in 2030. These findings identify an important potential future conflict between renewable energy production and water availability that warrants further investigation and action to ensure that future domestic energy demand can be met in an economically efficient and environmentally sustainable manner.

  7. Economic evaluation of technology for a new generation biofuel production using wastes.

    PubMed

    Koutinas, Athanasios; Kanellaki, Maria; Bekatorou, Argyro; Kandylis, Panagiotis; Pissaridi, Katerina; Dima, Agapi; Boura, Konstantina; Lappa, Katerina; Tsafrakidou, Panagiota; Stergiou, Panagiota-Yiolanda; Foukis, Athanasios; Gkini, Olga A; Papamichael, Emmanuel M

    2016-01-01

    An economic evaluation of an integrated technology for industrial scale new generation biofuel production using whey, vinasse, and lignocellulosic biomass as raw materials is reported. Anaerobic packed-bed bioreactors were used for organic acids production using initially synthetic media and then wastes. Butyric, lactic and acetic acid were predominately produced from vinasse, whey, and cellulose, respectively. Mass balance was calculated for a 16,000L daily production capacity. Liquid-liquid extraction was applied for recovery of the organic acids using butanol-1 as an effective extraction solvent which serves also as the alcohol for the subsequent enzyme-catalyzed esterification. The investment needed for the installation of the factory was estimated to about 1.7million€ with depreciation excepted at about 3months. For cellulosics, the installation investment was estimated to be about 7-fold higher with depreciation at about 1.5years. The proposed technology is an alternative trend in biofuel production. PMID:26492169

  8. Environmental, economic and social impact of aviation biofuel production in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Cremonez, Paulo André; Feroldi, Michael; de Jesus de Oliveira, Carlos; Teleken, Joel Gustavo; Alves, Helton José; Sampaio, Silvio Cézar

    2015-03-25

    The Brazilian aviation industry is currently developing biofuel technologies that can maintain the operational and energy demands of the sector, while reducing the dependence on fossil fuels (mainly kerosene) and greenhouse gas emissions. The aim of the current research was to identify the major environmental, economic and social impacts arising from the production of aviation biofuels in Brazil. Despite the great potential of these fuels, there is a significant need for improved routes of production and specifically for lower production costs of these materials. In addition, the productive chains of raw materials for obtaining these bioenergetics can be linked to environmental impacts by NOx emissions, extensive use of agricultural land, loss of wildlife and intensive water use, as well as economic, social and political impacts. PMID:25582405

  9. Identification and microbial production of a terpene-based advanced biofuel.

    PubMed

    Peralta-Yahya, Pamela P; Ouellet, Mario; Chan, Rossana; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila; Keasling, Jay D; Lee, Taek Soon

    2011-01-01

    Rising petroleum costs, trade imbalances and environmental concerns have stimulated efforts to advance the microbial production of fuels from lignocellulosic biomass. Here we identify a novel biosynthetic alternative to D2 diesel fuel, bisabolane, and engineer microbial platforms for the production of its immediate precursor, bisabolene. First, we identify bisabolane as an alternative to D2 diesel by measuring the fuel properties of chemically hydrogenated commercial bisabolene. Then, via a combination of enzyme screening and metabolic engineering, we obtain a more than tenfold increase in bisabolene titers in Escherichia coli to >900 mg l(-1). We produce bisabolene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (>900 mg l(-1)), a widely used platform for the production of ethanol. Finally, we chemically hydrogenate biosynthetic bisabolene into bisabolane. This work presents a framework for the identification of novel terpene-based advanced biofuels and the rapid engineering of microbial farnesyl diphosphate-overproducing platforms for the production of biofuels. PMID:21952217

  10. Algae as a Feedstock for Transportation Fuels. The Future of Biofuels?

    SciTech Connect

    McGill, Ralph

    2008-05-15

    Events in world energy markets over the past several years have prompted many new technical developments as well as political support for alternative transportation fuels, especially those that are renewable. We have seen dramatic rises in the demand for and production of fuel ethanol from sugar cane and corn and biodiesel from vegetable oils. The quantities of these fuels being used continue to rise dramatically, and their use is helping to create a political climate for doing even more. But, the quantities are still far too small to stem the tide of rising crude prices worldwide. In fact, the use of some traditional crops (corn, sugar, soy, etc.) in making fuels instead of food is apparently beginning to impact the cost of food worldwide. Thus, there is considerable interest in developing alternative biofuel feedstocks for use in making fuels -- feedstocks that are not used in the food industries. Of course, we know that there is a lot of work in developing cellulosic-based ethanol that would be made from woody biomass. Process development is the critical path for this option, and the breakthrough in reducing the cost of the process has been elusive thus far. Making biodiesel from vegetable oils is a well-developed and inexpensive process, but to date there have been few reasonable alternatives for making biodiesel, although advanced processes such as gasification of biomass remain an option.

  11. Chromatin landscaping in algae reveals novel regulation pathway for biofuels production

    SciTech Connect

    Ngan, Chew Yee; Wong, Chee-Hong; Choi, Cindy; Pratap, Abhishek; Han, James; Wei, Chia-Lin

    2013-02-19

    The diminishing reserve of fossil fuels calls for the development of biofuels. Biofuels are produced from renewable resources, including photosynthetic organisms, generating clean energy. Microalgae is one of the potential feedstock for biofuels production. It grows easily even in waste water, and poses no competition to agricultural crops for arable land. However, little is known about the algae lipid biosynthetic regulatory mechanisms. Most studies relied on the homology to other plant model organisms, in particular Arabidopsis or through low coverage expression analysis to identify key enzymes. This limits the discovery of new components in the biosynthetic pathways, particularly the genetic regulators and effort to maximize the production efficiency of algal biofuels. Here we report an unprecedented and de novo approach to dissect the algal lipid pathways through disclosing the temporal regulations of chromatin states during lipid biosynthesis. We have generated genome wide chromatin maps in chlamydomonas genome using ChIP-seq targeting 7 histone modifications and RNA polymerase II in a time-series manner throughout conditions activating lipid biosynthesis. To our surprise, the combinatory profiles of histone codes uncovered new regulatory mechanism in gene expression in algae. Coupled with matched RNA-seq data, chromatin changes revealed potential novel regulators and candidate genes involved in the activation of lipid accumulations. Genetic perturbation on these candidate regulators further demonstrated the potential to manipulate the regulatory cascade for lipid synthesis efficiency. Exploring epigenetic landscape in microalgae shown here provides powerful tools needed in improving biofuel production and new technology platform for renewable energy generation, global carbon management, and environmental survey.

  12. Interactions of woody biofuel feedstock production systems with water resources: Considerations for sustainability.

    SciTech Connect

    Trettin, Carl,C.; Amatya, Devendra; Coleman, Mark.

    2008-07-01

    Abstract. Water resources are important for the production of woody biofuel feedstocks. It is necessary to ensure that production systems do not adversely affect the quantity or quality of surface and ground water. The effects of woody biomass plantations on water resources are largely dependent on the prior land use and the management regime. Experience from both irrigated and non-irrigated systems has demonstrated that woody biofuel production systems do not impair water quality. Water quality actually improves from conversion of idle or degraded agricultural lands to woody biomass plantations. Site water balance may be altered by cultivation of woody biomass plantations relative to agricultural use, due to increases in evapostranspiration (ET) and storage. Incorporation of woody biomass production plantations within the landscape provides an opportunity to improve the quality of runoff water and soil conservation. Given the centrality of water resources to the sustainability of ecosystem services and other values derived, the experience with woody biofuels feedstock production systems is positive. Keywords. Short rotation woody crop, forest hydrology, water quality, hardwood plantation.

  13. Wastewater treatment high rate algal ponds (WWT HRAP) for low-cost biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Mehrabadi, Abbas; Craggs, Rupert; Farid, Mohammed M

    2015-05-01

    Growing energy demand and water consumption have increased concerns about energy security and efficient wastewater treatment and reuse. Wastewater treatment high rate algal ponds (WWT HRAPs) are a promising technology that could help solve these challenges concurrently where climate is favorable. WWT HRAPs have great potential for biofuel production as a by-product of WWT, since the costs of algal cultivation and harvest for biofuel production are covered by the wastewater treatment function. Generally, 800-1400 GJ/ha/year energy (average biomass energy content: 20 GJ/ton; HRAP biomass productivity: 40-70 tons/ha/year) can be produced in the form of harvestable biomass from WWT HRAP which can be used to provide community-level energy supply. In this paper the benefits of WWT HRAPs are compared with conventional mass algal culture systems. Moreover, parameters to effectively increase algal energy content and overall energy production from WWT HRAP are discussed including selection of appropriate algal biomass biofuel conversion pathways. PMID:25465780

  14. Organisms for biofuel production: natural bioresources and methodologies for improving their biosynthetic potentials.

    PubMed

    Hu, Guangrong; Ji, Shiqi; Yu, Yanchong; Wang, Shi'an; Zhou, Gongke; Li, Fuli

    2015-01-01

    In order to relieve the pressure of energy supply and environment contamination that humans are facing, there are now intensive worldwide efforts to explore natural bioresources for production of energy storage compounds, such as lipids, alcohols, hydrocarbons, and polysaccharides. Around the world, many plants have been evaluated and developed as feedstock for bioenergy production, among which several crops have successfully achieved industrialization. Microalgae are another group of photosynthetic autotroph of interest due to their superior growth rates, relatively high photosynthetic conversion efficiencies, and vast metabolic capabilities. Heterotrophic microorganisms, such as yeast and bacteria, can utilize carbohydrates from lignocellulosic biomass directly or after pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis to produce liquid biofuels such as ethanol and butanol. Although finding a suitable organism for biofuel production is not easy, many naturally occurring organisms with good traits have recently been obtained. This review mainly focuses on the new organism resources discovered in the last 5 years for production of transport fuels (biodiesel, gasoline, jet fuel, and alkanes) and hydrogen, and available methods to improve natural organisms as platforms for the production of biofuels. PMID:24085385

  15. Biofuels Issues and Trends

    EIA Publications

    2012-01-01

    This report presents data on biofuels consumption, production, imports and exports, including data collected by others than the U.S. Energy Information Administration. It also discusses important developments in biofuels markets.

  16. Genetic resources for advanced biofuel production described with the Gene Ontology

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Torto-Alalibo, Trudy; Purwantini, Endang; Lomax, Jane; Setubal, Joao C.; Mukhopadhyay, Biswarup; Tyler, Brett M.

    2014-10-10

    Dramatic increases in research in the area of microbial biofuel production coupled with high-throughput data generation on bioenergy-related microbes has led to a deluge of information in the scientific literature and in databases. Consolidating this information and making it easily accessible requires a unified vocabulary.The Gene Ontology (GO) fulfills that requirement, as it is a well-developed structured vocabulary that describes the activities and locations of gene products in a consistent manner across all kingdoms of life. The Microbial ENergy processes Gene Ontology (http://www.mengo.biochem.vt.edu) project is extending the GO to include new terms to describe microbial processes of interest to bioenergymore »production. Our effort has added over 600 bioenergy related terms to the Gene Ontology. These terms will aid in the comprehensive annotation of gene products from diverse energy-related microbial genomes. An area of microbial energy research that has received a lot of attention is microbial production of advanced biofuels. These include alcohols such as butanol, isopropanol, isobutanol, and fuels derived from fatty acids, isoprenoids, and polyhydroxyalkanoates. These fuels are superior to first generation biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel esterified from vegetable oil or animal fat), can be generated from non-food feedstock sources, can be used as supplements or substitutes for gasoline, diesel and jet fuels, and can be stored and distributed using existing infrastructure. We review the roles of genes associated with synthesis of advanced biofuels, and at the same time introduce the use of the GO to describe the functions of these genes in a standardized way.« less

  17. Genetic resources for advanced biofuel production described with the Gene Ontology

    PubMed Central

    Torto-Alalibo, Trudy; Purwantini, Endang; Lomax, Jane; Setubal, Joăo C.; Mukhopadhyay, Biswarup; Tyler, Brett M.

    2014-01-01

    Dramatic increases in research in the area of microbial biofuel production coupled with high-throughput data generation on bioenergy-related microbes has led to a deluge of information in the scientific literature and in databases. Consolidating this information and making it easily accessible requires a unified vocabulary. The Gene Ontology (GO) fulfills that requirement, as it is a well-developed structured vocabulary that describes the activities and locations of gene products in a consistent manner across all kingdoms of life. The Microbial ENergy processes Gene Ontology () project is extending the GO to include new terms to describe microbial processes of interest to bioenergy production. Our effort has added over 600 bioenergy related terms to the Gene Ontology. These terms will aid in the comprehensive annotation of gene products from diverse energy-related microbial genomes. An area of microbial energy research that has received a lot of attention is microbial production of advanced biofuels. These include alcohols such as butanol, isopropanol, isobutanol, and fuels derived from fatty acids, isoprenoids, and polyhydroxyalkanoates. These fuels are superior to first generation biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel esterified from vegetable oil or animal fat), can be generated from non-food feedstock sources, can be used as supplements or substitutes for gasoline, diesel and jet fuels, and can be stored and distributed using existing infrastructure. Here we review the roles of genes associated with synthesis of advanced biofuels, and at the same time introduce the use of the GO to describe the functions of these genes in a standardized way. PMID:25346727

  18. Genetic resources for advanced biofuel production described with the Gene Ontology

    SciTech Connect

    Torto-Alalibo, Trudy; Purwantini, Endang; Lomax, Jane; Setubal, Joao C.; Mukhopadhyay, Biswarup; Tyler, Brett M.

    2014-10-10

    Dramatic increases in research in the area of microbial biofuel production coupled with high-throughput data generation on bioenergy-related microbes has led to a deluge of information in the scientific literature and in databases. Consolidating this information and making it easily accessible requires a unified vocabulary.The Gene Ontology (GO) fulfills that requirement, as it is a well-developed structured vocabulary that describes the activities and locations of gene products in a consistent manner across all kingdoms of life. The Microbial ENergy processes Gene Ontology (http://www.mengo.biochem.vt.edu) project is extending the GO to include new terms to describe microbial processes of interest to bioenergy production. Our effort has added over 600 bioenergy related terms to the Gene Ontology. These terms will aid in the comprehensive annotation of gene products from diverse energy-related microbial genomes. An area of microbial energy research that has received a lot of attention is microbial production of advanced biofuels. These include alcohols such as butanol, isopropanol, isobutanol, and fuels derived from fatty acids, isoprenoids, and polyhydroxyalkanoates. These fuels are superior to first generation biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel esterified from vegetable oil or animal fat), can be generated from non-food feedstock sources, can be used as supplements or substitutes for gasoline, diesel and jet fuels, and can be stored and distributed using existing infrastructure. We review the roles of genes associated with synthesis of advanced biofuels, and at the same time introduce the use of the GO to describe the functions of these genes in a standardized way.

  19. Monster potential meets potential monster: pros and cons of deploying genetically modified microalgae for biofuels production.

    PubMed

    Flynn, K J; Mitra, A; Greenwell, H C; Sui, J

    2013-02-01

    Biofuels production from microalgae attracts much attention but remains an unproven technology. We explore routes to enhance production through modifications to a range of generic microalgal physiological characteristics. Our analysis shows that biofuels production may be enhanced ca fivefold through genetic modification (GM) of factors affecting growth rate, respiration, photoacclimation, photosynthesis efficiency and the minimum cell quotas for nitrogen and phosphorous (N : C and P : C). However, simulations indicate that the ideal GM microalgae for commercial deployment could, on escape to the environment, become a harmful algal bloom species par excellence, with attendant risks to ecosystems and livelihoods. In large measure, this is because an organism able to produce carbohydrate and/or lipid at high rates, providing stock metabolites for biofuels production, will also be able to attain a stoichiometric composition that will be far from optimal as food for the support of zooplankton growth. This composition could suppress or even halt the grazing activity that would otherwise control the microalgal growth in nature. In consequence, we recommend that the genetic manipulation of microalgae, with inherent consequences on a scale comparable to geoengineering, should be considered under strict international regulation. PMID:24427510

  20. Monster potential meets potential monster: pros and cons of deploying genetically modified microalgae for biofuels production

    PubMed Central

    Flynn, K. J.; Mitra, A.; Greenwell, H. C.; Sui, J.

    2013-01-01

    Biofuels production from microalgae attracts much attention but remains an unproven technology. We explore routes to enhance production through modifications to a range of generic microalgal physiological characteristics. Our analysis shows that biofuels production may be enhanced ca fivefold through genetic modification (GM) of factors affecting growth rate, respiration, photoacclimation, photosynthesis efficiency and the minimum cell quotas for nitrogen and phosphorous (N : C and P : C). However, simulations indicate that the ideal GM microalgae for commercial deployment could, on escape to the environment, become a harmful algal bloom species par excellence, with attendant risks to ecosystems and livelihoods. In large measure, this is because an organism able to produce carbohydrate and/or lipid at high rates, providing stock metabolites for biofuels production, will also be able to attain a stoichiometric composition that will be far from optimal as food for the support of zooplankton growth. This composition could suppress or even halt the grazing activity that would otherwise control the microalgal growth in nature. In consequence, we recommend that the genetic manipulation of microalgae, with inherent consequences on a scale comparable to geoengineering, should be considered under strict international regulation. PMID:24427510

  1. Bioelectrochemical reduction of volatile fatty acids in anaerobic digestion effluent for the production of biofuels.

    PubMed

    Kondaveeti, Sanath; Min, Booki

    2015-12-15

    This study proves for the first time the feasibility of biofuel production from anaerobic digestion effluent via bioelectrochemical cell operation at various applied cell voltages (1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 V). An increase in cell voltage from 1 to 2 V resulted in more reduction current generation (-0.48 to -0.78 mA) at a lowered cathode potential (-0.45 to -0.84 mV vs Ag/AgCl). Various alcohols were produced depending on applied cell voltages, and the main products were butanol, ethanol, and propanol. Hydrogen and methane production were also observed in the headspace of the cell. A large amount of lactic acid was unexpectedly formed at all conditions, which might be the primary cause of the limited biofuel production. The addition of neutral red (NR) to the system could increase the cathodic reduction current, and thus more biofuels were produced with an enhanced alcohol formation compared to without a mediator. PMID:26402877

  2. Toward cell-free biofuel production: Stable immobilization of oligomeric enzymes.

    PubMed

    Grimaldi, J; Collins, C H; Belfort, G

    2014-01-01

    To overcome the main challenges facing alcohol-based biofuel production, we propose an alternate simplified biofuel production scheme based on a cell-free immobilized enzyme system. In this paper, we measured the activity of two tetrameric enzymes, a control enzyme with a colorimetric assay, ?-galactosidase, and an alcohol-producing enzyme, alcohol dehydrogenase, immobilized on multiple surface curvatures and chemistries. Several solid supports including silica nanoparticles (convex), mesopourous silica (concave), diatomaceous earth (concave), and methacrylate (concave) were examined. High conversion rates and low protein leaching was achieved by covalent immobilization of both enzymes on methacrylate resin. Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) exhibited long-term stability and over 80% conversion of aldehyde to alcohol over 16 days of batch cycles. The complete reaction scheme for the conversion of acid to aldehyde to alcohol was demonstrated in vitro by immobilizing ADH with keto-acid decarboxylase free in solution. PMID:24449684

  3. Microbial advanced biofuels production: overcoming emulsification challenges for large-scale operation.

    PubMed

    Heeres, Arjan S; Picone, Carolina S F; van der Wielen, Luuk A M; Cunha, Rosiane L; Cuellar, Maria C

    2014-04-01

    Isoprenoids and alkanes produced and secreted by microorganisms are emerging as an alternative biofuel for diesel and jet fuel replacements. In a similar way as for other bioprocesses comprising an organic liquid phase, the presence of microorganisms, medium composition, and process conditions may result in emulsion formation during fermentation, hindering product recovery. At the same time, a low-cost production process overcoming this challenge is required to make these advanced biofuels a feasible alternative. We review the main mechanisms and causes of emulsion formation during fermentation, because a better understanding on the microscale can give insights into how to improve large-scale processes and the process technology options that can address these challenges. PMID:24630476

  4. Cost structures and life cycle impacts of algal biomass and biofuel production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christiansen, Katrina Lea

    2011-12-01

    Development and extraction of energy sources, energy production and energy use have huge economic, environmental and geopolitical impacts. Increasing energy demands in tandem with reductions in fossil fuel production has led to significant investments in research into alternative forms of energy. One that is promising but yet not commercially established is the production of biofuel from algae. This research quantitatively assessed the potential of algae biofuel production by examining its cost and environmental impacts. First, two models developed by the RAND corporation were employed to assess Cost Growth defined as the ratio of actual costs to estimated costs, and Plant Performance defined as the ratio of actual production levels to design performance, of three algal biofuel production technologies. The three algal biofuel production technologies examined to open raceway ponds (ORPs), photobioreactors (PBRs), and a system that couples PBRs to ORPs (PBR-ORPs). Though these analyses lack precision due to uncertainty, the results highlight the risks associated with implementing algal biofuel systems, as all scenarios examined were predicted to have Cost Growth, ranging from 1.2 to 1.8, and Plant Performance was projected as less than 50% of design performance for all cases. Second, the Framework the Evaluation of Biomass Energy Feedstocks (FEBEF) was used to assess the cost and environmental impacts of biodiesel produced from three algal production technologies. When these results were compared with ethanol from corn and biodiesel from soybeans, biodiesel from algae produced from the different technologies were estimated to be more expensive, suffered from low energy gains, and did not result in lower greenhouse gas emissions. To identify likely routes to making algal biofuels more competitive, a third study was undertaken. In this case, FEBEF was employed to examine pinch-points (defined as the most costly, energy consuming, greenhouse gas producing processes), in three algal production and fuel conversion scenarios, and then to estimate the improvement to cost and environmental impacts of proposed solutions to the pinch-points. These results illuminated significant opportunities to improve the economics and environmental impacts from producing algal biofuels produced in ORP, PBR, and PBR-ORPs. No single solution examined appeared to be sufficient to reduce the cost of fuel energy from algae to a competitive level with current petroleum diesel prices (4.20 /gal, ca. 28/GJ). However, if multiple pinch-points are overcome, e.g., simultaneous increases in (1) radiation use efficiency and (2) oil content or simultaneous decreases in (3) irrigation, (4) harvesting, (5) labor and (6)PBR costs are achieved then low Fuel Energy Costs (the ratio of total production and conversion costs to total energy available in the fuel) and low Total Energy Costs (the ratio of total production and conversion costs to total energy available in the fuel and co-products) are possible; with estimates ranging from 48 to 11 $/GJ.

  5. future science group 5ISSN 1759-726910.4155/BFS.12.76 2013 Future Science Ltd Special FocuS: advanced FeedStockS For advanced bioFuelS

    E-print Network

    petroleum consumption with biofuels by 2030 [1­3]. This goal implies that the demand for cellulosic feed-scale bioenergy production The success and sustainability of the biofuel industry is highly dependent upon means of exposing cellulose to enzy- matic engagement. A trade-off is present between the conversion

  6. Importance of systems biology in engineering microbes for biofuel production

    SciTech Connect

    Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila; Redding, Alyssa M.; Rutherford, Becky J.; Keasling, Jay D.

    2009-12-02

    Microorganisms have been rich sources for natural products, some of which have found use as fuels, commodity chemicals, specialty chemicals, polymers, and drugs, to name a few. The recent interest in production of transportation fuels from renewable resources has catalyzed numerous research endeavors that focus on developing microbial systems for production of such natural products. Eliminating bottlenecks in microbial metabolic pathways and alleviating the stresses due to production of these chemicals are crucial in the generation of robust and efficient production hosts. The use of systems-level studies makes it possible to comprehensively understand the impact of pathway engineering within the context of the entire host metabolism, to diagnose stresses due to product synthesis, and provides the rationale to cost-effectively engineer optimal industrial microorganisms.

  7. The effect of cellulosic biofuel production on water resources at a regional scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christopher, S. F.; Scheonholtz, S. H.; Nettles, J. E.

    2012-12-01

    The U.S. government has mandated production of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022, of which 16 billion gallons are required to be cellulosic biofuels. Production of cellulosic biomass offers a promising alternative to corn-based systems because large-scale production of corn-based ethanol often requires irrigation and is associated with increased erosion, excess sediment export, and enhanced leaching of nitrogen and phosphorus. Although cultivation of switchgrass using standard agricultural practices is one option being considered for production of cellulosic biomass, intercropping cellulosic biofuel crops within managed forests could provide feedstock without primary land use change or the water resources impacts associated with annual crops. There are data sets and models that have been used to evaluate effects of agriculturally-based biofuel options on water quantity and quality, but the evaluation - from instrumentation through data analysis - is designed for these more disturbed systems and is not appropriate for the more subtle changes anticipated from a pine/switchgrass systems. Currently, there is no known hydrologic model that can explicitly assess the effect of intercropping on water resources. However, these models can evaluate the effects of growing switchgrass on water resources and would be useful in identifying the "worst case scenario". We used the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), a physically-based hydrologic model, to examine effects of large scale conversion of pine plantations to switchgrass biofuel production on water resources in the ~ 5 mil ha Tombigbee Watershed in the southeastern U.S. Publically available datasets were used as input to the model and for calibration. To improve calibration statistics, five tree age classes were added to the model to more appropriately represent existing forested systems in the region, which are not included within the standard model set-up. Results suggest land use conversions result in 4 and 28 % increase in mean annual stream discharge and NO3- yield, respectively. Our results will be essential to public policy makers as they plan for large-scale production of cellulosic biofuels, while sustaining water quality and quantity.

  8. Regional Environmental Impacts of Biofuel Feedstock Production--Scaling Biogeochemical Cycles in Space and Time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanloocke, A.; Bernacchi, C.

    2008-12-01

    Recently there has been increasing socio-economic and scientific interest in the use of alternative sources of energy to offset the negative effects of current fossil fuel dependence and consequent greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, one of the most popular alternatives is to use ethanol produced from domestically grown crops for use as fuel in the transportation sector. In 2007, over 7.5 billion gallons of ethanol were produced in the U.S. from corn, a traditional food crop. Recent research indicates that it may be logistically impractical, ecologically counterproductive (i.e. a net carbon source), and economically devastating to produce ethanol from crops previously grown to produce food. The EBI (Energy Biosciences Institute, at University of California Berkley and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) is now conducting research to assess the ability of traditional crops as well as dedicated biofuel feedstocks (e.g. Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), Miscanthus x Giganteus (Miscanthus), and Saccharum spp (sugar cane)) to provide a productive and sustainable alternative to fossil fuel. This is an important step to take before implementing the large-scale growth necessary to meet U.S. energy needs .A process-based terrestrial ecosystem model, Agro-IBIS (Agricultural Integrated Biosphere Simulator) was adapted to simulate the growth of Miscanthus. The model was calibrated using data collected from sites at the University of Illinois south farms. Simulations indicated significant implications on the regional carbon and water budgets. Next this locally validated method will be extrapolated to simulate the regional scale growth of Miscanthus in the Midwestern U.S. and sugarcane in Brazil and a similar analysis will be conducted for switchgrass. The results should provide insight on optimal land-use decisions and legislation that regard meeting energy demands and mitigating climate change in the near future.

  9. Historical Perspective of Biofuels: Learning from the Past to Rediscover the Future

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This issue of in vitro plant is dedicated to various aspects of biofuel research and development. The editors have sought the experts in this field and solicited manuscripts for this special issue publication from various academic institutions, government (USDA, DOE), industry (Mendel, Alellyx, Can...

  10. Conventional and molecular breeding for improvement of biofuel crops: past, present and future

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    First-generation biofuels are derived from food and feed crops rich in sugar, starch, or oil, such as sugarcane (Saccharum hyb.), maize (Zea mays), or soybean (Glycine max), as these are easily converted into liquid fuels. However, these crops alone cannot meet the projected demand for fuel, so sec...

  11. Acetogenic mixotrophy: novel options for yield improvement in biofuels and biochemicals production.

    PubMed

    Fast, Alan G; Schmidt, Ellinor D; Jones, Shawn W; Tracy, Bryan P

    2015-06-01

    Mass yields of biofuels and chemicals from sugar fermentations are limited by the decarboxylation reactions involved in Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas (EMP) glycolysis. This paper reviews one route to recapture evolved CO2 using the Wood-Ljungdahl carbon fixation pathway (WLP) in a process called anaerobic, non-photosynthetic (ANP) mixotrophic fermentation. In ANP mixotrophic fermentation, the two molecules of CO2 and eight electrons produced from glycolysis are used by the WLP to generate three molecules of acetyl-CoA from glucose, rather than the two molecules that are produced by typical fermentation processes. In this review, we define the bounds of ANP mixotrophy, calculate the potential metabolic advantages, and discuss the viability in a number of host organisms. Additionally, we highlight recent accomplishments in the field, including the recent discovery of electron bifurcation in acetogens, and close with recommendations to realize mixotrophic biofuel and biochemical production. PMID:25498292

  12. The benefits of biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Hinman, N.D.

    1997-07-01

    This article discusses the economic, environmental, and national security advantages of using biofuels instead of petroleum products in vehicles. Smog and carbon monoxide, two of the most trouble-some urban air pollutants, are largely caused by combustion of conventional petroleum based fuels. Topics include sustainable transportation fuels, emphasis on ethanol, the process of producing biofuels, and the growing market for biofuels. 1 tab.

  13. Development of New Technologies of Solid and Gaseous Biofuel Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaichenko, Victor

    Perspective direction of complex usage of biomass is connected with technologies of combined processing of organic fossil fuels and biomass with production of energy and carbon materials of high purity which can be used as high-calorific fuel and raw material for industrial technologies. Various directions of combined processing of a biomass are considered. The technology of pyrolysis of wood waste and peat and natural gas with productions of pure carbon materials and power gas with high content of hydrogen is presented. It is shown, that the combined technology of processing of biomass and natural gas is allowed to solve the problems connected with hydrogen production for power use.

  14. Hybrid life-cycle assessment of algal biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Malik, Arunima; Lenzen, Manfred; Ralph, Peter J; Tamburic, Bojan

    2015-05-01

    The objective of this work is to establish whether algal bio-crude production is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. To this end, an economic multi-regional input-output model of Australia was complemented with engineering process data on algal bio-crude production. This model was used to undertake hybrid life-cycle assessment for measuring the direct, as well as indirect impacts of producing bio-crude. Overall, the supply chain of bio-crude is more sustainable than that of conventional crude oil. The results indicate that producing 1 million tonnes of bio-crude will generate almost 13,000 new jobs and 4 billion dollars' worth of economic stimulus. Furthermore, bio-crude production will offer carbon sequestration opportunities as the production process is net carbon-negative. PMID:25465782

  15. Green chemistry, biofuels, and biorefinery.

    PubMed

    Clark, James H; Luque, Rafael; Matharu, Avtar S

    2012-01-01

    In the current climate of several interrelated impending global crises, namely, climate change, chemicals, energy, and oil, the impact of green chemistry with respect to chemicals and biofuels generated from within a holistic concept of a biorefinery is discussed. Green chemistry provides unique opportunities for innovation via product substitution, new feedstock generation, catalysis in aqueous media, utilization of microwaves, and scope for alternative or natural solvents. The potential of utilizing waste as a new resource and the development of integrated facilities producing multiple products from biomass is discussed under the guise of biorefineries. Biofuels are discussed in depth, as they not only provide fuel (energy) but are also a source of feedstock chemicals. In the future, the commercial success of biofuels commensurate with consumer demand will depend on the availability of new green (bio)chemical technologies capable of converting waste biomass to fuel in a context of a biorefinery. PMID:22468603

  16. Water for Food, Energy, and the Environment: Assessing Streamflow Impacts of Increasing Cellulosic Biofuel Crop Production in the Corn Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yaeger, M. A.; Housh, M.; Ng, T.; Cai, X.; Sivapalan, M.

    2012-12-01

    The recently expanded Renewable Fuel Standard, which now requires 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022, has increased demand for biofuel refinery feedstocks. Currently, biofuel production consists mainly of corn-based ethanol, but concern over increasing nitrate levels resulting from increased corn crop fertilization has prompted research into alternative biofuel feedstocks. Of these, high-yielding biomass crops such as Miscanthus have been suggested for cellulose-based ethanol production. Because these perennial crops require less fertilization and do not need tilling, increasing land area in the Midwest planted with Miscanthus would result in less nitrate pollution to the Gulf of Mexico. There is a tradeoff, however, as Miscanthus also has higher water requirements than conventional crops in the region. This could pose a serious problem for riparian ecosystems and other streamflow users such as municipalities and biofuel refineries themselves, as the lowest natural flows in this region coincide with the peak of the growing season. Moreover, low flow reduction may eventually cut off the water quality benefit that planting Miscanthus provides. Therefore, for large-scale cellulosic ethanol production to be sustainable, it is important to understand how the watershed will respond to this change in land and water use. To this end a detailed data analysis of current watershed conditions has been combined with hydrologic modeling to gain deeper insights into how catchments in the highly agricultural central IL watershed of the Sangamon River respond to current and future land and water usage, with the focus on the summer low-flow season. In addition, an integrated systems optimization model has been developed that combines hydrologic, agro-biologic, engineering infrastructural, and economic inputs to provide optimal scenarios of crop type and area and corresponding refinery locations and capacities. Through this integrated modeling framework, we address the key hypothesis: what may benefit the human system (farms, refineries, cities) may damage the environment. The hydrological and optimization models will be run interactively, with the optimization model run for 10 years and the resulting land use solution then used in the SWAT hydrologic model to provide more detailed information on river/ecosystem impacts, which are assessed using low flow analysis. Problem areas highlighted by this analysis can be targeted by implementing flow requirements at different locations in the watershed; these constraints are then added to the optimization model which is run for another 10 years, and the new solution again analyzed in more detail to assess the effectiveness of the imposed environmental measures. Preliminary results show that under proposed subsidies and current crop prices, the percentage of land planted with Miscanthus will increase to environmentally unsustainable levels, but that implementing flow and water quality constraints can mitigate the damage to some extent. Moreover, tributary and mainstem subwatersheds in the Sangamon do not respond equally, even in this very homogenous region, and thus the spatial context is important for understanding the tradeoffs between economic and hydrologic benefits, which become increasingly important in creating sustainable biofuel production.

  17. Natural products as biofuels and bio-based chemicals: fatty acids and isoprenoids.

    PubMed

    Beller, Harry R; Lee, Taek Soon; Katz, Leonard

    2015-09-23

    Although natural products are best known for their use in medicine and agriculture, a number of fatty acid-derived and isoprenoid natural products are being developed for use as renewable biofuels and bio-based chemicals. This review summarizes recent work on fatty acid-derived compounds (fatty acid alkyl esters, fatty alcohols, medium- and short-chain methyl ketones, alkanes, ?-olefins, and long-chain internal alkenes) and isoprenoids, including hemiterpenes (e.g., isoprene and isopentanol), monoterpenes (e.g., limonene), and sesquiterpenes (e.g., farnesene and bisabolene). PMID:26216573

  18. Projections of Biofuel Growth Patterns Reveal the Potential Importance of Nitrogen Fixation for Miscanthus Productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, S. C.; Parton, W. J.; Dohleman, F. G.; Gottel, N. R.; Smith, C. M.; Kent, A. D.; Delucia, E. H.

    2008-12-01

    Demand for liquid biofuels is increasing because of the disparity between fuel demand and supply. Relative to grain crops, the more intensive harvest required for second generation liquid biofuel production leads to the removal of significantly more carbon and nitrogen from the soil. These elements are conventionally litter products of crops that are returned to the soil and can accumulate over time. This loss of organic matter represents a management challenge because the energy cost associated with fertilizers or external sources of organic matter reduce the net energy value of the biofuel crops. Plants that have exceptional strategies for exploiting nutrients may be the most viable options for sustainable biofuel yields because of low management and energy cost. Miscanthus x giganteus has high N retranslocation rates, maintains high photosynthetic rates over a large temperature range, exploits a longer-than-average growing season, and yields at least twice the biomass of other candidate biofuel grass crops (i.e. switchgrass). We employed the DAYCENT model to project potential productivity of Miscanthus, corn, switchgrass, and mixed prairie communities based on our current knowledge of these species. Ecosystem process descriptions that have been validated for many crop species did not accurately predict Miscanthus yields and lead to new hypotheses about unknown N cycling mechanisms for this species. We tested the hypothesis that Miscanthus hosts N-fixing bacteria in several ways. First, we used enrichment culture and molecular methods to detect N-fixing bacteria in Miscanthus. Then, we demonstrated the plant-growth promoting effect of diazotrophs isolated from Miscanthus rhizomes on a model grass. And finally, we applied 15N2 to the soil and rooting zone of field grown Miscanthus plants to determine if atmospheric N2 was incorporated into plant tissue, a process that requires N-fixation. These experiments are the first tests of N-fixation in Miscanthus x giganteus, and the ecosystem model allowed us to project how much nitrogen may be obtained from N-fixation to support sustainable high biomass yields.

  19. Improving Biocatalysts for the Production of Biofuels from Lignocellulosic Feedstocks

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Industrial-scale production of fuel ethanol from biomass continues to show promise for relieving dependence upon petroleum-based transportation fuels. The limited range of materials that can be practically converted, however, continues to be an obstacle to the lignocellulosic revolution. Therefore...

  20. Can Sweet Sorghum be used for Biofuel Production?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The sweet sorghum germplasm collection (1280 accessions) is maintained at the Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit, Griffin, Georgia. Sweet sorghum contains a high amount of sucrose (2.5% - 13%) that has been used for syrup, molasses, and ethanol production. Furthermore, as a high energy capt...

  1. Quantifying the regional water footprint of biofuel production by incorporating hydrologic modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, M.; Chiu, Y.; Demissie, Y.

    2012-10-01

    A spatially explicit life cycle water analysis framework is proposed, in which a standardized water footprint methodology is coupled with hydrologic modeling to assess blue water, green water (rainfall), and agricultural grey water discharge in the production of biofuel feedstock at county-level resolution. Grey water is simulated via SWAT, a watershed model. Evapotranspiration (ET) estimates generated with the Penman-Monteith equation and crop parameters were verified by using remote sensing results, a satellite-imagery-derived data set, and other field measurements. Crop irrigation survey data are used to corroborate the estimate of irrigation ET. An application of the concept is presented in a case study for corn-stover-based ethanol grown in Iowa (United States) within the Upper Mississippi River basin. Results show vast spatial variations in the water footprint of stover ethanol from county to county. Producing 1 L of ethanol from corn stover growing in the Iowa counties studied requires from 4.6 to 13.1 L of blue water (with an average of 5.4 L), a majority (86%) of which is consumed in the biorefinery. The county-level green water (rainfall) footprint ranges from 760 to 1000 L L-1. The grey water footprint varies considerably, ranging from 44 to 1579 L, a 35-fold difference, with a county average of 518 L. This framework can be a useful tool for watershed- or county-level biofuel sustainability metric analysis to address the heterogeneity of the water footprint for biofuels.

  2. Possible future effects of large-scale algae cultivation for biofuels on coastal eutrophication in Europe.

    PubMed

    Blaas, Harry; Kroeze, Carolien

    2014-10-15

    Biodiesel is increasingly considered as an alternative for fossil diesel. Biodiesel can be produced from rapeseed, palm, sunflower, soybean and algae. In this study, the consequences of large-scale production of biodiesel from micro-algae for eutrophication in four large European seas are analysed. To this end, scenarios for the year 2050 are analysed, assuming that in the 27 countries of the European Union fossil diesel will be replaced by biodiesel from algae. Estimates are made for the required fertiliser inputs to algae parks, and how this may increase concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus in coastal waters, potentially leading to eutrophication. The Global NEWS (Nutrient Export from WaterSheds) model has been used to estimate the transport of nitrogen and phosphorus to the European coastal waters. The results indicate that the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus in the coastal waters may increase considerably in the future as a result of large-scale production of algae for the production of biodiesel, even in scenarios assuming effective waste water treatment and recycling of waste water in algae production. To ensure sustainable production of biodiesel from micro-algae, it is important to develop cultivation systems with low nutrient losses to the environment. PMID:25058933

  3. Soil Carbon Change and Net Energy Associated with Biofuel Production on Marginal Lands: A Regional Modeling Perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Bandaru, Varaprasad; Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Manowitz, David H.; Link, Robert P.; Zhang, Xuesong; Post, W. M.

    2013-12-01

    The use of marginal lands (MLs) for biofuel production has been contemplated as a promising solution for meeting biofuel demands. However, there have been concerns with spatial location of MLs, their inherent biofuel potential, and possible environmental consequences with the cultivation of energy crops. Here, we developed a new quantitative approach that integrates high-resolution land cover and land productivity maps and uses conditional probability density functions for analyzing land use patterns as a function of land productivity to classify the agricultural lands. We subsequently applied this method to determine available productive croplands (P-CLs) and non-crop marginal lands (NC-MLs) in a nine-county Southern Michigan. Furthermore, Spatially Explicit Integrated Modeling Framework (SEIMF) using EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate) was used to understand the net energy (NE) and soil organic carbon (SOC) implications of cultivating different annual and perennial production systems.

  4. Techno-Economic Analysis of Biofuels Production Based on Gasification

    SciTech Connect

    Swanson, R. M.; Platon, A.; Satrio, J. A.; Brown, R. C.; Hsu, D. D.

    2010-11-01

    This study compares capital and production costs of two biomass-to-liquid production plants based on gasification. The first biorefinery scenario is an oxygen-fed, low-temperature (870?C), non-slagging, fluidized bed gasifier. The second scenario is an oxygen-fed, high-temperature (1,300?C), slagging, entrained flow gasifier. Both are followed by catalytic Fischer-Tropsch synthesis and hydroprocessing to naphtha-range (gasoline blend stock) and distillate-range (diesel blend stock) liquid fractions. Process modeling software (Aspen Plus) is utilized to organize the mass and energy streams and cost estimation software is used to generate equipment costs. Economic analysis is performed to estimate the capital investment and operating costs. Results show that the total capital investment required for nth plant scenarios is $610 million and $500 million for high-temperature and low-temperature scenarios, respectively. Product value (PV) for the high-temperature and low-temperature scenarios is estimated to be $4.30 and $4.80 per gallon of gasoline equivalent (GGE), respectively, based on a feedstock cost of $75 per dry short ton. Sensitivity analysis is also performed on process and economic parameters. This analysis shows that total capital investment and feedstock cost are among the most influential parameters affecting the PV.

  5. Sustainability of soil fertility and the use of lignocellulosic crop harvest residues for the production of biofuels: a literature review.

    PubMed

    Reijnders, L

    2013-01-01

    Use of lignocellulosic crop harvest residues for liquid or gaseous biofuel production may impact soil quality, long-term soil fertility and the major determinants of the latter, stocks of soil organic carbon and nutrients. When soil organic carbon stocks of mineral cropland soils are to be maintained, there is scope for the removal of lignocellulosic harvest residues in several systems with much reduced tillage or no tillage. The scope for such removal might be increased when suitably treated residues from the conversion of harvest residues into biofuel are returned to cropland soils. For mineral cropland soils under conventional tillage, the scope for the production of liquid biofuels from harvest residues is likely to be less than in the case of no-till systems. When fertility of cropland soils is to be sustainable, nutrients present in suitably treated biofuel production residues have to be returned to these soils. Apparently, the actual return of carbon and nutrients present in residues of biofuel production from crop harvest residues to arable soils currently predominantly concerns the application of digestates of anaerobic digestion. The effects thereof on soil fertility and quality need further clarification. Further clarification about the effects on soil fertility and quality of chars and of co-products of lignocellulosic ethanol production is also needed. PMID:24350430

  6. Advancing Commercialization of Algal Biofuels Through Increased Biomass Productivity and Technology Integration

    SciTech Connect

    Bai, Xuemei; Sabarsky, Martin

    2013-09-30

    Cellana is a leading developer of algae-based bioproducts, and its pre-commercial production of marine microalgae takes place at Cellana?s Kona Demonstration Facility (KDF) in Hawaii. KDF is housing more than 70 high-performing algal strains for different bioproducts, of which over 30 have been grown outside at scale. So far, Cellana has produced more than 10 metric tons of algal biomass for the development of biofuels, animal feed, and high-value nutraceuticals. Cellana?s ALDUO algal cultivation technology allows Cellana to grow non-extremophile algal strains at large scale with no contamination disruptions. Cellana?s research and production at KDF have addressed three major areas that are crucial for the commercialization of algal biofuels: yield improvement, cost reduction, and the overall economics. Commercially acceptable solutions have been developed and tested for major factors limiting areal productivity of algal biomass and lipids based on years of R&D work conducted at KDF. Improved biomass and lipid productivity were achieved through strain improvement, culture management strategies (e.g., alleviation of self-shading, de-oxygenation, and efficient CO2 delivery), and technical advancement in downstream harvesting technology. Cost reduction was achieved through optimized CO2 delivery system, flue gas utilization technology, and energy-efficient harvesting technology. Improved overall economics was achieved through a holistic approach by integration of high-value co-products in the process, in addition to yield improvements and cost reductions.

  7. An Integrated Assessment of Location-Dependent Scaling for Microalgae Biofuel Production Facilities

    SciTech Connect

    Coleman, Andre M.; Abodeely, Jared; Skaggs, Richard; Moeglein, William AM; Newby, Deborah T.; Venteris, Erik R.; Wigmosta, Mark S.

    2014-07-01

    Successful development of a large-scale microalgae-based biofuels industry requires comprehensive analysis and understanding of the feedstock supply chain—from facility siting/design through processing/upgrading of the feedstock to a fuel product. The evolution from pilot-scale production facilities to energy-scale operations presents many multi-disciplinary challenges, including a sustainable supply of water and nutrients, operational and infrastructure logistics, and economic competitiveness with petroleum-based fuels. These challenges are addressed in part by applying the Integrated Assessment Framework (IAF)—an integrated multi-scale modeling, analysis, and data management suite—to address key issues in developing and operating an open-pond facility by analyzing how variability and uncertainty in space and time affect algal feedstock production rates, and determining the site-specific “optimum” facility scale to minimize capital and operational expenses. This approach explicitly and systematically assesses the interdependence of biofuel production potential, associated resource requirements, and production system design trade-offs. The IAF was applied to a set of sites previously identified as having the potential to cumulatively produce 5 billion-gallons/year in the southeastern U.S. and results indicate costs can be reduced by selecting the most effective processing technology pathway and scaling downstream processing capabilities to fit site-specific growing conditions, available resources, and algal strains.

  8. Bio-Fuel Production Assisted with High Temperature Steam Electrolysis

    SciTech Connect

    Grant Hawkes; James O'Brien; Michael McKellar

    2012-06-01

    Two hybrid energy processes that enable production of synthetic liquid fuels that are compatible with the existing conventional liquid transportation fuels infrastructure are presented. Using biomass as a renewable carbon source, and supplemental hydrogen from high-temperature steam electrolysis (HTSE), these two hybrid energy processes have the potential to provide a significant alternative petroleum source that could reduce dependence on imported oil. The first process discusses a hydropyrolysis unit with hydrogen addition from HTSE. Non-food biomass is pyrolyzed and converted to pyrolysis oil. The pyrolysis oil is upgraded with hydrogen addition from HTSE. This addition of hydrogen deoxygenates the pyrolysis oil and increases the pH to a tolerable level for transportation. The final product is synthetic crude that could then be transported to a refinery and input into the already used transportation fuel infrastructure. The second process discusses a process named Bio-Syntrolysis. The Bio-Syntrolysis process combines hydrogen from HTSE with CO from an oxygen-blown biomass gasifier that yields syngas to be used as a feedstock for synthesis of liquid synthetic crude. Conversion of syngas to liquid synthetic crude, using a biomass-based carbon source, expands the application of renewable energy beyond the grid to include transportation fuels. It can also contribute to grid stability associated with non-dispatchable power generation. The use of supplemental hydrogen from HTSE enables greater than 90% utilization of the biomass carbon content which is about 2.5 times higher than carbon utilization associated with traditional cellulosic ethanol production. If the electrical power source needed for HTSE is based on nuclear or renewable energy, the process is carbon neutral. INL has demonstrated improved biomass processing prior to gasification. Recyclable biomass in the form of crop residue or energy crops would serve as the feedstock for this process. A process model of syngas production using high temperature electrolysis and biomass gasification is presented. Process heat from the biomass gasifier is used to heat steam for the hydrogen production via the high temperature steam electrolysis process. Oxygen produced form the electrolysis process is used to control the oxidation rate in the oxygen-blown biomass gasifier.

  9. High liquid fuel yielding biofuel processes and a roadmap for the future transportation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Navneet R.

    In a fossil-fuel deprived world when crude oil will be scarce and transportation need cannot be met with electricity and transportation liquid fuel must be produced, biomass derived liquid fuels can be a natural replacement. However, the carbon efficiency of the currently known biomass to liquid fuel conversion processes ranges from 35-40%, yielding 90 ethanol gallon equivalents (ege) per ton of biomass. This coupled with the fact that the efficiency at which solar energy is captured by biomass (<1%) is significantly lower than H 2 (10-27%) and electricity (20-42%), implies that sufficient land area is not available to meet the need for the entire transportation sector. To counter this dilemma, a number of processes have been proposed in this work: a hybrid hydrogen-carbon (H2CAR) process based on biomass gasification followed by the Fischer-Tropsch process such that 100% carbon efficiency is achieved yielding 330 ege/ton biomass using hydrogen derived from a carbon-free energy. The hydrogen requirement for the H2CAR process is 0.33 kg/liter of diesel. To decrease the hydrogen requirement associated with the H2CAR process, a hydrogen bio-oil (H2Bioil) process based on biomass fast-hydropyrolysis/hydrodeoxygenation is proposed which can achieve liquid fuel yield of 215 ege/ton consuming 0.11 kg hydrogen per liter of oil. Due to the lower hydrogen consumption of the H2Bioil process, synergistically integrated transition pathways are feasible where hot syngas derived from coal gasification (H2Bioil-C) or a natural gas reformer (H 2Bioil-NG) is used to supply the hydrogen and process heat for the biomass fast-hydropyrolysis/hydrodeoxygenation. Another off-shoot of the H2Bioil process is the H2Bioil-B process, where hydrogen required for the hydropyrolysis is obtained from gasification of a fraction of the biomass. H2Bioil-B achieves the highest liquid fuel yield (126-146 ege/ton of biomass) reported in the literature for any self-contained conversion of biomass to biofuel. Finally, an integration of the H2Bioil process with the H2CAR process is suggested which can achieve 100% carbon efficiency (330 ege/ton of biomass) at the expense of 0.24 kg hydrogen/liter of oil. A sun-to-fuel efficiency analysis shows that extracting CO2 from air and converting it to liquid fuel is at least two times more efficient than growing dedicated fuel crops and converting them to liquid fuel even for the highest biomass growth rates feasible by algae. This implies that liquid fuel should preferably be produced from sustainably available waste (SAW) biomass first and if the SAW biomass is unable to meet the demand for liquid fuel, then, CO2 should be extracted from air and converted to liquid fuel, rather than growing biomass. Furthermore, based on the Sun-to-Wheels recovery for different transportation pathways, synergistic and complementary use of electricity, hydrogen and biomass, all derived from solar energy, is presented in an energy efficient roadmap to successfully propel the entire future transportation sector.

  10. Impacts of biofuels production alternatives on water quantity and quality in the Iowa River Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wu, Y.; Liu, S.

    2012-01-01

    Corn stover as well as perennial grasses like switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and miscanthus are being considered as candidates for the second generation biofuel feedstocks. However, the challenges to biofuel development are its effects on the environment, especially water quality. This study evaluates the long-term impacts of biofuel production alternatives (e.g., elevated corn stover removal rates and the potential land cover change) on an ecosystem with a focus on biomass production, soil erosion, water quantity and quality, and soil nitrate nitrogen concentration at the watershed scale. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was modified for setting land cover change scenarios and applied to the Iowa River Basin (a tributary of the Upper Mississippi River Basin). Results show that biomass production can be sustained with an increased stover removal rate as long as the crop demand for nutrients is met with appropriate fertilization. Although a drastic increase (4.7–70.6%) in sediment yield due to erosion and a slight decrease (1.2–3.2%) in water yield were estimated with the stover removal rate ranging between 40% and 100%, the nitrate nitrogen load declined about 6–10.1%. In comparison to growing corn, growing either switchgrass or miscanthus can reduce sediment erosion greatly. However, land cover changes from native grass to switchgrass or miscanthus would lead to a decrease in water yield and an increase in nitrate nitrogen load. In contrast to growing switchgrass, growing miscanthus is more productive in generating biomass, but its higher water demand may reduce water availability in the study area.

  11. Catalytic processes towards the production of biofuels in a palm oil and oil palm biomass-based biorefinery.

    PubMed

    Chew, Thiam Leng; Bhatia, Subhash

    2008-11-01

    In Malaysia, there has been interest in the utilization of palm oil and oil palm biomass for the production of environmental friendly biofuels. A biorefinery based on palm oil and oil palm biomass for the production of biofuels has been proposed. The catalytic technology plays major role in the different processing stages in a biorefinery for the production of liquid as well as gaseous biofuels. There are number of challenges to find suitable catalytic technology to be used in a typical biorefinery. These challenges include (1) economic barriers, (2) catalysts that facilitate highly selective conversion of substrate to desired products and (3) the issues related to design, operation and control of catalytic reactor. Therefore, the catalytic technology is one of the critical factors that control the successful operation of biorefinery. There are number of catalytic processes in a biorefinery which convert the renewable feedstocks into the desired biofuels. These include biodiesel production from palm oil, catalytic cracking of palm oil for the production of biofuels, the production of hydrogen as well as syngas from biomass gasification, Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) for the conversion of syngas into liquid fuels and upgrading of liquid/gas fuels obtained from liquefaction/pyrolysis of biomass. The selection of catalysts for these processes is essential in determining the product distribution (olefins, paraffins and oxygenated products). The integration of catalytic technology with compatible separation processes is a key challenge for biorefinery operation from the economic point of view. This paper focuses on different types of catalysts and their role in the catalytic processes for the production of biofuels in a typical palm oil and oil palm biomass-based biorefinery. PMID:18434141

  12. Soil carbon change and net energy associated with biofuel production on marginal lands: a regional modeling perspective.

    PubMed

    Bandaru, Varaprasad; Izaurralde, R César; Manowitz, David; Link, Robert; Zhang, Xuesong; Post, Wilfred M

    2013-11-01

    The use of marginal lands for biofuel production has been proposed as a promising solution for meeting biofuel demands while avoiding food-feed-fuel conflicts. However, uncertainty surrounds whether marginal lands can be reliably located, as well as their inherent biofuel potential and the possible environmental impacts. We developed a quantitative approach that integrates high-resolution land cover and land productivity to classify productive croplands and nonarable marginal lands in a nine-county region in southern Michigan. The classified lands were then examined with the spatially explicit modeling framework using the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model to estimate net energy (NE) and soil organic carbon (SOC) changes associated with the cultivation of different annual and perennial production systems. Simulation results suggest that biofuel production systems underperform on marginal lands when compared to productive croplands. However, we found perennial grasses could perform better than annual crops. Hence, when growing perennial bioenergy crops on marginal lands instead of productive croplands, less additional land (about 0.09 ha per each hectare planted) would be needed to achieve the same NE than if growing annual bioenergy crops (additional 0.17 ha per hectare planted). Miscanthus ( × ) and switchgrass ( L.) can produce 112.43 and 74.61 GJ ha yr NE, respectively, and have the potential to sequester, on average, 0.59 and 0.23 Mg C ha yr SOC, respectively. Notably, simulation results indicate substantial variability of the NE and SOC storage potential across the study region. Thus, although perennial energy crops are promising options for biofuel production on marginal lands, given the large spatial variability, regional- and site-specific management strategies are required for sustainable biofuel production. PMID:25602420

  13. Catalytic Fast Pyrolysis for the Production of the Hydrocarbon Biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Nimlos, M. R.; Robichaud, D. J.; Mukaratate, C.; Donohoe, B. S.; Iisa, K.

    2013-01-01

    Catalytic fast pyrolysis is a promising technique for conversion of biomass into hydrocarbons for use as transportation fuels. For over 30 years this process has been studied and it has been demonstrated that oils can be produced with high concentrations of hydrocarbons and low levels of oxygen. However, the yields from this type of conversion are typically low and the catalysts, which are often zeolites, are quickly deactivated through coking. In addition, the hydrocarbons produced are primarily aromatic molecules (benzene, toluene, xylene) that not desirable for petroleum refineries and are not well suited for diesel or jet engines. The goals of our research are to develop new multifunction catalysts for the production of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel range molecules and to improve process conditions for higher yields and low coking rates. We are investigating filtration and the use of hydrogen donor molecules to improve catalyst performance.

  14. Biofuel Production Datasets from DOE's Bioenergy Knowledge Discovery Framework (KDF)

    DOE Data Explorer

    The Bioenergy Knowledge Discovery Framework invites users to discover the power of bioenergy through an interface that provides extensive access to research data and literature, GIS mapping tools, and collaborative networks. The Bioenergy KDF supports efforts to develop a robust and sustainable bioenergy industry. The KDF facilitates informed decision making by providing a means to synthesize, analyze, and visualize vast amounts of information in a relevant and succinct manner. It harnesses Web 2.0 and social networking technologies to build a collective knowledge system that can better examine the economic and environmental impacts of development options for biomass feedstock production, biorefineries, and related infrastructure. [copied from https://www.bioenergykdf.net/content/about]

    Holdings include datasets, models, and maps and the collections arel growing due to both DOE contributions and data uploads from individuals.

  15. [Lipid biofuel production with microalgae: potential and challenges].

    PubMed

    Cadoret, Jean-Paul; Bernard, Olivier

    2008-01-01

    Microalgae can accumulate fatty acids up to 80% of their dry weight (Chisti 2007). As a consequence the yield per hectare could be higher by a factor of 30 compared to terrestrial oleaginous species. Biodiversity of microalgae is enormous. It is estimated that there are between 200 000 and several million species. Such diversity is an unexplored potential for research and industry. In comparison to terrestrial oleaginous species, microalgae have many characteristics addressing environmental problems with a drastically enhanced oil production. Microalgae are currently generating mediatic enthusiasm, and many start-ups are investing this niche. Nevertheless there are still locks to undo via upstream search, before the expected returns and costs are met and before these technologies can be developed at a large scale. PMID:18980742

  16. Oil production towards biofuel from autotrophic microalgae semicontinuous cultivations monitorized by flow cytometry.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Teresa Lopes; Reis, Alberto; Medeiros, Roberto; Oliveira, Ana Cristina; Gouveia, Luisa

    2009-11-01

    Two microalgae species (Scenedesmus obliquus and Neochloris oleoabundans) were cultivated in closed sleeve photobioreactors in order to select the best oil producer for further large-scale open raceway pond cultivations, aiming at biofuel production. Scenedesmus obliquus reached a higher maximum biomass concentration (1.41 g l(-1)) with a lower lipid content (12.8% w/w), as compared to N. oleoabundans [maximum biomass concentration of 0.92 g l(-1) with 16.5% (w/w) lipid content]. Both microalgae showed adequate fatty acid composition and iodine values as substitutes for diesel fuel. Based on these results, N. oleoabundans was selected for further open raceway pond cultivations. Under these conditions, N. oleoabundans reached a maximum biomass concentration of 2.8 g l(-1) with 11% (w/w) of lipid content. A high correlation between the Nile Red fluorescence intensity measured by flow cytometry and total lipid content assayed by the traditional gravimetric lipid analysis was found for both microalgae, making this method a suitable and quick technique for the screening of microalgae strains for lipid production and optimization of biofuel production bioprocesses. Medium growth optimization for enhancement of microalgal oil production is now in progress. PMID:19067244

  17. Quantifying the climate impacts of albedo changes due to biofuel production: a comparison with biogeochemical effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caiazzo, Fabio; Malina, Robert; Staples, Mark D.; Wolfe, Philip J.; Yim, Steve H. L.; Barrett, Steven R. H.

    2014-01-01

    Lifecycle analysis is a tool widely used to evaluate the climate impact of greenhouse gas emissions attributable to the production and use of biofuels. In this paper we employ an augmented lifecycle framework that includes climate impacts from changes in surface albedo due to land use change. We consider eleven land-use change scenarios for the cultivation of biomass for middle distillate fuel production, and compare our results to previous estimates of lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions for the same set of land-use change scenarios in terms of CO2e per unit of fuel energy. We find that two of the land-use change scenarios considered demonstrate a warming effect due to changes in surface albedo, compared to conventional fuel, the largest of which is for replacement of desert land with salicornia cultivation. This corresponds to 222 gCO2e/MJ, equivalent to 3890% and 247% of the lifecycle GHG emissions of fuels derived from salicornia and crude oil, respectively. Nine of the land-use change scenarios considered demonstrate a cooling effect, the largest of which is for the replacement of tropical rainforests with soybean cultivation. This corresponds to - 161 gCO2e/MJ, or - 28% and - 178% of the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of fuels derived from soybean and crude oil, respectively. These results indicate that changes in surface albedo have the potential to dominate the climate impact of biofuels, and we conclude that accounting for changes in surface albedo is necessary for a complete assessment of the aggregate climate impacts of biofuel production and use.

  18. Fuel from Tobacco and Arundo Donax: Synthetic Crop for Direct Drop-in Biofuel Production through Re-routing the Photorespiration Intermediates and Engineering Terpenoid Pathways

    SciTech Connect

    2012-02-15

    PETRO Project: Biofuels offer renewable alternatives to petroleum-based fuels that reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to nearly zero. However, traditional biofuels production is limited not only by the small amount of solar energy that plants convert through photosynthesis into biological materials, but also by inefficient processes for converting these biological materials into fuels. Farm-ready, non-food crops are needed that produce fuels or fuel-like precursors at significantly lower costs with significantly higher productivity. To make biofuels cost-competitive with petroleum-based fuels, biofuels production costs must be cut in half.

  19. Biofuel feedstocks

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    There are many forms of feedstocks for biofuel production. Animal manures and municipal solid wastes have been used to generate methane for on-farm and municipality energy uses. Fuel ethanol has been produced commercially using plant-derived starch and sugar feedstocks. Technologies for productio...

  20. Perennial grass production for biofuels: Soil conversion considerations

    SciTech Connect

    McLaughlin, S.B.; Bransby, D.I.; Parrish, D.

    1994-10-01

    The increased use of renewable fuels for energy offers the United States a mechanism for significantly reducing national dependency on imported oil, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving regional agricultural economies. As mandated by law, a wide range of issues have been raised regarding the net environmental impacts of implementation of these new technologies. While uncertainties regarding both positive and negative environmental influences still exist in many areas of this new technology, it is now possible to address with substantial certainty the positive aspects of perennial herbaceous energy crops on several important soil conservation issues. Past experience with forage grasses and recent research with switchgrass. A warm season perennial forage grass selected as one of the model bioenergy species, indicates that important benefits will be gained in the area of soil conservation as grasses replace energy-intensive annual row crops. These include reduced erosion, improved conservation of water and nutrients, and increased productivity of soils by the deep and vigorous rooting systems of perennial warm-season gasses.

  1. Understanding and engineering enzymes for enhanced biofuel production.

    SciTech Connect

    Simmons, Blake Alexander; Volponi, Joanne V.; Sapra, Rajat; Faulon, Jean-Loup Michel; Buffleben, George M.; Roe, Diana C.

    2009-01-01

    Today, carbon-rich fossil fuels, primarily oil, coal and natural gas, provide 85% of the energy consumed in the United States. The release of greenhouse gases from these fuels has spurred research into alternative, non-fossil energy sources. Lignocellulosic biomass is renewable resource that is carbon-neutral, and can provide a raw material for alternative transportation fuels. Plant-derived biomass contains cellulose, which is difficult to convert to monomeric sugars for production of fuels. The development of cost-effective and energy-efficient processes to transform the cellulosic content of biomass into fuels is hampered by significant roadblocks, including the lack of specifically developed energy crops, the difficulty in separating biomass components, the high costs of enzymatic deconstruction of biomass, and the inhibitory effect of fuels and processing byproducts on organisms responsible for producing fuels from biomass monomers. One of the main impediments to more widespread utilization of this important resource is the recalcitrance of cellulosic biomass and techniques that can be utilized to deconstruct cellulosic biomass.

  2. Biofuels from E. Coli: Engineering E. coli as an Electrofuels Chassis for Isooctane Production

    SciTech Connect

    2010-07-16

    Electrofuels Project: Ginkgo Bioworks is bypassing photosynthesis and engineering E. coli to directly use carbon dioxide (CO2) to produce biofuels. E. coli doesn’t naturally metabolize CO2, but Ginkgo Bioworks is manipulating and incorporating the genes responsible for CO2 metabolism into the microorganism. By genetically modifying E. coli, Ginkgo Bioworks will enhance its rate of CO2 consumption and liquid fuel production. Ginkgo Bioworks is delivering CO2 to E. coli as formic acid, a simple industrial chemical that provides energy and CO2 to the bacterial system.

  3. Versatile microbial surface-display for environmental remediation and biofuels production

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Cindy H.; Mulchandani, Ashok; Chen, wilfred

    2008-02-14

    Surface display is a powerful technique that utilizes natural microbial functional components to express proteins or peptides on the cell exterior. Since the reporting of the first surface-display system in the mid-1980s, a variety of new systems have been reported for yeast, Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Non-conventional display methods are emerging, eliminating the generation of genetically modified microorganisms. Cells with surface display are used as biocatalysts, biosorbents and biostimulants. Microbial cell-surface display has proven to be extremely important for numerous applications ranging from combinatorial library screening and protein engineering to bioremediation and biofuels production.

  4. Engineering terpene biosynthesis in Streptomyces for production of the advanced biofuel precursor bisabolene.

    PubMed

    Phelan, Ryan M; Sekurova, Olga N; Keasling, Jay D; Zotchev, Sergey B

    2015-04-17

    The past decade has witnessed a large influx of research toward the creation of sustainable, biologically derived fuels. While significant effort has been exerted to improve production capacity in common hosts, such as Escherichia coli or Saccharomyces cerevisiae, studies concerning alternate microbes comparatively lag. In an effort to expand the breadth of characterized hosts for fuel production, we map the terpene biosynthetic pathway in a model actinobacterium, Streptomyces venezuelae, and further alter secondary metabolism to afford the advanced biofuel precursor bisabolene. Leveraging information gained from study of the native isoprenoid pathway, we were able to increase bisabolene titer nearly 5-fold over the base production strain, more than 2 orders of magnitude greater than the combined terpene yield in the wild-type host. We also explored production on carbon sources of varying complexity to, notably, define this host as one able to perform consolidated bioprocessing. PMID:25006988

  5. Energy return on investment for algal biofuel production coupled with wastewater treatment.

    PubMed

    Beal, Colin M; Stillwell, Ashlynn S; King, Carey W; Cohen, Stuart M; Berberoglu, Halil; Bhattarai, Rajendra P; Connelly, Rhykka L; Webber, Michael E; Hebner, Robert E

    2012-09-01

    This study presents a second-order energy return on investment analysis to evaluate the mutual benefits of combining an advanced wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) (with biological nutrient removal) with algal biofuel production. With conventional, independently operated systems, algae production requires significant material inputs, which require energy directly and indirectly, and the WWTP requires significant energy inputs for treatment of the waste streams. The second-order energy return on investment values for independent operation of the WWTP and the algal biofuels production facility were determined to be 0.37 and 0.42, respectively. By combining the two, energy inputs can be reduced significantly. Consequently, the integrated system can outperform the isolated system, yielding a second-order energy return on investment of 1.44. Combining these systems transforms two energy sinks to a collective (second-order) energy source. However, these results do not include capital, labor, and other required expenses, suggesting that profitable deployment will be challenging. PMID:23012769

  6. Utilization of grasses for potential biofuel production and phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated soils.

    PubMed

    Balsamo, Ronald A; Kelly, William J; Satrio, Justinus A; Ruiz-Felix, M Nydia; Fetterman, Marisa; Wynn, Rodd; Hagel, Kristen

    2015-01-01

    This research focuses on investigating the use of common biofuel grasses to assess their potential as agents of long-term remediation of contaminated soils using lead as a model heavy metal ion. We present evidence demonstrating that switch grass and Timothy grass may be potentially useful for long-term phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated soils and describe novel techniques to track and remove contaminants from inception to useful product. Enzymatic digestion and thermochemical approaches are being used to convert this lignocellulosic feedstock into useful product (sugars, ethanol, biocrude oil+biochar). Preliminary studies on enzymatic hydrolysis and fast pyrolysis of the Switchgrass materials that were grown in heavy metal contaminated soil and non-contaminated soils show that the presence of lead in the Switchgrass material feedstock does not adversely affect the outcomes of the conversion processes. These results indicate that the modest levels of contaminant uptake allow these grass species to serve as phytoremediation agents as well as feedstocks for biofuel production in areas degraded by industrial pollution. PMID:25495935

  7. Effects of Escherichia coli on Mixotrophic Growth of Chlorella minutissima and Production of Biofuel Precursors

    PubMed Central

    Higgins, Brendan T.; VanderGheynst, Jean S.

    2014-01-01

    Chlorella minutissima was co-cultured with Escherichia coli in airlift reactors under mixotrophic conditions (glucose, glycerol, and acetate substrates) to determine possible effects of bacterial contamination on algal biofuel production. It was hypothesized that E. coli would compete with C. minutissima for nutrients, displacing algal biomass. However, C. minutissima grew more rapidly and to higher densities in the presence of E. coli, suggesting a symbiotic relationship between the organisms. At an initial 1% substrate concentration, the co-culture produced 200-587% more algal biomass than the axenic C. minutissima cultures. Co-cultures grown on 1% substrate consumed 23–737% more of the available carbon substrate than the sum of substrate consumed by E. coli and C. minutissima alone. At 1% substrate, total lipid and starch productivity were elevated in co-cultures compared to axenic cultures indicating that bacterial contamination was not detrimental to the production of biofuel precursors in this specific case. Bio-fouling of the reactors observed in co-cultures and acid formation in all mixotrophic cultures, however, could present challenges for scale-up. PMID:24805253

  8. Biofuel Feedstock Assessment for Selected Countries

    SciTech Connect

    Kline, K.L.; Oladosu, G.A.; Wolfe, A.K.; Perlack, R.D.; Dale, V.H.

    2008-02-18

    Findings from biofuel feedstock production assessments and projections of future supply are presented and discussed. The report aims to improve capabilities to assess the degree to which imported biofuel could contribute to meeting future U.S. targets to reduce dependence on imported oil. The study scope was focused to meet time and resource requirements. A screening process identified Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, India, Mexico, and the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) region for initial analysis, given their likely role in future feedstock supply relevant to U.S. markets. Supply curves for selected feedstocks in these countries are projected for 2012, 2017 and 2027. The supply functions, along with calculations to reflect estimated supplies available for export and/or biofuel production, were provided to DOE for use in a broader energy market allocation study. Potential cellulosic supplies from crop and forestry residues and perennials were also estimated for 2017 and 2027. The analysis identified capacity to potentially double or triple feedstock production by 2017 in some cases. A majority of supply growth is derived from increasing the area cultivated (especially sugarcane in Brazil). This is supplemented by improving yields and farming practices. Most future supplies of corn and wheat are projected to be allocated to food and feed. Larger shares of future supplies of sugarcane, soybean and palm oil production will be available for export or biofuel. National policies are catalyzing investments in biofuel industries to meet targets for fuel blending that generally fall in the 5-10% range. Social and environmental concerns associated with rapid expansion of feedstock production are considered. If the 2017 projected feedstock supply calculated as ‘available’ for export or biofuel were converted to fuel, it would represent the equivalent of about 38 billion gallons of gasoline. Sugarcane and bagasse dominate the available supply, representing 64% of the total. Among the nations studied, Brazil is the source of about two-thirds of available supplies, followed distantly by Argentina (12%), India and the CBI region.

  9. Biofuel Feedstock Assessment For Selected Countries

    SciTech Connect

    Kline, Keith L; Oladosu, Gbadebo A; Wolfe, Amy K; Perlack, Robert D; Dale, Virginia H; McMahon, Matthew

    2008-02-01

    Findings from biofuel feedstock production assessments and projections of future supply are presented and discussed. The report aims to improve capabilities to assess the degree to which imported biofuel could contribute to meeting future U.S. targets to reduce dependence on imported oil. The study scope was focused to meet time and resource requirements. A screening process identified Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, India, Mexico, and the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) region for initial analysis, given their likely role in future feedstock supply relevant to U.S. markets. Supply curves for selected feedstocks in these countries are projected for 2012, 2017 and 2027. The supply functions, along with calculations to reflect estimated supplies available for export and/or biofuel production, were provided to DOE for use in a broader energy market allocation study. Potential cellulosic supplies from crop and forestry residues and perennials were also estimated for 2017 and 2027. The analysis identified capacity to potentially double or triple feedstock production by 2017 in some cases. A majority of supply growth is derived from increasing the area cultivated (especially sugarcane in Brazil). This is supplemented by improving yields and farming practices. Most future supplies of corn and wheat are projected to be allocated to food and feed. Larger shares of future supplies of sugarcane, soybean and palm oil production will be available for export or biofuel. National policies are catalyzing investments in biofuel industries to meet targets for fuel blending that generally fall in the 5-10% range. Social and environmental concerns associated with rapid expansion of feedstock production are considered. If the 2017 projected feedstock supply calculated as 'available' for export or biofuel were converted to fuel, it would represent the equivalent of about 38 billion gallons of gasoline. Sugarcane and bagasse dominate the available supply, representing 64% of the total. Among the nations studied, Brazil is the source of about two-thirds of available supplies, followed distantly by Argentina (12%), India and the CBI region.

  10. Production of algal-based biofuel using non-fresh water sources.

    SciTech Connect

    Sun, Amy Cha-Tien; Reno, Marissa Devan

    2007-09-01

    The goal of this LDRD involves development of a system dynamics model to understand the interdependencies between water resource availability and water needs for production of biofuels. Specifically, this model focuses on availability and feasibility of non-traditional water sources from dairy wastewater, produced water from crude oil production and from coal-bed methane gas extraction for the production of algal-based biofuel. The conceptual simulation framework and historical data are based on two locales within New Mexico, the San Juan basin in the northwest and the Permian basin in the southeast, where oil and gas drilling have increased considerably in the last ten years. The overall water balance ignores both transportation options and water chemistry and is broken down by county level. The resulting model contains an algal growth module, a dairy module, an oil production module, and a gas production module. A user interface is also created for controlling the adjustable parameters in the model. Our preliminary investigation indicates a cyclical demand for non-fresh water due to the cyclical nature of algal biomass production and crop evapotranspiration. The wastewater from the dairy industry is not a feasible non-fresh water source because the agricultural water demand for cow's dry feed far exceeds the amount generated at the dairy. The uncertainty associated with the water demand for cow's dry matter intake is the greatest in this model. The oil- and gas-produced water, ignoring the quality, provides ample supply for water demand in algal biomass production. There remains work to address technical challenges associated with coupling the appropriate non-fresh water source to the local demand.

  11. Nitrogen supply is an important driver of sustainable microalgae biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Peccia, Jordan; Haznedaroglu, Berat; Gutierrez, James; Zimmerman, Julie B

    2013-03-01

    Favorable growth characteristics continue to generate interest in using triacylglycerides (TAGs) produced from microalgae for biodiesel feedstocks. In this opinion article, we suggest that due to the energy consumption associated with the production of external nitrogen fertilizers, the manner in which nitrogen is supplied to microalgae biorefineries will be an important driver of energy yields, sustainability, and commercial success. Schemes including the reuse of urban wastewater represent improvements on the overall energy balance, but will not allow for significant production of biofuels unless the nitrogen from the non-TAG portions of microalgae is recycled. Approaches to recycling nitrogen require an improved understanding of the tradeoffs between the different potential uses of the non-TAG microalgal portion (i.e., energy production via anaerobic digestion or thermal catalytic processes), and the development of nitrogen separation technologies. PMID:23414785

  12. Thermodynamic analysis of lignocellulosic biofuel production via a biochemical process: guiding technology selection and research focus.

    PubMed

    Sohel, M Imroz; Jack, Michael W

    2011-02-01

    The aim of this paper is to present an exergy analysis of bioethanol production process from lignocellulosic feedstock via a biochemical process to asses the overall thermodynamic efficiency and identify the main loss processes. The thermodynamic efficiency of the biochemical process was found to be 35% and the major inefficiencies of this process were identified as: the combustion of lignin for process heat and power production and the simultaneous scarification and co-fermentation process accounting for 67% and 27% of the lost exergy, respectively. These results were also compared with a previous analysis of a thermochemical process for producing biofuel. Despite fundamental differences, the biochemical and thermochemical processes considered here had similar levels of thermodynamic efficiency. Process heat and power production was the major contributor to exergy loss in both of the processes. Unlike the thermochemical process, the overall efficiency of the biochemical process largely depends on how the lignin is utilized. PMID:21036607

  13. Classification, mode of action and production strategy of xylanase and its application for biofuel production from water hyacinth.

    PubMed

    Uday, Uma Shankar Prasad; Choudhury, Payel; Bandyopadhyay, Tarun Kanti; Bhunia, Biswanath

    2016-01-01

    Xylanases are classified under glycoside hydrolase families which represent one of the largest groups of commercial enzymes. Depolymerizing xylan molecules into monomeric pentose units involves the synergistic action of mainly two key enzymes which are endo-?-xylanase and ?-xylosidase. Xylanases are different with respect to their mode of action, substrate specificities, biochemical properties, 3D structure and are widely produced by a spectrum of bacteria and fungi. Currently, large scale production of xylanase can be produced through the application of genetic engineering tool which allow fast identification of novel xylanase genes and their genetic variations makes it an ideal enzymes. Due to depletion of fossil fuel, there is urgent need to find out environment friendly and sustainable energy sources. Therefore, utilisation of cheap lignocellulosic materials along with proper optimisation of process is most important for cost efficient ethanol production. Among, various types of lignocellulosic substances, water hyacinth, a noxious aquatic weed, has been found in many tropical. Therefore, the technological development for biofuel production from water hyacinth is becoming commercially worthwhile. In this review, the classification and mode of action of xylanase including genetic regulation and strategy for robust xylanase production have been critically discussed from recent reports. In addition various strategies for cost effective biofuel production from water hyacinth including chimeric proteins design has also been critically evaluated. PMID:26529189

  14. Comparative genomics of xylose-fermenting fungi for enhanced biofuel production

    SciTech Connect

    Wohlbach, Dana J.; Kuo, Alan; Sato, Trey K.; Potts, Katlyn M.; Salamov, Asaf A.; LaButti, Kurt M.; Sun, Hui; Clum, Alicia; Pangilinan, Jasmyn L.; Lindquist, Erika A.; Lucas, Susan; Lapidus, Alla; Jin, Mingjie; Gunawan, Christa; Balan, Venkatesh; Dale, Bruce E.; Jeffries, Thomas W.; Zinkel, Robert; Barry, Kerrie W.; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Gasch, Audrey P.

    2011-02-24

    Cellulosic biomass is an abundant and underused substrate for biofuel production. The inability of many microbes to metabolize the pentose sugars abundant within hemicellulose creates specific challenges for microbial biofuel production from cellulosic material. Although engineered strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae can use the pentose xylose, the fermentative capacity pales in comparison with glucose, limiting the economic feasibility of industrial fermentations. To better understand xylose utilization for subsequent microbial engineering, we sequenced the genomes of two xylose-fermenting, beetle-associated fungi, Spathaspora passalidarum and Candida tenuis. To identify genes involved in xylose metabolism, we applied a comparative genomic approach across 14 Ascomycete genomes, mapping phenotypes and genotypes onto the fungal phylogeny, and measured genomic expression across five Hemiascomycete species with different xylose-consumption phenotypes. This approach implicated many genes and processes involved in xylose assimilation. Several of these genes significantly improved xylose utilization when engineered into S. cerevisiae, demonstrating the power of comparative methods in rapidly identifying genes for biomass conversion while reflecting on fungal ecology.

  15. Combining micro-structures and micro-algae to increase lipid production for bio-fuel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vyawahare, Saurabh; Zhu, Emilly; Mestler, Troy; Estévez-Torres, André.; Austin, Robert

    2011-03-01

    3rd generation bio-fuels like lipid producing micro-algae are a promising source of energy that could replace our dependence on petroleum. However, until there are improvements in algae oil yields, and a reduction in the energy needed for processing, algae bio-fuels are not economically competitive with petroleum. Here, we describe our work combining micro-fabricated devices with micro-algae Neochloris oleoabundans, a species first isolated on the sand dunes of Saudi Arabia. Inserting micro-algae of varying fitness into a landscape of micro-habitats allows us to evolve and select them based on a variety of conditions like specific gravity, starvation response and Nile Red fluorescence (which is a marker for lipid production). Hence, we can both estimate the production of lipids and generate conditions that allow the creation and isolation of algae which produce higher amounts of lipids, while discarding the rest. Finally, we can use micro-fabricated structures and flocculation to de-water these high lipid producing algae, reducing the need for expensive centrifugation and filtration.

  16. From first generation biofuels to advanced solar biofuels.

    PubMed

    Aro, Eva-Mari

    2016-01-01

    Roadmaps towards sustainable bioeconomy, including the production of biofuels, in many EU countries mostly rely on biomass use. However, although biomass is renewable, the efficiency of biomass production is too low to be able to fully replace the fossil fuels. The use of land for fuel production also introduces ethical problems in increasing the food price. Harvesting solar energy by the photosynthetic machinery of plants and autotrophic microorganisms is the basis for all biomass production. This paper describes current challenges and possibilities to sustainably increase the biomass production and highlights future technologies to further enhance biofuel production directly from sunlight. The biggest scientific breakthroughs are expected to rely on a new technology called "synthetic biology", which makes engineering of biological systems possible. It will enable direct conversion of solar energy to a fuel from inexhaustible raw materials: sun light, water and CO2. In the future, such solar biofuels are expected to be produced in engineered photosynthetic microorganisms or in completely synthetic living factories. PMID:26667057

  17. Water Resources Implications of Cellulosic Biofuel Production at a Regional Scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christopher, S. F.; Schoenholtz, S. H.; Nettles, J. E.

    2011-12-01

    Recent increases in oil prices, a strong national interest in greater energy independence, and a concern for the role of fossil fuels in global climate change, have led to a dramatic expansion in use of alternative renewable energy sources in the U.S. The U.S. government has mandated production of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022, of which 16 billion gallons are required to be cellulosic biofuels. Production of cellulosic biomass offers a promising alternative to corn-based systems because large-scale production of corn-based ethanol often requires irrigation and is associated with increased erosion, excess sediment export, and enhanced leaching of nitrogen and phosphorus. Although cultivation of switchgrass using standard agricultural practices is one option being considered for production of cellulosic biomass, intercropping cellulosic biofuel crops within managed forests could provide feedstock without primary land use change or the water quality impacts associated with annual crops. Catchlight Energy LLC is examining the feasibility and sustainability of intercropping switchgrass in loblolly pine plantations in the southeastern U.S. Ongoing research is determining efficient operational techniques and information needed to evaluate effects of these practices on water resources in small watershed-scale (~25 ha) studies. Three sets of four to five sub-watersheds are fully instrumented and currently collecting calibration data in North Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi. These watershed studies will provide detailed information to understand processes and guide management decisions. However, environmental implications of cellulosic systems need to be examined at a regional scale. We used the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), a physically-based hydrologic model, to examine water quantity effects of various land use change scenarios ranging from switchgrass intercropping a small percentage of managed pine forest land to conversion of all managed forested land to switchgrass. The regional-scale SWAT model was successfully run and calibrated on the ~ 5 million ha Tombigbee Watershed located in Mississippi and Alabama. Publically available datasets were used as input to the model and for calibration. To improve calibration statistics, five tree age classes (0-4 yr, 4-10 yr, 10-17 yr, 17-24 yr, 24-30 yr) were added to the model to more appropriately represent existing forested systems in the region, which are not included within the standard SWAT set-up. Our results will be essential to public policy makers as they influence and plan for large-scale production of cellulosic biofuels, while sustaining water quality and quantity.

  18. Educare: new product, new future.

    PubMed

    Caldwell, B

    1991-06-01

    On September 2, 1990, something very informative about the evolution of early childhood programs in the minds of people appeared in The New York Times. Perhaps only another historian of trivia would have noticed it, but it was significant. The Sunday crossword puzzle had the following cue for 4 down: "Places for day-care" (spelled, with the purist's uncertainty, with a hyphen). Even such a cautious horizontal-vertical weaver as I am did not have to wait very long before filling in the correct 10 letters: "preschools." Preschools = day-cares; day-cares = preschools. I am told that actors and authors and scientists know that they have it made when their names are required as solutions in a Times crossword puzzle. If so, perhaps we now have tangible proof that those of us have at last been heard who have urged acceptance of the concept that early childhood education (or preschool education) and child care (or day care) are really one and the same essential service operated for different lengths of time. Day care, the illegitimate child of the scientific field that gave birth to the early childhood movement, has turned out to be the only offspring sufficiently well endowed and robust to make it in the modern world. It is the only one possessing the characteristics that will enable it to take the family enterprise into the future. At this juncture, near the close of the century during which programs for young children multiplied to the point where they cannot be ignored as significant factors in family and public life, we are on the threshold of a new era.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:1869626

  19. Black liquor fractionation for biofuels production - a techno-economic assessment.

    PubMed

    Mesfun, Sennai; Lundgren, Joakim; Grip, Carl-Erik; Toffolo, Andrea; Nilsson, Rasika Lasanthi Kudahettige; Rova, Ulrika

    2014-08-01

    The hemicelluloses fraction of black liquor is an underutilized resource in many chemical pulp mills. It is possible to extract and separate the lignin and hemicelluloses from the black liquor and use the hemicelluloses for biochemical conversion into biofuels and chemicals. Precipitation of the lignin from the black liquor would consequently decrease the thermal load on the recovery boiler, which is often referred to as a bottleneck for increased pulp production. The objective of this work is to techno-economically evaluate the production of sodium-free lignin as a solid fuel and butanol to be used as fossil gasoline replacement by fractionating black liquor. The hydrolysis and fermentation processes are modeled in Aspen Plus to analyze energy and material balances as well as to evaluate the plant economics. A mathematical model of an existing pulp and paper mill is used to analyze the effects on the energy performance of the mill subprocesses. PMID:24950095

  20. Biomass logistics analysis for large scale biofuel production: case study of loblolly pine and switchgrass.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xiaoming; Withers, Mitch R; Seifkar, Navid; Field, Randall P; Barrett, Steven R H; Herzog, Howard J

    2015-05-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the costs, energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions throughout the biomass supply chain for large scale biofuel production. Two types of energy crop were considered, switchgrass and loblolly pine, as representative of herbaceous and woody biomass. A biomass logistics model has been developed to estimate the feedstock supply system from biomass production through transportation. Biomass in the form of woodchip, bale and pellet was investigated with road, railway and waterway transportation options. Our analysis indicated that the farm or forest gate cost is lowest for loblolly pine whole tree woodchip at $39.7/dry tonne and highest for switchgrass round bale at $72.3/dry tonne. Switchgrass farm gate GHG emissions is approximately 146kgCO2e/dry tonne, about 4 times higher than loblolly pine. The optimum biomass transportation mode and delivered form are determined by the tradeoff between fixed and variable costs for feedstock shipment. PMID:25710677

  1. Production of Biofuel from Waste Lignocellulosic Biomass Materials Based on Energy Saving Viewpoint

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takano, Maki; Hoshino, Kazuhiro

    To develop biofuel production from waste lignocellulosic biomass materials the rice straw was selected one of renewable material and the degradation condition about pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis to obtain effectively fermentable sugars was investigated. Rice straw was pretreated by five kinds of methods and then the components ratio of rice straw was examined. First, the steam explosion was selected based on the degradability and the requirement energy. In addition, the best suitable combination of two cellulases to effective and economical hydrolyze was determined from the degradability of these pretreated rice straws. In the simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of the steam explosion rice straw by combining cellulase cocktail and a novel fermenting fungus, 13.2 g/L ethanol was able to product for 96 h.

  2. Fatty Acid-Derived Biofuels and Chemicals Production in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Yongjin J.; Buijs, Nicolaas A.; Siewers, Verena; Nielsen, Jens

    2014-01-01

    Volatile energy costs and environmental concerns have spurred interest in the development of alternative, renewable, sustainable, and cost-effective energy resources. Environment-friendly processes involving microbes can be used to synthesize advanced biofuels. These fuels have the potential to replace fossil fuels in supporting high-power demanding machinery such as aircrafts and trucks. From an engineering perspective, the pathway for fatty acid biosynthesis is an attractive route for the production of advanced fuels such as fatty acid ethyl esters, fatty alcohols, and alkanes. The robustness and excellent accessibility to molecular genetics make the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae a suitable host for the purpose of bio-manufacturing. Recent advances in metabolic engineering, as well as systems and synthetic biology, have now provided the opportunity to engineer yeast metabolism for the production of fatty acid-derived fuels and chemicals. PMID:25225637

  3. Effects of future urban and biofuel crop expansions on the riverine export of phosphorus to the Laurentian Great Lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    LaBeau, Meredith B.; Robertson, Dale M.; Mayer, Alex S.; Pijanowski, Bryan C.; Saad, David A.

    2013-01-01

    Increased phosphorus (P) loadings threaten the health of the world’s largest freshwater resource, the Laurentian Great Lakes (GL). To understand the linkages between land use and P delivery, we coupled two spatially explicit models, the landscape-scale SPARROW P fate and transport watershed model and the Land Transformation Model (LTM) land use change model, to predict future P export from nonpoint and point sources caused by changes in land use. According to LTM predictions over the period 2010–2040, the GL region of the U.S. may experience a doubling of urbanized areas and agricultural areas may increase by 10%, due to biofuel feedstock cultivation. These land use changes are predicted to increase P loadings from the U.S. side of the GL basin by 3.5–9.5%, depending on the Lake watershed and development scenario. The exception is Lake Ontario, where loading is predicted to decrease by 1.8% for one scenario, due to population losses in the drainage area. Overall, urban expansion is estimated to increase P loadings by 3.4%. Agricultural expansion associated with predicted biofuel feedstock cultivation is predicted to increase P loadings by an additional 2.4%. Watersheds that export P most ef?ciently and thus are the most vulnerable to increases in P sources tend to be found along southern Lake Ontario, southeastern Lake Erie, western Lake Michigan, and southwestern Lake Superior where watershed areas are concentrated along the coastline with shorter ?ow paths. In contrast, watersheds with high soil permeabilities, fractions of land underlain by tile drains, and long distances to the GL are less vulnerable.

  4. Biofuels generation from sweet sorghum: fermentative hydrogen production and anaerobic digestion of the remaining biomass.

    PubMed

    Antonopoulou, Georgia; Gavala, Hariklia N; Skiadas, Ioannis V; Angelopoulos, K; Lyberatos, Gerasimos

    2008-01-01

    The present study focuses on the exploitation of sweet sorghum biomass as a source for hydrogen and methane. Fermentative hydrogen production from the sugars of sweet sorghum extract was investigated at different hydraulic retention times (HRT). The subsequent methane production from the effluent of the hydrogenogenic process and the methane potential of the remaining solids after the extraction process were assessed as well. The highest hydrogen production rate (2550 ml H(2)/d) was obtained at the HRT of 6h while the highest yield of hydrogen produced per kg of sorghum biomass was achieved at the HRT of 12h (10.4l H(2)/kg sweet sorghum). It has been proved that the effluent from the hydrogenogenic reactor is an ideal substrate for methane production with approximately 29l CH(4)/kg of sweet sorghum. Anaerobic digestion of the solid residues after the extraction process yielded 78l CH(4)/kg of sweet sorghum. This work demonstrated that biohydrogen production can be very efficiently coupled with a subsequent step of methane production and that sweet sorghum could be an ideal substrate for a combined gaseous biofuels production. PMID:17257834

  5. Biofuels Research at EPA

    EPA Science Inventory

    The development of sustainable and clean biofuels is a national priority. To do so requires a life-cycle approach that includes consideration of feedstock production and logistics, and biofuel production, distribution, and end use. The US Environmental Protection Agency is suppor...

  6. Gaining ground in the modeling of land-use change greenhouse gas emissions associated with biofuel production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunn, J.; Mueller, S.; Kwon, H.; Wang, M.; Wander, M.

    2012-12-01

    Land-use change (LUC) resulting from biofuel feedstock production and the associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are a hotly-debated aspect of biofuels. Certainly, LUC GHG emissions are one of the most uncertain elements in life cycle analyses (LCA) of biofuels. To estimate LUC GHG emissions, two sets of data are necessary. First, information on the amount and type of land that is converted to biofuel feedstock production is required. These data are typically generated through application of computable general equilibrium (CGE) models such as Purdue University's Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) model. Second, soil carbon content data for the affected land types is essential. Recently, Argonne National Laboratory's Carbon Calculator for Land Use Change from Biofuels Production (CCLUB) has been updated with CGE modeling results that estimate the amount and type of LUC world-wide from production of ethanol from corn, corn stover, miscanthus, and switchgrass (Mueller et al. 2012). Moreover, we have developed state-specific carbon content data, determined through modeling with CENTURY, for the two most dominant soil types in the conterminous 48 U.S. states (Kwon et al. 2012) to enable finer-resolution results for domestic LUC GHG emissions for these ethanol production scenarios. Of the feedstocks examined, CCLUB estimates that LUC GHG emissions are highest for corn ethanol (9.1 g CO2e/MJ ethanol) and lowest for miscanthus (-12 g CO2e/MJ ethanol). We will present key observations from CCLUB results incorporated into Argonne National Laboratory's Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation (GREET) model, which is a LCA tool for transportation fuels and advanced vehicle technologies. We will discuss selected issues in this modeling, including the sensitivity of domestic soil carbon emission factors to modeling parameters and assumptions about the fate of harvested wood products. Further, we will discuss efforts to update CCLUB with county-level soil carbon emission factors and updated international soil carbon emission factors. Finally, we will examine data needs for improved LUC GHG calculations in both the modeling of land conversion and soil carbon content. Kwon, H. Y., Wander, M. M., Mueller, S., Dunn, J. B. "Modeling state-level soil carbon emission factors under various scenarios for direct land use change associated with United States biofuel feedstock production." Biomass and Bioenergy. Under Review. Mueller, S., Dunn, J. B., Wang, M. "Carbon Calculator for Land Use Change from Biofuels Production (CCLUB) Users' Manual and Technical Documentation." May 2012. ANL/ESD/12-5. Available at http://greet.es.anl.gov/publication-cclub-manual.

  7. Clash of the Titans: Comparing productivity via radiation use efficiency for two grass giants of the biofuel field

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The comparative productivity of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus) is of critical importance to the biofuel industry. The radiation use efficiency (RUE), when derived in an environment with non-limiting soil water and soil nutrients, provides one metric of re...

  8. Enhanced characteristics of genetically modified switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) for high biofuel production

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Lignocellulosic biomass is one of the most promising renewable and clean energy resources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. However, the resistance to accessibility of sugars embedded in plant cell walls (so-called recalcitrance) is a major barrier to economically viable cellulosic ethanol production. A recent report from the US National Academy of Sciences indicated that, “absent technological breakthroughs”, it was unlikely that the US would meet the congressionally mandated renewable fuel standard of 35 billion gallons of ethanol-equivalent biofuels plus 1 billion gallons of biodiesel by 2022. We here describe the properties of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) biomass that has been genetically engineered to increase the cellulosic ethanol yield by more than 2-fold. Results We have increased the cellulosic ethanol yield from switchgrass by 2.6-fold through overexpression of the transcription factor PvMYB4. This strategy reduces carbon deposition into lignin and phenolic fermentation inhibitors while maintaining the availability of potentially fermentable soluble sugars and pectic polysaccharides. Detailed biomass characterization analyses revealed that the levels and nature of phenolic acids embedded in the cell-wall, the lignin content and polymer size, lignin internal linkage levels, linkages between lignin and xylans/pectins, and levels of wall-bound fucose are all altered in PvMYB4-OX lines. Genetically engineered PvMYB4-OX switchgrass therefore provides a novel system for further understanding cell wall recalcitrance. Conclusions Our results have demonstrated that overexpression of PvMYB4, a general transcriptional repressor of the phenylpropanoid/lignin biosynthesis pathway, can lead to very high yield ethanol production through dramatic reduction of recalcitrance. MYB4-OX switchgrass is an excellent model system for understanding recalcitrance, and provides new germplasm for developing switchgrass cultivars as biomass feedstocks for biofuel production. PMID:23651942

  9. Development of optimal enzymatic and microbial conversion systems for biofuel production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aramrueang, Natthiporn

    The increase in demand for fuels, along with the concerns over the depletion of fossil fuels and the environmental problems associated with the use of the petroleum-based fuels, has driven the exploitation of clean and renewable energy. Through a collaboration project with Mendota Bioenergy LLC to produce advanced biofuel from sugar beet and other locally grown crops in the Central Valley of California through demonstration and commercial-scale biorefineries, the present study focused on the investigation of selected potential biomass as biofuel feedstock and development of bioconversion systems for sustainable biofuel production. For an efficient biomass-to-biofuel conversion process, three important steps, which are central to this research, must be considered: feedstock characterization, enzymatic hydrolysis of the feedstock, and the bioconversion process. The first part of the research focused on the characterization of various lignocellulosic biomass as feedstocks and investigated their potential ethanol yields. Physical characteristics and chemical composition were analyzed for four sugar beet varieties, three melon varieties, tomato, Jose tall wheatgrass, wheat hay, and wheat straw. Melons and tomato are those products discarded by the growers or processors due to poor quality. The mass-based ethanol potential of each feedstock was determined based on the composition. The high sugar-containing feedstocks are sugar beet roots, melons, and tomato, containing 72%, 63%, and 42% average soluble sugars on a dry basis, respectively. Thus, for these crops, the soluble sugars are the main substrate for ethanol production. The potential ethanol yields, on average, for sugar beet roots, melons, and tomato are 591, 526, and 448 L ethanol/metric ton dry basis (d.b.), respectively. Lignocellulosic biomass, including Jose Tall wheatgrass and wheat straw, are composed primarily of cellulose (27-39% d.b.) and hemicellulose (26-30% d.b.). The ethanol yields from these materials can range from 470 to 533 L ethanol/metric ton (d.b.) Sugar beet leaves contain nearly equal amounts of cellulose (13%), hemicellulose (16%), and pectin (17%). The potential ethanol yield of sugar beet leaves is 340 L ethanol/metric ton (d.b.). As remaining unused in great quantities during the production of sugar beet as a sugar and energy crop, sugar beet leaves was studied as a potential feedstock for the production of biofuel and valuable products. The enzymatic hydrolysis of sugar beet leaves was optimized for fermentable sugar production. Optimization of enzyme usage was performed to make the biorefinery process more cost- and energy-effective. In this research, response surface methodology was used to study the effects of enzyme loadings during the hydrolysis of sugar beet leaves at 10% total solids content, using a mix of cellulases, hemicellulases, and pectinases. The effects of enzyme loadings were studied with a five-level rotatable central composite design for maximum conversion of sugar beet leaves to fermentable sugars. The last part of this study investigated biogas production through the anaerobic digestion of microalgae as they have received much attention as another potential biofuel feedstock. Anaerobic digestion of Spirulina ( Arthrospira platensis) was conducted in batch reactors for the study of the kinetics and, in continuous stirred tank reactors (CSTR), for the study of the two important operating parameters: hydraulic retention time (HRT) and organic loading rate (OLR). The kinetics study on methane production from batch experiments shows first order kinetics and a reaction rate constant of 0.382 d-1. The maximum biogas and methane yields for Spirulina are 0.514 L/gVS and 0.360 L CH4/gVS, respectively. The methane content of the biogas is 68%. During the continuous anaerobic digestion in CSTR for OLR in the range of 1.0-4.0 gVS/L/d, biogas and methane yields are in the ranges of 0.276-0.502 L/ gVS and 0.163-0.342 L CH4/gVS, respectively. Methane content is 59-70% of the biogas. Methane yield decreases with an increase in OLR and a d

  10. Production of Algal-based Biofuel from Non-fresh Water Sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, A. C.; Reno, M. D.

    2008-12-01

    A system dynamics model is developed to assess the availability and feasibility of non-traditional water sources from dairy wastewater, produced water from crude oil production and from coal-bed methane gas extraction for the production of algal-based biofuel. The conceptual framework is based on two locales within New Mexico, the San Juan basin in the northwest and the Permian basin in the southeast, where oil and gas drilling have increased considerably in the last ten years. The simulation framework contains an algal growth module, a dairy module, an oil production module, and a gas production module. Our preliminary investigation indicates a cyclical demand for non-fresh water due to the cyclical nature of algal biomass production and crop evapotranspiration. The wastewater from the dairy industry is not a feasible non-fresh water source because the agricultural water demand for cow's dry feed far exceeds the amount generated at the dairy. The uncertainty associated with the water demand for cow's dry matter intake is the greatest in this model. The oil and gas produced water, ignoring the quality, provides ample supply for water demand in algal biomass production. There remains work to address technical challenges associated with coupling the appropriate non-fresh water source to the local demand.

  11. Biogeochemical Research Priorities for Sustainable Biofuel and Bioenergy Feedstock Production in the Americas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gollany, Hero T.; Titus, Brian D.; Scott, D. Andrew; Asbjornsen, Heidi; Resh, Sigrid C.; Chimner, Rodney A.; Kaczmarek, Donald J.; Leite, Luiz F. C.; Ferreira, Ana C. C.; Rod, Kenton A.; Hilbert, Jorge; Galdos, Marcelo V.; Cisz, Michelle E.

    2015-12-01

    Rapid expansion in biomass production for biofuels and bioenergy in the Americas is increasing demand on the ecosystem resources required to sustain soil and site productivity. We review the current state of knowledge and highlight gaps in research on biogeochemical processes and ecosystem sustainability related to biomass production. Biomass production systems incrementally remove greater quantities of organic matter, which in turn affects soil organic matter and associated carbon and nutrient storage (and hence long-term soil productivity) and off-site impacts. While these consequences have been extensively studied for some crops and sites, the ongoing and impending impacts of biomass removal require management strategies for ensuring that soil properties and functions are sustained for all combinations of crops, soils, sites, climates, and management systems, and that impacts of biomass management (including off-site impacts) are environmentally acceptable. In a changing global environment, knowledge of cumulative impacts will also become increasingly important. Long-term experiments are essential for key crops, soils, and management systems because short-term results do not necessarily reflect long-term impacts, although improved modeling capability may help to predict these impacts. Identification and validation of soil sustainability indicators for both site prescriptions and spatial applications would better inform commercial and policy decisions. In an increasingly inter-related but constrained global context, researchers should engage across inter-disciplinary, inter-agency, and international lines to better ensure the long-term soil productivity across a range of scales, from site to landscape.

  12. Biogeochemical Research Priorities for Sustainable Biofuel and Bioenergy Feedstock Production in the Americas.

    PubMed

    Gollany, Hero T; Titus, Brian D; Scott, D Andrew; Asbjornsen, Heidi; Resh, Sigrid C; Chimner, Rodney A; Kaczmarek, Donald J; Leite, Luiz F C; Ferreira, Ana C C; Rod, Kenton A; Hilbert, Jorge; Galdos, Marcelo V; Cisz, Michelle E

    2015-12-01

    Rapid expansion in biomass production for biofuels and bioenergy in the Americas is increasing demand on the ecosystem resources required to sustain soil and site productivity. We review the current state of knowledge and highlight gaps in research on biogeochemical processes and ecosystem sustainability related to biomass production. Biomass production systems incrementally remove greater quantities of organic matter, which in turn affects soil organic matter and associated carbon and nutrient storage (and hence long-term soil productivity) and off-site impacts. While these consequences have been extensively studied for some crops and sites, the ongoing and impending impacts of biomass removal require management strategies for ensuring that soil properties and functions are sustained for all combinations of crops, soils, sites, climates, and management systems, and that impacts of biomass management (including off-site impacts) are environmentally acceptable. In a changing global environment, knowledge of cumulative impacts will also become increasingly important. Long-term experiments are essential for key crops, soils, and management systems because short-term results do not necessarily reflect long-term impacts, although improved modeling capability may help to predict these impacts. Identification and validation of soil sustainability indicators for both site prescriptions and spatial applications would better inform commercial and policy decisions. In an increasingly inter-related but constrained global context, researchers should engage across inter-disciplinary, inter-agency, and international lines to better ensure the long-term soil productivity across a range of scales, from site to landscape. PMID:26006220

  13. Biological potential of microalgae in China for biorefinery-based production of biofuels and high value compounds.

    PubMed

    Li, Jingjing; Liu, Ying; Cheng, Jay J; Mos, Michal; Daroch, Maurycy

    2015-12-25

    Microalgae abundance and diversity in China shows promise for identifying suitable strains for developing algal biorefinery. Numerous strains of microalgae have already been assessed as feedstocks for bioethanol and biodiesel production, but commercial scale algal biofuel production is yet to be demonstrated, most likely due to huge energy costs associated with algae cultivation, harvesting and processing. Biorefining, integrated processes for the conversion of biomass into a variety of products, can improve the prospects of microalgal biofuels by combining them with the production of high value co-products. Numerous microalgal strains in China have been identified as producers of various high value by-products with wide application in the medicine, food, and cosmetics industries. This paper reviews microalgae resources in China and their potential in producing liquid biofuels (bioethanol and biodiesel) and high value products in an integrated biorefinery approach. Implementation of a 'high value product first' principle should make the integrated process of fuels and chemicals production economically feasible and will ensure that public and private interest in the development of microalgal biotechnology is maintained. PMID:25686716

  14. Registration of Three High Fiber Sugar Cane Varieties, L 79-1002, HoCP 91-552 AND Ho 00-961, for Biofuels Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    High fiber sugarcane (Saccharum spp. hybrids) varieties, or energy canes, have been shown to be a viable feedstock for biofuel applications. Three high fiber sugarcane varieties, L 79-1002, HoCP 91-552 and Ho 00-961, were released in April 2007 for commercial biofuel production. L 79-1002 averaged 2...

  15. The Role of Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation in Sustainable Production of Biofuels

    PubMed Central

    Biswas, Bandana; Gresshoff, Peter M.

    2014-01-01

    With the ever-increasing population of the world (expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050), and altered life style, comes an increased demand for food, fuel and fiber. However, scarcity of land, water and energy accompanied by climate change means that to produce enough to meet the demands is getting increasingly challenging. Today we must use every avenue from science and technology available to address these challenges. The natural process of symbiotic nitrogen fixation, whereby plants such as legumes fix atmospheric nitrogen gas to ammonia, usable by plants can have a substantial impact as it is found in nature, has low environmental and economic costs and is broadly established. Here we look at the importance of symbiotic nitrogen fixation in the production of biofuel feedstocks; how this process can address major challenges, how improving nitrogen fixation is essential, and what we can do about it. PMID:24786096

  16. Development of Agave as a dedicated biomass source: production of biofuels from whole plants

    SciTech Connect

    Mielenz, Jonathan R; Mielenz, Jonathan R; Rodriguez Jr, Miguel; Thompson, Olivia A; Yang, Xiaohan; Yin, Hengfu

    2015-01-01

    Background: Agave species can grow well in semi-arid marginal agricultural lands around the world. Selected Agave species are used largely for alcoholic beverage production in Mexico. There are expanding research efforts to use the plentiful residues (bagasse) for ethanol production as the beverage manufacturing process only uses the juice from the central core of mature plants. Here we investigate the potential of over a dozen Agave species, including three from cold semi-arid regions of the United States, to produce biofuels using the whole plant. Results: Ethanol was readily produced by Saccharomyces cerevisiae from hydrolysate of ten whole Agaves with the use of a proper blend of biomass degrading enzymes that overcomes toxicity of most of the species tested. Unlike yeast fermentations, Clostridium beijerinckii produced butanol plus acetone from nine species tested. Butyric acid, a precursor of butanol, was also present due to incomplete conversion during the screening process. Since Agave contains high levels of free and poly-fructose which are readily destroyed by acidic pretreatment, a two step process was used developed to depolymerized poly-fructose while maintaining its fermentability. The hydrolysate from before and after dilute acid processing was used in C. beijerinckii acetone and butanol fermentations with selected Agave species. Conclusions: Results have shown Agave s potential to be a source of fermentable sugars beyond the existing beverage species to now include species previously unfermentable by yeast, including cold tolerant lines. This development may stimulate development of Agave as a dedicated feedstock for biofuels in semi-arid regions throughout the globe.

  17. Production of biofuels and biochemicals by in vitro synthetic biosystems: Opportunities and challenges.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yi-Heng Percival

    2015-11-15

    The largest obstacle to the cost-competitive production of low-value and high-impact biofuels and biochemicals (called biocommodities) is high production costs catalyzed by microbes due to their inherent weaknesses, such as low product yield, slow reaction rate, high separation cost, intolerance to toxic products, and so on. This predominant whole-cell platform suffers from a mismatch between the primary goal of living microbes - cell proliferation and the desired biomanufacturing goal - desired products (not cell mass most times). In vitro synthetic biosystems consist of numerous enzymes as building bricks, enzyme complexes as building modules, and/or (biomimetic) coenzymes, which are assembled into synthetic enzymatic pathways for implementing complicated bioreactions. They emerge as an alternative solution for accomplishing a desired biotransformation without concerns of cell proliferation, complicated cellular regulation, and side-product formation. In addition to the most important advantage - high product yield, in vitro synthetic biosystems feature several other biomanufacturing advantages, such as fast reaction rate, easy product separation, open process control, broad reaction condition, tolerance to toxic substrates or products, and so on. In this perspective review, the general design rules of in vitro synthetic pathways are presented with eight supporting examples: hydrogen, n-butanol, isobutanol, electricity, starch, lactate,1,3-propanediol, and poly-3-hydroxylbutyrate. Also, a detailed economic analysis for enzymatic hydrogen production from carbohydrates is presented to illustrate some advantages of this system and the remaining challenges. Great market potentials will motivate worldwide efforts from multiple disciplines (i.e., chemistry, biology and engineering) to address the remaining obstacles pertaining to cost and stability of enzymes and coenzymes, standardized building parts and modules, biomimetic coenzymes, biosystem optimization, and scale-up, soon. PMID:25447781

  18. Livestock production: recent trends, future prospects

    PubMed Central

    Thornton, Philip K.

    2010-01-01

    The livestock sector globally is highly dynamic. In developing countries, it is evolving in response to rapidly increasing demand for livestock products. In developed countries, demand for livestock products is stagnating, while many production systems are increasing their efficiency and environmental sustainability. Historical changes in the demand for livestock products have been largely driven by human population growth, income growth and urbanization and the production response in different livestock systems has been associated with science and technology as well as increases in animal numbers. In the future, production will increasingly be affected by competition for natural resources, particularly land and water, competition between food and feed and by the need to operate in a carbon-constrained economy. Developments in breeding, nutrition and animal health will continue to contribute to increasing potential production and further efficiency and genetic gains. Livestock production is likely to be increasingly affected by carbon constraints and environmental and animal welfare legislation. Demand for livestock products in the future could be heavily moderated by socio-economic factors such as human health concerns and changing socio-cultural values. There is considerable uncertainty as to how these factors will play out in different regions of the world in the coming decades. PMID:20713389

  19. Hydrothermal treatment of oleaginous yeast for the recovery of free fatty acids for use in advanced biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Espinosa-Gonzalez, Isabel; Parashar, Archana; Bressler, David C

    2014-10-10

    Microbial oils hold great potential as a suitable feedstock for the renewable production of biofuels. Specifically, the use of oleaginous yeasts offers several advantages related to cultivation and quality of lipid products. However, one of the major bottlenecks for large-scale production of yeast oils is found in the lipid extraction process. This work investigated the hydrothermal treatment of oleaginous yeast for hydrolysis and lipid extraction resulting in fatty acids used for biofuel production. The oleaginous yeast, Cryptococcus curvatus, was grown in 5 L bioreactors and the biomass slurry with 53±4% lipid content (dry weight basis) was treated at 280 °C for 1h with an initial pressure of 500 psi in batch stainless steel reactors. The hydrolysis product was separated and each of the resulting streams was further characterized. The hexane soluble fraction contained fatty acids from the hydrolysis of yeast triacylglycerides, and was low in nitrogen and minerals and could be directly integrated as feedstock into pyrolysis processing to produce biofuels. The proposed hydrothermal treatment addresses some current technological bottlenecks associated with traditional methodologies such as dewatering, oil extraction and co-product utilization. It also enhances the feasibility of using microbial biomass for production of renewable fuels and chemicals. PMID:25034431

  20. Switchgrass potential on reclaimed surface mines for biofuel production in West Virginia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marra, Michael A.

    The high cost and environmental risks associated with non-renewable energy sources has caused an increased interest in, and development of renewable biofuels. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), a warm season perennial grass, has been investigated as a source of biofuel feedstock due to its high biomass production on marginal soils, its tolerance of harsh growing conditions, and its ability to provide habitat for wildlife and soil conservation cover. West Virginia contains vast expanses of reclaimed surface mine lands and could potentially benefit from the production of switchgrass as a biofuel feedstock. Furthermore, switchgrass production could satisfy Surface Mining Reclamation and Control Act of 1977 (SMCRA) requirements for reclamation bond release to mine operators. Three separate studies will be discussed in this thesis to determine if switchgrass grown on reclaimed surface mines can produce yields similar to yields from stands grown under normal agronomic conditions and what common surface mining reclamation practices may be most appropriate for growing switchgrass. The first study examined yield production of three commercially-available, upland switchgrass varieties grown on two reclaimed surface mines in production years two, three and four. The Hampshire Hill mine site, which was reclaimed in the late 1990s using top soil and treated municipal sludge, averaged 5,800 kg (ha-yr)-1 of switchgrass compared to 803 kg (ha-yr)-1 at the Hobet 21 site which was reclaimed with crushed, unweathered rock over compacted overburden. Site and variety interacted with Cave-in-Rock as the top performer at the more fertile Hampshire Hill site and Shawnee produced the highest yields at Hobet 21 (7,853 kg ha-1 and 1,086 kg ha-1 averaged across years, respectively). Switchgrass yields increased from 2009 to 2010, but declined from 2010 to 2011. Switchgrass yields from farmlands in this region averaged about 15000 kg (ha-yr)-1 in the research literature, so switchgrass grown on reclaimed lands appears to be about 50% lower. A second study to determine optimal nitrogen and mulch rates for switchgrass establishment began in June 2011 on two newly-reclaimed surface mines. Both sites were seeded at a rate of 11.2 kg pure live seed (PLS) ha-1 of Cave-in-Rock on replicated treatments of 0, 33.6 and 67.0 kg N ha-1, and high and low mulch rates of mulch applied as hydromulch. Switchgrass cover, frequency and yield improved with the addition of any amount of N fertilizer compared to no N application. There was no significant difference in yield associated with high and low levels of N. We also observed that yields were not affected by application of additional mulch. The final study compared a one- and two-harvest system in the fourth year of production at the Hampshire Hill and Hobet 21 sites. There was no increase in yield production utilizing a two-harvest system (2922 kg (ha-yr)-1, averaged across site) compared to a one-harvest system (3029 kg (ha-yr)-1). The data also showed that re-growth collected from July to October in the two-harvest system added negligible yield and that yield collected in July was comparable in one- and two-harvest systems.

  1. Addressing the challenges for sustainable production of algal biofuels: I. Algal strains and nutrient supply.

    PubMed

    Abdelaziz, Ahmed E M; Leite, Gustavo B; Hallenbeck, Patrick C

    2013-01-01

    Microalgae hold promise for the production of sustainable replacement of fossil fuels due to their high growth rates, ability to grow on non-arable land and their high content, under the proper conditions, of high energy compounds that can be relatively easily chemically converted to fuels using existing technology. However, projected large-scale algal production raises a number of sustainability concerns concerning land use, net energy return, water use and nutrient supply. The state-of-the-art of algal production of biofuels is presented with emphasis on some possible avenues to provide answers to the sustainability questions that have been raised. Here, issues concerning algal strains and supply of nutrients for large-scale production are discussed. Since sustainability concerns necessitate the use of wastewaters for supply of bulk nutrients, emphasis is placed on the composition and suitability of different wastewater streams. At the same time, algal cultivation has proven useful in waste treatment processes, and thus this aspect is also treated in some detail. PMID:24350435

  2. Natural Gas and Cellulosic Biomass: A Clean Fuel Combination? Determining the Natural Gas Blending Wall in Biofuel Production.

    PubMed

    M Wright, Mark; Seifkar, Navid; Green, William H; Román-Leshkov, Yuriy

    2015-07-01

    Natural gas has the potential to increase the biofuel production output by combining gas- and biomass-to-liquids (GBTL) processes followed by naphtha and diesel fuel synthesis via Fischer-Tropsch (FT). This study reflects on the use of commercial-ready configurations of GBTL technologies and the environmental impact of enhancing biofuels with natural gas. The autothermal and steam-methane reforming processes for natural gas conversion and the gasification of biomass for FT fuel synthesis are modeled to estimate system well-to-wheel emissions and compare them to limits established by U.S. renewable fuel mandates. We show that natural gas can enhance FT biofuel production by reducing the need for water-gas shift (WGS) of biomass-derived syngas to achieve appropriate H2/CO ratios. Specifically, fuel yields are increased from less than 60 gallons per ton to over 100 gallons per ton with increasing natural gas input. However, GBTL facilities would need to limit natural gas use to less than 19.1% on a LHV energy basis (7.83 wt %) to avoid exceeding the emissions limits established by the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) for clean, advanced biofuels. This effectively constitutes a blending limit that constrains the use of natural gas for enhancing the biomass-to-liquids (BTL) process. PMID:26010031

  3. %22Trojan Horse%22 strategy for deconstruction of biomass for biofuels production.

    SciTech Connect

    Simmons, Blake Alexander; Sinclair, Michael B.; Yu, Eizadora; Timlin, Jerilyn Ann; Hadi, Masood Z.; Tran-Gyamfi, Mary

    2011-02-01

    Production of renewable biofuels to displace fossil fuels currently consumed in the transportation sector is a pressing multiagency national priority (DOE/USDA/EERE). Currently, nearly all fuel ethanol is produced from corn-derived starch. Dedicated 'energy crops' and agricultural waste are preferred long-term solutions for renewable, cheap, and globally available biofuels as they avoid some of the market pressures and secondary greenhouse gas emission challenges currently facing corn ethanol. These sources of lignocellulosic biomass are converted to fermentable sugars using a variety of chemical and thermochemical pretreatments, which disrupt cellulose and lignin cross-links, allowing exogenously added recombinant microbial enzymes to more efficiently hydrolyze the cellulose for 'deconstruction' into glucose. This process is plagued with inefficiencies, primarily due to the recalcitrance of cellulosic biomass, mass transfer issues during deconstruction, and low activity of recombinant deconstruction enzymes. Costs are also high due to the requirement for enzymes and reagents, and energy-intensive cumbersome pretreatment steps. One potential solution to these problems is found in synthetic biology-engineered plants that self-produce a suite of cellulase enzymes. Deconstruction can then be integrated into a one-step process, thereby increasing efficiency (cellulose-cellulase mass-transfer rates) and reducing costs. The unique aspects of our approach are the rationally engineered enzymes which become Trojan horses during pretreatment conditions. During this study we rationally engineered Cazy enzymes and then integrated them into plant cells by multiple transformation techniques. The regenerated plants were assayed for first expression of these messages and then for the resulting proteins. The plants were then subjected to consolidated bioprocessing and characterized in detail. Our results and possible implications of this work on developing dedicated energy crops and their advantage in a consolidated bioprocessing system.

  4. Algal Biofuels Fact Sheet

    SciTech Connect

    2009-10-27

    This fact sheet provides information on algal biofuels, which are generating considerable interest around the world. They may represent a sustainable pathway for helping to meet the U.S. biofuel production targets set by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

  5. Manipulation of the carbon storage regulator system for metabolite remodeling and biofuel production in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Microbial engineering strategies that elicit global metabolic perturbations have the capacity to increase organism robustness for targeted metabolite production. In particular, perturbations to regulators of cellular systems that impact glycolysis and amino acid production while simultaneously decreasing fermentation by-products such as acetate and CO2 make ideal targets. Intriguingly, perturbation of the Carbon Storage Regulator (Csr) system has been previously implicated in large changes in central carbon metabolism in E. coli. Therefore, we hypothesized that perturbation of the Csr system through the CsrA-CsrB ribonucleoprotein complex might increase production of biofuels and their intermediates from heterologous pathways. Results We engaged the CsrA-CsrB ribonucleoprotein complex of E. coli via overexpression of CsrB. CsrB is a 350-nucleotide non-coding RNA that antagonizes CsrA, an RNA-binding protein that regulates translation of specific mRNA targets. By using shotgun proteomics and targeted metabolomics we established that elevation of CsrB levels leads to alterations in metabolite and protein levels in glycolysis, the TCA cycle and amino acid levels. Consequently, we show that such changes can be suitably applied to improve the production of desired compounds through the native fatty acid and heterologous n-butanol and isoprenoid pathways by up to two-fold. We also observed concomitant decreases in undesirable fermentation by-products such as acetate and CO2. Conclusions We have demonstrated that simple engineering of the RNA-based Csr global regulatory system constitutes a novel approach to obtaining pathway-independent improvements within engineered hosts. Additionally, since Csr is conserved across most prokaryotic species, this approach may also be amenable to a wide variety of production hosts. PMID:22694848

  6. The unintended energy impacts of increased nitrate contamination from biofuels production.

    PubMed

    Twomey, Kelly M; Stillwell, Ashlynn S; Webber, Michael E

    2010-01-01

    Increases in corn cultivation for biofuels production, due to the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, are likely to lead to increases in nitrate concentrations in both surface and groundwater resources in the United States. These increases might trigger the requirement for additional energy consumption for water treatment to remove the nitrates. While these increasing concentrations of nitrate might pose a human health concern, most water resources were found to be within current maximum contaminant level (MCL) limits of 10 mg L(-1) NO(3)-N. When water resources exceed this MCL, energy-intensive drinking water treatment is required to reduce nitrate levels below 10 mg L(-1). Based on prior estimates of water supplies currently exceeding the nitrate MCL, we calculate that advanced drinking water treatment might require an additional 2360 million kWh annually (for nitrate affected areas only)--a 2100% increase in energy requirements for water treatment in those same areas--to mitigate nitrate contamination and meet the MCL requirement. We predict that projected increases in nitrate contamination in water may impact the energy consumed in the water treatment sector, because of the convergence of several related trends: (1) increasing cornstarch-based ethanol production, (2) increasing nutrient loading in surface water and groundwater resources as a consequence of increased corn-based ethanol production, (3) additional drinking water sources that exceed the MCL for nitrate, and (4) potentially more stringent drinking water standards for nitrate. PMID:20082016

  7. Closing the gap: global potential for increasing biofuel production through agricultural intensification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnston, Matt; Licker, R.; Foley, J.; Holloway, T.; Mueller, N. D.; Barford, C.; Kucharik, C.

    2011-07-01

    Since the end of World War II, global agriculture has undergone a period of rapid intensification achieved through a combination of increased applications of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, the implementation of best management practice techniques, mechanization, irrigation, and more recently, through the use of optimized seed varieties and genetic engineering. However, not all crops and not all regions of the world have realized the same improvements in agricultural intensity. In this study we examine both the magnitude and spatial variation of new agricultural production potential from closing of 'yield gaps' for 20 ethanol and biodiesel feedstock crops. With biofuels coming under increasing pressure to slow or eliminate indirect land-use conversion, the use of targeted intensification via established agricultural practices might offer an alternative for continued growth. We find that by closing the 50th percentile production gap—essentially improving global yields to median levels—the 20 crops in this study could provide approximately 112.5 billion liters of new ethanol and 8.5 billion liters of new biodiesel production. This study is intended to be an important new resource for scientists and policymakers alike—helping to more accurately understand spatial variation of yield and agricultural intensification potential, as well as employing these data to better utilize existing infrastructure and optimize the distribution of development and aid capital.

  8. Selection of native Tunisian microalgae for simultaneous wastewater treatment and biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Jebali, A; Acién, F G; Gómez, C; Fernández-Sevilla, J M; Mhiri, N; Karray, F; Dhouib, A; Molina-Grima, E; Sayadi, S

    2015-12-01

    This paper focuses on the selection of native microalgae strains suitable for wastewater treatment and biofuel production. Four Chlorophyceae strains were isolated from North-eastern Tunisia. Their performances were compared in continuous mode at a 0.3 1/day dilution rate. The biomass productivity and nutrient removal capacity of each microalgae strain were studied. The most efficient strain was identified as Scenedesmus sp. and experiments at different dilution rates from 0.2 to 0.8 1/day were carried out. Maximal biomass productivity of 0.9g/Lday was obtained at 0.6 1/day. The removal of chemical oxygen demand (COD), ammonium and phosphorus was in the range of 92-94%, 61-99% and 93-99%, respectively. Carbohydrates were the major biomass fraction followed by lipids and then proteins. The saponifiable fatty acid content was in the 4.9-13.2% dry biomass range, with more than 50% of total fatty acids being composed of saturated and monosaturated fatty acids. PMID:26409854

  9. Characterizing compositional changes of Napier grass at different stages of growth for biofuel and biobased products potential.

    PubMed

    Takara, Devin; Khanal, Samir Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Napier grass, Pennisetum purpureum, is a high yielding, perennial feedstock that can be harvested year-round in (sub)tropical geographies of the world. Because of its high moisture content (? 80%w/w), Napier grass presents a unique opportunity for fractionation into solid and liquid streams, where the extruded cellulosic fibers can serve as a substrate for biofuel production, and the nutrient-rich juice can serve as a substrate for co-product generation. The aim of this study evaluated the effects of biomass age on constituents relevant to biofuel and biobased product generation. Although obvious morphological changes can be observed in the field due to natural senescence, the results obtained in this work suggested that the cellulose content does not change significantly with respect to age. Data surrounding the hemicellulose and lignin contents, however, were inconclusive as their degree of significance varied with the statistics applied to analyze the raw data. PMID:25727997

  10. A self-sustaining advanced lignocellulosic biofuel production by integration of anaerobic digestion and aerobic fungal fermentation.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Yuan; Ruan, Zhenhua; Zhong, Yingkui; Archer, Steven; Liu, Yan; Liao, Wei

    2015-03-01

    High energy demand hinders the development and application of aerobic microbial biofuel production from lignocellulosic materials. In order to address this issue, this study focused on developing an integrated system including anaerobic digestion and aerobic fungal fermentation to convert corn stover, animal manure and food wastes into microbial lipids for biodiesel production. Dairy manure and food waste were first anaerobically digested to produce energy and solid digestate (AD fiber). AD fiber and corn stover were then processed by a combined alkali and acid hydrolysis, followed by fungal lipid accumulation. The integrated process can generate 1L biodiesel and 1.9 kg methane from 12.8 kg dry dairy manure, 3.1 kg dry food wastes and 12.2 kg dry corn stover with a positive net energy of 57 MJ, which concludes a self-sustaining lignocellulosic biodiesel process and provides a new route to co-utilize corn stover and organic wastes for advanced biofuel production. PMID:25543542

  11. Biofuels & atmospheric chemistry: what can a global model tell us about our future decisions?

    E-print Network

    Pike, Rachel Catherine

    2010-03-16

    ., 2003]. In addition, as- sumptions about food productivity and availability, degraded land availability, and competing land use types contribute to variability in potential biomass estimates. The total global energy demand in 2004 was 308.8 EJ yr?1... is biological fer- mentation. For sugar-producing crops, the production process involves four or five steps: milling, pressing, fermentation, distillation, and possibly denaturing [Solomon et al., 2007a]. A starchy crop, such as corn, requires seven steps...

  12. Multi-scale Assessment of Wildlife Sustainability in Switchgrass Biofuel

    E-print Network

    Pennycook, Steve

    Multi-scale Assessment of Wildlife Sustainability in Switchgrass Biofuel Feedstock Production #12;Biofuel Production · Provide scientific information about biofuel fields · >30 Million Acres are the opportunities for wildlife? What is the role of switchgrass biofuel? How will biofuels affect grassland bird

  13. Metabolic Engineering of Clostridium thermocellum for Biofuel Production (2013 DOE JGI Genomics of Energy and Environment 8th Annual User Meeting)

    SciTech Connect

    Guess, Adam

    2013-03-01

    Adam Guss of Oak Ridge National Lab on "Metabolic engineering of Clostridium thermocellum for biofuel production" at the 8th Annual Genomics of Energy & Environment Meeting on March 28, 2013 in Walnut Creek, Calif.

  14. Biofuels and sustainability.

    PubMed

    Solomon, Barry D

    2010-01-01

    Interest in liquid biofuels production and use has increased worldwide as part of government policies to address the growing scarcity and riskiness of petroleum use, and, at least in theory, to help mitigate adverse global climate change. The existing biofuels markets are dominated by U.S. ethanol production based on cornstarch, Brazilian ethanol production based on sugarcane, and European biodiesel production based on rapeseed oil. Other promising efforts have included programs to shift toward the production and use of biofuels based on residues and waste materials from the agricultural and forestry sectors, and perennial grasses, such as switchgrass and miscanthus--so-called cellulosic ethanol. This article reviews these efforts and the recent literature in the context of ecological economics and sustainability science. Several common dimensions for sustainable biofuels are discussed: scale (resource assessment, land availability, and land use practices); efficiency (economic and energy); equity (geographic distribution of resources and the "food versus fuel" debate); socio-economic issues; and environmental effects and emissions. Recent proposals have been made for the development of sustainable biofuels criteria, culminating in standards released in Sweden in 2008 and a draft report from the international Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels. These criteria hold promise for accelerating a shift away from unsustainable biofuels based on grain, such as corn, and toward possible sustainable feedstock and production practices that may be able to meet a variety of social, economic, and environmental sustainability criteria. PMID:20146765

  15. A Comparison of the Microbial Production and Combustion Characteristics of Three Alcohol Biofuels: Ethanol, 1-Butanol, and 1-Octanol

    PubMed Central

    Kremer, Florian; Blank, Lars M.; Jones, Patrik R.; Akhtar, M. Kalim

    2015-01-01

    Over the last decade, microbes have been engineered for the manufacture of a variety of biofuels. Saturated linear-chain alcohols have great potential as transport biofuels. Their hydrocarbon backbones, as well as oxygenated content, confer combustive properties that make it suitable for use in internal combustion engines. Herein, we compared the microbial production and combustion characteristics of ethanol, 1-butanol, and 1-octanol. In terms of productivity and efficiency, current microbial platforms favor the production of ethanol. From a combustion standpoint, the most suitable fuel for spark-ignition engines would be ethanol, while for compression-ignition engines it would be 1-octanol. However, any general conclusions drawn at this stage regarding the most superior biofuel would be premature, as there are still many areas that need to be addressed, such as large-scale purification and pipeline compatibility. So far, the difficulties in developing and optimizing microbial platforms for fuel production, particularly for newer fuel candidates, stem from our poor understanding of the myriad biological factors underpinning them. A great deal of attention therefore needs to be given to the fundamental mechanisms that govern biological processes. Additionally, research needs to be undertaken across a wide range of disciplines to overcome issues of sustainability and commercial viability. PMID:26301219

  16. A Comparison of the Microbial Production and Combustion Characteristics of Three Alcohol Biofuels: Ethanol, 1-Butanol, and 1-Octanol.

    PubMed

    Kremer, Florian; Blank, Lars M; Jones, Patrik R; Akhtar, M Kalim

    2015-01-01

    Over the last decade, microbes have been engineered for the manufacture of a variety of biofuels. Saturated linear-chain alcohols have great potential as transport biofuels. Their hydrocarbon backbones, as well as oxygenated content, confer combustive properties that make it suitable for use in internal combustion engines. Herein, we compared the microbial production and combustion characteristics of ethanol, 1-butanol, and 1-octanol. In terms of productivity and efficiency, current microbial platforms favor the production of ethanol. From a combustion standpoint, the most suitable fuel for spark-ignition engines would be ethanol, while for compression-ignition engines it would be 1-octanol. However, any general conclusions drawn at this stage regarding the most superior biofuel would be premature, as there are still many areas that need to be addressed, such as large-scale purification and pipeline compatibility. So far, the difficulties in developing and optimizing microbial platforms for fuel production, particularly for newer fuel candidates, stem from our poor understanding of the myriad biological factors underpinning them. A great deal of attention therefore needs to be given to the fundamental mechanisms that govern biological processes. Additionally, research needs to be undertaken across a wide range of disciplines to overcome issues of sustainability and commercial viability. PMID:26301219

  17. Excited Quark Production at Future $?p$ Colliders

    E-print Network

    R. Ciftci

    2008-03-16

    Excited quark production at future $\\gamma p$ colliders is studied. Namely, $\\gamma p \\to q^{*}X$ with subsequent $q^{*}\\to gq$ and $\\gamma q $ decay channels are considered. Signatures for discovery of the excited quark and corresponding standard model backgrounds are discussed in detail. Discovery limits for excited quark masses and achievable values of compositeness parameters $f_s$, $f$ and $f^\\prime $ are determined.

  18. Agrigenomics for Microalgal Biofuel Production: An Overview of Various Bioinformatics Resources and Recent Studies to Link OMICS to Bioenergy and Bioeconomy

    PubMed Central

    Misra, Namrata; Parida, Bikram Kumar

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Microalgal biofuels offer great promise in contributing to the growing global demand for alternative sources of renewable energy. However, to make algae-based fuels cost competitive with petroleum, lipid production capabilities of microalgae need to improve substantially. Recent progress in algal genomics, in conjunction with other “omic” approaches, has accelerated the ability to identify metabolic pathways and genes that are potential targets in the development of genetically engineered microalgal strains with optimum lipid content. In this review, we summarize the current bioeconomic status of global biofuel feedstocks with particular reference to the role of “omics” in optimizing sustainable biofuel production. We also provide an overview of the various databases and bioinformatics resources available to gain a more complete understanding of lipid metabolism across algal species, along with the recent contributions of “omic” approaches in the metabolic pathway studies for microalgal biofuel production. PMID:24044362

  19. Liquid biofuels - can they meet our expectations?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glatzel, G.

    2012-04-01

    Liquid biofuels are one of the options for reducing the emission of greenhouse gases and the dependence on fossil fuels. This is reflected in the DIRECTIVE 2003/30/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on the promotion of the use of biofuels or other renewable fuels for transport. The promotion of E10, an automotive fuel containing 10 percent bioethanol, is based on this directive. At present almost all bioethanol is produced from agricultural crops such as maize, corn or sugar beet and sugar cane in suitable climates. In view of shortages and rising prices of food, in particular in developing countries, the use of food and feed crops for biofuel production is increasingly criticized. Alternative sources of biomass are perennial grasses and wood, whose cellulose fraction can be converted to alcohol by the so called "second generation" processes, which seem to be close to commercial deployment. The use of the total plant biomass increases the biofuel yield per hectare as compared to conventional crops. Of special interest for biofuel production is woody biomass from forests as this avoids competition with food production on arable land. Historically woody biomass was for millennia the predominant source of thermal energy. Before fossil fuels came into use, up to 80 percent of a forest was used for fuel wood, charcoal and raw materials such as potash for trade and industry. Now forests are managed to yield up to 80 percent of high grade timber for the wood industry. Replacing sophisticatedly managed forests by fast growing biofuel plantations could make economic sense for land owners when a protected market is guaranteed by politics, because biofuel plantations would be highly mechanized and cheap to operate, even if costs for certified planting material and fertilizer are added. For forest owners the decision to clear existing long rotation forests for biofuel plantations would still be weighty because of the extended time of decades required to rebuild a timber forest if alternative fuel sources would outcompete biofuels in the future. Because second generation bioethanol plants are technically complex and will require substantial amounts of biomass - at least at current perception - the impact of large scale conversion of arable and forests to biofuel plantations on biodiversity, ground water, rural communities, tourism as well as traffic and transport, just to mention a few, must be considered. Another factor is storability of biomass. Whole plant and woody biomass is much more difficult to store than grains and a steady flux from the plantation to the mill might be difficult to sustain under adverse weather conditions.

  20. Genomic Evaluation of Thermoanaerobacter spp. for the Construction of Designer Co-Cultures to Improve Lignocellulosic Biofuel Production

    PubMed Central

    Verbeke, Tobin J.; Zhang, Xiangli; Henrissat, Bernard; Spicer, Vic; Rydzak, Thomas; Krokhin, Oleg V.; Fristensky, Brian; Levin, David B.; Sparling, Richard

    2013-01-01

    The microbial production of ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass is a multi-component process that involves biomass hydrolysis, carbohydrate transport and utilization, and finally, the production of ethanol. Strains of the genus Thermoanaerobacter have been studied for decades due to their innate abilities to produce comparatively high ethanol yields from hemicellulose constituent sugars. However, their inability to hydrolyze cellulose, limits their usefulness in lignocellulosic biofuel production. As such, co-culturing Thermoanaerobacter spp. with cellulolytic organisms is a plausible approach to improving lignocellulose conversion efficiencies and yields of biofuels. To evaluate native lignocellulosic ethanol production capacities relative to competing fermentative end-products, comparative genomic analysis of 11 sequenced Thermoanaerobacter strains, including a de novo genome, Thermoanaerobacter thermohydrosulfuricus WC1, was conducted. Analysis was specifically focused on the genomic potential for each strain to address all aspects of ethanol production mentioned through a consolidated bioprocessing approach. Whole genome functional annotation analysis identified three distinct clades within the genus. The genomes of Clade 1 strains encode the fewest extracellular carbohydrate active enzymes and also show the least diversity in terms of lignocellulose relevant carbohydrate utilization pathways. However, these same strains reportedly are capable of directing a higher proportion of their total carbon flux towards ethanol, rather than non-biofuel end-products, than other Thermoanaerobacter strains. Strains in Clade 2 show the greatest diversity in terms of lignocellulose hydrolysis and utilization, but proportionately produce more non-ethanol end-products than Clade 1 strains. Strains in Clade 3, in which T. thermohydrosulfuricus WC1 is included, show mid-range potential for lignocellulose hydrolysis and utilization, but also exhibit extensive divergence from both Clade 1 and Clade 2 strains in terms of cellular energetics. The potential implications regarding strain selection and suitability for industrial ethanol production through a consolidated bioprocessing co-culturing approach are examined throughout the manuscript. PMID:23555660

  1. The Impact of Biofuel and Greenhouse Gas Policies on Land Management, Agricultural Production, and Environmental Quality 

    E-print Network

    Baker, Justin Scott

    2012-10-19

    This dissertation explores the combined effects of biofuel mandates and terrestrial greenhouse gas GHG mitigation incentives on land use, management intensity, commodity markets, welfare, and the full costs of GHG abatement through conceptual...

  2. Application of monoclonal antibodies to investigate plant cell wall deconstruction for biofuels production

    E-print Network

    California at Riverside, University of

    Application of monoclonal antibodies to investigate plant cell wall deconstruction for biofuels glycan-directed monoclonal antibodies to monitor structural/extractability changes in Populus biomass. The results of glycome profiling studies were verified by immunolabeling using selected antibodies from

  3. Triacylglycerol Production from Corn Stover Using a Xylose-Fermenting Rhodococcus opacus Strain for Lignocellulosic Biofuels

    E-print Network

    Kurosawa, Kazuhiko

    Triacylglycerols (TAGs) are in the spotlight as a feasible source of hydrocarbon-based biofuels. Rhodococcus opacus PD630 produces large amounts of intracellular TAGs in cultivations containing high concentrations of ...

  4. Measuring and moderating the water resource impact of biofuel production and trade

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fingerman, Kevin Robert

    Energy systems and water resources are inextricably linked, especially in the case of bioenergy, which can require up to three orders of magnitude more water than other energy carriers. Water scarcity already affects about 1 in 5 people globally, and stands to be exacerbated in many locales by current biofuel expansion plans. This dissertation engages with several of the analytical and governance challenges raised by this connection between bioenergy expansion and global water resources. My examination begins with an overview of important concepts in water resource analysis, followed by a review of current literature on the water impacts of most major energy pathways. I then report on a case study of ethanol fuel in California. This work employed a coupled agro-climatic and life cycle assessment (LCA) model to estimate the water resource impacts of several bioenergy expansion scenarios at a county-level resolution. It shows that ethanol production in California regularly consumes more than 1000 gallons of water per gallon of fuel produced, and that 99% of life-cycle water consumption occurs in the feedstock cultivation phase. This analysis then delves into the complexity of life cycle impact assessment for water resources. Despite improvements in water accounting methods, impact assessment must contend with the fact that different water sources are not necessarily commensurable, and that impacts depend on the state of the resource base that is drawn upon. I adapt water footprinting and LCA techniques to the bioenergy context, describing comprehensive inventory approaches and developing a process for characterizing (weighting) consumption values to enable comparison across resource bases. This process draws on metrics of water stress, accounting for environmental flow requirements, climatic variability, and non-linearity of water stress effects. My assessment framework was developed in hopes that it would be useful in managing the risks and impacts it describes. The primary actors in this governance effort are government regulators, whose policies and incentives continue to drive and to shape the expansion of the bioenergy industry. However, the ability of governments to manage the impacts of biofuels is severely constrained by their obligations under international trade law. This dissertation concludes, therefore, with a detailed investigation into relevant precedents under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). I use these precedents to identify the policy tools that governments would be able to bring to bear in moderating the water resource impacts and myriad other environmental and social concerns raised by bioenergy expansion.

  5. Developing Research Capabilities in Energy Biosciences: Design principles of photosynthetic biofuel production.

    SciTech Connect

    Donald D. Brown; David Savage

    2012-06-30

    The current fossil fuel-based energy infrastructure is not sustainable. Solar radiation is a plausible alternative, but realizing it as such will require significant technological advances in the ability to harvest light energy and convert it into suitable fuels. The biological system of photosynthesis can carry out these reactions, and in principle could be engineered using the tools of synthetic biology. One desirable implementation would be to rewire the reactions of a photosynthetic bacterium to direct the energy harvested from solar radiation into the synthesis of the biofuel H2. Proposed here is a series of experiments to lay the basic science groundwork for such an attempt. The goal is to elucidate the transcriptional network of photosynthesis using a novel driver-reporter screen, evolve more robust hydrogenases for improved catalysis, and to test the ability of the photosynthetic machinery to directly produce H2 in vivo. The results of these experiments will have broad implications for the understanding of photosynthesis, enzyme function, and the engineering of biological systems for sustainable energy production. The ultimate impact could be a fundamental transformation of the world's energy economy.

  6. Biofuels: balancing risks and rewards.

    PubMed

    Thornley, Patricia; Gilbert, Paul

    2013-02-01

    This paper describes a framework that can be used to evaluate the environmental risks and benefits associated with biofuel production. It uses the example of biodiesel produced from Argentinean soy to show how such a framework can be used to conceptualize trade-offs between different environmental, social and economic impacts of biofuel production. Results showing the greenhouse-gas savings and overall life-cycle impact of different 'soy-biodiesel' production methods are presented. These impacts and the significance of uncertainty in overall assessments of key parameters, such as greenhouse-gas savings, are discussed. It is shown that, even where sufficient knowledge exists to be able to quantify these impacts, the sustainability of supply of a particular biofuel is inextricably linked to values and ethical judgements. However, tailoring certification efforts to the issues that are most likely to make a significant difference to the overall sustainability could improve the effectiveness of certification efforts. The potential for a framework to guide and focus certification efforts is discussed and future research and policy priorities suggested. PMID:24427513

  7. Energy crops for biofuel feedstocks: facts and recent patents on genetic manipulation to improve biofuel crops.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Suresh

    2013-12-01

    Burning fossil-fuels to meet the global energy requirements by human being has intensified the concerns of increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases. Therefore, serious efforts are required to develop nonfossil-based renewable energy sources. Plants are more efficient in utilizing solar energy to convert it into biomass which can be used as feedstocks for biofuel production. Hence with the increasing demands of energy and the needs of cost-effective, sustainable production of fuels, it has become necessary to switch over to plant biomass as a renewable source of energy. Biofuels derived from more sustainable biological materials such as lignocellulosic plant residues, considered as second generation biofuels, are more dependable. However, there are technical challenges such as pretreatment and hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass to convert it into fermentable sugars. Plant genetic engineering has already proven its potential in modifying cell wall composition of plants for enhancing the efficiency of biofuel production. Interest and potential in the area are very much evident from the growing number of patents in the recent years on the subject. In this review, recent trends in genetic engineering of energy crops for biofuel production have been introduced, and strategies for the future developments have been discussed. PMID:24456235

  8. Biofuel Ethanol Transport Risk

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ethanol production has increased rapidly over the last 10 years and many communities lack awareness of the increased and growing extent of biofuel transportation through their jurisdictions. These communities and their emergency responders may not have the information and resour...

  9. Spatial Optimization of Cropping Pattern in an Agricultural Watershed for Food and Biofuel Production with Minimum Downstream Pollution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pv, F.; Sudheer, K.; Chaubey, I.; RAJ, C.; Her, Y.

    2013-05-01

    Biofuel is considered to be a viable alternative to meet the increasing fuel demand, and therefore many countries are promoting agricultural activities that help increase production of raw material for biofuel production. Mostly, the biofuel is produced from grain based crops such as Corn, and it apparently create a shortage in food grains. Consequently, there have been regulations to limit the ethanol production from grains, and to use cellulosic crops as raw material for biofuel production. However, cultivation of such cellulosic crops may have different effects on water quality in the watershed. Corn stover, one of the potential cellulosic materials, when removed from the agricultural field for biofuel production, causes a decrease in the organic nutrients in the field. This results in increased use of pesticides and fertilizers which in turn affect the downstream water quality due to leaching of the chemicals. On the contrary, planting less fertilizer-intensive cellulosic crops, like Switch Grass and Miscanthus, is expected to reduce the pollutant loadings from the watershed. Therefore, an ecologically viable land use scenario would be a mixed cropping of grain crops and cellulosic crops, that meet the demand for food and biofuel without compromising on the downstream water quality. Such cropping pattern can be arrived through a simulation-optimization framework. Mathematical models can be employed to evaluate various management scenarios related to crop production and to assess its impact on water quality. Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model is one of the most widely used models in this context. SWAT can simulate the water and nutrient cycles, and also quantify the long-term impacts of land management practices, in a watershed. This model can therefore help take decisions regarding the type of cropping and management practices to be adopted in the watershed such that the water quality in the rivers is maintained at acceptable level. In this study, it is proposed to link SWAT model with an optimization algorithm, whose objective is to identify the optimal cropping pattern that results in maximum biomass production for biofuel generation as well as a minimum guaranteed amount of grain production. The optimal allocation ensures that the downstream water quality in the river is within a desirable limit. The study employed probabilistic information in order to address the uncertainty in model simulations. The residual variance of the model is used to transform the deterministic simulations in to probabilistic information. The proposed framework is illustrated using data pertaining to an agricultural watershed in the USA. The preliminary results of the study are encouraging and suggest that an appropriate combination of Corn, Soyabean, Miscanthus, Switch Grass and Pasture land can be arrived at through the developed framework. The placement of Miscanthus and Switch Grass in the watershed help improve the downstream water quality, while Corn and Soyabean makes it deteriorated. The spatial allocation of these crops therefore certainly plays a major role in the downstream water quality.

  10. EXPANDING THE ROLE OF SYSTEMS MODELING: CONSIDERING BYPRODUCT GENERATION FROM BIOFUEL PRODUCTION

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The bioethanol industry has been experiencing rapid growth over the last several years and is expected to continue to increase production for the foreseeable future. A vital component to the success of this industry is the sales and marketing of processing residues, which are primarily sold as drie...

  11. De Novo Transcriptomic Analysis of an Oleaginous Microalga: Pathway Description and Gene Discovery for Production of Next-Generation Biofuels

    PubMed Central

    Wan, LingLin; Han, Juan; Sang, Min; Li, AiFen; Wu, Hong; Yin, ShunJi; Zhang, ChengWu

    2012-01-01

    Background Eustigmatos cf. polyphem is a yellow-green unicellular soil microalga belonging to the eustimatophyte with high biomass and considerable production of triacylglycerols (TAGs) for biofuels, which is thus referred to as an oleaginous microalga. The paucity of microalgae genome sequences, however, limits development of gene-based biofuel feedstock optimization studies. Here we describe the sequencing and de novo transcriptome assembly for a non-model microalgae species, E. cf. polyphem, and identify pathways and genes of importance related to biofuel production. Results We performed the de novo assembly of E. cf. polyphem transcriptome using Illumina paired-end sequencing technology. In a single run, we produced 29,199,432 sequencing reads corresponding to 2.33 Gb total nucleotides. These reads were assembled into 75,632 unigenes with a mean size of 503 bp and an N50 of 663 bp, ranging from 100 bp to >3,000 bp. Assembled unigenes were subjected to BLAST similarity searches and annotated with Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) orthology identifiers. These analyses identified the majority of carbohydrate, fatty acids, TAG and carotenoids biosynthesis and catabolism pathways in E. cf. polyphem. Conclusions Our data provides the construction of metabolic pathways involved in the biosynthesis and catabolism of carbohydrate, fatty acids, TAG and carotenoids in E. cf. polyphem and provides a foundation for the molecular genetics and functional genomics required to direct metabolic engineering efforts that seek to enhance the quantity and character of microalgae-based biofuel feedstock. PMID:22536352

  12. Carbon Calculator for Land Use Change from Biofuels Production (CCLUB). Users' manual and technical documentation.

    SciTech Connect

    Mueller, S; Dunn, JB; Wang, M

    2012-06-07

    The Carbon Calculator for Land Use Change from Biofuels Production (CCLUB) calculates carbon emissions from land use change (LUC) for four different ethanol production pathways including corn grain ethanol and cellulosic ethanol from corn stover, miscanthus, and switchgrass. This document discusses the version of CCLUB released May 31, 2012 which includes corn, as did the previous CCLUB version, and three cellulosic feedstocks: corn stover, miscanthus, and switchgrass. CCLUB calculations are based upon two data sets: land change areas and above- and below-ground carbon content. Table 1 identifies where these data are stored and used within the CCLUB model, which is built in MS Excel. Land change area data is from Purdue University's Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) model, a computable general equilibrium (CGE) economic model. Section 2 describes the GTAP data CCLUB uses and how these data were modified to reflect shrubland transitions. Feedstock- and spatially-explicit below-ground carbon content data for the United States were generated with a surrogate model for CENTURY's soil organic carbon sub-model (Kwon and Hudson 2010) as described in Section 3. CENTURY is a soil organic matter model developed by Parton et al. (1987). The previous CCLUB version used more coarse domestic carbon emission factors. Above-ground non-soil carbon content data for forest ecosystems was sourced from the USDA/NCIAS Carbon Online Estimator (COLE) as explained in Section 4. We discuss emission factors used for calculation of international greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Section 5. Temporal issues associated with modeling LUC emissions are the topic of Section 6. Finally, in Section 7 we provide a step-by-step guide to using CCLUB and obtaining results.

  13. 17 CFR 41.41 - Security futures products accounts.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 17 Commodity and Securities Exchanges 1 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Security futures products accounts. 41.41 Section 41.41 Commodity and Securities Exchanges COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION SECURITY FUTURES PRODUCTS Customer Accounts and Margin Requirements § 41.41 Security futures...

  14. 17 CFR 41.41 - Security futures products accounts.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 17 Commodity and Securities Exchanges 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Security futures products accounts. 41.41 Section 41.41 Commodity and Securities Exchanges COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION SECURITY FUTURES PRODUCTS Customer Accounts and Margin Requirements § 41.41 Security futures...

  15. First generation biofuels compete.

    PubMed

    Martin, Marshall A

    2010-11-30

    Rising petroleum prices during 2005-2008, and passage of the 2007 U.S. Energy Independence and Security Act with a renewable fuel standard of 36 billion gallons of biofuels by 2022, encouraged massive investments in U.S. ethanol plants. Consequently, corn demand increased dramatically and prices tripled. This created a strong positive correlation between petroleum, corn, and food prices resulting in an outcry from U.S. consumers and livestock producers, and food riots in several developing countries. Other factors contributed to higher grain and food prices. Economic growth, especially in Asia, and a weaker U.S. dollar encouraged U.S. grain exports. Investors shifted funds into the commodity's future markets. Higher fuel costs for food processing and transportation put upward pressure on retail food prices. From mid-2008 to mid-2009, petroleum prices fell, the U.S. dollar strengthened, and the world economy entered a serious recession with high unemployment, housing market foreclosures, collapse of the stock market, reduced global trade, and a decline in durable goods and food purchases. Agricultural commodity prices declined about 50%. Biotechnology has had modest impacts on the biofuel sector. Seed corn with traits that help control insects and weeds has been widely adopted by U.S. farmers. Genetically engineered enzymes have reduced ethanol production costs and increased conversion efficiency. PMID:20601265

  16. Analysis of advanced biofuels.

    SciTech Connect

    Dec, John E.; Taatjes, Craig A.; Welz, Oliver; Yang, Yi

    2010-09-01

    Long chain alcohols possess major advantages over ethanol as bio-components for gasoline, including higher energy content, better engine compatibility, and less water solubility. Rapid developments in biofuel technology have made it possible to produce C{sub 4}-C{sub 5} alcohols efficiently. These higher alcohols could significantly expand the biofuel content and potentially replace ethanol in future gasoline mixtures. This study characterizes some fundamental properties of a C{sub 5} alcohol, isopentanol, as a fuel for homogeneous-charge compression-ignition (HCCI) engines. Wide ranges of engine speed, intake temperature, intake pressure, and equivalence ratio are investigated. The elementary autoignition reactions of isopentanol is investigated by analyzing product formation from laser-photolytic Cl-initiated isopentanol oxidation. Carbon-carbon bond-scission reactions in the low-temperature oxidation chemistry may provide an explanation for the intermediate-temperature heat release observed in the engine experiments. Overall, the results indicate that isopentanol has a good potential as a HCCI fuel, either in neat form or in blend with gasoline.

  17. N2O release from agro-biofuel production negates global warming reduction by replacing fossil fuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crutzen, P. J.; Mosier, A. R.; Smith, K. A.; Winiwarter, W.

    2008-01-01

    The relationship, on a global basis, between the amount of N fixed by chemical, biological or atmospheric processes entering the terrestrial biosphere, and the total emission of nitrous oxide (N2O), has been re-examined, using known global atmospheric removal rates and concentration growth of N2O as a proxy for overall emissions. For both the pre-industrial period and in recent times, after taking into account the large-scale changes in synthetic N fertiliser production, we find an overall conversion factor of 3-5% from newly fixed N to N2O-N. We assume the same factor to be valid for biofuel production systems. It is covered only in part by the default conversion factor for "direct" emissions from agricultural crop lands (1%) estimated by IPCC (2006), and the default factors for the "indirect" emissions (following volatilization/deposition and leaching/runoff of N: 0.35-0.45%) cited therein. However, as we show in the paper, when additional emissions included in the IPCC methodology, e.g. those from livestock production, are included, the total may not be inconsistent with that given by our "top-down" method. When the extra N2O emission from biofuel production is calculated in "CO2-equivalent" global warming terms, and compared with the quasi-cooling effect of "saving" emissions of fossil fuel derived CO2, the outcome is that the production of commonly used biofuels, such as biodiesel from rapeseed and bioethanol from corn (maize), depending on N fertilizer uptake efficiency by the plants, can contribute as much or more to global warming by N2O emissions than cooling by fossil fuel savings. Crops with less N demand, such as grasses and woody coppice species, have more favourable climate impacts. This analysis only considers the conversion of biomass to biofuel. It does not take into account the use of fossil fuel on the farms and for fertilizer and pesticide production, but it also neglects the production of useful co-products. Both factors partially compensate each other. This needs to be analyzed in a full life cycle assessment.

  18. Assessment of a Novel Algal Strain Chlamydomonas debaryana NIREMACC03 for Mass Cultivation, Biofuels Production and Kinetic Studies.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Sanjeev; Singh, Neetu; Sarma, Anil Kumar

    2015-08-01

    A novel microalgae strain Chlamydomonas debaryana (KJ210856) was isolated from a freshwater lake of Punjab, India, and cultivated considering climatic sustainability and inherent adaptability concern. C. debaryana was grown in a 30-L indoor photobioreactor to study the mass cultivation prospect and biofuel potential. Physicochemical characterization of biomass and the lipid was performed with effect to nitrogen stress. It showed a higher biomass yield (1.58 ± 0.02 g L(-1), dry weight) and twofold increase in lipid yield (552.78 ± 9 mg L(-1)) with 34.2 ± 0.19 % lipid content under nitrogen deficient condition. Strikingly, increase in triglycerides achieved with nitrogen depletion containing over 96 % of total fatty acids (C 14, C 16, and C 18). Proximate and ultimate analysis suggested the presence of relatively higher volatile matter and carbon-hydrogen ratio. Furthermore, lower moisture and ash content signified C. debaryana biomass has promising features towards biofuel applications. The pyrolytic behavior of the whole biomass was also studied using thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) and kinetic parameters were estimated using different methods. Promising growth rate and lipid yield leading to feasible biofuel feed stock production in indoor photobioreactor along with autosediment potential of cells validates C. debaryana NIREMACC03, a potential strain for mass cultivation. PMID:26093613

  19. Opportunities for Switzerland to Contribute to the Production of Algal Biofuels: the Hydrothermal Pathway to Bio-Methane.

    PubMed

    Bagnoud-Velásquez, Mariluz; Refardt, Dominik; Vuille, François; Ludwig, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Microalgae have a significant potential to be a sustainable source of fuel and thus are of interest in the transition to a sustainable energy system, in particular for resource-dependent countries such as Switzerland. Independence of fossil fuels, considerable reduction of CO(2) emissions, and abandoning nuclear energy may be possible with an integrated system approach including the sourcing of biofuels from different types of biomass. Today, a full carbon-to-fuel conversion is possible, and has been recently demonstrated with an advanced hydrothermal technology. The potential to develop algal biofuels is viewed as high thanks to the possibility they offer to uncouple bioenergy from food production. Nevertheless, technological breakthroughs must take place before commercial production becomes a reality, especially to meet the necessary cost savings and efficiency gains in the algae cultivation structure. In addition, an integrated management of waste resources to promote the nutrient recovery appears today as imperative to further improve the economic viability and the environmental sustainability of algal production. We provide here a review that includes the global technological status of both algae production and their conversion into biofuels in order to understand first the added value of algal energy in general before we focus on the potential of algae to contribute specifically to the Swiss energy system to the horizon 2050. In this respect, the hydrothermal conversion pathway of microalgal biomass into synthetic natural gas (SNG) is emphasized, as research into this technology has received considerable attention in Switzerland during the last decade. In addition, SNG is a particularly relevant fuel in the Swiss context due to the existing gas grid and to the opportunity it offers to cover a wide spectrum of energy applications, in particular cogeneration of heat and electricity or use as a transport fuel in the growing gas car fleet. PMID:26598406

  20. Tradeoffs and Synergies between biofuel production and large solar infrastructure in deserts.

    PubMed

    Ravi, Sujith; Lobell, David B; Field, Christopher B

    2014-01-01

    Solar energy installations in deserts are on the rise, fueled by technological advances and policy changes. Deserts, with a combination of high solar radiation and availability of large areas unusable for crop production are ideal locations for large solar installations. However, for efficient power generation, solar infrastructures use large amounts of water for construction and operation. We investigated the water use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with solar installations in North American deserts in comparison to agave-based biofuel production, another widely promoted potential energy source from arid systems. We determined the uncertainty in our analysis by a Monte Carlo approach that varied the most important parameters, as determined by sensitivity analysis. We considered the uncertainty in our estimates as a result of variations in the number of solar modules ha(-1), module efficiency, number of agave plants ha(-1), and overall sugar conversion efficiency for agave. Further, we considered the uncertainty in revenue and returns as a result of variations in the wholesale price of electricity and installation cost of solar photovoltaic (PV), wholesale price of agave ethanol, and cost of agave cultivation and ethanol processing. The life-cycle analyses show that energy outputs and GHG offsets from solar PV systems, mean energy output of 2405 GJ ha(-1) year(-1) (5 and 95% quantile values of 1940-2920) and mean GHG offsets of 464 Mg of CO2 equiv ha(-1) year(-1) (375-562), are much larger than agave, mean energy output from 206 (171-243) to 61 (50-71) GJ ha(-1) year(-1) and mean GHG offsets from 18 (14-22) to 4.6 (3.7-5.5) Mg of CO2 equiv ha(-1) year(-1), depending upon the yield scenario of agave. Importantly though, water inputs for cleaning solar panels and dust suppression are similar to amounts required for annual agave growth, suggesting the possibility of integrating the two systems to maximize the efficiency of land and water use to produce both electricity and liquid fuel. A life-cycle analysis of a hypothetical colocation indicated higher returns per m(3) of water used than either system alone. Water requirements for energy production were 0.22 L MJ(-1) (0.28-0.19) and 0.42 L MJ(-1) (0.52-0.35) for solar PV-agave (baseline yield) and solar PV-agave (high yield), respectively. Even though colocation may not be practical in all locations, in some water-limited areas, colocated solar PV-agave systems may provide attractive economic incentives in addition to efficient land and water use. PMID:24467248

  1. Fueling the Future with Fungal Genomics

    SciTech Connect

    Grigoriev, Igor V.; Cullen, Daniel; Hibbett, David; Goodwin, Stephen B.; Jeffries, Thomas W.; Kubicek, Christian P.; Kuske, Cheryl; Magnuson, Jon K.; Martin, Francis; Spatafora, Joey; Tsang, Adrian; Baker, Scott E.

    2011-04-29

    Fungi play important roles across the range of current and future biofuel production processes. From crop/feedstock health to plant biomass saccharification, enzyme production to bioprocesses for producing ethanol, higher alcohols or future hydrocarbon biofuels, fungi are involved. Research and development are underway to understand the underlying biological processes and improve them to make bioenergy production efficient on an industrial scale. Genomics is the foundation of the systems biology approach that is being used to accelerate the research and development efforts across the spectrum of topic areas that impact biofuels production. In this review, we discuss past, current and future advances made possible by genomic analyses of the fungi that impact plant/feedstock health, degradation of lignocellulosic biomass and fermentation of sugars to ethanol, hydrocarbon biofuels and renewable chemicals.

  2. School of Engineering and Science Algae Biofuels

    E-print Network

    Fisher, Frank

    School of Engineering and Science Algae Biofuels BY: Alessandro Faldi, Ph.D. Section Head is algae- based biofuels, which we believe could be a meaningful part of the energy mix in the future. Algae biofuels have potential to be an economically viable, low-net carbon transportation fuel

  3. Regional Algal Biofuel Production Potential in the Coterminous United States as Affected by Resource Availability Trade-offs

    SciTech Connect

    Venteris, Erik R.; Skaggs, Richard; Wigmosta, Mark S.; Coleman, Andre M.

    2014-03-15

    The warm sunny climate and unoccupied arid lands in the American southwest are favorable factors for algae cultivation. However, additional resources affect the overall viability of specific sites and regions. We investigated the tradeoffs between growth rate, water, and CO2 availability and costs for two strains: N. salina and Chlorella sp. We conducted site selection exercises (~88,000 US sites) to produce 21 billion gallons yr-1 (BGY) of renewable diesel (RD). Experimental trials from the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bio-Products (NAABB) team informed the growth model of our Biomass Assessment Tool (BAT). We simulated RD production by both lipid extraction and hydrothermal liquefaction. Sites were prioritized by the net value of biofuel minus water and flue gas costs. Water cost models for N. salina were based on seawater and high salinity groundwater and for Chlorella, fresh and brackish groundwater. CO2 costs were based on a flue gas delivery model. Selections constrained by production and water were concentrated along the Gulf of Mexico and southeast Atlantic coasts due to high growth rates and low water costs. Adding flue gas constraints increased the spatial distribution, but the majority of sites remained in the southeast. The 21 BGY target required ~3.8 million hectares of mainly forest (41.3%) and pasture (35.7%). Exclusion in favor of barren and scrub lands forced most production to the southwestern US, but with increased water consumption (5.7 times) and decreased economic efficiency (-38%).

  4. Genomics of cellulosic biofuels.

    PubMed

    Rubin, Edward M

    2008-08-14

    The development of alternatives to fossil fuels as an energy source is an urgent global priority. Cellulosic biomass has the potential to contribute to meeting the demand for liquid fuel, but land-use requirements and process inefficiencies represent hurdles for large-scale deployment of biomass-to-biofuel technologies. Genomic information gathered from across the biosphere, including potential energy crops and microorganisms able to break down biomass, will be vital for improving the prospects of significant cellulosic biofuel production. PMID:18704079

  5. Biofuel production from catalytic thermochemical conversion of animal manure and biomass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objective of the research is to identify suitable catalysts to convert animal manure-based and biomass-based synthesis gas (syngas) to liquid biofuels such as mixed alcohols and hydrocarbons. Two pathways of catalytically converting syngas are investigated: (1)a two-step process involving the in...

  6. Butanol (a superior biofuel) production from agricultural residues (renewable biomass): recent progress in technology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This article reviews bioconversion of plant materials such as wheat straw (WS), corn stover (CS), barley straw (BS), and switchgrass (SG) to butanol and process technology that converts these materials into this superior biofuel. Successful fermentation of low value WS makes butanol fermentation ec...

  7. Production of Advanced Biofuels via Liquefaction - Hydrothermal Liquefaction Reactor Design: April 5, 2013

    SciTech Connect

    Knorr, D.; Lukas, J.; Schoen, P.

    2013-11-01

    This report provides detailed reactor designs and capital costs, and operating cost estimates for the hydrothermal liquefaction reactor system, used for biomass-to-biofuels conversion, under development at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Five cases were developed and the costs associated with all cases ranged from $22 MM/year - $47 MM/year.

  8. Soil Nitrous Oxide Emissions with Crop Production for Biofuel: Implications for Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The growing biofuel commodity market for corn ethanol has the potential to reduce direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with fossil fuel combustion in the US. However, projected increases in cropland to accommodate this energy-based commodity will also impact emissions of GHGs from soils...

  9. Environmental indicators for sustainable production of algal biofuels Rebecca A. Efroymson *, Virginia H. Dale

    E-print Network

    Pennycook, Steve

    in the context of potential risk from genetically modified organisms (RSB, 2010; Fritsche, 2012). The U checklist for measures of algal biofuel sustainability but may need to be modified for particular contexts development by others such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO, 2010). Most indicators

  10. Biomass composition of perennial grasses for biofuel production in North Dakota, USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Successful development of biofuels from biomass feedstocks depends on high yields and acceptable quality. We investigated the chemical composition of ten perennial grasses and mixtures across environments in North Dakota, USA. The contents of neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, acid deter...

  11. The Crossover Biorefinery in The Production of Liquid Biofuels and Bioderived Chemicals from Biomass: Emerging Technologies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Energy security and climate change imperatives require large-scale substitution of petroleum-based fuels over the next 15 years. Biofuels offer a diverse range of promising alternatives. Biomass is the only known, large-scale, renewable resource that can be converted into liquid fuels for transpor...

  12. Forest Products Industry of the Future

    SciTech Connect

    Los Alamos Technical Associates, Inc

    2002-05-01

    Los Alamos Technical Associates, Inc (LATA) conducted an evaluation of the potential impact and value of a portion of the current portfolio of r&d projects supported by the Office of Industrial Technology and the Forest Products Industry of the Future. The mission of the evaluation was to (a) assess the potential impact of the projects to meet the critical goals of the industry as identified in the vision and roadmapping documents. (b) Evaluate the relationship between the current portfolio of projects and the Agenda 202 Implementation Plan. In addition, evaluate the relationship between the portfolio and the newly revised draft technology strategy being created by the industry. (c) Identify areas where current efforts are making significant progress towards meeting industry goals and identify areas where additional work my be required to meet these goals. (d) Make recommendations to the DOE and the Forest Products Industry on possible improvements in the portfolio and in the current methodology that DOE uses to assess potential impacts on its R&D activities.

  13. Variation in lipid extractability by solvent in microalgae. Additional criterion for selecting species and strains for biofuel production from microalgae.

    PubMed

    Mendoza, Héctor; Carmona, Laura; Assunçăo, Patricia; Freijanes, Karen; de la Jara, Adelina; Portillo, Eduardo; Torres, Alicia

    2015-12-01

    The lipid extractability of 14 microalgae species and strains was assessed using organic solvents (methanol and chloroform). The high variability detected indicated the potential for applying this parameter as an additional criterion for microalgae screening in industrial processes such as biofuel production from microalgae. Species without cell walls presented higher extractability than species with cell walls. Analysis of cell integrity by flow cytometry and staining with propidium iodide showed a significant correlation between higher resistance to the physical treatments of cell rupture by sonication and the lipid extractability of the microalgae. The results highlight the cell wall as a determining factor in the inter- and intraspecific variability in lipid extraction treatments. PMID:26344245

  14. 17 CFR 41.41 - Security futures products accounts.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 17 Commodity and Securities Exchanges 2 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Security futures products accounts. 41.41 Section 41.41 Commodity and Securities Exchanges COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION (CONTINUED) SECURITY FUTURES PRODUCTS Customer Accounts and Margin Requirements § 41.41 Security...

  15. Effect of catalyst additives on the production of biofuels from palm oil cracking in a transport riser reactor.

    PubMed

    Chew, Thiam Leng; Bhatia, Subhash

    2009-05-01

    Catalytic cracking of crude palm oil (CPO) and used palm oil (UPO) were studied in a transport riser reactor for the production of biofuels at a reaction temperature of 450 degrees C, with residence time of 20s and catalyst-to-oil ratio (CTO) of 5 gg(-1). The effect of HZSM-5 (different Si/Al ratios), beta zeolite, SBA-15 and AlSBA-15 were studied as physically mixed additives with cracking catalyst Rare earth-Y (REY). REY catalyst alone gave 75.8 wt% conversion with 34.5 wt% of gasoline fraction yield using CPO, whereas with UPO, the conversion was 70.9 wt% with gasoline fraction yield of 33.0 wt%. HZSM-5, beta zeolite, SBA-15 and AlSBA-15 as additives with REY increased the conversion and the yield of organic liquid product. The transport riser reactor can be used for the continuous production of biofuels from cracking of CPO and UPO over REY catalyst. PMID:19138514

  16. Production of biofuels and biomolecules in the framework of circular economy: A regional case study.

    PubMed

    Jacquet, Nicolas; Haubruge, Eric; Richel, Aurore

    2015-12-01

    Faced to the economic and energetic context of our society, it is widely recognised that an alternative to fossil fuels and oil-based products will be needed in the nearest future. In this way, development of urban biorefinery could bring many solutions to this problem. Study of the implementation of urban biorefinery highlights two sustainable configurations that provide solutions to the Walloon context by promoting niche markets, developing circular economy and reducing transport of supply feedstock. First, autonomous urban biorefineries are proposed, which use biological waste for the production of added value molecules and/or finished products and are energetically self-sufficient. Second, integrated urban biorefineries, which benefit from an energy supply from a nearby industrial activity. In the Walloon economic context, these types of urban biorefineries could provide solutions by promoting niche markets, developing a circular economy model, optimise the transport of supply feedstock and contribute to the sustainable development. PMID:26574581

  17. A New Biofuels Technology Blooms in Iowa

    SciTech Connect

    Mathisen, Todd; Bruch, Don;

    2010-01-01

    Cellulosic biofuels made from agricultural waste have caught the attention of many farmers and could be the next revolution in renewable biofuels production. This video shows how an innovative technology that converts waste products from the corn harvest into renewable biofuels will help the U.S. produce billions of gallons of cellulosic biofuels over the coming decade. It will also stimulate local economies and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

  18. A New Biofuels Technology Blooms in Iowa

    ScienceCinema

    Mathisen, Todd; Bruch, Don;

    2013-05-29

    Cellulosic biofuels made from agricultural waste have caught the attention of many farmers and could be the next revolution in renewable biofuels production. This video shows how an innovative technology that converts waste products from the corn harvest into renewable biofuels will help the U.S. produce billions of gallons of cellulosic biofuels over the coming decade. It will also stimulate local economies and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

  19. Feasibility of filamentous fungi for biofuel production using hydrolysate from dilute sulfuric acid pretreatment of wheat straw

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Lipids produced from filamentous fungi show great promise for biofuel production, but a major limiting factor is the high production cost attributed to feedstock. Lignocellulosic biomass is a suitable feedstock for biofuel production due to its abundance and low value. However, very limited study has been performed on lipid production by culturing oleaginous fungi with lignocellulosic materials. Thus, identification of filamentous fungal strains capable of utilizing lignocellulosic hydrolysates for lipid accumulation is critical to improve the process and reduce the production cost. Results The growth performances of eleven filamentous fungi were investigated when cultured on glucose and xylose. Their dry cell weights, lipid contents and fatty acid profiles were determined. Six fungal strains with high lipid contents were selected to culture with the hydrolysate from dilute sulfuric acid pretreatment of wheat straw. The results showed that all the selected fungal strains were able to grow on both detoxified liquid hydrolysate (DLH) and non-detoxified liquid hydrolysate (NDLH). The highest lipid content of 39.4% was obtained by Mortierella isabellina on NDLH. In addition, NDLH with some precipitate could help M. isabellina form pellets with an average diameter of 0.11?mm. Conclusion This study demonstrated the possibility of fungal lipid production from lignocellulosic biomass. M. isabellina was the best lipid producer grown on lignocellulosic hydrolysates among the tested filamentous fungi, because it could not only accumulate oils with a high content by directly utilizing NDLH to simplify the fermentation process, but also form proper pellets to benefit the downstream harvesting. Considering the yield and cost, fungal lipids from lignocellulosic biomass are promising alternative sources for biodiesel production. PMID:22824058

  20. An Assessment of Land Availability and Price in the Coterminous United States for Conversion to Algal Biofuel Production

    SciTech Connect

    Venteris, Erik R.; Skaggs, Richard; Coleman, Andre M.; Wigmosta, Mark S.

    2012-12-01

    Realistic economic assessment of land-intensive alternative energy sources (e.g., solar, wind, and biofuels) requires information on land availability and price. Accordingly, we created a comprehensive, national-scale model of these parameters for the United States. For algae-based biofuel, a minimum of 1.04E+05 km2 of land is needed to meet the 2022 EISA target of 2.1E+10 gallons year-1. We locate and quantify land types best converted. A data-driven model calculates the incentive to sell and a fair compensation value (real estate and lost future income). 1.02E+6 km2 of low slope, non-protected land is relatively available including croplands, pasture/ grazing, and forests. Within this total there is 2.64E+5 km2 of shrub and barren land available. The Federal government has 7.68E+4 km2 available for lease. Targeting unproductive lands minimizes land costs and impacts to existing industries. However, shrub and barren lands are limited by resources (water) and logistics, so land conversion requires careful consideration.

  1. Turning Bacteria into Fuel: Cyanobacteria Designed for Solar-Powered Highly Efficient Production of Biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    2010-01-01

    Broad Funding Opportunity Announcement Project: ASU is engineering a type of photosynthetic bacteria that efficiently produce fatty acids—a fuel precursor for biofuels. This type of bacteria, called Synechocystis, is already good at converting solar energy and carbon dioxide (CO2) into a type of fatty acid called lauric acid. ASU has modified the organism so it continuously converts sunlight and CO2 into fatty acids—overriding its natural tendency to use solar energy solely for cell growth and maximizing the solar-to-fuel conversion process. ASU’s approach is different because most biofuels research focuses on increasing cellular biomass and not on excreting fatty acids. The project has also identified a unique way to convert the harvested lauric acid into a fuel that can be easily blended with existing transportation fuels.

  2. Microalgae biofuel potentials (review).

    PubMed

    Ghasemi, Y; Rasoul-Amini, S; Naseri, A T; Montazeri-Najafabady, N; Mobasher, M A; Dabbagh, F

    2012-01-01

    With the decrease of fossil based fuels and the environmental impact of them over the planet, it seems necessary to seek the sustainable sources of clean energy. Biofuels, is becoming a worldwide leader in the development of renewable energy resources. It is worthwhile to say that algal biofuel production is thought to help stabilize the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and decrease global warming impacts. Also, among algal fuels' attractive characteristics, algal biodiesel is non toxic, with no sulfur, highly biodegradable and relatively harmless to the environment if spilled. Algae are capable of producing in excess of 30 times more oil per acre than corn and soybean crops. Currently, algal biofuel production has not been commercialized due to high costs associated with production, harvesting and oil extraction but the technology is progressing. Extensive research was conducted to determine the utilization of microalgae as an energy source and make algae oil production commercially viable. PMID:22586908

  3. Solar-powered aeration and disinfection, anaerobic co-digestion, biological CO2 scrubbing and biofuel production: the energy and carbon management opportunities of waste stabilisation ponds.

    PubMed

    Shilton, A N; Mara, D D; Craggs, R; Powell, N

    2008-01-01

    Waste stabilisation pond (WSP) technology offers some important advantages and interesting possibilities when viewed in the light of sustainable energy and carbon management. Pond systems stand out as having significant advantages due to simple construction; low (or zero) operating energy requirements; and the potential for bio-energy generation. Conventional WSP requires little or no electrical energy for aerobic treatment as a result of algal photosynthesis. Sunlight enables WSP to disinfect wastewaters very effectively without the need for any chemicals or electricity consumption and their associated CO(2) emissions. The energy and carbon emission savings gained over electromechanical treatment systems are immense. Furthermore, because algal photosynthesis consumes CO(2), WSP can be utilised as CO(2) scrubbers. The environmental and financial benefits of pond technology broaden further when considering the low-cost, energy production opportunities of anaerobic ponds and the potential of algae as a biofuel. As we assess future best practice in wastewater treatment technology, perhaps one of the greatest needs is an improved consideration of the carbon footprint and the implications of future increases in the cost of electricity and the value of biogas. PMID:18653962

  4. Biofuels: Report to Congress

    EPA Science Inventory

    Section 204 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007) requires EPA to assess and report to Congress on the impacts to date and likely future impacts of the increased use of biofuels as required by the Clean Air Act, section 211(0). Environmental issues (...

  5. The Future of Product Line Development at NASA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lutz, Robyn R.

    2006-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews NASA's software production in the light of a product line similar to a commercial product line. The authors propose to identify, investigate, evaluate and apply product-line engineering techniques to NASA's product lines in order to improve the timeliness, robustness and effectiveness of these future systems.

  6. Corrosion Considerations for Thermochemical Biomass Liquefaction Process Systems in Biofuel Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brady, M. P.; Keiser, J. R.; Leonard, D. N.; Whitmer, L.; Thomson, J. K.

    2014-12-01

    Thermochemical liquefaction processing of biomass to produce bio-derived fuels (e.g., gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, home heating oil, etc.) is of great recent interest as a renewable energy source. Approaches under investigation include direct liquefaction, hydrothermal liquefaction, hydropyrolysis, fast pyrolysis, etc., to produce energy dense liquids that can be utilized as produced or further processed to provide products of higher value. An issue with bio-oils is that they tend to contain significant concentrations of organic oxygenates, including acids, which make the bio-oil a potential source of corrosion issues in transport, storage, and use. Efforts devoted to modified/further processing of bio-oils to make them less corrosive are currently being widely pursued. Another issue that must also be addressed in bio-oil liquefaction is potential corrosion issues in the process equipment. Depending on the specific process, bio-oil liquefaction production temperatures are typically in the 300-600°C range, and the process environment can contain aggressive sulfur and halide species from both the biomass used and/or process additives. Detailed knowledge of the corrosion resistance of candidate process equipment alloys in these bio-oil production environments is currently lacking. This paper summarizes recent, ongoing efforts to assess the extent of corrosion of bio-oil process equipment, with the ultimate goal of providing a basis for the selection of the lowest cost alloy grades capable of providing the long-term corrosion resistance needed for future bio-oil production plants.

  7. Overview on Biofuels from a European Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ponti, Luigi; Gutierrez, Andrew Paul

    2009-01-01

    In light of the recently developed European Union (EU) Biofuels Strategy, the literature is reviewed to examine (a) the coherency of biofuel production with the EU nonindustrial vision of agriculture, and (b) given its insufficient land base, the implications of a proposed bioenergy pact to grow biofuel crops in the developing world to meet EU…

  8. Assessing the environmental sustainability of biofuels.

    PubMed

    Kazamia, Elena; Smith, Alison G

    2014-10-01

    Biofuels vary in their potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions when displacing fossil fuels. Savings depend primarily on the crop used for biofuel production, and on the effect that expanding its cultivation has on land use. Evidence-based policies should be used to ensure that maximal sustainability benefits result from the development of biofuels. PMID:25281367

  9. Transporter-mediated biofuel secretion.

    PubMed

    Doshi, Rupak; Nguyen, Tuan; Chang, Geoffrey

    2013-05-01

    Engineering microorganisms to produce biofuels is currently among the most promising strategies in renewable energy. However, harvesting these organisms for extracting biofuels is energy- and cost-intensive, limiting the commercial feasibility of large-scale production. Here, we demonstrate the use of a class of transport proteins of pharmacological interest to circumvent the need to harvest biomass during biofuel production. We show that membrane-embedded transporters, better known to efflux lipids and drugs, can be used to mediate the secretion of intracellularly synthesized model isoprenoid biofuel compounds to the extracellular milieu. Transporter-mediated biofuel secretion sustainably maintained an approximate three- to fivefold boost in biofuel production in our Escherichia coli test system. Because the transporters used in this study belong to the ubiquitous ATP-binding cassette protein family, we propose their use as "plug-and-play" biofuel-secreting systems in a variety of bacteria, cyanobacteria, diatoms, yeast, and algae used for biofuel production. This investigation showcases the potential of expressing desired membrane transport proteins in cell factories to achieve the export or import of substances of economic, environmental, or therapeutic importance. PMID:23613592

  10. Glycogen production for biofuels by the euryhaline cyanobacteria Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002 from an oceanic environment

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Oxygenic photosynthetic microorganisms such as cyanobacteria and microalgae have attracted attention as an alternative carbon source for the next generation of biofuels. Glycogen abundantly accumulated in cyanobacteria is a promising feedstock which can be converted to ethanol through saccharification and fermentation processes. In addition, the utilization of marine cyanobacteria as a glycogen producer can eliminate the need for a freshwater supply. Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002 is a fast-growing marine coastal euryhaline cyanobacteria, however, the glycogen yield has not yet been determined. In the present study, the effects of light intensity, CO2 concentration, and salinity on the cell growth and glycogen content were investigated in order to maximize glycogen production in Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002. Results The optimal culture conditions for glycogen production in Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002 were investigated. The maximum glycogen production of 3.5 g L?1 for 7 days (a glycogen productivity of 0.5 g L?1 d?1) was obtained under a high light intensity, a high CO2 level, and a nitrogen-depleted condition in brackish water. The glycogen production performance in Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002 was the best ever reported in the ?-polyglucan (glycogen or starch) production of cyanobacteria and microalgae. In addition, the robustness of glycogen production in Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002 to salinity was evaluated in seawater and freshwater. The peak of glycogen production of Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002 in seawater and freshwater were 3.0 and 1.8 g L?1 in 7 days, respectively. Glycogen production in Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002 maintained the same level in seawater and half of the level in freshwater compared with the optimal result obtained in brackish water. Conclusions We conclude that Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002 has high glycogen production activity and glycogen can be provided from coastal water accompanied by a fluctuation of salinity. This work supports Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002 as a promising carbohydrate source for biofuel production. PMID:24959200

  11. Tailoring next-generation biofuels and their combustion in next-generation engines.

    SciTech Connect

    Gladden, John Michael; Wu, Weihua; Taatjes, Craig A.; Scheer, Adam Michael; Turner, Kevin M.; Yu, Eizadora T.; O'Bryan, Greg; Powell, Amy Jo; Gao, Connie W.

    2013-11-01

    Increasing energy costs, the dependence on foreign oil supplies, and environmental concerns have emphasized the need to produce sustainable renewable fuels and chemicals. The strategy for producing next-generation biofuels must include efficient processes for biomass conversion to liquid fuels and the fuels must be compatible with current and future engines. Unfortunately, biofuel development generally takes place without any consideration of combustion characteristics, and combustion scientists typically measure biofuels properties without any feedback to the production design. We seek to optimize the fuel/engine system by bringing combustion performance, specifically for advanced next-generation engines, into the development of novel biosynthetic fuel pathways. Here we report an innovative coupling of combustion chemistry, from fundamentals to engine measurements, to the optimization of fuel production using metabolic engineering. We have established the necessary connections among the fundamental chemistry, engine science, and synthetic biology for fuel production, building a powerful framework for co-development of engines and biofuels.

  12. Direct measurement and characterization of active photosynthesis zones inside biofuel producing and wastewater remediating microalgal biofilms

    SciTech Connect

    Bernstein, Hans C.; Kesaano, Maureen; Moll, Karen; Smith, Terence; Gerlach, Robin; Carlson, Ross; Miller, Charles D.; Peyton, Brent; Cooksey, Keith; Gardner, Robert D.; Sims, Ronald C.

    2014-03-01

    Abstract: Microalgal biofilm based technologies are of keen interest due to their high biomass concentrations and ability to utilize renewable resources, such as light and CO2. While photoautotrophic biofilms have long been used for wastewater remediation applications, biofuel production represents a relatively new and under-represented focus area. However, the direct measurement and characterization of fundamental parameters required for physiological analyses are challenging due to biofilm heterogeneity. This study evaluated oxygenic photosynthesis and biofuel precursor molecule production using a novel rotating algal biofilm reactor (RABR) operated at field- and laboratory-scales for wastewater remediation and biofuel production, respectively. Clear differences in oxygenic-photosynthesis, respiration and biofuel-precursor capacities were observed between the two systems and different conditions based on light and nitrogen availability. Nitrogen depletion was not found to have the same effect on lipid accumulation compared to prior planktonic studies. Physiological characterizations of these microalgal biofilms identify potential areas for future process optimization.

  13. 75 FR 21191 - Subpart B-Advanced Biofuel Payment Program; Correction

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-04-23

    ...4288 RIN 0570-AA75 Subpart B--Advanced Biofuel Payment Program; Correction AGENCY: Rural...a payment program for producers of advanced biofuels to supporting existing advanced biofuel production and to encourage new production...

  14. Integrated automation for continuous high-throughput synthetic chromosome assembly and transformation to identify improved yeast strains for industrial production of biofuels and bio-based chemicals

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An exponential increase in our understanding of genomes, proteomes, and metabolomes provides greater impetus to address critical biotechnological issues such as sustainable production of biofuels and bio-based chemicals and, in particular, the development of improved microbial biocatalysts for use i...

  15. Use of biofuel by-product from the green algae Desmochloris sp. and diatom Nanofrustulum sp. meal in diets for nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Algal by-product meals from the Hawaiian biofuels industry were evaluated as protein ingredients in diets for juveniles of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). Four experimental diets were formulated to contain 40% protein and were made with fish meal, soybean meal, whole diatom (Nanofrustulum sp.)...

  16. The potential of freshwater macroalgae as a biofuels feedstock and the influence of nutrient availability on freshwater macroalgal biomass production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yun, Jin-Ho

    Extensive efforts have been made to evaluate the potential of microalgae as a biofuel feedstock during the past 4-5 decades. However, filamentous freshwater macroalgae have numerous characteristics that favor their potential use as an alternative algal feedstock for biofuels production. Freshwater macroalgae exhibit high rates of areal productivity, and their tendency to form dense floating mats on the water surface imply significant reductions in harvesting and dewater costs compared to microalgae. In Chapter 1, I reviewed the published literature on the elemental composition and energy content of five genera of freshwater macroalgae. This review suggested that freshwater macroalgae compare favorably with traditional bio-based energy sources, including terrestrial residues, wood, and coal. In addition, I performed a semi-continuous culture experiment using the common Chlorophyte genus Oedogonium to investigate whether nutrient availability can influence its higher heating value (HHV), productivity, and proximate analysis. The experimental study suggested that the most nutrient-limited growth conditions resulted in a significant increase in the HHV of the Oedogonium biomass (14.4 MJ/kg to 16.1 MJ/kg). Although there was no significant difference in productivity between the treatments, the average dry weight productivity of Oedogonium (3.37 g/m2/day) was found to be much higher than is achievable with common terrestrial plant crops. Although filamentous freshwater macroalgae, therefore, have significant potential as a renewable source of bioenergy, the ultimate success of freshwater macroalgae as a biofuel feedstock will depend upon the ability to produce biomass at the commercial-scale in a cost-effective and sustainable manner. Aquatic ecology can play an important role to achieve the scale-up of algal crop production by informing the supply rates of nutrients to the cultivation systems, and by helping to create adaptive production systems that are resilient to environmental change. In Chapter 2, I performed a review and an analysis of data from the published literature on the large-cultivation of freshwater macroalgae. This study revealed that the large-scale cultivation of freshwater macroalgae is feasible at relatively low cost using currently available technologies such as the Algal Turf Scrubber system (ATS). In addition, graphical analyses of published data obtained from ATS systems of varying sizes in operation worldwide revealed that both macroalgal biomass productivity and nutrient removal rates are hyperbolically related to the areal loading rates of both total nitrogen and total phosphorus. An assessment of the limited existing literature on carbon dioxide amendments suggested that the effectiveness and need for CO2 supplementation of macroalgal production systems like the ATS has not yet been conclusively demonstrated. Overall, this thesis demonstrates that filamentous freshwater macroalgae have great potential as a feedstock for both liquid and solid fuels, especially if nutrient-rich wastewater can be used as the supply of water and mineral nutrients. In addition, this thesis highlights the importance of studying the algal cultivation conditions that influence trade-offs between nutrient loading, biomass productivity, and biomass energy content. In particular, the hyperbolic relationship between algal biomass productivity and the areal loading rates of both total nitrogen and total phosphorus should provide critical insight when considering the production costs of macroalgal biomass at the commercial-scale.

  17. Research Summary: Corrosion Considerations for Thermochemical Biomass Liquefaction Process Systems in Biofuel Production

    SciTech Connect

    Brady, Michael P; Keiser, James R; Leonard, Donovan N; Whitmer, Lysle; Thomson, Jeffery K

    2014-01-01

    Thermochemical liquifaction processing of biomass to produce bio-derived fuels (e.g. gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, home heating oil, etc.) is of great recent interest as a renewable energy source. Approaches under investigation include direct liquefaction, hydrothermal liquefaction, hydropyrolysis, fast pyrolysis, etc. to produce energy dense liquids that can be utilized as produced or further processed to provide products of higher value. An issue with bio-oils is that they tend to contain significant concentrations of organic compounds, which make the bio-oil acidic and a potential source of corrosion issues in in transport, storage, and use. Efforts devoted to modified/further processing of bio-oils to make them less corrosive are currently being widely pursued. Another aspect that must also be addressed is potential corrosion issues in the bio-oil liquefaction process equipment itself. Depending on the specific process, bio-oil liquefaction production temperatures can reach up to 400-600 C, and involve the presence of aggressive sulfur, and halide species from both the biomass used and/or process additives. Detailed knowledge of the corrosion resistance of candidate process equipment alloys in these bio-oil production environments is currently lacking. This paper summarizes our recent, ongoing efforts to assess the extent to which corrosion of bio-oil process equipment may be an issue, with the ultimate goal of providing the basis to select the lowest cost alloy grades capable of providing the long-term corrosion resistance needed for future bio-oil production plants.

  18. World Biofuels Study

    SciTech Connect

    Alfstad,T.

    2008-10-01

    This report forms part of a project entitled 'World Biofuels Study'. The objective is to study world biofuel markets and to examine the possible contribution that biofuel imports could make to help meet the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). The study was sponsored by the Biomass Program of the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), U.S. Department of Energy. It is a collaborative effort among the Office of Policy and International Affairs (PI), Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). The project consisted of three main components: (1) Assessment of the resource potential for biofuel feedstocks such as sugarcane, grains, soybean, palm oil and lignocellulosic crops and development of supply curves (ORNL). (2) Assessment of the cost and performance of biofuel production technologies (NREL). (3) Scenario-based analysis of world biofuel markets using the ETP global energy model with data developed in the first parts of the study (BNL). This report covers the modeling and analysis part of the project conducted by BNL in cooperation with PI. The Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP) energy system model was used as the analytical tool for this study. ETP is a 15 region global model designed using the MARKAL framework. MARKAL-based models are partial equilibrium models that incorporate a description of the physical energy system and provide a bottom-up approach to study the entire energy system. ETP was updated for this study with biomass resource data and biofuel production technology cost and performance data developed by ORNL and NREL under Tasks 1 and 2 of this project. Many countries around the world are embarking on ambitious biofuel policies through renewable fuel standards and economic incentives. As a result, the global biofuel demand is expected to grow very rapidly over the next two decades, provided policymakers stay the course with their policy goals. This project relied on a scenario-based analysis to study global biofuel markets. Scenarios were designed to evaluate the impact of different policy proposals and market conditions. World biofuel supply for selected scenarios is shown in Figure 1. The reference case total biofuel production increases from 12 billion gallons of ethanol equivalent in 2005 to 54 billion gallons in 2020 and 83 billion gallons in 2030. The scenarios analyzed show volumes ranging from 46 to 64 billion gallons in 2020, and from about 72 to about 100 billion gallons in 2030. The highest production worldwide occurs in the scenario with high feedstock availability combined with high oil prices and more rapid improvements in cellulosic biofuel conversion technologies. The lowest global production is found in the scenario with low feedstock availability, low oil prices and slower technology progress.

  19. National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap

    SciTech Connect

    Ferrell, John; Sarisky-Reed, Valerie

    2010-05-01

    The framework for National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap was constructed at the Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap Workshop, held December 9-10, 2008, at the University of Maryland-College Park. The Workshop was organized by the Biomass Program to discuss and identify the critical challenges currently hindering the development of a domestic, commercial-scale algal biofuels industry. This Roadmap presents information from a scientific, economic, and policy perspectives that can support and guide RD&D investment in algal biofuels. While addressing the potential economic and environmental benefits of using algal biomass for the production of liquid transportation fuels, the Roadmap describes the current status of algae RD&D. In doing so, it lays the groundwork for identifying challenges that likely need to be overcome for algal biomass to be used in the production of economically viable biofuels.

  20. International Trade of Biofuels (Brochure)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2013-05-01

    In recent years, the production and trade of biofuels has increased to meet global demand for renewable fuels. Ethanol and biodiesel contribute much of this trade because they are the most established biofuels. Their growth has been aided through a variety of policies, especially in the European Union, Brazil, and the United States, but ethanol trade and production have faced more targeted policies and tariffs than biodiesel. This fact sheet contains a summary of the trade of biofuels among nations, including historical data on production, consumption, and trade.

  1. System of Systems Model for Analysis of Biofuel Development

    E-print Network

    Jain, Atul K.

    System of Systems Model for Analysis of Biofuel Development Mashor Housh, M.ASCE1 ; Ximing Cai, M (SoS) Biofuel model considering the interdependency among the systems involved in biofuel development, including biofuel refinery location, transportation infrastructure, agricultural production and markets

  2. Assessing the quality of a deliberative democracy mini-public event about advanced biofuel production and development in Canada.

    PubMed

    Longstaff, Holly; Secko, David M

    2014-08-26

    The importance of evaluating deliberative public engagement events is well recognized, but such activities are rarely conducted for a variety of theoretical, political and practical reasons. In this article, we provide an assessment of the criteria presented in the 2008 National Research Council report on Public Participation in Environmental Assessment and Decision Making (NRC report) as explicit indicators of quality for the 2012 'Advanced Biofuels' deliberative democracy event. The National Research Council's criteria were selected to evaluate this event because they are decision oriented, are the products of an exhaustive review of similar past events, are intended specifically for environmental processes and encompass many of the criteria presented in other evaluation frameworks. It is our hope that the results of our study may encourage others to employ and assess the National Research Council's criteria as a generalizable benchmark that may justifiably be used in forthcoming deliberative events exploring different topics with different audiences. PMID:25164558

  3. The Role of Social Constructions and Biophysical Attributes of the Environment in Decision-Making in the Context of Biofuels and Rubber Production Partnership Regimes in Upland Philippines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montefrio, M. F.

    2012-12-01

    Burgeoning attention in biofuels and natural rubber has spurred interest among governments and private companies in integrating marginalized communities into global commodity markets. Upland farmers from diverse cultural backgrounds and biophysical settings today are deciding whether to agree with partnership proposals from governments and private firms to grow biofuels and natural rubber. In this paper, I examine whether upland farmers' socio-environmental constructions (evaluative beliefs, place satisfaction, and ecological worldviews) and the actual biophysical attributes (land cover and soil types) of upland environments, respectively, function as significant predictors of the intent and decisions of indigenous and non-indigenous farmers to cooperate with government and private actors to establish certain biofuel crops and natural rubber production systems in Palawan, Philippines. Drawing from ethnography and statistical analysis of household surveys, I propose that social constructions and the biophysical attributes of the environment are closely related with each other and in turn both influence individual decision-making behavior in resource-based production partnership regimes. This has significant implications on the resilience of socio-ecological systems, particularly agro-ecosystems, as certain upland farmers prefer to engage in intensive, monocrop production of biofuels and natural rubber on relatively more biodiverse areas, such as secondary forests and traditional shifting cultivation lands. The study aims to advance new institutional theories of resource management, particularly Ostrom's Institutional Analysis and Development and Socio-Ecological Systems frameworks, and scholarship on environmental decision-making in the context of collective action.

  4. Shifting lands: exploring Kansas farmer decision-making in an era of climate change and biofuels production.

    PubMed

    White, Stacey Swearingen; Selfa, Theresa

    2013-02-01

    While farming has been the subject of frequent critical analysis with respect to its environmental impacts, including its greenhouse gas emissions, there has been relatively little consideration of the potentially positive role of agriculture in responding to a future greatly influenced by climate change. One possible realm for agriculture to contribute successfully to this future is through biofuels cultivation. This paper uses the state of Kansas as an example to examine factors that are influencing farmer decision-making during a time of heightened debates about climate and energy. Drawing on interviews with key informants and Kansas farmers, we apply and refine a conceptual model for understanding farmer decisions. We find that farmers have largely positive perceptions of the natural environment. Climate change, especially, is not a salient concern at this time. Factors that appear most likely to influence farmer decisions to adopt a new practice include the relative advantage of that practice and the ability to learn about and discuss it through existing social networks. Successful policy incentives must provide farmers with a continued sense of both independence and contribution to greater societal good. PMID:23229828

  5. Midwest U.S. Landscape Change to 2020 Driven by Biofuel Mandates

    EPA Science Inventory

    Meeting future biofuel targets set by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), without a loss of animal feedstock or grain for human consumption, will require a substantial increase in production of corn. The Midwest, which has the highest overall crop production ap...

  6. Biological nitrogen fixation in sugar cane: A key to energetically viable biofuel production

    SciTech Connect

    Boddey, R.M.

    1995-05-01

    The advantages of producing biofuels to replace fossil energy sources are derived from the fact that the energy accumulated in the biomass in captured directly from photosynthesis and is thus renewable, and that the cycle of carbon dioxide fixation by the crop, followed by burning of the fuel makes no overall contribution to atmospheric CO{sub 2} or, consequently, to global warming. However, these advantages are negated if large quantities of fossil fuels need to be used to grow or process the biofuel crop. In this regard, the Brazilian bioethanol program, based on the fermentation/distillation of sugar cane juice, is particularly favorable, not only because the crop is principally hand harvested, but also because of the low nitrogen fertilizer use on sugar cane in Brazil. Recent {sup 15}N and N balance studies have shown that in some Brazilian cane varieties, high yields are possible without N fertilization because the plants are able to obtain large contributions of nitrogen from plant-associated biological N{sub 2} fixation (BNF). The N{sub 2}-fixing acid-tolerant bacterium Acetobacter diazotrophicus was first found to occur within roots, stems, and leaves of sugar cane. Subsequently, two species of Herbaspirillum also have been found to occur within the interior of all sugar cane tissues. The discovery of these, and other N{sub 2}-fixing bacteria that survive poorly in soil but thrive within plant tissue (endophytic bacteria), may account for the high BNF contributions observed in sugar cane. Further study of this system should allow the gradual elimination of N fertilizer use on sugar cane, at least in Brazil, and opens up the possibility of the extension of this efficient N{sub 2}-fixing system to cereal and other crops with consequent immense potential benefits to tropical agriculture. 44 refs., 9 figs., 4 tabs.

  7. Next-generation biofuels: a new challenge for yeast.

    PubMed

    Petrovi?, Uroš

    2015-09-01

    Economic growth depends strongly on the availability and price of fuels. There are various reasons in different parts of the world for efforts to decrease the consumption of fossil fuels, but biofuels are one of the main solutions considered towards achieving this aim globally. As the major bioethanol producer, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has a central position among biofuel-producing organisms. However, unprecedented challenges for yeast biotechnology lie ahead, as future biofuels will have to be produced on a large scale from sustainable feedstocks that do not interfere with food production, and which are generally not the traditional carbon source for S. cerevisiae. Additionally, the current trend in the development of biofuels is to synthesize molecules that can be used as drop-in fuels for existing engines. Their properties should therefore be more similar to those of oil-derived fuels than those of ethanol. Recent developments and challenges lying ahead for cost-effective production of such designed biofuels, using S. cerevisiae-based cell factories, are presented in this review. PMID:26108577

  8. Agriculture, Land Use, Energy and Carbon Emission Impacts of Global Biofuel Mandates to Mid-Century

    SciTech Connect

    Wise, Marshall A.; Dooley, James J.; Luckow, Patrick; Calvin, Katherine V.; Kyle, G. Page

    2014-02-01

    Three potential future scenarios of expanded global biofuel production are presented here utilizing the GCAM integrated assessment model. These scenarios span a range that encompasses on the low end a continuation of existing biofuel production policies to two scenarios that would require an expansion of current targets as well as an extension of biofuels targets to other regions of the world. Conventional oil use is reduced by 4-8% in the expanded biofuel scenarios, which results in a decrease of in CO2 emissions on the order of 1-2 GtCO2/year by mid-century from the global transportation sector. The regional distribution of crop production is relatively unaffected, but the biofuels targets do result in a marked increase in the production of conventional crops used for energy. Producer prices of sugar and corn reach levels about 12% and 7% above year 2005 levels, while the increased competition for land causes the price of food crops such as wheat, although not used for bioenergy in this study, to increase by 1 to 2%. The amount of land devoted to growing all food crops and dedicated bioenergy crops is increased by about 10% by 2050 in the High biofuel case, with concurrent decreases in other uses of land such as forest and pasture. In both of the expanded biofuels cases studied, there is an increase in net cumulative carbon emissions for the first couple of decades due to these induced land use changes. However, the difference in net cumulative emissions from the biofuels expansion decline by about 2035 as the reductions in energy system emissions exceed further increases in emissions from land use change. Even in the absence of a policy that would limit emissions from land use change, the differences in net cumulative emissions from the biofuels scenarios reach zero by 2050, and are decreasing further over time in both cases.

  9. Microbial surface displayed enzymes based biofuel cell utilizing degradation products of lignocellulosic biomass for direct electrical energy.

    PubMed

    Fan, Shuqin; Hou, Chuantao; Liang, Bo; Feng, Ruirui; Liu, Aihua

    2015-09-01

    In this work, a bacterial surface displaying enzyme based two-compartment biofuel cell for the direct electrical energy conversion from degradation products of lignocellulosic biomass is reported. Considering that the main degradation products of the lignocellulose are glucose and xylose, xylose dehydrogenase (XDH) displayed bacteria (XDH-bacteria) and glucose dehydrogenase (GDH) displayed bacteria (GDH-bacteria) were used as anode catalysts in anode chamber with methylene blue as electron transfer mediator. While the cathode chamber was constructed with laccase/multi-walled-carbon nanotube/glassy-carbon-electrode. XDH-bacteria exhibited 1.75 times higher catalytic efficiency than GDH-bacteria. This assembled enzymatic fuel cell exhibited a high open-circuit potential of 0.80 V, acceptable stability and energy conversion efficiency. Moreover, the maximum power density of the cell could reach 53 ?W cm(-2) when fueled with degradation products of corn stalk. Thus, this finding holds great potential to directly convert degradation products of biomass into electrical energy. PMID:26051524

  10. Beetles, Biofuel, and Coffee

    SciTech Connect

    Ceja-Navarro, Javier

    2015-05-06

    Berkeley Lab scientist Javier Ceja-Navarro discusses his research on the microbial populations found the guts of insects, specifically the coffee berry borer, which may lead to better pest management and the passalid beetle, which could lead to improved biofuel production.

  11. Biofuel impacts on water.

    SciTech Connect

    Tidwell, Vincent Carroll; Malczynski, Leonard A.; Sun, Amy Cha-Tien

    2011-01-01

    Sandia National Laboratories and General Motors Global Energy Systems team conducted a joint biofuels systems analysis project from March to November 2008. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility, implications, limitations, and enablers of large-scale production of biofuels. 90 billion gallons of ethanol (the energy equivalent of approximately 60 billion gallons of gasoline) per year by 2030 was chosen as the book-end target to understand an aggressive deployment. Since previous studies have addressed the potential of biomass but not the supply chain rollout needed to achieve large production targets, the focus of this study was on a comprehensive systems understanding the evolution of the full supply chain and key interdependencies over time. The supply chain components examined in this study included agricultural land use changes, production of biomass feedstocks, storage and transportation of these feedstocks, construction of conversion plants, conversion of feedstocks to ethanol at these plants, transportation of ethanol and blending with gasoline, and distribution to retail outlets. To support this analysis, we developed a 'Seed to Station' system dynamics model (Biofuels Deployment Model - BDM) to explore the feasibility of meeting specified ethanol production targets. The focus of this report is water and its linkage to broad scale biofuel deployment.

  12. Fuel from wastewater : harnessing a potential energy source in Canada through the co-location of algae biofuel production to sources of effluent, heat and CO2.

    SciTech Connect

    Passell, Howard David; Whalen, Jake; Pienkos, Philip P.; O'Leary, Stephen J.; Roach, Jesse Dillon; Moreland, Barbara D.; Klise, Geoffrey Taylor

    2010-12-01

    Sandia National Laboratories is collaborating with the National Research Council (NRC) Canada and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to develop a decision-support model that will evaluate the tradeoffs associated with high-latitude algae biofuel production co-located with wastewater, CO2, and waste heat. This project helps Canada meet its goal of diversifying fuel sources with algae-based biofuels. The biofuel production will provide a wide range of benefits including wastewater treatment, CO2 reuse and reduction of demand for fossil-based fuels. The higher energy density in algae-based fuels gives them an advantage over crop-based biofuels as the 'production' footprint required is much less, resulting in less water consumed and little, if any conversion of agricultural land from food to fuel production. Besides being a potential source for liquid fuel, algae have the potential to be used to generate electricity through the burning of dried biomass, or anaerobically digested to generate methane for electricity production. Co-locating algae production with waste streams may be crucial for making algae an economically valuable fuel source, and will certainly improve its overall ecological sustainability. The modeling process will address these questions, and others that are important to the use of water for energy production: What are the locations where all resources are co-located, and what volumes of algal biomass and oil can be produced there? In locations where co-location does not occur, what resources should be transported, and how far, while maintaining economic viability? This work is being funded through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Biomass Program Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and is part of a larger collaborative effort that includes sampling, strain isolation, strain characterization and cultivation being performed by the NREL and Canada's NRC. Results from the NREL / NRC collaboration including specific productivities of selected algal strains will eventually be incorporated into this model.

  13. Engineered Respiro-Fermentative Metabolism for the Production of Biofuels and Biochemicals from Fatty Acid-Rich Feedstocks? †

    PubMed Central

    Dellomonaco, Clementina; Rivera, Carlos; Campbell, Paul; Gonzalez, Ramon

    2010-01-01

    Although lignocellulosic sugars have been proposed as the primary feedstock for the biological production of renewable fuels and chemicals, the availability of fatty acid (FA)-rich feedstocks and recent progress in the development of oil-accumulating organisms make FAs an attractive alternative. In addition to their abundance, the metabolism of FAs is very efficient and could support product yields significantly higher than those obtained from lignocellulosic sugars. However, FAs are metabolized only under respiratory conditions, a metabolic mode that does not support the synthesis of fermentation products. In the work reported here we engineered several native and heterologous fermentative pathways to function in Escherichia coli under aerobic conditions, thus creating a respiro-fermentative metabolic mode that enables the efficient synthesis of fuels and chemicals from FAs. Representative biofuels (ethanol and butanol) and biochemicals (acetate, acetone, isopropanol, succinate, and propionate) were chosen as target products to illustrate the feasibility of the proposed platform. The yields of ethanol, acetate, and acetone in the engineered strains exceeded those reported in the literature for their production from sugars, and in the cases of ethanol and acetate they also surpassed the maximum theoretical values that can be achieved from lignocellulosic sugars. Butanol was produced at yields and titers that were between 2- and 3-fold higher than those reported for its production from sugars in previously engineered microorganisms. Moreover, our work demonstrates production of propionate, a compound previously thought to be synthesized only by propionibacteria, in E. coli. Finally, the synthesis of isopropanol and succinate was also demonstrated. The work reported here represents the first effort toward engineering microorganisms for the conversion of FAs to the aforementioned products. PMID:20525863

  14. Comparing life cycle assessments of different biofuel options.

    PubMed

    Kendall, Alissa; Yuan, Juhong

    2013-06-01

    Life cycle assessment (LCA) has shown that first generation biofuels provide a little to no benefit for greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions compared to petroleum fuels, particularly when indirect effects are considered. Second generation fuels are intended to achieve greater GHG reductions and avoid other sustainability issues. LCAs of second generation biofuels exhibit great variability and uncertainty, leading to inconclusive results for the performance of particular pathways (combinations of feedstocks and fuels). Variability arises in part because of the prospective nature of LCAs for future fuels; however, a review of recent articles on biofuel LCA methodology indicates two additional sources of variability: real sources such as spatiotemporal heterogeneity, and methodological sources such as choices for co-product allocation methods and system boundary definition. PMID:23490811

  15. Climate, Biofuels and Water: Projections and Sustainability Implications for the Upper Mississippi River Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deb, D.; Tuppad, P.; Daggupati, P.; Srinivasan, R.; Varma, D.

    2014-12-01

    Impact of climate change on the water resources of the United States exposes the vulnerability of feedstock-specific mandated fuel targets to extreme weather conditions that could become more frequent and intensify in the future. Consequently, a sustainable biofuel policy should consider a) how climate change would alter both water supply and demand and, b) in turn, how related changes in water availability will impact the production of biofuel crops and c) the environmental implications of large scale biofuel productions. Since, understanding the role of biofuels in the water cycle is key to understanding many of the environmental impacts of biofuels, the focus of this study is on modeling the rarely explored interactions between land use, climate change, water resources and the environment in future biofuel production systems to explore the impacts of the US biofuel policy and climate change on water and agricultural resources. More specifically, this research will address changes in the water demand and availability, soil erosion and water quality driven by both climate change and biomass feedstock production in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. We used the SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) hydrologic model to analyze the water quantity and quality consequences of land use and land management related changes in cropping conditions (e.g. more use of marginal lands, greater residue harvest, increased yields), plus management practices due to biofuel crops to meet the RFS target on water quality and quantity. Results show that even if the Upper Mississippi River Basin is a region of low water stress, it contributes to high nutrient load in Gulf of Mexico through seasonal shifts in streamflow, changes in extreme high and low flow events, changes in loadings and transport of sediments and nutrients due to changes in precipitation patterns and intensity, changes in frequency of occurrence of floods and drought, early melting of snow and ice, increasing evaporation and changes in soil moisture.

  16. Systems analysis and futuristic designs of advanced biofuel factory concepts.

    SciTech Connect

    Chianelli, Russ; Leathers, James; Thoma, Steven George; Celina, Mathias Christopher; Gupta, Vipin P.

    2007-10-01

    The U.S. is addicted to petroleum--a dependency that periodically shocks the economy, compromises national security, and adversely affects the environment. If liquid fuels remain the main energy source for U.S. transportation for the foreseeable future, the system solution is the production of new liquid fuels that can directly displace diesel and gasoline. This study focuses on advanced concepts for biofuel factory production, describing three design concepts: biopetroleum, biodiesel, and higher alcohols. A general schematic is illustrated for each concept with technical description and analysis for each factory design. Looking beyond current biofuel pursuits by industry, this study explores unconventional feedstocks (e.g., extremophiles), out-of-favor reaction processes (e.g., radiation-induced catalytic cracking), and production of new fuel sources traditionally deemed undesirable (e.g., fusel oils). These concepts lay the foundation and path for future basic science and applied engineering to displace petroleum as a transportation energy source for good.

  17. Third Generation Biofuels via Direct Cellulose Fermentation

    PubMed Central

    Carere, Carlo R.; Sparling, Richard; Cicek, Nazim; Levin, David B.

    2008-01-01

    Consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) is a system in which cellulase production, substrate hydrolysis, and fermentation are accomplished in a single process step by cellulolytic microorganisms. CBP offers the potential for lower biofuel production costs due to simpler feedstock processing, lower energy inputs, and higher conversion efficiencies than separate hydrolysis and fermentation processes, and is an economically attractive near-term goal for “third generation” biofuel production. In this review article, production of third generation biofuels from cellulosic feedstocks will be addressed in respect to the metabolism of cellulolytic bacteria and the development of strategies to increase biofuel yields through metabolic engineering. PMID:19325807

  18. The impact of co-occurring tree and grassland species on carbon sequestration and potential biofuel production

    E-print Network

    Thomas, David D.

    The impact of co-occurring tree and grassland species on carbon sequestration and potential biofuel-occurring tree and four grassland species influence poten- tially harvestable biofuel stocks and above harvestable biomass as another tree Quercus ellipsoidalis and 10 times that of the grassland species. P

  19. Heterologous expression and maturation of an NADP-dependent [NiFe]-hydrogenase: a key enzyme in biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Sun, Junsong; Hopkins, Robert C; Jenney, Francis E; McTernan, Patrick M; Adams, Michael W W

    2010-01-01

    Hydrogen gas is a major biofuel and is metabolized by a wide range of microorganisms. Microbial hydrogen production is catalyzed by hydrogenase, an extremely complex, air-sensitive enzyme that utilizes a binuclear nickel-iron [NiFe] catalytic site. Production and engineering of recombinant [NiFe]-hydrogenases in a genetically-tractable organism, as with metalloprotein complexes in general, has met with limited success due to the elaborate maturation process that is required, primarily in the absence of oxygen, to assemble the catalytic center and functional enzyme. We report here the successful production in Escherichia coli of the recombinant form of a cytoplasmic, NADP-dependent hydrogenase from Pyrococcus furiosus, an anaerobic hyperthermophile. This was achieved using novel expression vectors for the co-expression of thirteen P. furiosus genes (four structural genes encoding the hydrogenase and nine encoding maturation proteins). Remarkably, the native E. coli maturation machinery will also generate a functional hydrogenase when provided with only the genes encoding the hydrogenase subunits and a single protease from P. furiosus. Another novel feature is that their expression was induced by anaerobic conditions, whereby E. coli was grown aerobically and production of recombinant hydrogenase was achieved by simply changing the gas feed from air to an inert gas (N2). The recombinant enzyme was purified and shown to be functionally similar to the native enzyme purified from P. furiosus. The methodology to generate this key hydrogen-producing enzyme has dramatic implications for the production of hydrogen and NADPH as vehicles for energy storage and transport, for engineering hydrogenase to optimize production and catalysis, as well as for the general production of complex, oxygen-sensitive metalloproteins. PMID:20463892

  20. Metabolic engineering of Klebsiella pneumoniae for the de novo production of 2-butanol as a potential biofuel.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zhen; Wu, Yao; Huang, Jinhai; Liu, Dehua

    2015-12-01

    Butanol isomers are important bulk chemicals and promising fuel substitutes. The inevitable toxicity of n-butanol and isobutanol to microbial cells hinders their final titers. In this study, we attempt to engineer Klebsiella pneumoniae for the de novo production of 2-butanol, another butanol isomer which shows lower toxicity than n-butanol and isobutanol. 2-Butanol synthesis was realized by the extension of the native meso-2,3-butanediol synthesis pathway with the introduction of diol dehydratase and secondary alcohol dehydrogenase. By the screening of different secondary alcohol dehydrogenases and diol dehydratases, 320mg/L of 2-butanol was produced by the best engineered K. pneumoniae. The production was increased to 720mg/L by knocking out the ldhA gene and appropriate addition of coenzyme B12. Further improvement of 2-butanol to 1030mg/L was achieved by protein engineering of diol dehydratase. This work lays the basis for the metabolic engineering of microorganism for the production of 2-butanol as potential biofuel. PMID:26342337

  1. Using wastewater and high-rate algal ponds for nutrient removal and the production of bioenergy and biofuels.

    PubMed

    Batten, David; Beer, Tom; Freischmidt, George; Grant, Tim; Liffman, Kurt; Paterson, David; Priestley, Tony; Rye, Lucas; Threlfall, Greg

    2013-01-01

    This paper projects a positive outcome for large-scale algal biofuel and energy production when wastewater treatment is the primary goal. Such a view arises partly from a recent change in emphasis in wastewater treatment technology, from simply oxidising the organic matter in the waste (i.e. removing the biological oxygen demand) to removing the nutrients - specifically nitrogen and phosphorus - which are the root cause of eutrophication of inland waterways and coastal zones. A growing need for nutrient removal greatly improves the prospects for using new algal ponds in wastewater treatment, since microalgae are particularly efficient in capturing and removing such nutrients. Using a spreadsheet model, four scenarios combining algae biomass production with the making of biodiesel, biogas and other products were assessed for two of Australia's largest wastewater treatment plants. The results showed that super critical water reactors and anaerobic digesters could be attractive pathway options, the latter providing significant savings in greenhouse gas emissions. Combining anaerobic digestion with oil extraction and the internal economies derived from cheap land and recycling of water and nutrients on-site could allow algal oil to be produced for less than US$1 per litre. PMID:23306273

  2. Future crop production threatened by extreme heat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siebert, Stefan; Ewert, Frank

    2014-04-01

    Heat is considered to be a major stress limiting crop growth and yields. While important findings on the impact of heat on crop yield have been made based on experiments in controlled environments, little is known about the effects under field conditions at larger scales. The study of Deryng et al (2014 Global crop yield response to extreme heat stress under multiple climate change futures Environ. Res. Lett. 9 034011), analysing the impact of heat stress on maize, spring wheat and soya bean under climate change, represents an important contribution to this emerging research field. Uncertainties in the occurrence of heat stress under field conditions, plant responses to heat and appropriate adaptation measures still need further investigation.

  3. Sustainable cement production-present and future

    SciTech Connect

    Schneider, M.; Romer, M.; Tschudin, M.; Bolio, H.

    2011-07-15

    Cement will remain the key material to satisfy global housing and modern infrastructure needs. As a consequence, the cement industry worldwide is facing growing challenges in conserving material and energy resources, as well as reducing its CO{sub 2} emissions. According to the International Energy Agency, the main levers for cement producers are the increase in energy efficiency and the use of alternative materials, be it as fuel or raw materials. Accordingly, the use of alternative fuels has already increased significantly in recent years, but potential for further increases still exists. In cement, the reduction of the clinker factor remains a key priority: tremendous progress has already been made. Nevertheless, appropriate materials are limited in their regional availability. New materials might be able to play a role as cement constituents in the future. It remains to be seen to what extent they could substitute Portland cement clinker to a significant degree.

  4. Microwave pyrolysis of distillers dried grain with solubles (DDGS) for biofuel production

    SciTech Connect

    Lei, Hanwu; Ren, Shoujie; Wang, Lu; Bu, Quan; Julson, James; Holladay, Johnathan E.; Ruan, Roger

    2011-05-01

    Microwave pyrolysis of distillers dried grain with solubles (DDGS) was investigated to determine the effects of pyrolytic conditions on the yields of bio-oil, syngas, and biochar. Pyrolysis process variables included reaction temperature, time, and power input. Microwave pyrolysis of DDGS was analyzed using response surface methodology to ?nd out the effect of process variables on the biofuel (bio-oil and syn- gas) conversion yield and establish prediction models. Bio-oil recovery was in the range of 26.5–50.3 wt.% of the biomass. Biochar yields were 23.5–62.2% depending on the pyrolysis conditions. The energy con- tent of DDGS bio-oils was 28 MJ/kg obtained at the 650 oC and 8 min, which was about 66.7% of the heat- ing value of gasoline. GC/MS analysis indicated that the biooil contained a series of important and useful chemical compounds: aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons. At least 13% of DDGS bio-oil was the same hydrocarbon compounds found in regular unleaded gasoline.

  5. The future of bioconversion in energy production

    SciTech Connect

    Walter, D.K.

    1993-12-31

    Man has used both thermal and bioconversion technologies for his purposes for the majority of recorded history. No doubt the first use of thermal technology was a fire to heat a cave while the first deliberate use of bioconversion occurred some time later when an discovered how to ferment sugar to make alcohol. While man used both the thermal and bioconversion technologies for his purposes, the majority of development was in the thermal technologies. Thermal reactions are quick (occur in fractions of seconds) occur in harsh conditions (elevated temperatures and pressures) and not precise (many products produced). Through history, biconversion was limited to natural plants and chemicals. These might be modified by natural selection, a long and imprecise process, but bioconversion processes while slow, occurred in mild conditions and were very precise. Not until 1948 when Watson defined DNA and life processes did mankind begin to understand and begin to use alter bioconversion technologies for his purpose. Bioconversion is on the brink of great expansion, from the production of drugs, vitamins, and food, to the production of bulk chemicals and fuels. The technology is at hand to speed up the reactions or to identify the active enzyme sites that will permit economic utilization of these emerging techniques.

  6. 78 FR 34975 - Notice of Contract Proposals (NOCP) for the Advanced Biofuels Payment Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-06-11

    ...Contract Proposals (NOCP) for the Advanced Biofuels Payment Program AGENCY: Rural Business-Cooperative...6 million to make payments to advanced biofuel producers for the production of eligible advanced biofuels. Of the $98.6 million, $68.6...

  7. 77 FR 5229 - Notice of Contract Proposals (NOCP) for Payments to Eligible Advanced Biofuel Producers

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-02

    ...NOCP) for Payments to Eligible Advanced Biofuel Producers AGENCY: Rural Business-Cooperative...25 million to make payments to advanced biofuel producers for the production of eligible advanced biofuels in Fiscal Year 2012. The 2008 Farm...

  8. Transcriptome sequencing and annotation of the microalgae Dunaliella tertiolecta: Pathway description and gene discovery for production of next-generation biofuels

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Biodiesel or ethanol derived from lipids or starch produced by microalgae may overcome many of the sustainability challenges previously ascribed to petroleum-based fuels and first generation plant-based biofuels. The paucity of microalgae genome sequences, however, limits gene-based biofuel feedstock optimization studies. Here we describe the sequencing and de novo transcriptome assembly for the non-model microalgae species, Dunaliella tertiolecta, and identify pathways and genes of importance related to biofuel production. Results Next generation DNA pyrosequencing technology applied to D. tertiolecta transcripts produced 1,363,336 high quality reads with an average length of 400 bases. Following quality and size trimming, ~ 45% of the high quality reads were assembled into 33,307 isotigs with a 31-fold coverage and 376,482 singletons. Assembled sequences and singletons were subjected to BLAST similarity searches and annotated with Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) orthology (KO) identifiers. These analyses identified the majority of lipid and starch biosynthesis and catabolism pathways in D. tertiolecta. Conclusions The construction of metabolic pathways involved in the biosynthesis and catabolism of fatty acids, triacylglycrols, and starch in D. tertiolecta as well as the assembled transcriptome provide a foundation for the molecular genetics and functional genomics required to direct metabolic engineering efforts that seek to enhance the quantity and character of microalgae-based biofuel feedstock. PMID:21401935

  9. Metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli for high-specificity production of isoprenol and prenol as next generation of biofuels

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The isopentenols, including isoprenol and prenol, are excellent alternative fuels. However, they are not compounds largely accumulated in natural organism. The need for the next generation of biofuels with better physical and chemical properties impels us to develop biosynthetic routes for the production of isoprenol and prenol from renewable sugar. In this study, we use the heterogenous mevalonate-dependent (MVA) isoprenoid pathway for the synthesis of isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP) and dimethylallyl pyrophosphate (DMAPP) intermediates, and then convert IPP and DMAPP to isoprenol and prenol, respectively. Results A mevalonate titer of 1.7 g/L was obtained by constructing an efficient MVA upper pathway in engineered E. coli. Different phosphatases and pyrophosphatases were investigated for their abilities in hydrolyzing the IPP and DMAPP. Consequently, ADP-ribose pyrophosphatase was found to be an efficient IPP and DMAPP hydrolase. Moreover, ADP-ribose pyrophosphatase from Bacillus subtilis (BsNudF) exhibited a equivalent substrate specificity towards IPP and DMAPP, while ADP-ribose pyrophosphatase from E. coli (EcNudF) presented a high substrate preference for DMAPP. Without the expression of any phosphatases or pyrophosphatases, a background level of isopentenols was synthesized. When the endogenous pyrophosphatase genes (EcNudF and yggV) that were capable of enhancing the hydrolyzation of the IPP and DMAPP were knocked out, the background level of isopentenols was still obtained. Maybe the synthesized IPP and DMAPP were hydrolyzed by some unknown hydrolases of E. coli. Finally, 1.3 g/L single isoprenol was obtained by blocking the conversion of IPP to DMAPP and employing the BsNudF, and 0.2 g/L ~80% prenol was produced by employing the EcNudF. A maximal yield of 12% was achieved in both isoprenol and prenol producing strains. Conclusions To the best of our knowledge, this is the first successful report on high-specificity production of isoprenol and prenol by microbial fermentation. Over 1.3 g/L isoprenol achieved in shake-flask experiments represents a quite encouraging titer of higher alcohols. In addition, the substrate specificities of ADP-ribose pyrophosphatases were determined and successfully applied for the high-specificity synthesis of isoprenol and prenol. Altogether, this work presents a promising strategy for high-specificity production of two excellent biofuels, isoprenol and prenol. PMID:23618128

  10. Industrial-strength ecology: Trade-offs and opportunities in algal biofuel production

    E-print Network

    2013-01-01

    light for engineered algae: redirecting metabolism to fuel amodified algae for commercial bio- fuel production is stillfuels with contemporary primary production as a renewable source of energy. Algae

  11. Global Assessments and Guidelines for Sustainable Liquid Biofuel

    E-print Network

    generation of liquid biofuel production UU Chapter 8 Fuel and vehicle compatibility UNEP-DTIE Chapter 9Global Assessments and Guidelines for Sustainable Liquid Biofuel Production in Developing Countries Biofuel Production in Developing Countries FINAL REPORT A GEF Targeted Research Project Organized by Bernd

  12. Socio-economic dynamics of biofuel

    E-print Network

    of biofuels ­ they also occur in the large-scale production of other agricultural staples ­ the development for agricultural staples such as palm oil for the production of biofuel also threatens to crowd out their use promoted as a solution for energy self- sufficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the production

  13. In-Situ Hydraulic Conductivities of Soils and Anomalies at a Future Biofuel Production Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williamson, M. F.; Jackson, C. R.; Hale, J. C.; Sletten, H. R.

    2010-12-01

    Forested hillslopes of the Upper Coastal Plain at the Savannah River Site, SC, feature a shallow clay loam argillic layer with low median saturated hydraulic conductivity. Observations from a grid of shallow, maximum-rise piezometers indicate that perching on this clay layer is common. However, flow measurements from an interflow-interception trench indicate that lateral flow is rare and most soil water percolates through the clay layer. We hypothesize that the lack of frequent lateral flow is due to penetration of the clay layer by roots of pine trees. We used ground penetrating radar (GPR) to map the soil structure and potential anomalies, such as root holes, down to two meters depth at three 10×10-m plots. At each plot, a 1×10-m trench was later back-hoe excavated along a transect that showed the most anomalies on the GPR maps. Each trench was excavated at 0.5-m intervals until the clay layer was reached (two plots were excavated to a final depth of 0.875 m and the third plot was excavated to a final depth of 1.0 m). At each interval, compact constant-head permeameters (CCHPs) were used to measure in-situ hydraulic conductivities in the clay-loam matrix and in any visually apparent anomalies. Conductivity was also estimated using a second 1×10-m transect of CCHP measurements taken within randomly placed augur holes. Additional holes targeted GPR anomalies. The second transect was created in case the back-hoe impacted conductivity readings. High-conductivity anomalies were also visually investigated by excavating with a shovel. Photographs of soil wetness were taken at visually apparent anomalies with a multispectral camera. We discovered that all visually apparent anomalies found are represented on the GPR maps, but that not all of the predicted anomalies on the GPR maps are visually apparent. We discovered that tree root holes create anomalies, but that there were also many conductivity anomalies that could not be visually distinguished from low-conductivity soil.

  14. The Future of Butyric Acid in Industry

    PubMed Central

    Dwidar, Mohammed; Park, Jae-Yeon; Mitchell, Robert J.; Sang, Byoung-In

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, the different applications of butyric acid and its current and future production status are highlighted, with a particular emphasis on the biofuels industry. As such, this paper discusses different issues regarding butyric acid fermentations and provides suggestions for future improvements and their approaches. PMID:22593687

  15. Techno-economic and uncertainty analysis of in situ and ex situ fast pyrolysis for biofuel production

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Boyan; Ou, Longwen; Dang, Qi; Meyer, Pimphan A.; Jones, Susanne B.; Brown, Robert C.; Wright, Mark

    2015-11-01

    This study evaluates the techno-economic uncertainty in cost estimates for two emerging biorefinery technologies for biofuel production: in situ and ex situ catalytic pyrolysis. Stochastic simulations based on process and economic parameter distributions are applied to calculate biorefinery performance and production costs. The probability distributions for the minimum fuel-selling price (MFSP) indicate that in situ catalytic pyrolysis has an expected MFSP of $4.20 per gallon with a standard deviation of 1.15, while the ex situ catalytic pyrolysis has a similar MFSP with a smaller deviation ($4.27 per gallon and 0.79 respectively). These results suggest that a biorefinery based on ex situ catalytic pyrolysis could have a lower techno-economic risk than in situ pyrolysis despite a slightly higher MFSP cost estimate. Analysis of how each parameter affects the NPV indicates that internal rate of return, feedstock price, total project investment, electricity price, biochar yield and bio-oil yield are significant parameters which have substantial impact on the MFSP for both in situ and ex situ catalytic pyrolysis.

  16. Environmental implications of jatropha biofuel from a silvi-pastoral production system in central-west Brazil.

    PubMed

    Bailis, Rob; Kavlak, Goksin

    2013-07-16

    We present a life cycle assessment of synthetic paraffinic kerosene produced from Jatropha curcas. The feedstock is grown in an intercropping arrangement with pasture grasses so that Jatropha is coproduced with cattle. Additional innovations are introduced including hybrid seeds, detoxification of jatropha seedcake, and cogeneration. Two fuel pathways are examined including a newly developed catalytic decarboxylation process. Sensitivities are examined including higher planting density at the expense of cattle production as well as 50% lower yields. Intercropping with pasture and detoxifying seedcake yield coproducts that are expected to relieve pressure on Brazil's forests and indirectly reduce environmental impacts of biofuel production. Other innovations also reduce impacts. Results of the baseline assessment indicate that innovations would reduce impacts relative to the fossil fuel reference scenario in most categories including 62-75% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, 64-82% reduction in release of ozone depleting chemicals, 33-52% reduction in smog-forming pollutants, 6-25% reduction in acidification, and 60-72% reduction in use of nonrenewable energy. System expansion, which explicitly accounts for avoided deforestation, results in larger improvements. Results are robust across allocation methodologies, improve with higher planting density, and persist if yield is reduced by half. PMID:23713609

  17. Manufacturing of tattoo ink products today and in future: Europe.

    PubMed

    Michel, Ralf

    2015-01-01

    The article describes the European market situation and the legal framework in Europe. It shows the state-of-the-art production under ISO 9001:2008 quality management and describes the future of tattoo ink production based on good manufacturing practice guidelines for tattoo inks. PMID:25833631

  18. Mobility chains analysis of technologies for passenger cars and light duty vehicles fueled with biofuels : application of the Greet model to project the role of biomass in America's energy future (RBAEF) project.

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, M.; Wu, Y.; Wang, M; Energy Systems

    2008-01-31

    The Role of Biomass in America's Energy Future (RBAEF) is a multi-institution, multiple-sponsor research project. The primary focus of the project is to analyze and assess the potential of transportation fuels derived from cellulosic biomass in the years 2015 to 2030. For this project, researchers at Dartmouth College and Princeton University designed and simulated an advanced fermentation process to produce fuel ethanol/protein, a thermochemical process to produce Fischer-Tropsch diesel (FTD) and dimethyl ether (DME), and a combined heat and power plant to co-produce steam and electricity using the ASPEN Plus{trademark} model. With support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) conducted, for the RBAEF project, a mobility chains or well-to-wheels (WTW) analysis using the Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation (GREET) model developed at ANL. The mobility chains analysis was intended to estimate the energy consumption and emissions associated with the use of different production biofuels in light-duty vehicle technologies.

  19. Predicting Agricultural Management Influence on Long-Term Soil Organic Carbon Dynamics: Implications for Biofuel Production

    SciTech Connect

    Gollany, H. T.; Rickman, R. W.; Albrecht, S. L.; Liang, Y.; Kang, Shujiang; Machado, S.

    2011-01-01

    Long-term field experiments (LTE) are ideal for predicting the influence of agricultural management on soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics and examining biofuel crop residue removal policy questions. Our objectives were (i) to simulate SOC dynamics in LTE soils under various climates, crop rotations, fertilizer or organic amendments, and crop residue managements using the CQESTR model and (ii) to predict the potential of no-tillage (NT) management to maintain SOC stocks while removing crop residue. Classical LTEs at Champaign, IL (1876), Columbia, MO (1888), Lethbridge, AB (1911), Breton, AB (1930), and Pendleton, OR (1931) were selected for their documented history of management practice and periodic soil organic matter (SOM) measurements. Management practices ranged from monoculture to 2- or 3-yr crop rotations, manure, no fertilizer or fertilizer additions, and crop residue returned, burned, or harvested. Measured and CQESTR predicted SOC stocks under diverse agronomic practices, mean annual temperature (2.1 19 C), precipitation (402 973 mm), and SOC (5.89 33.58 g SOC kg 1) at the LTE sites were significantly related (r 2 = 0.94, n = 186, P < 0.0001) with a slope not significantly different than 1. The simulation results indicated that the quantities of crop residue that can be sustainably harvested without jeopardizing SOC stocks were influenced by initial SOC stocks, crop rotation intensity, tillage practices, crop yield, and climate. Manure or a cover crop/intensified crop rotation under NT are options to mitigate loss of crop residue C, as using fertilizer alone is insufficient to overcome residue removal impact on SOC stocks

  20. Fuel from Wastewater - Harnessing a Potential Energy Source in Canada through the Co-location of Algae Biofuel Production to Sources of Effluent, Heat and CO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klise, G. T.; Roach, J. D.; Passell, H. D.; Moreland, B. D.; O'Leary, S. J.; Pienkos, P. T.; Whalen, J.

    2010-12-01

    Sandia National Laboratories is collaborating with the National Research Council (NRC) Canada and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to develop a decision-support model that will evaluate the tradeoffs associated with high-latitude algae biofuel production co-located with wastewater, CO2, and waste heat. This project helps Canada meet its goal of diversifying fuel sources with algae-based biofuels. The biofuel production will provide a wide range of benefits including wastewater treatment, CO2 reuse and reduction of demand for fossil-based fuels. The higher energy density in algae-based fuels gives them an advantage over crop-based biofuels as the “production” footprint required is much less, resulting in less water consumed and little, if any conversion of agricultural land from food to fuel production. Besides being a potential source for liquid fuel, algae have the potential to be used to generate electricity through the burning of dried biomass, or anaerobically digested to generate methane for electricity production. Co-locating algae production with waste streams may be crucial for making algae an economically valuable fuel source, and will certainly improve its overall ecological sustainability. The modeling process will address these questions, and others that are important to the use of water for energy production: What are the locations where all resources are co-located, and what volumes of algal biomass and oil can be produced there? In locations where co-location does not occur, what resources should be transported, and how far, while maintaining economic viability? This work is being funded through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Biomass Program Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and is part of a larger collaborative effort that includes sampling, strain isolation, strain characterization and cultivation being performed by the NREL and Canada’s NRC. Results from the NREL / NRC collaboration including specific productivities of selected algal strains will eventually be incorporated into this model. Joint activities in algal biofuel research involving Sandia National Labs, NREL, and Canada’s NRC are supported by the U.S. - Canada Clean Energy Dialogue Secretariat. Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.

  1. Identifying potential areas for biofuel production and evaluating the environmental effects: a case study of the James River Basin in the Midwestern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wu, Yiping; Liu, Shu-Guang; Li, Zhengpeng

    2012-01-01

    Biofuels are now an important resource in the United States because of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Both increased corn growth for ethanol production and perennial dedicated energy crop growth for cellulosic feedstocks are potential sources to meet the rising demand for biofuels. However, these measures may cause adverse environmental consequences that are not yet fully understood. This study 1) evaluates the long-term impacts of increased frequency of corn in the crop rotation system on water quantity and quality as well as soil fertility in the James River Basin and 2) identifies potential grasslands for cultivating bioenergy crops (e.g. switchgrass), estimating the water quality impacts. We selected the soil and water assessment tool, a physically based multidisciplinary model, as the modeling approach to simulate a series of biofuel production scenarios involving crop rotation and land cover changes. The model simulations with different crop rotation scenarios indicate that decreases in water yield and soil nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N) concentration along with an increase in NO3-N load to stream water could justify serious concerns regarding increased corn rotations in this basin. Simulations with land cover change scenarios helped us spatially classify the grasslands in terms of biomass productivity and nitrogen loads, and we further derived the relationship of biomass production targets and the resulting nitrogen loads against switchgrass planting acreages. The suggested economically efficient (planting acreage) and environmentally friendly (water quality) planting locations and acreages can be a valuable guide for cultivating switchgrass in this basin. This information, along with the projected environmental costs (i.e. reduced water yield and increased nitrogen load), can contribute to decision support tools for land managers to seek the sustainability of biofuel development in this region.

  2. Reconstruction of the lipid metabolism for the microalga Monoraphidium neglectum from its genome sequence reveals characteristics suitable for biofuel production

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Microalgae are gaining importance as sustainable production hosts in the fields of biotechnology and bioenergy. A robust biomass accumulating strain of the genus Monoraphidium (SAG 48.87) was investigated in this work as a potential feedstock for biofuel production. The genome was sequenced, annotated, and key enzymes for triacylglycerol formation were elucidated. Results Monoraphidium neglectum was identified as an oleaginous species with favourable growth characteristics as well as a high potential for crude oil production, based on neutral lipid contents of approximately 21% (dry weight) under nitrogen starvation, composed of predominantly C18:1 and C16:0 fatty acids. Further characterization revealed growth in a relatively wide pH range and salt concentrations of up to 1.0% NaCl, in which the cells exhibited larger structures. This first full genome sequencing of a member of the Selenastraceae revealed a diploid, approximately 68 Mbp genome with a G + C content of 64.7%. The circular chloroplast genome was assembled to a 135,362 bp single contig, containing 67 protein-coding genes. The assembly of the mitochondrial genome resulted in two contigs with an approximate total size of 94 kb, the largest known mitochondrial genome within algae. 16,761 protein-coding genes were assigned to the nuclear genome. Comparison of gene sets with respect to functional categories revealed a higher gene number assigned to the category “carbohydrate metabolic process” and in “fatty acid biosynthetic process” in M. neglectum when compared to Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Nannochloropsis gaditana, indicating a higher metabolic diversity for applications in carbohydrate conversions of biotechnological relevance. Conclusions The genome of M. neglectum, as well as the metabolic reconstruction of crucial lipid pathways, provides new insights into the diversity of the lipid metabolism in microalgae. The results of this work provide a platform to encourage the development of this strain for biotechnological applications and production concepts. PMID:24373495

  3. A GIS COST MODEL TO ASSESS THE AVAILABILITY OF FRESHWATER, SEAWATER, AND SALINE GROUNDWATER FOR ALGAL BIOFUEL PRODUCTION IN THE UNITED STATES

    SciTech Connect

    Venteris, Erik R.; Skaggs, Richard; Coleman, Andre M.; Wigmosta, Mark S.

    2013-03-15

    A key advantage of using microalgae for biofuel production is the ability of some algal strains to thrive in waters unsuitable for conventional crop irrigation such as saline groundwater or seawater. Nonetheless, the availability of sustainable water supplies will provide significant challenges for scale-up and development of algal biofuels. We conduct a limited techno-economic assessment based on the availability of freshwater, saline groundwater, and seawater for use in open pond algae cultivation systems. We explore water issues through GIS-based models of algae biofuel production, freshwater supply, and cost models for supplying seawater and saline groundwater. We estimate that combined, within the coterminous US these resources can support production on the order of 9.46E+7 m3 yr-1 (25 billion gallons yr-1) of renewable biodiesel. Achievement of larger targets requires the utilization of less water efficient sites and relatively expensive saline waters. Geographically, water availability is most favorable for the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and Florida peninsula, where evaporation relative to precipitation is moderate and various saline waters are economically available. As a whole, barren and scrub lands of the southwestern US have limited freshwater supplies so accurate assessment of alternative waters is critical.

  4. 17 CFR 41.25 - Additional conditions for trading for security futures products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... trading for security futures products. 41.25 Section 41.25 Commodity and Securities Exchanges COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION SECURITY FUTURES PRODUCTS Requirements and Standards for Listing Security Futures Products § 41.25 Additional conditions for trading for security futures products. (a)...

  5. 17 CFR 41.25 - Additional conditions for trading for security futures products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... trading for security futures products. 41.25 Section 41.25 Commodity and Securities Exchanges COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION SECURITY FUTURES PRODUCTS Requirements and Standards for Listing Security Futures Products § 41.25 Additional conditions for trading for security futures products. (a)...

  6. 17 CFR 41.24 - Rule amendments to security futures products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... futures products. 41.24 Section 41.24 Commodity and Securities Exchanges COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION SECURITY FUTURES PRODUCTS Requirements and Standards for Listing Security Futures Products § 41.24 Rule amendments to security futures products. (a) Self-certification of rules and rule amendments...

  7. 17 CFR 41.24 - Rule amendments to security futures products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... futures products. 41.24 Section 41.24 Commodity and Securities Exchanges COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION SECURITY FUTURES PRODUCTS Requirements and Standards for Listing Security Futures Products § 41.24 Rule amendments to security futures products. (a) Self-certification of rules and rule amendments...

  8. 17 CFR 41.25 - Additional conditions for trading for security futures products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... trading for security futures products. 41.25 Section 41.25 Commodity and Securities Exchanges COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION (CONTINUED) SECURITY FUTURES PRODUCTS Requirements and Standards for Listing Security Futures Products § 41.25 Additional conditions for trading for security futures products....

  9. 17 CFR 41.24 - Rule amendments to security futures products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... futures products. 41.24 Section 41.24 Commodity and Securities Exchanges COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION (CONTINUED) SECURITY FUTURES PRODUCTS Requirements and Standards for Listing Security Futures Products § 41.24 Rule amendments to security futures products. (a) Self-certification of rules and...

  10. 17 CFR 41.25 - Additional conditions for trading for security futures products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... trading for security futures products. 41.25 Section 41.25 Commodity and Securities Exchanges COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION SECURITY FUTURES PRODUCTS Requirements and Standards for Listing Security Futures Products § 41.25 Additional conditions for trading for security futures products. (a)...

  11. 17 CFR 41.24 - Rule amendments to security futures products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... futures products. 41.24 Section 41.24 Commodity and Securities Exchanges COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION SECURITY FUTURES PRODUCTS Requirements and Standards for Listing Security Futures Products § 41.24 Rule amendments to security futures products. (a) Self-certification of rules and rule amendments...

  12. 17 CFR 41.25 - Additional conditions for trading for security futures products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... trading for security futures products. 41.25 Section 41.25 Commodity and Securities Exchanges COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION SECURITY FUTURES PRODUCTS Requirements and Standards for Listing Security Futures Products § 41.25 Additional conditions for trading for security futures products. (a)...

  13. 17 CFR 41.24 - Rule amendments to security futures products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... futures products. 41.24 Section 41.24 Commodity and Securities Exchanges COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION SECURITY FUTURES PRODUCTS Requirements and Standards for Listing Security Futures Products § 41.24 Rule amendments to security futures products. (a) Self-certification of rules and rule amendments...

  14. Predicting the adsorption of second generation biofuels by polymeric resins with applications for in situ product recovery (ISPR)

    E-print Network

    Nielsen, David R.

    The application of hydrophobic polymeric resins as solid-phase adsorbent materials for the recovery and purification of prospective second generation biofuel compounds, including ethanol, iso-propanol, n-propanol, iso-butanol, ...

  15. Techno-economic and uncertainty analysis of in situ and ex situ fast pyrolysis for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Li, Boyan; Ou, Longwen; Dang, Qi; Meyer, Pimphan; Jones, Susanne; Brown, Robert; Wright, Mark

    2015-11-01

    This study evaluates the techno-economic uncertainty in cost estimates for two emerging technologies for biofuel production: in situ and ex situ catalytic pyrolysis. The probability distributions for the minimum fuel-selling price (MFSP) indicate that in situ catalytic pyrolysis has an expected MFSP of $1.11 per liter with a standard deviation of 0.29, while the ex situ catalytic pyrolysis has a similar MFSP with a smaller deviation ($1.13 per liter and 0.21 respectively). These results suggest that a biorefinery based on ex situ catalytic pyrolysis could have a lower techno-economic uncertainty than in situ pyrolysis compensating for a slightly higher MFSP cost estimate. Analysis of how each parameter affects the NPV indicates that internal rate of return, feedstock price, total project investment, electricity price, biochar yield and bio-oil yield are parameters which have substantial impact on the MFSP for both in situ and ex situ catalytic pyrolysis. PMID:26226581

  16. Potential Direct and Indirect Effects of Global Cellulosic Biofuel Production on Greenhouse

    E-print Network

    , and political forces that drive emissions, and to the results of international agreements and mitigation Fluxes from Future Land-use Change David W. Kicklighter, Angelo C. Gurgel, Jerry M. Melillo, John M of ongoing national and international discussions. To this end, the Program brings together

  17. A Computational Analysis of Stoichiometric Constraints and Trade-Offs in Cyanobacterial Biofuel Production

    PubMed Central

    Knoop, Henning; Steuer, Ralf

    2015-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are a promising biological chassis for the synthesis of renewable fuels and chemical bulk commodities. Significant efforts have been devoted to improve the yields of cyanobacterial products. However, while the introduction and heterologous expression of product-forming pathways is often feasible, the interactions and incompatibilities of product synthesis with the host metabolism are still insufficiently understood. In this work, we investigate the stoichiometric properties and trade-offs that underlie cyanobacterial product formation using a computational reconstruction of cyanobacterial metabolism. First, we evaluate the synthesis requirements of a selection of cyanobacterial products of potential biotechnological interest. Second, the large-scale metabolic reconstruction allows us to perform in silico experiments that mimic and predict the metabolic changes that must occur in the transition from a growth-only phenotype to a production-only phenotype. Applied to the synthesis of ethanol, ethylene, and propane, these in silico transition experiments point to bottlenecks and potential modification targets in cyanobacterial metabolism. Our analysis reveals incompatibilities between biotechnological product synthesis and native host metabolism, such as shifts in ATP/NADPH demand and the requirement to reintegrate metabolic by-products. Similar strategies can be employed for a large class of cyanobacterial products to identify potential stoichiometric bottlenecks. PMID:25941672

  18. Site-specific trade-offs of harvesting cereal residues as biofuel feedstocks

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cereal residues are considered an important feedstock for future biofuel production. Harvesting cereal residues, however, could lead to substantial soil degradation. Our objective was to evaluate trade-offs associated with harvesting straw including impacts on soil erosion and quality, soil organic ...

  19. Tarryn Miller: Fueling biofuel's promise August 27, 2013

    E-print Network

    - 1 - Tarryn Miller: Fueling biofuel's promise August 27, 2013 » Return to homepage Student intern and technology. At Los Alamos, mentored by David Fox and his algal biofuels team, Miller is focused adds. "They are great candidates for biofuel and bio-product production, and they produce a carbon

  20. Engineering microbial biofuel tolerance and export using efflux pumps

    E-print Network

    Dunlop, Mary

    REPORT Engineering microbial biofuel tolerance and export using efflux pumps Mary J Dunlop1 16.9.10; accepted 6.4.11 Many compounds being considered as candidates for advanced biofuels for biofuel production because the engineered microbes must balance production against survival. Cellular

  1. Production of Butanol (A Biofuel) from Agricultural Residues: Part I - Use of Barley Straw Hydrolysate

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fermentation of dilute sulfuric acid barley straw hydrolyzate (BSH; undiluted/untreated) by Clostridium beijerinckii P260 resulted in the production of 7.09 gL**-1 ABE (acetone butanol ethanol; AB or ABE), an ABE yield of 0.33, and productivity of 0.10 gL**-1h**-1. This level of ABE is much less th...

  2. Economic and environmental impacts of corn stover removal for biofuel production: A farm level case study

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Corn stover is emerging as one of the major sustainable sources for cellulosic ethanol production in the U.S and promises to reduce our dependence on conventional fuels. Removal of corn stover for biomass production can provide an additional revenue generating source for farmers. However, removing c...

  3. A ROADMAP FOR SUSTAINABLE ADVANCED BIOFUEL FEEDSTOCK PRODUCTION IN THE MID-SOUTH

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although various studies exist that deal with the production of bioenergy crops, a number of aspects of bioenergy feedstock production (feedstock choice, natural resource availability, available infrastructure, etc.) are strongly influenced by the region in which the feedstock is produced and proces...

  4. Membrane processes for alcohol-water separation: Improving the energy efficiency of biofuel production

    EPA Science Inventory

    The economics and environmental impact of producing fuels and chemicals biologically can be a strong function of the efficiency with which the fermentation products are removed from the biological media. Due to growth inhibition by some fermentation products, including ethanol an...

  5. Impact of air pollution control costs on the cost and spatial arrangement of cellulosic biofuel production in the U.S.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Colin W; Parker, Nathan C

    2014-02-18

    Air pollution emissions regulation can affect the location, size, and technology choice of potential biofuel production facilities. Difficulty in obtaining air pollutant emission permits and the cost of air pollution control devices have been cited by some fuel producers as barriers to development. This paper expands on the Geospatial Bioenergy Systems Model (GBSM) to evaluate the effect of air pollution control costs on the availability, cost, and distribution of U.S. biofuel production by subjecting potential facility locations within U.S. Clean Air Act nonattainment areas, which exceed thresholds for healthy air quality, to additional costs. This paper compares three scenarios: one with air quality costs included, one without air quality costs, and one in which conversion facilities were prohibited in Clean Air Act nonattainment areas. While air quality regulation may substantially affect local decisions regarding siting or technology choices, their effect on the system as a whole is small. Most biofuel facilities are expected to be sited near to feedstock supplies, which are seldom in nonattainment areas. The average cost per unit of produced energy is less than 1% higher in the scenarios with air quality compliance costs than in scenarios without such costs. When facility construction is prohibited in nonattainment areas, the costs increase by slightly over 1%, due to increases in the distance feedstock is transported to facilities in attainment areas. PMID:24467277

  6. Energy Efficiency Analysis: Biomass-to-Wheel Efficiency Related with Biofuels Production, Fuel Distribution, and Powertrain Systems

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Wei-Dong; Zhang, Y-H Percival

    2011-01-01

    Background Energy efficiency analysis for different biomass-utilization scenarios would help make more informed decisions for developing future biomass-based transportation systems. Diverse biofuels produced from biomass include cellulosic ethanol, butanol, fatty acid ethyl esters, methane, hydrogen, methanol, dimethyether, Fischer-Tropsch diesel, and bioelectricity; the respective powertrain systems include internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles based on gasoline or diesel ICEs, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, sugar fuel cell vehicles (SFCV), and battery electric vehicles (BEV). Methodology/Principal Findings We conducted a simple, straightforward, and transparent biomass-to-wheel (BTW) analysis including three separate conversion elements -- biomass-to-fuel conversion, fuel transport and distribution, and respective powertrain systems. BTW efficiency is a ratio of the kinetic energy of an automobile's wheels to the chemical energy of delivered biomass just before entering biorefineries. Up to 13 scenarios were analyzed and compared to a base line case – corn ethanol/ICE. This analysis suggests that BEV, whose electricity is generated from stationary fuel cells, and SFCV, based on a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle with an on-board sugar-to-hydrogen bioreformer, would have the highest BTW efficiencies, nearly four times that of ethanol-ICE. Significance In the long term, a small fraction of the annual US biomass (e.g., 7.1%, or 700 million tons of biomass) would be sufficient to meet 100% of light-duty passenger vehicle fuel needs (i.e., 150 billion gallons of gasoline/ethanol per year), through up to four-fold enhanced BTW efficiencies by using SFCV or BEV. SFCV would have several advantages over BEV: much higher energy storage densities, faster refilling rates, better safety, and less environmental burdens. PMID:21765941

  7. Generating Phenotypic Diversity in a Fungal Biocatalyst to Investigate Alcohol Stress Tolerance Encountered during Microbial Cellulosic Biofuel Production

    PubMed Central

    Hennessy, Rosanna C.; Doohan, Fiona; Mullins, Ewen

    2013-01-01

    Consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) of lignocellulosic biomass offers an alternative route to renewable energy. The crop pathogen Fusarium oxysporum is a promising fungal biocatalyst because of its broad host range and innate ability to co-saccharify and ferment lignocellulose to bioethanol. A major challenge for cellulolytic CBP-enabling microbes is alcohol inhibition. This research tested the hypothesis that Agrobacterium tumefaciens - mediated transformation (ATMT) could be exploited as a tool to generate phenotypic diversity in F. oxysporum to investigate alcohol stress tolerance encountered during CBP. A random mutagenesis library of gene disruption transformants (n=1,563) was constructed and screened for alcohol tolerance in order to isolate alcohol sensitive or tolerant phenotypes. Following three rounds of screening, exposure of select transformants to 6% ethanol and 0.75% n-butanol resulted respectively in increased (?11.74%) and decreased (?43.01%) growth compared to the wild –type (WT). Principal component analysis (PCA) quantified the level of phenotypic diversity across the population of genetically transformed individuals and isolated candidate strains for analysis. Characterisation of one strain, Tr. 259, ascertained a reduced growth phenotype under alcohol stress relative to WT and indicated the disruption of a coding region homologous to a putative sugar transporter (FOXG_09625). Quantitative PCR (RT-PCR) showed FOXG_09625 was differentially expressed in Tr. 259 compared to WT during alcohol-induced stress (P<0.05). Phylogenetic analysis of putative sugar transporters suggests diverse functional roles in F. oxysporum and other filamentous fungi compared to yeast for which sugar transporters form part of a relatively conserved family. This study has confirmed the potential of ATMT coupled with a phenotypic screening program to select for genetic variation induced in response to alcohol stress. This research represents a first step in the investigation of alcohol tolerance in F. oxysporum and has resulted in the identification of several novel strains, which will be of benefit to future biofuel research. PMID:24147009

  8. Modification of Lignin by Protein Cross-linking to Facilitate Production of Biofuels From Poplar

    SciTech Connect

    Tien, Ming

    2013-04-22

    The limited supply of fossil fuels and the associated environmental issues associated with their utilization has resulted in much effort put forth to promote renewable resources of energy. Switching to renewable fuels for energy will allow us to become carbon neutral by recycling carbon from plants and reduce carbon from dioxide emissions, which could potentially reduce global warming in future generations and generate new industries with exciting new technologies.

  9. Biofuel on contaminated land

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suer, Pascal; Andersson-Sköld, Yvonne; Blom, Sonja; Bardos, Paul; Polland, Marcel; Track, Thomas

    2010-05-01

    Desktop studies of two Swedish contaminated sites has indicated that growing biofuel crops on these sites may be more environmentally beneficial than alternative risk management approaches such as excavation / removal or containment The demand for biofuel increases pressure on the cultivatable soil of the world. While contaminated land is not very suitable for food production, cultivation of low and medium contaminated soil may remove some pressure from agricultural soils. For larger sites, biofuel cultivation may be economically viable without a remediation bonus. Suitable sites have topographic conditions that allow agricultural machinery, are not in urgent need of remediation, and contamination levels are not plant toxic. Life cycle assessment (LCA) was done for two cases. The (desk top) case studies were - Case K, a 5000 m2 site where salix (willow) was cultivated with hand-held machinery and the biofuel harvest was left on site, and - Case F, a 12 ha site were on site ensuring was being considered, and were salix might have rented an economic profit if the remediation had not been urgent due to exploitation pressure. Some selected results for biofuel K; biofuel F; excavation K; and on site ensuring F respectively: Energy: 0,05; 1,4; 3,5; 19 TJ Waste: 1; 9; 1200; 340 ton Land use off-site: 190; 3 500; 200 000; 1 400 000 m˛ a Global warming: 3; 86; 230; 1 200 ton CO2 eq Acidification: 25; 1 000; 2 600; 14 000 kg SO2 eq Photochemical smog: 10; 180; 410; 2 300 kg ethene eq Human health: 2; 51; 150; 620 index The environmental impact of the traditional remediation methods of excavation and on-site ensuring was mainly due to the transport of contaminated soil and replacement soil, and landfilling of the contaminated soil. Biofuel cultivation avoids these impacts, while fertiliser production and agricultural machinery would have a lower environmental impact than moving large volumes of soil around. Journeys of a controller to check on the groundwater quality also contributed to the biofuel impacts. The net CO2 equivalent emission on a 100 year basis per MJ energy in the Salix Vinimalis was between -0.02 and -0.1 kgCO2e/MJ. The fate of the stubble and roots of the salix was crucial for the carbon footprint. While stubble and roots remain in the soil (as increased soil organic matter), the carbon dioxide they took up while growing is not contributing to global warming. This pool was much larger than the CO2 emissions from soil transport and other processes. Biodiversity was difficult to include, and the results are uncertain. But the results indicated that biodiversity impact of biofuel cultivation may be large compared to "easier" categories like global warming and human health, and the net impact of biofuel cultivation may well be benifical to the environment instead of damaging.

  10. at Western University From the production of biofuels, fuel cells and alternative forms of energy,

    E-print Network

    Lennard, William N.

    related to technology in automobiles, vehicle design and seating configuration · Western's global research for developing, validating and industrial-scale testing of lightweight materials, products and related of materials and interfaces, corrosion and stress corrosion cracking, interfacial dynamics, semiconductor

  11. Application of Ligninolytic Enzymes in the Production of Biofuels from Cotton Wastes 

    E-print Network

    Placido Escobar, Jersson Emir

    2014-12-02

    for textile industries. It is one of the most abundant sources of agro-industrial biomass with global production of 24 million tonnes (2006?2007) and an annual increase of 2% (Sharma-Shivappa and Chen, 2008). The high level of cotton production generates...; this produced high xylan solubilization, low lignin reduction, and higher glucan solubilization. The alkali hydrolysis produced higher lignin reduction (close to 60%), less xylan solubilization, and higher glucan solubilization versus the acid hydrolysis...

  12. 17 CFR 41.41 - Security futures products accounts.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... whether the firm permits customers to make or change an election of account type; and (iv) A statement... date the account is transferred. (c) Changes in account type. A Full FCM/Full BD may change the type of account in which a customer's security futures products will be held; provided, that: (1) The firm...

  13. 17 CFR 41.41 - Security futures products accounts.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... whether the firm permits customers to make or change an election of account type; and (iv) A statement... date the account is transferred. (c) Changes in account type. A Full FCM/Full BD may change the type of account in which a customer's security futures products will be held; provided, that: (1) The firm...

  14. Mapping grasslands suitable for cellulosic biofuels in the Greater Platte River Basin, United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wylie, Bruce K.; Gu, Yingxin

    2012-01-01

    Biofuels are an important component in the development of alternative energy supplies, which is needed to achieve national energy independence and security in the United States. The most common biofuel product today in the United States is corn-based ethanol; however, its development is limited because of concerns about global food shortages, livestock and food price increases, and water demand increases for irrigation and ethanol production. Corn-based ethanol also potentially contributes to soil erosion, and pesticides and fertilizers affect water quality. Studies indicate that future potential production of cellulosic ethanol is likely to be much greater than grain- or starch-based ethanol. As a result, economics and policy incentives could, in the near future, encourage expansion of cellulosic biofuels production from grasses, forest woody biomass, and agricultural and municipal wastes. If production expands, cultivation of cellulosic feedstock crops, such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and miscanthus (Miscanthus species), is expected to increase dramatically. The main objective of this study is to identify grasslands in the Great Plains that are potentially suitable for cellulosic feedstock (such as switchgrass) production. Producing ethanol from noncropland holdings (such as grassland) will minimize the effects of biofuel developments on global food supplies. Our pilot study area is the Greater Platte River Basin, which includes a broad range of plant productivity from semiarid grasslands in the west to the fertile corn belt in the east. The Greater Platte River Basin was the subject of related U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) integrated research projects.

  15. Linking genome content to biofuel production yields: a meta-analysis of major catabolic pathways among select H2 and ethanol-producing bacteria

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Fermentative bacteria offer the potential to convert lignocellulosic waste-streams into biofuels such as hydrogen (H2) and ethanol. Current fermentative H2 and ethanol yields, however, are below theoretical maxima, vary greatly among organisms, and depend on the extent of metabolic pathways utilized. For fermentative H2 and/or ethanol production to become practical, biofuel yields must be increased. We performed a comparative meta-analysis of (i) reported end-product yields, and (ii) genes encoding pyruvate metabolism and end-product synthesis pathways to identify suitable biomarkers for screening a microorganism’s potential of H2 and/or ethanol production, and to identify targets for metabolic engineering to improve biofuel yields. Our interest in H2 and/or ethanol optimization restricted our meta-analysis to organisms with sequenced genomes and limited branched end-product pathways. These included members of the Firmicutes, Euryarchaeota, and Thermotogae. Results Bioinformatic analysis revealed that the absence of genes encoding acetaldehyde dehydrogenase and bifunctional acetaldehyde/alcohol dehydrogenase (AdhE) in Caldicellulosiruptor, Thermococcus, Pyrococcus, and Thermotoga species coincide with high H2 yields and low ethanol production. Organisms containing genes (or activities) for both ethanol and H2 synthesis pathways (i.e. Caldanaerobacter subterraneus subsp. tengcongensis, Ethanoligenens harbinense, and Clostridium species) had relatively uniform mixed product patterns. The absence of hydrogenases in Geobacillus and Bacillus species did not confer high ethanol production, but rather high lactate production. Only Thermoanaerobacter pseudethanolicus produced relatively high ethanol and low H2 yields. This may be attributed to the presence of genes encoding proteins that promote NADH production. Lactate dehydrogenase and pyruvate:formate lyase are not conducive for ethanol and/or H2 production. While the type(s) of encoded hydrogenases appear to have little impact on H2 production in organisms that do not encode ethanol producing pathways, they do influence reduced end-product yields in those that do. Conclusions Here we show that composition of genes encoding pathways involved in pyruvate catabolism and end-product synthesis pathways can be used to approximate potential end-product distribution patterns. We have identified a number of genetic biomarkers for streamlining ethanol and H2 producing capabilities. By linking genome content, reaction thermodynamics, and end-product yields, we offer potential targets for optimization of either ethanol or H2 yields through metabolic engineering. PMID:23249097

  16. Emissions from small-scale energy production using co-combustion of biofuel and the dry fraction of household waste

    SciTech Connect

    Hedman, Bjoern . E-mail: bjorn.hedman@chem.umu.se; Burvall, Jan; Nilsson, Calle; Marklund, Stellan

    2005-07-01

    In sparsely populated rural areas, recycling of household waste might not always be the most environmentally advantageous solution due to the total amount of transport involved. In this study, an alternative approach to recycling has been tested using efficient small-scale biofuel boilers for co-combustion of biofuel and high-energy waste. The dry combustible fraction of source-sorted household waste was mixed with the energy crop reed canary-grass (Phalaris Arundinacea L.), and combusted in both a 5-kW pilot scale reactor and a biofuel boiler with 140-180 kW output capacity, in the form of pellets and briquettes, respectively. The chlorine content of the waste fraction was 0.2%, most of which originated from plastics. The HCl emissions exceeded levels stipulated in new EU-directives, but levels of equal magnitude were also generated from combustion of the pure biofuel. Addition of waste to the biofuel did not give any apparent increase in emissions of organic compounds. Dioxin levels were close to stipulated limits. With further refinement of combustion equipment, small-scale co-combustion systems have the potential to comply with emission regulations.

  17. The path to next generation biofuels: successes and challenges in the era of synthetic biology

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Volatility of oil prices along with major concerns about climate change, oil supply security and depleting reserves have sparked renewed interest in the production of fuels from renewable resources. Recent advances in synthetic biology provide new tools for metabolic engineers to direct their strategies and construct optimal biocatalysts for the sustainable production of biofuels. Metabolic engineering and synthetic biology efforts entailing the engineering of native and de novo pathways for conversion of biomass constituents to short-chain alcohols and advanced biofuels are herewith reviewed. In the foreseeable future, formal integration of functional genomics and systems biology with synthetic biology and metabolic engineering will undoubtedly support the discovery, characterization, and engineering of new metabolic routes and more efficient microbial systems for the production of biofuels. PMID:20089184

  18. Identification and thermochemical analysis of high-lignin feedstocks for biofuel and biochemical production

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Lignin is a highly abundant biopolymer synthesized by plants as a complex component of plant secondary cell walls. Efforts to utilize lignin-based bioproducts are needed. Results Herein we identify and characterize the composition and pyrolytic deconstruction characteristics of high-lignin feedstocks. Feedstocks displaying the highest levels of lignin were identified as drupe endocarp biomass arising as agricultural waste from horticultural crops. By performing pyrolysis coupled to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, we characterized lignin-derived deconstruction products from endocarp biomass and compared these with switchgrass. By comparing individual pyrolytic products, we document higher amounts of acetic acid, 1-hydroxy-2-propanone, acetone and furfural in switchgrass compared to endocarp tissue, which is consistent with high holocellulose relative to lignin. By contrast, greater yields of lignin-based pyrolytic products such as phenol, 2-methoxyphenol, 2-methylphenol, 2-methoxy-4-methylphenol and 4-ethyl-2-methoxyphenol arising from drupe endocarp tissue are documented. Conclusions Differences in product yield, thermal decomposition rates and molecular species distribution among the feedstocks illustrate the potential of high-lignin endocarp feedstocks to generate valuable chemicals by thermochemical deconstruction. PMID:22018114

  19. Biofuels on the landscape: Modeling to balance the environmental footprint of feedstock production on marginal lands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The sustainable production of large quantities of biomass from dedicated energy crops will be necessary to meet renewable fuel and power mandates being implemented in the United States at the federal and state level. However, fundamental questions about the relative merits of intensification versus...

  20. Indirect measurements of Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu fermentable cell wall sugars for second generation biofuels production.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Results of a study conducted to evaluate the possibility of using IVDMD values of B. brizantha cv. Marandu to predict cell wall sugars that would be available in a biorefinery for ethanol production are reported. The study was conducted based on the similarity between rumen enzymes and those used i...

  1. Nutrient and water requirements for elephantgrass production as a bio-fuel feedstock

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Elephantgrass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumacher) is a tall tropical bunch grass that produces high enough yields to being considered an excellent bio-energy feedstock for the lower South. However, previous studies have shown that production is not sustainable without fertilizer application and adequ...

  2. Effect of sorghum biofuel production systems on soil characteristics in Souteastern U.S.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    According Energy Policy Act of 2005, the U.S. must to produce 36 billion gallons of oil equivalent in 2022.Cellulosic material is considered a renewable and environmental improved alternative source for energy production. Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) could provide food and cellulosic feedstock produ...

  3. Greenhouse Gas Emission from Corn Rotations and Perennial Grasses in Iowa Grown for Biofuel Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The ideal bioenergy crop is characterized by high yield, low energy input, low nutrient requirements, low production cost, and composition with minimal contaminants. Perennial grasses show better efficiency, higher biomass yield, and lower energy input and nutrient requirements than continuous corn ...

  4. Peanut pod, seed, and oil yield for biofuel following conventional and organic production systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increase in demand for organic peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) makes it increasingly necessary to develop organic methods in their production. Corn gluten meal (CGM) and vinegar are materials used in organic weed control. These were used alone, or in conjunction with cultivation, to evaluate their ef...

  5. Microbial production of sabinene—a new terpene-based precursor of advanced biofuel

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Sabinene, one kind of monoterpene, accumulated limitedly in natural organisms, is being explored as a potential component for the next generation of aircraft fuels. And demand for advanced fuels impels us to develop biosynthetic routes for the production of sabinene from renewable sugar. Results In this study, sabinene was significantly produced by assembling a biosynthetic pathway using the methylerythritol 4-phosphate (MEP) or heterologous mevalonate (MVA) pathway combining the GPP and sabinene synthase genes in an engineered Escherichia coli strain. Subsequently, the culture medium and process conditions were optimized to enhance sabinene production with a maximum titer of 82.18 mg/L. Finally, the fed-batch fermentation of sabinene was evaluated using the optimized culture medium and process conditions, which reached a maximum concentration of 2.65 g/L with an average productivity of 0.018 g h-1 g-1 dry cells, and the conversion efficiency of glycerol to sabinene (gram to gram) reached 3.49%. Conclusions This is the first report of microbial synthesis of sabinene using an engineered E. coli strain with the renewable carbon source as feedstock. Therefore, a green and sustainable production strategy has been established for sabinene. PMID:24512040

  6. Potential impacts of cropland biofuel production on the provision of avian habitat

    EPA Science Inventory

    Present laws and policies encourage the growth of corn for the production of starch-based and cellulosic ethanol on agricultural lands in the U.S. This has been touted as an environmentally-friendly solution to problems of energy-independence, particularly in the midwestern U.S....

  7. Microbial production of a biofuel (acetone-butanol-ethanol) in a continuous bioreactor: impact of bleed and simultaneous product removal

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Acetone butanol ethanol (ABE) was produced in an integrated continuous fermentation and product recovery system using a microbial strain Clostridium beijerinckii BA101 for ABE production and fermentation gases (CO2 and H2) for product removal by gas stripping. This represents a continuation of our ...

  8. Understanding cost drivers and economic potential of two variants of ionic liquid pretreatment for cellulosic biofuel production

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Ionic liquid (IL) pretreatment could enable an economically viable route to produce biofuels by providing efficient means to extract sugars and lignin from lignocellulosic biomass. However, to realize this, novel IL-based processes need to be developed in order to minimize the overall production costs and accelerate commercial viability. In this study, two variants of IL-based processes are considered: one based on complete removal of the IL prior to hydrolysis using a water-wash (WW) step and the other based on a “one-pot” (OP) process that does not require IL removal prior to saccharification. Detailed techno-economic analysis (TEA) of these two routes was carried out to understand the cost drivers, economic potential (minimum ethanol selling price, MESP), and relative merits and challenges of each route. Results At high biomass loading (50%), both routes exhibited comparable economic performance with an MESP of $6.3/gal. With the possible advances identified (reduced water or acid/base consumption, improved conversion in pretreatment, and lignin valorization), the MESP could be reduced to around $3/gal ($3.2 in the WW route and $2.8 in the OP route). Conclusions It was found that, to be competitive at industrial scale, lowered cost of ILs used and higher biomass loadings (50%) are essential for both routes, and in particular for the OP route. Overall, while the economic potential of both routes appears to be comparable at higher biomass loadings, the OP route showed the benefit of lower water consumption at the plant level, an important cost and sustainability consideration for biorefineries. PMID:24932217

  9. Changes in the Diversity of Soil Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi after Cultivation for Biofuel Production in a Guantanamo (Cuba) Tropical System

    PubMed Central

    Alguacil, Maria del Mar; Torrecillas, Emma; Hernández, Guillermina; Roldán, Antonio

    2012-01-01

    The arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are a key, integral component of the stability, sustainability and functioning of ecosystems. In this study, we characterised the AMF biodiversity in a native vegetation soil and in a soil cultivated with Jatropha curcas or Ricinus communis, in a tropical system in Guantanamo (Cuba), in order to verify if a change of land use to biofuel plant production had any effect on the AMF communities. We also asses whether some soil properties related with the soil fertility (total N, Organic C, microbial biomass C, aggregate stability percentage, pH and electrical conductivity) were changed with the cultivation of both crop species. The AM fungal small sub-unit (SSU) rRNA genes were subjected to PCR, cloning, sequencing and phylogenetic analyses. Twenty AM fungal sequence types were identified: 19 belong to the Glomeraceae and one to the Paraglomeraceae. Two AMF sequence types related to cultured AMF species (Glo G3 for Glomus sinuosum and Glo G6 for Glomus intraradices-G. fasciculatum-G. irregulare) did not occur in the soil cultivated with J. curcas and R. communis. The soil properties (total N, Organic C and microbial biomass C) were higher in the soil cultivated with the two plant species. The diversity of the AMF community decreased in the soil of both crops, with respect to the native vegetation soil, and varied significantly depending on the crop species planted. Thus, R. communis soil showed higher AMF diversity than J. curcas soil. In conclusion, R. communis could be more suitable for the long-term conservation and sustainable management of these tropical ecosytems. PMID:22536339

  10. Arid Lands Biofuel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neupane, B. P.

    2013-05-01

    Dependence on imported petroleum, as well as consequences from burning fossil fuels, has increased the demand for biofuel sources in the United States. Competition between food crops and biofuel crops has been an increasing concern, however, since it has the potential to raise prices for US beef and grain products due to land and resource competition. Biofuel crops that can be grown on land not suitable for food crops are thus attractive, but also need to produce biofuels in a financially sustainable manner. In the intermountain west of Nevada, biofuel crops need to survive on low-organic soils with limited precipitation when grown in areas that are not competing with food and feed. The plants must also yield an oil content sufficiently high to allow economically viable fuel production, including growing and harvesting the crop as well as converting the hydrocarbons into a liquid fuel. Gumweed (Grindelia squarrosa) currently appears to satisfy all of these requirements and is commonly observed throughout the west. The plant favors dry, sandy soils and is most commonly found on roadsides and other freshly disturbed land. A warm season biennial, the gumweed plant is part of the sunflower family and normally grows 2-4 feet high with numerous yellow flowers and curly leaves. The gumweed plant contains a large store of diterpene resins—most abundantly grindelic acid— similar to the saps found on pine trees that are used to make inks and adhesives. The dry weight harvest on the experimental field is 5130 lbs/acre. Whole plant biomass yields between 11-15% (average 13%) biocrude when subjected to acetone extraction whereas the buds alone contains up to a maximum of 35% biocrude when harvested in 'white milky' stage. The extract is then converted to basic form (sodium grindelate) followed by extraction of nonpolar constituents (mostly terpenes) with hexane and extracted back to ethyl acetate in acidified condition. Ethyl acetate is removed under vacuum to leave a dark colored viscous gum. At this point, when methylated and the mixture analyzed by gas chromatography, grindelic acid methyl ester composes approximately 60-80% of the hydrocarbons present which is the actual available portion for biodiesel. Based on two years of crop data, we can say that we can produce in between 85-126 gallons of biofuel per acre of land. While agronomic issues remain still to be solved, crops can be grown, harvested and extracted using conventional methods. Further research is being undertaken to select optimal strains of gumweed, as well as methods of conversion of grindelic acid to a diesel fuel directly.

  11. Lipid production for biofuels from hydrolyzate of waste activated sludge by heterotrophic Chlorella protothecoides.

    PubMed

    Wen, Qinxue; Chen, Zhiqiang; Li, Pengfei; Duan, Ran; Ren, Nanqi

    2013-09-01

    Microalga Chlorella protothecoides can accumulate high proportion of lipids during the heterotrophic growth with glucose as the carbon source. However, its commercial application is restricted due to the high cost of the carbon source. In this study, the wasted activated sludge (WAS) was hydrolyzed after ultrasonic pre-treatment and the hydrolyzate obtained was used as an alternative carbon source for algal biomass and biodiesel production. The results indicate that C. protothecoides can proliferate in the WAS hydrolyzate and accumulate biolipid. The final lipid content of the culture fed with the hydrolyzate was 21.5±1.44% (weight percent) after 156 h cultivation in flasks and the maximum biomass obtained was 0.5 g L(-1). Acetic acid and isovaleric acid were favorable carbon sources for cell growth. The soluble microbial products (SMP) presents in the hydrolyzate can also be used as a carbon source for cell growth. PMID:23856018

  12. Biofuels from microalgae: lipid extraction and methane production from the residual biomass in a biorefinery approach.

    PubMed

    Hernández, D; Solana, M; Riańo, B; García-González, M C; Bertucco, A

    2014-10-01

    Renewable fuels and energy are of major concern worldwide and new raw materials and processes for its generation are being investigated. Among these raw materials, algae are a promising source of lipids and energy. Thus, in this work four different algae have been used for lipid extraction and biogas generation. Lipids were obtained by supercritical CO2 extraction (SCCO2), while anaerobic digestion of the lipid-exhausted algae biomass was used for biogas production. The extracted oil composition was analyzed (saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids) and quantified. The highest lipid yields were obtained from Tetraselmis sp. (11%) and Scenedesmus almeriensis (10%), while the highest methane production from the lipid-exhausted algae biomass corresponded to Tetraselmis sp. (236mLCH4/gVSadded). PMID:25151474

  13. Vertical Integration of Biomass Saccharification of Enzymes for Sustainable Cellulosic Biofuel Production in a Biorefinery

    SciTech Connect

    Manoj Kumar, PhD

    2011-05-09

    Lignocellulosic biomass is the most abundant, least expensive renewable natural biological resource for the production of biobased products and bioenergy is important for the sustainable development of human civilization in 21st century. For making the fermentable sugars from lignocellulosic biomass, a reduction in cellulase production cost, an improvement in cellulase performance, and an increase in sugar yields are all vital to reduce the processing costs of biorefineries. Improvements in specific cellulase activities for non-complexed cellulase mixtures can be implemented through cellulase engineering based on rational design or directed evolution for each cellulase component enzyme, as well as on the reconstitution of cellulase components. In this paper, we will provide DSM's efforts in cellulase research and developments and focus on limitations. Cellulase improvement strategies based on directed evolution using screening on relevant substrates, screening for higher thermal tolerance based on activity screening approaches such as continuous culture using insoluble cellulosic substrates as a powerful selection tool for enriching beneficial cellulase mutants from the large library. We will illustrate why and how thermostable cellulases are vital for economic delivery of bioproducts from cellulosic biomass using biochemical conversion approach.

  14. Kinetic Studies on Fermentative Production of Biofuel from Synthesis Gas Using Clostridium ljungdahlii

    PubMed Central

    Mohamed, Abdul Rahman; Najafpour, Ghasem D.; Younesi, Habibollah; Uzir, Mohamad Hekarl

    2014-01-01

    The intrinsic growth, substrate uptake, and product formation biokinetic parameters were obtained for the anaerobic bacterium, Clostridium ljungdahlii, grown on synthesis gas in various pressurized batch bioreactors. A dual-substrate growth kinetic model using Luong for CO and Monod for H2 was used to describe the growth kinetics of the bacterium on these substrates. The maximum specific growth rate (?max = 0.195?h?1) and Monod constants for CO (Ks,CO = 0.855?atm) and H2 (Ks,H2 = 0.412?atm) were obtained. This model also accommodated the CO inhibitory effects on cell growth at high CO partial pressures, where no growth was apparent at high dissolved CO tensions (PCO? > 0.743?atm). The Volterra model, Andrews, and modified Gompertz were, respectively, adopted to describe the cell growth, substrate uptake rate, and product formation. The maximum specific CO uptake rate (qmax = 34.364?mmol/gcell/h), CO inhibition constant (KI = 0.601?atm), and maximum rate of ethanol (Rmax = 0.172?mmol/L/h at PCO = 0.598?atm) and acetate (Rmax = 0.096?mmol/L/h at PCO = 0.539?atm) production were determined from the applied models. PMID:24672390

  15. LIQUID BIO-FUEL PRODUCTION FROM NON-FOOD BIOMASS VIA HIGH TEMPERATURE STEAM ELECTROLYSIS

    SciTech Connect

    G. L. Hawkes; J. E. O'Brien; M. G. McKellar

    2011-11-01

    Bio-Syntrolysis is a hybrid energy process that enables production of synthetic liquid fuels that are compatible with the existing conventional liquid transportation fuels infrastructure. Using biomass as a renewable carbon source, and supplemental hydrogen from high-temperature steam electrolysis (HTSE), bio-syntrolysis has the potential to provide a significant alternative petroleum source that could reduce US dependence on imported oil. Combining hydrogen from HTSE with CO from an oxygen-blown biomass gasifier yields syngas to be used as a feedstock for synthesis of liquid transportation fuels via a Fischer-Tropsch process. Conversion of syngas to liquid hydrocarbon fuels, using a biomass-based carbon source, expands the application of renewable energy beyond the grid to include transportation fuels. It can also contribute to grid stability associated with non-dispatchable power generation. The use of supplemental hydrogen from HTSE enables greater than 90% utilization of the biomass carbon content which is about 2.5 times higher than carbon utilization associated with traditional cellulosic ethanol production. If the electrical power source needed for HTSE is based on nuclear or renewable energy, the process is carbon neutral. INL has demonstrated improved biomass processing prior to gasification. Recyclable biomass in the form of crop residue or energy crops would serve as the feedstock for this process. A process model of syngas production using high temperature electrolysis and biomass gasification is presented. Process heat from the biomass gasifier is used to heat steam for the hydrogen production via the high temperature steam electrolysis process. Oxygen produced form the electrolysis process is used to control the oxidation rate in the oxygen-blown biomass gasifier. Based on the gasifier temperature, 94% to 95% of the carbon in the biomass becomes carbon monoxide in the syngas (carbon monoxide and hydrogen). Assuming the thermal efficiency of the power cycle for electricity generation is 50%, (as expected from GEN IV nuclear reactors), the syngas production efficiency ranges from 70% to 73% as the gasifier temperature decreases from 1900 K to 1500 K. Parametric studies of system pressure, biomass moisture content and low temperature alkaline electrolysis are also presented.

  16. [Biofuels, food security and transgenic crops].

    PubMed

    Acosta, Orlando; Chaparro-Giraldo, Alejandro

    2009-01-01

    Soaring global food prices are threatening to push more poor people back below the poverty line; this will probably become aggravated by the serious challenge that increasing population and climate changes are posing for food security. There is growing evidence that human activities involving fossil fuel consumption and land use are contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and consequently changing the climate worldwide. The finite nature of fossil fuel reserves is causing concern about energy security and there is a growing interest in the use of renewable energy sources such as biofuels. There is growing concern regarding the fact that biofuels are currently produced from food crops, thereby leading to an undesirable competition for their use as food and feed. Nevertheless, biofuels can be produced from other feedstocks such as lingo-cellulose from perennial grasses, forestry and vegetable waste. Biofuel energy content should not be exceeded by that of the fossil fuel invested in its production to ensure that it is energetically sustainable; however, biofuels must also be economically competitive and environmentally acceptable. Climate change and biofuels are challenging FAO efforts aimed at eradicating hunger worldwide by the next decade. Given that current crops used in biofuel production have not been domesticated for this purpose, transgenic technology can offer an enormous contribution towards improving biofuel crops' environmental and economic performance. The present paper critically presents some relevant relationships between biofuels, food security and transgenic plant technology. PMID:19722000

  17. Potential of genetically modified oilseed rape for biofuels in Austria: Land use patterns and coexistence constraints could decrease domestic feedstock production

    PubMed Central

    Moser, Dietmar; Eckerstorfer, Michael; Pascher, Kathrin; Essl, Franz; Zulka, Klaus Peter

    2013-01-01

    Like other EU Member States, Austria will meet the substitution target of the EU European Renewable Energy Directive for transportation almost exclusively by first generation biofuels, primarily biodiesel from oilseed rape (OSR). Genetically modified (GM) plants have been promoted as a new option for biofuel production as they promise higher yield or higher quality feedstock. We tested implications of GM OSR application for biodiesel production in Austria by means of high resolution spatially explicit simulation of 140 different coexistence scenarios within six main OSR cropping regions in Austria (2400 km2). We identified structural land use characteristics such as field size, land use diversity, land holding patterns and the proportion of the target crop as the predominant factors which influence overall production of OSR in a coexistence scenario. Assuming isolation distances of 800 m and non-GM-OSR proportions of at least 10% resulted in a loss of area for cultivation of OSR in all study areas ranging from ?4.5% to more than ?25%, depending on the percentage of GM farmers and on the region. We could show that particularly the current primary OSR cropping regions are largely unsuitable for coexistence and would suffer from a net loss of OSR area even at isolation distances of 400 or 800 m. Coexistence constraints associated with application of GM OSR are likely to offset possible GM gains by substantially reducing farmland for OSR cultivation, thus contradicting the political aim to increase domestic OSR area to meet the combined demands of food, feed and biofuel production. PMID:26109750

  18. Synergetic sustainability enhancement via current biofuel infrastructure: waste-to-energy concept for biodiesel production.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Eilhann; Yi, Haakrho; Jeon, Young Jae

    2013-03-19

    The concept of waste-to-energy (WtE) with regards to the utilization of byproducts from the bioethanol industry (e.g., distiller's dried grain with solubles: DDGS) was employed to enhance the renewability of biodiesel, which would be an initiative stage of a biorefinery due to the conjunction between bioethanol and biodiesel. For example, DDGS is a strong candidate for use as a biodiesel feedstock due to the tremendous amount that is regularly generated. On the basis of an estimation of possible lipid recovery from DDGS, ?30% of the biodiesel feedstock demand in 2010 could be supported by the total DDGS generation in the same year. Considering the future expansion of the bioethanol industry up to 2020, the possible lipid recovery from DDGS would provide more than 6 times the biodiesel feedstock demand in 2010. In order to enhance the renewability of biodiesel, the transformation of lipid extracted from DDGS into fatty acid ethyl ester (FAEE) via a noncatalytic transesterification reaction under ambient pressure was investigated in this work. The newly introduced method reported here enables the combination of the esterification of free fatty acids (FFAs) and the transesterification of triglycerides into a single step. This was achieved in the presence of a porous material (i.e., charcoal), and the optimal conditions for transformation into biodiesel via this noncatalytic method were assessed at the fundamental level. PMID:23410120

  19. Impacts of Biofuel Production and Navigation Impediments on Agricultural Transportation and Markets 

    E-print Network

    Ahmedov, Zafarbek

    2013-08-22

    price rises were also influential. Ethanol production experienced high growth in the early 2000?s. Data from the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA 2012) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture?s Economic Research Service (USDA-ERS 2012a) indicated... to $5.18 and $11.30 in 2010 respectively (USDA-ERS 2012a, USDA-ERS 2012b). Regional grain transportation volumes and modal shares changed (Marathon and Sparger 2012). 1.2 Background on Transport Grain markets are also influenced by Mississippi River...

  20. Effect of operating parameters on bio-fuel production from waste furniture sawdust.

    PubMed

    Uzun, Basak Burcu; Kanmaz, Gülin

    2013-04-01

    Fast pyrolysis is an effective technology for conversion of biomass into energy and value-added chemicals instead of burning them directly. In this study, fast pyrolysis of waste furniture sawdust (pine sawdust) was investigated under various reaction conditions (reaction time, pyrolysis temperature, heating rate, residence time and particle size) in a tubular reactor. The optimum reaction conditions for bio-oil production was found as reaction time of 5 min, pyrolysis temperature of 500 °C, heating rate of 300 °C min(-1) under nitrogen flow rate of 400 cm(3) min(-1). At these conditions, maximum bio-oil yield was obtained as 42.09%. Pyrolysis oils were characterized by using various elemental analyses, fourier - transformation infrared (FT-IR) spectrometry and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The results of the GC-MS showed that cracking of large molecular phenolics was followed by partial conversion into phenol and alkylated phenols (45%) during the pyrolysis. According to the experimental and characterization results; the liquid product could be used as feedstock for the chemical industry or petroleum crude for refinery. PMID:23235998

  1. Biosynthesis of hydroxycinnamate conjugates: Implications for sustainable biomass and biofuel production

    SciTech Connect

    Liu C. J.

    2010-09-01

    Hydroxycinnamic acids constitute a large class of phenylpropanoid metabolites that are distributed ubiquitously in terrestrial plants. They occur most frequently as esters, amides or glycosides within the cytosol, the particular subcellular compartments such as the vacuole or the cell wall. Hydroxycinnamate conjugates play a vital role in the plant's growth and development and in its defense responses against biotic- and abiotic-stresses. Furthermore, the incorporation of hydroxycinnamate conjugates into the cell wall is a major factor attenuating the wall's biodegradability. Understanding the biosyntheses of hydroxycinnamate conjugates and its molecular regulation may well facilitate the sustainable production of cell wall biomass, and the efficient conversion of lignocellulosic materials. This paper reviews our current molecular and biochemical understandings on the formation of several classes of hydroxycinnamate esters and amides, including the soluble conjugates and the 'wall-bound' phenolics. It also discusses the emerging biotechnological applications in manipulating hydroxycinnamates to improve the degradability of the cell wall biomass and enhance the production of valuable chemicals and biomaterials.

  2. Microfluidic Glycosyl Hydrolase Screening for Biomass-to-Biofuel Conversion

    E-print Network

    Singh, Anup

    Microfluidic Glycosyl Hydrolase Screening for Biomass-to-Biofuel Conversion Rajiv Bharadwaj such as cellulases and hemicellulases is a limiting and costly step in the conversion of biomass to biofuels. Lignocellulosic (LC) biomass is an abundant and potentially carbon-neutral resource for production of biofuels

  3. Vermont Biofuels Initiative: Local Production for Local Use to Supply a Portion of Vermont�s Energy Needs

    SciTech Connect

    Scott Sawyer; Ellen Kahler

    2009-05-31

    The Vermont Biofuels initiative (VBI) is the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund�s (VSJF) biomass-to-biofuels market development program. Vermont is a small state with a large petroleum dependency for transportation (18th in per capita petroleum consumption) and home heating (55% of all households use petroleum for heating). The VBI marks the first strategic effort to reduce Vermont�s dependency on petroleum through the development of homegrown alternatives. As such, it supports the four key priorities of the U.S. Department of Energy�s Multi-year Biomass Plan: 1.) Dramatically reduce dependence on foreign oil; 2.) Promote the use of diverse, domestic and sustainable energy resources; 3.) Reduce carbon emissions from energy production and consumption; 4.) Establish a domestic bioindustry. In 2005 VSJF was awarded with a $496,000 Congressionally directed award from U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy. This award was administered through the U.S. Department of Energy (DE-FG36- 05GO85017, hereafter referred to as DOE FY05) with $396,000 to be used by VSJF for biodiesel development and $100,000 to be used by the Vermont Department of Public Service for methane biodigester projects. The intent and strategic focus of the VBI is similar to another DOE funded organization� the Biofuels Center of North Carolina�in that it is a nonprofit driven, statewide biofuels market development effort. DOE FY05 funds were expensed from 2006 through 2008 for seven projects: 1) a feedstock production, logistics, and biomass conversion research project conducted by the University of Vermont Extension; 2) technical assistance in the form of a safety review and engineering study of State Line Biofuels existing biodiesel production facility; 3) technical assistance in the form of a safety review and engineering study of Borderview Farm�s proposed biodiesel production facility; 4) technology and infrastructure purchases for capacity expansion at Green Technologies, LLC, a waste vegetable biodiesel producer; 5) technical assistance in the form of feasibility studies for AgNorth Biopower LLC�s proposed multi-feedstock biodigester; 6) technology and infrastructure purchases for the construction of a �Cow Power� biodigester at Gervais Family Farm; and 7) the education and outreach activities of the Vermont Biofuels Association. DOE FY05 funded research, technical assistance, and education and outreach activities have helped to provide Vermont farmers and entrepreneurs with important feedstock production, feedstock logistics, and biomass conversion information that did not exist prior as we work to develop an instate biodiesel sector. The efficacy of producing oilseed crops in New England is now established: Oilseed crops can grow well in Vermont, and good yields are achievable given improved harvesting equipment and techniques. DOE FY05 funds used for technology and infrastructure development have expanded Vermont�s pool of renewable electricity and liquid fuel generation. It is now clear that on-farm energy production provides an opportunity for Vermont farmers and entrepreneurs to reduce on-farm expenditures of feed and fuel while providing for their energy security. Meanwhile they are developing new value-added revenue sources (e.g., locally produced livestock meal), retaining more dollars in the local economy, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

  4. Biofuels and Fisheries: Risks and Opportunities .

    EPA Science Inventory

    A rapidly developing biofuels industry in the U.S. and around the globe poses novel environmental challenges and opportunities, with implications for teh health and sustainability of fisheries. Changes in land uses and agricultural practices for production of biofuel feedstocks ...

  5. Microalgae digestate effluent as a growth medium for Tetraselmis sp. in the production of biofuels.

    PubMed

    Erkelens, Mason; Ward, Andrew J; Ball, Andrew S; Lewis, David M

    2014-09-01

    This study investigated an alternative nutrient source arising from anaerobically digested Tetraselmis sp. effluent (MDE) as a nutrient feed stock to form a closed loop nutrient system. To determine MDE suitability the following factors were observed: growth, lipid content, and the bacterial diversity. MDE was diluted according to the concentration of NH4(+) content (20, 40, 60, 80 mg/L) and compared against F/2 medium a standard medium for Tetraselmis sp. The growth rate on the MDE medium was not as rapid as the F/2 medium and the less diluted MDE correlated (R(2)) with lower total lipid contents (R(2), 0.927), additionally acyl carrier proteins (ACP) gene expression rates displayed lower gene expression within MDE treatments. Lastly, higher concentrations of MDE were correlated with a higher bacterial diversity throughout the investigation. The suitability of MDE as a nutrient supplement for the production of Tetraselmis sp. biomass and lipid is feasible. PMID:24971948

  6. Accelerated hydrolysis of substituted cellulose for potential biofuel production: kinetic study and modeling.

    PubMed

    Mu, Bingnan; Xu, Helan; Yang, Yiqi

    2015-11-01

    In this work, kinetics of substitution accelerated cellulose hydrolysis with multiple reaction stages was investigated to lay foundation for mechanism study and molecular design of substituting compounds. High-efficiency hydrolysis of cellulose is critical for cellulose-based bioethanol production. It is known that, substitution could substantially decrease activation energy and increase reaction rate of acidic hydrolysis of glycosidic bonds in cellulose. However, reaction kinetics and mechanism of the accelerated hydrolysis were not fully revealed. In this research, it was proved that substitution therefore accelerated hydrolysis only occurred in amorphous regions of cellulose fibers, and was a process with multiple reaction stages. With molar ratio of substitution less than 1%, the overall hydrolysis rate could be increased for around 10 times. We also quantified the relationship between the hydrolysis rate of individual reaction stage and its major influences, including molar ratio of substitution, activation energy of acidic hydrolysis, pH and temperature. PMID:26253917

  7. Consolidated Bio-Processing of Cellulosic Biomass for Efficient Biofuel Production Using Yeast Consortium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goyal, Garima

    Fossil fuels have been the major source for liquid transportation fuels for ages. However, decline in oil reserves and environmental concerns have raised a lot of interest in alternative and renewable energy sources. One promising alternative is the conversion of plant biomass into ethanol. The primary biomass feed stocks currently being used for the ethanol industry have been food based biomass (corn and sugar cane). However, interest has recently shifted to replace these traditional feed-stocks with more abundant, non-food based cellulosic biomass such as agriculture wastes (corn stover) or crops (switch grass). The use of cellulosic biomass as feed stock for the production of ethanol via bio-chemical routes presents many technical challenges not faced with the use of corn or sugar-cane as feed-stock. Recently, a new process called consolidated Bio-processing (CBP) has been proposed. This process combines simultaneous saccharification of lignocellulose with fermentation of the resulting sugars into a single process step mediated by a single microorganism or microbial consortium. Although there is no natural microorganism that possesses all properties of lignocellulose utilization and ethanol production desired for CBP, some bacteria and fungi exhibit some of the essential traits. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the most attractive host organism for the usage of this strategy due to its high ethanol productivity at close to theoretical yields (0.51g ethanol/g glucose consumed), high osmo- and ethanol- tolerance, natural robustness in industrial processes, and ease of genetic manipulation. Introduction of the cellulosome, found naturally in microorganisms, has shown new directions to deal with recalcitrant biomass. In this case enzymes work in synergy in order to hydrolyze biomass more effectively than in case of free enzymes. A microbial consortium has been successfully developed, which ensures the functional assembly of minicellulosome on the yeast surface composed of four yeast populations. These yeast populations include: one displaying scaffoldin on its surface and three populations secreting three different cellulases in the medium to hydrolyze the cellulose. The modular nature of the consortium system allows for the fine-tuning of each population by changing their initial inoculum ratio, thereby optimizing the cellulose hydrolysis and hence ethanol production. When comparing the optimized consortium with equal ratio consortium, the optimized one produced almost double the amount of ethanol (1.87 g/l) with a yield of 0.475 g ethanol/g cellulose. To further evaluate the feasibility of using consortium for CBP, it was grown at very low optical density (OD) under anaerobic conditions. Under stressful conditions like low OD and no oxygen, the consortium system was proficient in assembling the cellulosome on its surface and growing on the PAS-avicel as sole carbon source and concomitantly producing ethanol with a yield of 87% of the theoretical value. For the dynamic study of yeast consortium system, quantitative real time PCR was used to enumerate the individual yeast population in the mixed culture. At the end of the cultivation, ratios of each population in this consortium maintained similar number as the initial inoculums ratios, which further confirms the consortium system is suitable for the application of CBP.

  8. Quantum cascade laser photoacoustic detection of nitrous oxide released from soils for biofuel production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Couto, F. M.; Sthel, M. S.; Castro, M. P. P.; da Silva, M. G.; Rocha, M. V.; Tavares, J. R.; Veiga, C. F. M.; Vargas, H.

    2014-12-01

    In order to investigate the generation of greenhouse gases in sugarcane ethanol production chain, a comparative study of N2O emission in artificially fertilized soils and soils free from fertilizers was carried out. Photoacoustic spectroscopy using quantum cascade laser with an emission ranging from 7.71 to 7.88 µm and differential photoacoustic cell were applied to detect nitrous oxide (N2O), an important greenhouse gas emitted from soils cultivated with sugar cane. Owing to calibrate the experimental setup, an initial N2O concentration was diluted with pure nitrogen and detection limit of 50 ppbv was achieved. The proposed methodology was selective and sensitive enough to detect N2O from no fertilized and artificially fertilized soils. The measured N2O concentration ranged from ppmv to ppbv.

  9. Techno-economic analysis of advanced biofuel production based on bio-oil gasification.

    PubMed

    Li, Qi; Zhang, Yanan; Hu, Guiping

    2015-09-01

    This paper evaluates the economic feasibility of an integrated production pathway combining fast pyrolysis and bio-oil gasification. The conversion process is simulated with Aspen Plus® for a 2000 metric ton per day facility. Techno-economic analysis of this integrated pathway has been conducted. A total capital investment of $510 million has been estimated and the minimum fuel selling price (MSP) is $5.59 per gallon of gasoline equivalent. The sensitivity analysis shows that the MSP is most sensitive to internal rate of return, fuel yield, biomass feedstock cost, and fixed capital investment. Monte-Carlo simulation shows that MSP for bio-oil gasification would be more than $6/gal with a probability of 0.24, which indicates this pathway is still at high risk with current economic and technical situation. PMID:25983227

  10. Biofuel vs. Biodiversity? Integrated Emergy and Economic Cost-Benefit Evaluation of Rice-Ethanol Production in Japan

    EPA Science Inventory

    Energy analysis results confirmed that abandoned rice fields provide a good opportunity for Japan to fulfill its E-3 target by producing ethanol from high-yield rice feedstock. However, to be a viable alternative, a biofuel should not only provide a net energy gain and reduce the...

  11. Characterization of Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum, an algal parasite new to the cryptomycota isolated from an outdoor algal pond used for the production of biofuel.

    PubMed

    Letcher, Peter M; Lopez, Salvador; Schmieder, Robert; Lee, Philip A; Behnke, Craig; Powell, Martha J; McBride, Robert C

    2013-01-01

    Mass culture of algae for the production of biofuels is a developing technology designed to offset the depletion of fossil fuel reserves. However, large scale culture of algae in open ponds can be challenging because of incidences of infestation with algal parasites. Without knowledge of the identity of the specific parasite and how to control these pests, algal-based biofuel production will be limited. We have characterized a eukaryotic parasite of Scenedesmus dimorphus growing in outdoor ponds used for biofuel production. We demonstrated that as the genomic DNA of parasite FD01 increases, the concentration of S. dimorphus cells decreases; consequently, this is a highly destructive pathogen. Techniques for culture of the parasite and host were developed, and the endoparasite was identified as the Aphelidea, Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum. Phylogenetic analysis of ribosomal sequences revealed that parasite FD01 placed within the recently described Cryptomycota, a poorly known phylum based on two species of Rozella and environmental samples. Transmission electron microscopy demonstrated that aplanospores of the parasite produced filose pseudopodia, which contained fine fibers the diameter of actin microfilaments. Multiple lipid globules clustered and were associated with microbodies, mitochondria and a membrane cisternae, an arrangement characteristic of the microbody-lipid globule complex of chytrid zoospores. After encystment and attachment to the host cells, the parasite injected its protoplast into the host between the host cell wall and plasma membrane. At maturity the unwalled parasite occupied the entire host cell. After cleavage of the protoplast into aplanospores, a vacuole and lipids remained in the host cell. Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum isolate FD01 is characteristic of the original description of this species and is different from strain X-5 recently characterized. Our results help put a face on the Cryptomycota, revealing that the phylum is more diverse than previously understood and include some of the Aphelidea as well as Rozella species and potentially Microsporidia. PMID:23437098

  12. A process economic assessment of hydrocarbon biofuels production using chemoautotrophic organisms

    SciTech Connect

    Khan, NE; Myers, JA; Tuerk, AL; Curtis, WR

    2014-11-01

    Economic analysis of an ARPA-e Electrofuels (http://arpa-e.energy.gov/?q=arpa-e-programs/electrofuels) process is presented, utilizing metabolically engineered Rhodobacter capsulatus or Ralstonia eutropha to produce the C30+ hydrocarbon fuel, botryococcene, from hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and oxygen. The analysis is based on an Aspen plus (R) bioreactor model taking into account experimentally determined Rba. capsulatus and Rls. eutropha growth and maintenance requirements, reactor residence time, correlations for gas-liquid mass-transfer coefficient, gas composition, and specific cellular fuel productivity. Based on reactor simulation results encompassing technically relevant parameter ranges, the capital and operating costs of the process were estimated for 5000 bbl-fuel/day plant and used to predict fuel cost. Under the assumptions used in this analysis and crude oil prices, the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) required for economic feasibility must be less than 2(sic)/kWh. While not feasible under current market prices and costs, this work identifies key variables impacting process cost and discusses potential alternative paths toward economic feasibility. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Subcritical hydrothermal pretreatment of olive mill solid waste for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Abu Tayeh, Hiba; Levy-Shalev, Odelia; Azaizeh, Hassan; Dosoretz, Carlos G

    2016-01-01

    The hydrothermal pretreatment of olive mill solid waste amended with 0.6M organic acids was studied at temperatures between 100 and 170°C. Acetic and formic acids which are endogenous intermediates of hemiacetyl splitting at subcritical conditions were tested. Formic acid, with smaller molecular size and lower pKa, was found to be more effective than acetic in the entire range of temperatures tested. Yield of enzymatic hydrolysis was significantly enhanced (>2 folds) at temperatures above 140°C. Concentration of aldehyde byproducts in the medium increased with temperature and pressure and addition of organic acids, however, the highest concentration detected (ca 1g/L) did not surpass values reported as inhibitory of sugars fermentation to ethanol by either yeast or bacteria. Aldehyde production was more affected by temperature than by acid addition. Concluding, addition of formic acid to hydrothermal pretreatment at relatively mild temperatures (140-170°C) and pressure (10-13atm) improved saccharification yield while saving energy. PMID:26362463

  14. A process economic assessment of hydrocarbon biofuels production using chemoautotrophic organisms.

    PubMed

    Khan, Nymul E; Myers, John A; Tuerk, Amalie L; Curtis, Wayne R

    2014-11-01

    Economic analysis of an ARPA-e Electrofuels (http://arpa-e.energy.gov/?q=arpa-e-programs/electrofuels) process is presented, utilizing metabolically engineered Rhodobacter capsulatus or Ralstonia eutropha to produce the C30+ hydrocarbon fuel, botryococcene, from hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and oxygen. The analysis is based on an Aspen plus® bioreactor model taking into account experimentally determined Rba. capsulatus and Rls. eutropha growth and maintenance requirements, reactor residence time, correlations for gas-liquid mass-transfer coefficient, gas composition, and specific cellular fuel productivity. Based on reactor simulation results encompassing technically relevant parameter ranges, the capital and operating costs of the process were estimated for 5000 bbl-fuel/day plant and used to predict fuel cost. Under the assumptions used in this analysis and crude oil prices, the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) required for economic feasibility must be less than 2˘/kWh. While not feasible under current market prices and costs, this work identifies key variables impacting process cost and discusses potential alternative paths toward economic feasibility. PMID:25262429

  15. Anaerobic gut fungi: Advances in isolation, culture, and cellulolytic enzyme discovery for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Haitjema, Charles H; Solomon, Kevin V; Henske, John K; Theodorou, Michael K; O'Malley, Michelle A

    2014-08-01

    Anaerobic gut fungi are an early branching family of fungi that are commonly found in the digestive tract of ruminants and monogastric herbivores. It is becoming increasingly clear that they are the primary colonizers of ingested plant biomass, and that they significantly contribute to the decomposition of plant biomass into fermentable sugars. As such, anaerobic fungi harbor a rich reservoir of undiscovered cellulolytic enzymes and enzyme complexes that can potentially transform the conversion of lignocellulose into bioenergy products. Despite their unique evolutionary history and cellulolytic activity, few species have been isolated and studied in great detail. As a result, their life cycle, cellular physiology, genetics, and cellulolytic metabolism remain poorly understood compared to aerobic fungi. To help address this limitation, this review briefly summarizes the current body of knowledge pertaining to anaerobic fungal biology, and describes progress made in the isolation, cultivation, molecular characterization, and long-term preservation of these microbes. We also discuss recent cellulase- and cellulosome-discovery efforts from gut fungi, and how these interesting, non-model microbes could be further adapted for biotechnology applications. PMID:24788404

  16. Global Economic Effects of USA Biofuel Policy and the Potential Contribution from Advanced Biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Gbadebo Oladosu; Keith Kline; Paul Leiby; Rocio Uria-Martinez; Maggie Davis; Mark Downing; Laurence Eaton

    2012-01-01

    This study evaluates the global economic effects of the USA renewable fuel standards (RFS2), and the potential contribution from advanced biofuels. Our simulation results imply that these mandates lead to an increase of 0.21 percent in the global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022, including an increase of 0.8 percent in the USA and 0.02 percent in the rest of the world (ROW); relative to our baseline, no-RFS scenario. The incremental contributions to GDP from advanced biofuels in 2022 are estimated at 0.41 percent and 0.04 percent in the USA and ROW, respectively. Although production costs of advanced biofuels are higher than for conventional biofuels in our model, their economic benefits result from reductions in oil use, and their smaller impacts on food markets compared with conventional biofuels. Thus, the USA advanced biofuels targets are expected to have positive economic benefits.

  17. World crop residues production and implications of its use as a biofuel.

    PubMed

    Lal, R

    2005-05-01

    Reducing and off-setting anthropogenic emissions of CO(2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) are important strategies of mitigating the greenhouse effect. Thus, the need for developing carbon (C) neutral and renewable sources of energy is more than ever before. Use of crop residue as a possible source of feedstock for bioenergy production must be critically and objectively assessed because of its positive impact on soil C sequestration, soil quality maintenance and ecosystem functions. The amount of crop residue produced in the US is estimated at 367x10(6) Mg/year for 9 cereal crops, 450x10(6) Mg/year for 14 cereals and legumes, and 488x10(6) Mg/year for 21 crops. The amount of crop residue produced in the world is estimated at 2802x10(6) Mg/year for cereal crops, 3107x10(6) Mg/year for 17 cereals and legumes, and 3758x10(6) Mg/year for 27 food crops. The fuel value of the total annual residue produced is estimated at 1.5x10(15) kcal, about 1 billion barrels (bbl) of diesel equivalent, or about 8 quads for the US; and 11.3x10(15) kcal, about 7.5 billion bbl of diesel or 60 quads for the world. However, even a partial removal (30-40%) of crop residue from land can exacerbate soil erosion hazard, deplete the SOC pool, accentuate emission of CO(2) and other GHGs from soil to the atmosphere, and exacerbate the risks of global climate change. Therefore, establishing bioenergy plantations of site-specific species with potential of producing 10-15 Mg biomass/year is an option that needs to be considered. This option will require 40-60 million hectares of land in the US and about 250 million hectares worldwide to establish bioenergy plantations. PMID:15788197

  18. 17 CFR 41.23 - Listing of security futures products for trading.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 17 Commodity and Securities Exchanges 1 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Listing of security futures products for trading. 41.23 Section 41.23 Commodity and Securities Exchanges COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION SECURITY FUTURES PRODUCTS Requirements and Standards for Listing Security Futures Products §...

  19. 17 CFR 41.23 - Listing of security futures products for trading.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 17 Commodity and Securities Exchanges 1 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Listing of security futures products for trading. 41.23 Section 41.23 Commodity and Securities Exchanges COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION SECURITY FUTURES PRODUCTS Requirements and Standards for Listing Security Futures Products §...

  20. 17 CFR 41.23 - Listing of security futures products for trading.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 17 Commodity and Securities Exchanges 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Listing of security futures products for trading. 41.23 Section 41.23 Commodity and Securities Exchanges COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION SECURITY FUTURES PRODUCTS Requirements and Standards for Listing Security Futures Products §...

  1. 17 CFR 41.23 - Listing of security futures products for trading.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 17 Commodity and Securities Exchanges 1 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Listing of security futures products for trading. 41.23 Section 41.23 Commodity and Securities Exchanges COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION SECURITY FUTURES PRODUCTS Requirements and Standards for Listing Security Futures Products §...

  2. Fuel-mix, fuel efficiency, and transport demand affect prospects for biofuels in northern Europe.

    PubMed

    Bright, Ryan M; Strřmman, Anders Hammer

    2010-04-01

    Rising greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the road transport sector represents a difficult mitigation challenge due to a multitude of intricate factors, namely the dependency on liquid energy carriers and infrastructure lock-in. For this reason, low-carbon renewable energy carriers, particularly second generation biofuels, are often seen as a prominent candidate for realizing reduced emissions and lowered oil dependency over the medium- and long-term horizons. However, the overarching question is whether advanced biofuels can be an environmentally effective mitigation strategy in the face of increasing consumption and resource constraints. Here we develop both biofuel production and road transport consumption scenarios for northern Europe-a region with a vast surplus of forest bioenergy resources-to assess the potential role that forest-based biofuels may play over the medium- and long-term time horizons using an environmentally extended, multiregion input-output model. Through scenarios, we explore how evolving vehicle technologies and consumption patterns will affect the mitigation opportunities afforded by any future supply of forest biofuels. We find that in a scenario involving ambitious biofuel targets, the size of the GHG mitigation wedge attributed to the market supply of biofuels is severely reduced under business-as-usual growth in consumption in the road transport sector. Our results indicate that climate policies targeting the road transport sector which give high emphases to reducing demand (volume), accelerating the deployment of more fuel-efficient vehicles, and promoting altered consumption patterns (structure) can be significantly more effective than those with single emphasis on expanded biofuel supply. PMID:20163088

  3. Biofuels from Microalgae and Seaweeds

    SciTech Connect

    Huesemann, Michael H.; Roesijadi, Guritno; Benemann, John; Metting, F. Blaine

    2010-03-01

    8.1 Introduction: Seaweeds and microalgae have a long history of cultivation as sources of commercial products (McHugh 2003; Pulz and Gross 2004). They also have been the subject of extensive investigations related to their potential as fuel source since the 1970s (Chynoweth 2002). As energy costs rise, these photosynthetic organisms are again a focus of interest as potential sources of biofuels, particularly liquid transportation fuels. There have been many recent private sector investments to develop biofuels from microalgae, in part building on a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) program from 1976 to 1996 which focused on microalgal oil production (Sheehan et al. 1998). Seaweed cultivation has received relatively little attention as a biofuel source in the US, but was the subject of a major research effort by the DOE from 1978 to 1983 (Bird and Benson 1987), and is now the focus of significant interest in Japan, Europe and Korea...

  4. Biofuel Supply Chain Infrastructure Optimizing the Evolution of Cellulosic Biofuel

    E-print Network

    Pennycook, Steve

    Biofuel Supply Chain Infrastructure Optimizing the Evolution of Cellulosic Biofuel leveraged the long-established corn processing infrastructure. Cellulosic-based advanced biofuel has is being integrated into a national economic model of biofuel sustainability. Point of Contact: Michael R

  5. Will Biofuel Expansion Mitigate Climate Change?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lobell, D.; Campbell, E.; Field, C.

    2007-12-01

    For biofuels to displace a substantial fraction of fossil fuel consumption, production will have to be scaled up at least an order of magnitude over current levels. The net effect of this expansion on climate will depend not only on the energy inputs and outputs of biofuel production, but also on the climate effects of land-use changes associated with the expansion. We distinguish three types of biofuel related land-cover conversions ­ (1) food crop to biofuels, (2) forest to biofuels, and (3) marginal grassland to biofuels ­ and discuss the potential production and net climate impact for each. We argue that the first two of these may contribute to energy supply but are unlikely to produce significant climate benefits over first 50 years of production, with only marginal lands offering a climate benefit. Using historical land-use datasets to define the current extent of marginal or degraded grasslands, and maps of native net primary production and food crop yield trends to estimate their potential yields, we estimate that ~1 Pg C per year can be attained on these lands, which would provide just 3% of current global energy needs. In addition, we discuss other societal and ecosystem impacts of biofuel expansion, and how these impacts compare to those projected for climate change itself.

  6. Effects of different media composition, light intensity and photoperiod on morphology and physiology of freshwater microalgae Ankistrodesmus falcatus--a potential strain for bio-fuel production.

    PubMed

    George, Basil; Pancha, Imran; Desai, Chahana; Chokshi, Kaumeel; Paliwal, Chetan; Ghosh, Tonmoy; Mishra, Sandhya

    2014-11-01

    Media composition, light intensity and photoperiod significantly affect the algal growth and productivity and their optimization is important for the commercialization of microalgae based biofuels. In the present study, effects of different culture medium, light intensity and photoperiod were studied on growth, biomass productivity, and biochemical composition of a fresh water microalgae Ankistrodesmus falcatus in batch culture. The results revealed that A. falcatus could yield more than 35% of total lipid (containing around 65.74% neutral lipid) along with optimal growth (0.20 ?) and biomass productivity (7.9 mg/L/day) in the BG-11 medium under a light intensity of 60 ?mol m(-2) s(-1) and 12:12 (Light: Dark) cycle. The highest total lipid yield of 67.2% (containing 72.68% of neutral lipid) was observed in Zarrouk's medium grown culture but with altered cell morphology and ultra-structural changes. PMID:25218209

  7. Forces Shaping Future U.S. Coal Production and Use

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Attanasi, Emil D.; Pierce, Brenda S.

    2001-01-01

    More than half of the electricity in the United States is generated by coal-fired powerplants. U.S. coal producers sell almost 90 percent of their product for electricity generation, and so, the future of the U.S. coal industry will be determined by the future of coal-fired electricity-generation plants. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is completing a National Coal Resource Assessment (NCRA) of five major coal-producing regions of the United States (fig. 1): (1) the Appalachian Basin, (2) the Illinois Basin, (3) the Gulf Coast, (4) the Colorado Plateau, and (5) the Northern Rocky Mountains and Great Plains. The Powder River and Williston Basins are the principal producing areas of the Northern Rocky Mountains and Great Plains region.

  8. Harnessing indigenous plant seed oil for the production of bio-fuel by an oleaginous fungus, Cunninghamella blakesleeana- JSK2, isolated from tropical soil.

    PubMed

    Sukrutha, S K; Janakiraman, Savitha

    2014-01-01

    Cunninghamella blakesleeana- JSK2, a gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) producing tropical fungal isolate, was utilized as a tool to evaluate the influence of various plant seed oils on biomass, oleagenicity and bio-fuel production. The fungus accumulated 26 % total lipid of their dry biomass (2 g/l) and 13 % of GLA in its total fatty acid. Among the various plant seed oils tested as carbon sources for biotransformation studies, watermelon oil had an effect on biomass and total lipid increasing up to 9.24 g/l and 34 % respectively. Sunflower, pumpkin, and onion oil increased GLA content between 15-18 %. Interestingly, an indigenous biodiesel commodity, Pongamia pinnata oil showed tremendous effect on fatty acid profile in C. blakesleeana- JSK2, when used as a sole source of carbon. There was complete inhibition of GLA from 13 to 0 % and increase in oleic acid content, one of the key components of biodiesel to 70 % (from 20 % in control). Our results suggest the potential application of indigenous plant seed oils, particularly P. pinnata oil, for the production of economically valuable bio-fuel in oleaginous fungi in general, and C. blakesleeana- JSK2, in particular. PMID:24142351

  9. Simultaneous nutrient removal, optimised CO2 mitigation and biofuel feedstock production by Chlorogonium sp. grown in secondary treated non-sterile saline sewage effluent.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kwan Yin; Ng, Tsz Wai; Li, Guiying; An, Taicheng; Kwan, Ka Ki; Chan, King Ming; Huang, Guocheng; Yip, Ho Yin; Wong, Po Keung

    2015-10-30

    The phycoremediation process has great potential for effectively addressing environmental pollution. To explore the capabilities of simultaneous algal nutrient removal, CO2 mitigation and biofuel feedstock production from spent water resources, a Chlorogonium sp. isolated from a tilapia pond in Hong Kong was grown in non-sterile saline sewage effluent for a bioremediation study. With high removal efficiencies of NH3-N (88.35±14.39%), NO3(-)-N (85.39±14.96%), TN (93.34±6.47%) and PO4(3-)-P (91.80±17.44%), Chlorogonium sp. achieved a CO2 consumption rate of 58.96 mg L(-1) d(-1), which was optimised by the response surface methodology. Under optimised conditions, the lipid content of the algal biomass reached 24.26±2.67%. Overall, the isolated Chlorogonium sp. showed promising potential in the simultaneous purification of saline sewage effluent in terms of tertiary treatment and CO2 sequestration while delivering feedstock for potential biofuel production in a waste-recycling manner. PMID:25967099

  10. Production of glycerol-free biofuel from canola oil and dimethyl carbonate using triazabicyclodecene in homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Islam, Mohammad Rafiqul

    Due to the increasing awareness of the dwindling fossil fuel resources and environmental issues, biofuel became an alternative renewable fuel to meet the steady increase of energy consumption and environmental demands. This work was designed to produce biofuel free from glycerol, soap, catalyst and wastes from canola oil and dimethyl carbonate (DMC) using an organocatalyst, triazabicyclodecene (TBD). To achieve these goals, several interconnected research activities were undertaken. First, a flow sheet was developed for the process and operating criteria were identified by laboratory experimentation verified with Aspen Plus. Mass and energy integration studies were performed to minimize the consumption of materials and energy utilities. Next, kinetics of canola oil transesterification using TBD as homogeneous catalyst in dimethyl carbonate has been investigated and a model was developed. Kinetics data were vital in process assessment and kinetics model was essential in the study of chemical reaction and catalyst development. Finally, a heterogeneous catalyst was developed for use as a biofuel catalyst through the immobilization of TBD into MgAl layered double hydroxides (LDHs) which can combine the advantages of homogeneous catalysis with the best properties of heterogeneous materials.

  11. Unintended consequences of biofuels production?The effects of large-scale crop conversion on water quality and quantity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Welch, Heather L.; Green, Christopher T.; Rebich, Richard A.; Barlow, Jeannie R.B.; Hicks, Matthew B.

    2010-01-01

    In the search for renewable fuel alternatives, biofuels have gained strong political momentum. In the last decade, extensive mandates, policies, and subsidies have been adopted to foster the development of a biofuels industry in the United States. The Biofuels Initiative in the Mississippi Delta resulted in a 47-percent decrease in cotton acreage with a concurrent 288-percent increase in corn acreage in 2007. Because corn uses 80 percent more water for irrigation than cotton, and more nitrogen fertilizer is recommended for corn cultivation than for cotton, this widespread shift in crop type has implications for water quantity and water quality in the Delta. Increased water use for corn is accelerating water-level declines in the Mississippi River Valley alluvial aquifer at a time when conservation is being encouraged because of concerns about sustainability of the groundwater resource. Results from a mathematical model calibrated to existing conditions in the Delta indicate that increased fertilizer application on corn also likely will increase the extent of nitrate-nitrogen movement into the alluvial aquifer. Preliminary estimates based on surface-water modeling results indicate that higher application rates of nitrogen increase the nitrogen exported from the Yazoo River Basin to the Mississippi River by about 7 percent. Thus, the shift from cotton to corn may further contribute to hypoxic (low dissolved oxygen) conditions in the Gulf of Mexico.

  12. Insect Science (2010) 17, 117, DOI 10.1111/j.1744-7917.2009.01310.x Arthropods and biofuel production systems in North America

    E-print Network

    Landis, Doug

    2010-01-01

    Insect Science (2010) 17, 1­17, DOI 10.1111/j.1744-7917.2009.01310.x REVIEW Arthropods and biofuel 000 ha of US crop and forest lands to meet federally-mandated targets for renewable biofuels that inhabit them. We review the literature on dedicated biofuel crops and biomass harvest from forests to look

  13. [Model-based biofuels system analysis: a review].

    PubMed

    Chang, Shiyan; Zhang, Xiliang; Zhao, Lili; Ou, Xunmin

    2011-03-01

    Model-based system analysis is an important tool for evaluating the potential and impacts of biofuels, and for drafting biofuels technology roadmaps and targets. The broad reach of the biofuels supply chain requires that biofuels system analyses span a range of disciplines, including agriculture/forestry, energy, economics, and the environment. Here we reviewed various models developed for or applied to modeling biofuels, and presented a critical analysis of Agriculture/Forestry System Models, Energy System Models, Integrated Assessment Models, Micro-level Cost, Energy and Emission Calculation Models, and Specific Macro-level Biofuel Models. We focused on the models' strengths, weaknesses, and applicability, facilitating the selection of a suitable type of model for specific issues. Such an analysis was a prerequisite for future biofuels system modeling, and represented a valuable resource for researchers and policy makers. PMID:21650034

  14. CONNECTICUT BIOFUELS TECHNOLOGY PROJECT

    SciTech Connect

    BARTONE, ERIK

    2010-09-28

    DBS Energy Inc. (“DBS”) intends on using the Connecticut Biofuels Technology Project for the purpose of developing a small-scale electric generating systems that are located on a distributed basis and utilize biodiesel as its principle fuel source. This project will include research and analysis on the quality and applied use of biodiesel for use in electricity production, 2) develop dispatch center for testing and analysis of the reliability of dispatching remote generators operating on a blend of biodiesel and traditional fossil fuels, and 3) analysis and engineering research on fuel storage options for biodiesel of fuels for electric generation.

  15. Isolation, Preliminary Characterization and Preliminary Assessment of Scale-Up Potential of Photosynthetic Microalgae for the Production of Both Biofuels and Bio-Active Molecules in the U.S. and Canada: Cooperative Research and Development Final Report, CRADA Number CRD-10-372

    SciTech Connect

    Pienkos, P.

    2012-09-01

    Combustion flue gases are a major contributor to carbon dioxide emissions into the Earth's atmosphere, a factor that has been linked to the possible global climate change. It is, therefore, critical to begin thinking seriously about ways to reduce this influx into the atmosphere. Using carbon dioxide from fossil fuel combustion as a feedstock for the growth, photosynthetic microorganisms can provide a large sink for carbon assimilation as well as a feedstock for the production of significant levels of biofuels. Combining microalgal farming with fossil fuel energy production has great potential to diminish carbon dioxide releases into the atmosphere, as well as contribute to the production of biofuels (e.g., biodiesel, renewable diesel and gasoline and jet fuel) as well as valuable co-products such as animal feeds and green chemicals. CO2 capture may be a regulatory requirement in future new coal or natural gas power plants and will almost certainly become an opportunity for commerce, the results of such studies may provide industries in the US and Canada with both regulatory relief and business opportunities as well as the ability to meet environmental and regulatory requirements, and to produce large volumes of fuels and co-products.

  16. 17 CFR 41.27 - Prohibition of dual trading in security futures products by floor brokers.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ...engage in dual trading in a security futures product on a designated contract...participants with a time or place advantage or the ability to override a predetermined...algorithm from trading a security futures product for accounts in which...

  17. 17 CFR 41.27 - Prohibition of dual trading in security futures products by floor brokers.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ...engage in dual trading in a security futures product on a designated contract...participants with a time or place advantage or the ability to override a predetermined...algorithm from trading a security futures product for accounts in which...

  18. Non-structural carbohydrate partitioning in grass stems: a target to increase yield stability, stress tolerance, and biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Slewinski, Thomas L

    2012-08-01

    A dramatic change in agricultural crops is needed in order to keep pace with the demands of an increasing human population, exponential need for renewable fuels, and uncertain climatic changes. Grasses make up the vast majority of agricultural commodities. How these grasses capture, transport, and store carbohydrates underpins all aspects of crop productivity. Sink-source dynamics within the plant direct how much, where, and when carbohydrates are allocated, as well as determine the harvestable tissue. Carbohydrate partitioning can limit the yield capacity of these plants, thus offering a potential target for crop improvement. Grasses have the ability to buffer this sink-source interaction by transiently storing carbohydrates in stem tissue when production from the source is greater than whole-plant demand. These reserves improve yield stability in grain crops by providing an alternative source when photosynthetic capacity is reduced during the later phases of grain filling, or during periods of environmental and biotic stresses. Domesticated grasses such as sugarcane and sweet sorghum have undergone selection for high accumulation of stem carbohydrates, which serve as the primary sources of sugars for human and animal consumption, as well as ethanol production for fuel. With the enormous expectations placed on agricultural production in the near future, research into carbohydrate partitioning in grasses is essential for maintaining and increasing yields in grass crops. This review highlights the current knowledge of non-structural carbohydrate dynamics in grass stems and discusses the impacts of stem reserves in essential agronomic grasses. PMID:22732107

  19. Viability Studies of Biofuels Though biofuels (like ethanol) promise renewable "green" energy, these

    E-print Network

    Hill, Wendell T.

    the complicated economics of biofuels. Pat Kangas examines how algae --a by-product of existing waste treatment that clarify the costs and benefits of growing plants for biofuel. William Kenworthy engineers plants Fuel from Waste-water Algae Pat Kangas investigates how the algae used to treat waste water can

  20. Privileged Biofuels, Marginalized Indigenous Peoples: The Coevolution of Biofuels Development in the Tropics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Montefrio, Marvin Joseph F.

    2012-01-01

    Biofuels development has assumed an important role in integrating Indigenous peoples and other marginalized populations in the production of biofuels for global consumption. By combining the theories of commoditization and the environmental sociology of networks and flows, the author analyzed emerging trends and possible changes in institutions…