Science.gov

Sample records for advanced biofuel producer

  1. 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

    ... Payments to Eligible Advanced Biofuel Producers AGENCY: Rural Business-Cooperative Service and Rural... availability of up to $25 million to make payments to advanced biofuel producers for the production of eligible... participating in the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program for Fiscal Year 2012 were accepted from October 1,...

  2. 75 FR 50986 - Notice of Contract Proposal (NOCP) for Payments to Eligible Advanced Biofuel Producers

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-18

    ... Biofuel Producers AGENCY: Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice to accept applications from previously excluded advanced biofuel producers and to modify the award methodology for remaining... funds under the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program. The March 12, 2010 Notice of Contract Proposal...

  3. 76 FR 13345 - Notice of Contract Proposal (NOCP) for Payments to Eligible Advanced Biofuel Producers

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-03-11

    ... Payments to Eligible Advanced Biofuel Producers AGENCY: Rural Business-Cooperative Service and Rural... enter into Contracts to make payments to eligible advanced biofuel producers under the Bioenergy Program... starch, in a biofuel facility located in a State. The Notice announces the availability of up to...

  4. 75 FR 24865 - Notice of Contract Proposal (NOCP) for Payments to Eligible Advanced Biofuel Producers

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-05-06

    ... this Notice. Advanced biofuel. Fuel derived from Renewable Biomass, other than corn kernel starch, to... starch (other than Ethanol derived from corn kernel starch); (iii) Biofuel derived from waste material... payments. Eligible renewable biomass. Renewable Biomass excluding corn kernel starch. Eligible...

  5. Advanced biofuel production in microbes.

    PubMed

    Peralta-Yahya, Pamela P; Keasling, Jay D

    2010-02-01

    The cost-effective production of biofuels from renewable materials will begin to address energy security and climate change concerns. Ethanol, naturally produced by microorganisms, is currently the major biofuel in the transportation sector. However, its low energy content and incompatibility with existing fuel distribution and storage infrastructure limits its economic use in the future. Advanced biofuels, such as long chain alcohols and isoprenoid- and fatty acid-based biofuels, have physical properties that more closely resemble petroleum-derived fuels, and as such are an attractive alternative for the future supplementation or replacement of petroleum-derived fuels. Here, we review recent developments in the engineering of metabolic pathways for the production of known and potential advanced biofuels by microorganisms. We concentrate on the metabolic engineering of genetically tractable organisms such as Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae for the production of these advanced biofuels.

  6. Montana Advanced Biofuels Great Falls Approval

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This November 20, 2015 letter from EPA approves the petition from Montana Advanced Biofuels, LLC, Great Falls facility, regarding ethanol produced through a dry mill process, qualifying under the Clean Air Act for advanced biofuel (D-code 5) and renewable

  7. 75 FR 11836 - Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-12

    ... advanced biofuel produced from October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2009. SUMMARY: RBS is announcing additional payments to advanced biofuel producers determined eligible in Fiscal Year 2009 for the Bioenergy... executed contract, but did not submit a request for payment for the advanced biofuel produced in FY...

  8. 76 FR 24343 - Advanced Biofuel Payment Program; Correction

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-02

    ... Service Rural Utilities Service 7 CFR Part 4288 RIN 0570-AA75 Advanced Biofuel Payment Program; Correction... Advanced Biofuel Payment Program authorized under the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. This... contracts with advanced biofuel producers to pay such producers for the production of eligible...

  9. 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.

  10. Engineering microbes to produce biofuels.

    PubMed

    Wackett, Lawrence P

    2011-06-01

    The current biofuels landscape is chaotic. It is controlled by the rules imposed by economic forces and driven by the necessity of finding new sources of energy, particularly motor fuels. The need is bringing forth great creativity in uncovering new candidate fuel molecules that can be made via metabolic engineering. These next generation fuels include long-chain alcohols, terpenoid hydrocarbons, and diesel-length alkanes. Renewable fuels contain carbon derived from carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is derived directly by a photosynthetic fuel-producing organism(s) or via intermediary biomass polymers that were previously derived from carbon dioxide. To use the latter economically, biomass depolymerization processes must improve and this is a very active area of research. There are competitive approaches with some groups using enzyme based methods and others using chemical catalysts. With the former, feedstock and end-product toxicity loom as major problems. Advances chiefly rest on the ability to manipulate biological systems. Computational and modular construction approaches are key. For example, novel metabolic networks have been constructed to make long-chain alcohols and hydrocarbons that have superior fuel properties over ethanol. A particularly exciting approach is to implement a direct utilization of solar energy to make a usable fuel. A number of approaches use the components of current biological systems, but re-engineer them for more direct, efficient production of fuels.

  11. Engineering biofuel tolerance in non-native producing microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Jin, Hu; Chen, Lei; Wang, Jiangxin; Zhang, Weiwen

    2014-01-01

    Large-scale production of renewable biofuels through microbiological processes has drawn significant attention in recent years, mostly due to the increasing concerns on the petroleum fuel shortages and the environmental consequences of the over-utilization of petroleum-based fuels. In addition to native biofuel-producing microbes that have been employed for biofuel production for decades, recent advances in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology have made it possible to produce biofuels in several non-native biofuel-producing microorganisms. Compared to native producers, these non-native systems carry the advantages of fast growth, simple nutrient requirements, readiness for genetic modifications, and even the capability to assimilate CO2 and solar energy, making them competitive alternative systems to further decrease the biofuel production cost. However, the tolerance of these non-native microorganisms to toxic biofuels is naturally low, which has restricted the potentials of their application for high-efficiency biofuel production. To address the issues, researches have been recently conducted to explore the biofuel tolerance mechanisms and to construct robust high-tolerance strains for non-native biofuel-producing microorganisms. In this review, we critically summarize the recent progress in this area, focusing on three popular non-native biofuel-producing systems, i.e. Escherichia coli, Lactobacillus and photosynthetic cyanobacteria.

  12. Producing biofuels using polyketide synthases

    DOEpatents

    Katz, Leonard; Fortman, Jeffrey L; Keasling, Jay D

    2013-04-16

    The present invention provides for a non-naturally occurring polyketide synthase (PKS) capable of synthesizing a carboxylic acid or a lactone, and a composition such that a carboxylic acid or lactone is included. The carboxylic acid or lactone, or derivative thereof, is useful as a biofuel. The present invention also provides for a recombinant nucleic acid or vector that encodes such a PKS, and host cells which also have such a recombinant nucleic acid or vector. The present invention also provides for a method of producing such carboxylic acids or lactones using such a PKS.

  13. Microbial engineering for the production of advanced biofuels.

    PubMed

    Peralta-Yahya, Pamela P; Zhang, Fuzhong; del Cardayre, Stephen B; Keasling, Jay D

    2012-08-16

    Advanced biofuels produced by microorganisms have similar properties to petroleum-based fuels, and can 'drop in' to the existing transportation infrastructure. However, producing these biofuels in yields high enough to be useful requires the engineering of the microorganism's metabolism. Such engineering is not based on just one specific feedstock or host organism. Data-driven and synthetic-biology approaches can be used to optimize both the host and pathways to maximize fuel production. Despite some success, challenges still need to be met to move advanced biofuels towards commercialization, and to compete with more conventional fuels.

  14. 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).

  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. 78 FR 34975 - Notice of Contract Proposals (NOCP) for the Advanced Biofuels Payment Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-06-11

    ... availability of $98.6 million to make payments to advanced biofuel producers for the production of eligible... Appropriations Act, 2013, Public Law 113-6. DATES: Applications for participating in the Advanced Biofuel Payment... be submitted in accordance with 7 CFR 4288, Subpart B, section 4288.130(d). The Biofuel...

  17. 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.

  18. 76 FR 7935 - Advanced Biofuel Payment Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-02-11

    ... must be produced from renewable biomass, excluding corn kernel starch, in a biofuel facility located in... renewable biomass, excluding corn kernel starch, in a biorefinery located in the United States. On April...

  19. 75 FR 21191 - Subpart B-Advanced Biofuel Payment Program; Correction

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-04-23

    ...--Advanced Biofuel Payment Program; Correction AGENCY: Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA. ACTION... existing advanced biofuel production and to encourage new production of advanced biofuels. As...

  20. Advancing Biofuels: Balancing for Sustainability

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As with most technologies, use of biofuels has both benefits and risks, which vary by feedstock. Expected benefits include increased energy independence, reduced consumption of fossil fuels, reduced emission of greenhouse gases and invigorated rural economies. Anticipated risks include potential com...

  1. Center for Advanced Biofuel Systems (CABS) Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Kutchan, Toni M.

    2015-12-02

    One of the great challenges facing current and future generations is how to meet growing energy demands in an environmentally sustainable manner. Renewable energy sources, including wind, geothermal, solar, hydroelectric, and biofuel energy systems, are rapidly being developed as sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels. Biofuels are particularly attractive to the U.S., given its vast agricultural resources. The first generation of biofuel systems was based on fermentation of sugars to produce ethanol, typically from food crops. Subsequent generations of biofuel systems, including those included in the CABS project, will build upon the experiences learned from those early research results and will have improved production efficiencies, reduced environmental impacts and decreased reliance on food crops. Thermodynamic models predict that the next generations of biofuel systems will yield three- to five-fold more recoverable energy products. To address the technological challenges necessary to develop enhanced biofuel systems, greater understanding of the non-equilibrium processes involved in solar energy conversion and the channeling of reduced carbon into biofuel products must be developed. The objective of the proposed Center for Advanced Biofuel Systems (CABS) was to increase the thermodynamic and kinetic efficiency of select plant- and algal-based fuel production systems using rational metabolic engineering approaches grounded in modern systems biology. The overall strategy was to increase the efficiency of solar energy conversion into oils and other specialty biofuel components by channeling metabolic flux toward products using advanced catalysts and sensible design:1) employing novel protein catalysts that increase the thermodynamic and kinetic efficiencies of photosynthesis and oil biosynthesis; 2) engineering metabolic networks to enhance acetyl-CoA production and its channeling towards lipid synthesis; and 3) engineering new metabolic networks for the

  2. 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.

  3. National Advanced Biofuels Consortium (NABC), Biofuels for Advancing America (Fact Sheet)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2010-06-01

    Introduction to the National Advanced Biofuels Consortium, a collaboration between 17 national laboratory, university, and industry partners that is conducting cutting-edge research to develop infrastructure-compatible, sustainable, biomass-based hydrocarbon fuels.

  4. TERRA: Building New Communities for Advanced Biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Cornelius, Joe; Mockler, Todd; Tuinstra, Mitch

    2016-03-01

    ARPA-E’s Transportation Energy Resources from Renewable Agriculture (TERRA) program is bringing together top experts from different disciplines – agriculture, robotics and data analytics – to rethink the production of advanced biofuel crops. ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Joe Cornelius discusses the TERRA program and explains how ARPA-E’s model enables multidisciplinary collaboration among diverse communities. The video focuses on two TERRA projects—Donald Danforth Center and Purdue University—that are developing and integrating cutting-edge remote sensing platforms, complex data analytics tools and plant breeding technologies to tackle the challenge of sustainably increasing biofuel stocks.

  5. Metabolic engineering of yeast to produce fatty acid-derived biofuels: bottlenecks and solutions

    PubMed Central

    Sheng, Jiayuan; Feng, Xueyang

    2015-01-01

    Fatty acid-derived biofuels can be a better solution than bioethanol to replace petroleum fuel, since they have similar energy content and combustion properties as current transportation fuels. The environmentally friendly microbial fermentation process has been used to synthesize advanced biofuels from renewable feedstock. Due to their robustness as well as the high tolerance to fermentation inhibitors and phage contamination, yeast strains such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Yarrowia lipolytica have attracted tremendous attention in recent studies regarding the production of fatty acid-derived biofuels, including fatty acids, fatty acid ethyl esters, fatty alcohols, and fatty alkanes. However, the native yeast strains cannot produce fatty acids and fatty acid-derived biofuels in large quantities. To this end, we have summarized recent publications in this review on metabolic engineering of yeast strains to improve the production of fatty acid-derived biofuels, identified the bottlenecks that limit the productivity of biofuels, and categorized the appropriate approaches to overcome these obstacles. PMID:26106371

  6. TERRA: Building New Communities for Advanced Biofuels

    ScienceCinema

    Cornelius, Joe; Mockler, Todd; Tuinstra, Mitch

    2016-07-12

    ARPA-E’s Transportation Energy Resources from Renewable Agriculture (TERRA) program is bringing together top experts from different disciplines – agriculture, robotics and data analytics – to rethink the production of advanced biofuel crops. ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Joe Cornelius discusses the TERRA program and explains how ARPA-E’s model enables multidisciplinary collaboration among diverse communities. The video focuses on two TERRA projects—Donald Danforth Center and Purdue University—that are developing and integrating cutting-edge remote sensing platforms, complex data analytics tools and plant breeding technologies to tackle the challenge of sustainably increasing biofuel stocks.

  7. 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.

  8. Producing biofuel crops: environmental and economic implications and strategies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The growing need for sustainable fuel sources must become compatible with the continued need for food by an ever increasing world population and the effects of climate change on ability to produce food and biofuel. Growing more hectares of biofuel crops such as corn increases sediment and nutrient l...

  9. Recent applications of metabolomics to advance microbial biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Martien, Julia I; Amador-Noguez, Daniel

    2017-02-01

    Biofuel production from plant biomass is a promising source of renewable energy [1]. However, efficient biofuel production involves the complex task of engineering high-performance microorganisms, which requires detailed knowledge of metabolic function and regulation. This review highlights the potential of mass-spectrometry-based metabolomic analysis to guide rational engineering of biofuel-producing microbes. We discuss recent studies that apply knowledge gained from metabolomic analyses to increase the productivity of engineered pathways, characterize the metabolism of emerging biofuel producers, generate novel bioproducts, enable utilization of lignocellulosic feedstock, and improve the stress tolerance of biofuel producers.

  10. Recent trends in metabolic engineering of microorganisms for the production of advanced biofuels.

    PubMed

    Cheon, Seungwoo; Kim, Hye Mi; Gustavsson, Martin; Lee, Sang Yup

    2016-12-01

    As climate change has become one of the major global risks, our heavy dependence on petroleum-derived fuels has received much public attention. To solve such problems, production of sustainable fuels has been intensively studied over the past years. Thanks to recent advances in synthetic biology and metabolic engineering technologies, bio-based platforms for advanced biofuels production have been developed using various microorganisms. The strategies for production of advanced biofuels have converged upon four major metabolic routes: the 2-ketoacid pathway, the fatty acid synthesis (FAS) pathway, the isoprenoid pathway, and the reverse β-oxidation pathway. Additionally, the polyketide synthesis pathway has recently been attracting interest as a promising alternative biofuel production route. In this article, recent trends in advanced biofuels production are reviewed by categorizing them into three types of advanced biofuels: alcohols, biodiesel and jet fuel, and gasoline. Focus is given on the strategies of employing synthetic biology and metabolic engineering for the development of microbial strains producing advanced fuels. Finally, the prospects for future advances needed to achieve much more efficient bio-based production of advanced biofuels are discussed, focusing on designing advanced biofuel production pathways coupled with screening, modifying, and creating novel enzymes.

  11. Current Challenges in Commercially Producing Biofuels from Lignocellulosic Biomass

    PubMed Central

    Balan, Venkatesh

    2014-01-01

    Biofuels that are produced from biobased materials are a good alternative to petroleum based fuels. They offer several benefits to society and the environment. Producing second generation biofuels is even more challenging than producing first generation biofuels due the complexity of the biomass and issues related to producing, harvesting, and transporting less dense biomass to centralized biorefineries. In addition to this logistic challenge, other challenges with respect to processing steps in converting biomass to liquid transportation fuel like pretreatment, hydrolysis, microbial fermentation, and fuel separation still exist and are discussed in this review. The possible coproducts that could be produced in the biorefinery and their importance to reduce the processing cost of biofuel are discussed. About $1 billion was spent in the year 2012 by the government agencies in US to meet the mandate to replace 30% existing liquid transportation fuels by 2022 which is 36 billion gallons/year. Other countries in the world have set their own targets to replace petroleum fuel by biofuels. Because of the challenges listed in this review and lack of government policies to create the demand for biofuels, it may take more time for the lignocellulosic biofuels to hit the market place than previously projected. PMID:25937989

  12. Current Challenges in Commercially Producing Biofuels from Lignocellulosic Biomass

    DOE PAGES

    Balan, Venkatesh

    2014-01-01

    Biofuels that are produced from biobased materials are a good alternative to petroleum based fuels. They offer several benefits to society and the environment. Producing second generation biofuels is even more challenging than producing first generation biofuels due the complexity of the biomass and issues related to producing, harvesting, and transporting less dense biomass to centralized biorefineries. In addition to this logistic challenge, other challenges with respect to processing steps in converting biomass to liquid transportation fuel like pretreatment, hydrolysis, microbial fermentation, and fuel separation still exist and are discussed in this review. The possible coproducts that could be producedmore » in the biorefinery and their importance to reduce the processing cost of biofuel are discussed. About $1 billion was spent in the year 2012 by the government agencies in US to meet the mandate to replace 30% existing liquid transportation fuels by 2022 which is 36 billion gallons/year. Other countries in the world have set their own targets to replace petroleum fuel by biofuels. Because of the challenges listed in this review and lack of government policies to create the demand for biofuels, it may take more time for the lignocellulosic biofuels to hit the market place than previously projected.« less

  13. Renewable Energy Laboratory Development for Biofuels Advanced Combustion Studies

    SciTech Connect

    Soloiu, Valentin A.

    2012-03-31

    The research advanced fundamental science and applied engineering for increasing the efficiency of internal combustion engines and meeting emissions regulations with biofuels. The project developed a laboratory with new experiments and allowed investigation of new fuels and their combustion and emissions. This project supports a sustainable domestic biofuels and automotive industry creating economic opportunities across the nation, reducing the dependence on foreign oil, and enhancing U.S. energy security. The one year period of research developed fundamental knowledge and applied technology in advanced combustion, emissions and biofuels formulation to increase vehicle's efficiency. Biofuels combustion was investigated in a Compression Ignition Direct Injection (DI) to develop idling strategies with biofuels and an Indirect Diesel Injection (IDI) intended for auxiliary power unit.

  14. Enzymatic biofuel cells: 30 years of critical advancements.

    PubMed

    Rasmussen, Michelle; Abdellaoui, Sofiene; Minteer, Shelley D

    2016-02-15

    Enzymatic biofuel cells are bioelectronic devices that utilize oxidoreductase enzymes to catalyze the conversion of chemical energy into electrical energy. This review details the advancements in the field of enzymatic biofuel cells over the last 30 years. These advancements include strategies for improving operational stability and electrochemical performance, as well as device fabrication for a variety of applications, including implantable biofuel cells and self-powered sensors. It also discusses the current scientific and engineering challenges in the field that will need to be addressed in the future for commercial viability of the technology.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2011-12-01

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

  16. Engineering industrial yeast for renewable advanced biofuels applications

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The industrial yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a candidate for the next-generation biocatalyst development due to its unique genomic background and robust performance in fermentation-based production. In order to meet challenges of renewable and sustainable advanced biofuels conversion including ...

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 15 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Succession and loss of control of advanced biofuel... PROGRAMS Advanced Biofuel Payment Program General Provisions § 4288.137 Succession and loss of control of advanced biofuel facilities and production. (a) Contract succession. An entity who becomes the...

  18. 7 CFR 4288.137 - Succession and loss of control of advanced biofuel facilities and production.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 15 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Succession and loss of control of advanced biofuel... PROGRAMS Advanced Biofuel Payment Program General Provisions Payment Provisions § 4288.137 Succession and loss of control of advanced biofuel facilities and production. (a) Contract succession. An entity...

  19. 7 CFR 4288.137 - Succession and loss of control of advanced biofuel facilities and production.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 15 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Succession and loss of control of advanced biofuel... PROGRAMS Advanced Biofuel Payment Program General Provisions § 4288.137 Succession and loss of control of advanced biofuel facilities and production. (a) Contract succession. An entity who becomes the...

  20. Recent advances on enzymatic glucose/oxygen and hydrogen/oxygen biofuel cells: Achievements and limitations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cosnier, Serge; Gross, Andrew J.; Le Goff, Alan; Holzinger, Michael

    2016-09-01

    The possibility of producing electrical power from chemical energy with biological catalysts has induced the development of biofuel cells as viable energy sources for powering portable and implanted electronic devices. These power sources employ biocatalysts, called enzymes, which are highly specific and catalytic towards the oxidation of a biofuel and the reduction of oxygen or hydrogen peroxide. Enzymes, on one hand, are promising candidates to replace expensive noble metal-based catalysts in fuel cell research. On the other hand, they offer the exciting prospect of a new generation of fuel cells which harvest energy from body fluids. Biofuel cells which use glucose as a fuel are particularly interesting for generating electricity to power electronic devices inside a living body. Hydrogen consuming biofuel cells represent an emerging alternative to platinum catalysts due to comparable efficiencies and the capability to operate at lower temperatures. Currently, these technologies are not competitive with existing commercialised fuel cell devices due to limitations including insufficient power outputs and lifetimes. The advantages and challenges facing glucose biofuel cells for implantation and hydrogen biofuel cells will be summarised along with recent promising advances and the future prospects of these exotic energy-harvesting devices.

  1. Biofuels

    NASA Video Gallery

    What’s green, slimy and packed full of energy? Algae, of course! This biofuel is just one of the many renewable energies NASA studies. Biofuels could generate and store energy for long-term human...

  2. Use of biofuels to produce hydrogen (reformation processes).

    PubMed

    Ramírez de la Piscina, Pilar; Homs, Narcís

    2008-11-01

    This tutorial review deals with the catalytic reformation of ethanol and glycerol to produce hydrogen that can be used as an energy carrier in a fuel cell. Both the worldwide production of ethanol in large amounts to be used as a biofuel and that of glycerol as a by-product in biodiesel manufacture are presented. The catalytic reformation processes of both ethanol and glycerol are contemplated, including thermodynamic and kinetic aspects. Catalysts are analyzed as a function of operation conditions, selectivity and stability.

  3. Spectral optical properties of selected photosynthetic microalgae producing biofuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Euntaek; Heng, Ri-Liang; Pilon, Laurent

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents the spectral complex index of refraction of biofuel producing photosynthetic microalgae between 400 and 750 nm. They were retrieved from their experimentally measured average absorption and scattering cross-sections. The microalgae were treated as homogeneous polydisperse spheres with equivalent diameter such that their surface area was identical to that of their actual spheroidal shape. An inverse method was developed combining Lorentz-Mie theory as the forward method and genetic algorithm. The unicellular green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii strain CC125 and its truncated chlorophyll antenna transformants tla1, tlaX, and tla1-CW+ as well as Botryococcus braunii, Chlorella sp., and Chlorococcum littorale were investigated. These species were selected for their ability to produce either hydrogen gas or lipids for liquid fuel production. Their retrieved real and imaginary parts of the complex index of refraction were continuous functions of wavelength with absorption peaks corresponding to those of in vivo Chlorophylls a and b. The T-matrix method was also found to accurately predict the experimental measurements by treating the microalgae as axisymmetric spheroids with the experimentally measured major and minor diameter distributions and the retrieved spectral complex index of refraction. Finally, pigment mass fractions were also estimated from the retrieved absorption index. The method and/or the reported optical properties can be used in various applications from ocean remote sensing, carbon cycle study, as well as photobiological carbon dioxide mitigation and biofuel production.

  4. Synthesis of three advanced biofuels from ionic liquid-pretreated switchgrass using engineered Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Bokinsky, Gregory; Peralta-Yahya, Pamela P; George, Anthe; Holmes, Bradley M; Steen, Eric J; Dietrich, Jeffrey; Lee, Taek Soon; Tullman-Ercek, Danielle; Voigt, Christopher A; Simmons, Blake A; Keasling, Jay D

    2011-12-13

    One approach to reducing the costs of advanced biofuel production from cellulosic biomass is to engineer a single microorganism to both digest plant biomass and produce hydrocarbons that have the properties of petrochemical fuels. Such an organism would require pathways for hydrocarbon production and the capacity to secrete sufficient enzymes to efficiently hydrolyze cellulose and hemicellulose. To demonstrate how one might engineer and coordinate all of the necessary components for a biomass-degrading, hydrocarbon-producing microorganism, we engineered a microorganism naïve to both processes, Escherichia coli, to grow using both the cellulose and hemicellulose fractions of several types of plant biomass pretreated with ionic liquids. Our engineered strains express cellulase, xylanase, beta-glucosidase, and xylobiosidase enzymes under control of native E. coli promoters selected to optimize growth on model cellulosic and hemicellulosic substrates. Furthermore, our strains grow using either the cellulose or hemicellulose components of ionic liquid-pretreated biomass or on both components when combined as a coculture. Both cellulolytic and hemicellulolytic strains were further engineered with three biofuel synthesis pathways to demonstrate the production of fuel substitutes or precursors suitable for gasoline, diesel, and jet engines directly from ionic liquid-treated switchgrass without externally supplied hydrolase enzymes. This demonstration represents a major advance toward realizing a consolidated bioprocess. With improvements in both biofuel synthesis pathways and biomass digestion capabilities, our approach could provide an economical route to production of advanced biofuels.

  5. Synthesis of three advanced biofuels from ionic liquid-pretreated switchgrass using engineered Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Bokinsky, Gregory; Peralta-Yahya, Pamela P.; George, Anthe; Holmes, Bradley M.; Steen, Eric J.; Dietrich, Jeffrey; Soon Lee, Taek; Tullman-Ercek, Danielle; Voigt, Christopher A.; Simmons, Blake A.; Keasling, Jay D.

    2011-01-01

    One approach to reducing the costs of advanced biofuel production from cellulosic biomass is to engineer a single microorganism to both digest plant biomass and produce hydrocarbons that have the properties of petrochemical fuels. Such an organism would require pathways for hydrocarbon production and the capacity to secrete sufficient enzymes to efficiently hydrolyze cellulose and hemicellulose. To demonstrate how one might engineer and coordinate all of the necessary components for a biomass-degrading, hydrocarbon-producing microorganism, we engineered a microorganism naïve to both processes, Escherichia coli, to grow using both the cellulose and hemicellulose fractions of several types of plant biomass pretreated with ionic liquids. Our engineered strains express cellulase, xylanase, beta-glucosidase, and xylobiosidase enzymes under control of native E. coli promoters selected to optimize growth on model cellulosic and hemicellulosic substrates. Furthermore, our strains grow using either the cellulose or hemicellulose components of ionic liquid-pretreated biomass or on both components when combined as a coculture. Both cellulolytic and hemicellulolytic strains were further engineered with three biofuel synthesis pathways to demonstrate the production of fuel substitutes or precursors suitable for gasoline, diesel, and jet engines directly from ionic liquid-treated switchgrass without externally supplied hydrolase enzymes. This demonstration represents a major advance toward realizing a consolidated bioprocess. With improvements in both biofuel synthesis pathways and biomass digestion capabilities, our approach could provide an economical route to production of advanced biofuels. PMID:22123987

  6. Prospective and development of butanol as an advanced biofuel.

    PubMed

    Xue, Chuang; Zhao, Xin-Qing; Liu, Chen-Guang; Chen, Li-Jie; Bai, Feng-Wu

    2013-12-01

    Butanol has been acknowledged as an advanced biofuel, but its production through acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation by clostridia is still not economically competitive, due to low butanol yield and titer. In this article, update progress in butanol production is reviewed. Low price and sustainable feedstocks such as lignocellulosic residues and dedicated energy crops are needed for butanol production at large scale to save feedstock cost, but processes are more complicated, compared to those established for ABE fermentation from sugar- and starch-based feedstocks. While rational designs targeting individual genes, enzymes or pathways are effective for improving butanol yield, global and systems strategies are more reasonable for engineering strains with stress tolerance controlled by multigenes. Compared to solvent-producing clostridia, engineering heterologous species such as Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae with butanol pathway might be a solution for eliminating the formation of major byproducts acetone and ethanol so that butanol yield can be improved significantly. Although batch fermentation has been practiced for butanol production in industry, continuous operation is more productive for large scale production of butanol as a biofuel, but a single chemostat bioreactor cannot achieve this goal for the biphasic ABE fermentation, and tanks-in-series systems should be optimized for alternative feedstocks and new strains. Moreover, energy saving is limited for the distillation system, even total solvents in the fermentation broth are increased significantly, since solvents are distilled to ~40% by the beer stripper, and more than 95% water is removed with the stillage without phase change, even with conventional distillation systems, needless to say that advanced chemical engineering technologies can distil solvents up to ~90% with the beer stripper, and the multistage pressure columns can well balance energy consumption for solvent fraction

  7. Recycling produced water for algal cultivation for biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Neal, Justin N.; Sullivan, Enid J.; Dean, Cynthia A.; Steichen, Seth A.

    2012-08-09

    Algal growth demands a continuous source of water of appropriate salinity and nutritional content. Fresh water sources are scarce in the deserts of the Southwestern United States, hence, salt water algae species are being investigated as a renewable biofuel source. The use of produced water from oil wells (PW) could offset the demand for fresh water in cultivation. Produced water can contain various concentrations of dissolved solids, metals and organic contaminants and often requires treatment beyond oil/water separation to make it suitable for algae cultivation. The produced water used in this study was taken from an oil well in Jal, New Mexico. An F/2-Si (minus silica) growth media commonly used to cultivate Nannochloropsis salina 1776 (NS 1776) was prepared using the produced water (F/2-Si PW) taking into account the metals and salts already present in the water. NS 1776 was seeded into a bioreactor containing 5L of the (F/2-Si PW) media. After eleven days the optical density at 750 nm (an indicator of algal growth) increased from 0 to 2.52. These results indicate algae are able to grow, though inhibited when compared with non-PW media, in the complex chemical conditions found in produced water. Savings from using nutrients present in the PW, such as P, K, and HCO{sub 3}{sup -}, results in a 44.38% cost savings over fresh water to mix the F/2-Si media.

  8. Winter barley ethanol - a new advanced biofuel

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 set an ambitious goal for the United States to annually produce and use 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022. Of this quantity, only 15 billion gallons may come from conventional sources, such as corn ethanol, and the remainder must b...

  9. 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.

  10. Systems biology of yeast: enabling technology for development of cell factories for production of advanced biofuels.

    PubMed

    de Jong, Bouke; Siewers, Verena; Nielsen, Jens

    2012-08-01

    Transportation fuels will gradually shift from oil based fuels towards alternative fuel resources like biofuels. Current bioethanol and biodiesel can, however, not cover the increasing demand for biofuels and there is therefore a need for advanced biofuels with superior fuel properties. Novel cell factories will provide a production platform for advanced biofuels. However, deep cellular understanding is required for improvement of current biofuel cell factories. Fast screening and analysis (-omics) methods and metabolome-wide mathematical models are promising techniques. An integrated systems approach of these techniques drives diversity and quantity of several new biofuel compounds. This review will cover the recent technological developments that support improvement of the advanced biofuels 1-butanol, biodiesels and jetfuels.

  11. 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.

  12. Molecular Breeding of Advanced Microorganisms for Biofuel Production

    PubMed Central

    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

  13. Microalgal triacylglycerols as feedstocks for biofuel production: perspectives and advances.

    PubMed

    Hu, Qiang; Sommerfeld, Milton; Jarvis, Eric; Ghirardi, Maria; Posewitz, Matthew; Seibert, Michael; Darzins, Al

    2008-05-01

    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.

  14. From fields to fuels: recent advances in the microbial production of biofuels.

    PubMed

    Kung, Yan; Runguphan, Weerawat; Keasling, Jay D

    2012-11-16

    Amid grave concerns over global climate change and with increasingly strained access to fossil fuels, the synthetic biology community has stepped up to the challenge of developing microbial platforms for the production of advanced biofuels. The adoption of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel alternatives derived from microbial sources has the potential to significantly limit net greenhouse gas emissions. In this effort, great strides have been made in recent years toward the engineering of microorganisms to produce transportation fuels derived from alcohol, fatty acid, and isoprenoid biosynthesis. We provide an overview of the biosynthetic pathways devised in the strain development of biofuel-producing microorganisms. We also highlight many of the commonly used and newly devised engineering strategies that have been employed to identify and overcome pathway bottlenecks and problems of toxicity to maximize production titers.

  15. Phycoremediation of municipal wastewater by microalgae to produce biofuel.

    PubMed

    Singh, Amit Kumar; Sharma, Nikunj; Farooqi, Humaira; Abdin, Malik Zainul; Mock, Thomas; Kumar, Shashi

    2017-02-03

    Municipal wastewater (WW), if not properly remediated, poses a threat to the environment and human health by carrying significant loads of nutrients and pathogens. These contaminants pollute rivers, lakes and natural reservoirs where they cause eutrophication and pathogen-mediated diseases. However, the high nutrient content of WW makes it an ideal environment for remediation with microalgae that require high nutrient concentrations for growth and are not susceptible to toxins and pathogens. Given that an appropriate algal strain is used for remediation, the incurred biomass can be refined for the production of biofuel. Four microalgal species (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Chlorella sp., Parachlorella kessleri-I and Nannochloropsis gaditana) were screened for efficient phycoremediation of municipal WW and potential use for biodiesel production. Among the four strains tested, P. kessleri-I showed the highest growth rate and biomass production in 100% WW. It efficiently removed all major nutrients with a removal rate of up to 98% for phosphate after ten days of growth in 100% municipal WW collected from Delhi. The growth of P. kessleri-I in WW resulted in a 50% increase of biomass and a 115% increase of lipid content in comparison to growth in control media. The FAME and fuel properties of lipids isolated from cells grown in WW complied with international standards. The present study provides evidence that the green alga P. kessleri-I effectively remediates municipal WW and can be used to produce biodiesel.

  16. Genetic structure of a novel biofuel-producing microorganism community.

    PubMed

    de Felice, Bruna; Blasi, Vito Onofrio; de Castro, Olga; Cennamo, Paola; Martino, Laura; Trifuoggi, Marco; Condorelli, Valerio; di Onofrio, Valeria; Guida, Marco

    2012-08-01

    Biofuels are an important alternative, renewable source of energy in the face of the ongoing depletion of fossil fuels. Cheese whey is a dairy industry waste characterized by high lactose concentration, which represents a significant environmental problem. Bio-ethanol production by cheese whey could be an effective nonvegetable source for renewable energy production. Here, we report the isolation of a mixed microbial population, able to produce ethanol as main fermentation product from fermenting whey. The microbial consortium has been used to perform a batch fermentation of crude whey in both anoxic and hypoxic conditions. Maximum ethanol concentrations achieved in this study was obtained using the mixed culture in hypoxic conditions, grown at pH 4 and 30 °C, with ethanol production yield of 60 g/L. Our research has pointed out an alternative way to both dispose and valorize cheese whey, a dairy by-product that could cause water pollution and harm to the environment if not properly treated.

  17. Effects of bacterial communities on biofuel-producing microalgae: stimulation, inhibition and harvesting.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hui; Hill, Russell T; Zheng, Tianling; Hu, Xiaoke; Wang, Bin

    2016-01-01

    Despite the great interest in microalgae as a potential source of biofuel to substitute for fossil fuels, little information is available on the effects of bacterial symbionts in mass algal cultivation systems. The bacterial communities associated with microalgae are a crucial factor in the process of microalgal biomass and lipid production and may stimulate or inhibit growth of biofuel-producing microalgae. In addition, we discuss here the potential use of bacteria to harvest biofuel-producing microalgae. We propose that aggregation of microalgae by bacteria to achieve >90% reductions in volume followed by centrifugation could be an economic approach for harvesting of biofuel-producing microalgae. Our aims in this review are to promote understanding of the effects of bacterial communities on microalgae and draw attention to the importance of this topic in the microalgal biofuel field.

  18. 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.

  19. Combinatorial genetic perturbation to refine metabolic circuits for producing biofuels and biochemicals.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyo Jin; Turner, Timothy Lee; Jin, Yong-Su

    2013-11-01

    Recent advances in metabolic engineering have enabled microbial factories to compete with conventional processes for producing fuels and chemicals. Both rational and combinatorial approaches coupled with synthetic and systematic tools play central roles in metabolic engineering to create and improve a selected microbial phenotype. Compared to knowledge-based rational approaches, combinatorial approaches exploiting biological diversity and high-throughput screening have been demonstrated as more effective tools for improving various phenotypes of interest. In particular, identification of unprecedented targets to rewire metabolic circuits for maximizing yield and productivity of a target chemical has been made possible. This review highlights general principles and the features of the combinatorial approaches using various libraries to implement desired phenotypes for strain improvement. In addition, recent applications that harnessed the combinatorial approaches to produce biofuels and biochemicals will be discussed.

  20. Improving the feasibility of producing biofuels from microalgae using wastewater.

    PubMed

    Rawat, I; Bhola, V; Kumar, R Ranjith; Bux, F

    2013-01-01

    Biofuels have received much attention recently owing to energy consumption and environmental concerns. Despite many of the technologies being technically feasible, the processes are often too costly to be commercially viable. The major stumbling block to full-scale production of algal biofuels is the cost of upstream and downstream processes and environmental impacts such as water footprint and indirect greenhouse gas emissions from chemical nutrient production. The technoeconomics of biofuels production from microalgae is currently unfeasible due to the cost of inputs and productivities achieved. The use of a biorefinery approach sees the production costs reduced greatly due to utilization of waste streams for cultivation and the generation of several potential energy sources and value-added products while offering environmental protection. The use of wastewater as a production media, coupled with CO2 sequestration from flue gas greatly reduces the microalgal cultivation costs. Conversion of residual biomass and by-products, such as glycerol, for fuel production using an integrated approach potentially holds the key to near future commercial implementation of biofuels production.

  1. Selection and Characterization of Biofuel-Producing Environmental Bacteria Isolated from Vegetable Oil-Rich Wastes

    PubMed Central

    Escobar-Niño, Almudena; Luna, Carlos; Luna, Diego; Marcos, Ana T.; Cánovas, David; Mellado, Encarnación

    2014-01-01

    Fossil fuels are consumed so rapidly that it is expected that the planet resources will be soon exhausted. Therefore, it is imperative to develop alternative and inexpensive new technologies to produce sustainable fuels, for example biodiesel. In addition to hydrolytic and esterification reactions, lipases are capable of performing transesterification reactions useful for the production of biodiesel. However selection of the lipases capable of performing transesterification reactions is not easy and consequently very few biodiesel producing lipases are currently available. In this work we first isolated 1,016 lipolytic microorganisms by a qualitative plate assay. In a second step, lipolytic bacteria were analyzed using a colorimetric assay to detect the transesterification activity. Thirty of the initial lipolytic strains were selected for further characterization. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that 23 of the bacterial isolates were Gram negative and 7 were Gram positive, belonging to different clades. Biofuel production was analyzed and quantified by gas chromatography and revealed that 5 of the isolates produced biofuel with yields higher than 80% at benchtop scale. Chemical and viscosity analysis of the produced biofuel revealed that it differed from biodiesel. This bacterial-derived biofuel does not require any further downstream processing and it can be used directly in engines. The freeze-dried bacterial culture supernatants could be used at least five times for biofuel production without diminishing their activity. Therefore, these 5 isolates represent excellent candidates for testing biofuel production at industrial scale. PMID:25099150

  2. Selection and characterization of biofuel-producing environmental bacteria isolated from vegetable oil-rich wastes.

    PubMed

    Escobar-Niño, Almudena; Luna, Carlos; Luna, Diego; Marcos, Ana T; Cánovas, David; Mellado, Encarnación

    2014-01-01

    Fossil fuels are consumed so rapidly that it is expected that the planet resources will be soon exhausted. Therefore, it is imperative to develop alternative and inexpensive new technologies to produce sustainable fuels, for example biodiesel. In addition to hydrolytic and esterification reactions, lipases are capable of performing transesterification reactions useful for the production of biodiesel. However selection of the lipases capable of performing transesterification reactions is not easy and consequently very few biodiesel producing lipases are currently available. In this work we first isolated 1,016 lipolytic microorganisms by a qualitative plate assay. In a second step, lipolytic bacteria were analyzed using a colorimetric assay to detect the transesterification activity. Thirty of the initial lipolytic strains were selected for further characterization. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that 23 of the bacterial isolates were Gram negative and 7 were Gram positive, belonging to different clades. Biofuel production was analyzed and quantified by gas chromatography and revealed that 5 of the isolates produced biofuel with yields higher than 80% at benchtop scale. Chemical and viscosity analysis of the produced biofuel revealed that it differed from biodiesel. This bacterial-derived biofuel does not require any further downstream processing and it can be used directly in engines. The freeze-dried bacterial culture supernatants could be used at least five times for biofuel production without diminishing their activity. Therefore, these 5 isolates represent excellent candidates for testing biofuel production at industrial scale.

  3. 2015 Survey of Non-Starch Ethanol and Renewable Hydrocarbon Biofuels Producers

    SciTech Connect

    Schwab, Amy; Warner, Ethan; Lewis, John

    2016-01-22

    In order to understand the anticipated status of the industry for non-starch ethanol and renewable hydrocarbon biofuels as of the end of calendar year 2015, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) conducted its first annual survey update of U.S. non-starch ethanol and renewable hydrocarbon biofuels producers. This report presents the results of this survey, describes the survey methodology, and documents important changes since the 2013 survey.

  4. Life cycle assessment of cellulosic and advanced biofuel crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Estimating the carbon intensity of biofuel production is important in order to meet greenhouse gas (GHG) targets set by government policy. Nitrous oxide emissions are the largest source and soil carbon the largest sink of GHGs for determining the carbon intensity of biofuels during their production ...

  5. Improving Butanol Fermentation To Enter the Advanced Biofuel Market

    PubMed Central

    Tracy, Bryan P.

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT 1-Butanol is a large-volume, intermediate chemical with favorable physical and chemical properties for blending with or directly substituting for gasoline. The per-volume value of butanol, as a chemical, is sufficient for investing into the recommercialization of the classical acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) (E. M. Green, Curr. Opin. Biotechnol. 22:337–343, 2011) fermentation process. Furthermore, with modest improvements in three areas of the ABE process, operating costs can be sufficiently decreased to make butanol an economically viable advanced biofuel. The three areas of greatest interest are (i) maximizing yields of butanol on any particular substrate, (ii) expanding substrate utilization capabilities of the host microorganism, and (iii) reducing the energy consumption of the overall production process, in particular the separation and purification operations. In their study in the September/October 2012 issue of mBio, Jang et al. [mBio 3(5):e00314-12, 2012] describe a comprehensive study on driving glucose metabolism in Clostridium acetobutylicum to the production of butanol. Moreover, they execute a metabolic engineering strategy to achieve the highest yet reported yields of butanol on glucose. PMID:23232720

  6. An energy-limited model of algal biofuel production: Toward the next generation of advanced biofuels

    DOE PAGES

    Dunlop, Eric H.; Coaldrake, A. Kimi; Silva, Cory S.; ...

    2013-10-22

    Algal biofuels are increasingly important as a source of renewable energy. The absence of reliable thermodynamic and other property data, and the large amount of kinetic data that would normally be required have created a major barrier to simulation. Additionally, the absence of a generally accepted flowsheet for biofuel production means that detailed simulation of the wrong approach is a real possibility. This model of algal biofuel production estimates the necessary data and places it into a heuristic model using a commercial simulator that back-calculates the process structure required. Furthermore, complex kinetics can be obviated for now by putting themore » simulator into energy limitation and forcing it to solve for the missing design variables, such as bioreactor surface area, productivity, and oil content. The model does not attempt to prescribe a particular approach, but provides a guide towards a sound engineering approach to this challenging and important problem.« less

  7. An energy-limited model of algal biofuel production: Toward the next generation of advanced biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Dunlop, Eric H.; Coaldrake, A. Kimi; Silva, Cory S.; Seider, Warren D.

    2013-10-22

    Algal biofuels are increasingly important as a source of renewable energy. The absence of reliable thermodynamic and other property data, and the large amount of kinetic data that would normally be required have created a major barrier to simulation. Additionally, the absence of a generally accepted flowsheet for biofuel production means that detailed simulation of the wrong approach is a real possibility. This model of algal biofuel production estimates the necessary data and places it into a heuristic model using a commercial simulator that back-calculates the process structure required. Furthermore, complex kinetics can be obviated for now by putting the simulator into energy limitation and forcing it to solve for the missing design variables, such as bioreactor surface area, productivity, and oil content. The model does not attempt to prescribe a particular approach, but provides a guide towards a sound engineering approach to this challenging and important problem.

  8. Carbon Footprint of Biofuel Sugarcane Produced in Mineral and Organic Soils in Florida

    SciTech Connect

    Izursa, Jose-Luis; Hanlon, Edward; Amponsah, Nana; Capece, John

    2013-02-06

    Ethanol produced from sugarcane is an existing and accessible form of renewable energy. In this study, we applied the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach to estimate the Carbon Footprint (CFP) of biofuel sugarcane produced on mineral (sandy) and organic (muck) soils in Florida. CFP was estimated from greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (CO2, CH4, and N2O) during the biofuel sugarcane cultivation. The data for the energy (fossil fuels and electricity), equipment, and chemical fertilizers were taken from enterprise budgets prepared by the University of Florida based on surveys and interviews obtained from local growers during the cropping years 2007/2008 and 2009/2010 for mineral soils and 2008/2009 for organic soils. Emissions from biomass burning and organic land use were calculated based on the IPCC guidelines. The results show that the CFP for biofuel sugarcane production is 0.04 kg CO2e kg−1y−1 when produced in mineral soils and 0.46 kg CO2e kg−1y−1 when produced in organic soils. Most of the GHG emissions from production of biofuel sugarcane in mineral soils come from equipment (33%), fertilizers (28%), and biomass burning (27%); whereas GHG emissions from production in organic soils come predominantly from the soil (93%). This difference should be considered to adopt new practices for a more sustainable farming system if biofuel feedstocks are to be considered.

  9. Advanced Biofuels and Beyond: Chemistry Solutions for Propulsion and Production.

    PubMed

    Leitner, Walter; Klankermayer, Jürgen; Pischinger, Stefan; Pitsch, Heinz; Kohse-Höinghaus, Katharina

    2017-02-10

    Sustainably produced biofuels are being discussed intensively as one possible component in the energy scenarios for future ground transportation, especially when they are derived from lignocellulosic biomass. Traditionally, research activities on their production focus on the synthesis process, while leaving their combustion properties to subsequent evaluation by a different community. The present article adopts an integrative view of engine combustion and fuel synthesis, focusing on the chemical aspects as the common denominator. We wish to demonstrate that fundamental understanding of the combustion process can be instrumental to derive design criteria for the molecular structure of fuel candidates that can then be targets for the analysis of synthetic pathways and the development of catalytic production routes. With such an integrative approach to fuel design, it will be possible to improve systematically the entire system, spanning biomass feedstock, conversion process, fuel, engine, and pollutants with a perspective to improve the carbon footprint, increase efficiency, and reduce emissions of the transportation sector along the whole value chain.

  10. Process for producing advanced ceramics

    DOEpatents

    Kwong, Kyei-Sing

    1996-01-01

    A process for the synthesis of homogeneous advanced ceramics such as SiC+AlN, SiAlON, SiC+Al.sub.2 O.sub.3, and Si.sub.3 N.sub.4 +AlN from natural clays such as kaolin, halloysite and montmorillonite by an intercalation and heat treatment method. Included are the steps of refining clays, intercalating organic compounds into the layered structure of clays, drying the intercalated mixture, firing the treated atmospheres and grinding the loosely agglomerated structure. Advanced ceramics produced by this procedure have the advantages of homogeneity, cost effectiveness, simplicity of manufacture, ease of grind and a short process time. Advanced ceramics produced by this process can be used for refractory, wear part and structure ceramics.

  11. Review of the algal biology program within the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts

    DOE PAGES

    Unkefer, Clifford Jay; Sayre, Richard Thomas; Magnuson, Jon K.; ...

    2016-06-21

    In 2010,when the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB) consortium began, little was known about the molecular basis of algal biomass or oil production. Very few algal genome sequences were available and efforts to identify the best-producing wild species through bioprospecting approaches had largely stalled after the U.S. Department of Energy's Aquatic Species Program. This lack of knowledge included how reduced carbon was partitioned into storage products like triglycerides or starch and the role played by metabolite remodeling in the accumulation of energy-dense storage products. Furthermore, genetic transformation and metabolic engineering approaches to improve algal biomass and oilmore » yields were in their infancy. Genome sequencing and transcriptional profiling were becoming less expensive, however; and the tools to annotate gene expression profiles under various growth and engineered conditions were just starting to be developed for algae. It was in this context that an integrated algal biology program was introduced in the NAABB to address the greatest constraints limiting algal biomass yield. Our review describes the NAABB algal biology program, including hypotheses, research objectives, and strategies to move algal biology research into the twenty-first century and to realize the greatest potential of algae biomass systems to produce biofuels.« less

  12. Review of the algal biology program within the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts

    SciTech Connect

    Unkefer, Clifford Jay; Sayre, Richard Thomas; Magnuson, Jon K.; Anderson, Daniel B.; Baxter, Ivan; Blaby, Ian K.; Brown, Judith K.; Carleton, Michael; Cattolico, Rose Ann; Dale, Taraka T.; Devarenne, Timothy P.; Downes, C. Meghan; Dutcher, Susan K.; Fox, David Thomas; Goodenough, Ursula; Jaworski, Jan; Holladay, Jonathan E.; Kramer, David M.; Koppisch, Andrew Thomas; Lipton, Mary S.; Marrone, Babetta Louise; McCormick, Margaret; Molnar, Istvan; Mott, John Blaine; Ogden, Kimberly L.; Panisko, Ellen A.; Pellegrini, Matteo; Polle, Juergen; Richardson, James W.; Sabarsky, Martin; Starkenburg, Shawn Robert; Stormo, Gary D.; Teshima, Munehiro; Twary, Scott Nicholas; Unkefer, Pat J.; Yuan, Joshua S.; Olivares, Jose Antonio

    2016-06-21

    In 2010,when the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB) consortium began, little was known about the molecular basis of algal biomass or oil production. Very few algal genome sequences were available and efforts to identify the best-producing wild species through bioprospecting approaches had largely stalled after the U.S. Department of Energy's Aquatic Species Program. This lack of knowledge included how reduced carbon was partitioned into storage products like triglycerides or starch and the role played by metabolite remodeling in the accumulation of energy-dense storage products. Furthermore, genetic transformation and metabolic engineering approaches to improve algal biomass and oil yields were in their infancy. Genome sequencing and transcriptional profiling were becoming less expensive, however; and the tools to annotate gene expression profiles under various growth and engineered conditions were just starting to be developed for algae. It was in this context that an integrated algal biology program was introduced in the NAABB to address the greatest constraints limiting algal biomass yield. Our review describes the NAABB algal biology program, including hypotheses, research objectives, and strategies to move algal biology research into the twenty-first century and to realize the greatest potential of algae biomass systems to produce biofuels.

  13. Review of the cultivation program within the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts

    DOE PAGES

    Lammers, Peter J.; Huesemann, Michael; Boeing, Wiebke; ...

    2016-12-12

    The cultivation efforts within the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB) were developed to provide four major goals for the consortium, which included biomass production for downstream experimentation, development of new assessment tools for cultivation, development of new cultivation reactor technologies, and development of methods for robust cultivation. The NAABB consortium testbeds produced over 1500 kg of biomass for downstream processing. The biomass production included a number of model production strains, but also took into production some of the more promising strains found through the prospecting efforts of the consortium. Cultivation efforts at large scale are intensive andmore » costly, therefore the consortium developed tools and models to assess the productivity of strains under various environmental conditions, at lab scale, and validated these against scaled outdoor production systems. Two new pond-based bioreactor designs were tested for their ability to minimize energy consumption while maintaining, and even exceeding, the productivity of algae cultivation compared to traditional systems. Also, molecular markers were developed for quality control and to facilitate detection of bacterial communities associated with cultivated algal species, including the Chlorella spp. pathogen, Vampirovibrio chlorellavorus, which was identified in at least two test site locations in Arizona and New Mexico. Finally, the consortium worked on understanding methods to utilize compromised municipal wastewater streams for cultivation. In conclusion, this review provides an overview of the cultivation methods and tools developed by the NAABB consortium to produce algae biomass, in robust low energy systems, for biofuel production.« less

  14. Review of the cultivation program within the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts

    SciTech Connect

    Lammers, Peter J.; Huesemann, Michael; Boeing, Wiebke; Anderson, Daniel B.; Arnold, Robert G.; Bai, Xuemei; Bhole, Manish; Brhanavan, Yalini; Brown, Louis; Brown, Jola; Brown, Judith K.; Chisholm, Stephen; Meghan Downes, C.; Fulbright, Scott; Ge, Yufeng; Holladay, Jonathan E.; Ketheesan, Balachandran; Khopkar, Avinash; Koushik, Ambica; Laur, Paul; Marrone, Babetta L.; Mott, John B.; Nirmalakhandan, Nagamany; Ogden, Kimberly L.; Parsons, Ronald L.; Polle, Juergen; Ryan, Randy D.; Samocha, Tzachi; Sayre, Richard T.; Seger, Mark; Selvaratnam, Thinesh; Sui, Ruixiu; Thomasson, Alex; Unc, Adrian; Van Voorhies, Wayne; Waller, Peter; Yao, Yao; Olivares, José A.

    2016-12-12

    The cultivation efforts within the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB) were developed to provide four major goals for the consortium, which included biomass production for downstream experimentation, development of new assessment tools for cultivation, development of new cultivation reactor technologies, and development of methods for robust cultivation. The NAABB consortium testbeds produced over 1500 kg of biomass for downstream processing. The biomass production included a number of model production strains, but also took into production some of the more promising strains found through the prospecting efforts of the consortium. Cultivation efforts at large scale are intensive and costly, therefore the consortium developed tools and models to assess the productivity of strains under various environmental conditions, at lab scale, and validated these against scaled outdoor production systems. Two new pond-based bioreactor designs were tested for their ability to minimize energy consumption while maintaining, and even exceeding, the productivity of algae cultivation compared to traditional systems. Also, molecular markers were developed for quality control and to facilitate detection of bacterial communities associated with cultivated algal species, including the Chlorella spp. pathogen, Vampirovibrio chlorellavorus, which was identified in at least two test site locations in Arizona and New Mexico. Finally, the consortium worked on understanding methods to utilize compromised municipal wastewater streams for cultivation. In conclusion, this review provides an overview of the cultivation methods and tools developed by the NAABB consortium to produce algae biomass, in robust low energy systems, for biofuel production.

  15. Engineering and Evolution of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to Produce Biofuels and Chemicals.

    PubMed

    Turner, Timothy L; Kim, Heejin; Kong, In Iok; Liu, Jing-Jing; Zhang, Guo-Chang; Jin, Yong-Su

    2016-12-03

    To mitigate global climate change caused partly by the use of fossil fuels, the production of fuels and chemicals from renewable biomass has been attempted. The conversion of various sugars from renewable biomass into biofuels by engineered baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is one major direction which has grown dramatically in recent years. As well as shifting away from fossil fuels, the production of commodity chemicals by engineered S. cerevisiae has also increased significantly. The traditional approaches of biochemical and metabolic engineering to develop economic bioconversion processes in laboratory and industrial settings have been accelerated by rapid advancements in the areas of yeast genomics, synthetic biology, and systems biology. Together, these innovations have resulted in rapid and efficient manipulation of S. cerevisiae to expand fermentable substrates and diversify value-added products. Here, we discuss recent and major advances in rational (relying on prior experimentally-derived knowledge) and combinatorial (relying on high-throughput screening and genomics) approaches to engineer S. cerevisiae for producing ethanol, butanol, 2,3-butanediol, fatty acid ethyl esters, isoprenoids, organic acids, rare sugars, antioxidants, and sugar alcohols from glucose, xylose, cellobiose, galactose, acetate, alginate, mannitol, arabinose, and lactose.

  16. Butanol biorefineries: Use of novel technologies to produce biofuel butanol from sweet sorghum bagasse (SSB)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In order to produce butanol biofuel at a competitive price, agricultural residues such as SSB should be used. This feedstock was studied as a substitute to corn to lower feedstock costs and broaden beyond a food crop. In addition, cutting edge science & technology was applied. In these studies we us...

  17. The Promise and Challenge of Producing Biofuel Feedstocks: An Ecological Perspective (2010 JGI User Meeting)

    ScienceCinema

    DeLucia, Evan

    2016-07-12

    Evan DeLucia of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Energy Biosciences Institute talks about "The Promise and Challenge of Producing Biofuel Feedstocks: An Ecological Perspective" on March 25, 2010 at the 5th Annual DOE JGI User Meeting

  18. 2013 Survey of Non-Starch Ethanol and Renewable Hydrocarbon Biofuels Producers

    SciTech Connect

    Schwab, Amy; Geiger, Jesse; Lewis, John

    2015-01-01

    In order to understand the status of the industry for non-starch ethanol and renewable hydrocarbon biofuels as of the end of calendar year 2013, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) conducted the first of what is anticipated to be an annual survey of U.S. non-starch ethanol and renewable hydrocarbon biofuels producers. This report presents the results of this initial survey and describes the survey methodology. Subsequent surveys will report on the progress over time of the development of these facilities and companies.

  19. From flavors and pharmaceuticals to advanced biofuels: production of isoprenoids in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Tippmann, Stefan; Chen, Yun; Siewers, Verena; Nielsen, Jens

    2013-12-01

    Isoprenoids denote the largest group of chemicals in the plant kingdom and are employed for a wide range of applications in the food and pharmaceutical industry. In recent years, isoprenoids have additionally been recognized as suitable replacements for petroleum-derived fuels and could thus promote the transition towards a more sustainable society. To realize the biofuel potential of isoprenoids, a very efficient production system is required. While complex chemical structures as well as the low abundance in nature demonstrate the shortcomings of chemical synthesis and plant extraction, isoprenoids can be produced by genetically engineered microorganisms from renewable carbon sources. In this article, we summarize the development of isoprenoid applications from flavors and pharmaceuticals to advanced biofuels and review the strategies to design microbial cell factories, focusing on Saccharomyces cerevisiae for the production of these compounds. While the high complexity of biosynthetic pathways and the toxicity of certain isoprenoids still denote challenges that need to be addressed, metabolic engineering has enabled large-scale production of several terpenoids and thus, the utilization of these compounds is likely to expand in the future.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Lignin plays a negative role in the biochemical process for producing lignocellulosic biofuels.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Yining; Zhao, Shuai; Yang, Shihui; Ding, Shi-You

    2014-06-01

    A biochemical platform holds the most promising route toward lignocellulosic biofuels, in which polysaccharides are hydrolyzed by cellulase enzymes into simple sugars and fermented to ethanol by microbes. However, these polysaccharides are cross-linked in the plant cell walls with the hydrophobic network of lignin that physically impedes enzymatic deconstruction. A thermochemical pretreatment process is often required to remove or delocalize lignin, which may also generate inhibitors that hamper enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation. Here we review recent advances in understanding lignin structure in the plant cell walls and the negative roles of lignin in the processes of converting biomass to biofuels. Perspectives and future directions to improve the biomass conversion process are also discussed.

  3. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Comparing the Climate Mitigation Potential of Advanced Biofuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassidy, E. S.

    2014-12-01

    The federal policy known as the Renewable Fuel Standard mandates that by 2022, 21 billion gallons of advanced biofuels will be used in the U.S. fuel supply. So far this policy has resulted in drastically increased production of corn ethanol and only a small amount of advanced fuels. While most corn ethanol plants are not required to achieve a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (when compared to gasoline), advanced biofuels are required to reduce emissions by 50 or 60 percent. But not all fuels that qualify for advanced status according to the Environmental Protection Agency have the same climate mitigation potential. This study ranks advanced fuel pathways approved by the EPA from good, to bad…to worse. Climate mitigation potential of these fuels is compared to previous research and examined using the EPA's modeling framework.

  4. NREL Creates New Pathways for Producing Biofuels and Acids from Cyanobacteria (Fact Sheet)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2012-10-01

    Cyanobacteria use photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide into glycogen, a carbohydrate that is stored in the cells as an energy source. However, researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have discovered that this photosynthesis can be redirected to produce lipids and valuable organic acids. The research could yield a new source of biofuels, because the lipids can potentially be extracted from the bacteria and converted into biodiesel.

  5. Genomic Advances to Improve Biomass for Biofuels (LBNL Science at the Theater)

    ScienceCinema

    Rokhsar, Daniel

    2016-07-12

    Lawrence Berkeley National Lab bioscientist Daniel Rokhsar discusses genomic advances to improve biomass for biofuels. He presented his talk Feb. 11, 2008 in Berkeley, California as part of Berkeley Lab's community lecture series. Rokhsar works with the U.S. Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute and Berkeley Lab's Genomics Division.

  6. Biofuel cells: enhanced enzymatic bioelectrocatalysis.

    PubMed

    Meredith, Matthew T; Minteer, Shelley D

    2012-01-01

    Enzymatic biofuel cells represent an emerging technology that can create electrical energy from biologically renewable catalysts and fuels. A wide variety of redox enzymes have been employed to create unique biofuel cells that can be used in applications such as implantable power sources, energy sources for small electronic devices, self-powered sensors, and bioelectrocatalytic logic gates. This review addresses the fundamental concepts necessary to understand the operating principles of biofuel cells, as well as recent advances in mediated electron transfer- and direct electron transfer-based biofuel cells, which have been developed to create bioelectrical devices that can produce significant power and remain stable for long periods.

  7. 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

  8. Bioprospecting for hyper-lipid producing microalgal strains for sustainable biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Mutanda, T; Ramesh, D; Karthikeyan, S; Kumari, S; Anandraj, A; Bux, F

    2011-01-01

    Global petroleum reserves are shrinking at a fast pace, increasing the demand for alternate fuels. Microalgae have the ability to grow rapidly, and synthesize and accumulate large amounts (approximately 20-50% of dry weight) of neutral lipid stored in cytosolic lipid bodies. A successful and economically viable algae based biofuel industry mainly depends on the selection of appropriate algal strains. The main focus of bioprospecting for microalgae is to identify unique high lipid producing microalgae from different habitats. Indigenous species of microalgae with high lipid yields are especially valuable in the biofuel industry. Isolation, purification and identification of natural microalgal assemblages using conventional techniques is generally time consuming. However, the recent use of micromanipulation as a rapid isolating tool allows for a higher screening throughput. The appropriate media and growth conditions are also important for successful microalgal proliferation. Environmental parameters recorded at the sampling site are necessary to optimize in vitro growth. Identification of species generally requires a combination of morphological and genetic characterization. The selected microalgal strains are grown in upscale systems such as raceway ponds or photobireactors for biomass and lipid production. This paper reviews the recent methodologies adopted for site selection, sampling, strain selection and identification, optimization of cultural conditions for superior lipid yield for biofuel production. Energy generation routes of microalgal lipids and biomass are discussed in detail.

  9. Processing of cellulose for the advancement of biofuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watson, Brian James

    2011-12-01

    The enzymatic degradation of cellulose polymers is currently a rate-limiting step in the bioconversion of biomass to biofuels. Cellulose polymers self assemble to form crystalline structures stabilized by a complex network of intermolecular interactions such as hydrogen bonding. The network of interactions in crystalline cellulose (cellulose nanostructure) poses an energy barrier that limits enzymatic degradation as apparent from the activity of Cel5H. To improve the degradability of cellulose the intermolecular interactions must be disrupted. The interactions of the cellulose nanostructure prevent solubilization by water and most other common solvents, but some organic solvents aid degradation of cellulose suggesting they influence cellulose nanostructure. The objective of this work is to understand the influence of solvents on cellulose nanostructure with the goal of improving the degradability of cellulose nanostructure using solvents. To understand solvent interaction with cellulose, phosphoric acid was used to first solubilize cellulose (PAS cellulose) followed by adding an organic liquid or water to wash the phosphate from the system. The Flory Huggins theory was used to predict wash liquids that could favorably interact with cellulose. A favorable wash liquid was predicted to prevent the reformation of crystalline domains to yield a disrupted cellulose nanostructure, which should be more degradable. Low molecular weight alcohols and glycols were calculated to be favorable wash liquids. Washing PAS cellulose with the predicted favorable liquids yielded semi-transparent gel-like materials compared to the opaque white precipitate formed when water or unfavorable solvents were used in the wash. Fractal analysis of small angle neutron scattering (SANS) of these apparent gels indicated cellulose polymers likely have the properties of clustered rods. This partial disruption increased degradability relative to the water washed PAS cellulose. The apparent rod

  10. Biorefinery developments for advanced biofuels from a widening array of biomass feedstocks

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    When the United States passed the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) of 2007 into law it mandated that, by the year 2022, 36 billion gallons of biofuels be produced annually in the U.S. to displace petroleum. This targeted quota, which required that at least half of domestic transportation fuel be “adva...

  11. Developing County-level Water Footprints of Biofuel Produced from Switchgrass and Miscanthus x Giganteus in the United States

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, May M.; Chiu, Yi-Wen

    2014-09-30

    Perennial grass has been proposed as a potential candidate for producing cellulosic biofuel because of its promising productivity and benefits to water quality, and because it is a non-food feedstock. While extensive research focuses on selecting and developing species and conversion technologies, the impact of grass-based biofuel production on water resources remains less clear. As feedstock growth requires water and the type of water consumed may vary considerably from region to region, water use must be characterized with spatial resolution and on a fuel production basis. This report summarizes a study that assesses the impact of biofuel production on water resource use and water quality at county, state, and regional scales by developing a water footprint of biofuel produced from switchgrass and Miscanthus × giganteus via biochemical conversion.

  12. Final Technical Report - Use of Systems Biology Approaches to Develop Advanced Biofuel-Synthesizing Cyanobacterial Strains

    SciTech Connect

    Pakrasi, Himadri

    2016-09-01

    The overall objective of this project was to use a systems biology approach to evaluate the potentials of a number of cyanobacterial strains for photobiological production of advanced biofuels and/or their chemical precursors. Cyanobacteria are oxygen evolving photosynthetic prokaryotes. Among them, certain unicellular species such as Cyanothece can also fix N2, a process that is exquisitely sensitive to oxygen. To accommodate such incompatible processes in a single cell, Cyanothece produces oxygen during the day, and creates an O2-limited intracellular environment during the night to perform O2-sensitive processes such as N2-fixation. Thus, Cyanothece cells are natural bioreactors for the storage of captured solar energy with subsequent utilization at a different time during a diurnal cycle. Our studies include the identification of a novel, fast-growing, mixotrophic, transformable cyanobacterium. This strain has been sequenced and will be made available to the community. In addition, we have developed genome-scale models for a family of cyanobacteria to assess their metabolic repertoire. Furthermore, we developed a method for rapid construction of metabolic models using multiple annotation sources and a metabolic model of a related organism. This method will allow rapid annotation and screening of potential phenotypes based on the newly available genome sequences of many organisms.

  13. Biofuel supply chain, market, and policy analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Leilei

    Renewable fuel is receiving an increasing attention as a substitute for fossil based energy. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has employed increasing effort on promoting the advanced biofuel productions. Although the advanced biofuel remains at its early stage, it is expected to play an important role in climate policy in the future in the transportation sector. This dissertation studies the emerging biofuel supply chain and markets by analyzing the production cost, and the outcomes of the biofuel market, including blended fuel market price and quantity, biofuel contract price and quantity, profitability of each stakeholder (farmers, biofuel producers, biofuel blenders) in the market. I also address government policy impacts on the emerging biofuel market. The dissertation is composed with three parts, each in a paper format. The first part studies the supply chain of emerging biofuel industry. Two optimization-based models are built to determine the number of facilities to deploy, facility locations, facility capacities, and operational planning within facilities. Cost analyses have been conducted under a variety of biofuel demand scenarios. It is my intention that this model will shed light on biofuel supply chain design considering operational planning under uncertain demand situations. The second part of the dissertation work focuses on analyzing the interaction between the key stakeholders along the supply chain. A bottom-up equilibrium model is built for the emerging biofuel market to study the competition in the advanced biofuel market, explicitly formulating the interactions between farmers, biofuel producers, blenders, and consumers. The model simulates the profit maximization of multiple market entities by incorporating their competitive decisions in farmers' land allocation, biomass transportation, biofuel production, and biofuel blending. As such, the equilibrium model is capable of and appropriate for policy analysis, especially for those policies

  14. Student Produced Advanced Mathematical Software.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hogben, Leslie

    The intent of this project was to develop a course for mathematics graduate students at Iowa State University. They would design and write computer programs for use by undergraduate mathematics students, and then offer the course and actually produce the software. Phase plane graphics for ordinary differential equations was selected as the topic.…

  15. 75 FR 20085 - Subpart B-Advanced Biofuel Payment Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-04-16

    ... produced from renewable biomass, excluding corn kernel starch, in a biorefinery located in the United... kernel starch, in a biorefinery located in the United States. Under the proposed rule, the sign-up period... and biogas, which is fuel derived from renewable biomass, other than corn kernel starch...

  16. Yield and Properties of Ethanol Biofuel Produced from Different Whole Cassava Flours

    PubMed Central

    Ademiluyi, F. T.; Mepba, H. D.

    2013-01-01

    The yield and properties of ethanol biofuel produced from five different whole cassava flours were investigated. Ethanol was produced from five different whole cassava flours. The effect of quantity of yeast on ethanol yield, effect of whole cassava flour to acid and mineralized media ratio on the yield of ethanol produced, and the physical properties of ethanol produced from different cassava were investigated. Physical properties such as distillation range, density, viscosity, and flash point of ethanol produced differ slightly for different cultivars, while the yield of ethanol and electrical conductivity of ethanol from the different cassava cultivars varies significantly. The variation in mineral composition of the different whole cassava flours could also lead to variation in the electrical conductivity of ethanol produced from the different cassava cultivars. The differences in ethanol yield are attributed to differences in starch content, protein content, and dry matter of cassava cultivars. High yield of ethanol from whole cassava flour is best produced from cultivars with high starch content, low protein content, and low fiber. PMID:25937983

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

    PubMed Central

    Torto-Alalibo, Trudy; Purwantini, Endang; Lomax, Jane; Setubal, João 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. Genetic resources for advanced biofuel production described with the Gene Ontology

    DOE PAGES

    Torto-Alalibo, Trudy; Purwantini, Endang; Lomax, Jane; ...

    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

  20. Novel bacterial isolate from Permian groundwater, capable of aggregating potential biofuel-producing microalga Nannochloropsis oceanica IMET1.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hui; Laughinghouse, Haywood D; Anderson, Matthew A; Chen, Feng; Willliams, Ernest; Place, Allen R; Zmora, Odi; Zohar, Yonathan; Zheng, Tianling; Hill, Russell T

    2012-03-01

    Increasing petroleum costs and climate change have resulted in microalgae receiving attention as potential biofuel producers. Little information is available on the diversity and functions of bacterial communities associated with biofuel-producing algae. A potential biofuel-producing microalgal strain, Nannochloropsis oceanica IMET1, was grown in Permian groundwater. Changes in the bacterial community structure at three temperatures were monitored by two culture-independent methods, and culturable bacteria were characterized. After 9 days of incubation, N. oceanica IMET1 began to aggregate and precipitate in cultures grown at 30°C, whereas cells remained uniformly distributed at 15°C and 25°C. The bacterial communities in cultures at 30°C changed markedly. Some bacteria isolated only at 30°C were tested for their potential for aggregating microalgae. A novel bacterium designated HW001 showed a remarkable ability to aggregate N. oceanica IMET1, causing microalgal cells to aggregate after 3 days of incubation, while the total lipid content of the microalgal cells was not affected. Direct interaction of HW001 and N. oceanica is necessary for aggregation. HW001 can also aggregate the microalgae N. oceanica CT-1, Tetraselmis suecica, and T. chuii as well as the cyanobacterium Synechococcus WH8007. 16S rRNA gene sequence comparisons indicated the great novelty of this strain, which exhibited only 89% sequence similarity with any previously cultured bacteria. Specific primers targeted to HW001 revealed that the strain originated from the Permian groundwater. This study of the bacterial communities associated with potential biofuel-producing microalgae addresses a little-investigated area of microalgal biofuel research and provides a novel approach to harvest biofuel-producing microalgae by using the novel bacterium strain HW001.

  1. Novel Bacterial Isolate from Permian Groundwater, Capable of Aggregating Potential Biofuel-Producing Microalga Nannochloropsis oceanica IMET1

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hui; Laughinghouse, Haywood D.; Anderson, Matthew A.; Chen, Feng; Willliams, Ernest; Place, Allen R.; Zmora, Odi; Zohar, Yonathan

    2012-01-01

    Increasing petroleum costs and climate change have resulted in microalgae receiving attention as potential biofuel producers. Little information is available on the diversity and functions of bacterial communities associated with biofuel-producing algae. A potential biofuel-producing microalgal strain, Nannochloropsis oceanica IMET1, was grown in Permian groundwater. Changes in the bacterial community structure at three temperatures were monitored by two culture-independent methods, and culturable bacteria were characterized. After 9 days of incubation, N. oceanica IMET1 began to aggregate and precipitate in cultures grown at 30°C, whereas cells remained uniformly distributed at 15°C and 25°C. The bacterial communities in cultures at 30°C changed markedly. Some bacteria isolated only at 30°C were tested for their potential for aggregating microalgae. A novel bacterium designated HW001 showed a remarkable ability to aggregate N. oceanica IMET1, causing microalgal cells to aggregate after 3 days of incubation, while the total lipid content of the microalgal cells was not affected. Direct interaction of HW001 and N. oceanica is necessary for aggregation. HW001 can also aggregate the microalgae N. oceanica CT-1, Tetraselmis suecica, and T. chuii as well as the cyanobacterium Synechococcus WH8007. 16S rRNA gene sequence comparisons indicated the great novelty of this strain, which exhibited only 89% sequence similarity with any previously cultured bacteria. Specific primers targeted to HW001 revealed that the strain originated from the Permian groundwater. This study of the bacterial communities associated with potential biofuel-producing microalgae addresses a little-investigated area of microalgal biofuel research and provides a novel approach to harvest biofuel-producing microalgae by using the novel bacterium strain HW001. PMID:22194289

  2. Global Warming Potential and Eutrophication Potential of Biofuel Feedstock Crops Produced in Florida, Measured Under Different Scenarios

    SciTech Connect

    Izursa, Jose-Luis; Hanlon, Edward; Amponsah, Nana; Capece, John

    2013-02-15

    The agriculture sector is in a growing need to develop greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation techniques to reduce the enhanced greenhouse effect. The challenge to the sector is not only to reduce net emissions but also increase production to meet growing demands for food, fiber, and biofuel. This study focuses on the changes in the GHG balance of three biofuel feedstock (biofuel sugarcane, energy-cane and sweet sorghum) considering changes caused by the adoption of conservationist practices such as reduced tillage, use of controlled-release fertilizers or when cultivation areas are converted from burned harvest to green harvest. Based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2006) balance and the Tools for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and Other Environmental Impacts (TRACI) characterization factors published by the EPA, the annual emission balance includes use energy (diesel and electricity), equipment, and ancillary materials, according to the mean annual consumption of supplies per hectare. The total amounts of GWP were 2740, 1791, and 1910 kg CO2e ha-1 y-1 for biofuel sugarcane, energy-cane and sweet sorghum, respectively, when produced with conventional tillage and sugarcane was burned prior to harvesting. Applying reduced tillage practices, the GHG emissions reduced to 13% for biofuel sugarcane, 23% for energy-cane and 8% for sweet sorghum. A similar decrease occurs when a controlled-release fertilizer practice is adopted, which helps reduce the total emission balance in 5%, 12% and 19% for biofuel sugarcane, energy-cane and sweet sorghum, respectively and a 31% average reduction in eutrophication potential. Moreover, the GHG emissions for biofuel sugarcane, with the adoption of green harvest, would result in a smaller GHG balance of 1924 kg CO2e ha-1 y-1, providing an effect strategy for GHG mitigation while still providing a profitable yield in Florida.

  3. 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 CO₂ emissions. Several alternatives have been proposed to develop a sustainable industrial society and reduce greenhouse emissions. The idea of biological conversion of CO₂ to fuel and chemicals is receiving increased attention. In particular, the direct conversion of CO₂ 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.

  4. FTIR analysis of surface functionalities on particulate matter produced by off-road diesel engines operating on diesel and biofuel.

    PubMed

    Popovicheva, Olga B; Kireeva, Elena D; Shonija, Natalia K; Vojtisek-Lom, Michal; Schwarz, Jaroslav

    2015-03-01

    Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy is applied as a powerful analytic technique for the evaluation of the chemical composition of combustion aerosols emitted by off-road engines fuelled by diesel and biofuels. Particles produced by burning diesel, heated rapeseed oil (RO), RO with ethylhexylnitrate, and heated palm oil were sampled from exhausts of representative in-use diesel engines. Multicomponent composition of diesel and biofuel particles reveal the chemistry related to a variety of functional groups containing carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sulfur, and nitrogen. The most intensive functionalities of diesel particles are saturated C-C-H and unsaturated C=C-H aliphatic groups in alkanes and alkenes, aromatic C=C and C=C-H groups in polyaromatics, as well as sulfates and nitrated ions. The distinguished features of biofuel particles were carbonyl C=O groups in carboxylic acids, ketones, aldehydes, esters, and lactones. NO2, C-N and -NH groups in nitrocompounds and amines are found to dominate biofuel particles. Group identification is confirmed by complementary measurements of organic carbon (OC), elemental carbon, and water-soluble ion species. The relationship between infrared bands of polar oxygenated and non-polar aliphatic functionalities indicates the higher extent of the surface oxidation of biofuel particles. Findings provide functional markers of organic surface structure of off-road diesel emission, allowing for a better evaluation of relation between engine, fuel, operation condition, and particle composition, thus improving the quantification of environmental impacts of alternative energy source emissions.

  5. Fermentation broth components influence droplet coalescence and hinder advanced biofuel recovery during fermentation.

    PubMed

    Heeres, Arjan S; Schroën, Karin; Heijnen, Joseph J; van der Wielen, Luuk A M; Cuellar, Maria C

    2015-08-01

    Developments in synthetic biology enabled the microbial production of long chain hydrocarbons, which can be used as advanced biofuels in aviation or transportation. Currently, these fuels are not economically competitive due to their production costs. The current process offers room for improvement: by utilizing lignocellulosic feedstock, increasing microbial yields, and using cheaper process technology. Gravity separation is an example of the latter, for which droplet growth by coalescence is crucial. The aim of this study was to study the effect of fermentation broth components on droplet coalescence. Droplet coalescence was measured using two setups: a microfluidic chip and regular laboratory scale stirred vessel (2 L). Some fermentation broth components had a large impact on droplet coalescence. Especially components present in hydrolysed cellulosic biomass and mannoproteins from the yeast cell wall retard coalescence. To achieve a technically feasible gravity separation that can be integrated with the fermentation, the negative effects of these components on coalescence should be minimized. This could be achieved by redesign of the fermentation medium or adjusting the fermentation conditions, aiming to minimize the release of surface active components by the microorganisms. This way, another step can be made towards economically feasible advanced biofuel production.

  6. 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.

  7. Nanostructured material-based biofuel cells: recent advances and future prospects.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Cui-E; Gai, Panpan; Song, Rongbin; Chen, Ying; Zhang, Jianrong; Zhu, Jun-Jie

    2017-03-06

    During the past decade, biofuel cells (BFCs) have emerged as an emerging technology on account of their ability to directly generate electricity from biologically renewable catalysts and fuels. Due to the boost in nanotechnology, significant advances have been accomplished in BFCs. Although it is still challenging to promote the performance of BFCs, adopting nanostructured materials for BFC construction has been extensively proposed as an effective and promising strategy to achieve high energy production. In this review, we presented the major novel nanostructured materials applied for BFCs and highlighted the breakthroughs in this field. Based on different natures of the bio-catalysts and electron transfer process at the bio-electrode surfaces, the fundamentals of BFC systems, including enzymatic biofuel cells (EBFCs) and microbial fuel cells (MFCs), have been elucidated. In particular, the principle of electrode materials design has been detailed in terms of enhancing electrical communications between biological catalysts and electrodes. Furthermore, we have provided the applications of BFCs and potential challenges of this technology.

  8. Advances in microalgae engineering and synthetic biology applications for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Gimpel, Javier A; Specht, Elizabeth A; Georgianna, D Ryan; Mayfield, Stephen P

    2013-06-01

    Among the technologies being examined to produce renewable fuels, microalgae are viewed by many in the scientific community as having the greatest potential to become economically viable. Algae are capable of producing greater than 50,000 kg/acre/year of biomass [1]. Additionally, most algae naturally accumulate energy-dense oils that can easily be converted into transportation fuels. To reach economic parity with fossil fuels there are still several challenges. These include identifying crop protection strategies, improving harvesting and oil extraction processes, and increasing biomass productivity and oil content. All of these challenges can be impacted by genetic, molecular, and ultimately synthetic biology techniques, and all of these technologies are being deployed to enable algal biofuels to become economically competitive with fossil fuels.

  9. 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.

  10. [Advanced biofuel-oriented engineering of fatty acid pathway: a review].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yongjin J; Zhao, Zongbao K

    2011-09-01

    Biofuel is in high demand as an alternative energy source for petroleum and diesel. Fatty acid-based biofuel has higher energy density and better compatibility with existing infrastructures. Microbial fatty acid biosynthetic pathway is important to develop biofuel. In this article, recent progresses on the modification and reconstruction of fatty acid metabolism for the production of biofuel were reviewed, with a focus on micro-diesel, long chain fatty alcohol and alkane. Problems, solutions and directions for further development of fatty acid-based biofuel were also discussed in the respect of synthetic biology.

  11. Algal biofuels.

    PubMed

    Razeghifard, Reza

    2013-11-01

    The world is facing energy crisis and environmental issues due to the depletion of fossil fuels and increasing CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. Growing microalgae can contribute to practical solutions for these global problems because they can harvest solar energy and capture CO2 by converting it into biofuel using photosynthesis. Microalgae are robust organisms capable of rapid growth under a variety of conditions including in open ponds or closed photobioreactors. Their reduced biomass compounds can be used as the feedstock for mass production of a variety of biofuels. As another advantage, their ability to accumulate or secrete biofuels can be controlled by changing their growth conditions or metabolic engineering. This review is aimed to highlight different forms of biofuels produced by microalgae and the approaches taken to improve their biofuel productivity. The costs for industrial-scale production of algal biofuels in open ponds or closed photobioreactors are analyzed. Different strategies for photoproduction of hydrogen by the hydrogenase enzyme of green algae are discussed. Algae are also good sources of biodiesel since some species can make large quantities of lipids as their biomass. The lipid contents for some of the best oil-producing strains of algae in optimized growth conditions are reviewed. The potential of microalgae for producing petroleum related chemicals or ready-make fuels such as bioethanol, triterpenic hydrocarbons, isobutyraldehyde, isobutanol, and isoprene from their biomass are also presented.

  12. Dynamic Modeling of Learning in Emerging Energy Industries: The Example of Advanced Biofuels in the United States

    SciTech Connect

    Vimmerstedt, Laura; Peterson, Steve; Bush, Brian

    2016-05-01

    This paper (and its supplemental model) presents novel approaches to modeling interactions and related policies among investment, production, and learning in an emerging competitive industry. New biomass-to-biofuels pathways are being developed and commercialized to support goals for U.S. advanced biofuel use, such as those in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. We explore the impact of learning rates and techno-economics in a learning model excerpted from the Biomass Scenario Model (BSM), developed by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to explore the impact of biofuel policy on the evolution of the biofuels industry. The BSM integrates investment, production, and learning among competing biofuel conversion options that are at different stages of industrial development. We explain the novel methods used to simulate the impact of differing assumptions about mature industry techno-economics and about learning rates while accounting for the different maturity levels of various conversion pathways. A sensitivity study shows that the parameters studied (fixed capital investment, process yield, progress ratios, and pre-commercial investment) exhibit highly interactive effects, and the system, as modeled, tends toward market dominance of a single pathway due to competition and learning dynamics.

  13. Dynamic Modeling of Learning in Emerging Energy Industries: The Example of Advanced Biofuels in the United States: Preprint

    SciTech Connect

    Vimmerstedt, Laura J.; Bush, Brian W.; Peterson, Steven O.

    2015-09-03

    This paper (and its supplemental model) presents novel approaches to modeling interactions and related policies among investment, production, and learning in an emerging competitive industry. New biomass-to-biofuels pathways are being developed and commercialized to support goals for U.S. advanced biofuel use, such as those in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. We explore the impact of learning rates and techno-economics in a learning model excerpted from the Biomass Scenario Model (BSM), developed by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to explore the impact of biofuel policy on the evolution of the biofuels industry. The BSM integrates investment, production, and learning among competing biofuel conversion options that are at different stages of industrial development. We explain the novel methods used to simulate the impact of differing assumptions about mature industry techno-economics and about learning rates while accounting for the different maturity levels of various conversion pathways. A sensitivity study shows that the parameters studied (fixed capital investment, process yield, progress ratios, and pre-commercial investment) exhibit highly interactive effects, and the system, as modeled, tends toward market dominance of a single pathway due to competition and learning dynamics.

  14. 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.

  15. National Biofuels Action Plan

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-10-01

    Leading the Federal Interagency Biomass Research and Development Initiative October 2008 National Biofuels Action Plan Biomass Research and...REPORT DATE OCT 2008 2. REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED 00-00-2008 to 00-00-2008 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE National Biofuels Action Plan 5a. CONTRACT...goal of the National Biofuels Action Plan is to maximize the environmental and economic benefi ts of biofuels use by advancing sustainable practices

  16. 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

  17. Scope of algae as third generation biofuels.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. Advanced systems for producing superclean coal

    SciTech Connect

    Yoon, R.H.; Luttrell, G.H.; Adel, G.T.

    1990-08-01

    The purpose of this project was to develop several advanced separation processes for producing superclean coal containing 0.4--2.0% ash and very little pyritic sulfur. Three physical and physico-chemical processes were studied: microbubble flotation, selective hydrophobic coagulation, and electrochemical coal cleaning. Information has been collected from bench-scale experiments in order to determine the basic mechanisms of all three processes. Additionally, because microbubble flotation has already been proven on a bench scale, preliminary scale-up models have been developed for this process. A fundamental study of the electrochemistry of coal pyrite has also been conducted in conjunction with this scale-up effort in order to provide information useful for improving sulfur rejection. The effects of additives (NaCl and kerosene) were also investigated. 94 refs., 167 figs., 25 tabs.

  20. 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...

  1. Rapid Aggregation of Biofuel-Producing Algae by the Bacterium Bacillus sp. Strain RP1137

    PubMed Central

    Powell, Ryan J.

    2013-01-01

    Algal biofuels represent one of the most promising means of sustainably replacing liquid fuels. However, significant challenges remain before alga-based fuels become competitive with fossil fuels. One of the largest challenges is the ability to harvest the algae in an economical and low-energy manner. In this article, we describe the isolation of a bacterial strain, Bacillus sp. strain RP1137, which can rapidly aggregate several algae that are candidates for biofuel production, including a Nannochloropsis sp. This bacterium aggregates algae in a pH-dependent and reversible manner and retains its aggregation ability after paraformaldehyde fixation, opening the possibility for reuse of the cells. The optimal ratio of bacteria to algae is described, as is the robustness of aggregation at different salinities and temperatures. Aggregation is dependent on the presence of calcium or magnesium ions. The efficiency of aggregation of Nannochloropsis oceanica IMET1 is between 70 and 95% and is comparable to that obtained by other means of harvest; however, the rate of harvest is fast, with aggregates forming in 30 s. PMID:23892750

  2. Rapid aggregation of biofuel-producing algae by the bacterium Bacillus sp. strain RP1137.

    PubMed

    Powell, Ryan J; Hill, Russell T

    2013-10-01

    Algal biofuels represent one of the most promising means of sustainably replacing liquid fuels. However, significant challenges remain before alga-based fuels become competitive with fossil fuels. One of the largest challenges is the ability to harvest the algae in an economical and low-energy manner. In this article, we describe the isolation of a bacterial strain, Bacillus sp. strain RP1137, which can rapidly aggregate several algae that are candidates for biofuel production, including a Nannochloropsis sp. This bacterium aggregates algae in a pH-dependent and reversible manner and retains its aggregation ability after paraformaldehyde fixation, opening the possibility for reuse of the cells. The optimal ratio of bacteria to algae is described, as is the robustness of aggregation at different salinities and temperatures. Aggregation is dependent on the presence of calcium or magnesium ions. The efficiency of aggregation of Nannochloropsis oceanica IMET1 is between 70 and 95% and is comparable to that obtained by other means of harvest; however, the rate of harvest is fast, with aggregates forming in 30 s.

  3. National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bio-Products Final Technical Report

    SciTech Connect

    Olivares, Jose A.; Baxter, Ivan; Brown, Judith; Carleton, Michael; Cattolico, Rose Anne; Taraka, Dale; Detter, John C.; Devarenne, Timothy P.; Dutcher, Susan K.; Fox, David T.; Goodenough, Ursula; Jaworski, Jan; Kramer, David; Lipton, Mary S.; McCormick, Margaret; Merchant, Sabeeha; Molnar, Istvan; Panisko, Ellen A.; Pellegrini, Matteo; Polle, Juergen; Sabarsky, Martin; Sayre, Richard T.; Starkenburg,, Shawn; Stormo, Gary; Twary, Scott N.; Unkefer, Clifford J.; Unkefer, Pat J.; Yuan, Joshua S.; Arnold, Bob; Bai, Xuemei; Boeing, Wiebke; Brown, Lois; Gujarathi, Ninad; Huesemann, Michael; Lammers, Pete; Laur, Paul; Khandan, Nirmala; Parsons, Ronald; Samocha, Tzachi; Thomasson, Alex; Unc, Adrian; Waller, Pete; Bonner, James; Coons, Jim; Fernando, Sandun; Goodall, Brian; Kadam, Kiran; Lacey, Ronald; Wei, Liu; Marrone, Babs; Nikolov, Zivko; Trewyn, Brian; Albrecht, Karl; Capareda, Sergio; Cheny, Scott; Deng, Shuguang; Elliott, Douglas; Cesar, Granda; Hallen, Richard; Lupton, Steven; Lynch, Sharry; Marchese, Anthony; Nieweg, Jennifer; Ogden, Kimberly; Oyler, James; Reardon, Ken; Roberts, William; Sams, David; Schaub, Tanner; Silks, Pete; Archibeque, Shawn; Foster, James; Gaitlan, Delbert; Lawrence, Addison; Lodge-Ivey, Shanna; Wickersham, Tyron; Blowers, Paul; Davis, Ryan; Downes, C. Meghan; Dunlop, Eric; Frank, Edward; Handler, Robert; Newby, Deborah; Pienkos, Philip; Richardson, James; Seider, Warren; Shonnard, David; Skaggs, Richard

    2014-09-30

    The main objective of NAABB was to combine science, technology, and engineering expertise from across the nation to break down critical technical barriers to commercialization of algae-based biofuels. The approach was to address technology development across the entire value chain of algal biofuels production, from selection of strains to cultivation, harvesting, extraction, fuel conversion, and agricultural coproduct production. Sustainable practices and financial feasibility assessments ununderscored the approach and drove the technology development.

  4. Oleaginous fungal lipid fermentation on combined acid- and alkali-pretreated corn stover hydrolysate for advanced biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Ruan, Zhenhua; Zanotti, Michael; Archer, Steven; Liao, Wei; Liu, Yan

    2014-07-01

    A combined hydrolysis process, which first mixed dilute acid- and alkali-pretreated corn stover at a 1:1 (w/w) ratio, directly followed by enzymatic saccharification without pH adjustment, has been developed in this study in order to minimize the need of neutralization, detoxification, and washing during the process of lignocellulosic biofuel production. The oleaginous fungus Mortierella isabellina was selected and applied to the combined hydrolysate as well as a synthetic medium to compare fungal lipid accumulation and biodiesel production in both shake flask and 7.5L fermentor. Fungal cultivation on combined hydrolysate exhibited comparable cell mass and lipid yield with those from synthetic medium, indicating that the integration of combined hydrolysis with oleaginous fungal lipid fermentation has great potential to improve performance of advanced lignocellulosic biofuel production.

  5. Exploration of Natural Biomass Utilization Systems (NBUS) for advanced biofuel--from systems biology to synthetic design.

    PubMed

    Xie, Shangxian; Syrenne, Ryan; Sun, Su; Yuan, Joshua S

    2014-06-01

    Efficient degradation and utilization of lignocellulosic biomass remains a challenge for sustainable and affordable biofuels. Various natural biomass utilization systems (NBUS) evolved the capacity to combat the recalcitrance of plant cell walls. The study of these NBUS could enable the development of efficient and cost-effective biocatalysts, microorganisms, and bioprocesses for biofuels and bioproducts. Here, we reviewed the recent research progresses for several NBUS, ranging from single cell microorganisms to consortiums such as cattle rumen and insect guts. These studies aided the discovery of biomass-degrading enzymes and the elucidation of the evolutionary and functional relevance in these systems. In particular, advances in the next generation 'omics' technologies offered new opportunities to explore NBUS in a high-throughput manner. Systems biology helped to facilitate the rapid biocatalyst discovery and detailed mechanism analysis, which could in turn guide the reverse design of engineered microorganisms and bioprocesses for cost-effective and efficient biomass conversion.

  6. [Advance in producing higher alcohols by microbial cell factories].

    PubMed

    Liu, Zengran; Zhang, Guangyi

    2013-10-01

    Higher alcohols have a high energy density, low hygroscopicity and can be mixed with gasoline at any ratio. It is the trend to replace fossil fuels with biofuels produced via microbial fermentation of renewable resources. We reviewed the progress in the development of engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Escherichia coli that can produce higher alcohols, as well as the related technology platforms. We mainly focused on the construction of CoA-dependent pathways and alpha-keto acid mediated non-fermentative pathways, analyzed their respective characteristics, and summarized the construction strategies. The problems to be solved and future research direction were also discussed.

  7. Spectral fluorescence signature techniques and absorption measurements for continuous monitoring of biofuel-producing microalgae cultures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martín de la Cruz, M. C.; Gonzalez Vilas, L.; Yarovenko, N.; Spyrakos, E.; Torres Palenzuela, J. M.

    2013-08-01

    Biofuel production from microalgae can be both sustainable and economically viable. Particularly in the case of algal growth in wastewater an extra benefit is the removal or biotransformation of pollutants from these types of waters. A continuous monitoring system of the microalgae status and the concentration of different wastewater contaminants could be of great help in the biomass production and the water characterisation. In this study we present a system where spectral fluorescence signature (SFS) techniques are used along with absorption measurements to monitor microalgae cultures in wastewater and other mediums. This system aims to optimise the microalgae production for biofuel applications or other uses and was developed and tested in prototype indoor photo-bioreactors at the University of Vigo. SFS techniques were applied using the fluorescence analyser INSTAND-SCREENER developed by Laser Diagnostic Instruments AS. INSTAND-SCREENER permits wavelength scanning in two modes, one in UV and another in VIS. In parallel, it permits the on-line monitoring and rapid analysis of both water quality and phytoplankton status without prior treatment of the sample. Considering that different contaminants and microalgae features (density, status etc.) have different spectral signatures of fluorescence and absorption properties, it is possible to characterise them developing classification libraries. Several algorithms were used for the classification. The implementation of this system in an outdoor raceway reactor in a Spanish wastewater treatment plant is also discussed. This study was part of the Project EnerBioAlgae (http://www.enerbioalgae.com/), which was funded by the Interreg SUDOE and led by the University of Vigo.

  8. Engineering microbes for tolerance to next-generation biofuels

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    A major challenge when using microorganisms to produce bulk chemicals such as biofuels is that the production targets are often toxic to cells. Many biofuels are known to reduce cell viability through damage to the cell membrane and interference with essential physiological processes. Therefore, cells must trade off biofuel production and survival, reducing potential yields. Recently, there have been several efforts towards engineering strains for biofuel tolerance. Promising methods include engineering biofuel export systems, heat shock proteins, membrane modifications, more general stress responses, and approaches that integrate multiple tolerance strategies. In addition, in situ recovery methods and media supplements can help to ease the burden of end-product toxicity and may be used in combination with genetic approaches. Recent advances in systems and synthetic biology provide a framework for tolerance engineering. This review highlights recent targeted approaches towards improving microbial tolerance to next-generation biofuels with a particular emphasis on strategies that will improve production. PMID:21936941

  9. Impact of climate variability on N and C flux within the life cycle of biofuels produced from crop residues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pourhashem, G.; Block, P. J.; Adler, P. R.; Spatari, S.

    2013-12-01

    Biofuels from agricultural feedstocks (lignocellulose) are under development to meet national policy objectives for producing domestic renewable fuels. Using crop residues such as corn stover as feedstock for biofuel production can minimize the risks associated with food market disruption; however, it demands managing residue removal to minimize soil carbon loss, erosion, and to ensure nutrient replacement. Emissions of nitrous oxide and changes to soil organic carbon (SOC) are subject to variability in time due to local climate conditions and cultivation practices. Our objective is to investigate the effect of climate inputs (precipitation and temperature) on biogeochemical greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (N2O and SOC expressed as CO2) within the life cycle of biofuels produced from agricultural residues. Specifically, we investigate the impact of local climate variability on soil carbon and nitrogen fluxes over a 20-year biorefinery lifetime where biomass residue is used for lignocellulosic ethanol production. We investigate two cases studied previously (Pourhashem et al, 2013) where the fermentable sugars in the agricultural residue are converted to ethanol (biofuel) and the lignin byproduct is used in one of two ways: 1) power co-generation; or 2) application to land as a carbon/nutrient-rich amendment to soil. In the second case SOC losses are mitigated through returning the lignin component to land while the need for fertilizer addition is also eliminated, however in both cases N2O and SOC are subject to variability due to variable climate conditions. We used the biogeochemical model DayCent to predict soil carbon and nitrogen fluxes considering soil characteristics, tillage practices and local climate (e.g. temperature and rainfall). We address the impact of climate variability on the soil carbon and nitrogen fluxes by implementing a statistical bootstrap resampling method based on a historic data set (1980 to 2000). The ensuing probabilistic outputs from the

  10. Quantitative analysis of fatty-acid-based biofuels produced by wild-type and genetically engineered cyanobacteria by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Guan, Wenna; Zhao, Hui; Lu, Xuefeng; Wang, Cong; Yang, Menglong; Bai, Fali

    2011-11-11

    Simple and rapid quantitative determination of fatty-acid-based biofuels is greatly important for the study of genetic engineering progress for biofuels production by microalgae. Ideal biofuels produced from biological systems should be chemically similar to petroleum, like fatty-acid-based molecules including free fatty acids, fatty acid methyl esters, fatty acid ethyl esters, fatty alcohols and fatty alkanes. This study founded a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) method for simultaneous quantification of seven free fatty acids, nine fatty acid methyl esters, five fatty acid ethyl esters, five fatty alcohols and three fatty alkanes produced by wild-type Synechocystis PCC 6803 and its genetically engineered strain. Data obtained from GC-MS analyses were quantified using internal standard peak area comparisons. The linearity, limit of detection (LOD) and precision (RSD) of the method were evaluated. The results demonstrated that fatty-acid-based biofuels can be directly determined by GC-MS without derivation. Therefore, rapid and reliable quantitative analysis of fatty-acid-based biofuels produced by wild-type and genetically engineered cyanobacteria can be achieved using the GC-MS method founded in this work.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Characterization of four endophytic fungi as potential consolidated bioprocessing hosts for conversion of lignocellulose into advanced biofuels.

    PubMed

    Wu, Weihua; Davis, Ryan W; Tran-Gyamfi, Mary Bao; Kuo, Alan; LaButti, Kurt; Mihaltcheva, Sirma; Hundley, Hope; Chovatia, Mansi; Lindquist, Erika; Barry, Kerrie; Grigoriev, Igor V; Henrissat, Bernard; Gladden, John M

    2017-03-01

    Recently, several endophytic fungi have been demonstrated to produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with properties similar to fossil fuels, called "mycodiesel," while growing on lignocellulosic plant and agricultural residues. The fact that endophytes are plant symbionts suggests that some may be able to produce lignocellulolytic enzymes, making them capable of both deconstructing lignocellulose and converting it into mycodiesel, two properties that indicate that these strains may be useful consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) hosts for the biofuel production. In this study, four endophytes Hypoxylon sp. CI4A, Hypoxylon sp. EC38, Hypoxylon sp. CO27, and Daldinia eschscholzii EC12 were selected and evaluated for their CBP potential. Analysis of their genomes indicates that these endophytes have a rich reservoir of biomass-deconstructing carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZys), which includes enzymes active on both polysaccharides and lignin, as well as terpene synthases (TPSs), enzymes that may produce fuel-like molecules, suggesting that they do indeed have CBP potential. GC-MS analyses of their VOCs when grown on four representative lignocellulosic feedstocks revealed that these endophytes produce a wide spectrum of hydrocarbons, the majority of which are monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes, including some known biofuel candidates. Analysis of their cellulase activity when grown under the same conditions revealed that these endophytes actively produce endoglucanases, exoglucanases, and β-glucosidases. The richness of CAZymes as well as terpene synthases identified in these four endophytic fungi suggests that they are great candidates to pursue for development into platform CBP organisms.

  14. Utilization of inulin-containing waste in industrial fermentations to produce biofuels and bio-based chemicals.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Stephen R; Qureshi, Nasib; López-Núñez, Juan Carlos; Jones, Marjorie A; Jarodsky, Joshua M; Galindo-Leva, Luz Ángela; Lindquist, Mitchell R

    2017-04-01

    Inulins are polysaccharides that belong to an important class of carbohydrates known as fructans and are used by many plants as a means of storing energy. Inulins contain 20 to several thousand fructose units joined by β-2,1 glycosidic bonds, typically with a terminal glucose unit. Plants with high concentrations of inulin include: agave, asparagus, coffee, chicory, dahlia, dandelion, garlic, globe artichoke, Jerusalem artichoke, jicama, onion, wild yam, and yacón. To utilize inulin as its carbon and energy source directly, a microorganism requires an extracellular inulinase to hydrolyze the glycosidic bonds to release fermentable monosaccharides. Inulinase is produced by many microorganisms, including species of Aspergillus, Kluyveromyces, Penicillium, and Pseudomonas. We review various inulinase-producing microorganisms and inulin feedstocks with potential for industrial application as well as biotechnological efforts underway to develop sustainable practices for the disposal of residues from processing inulin-containing crops. A multi-stage biorefinery concept is proposed to convert cellulosic and inulin-containing waste produced at crop processing operations to valuable biofuels and bioproducts using Kluyveromyces marxianus, Yarrowia lipolytica, Rhodotorula glutinis, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae as well as thermochemical treatments.

  15. Comparative genomics of the mesophilic cellulosome-producing Clostridium cellulovorans and its application to biofuel production via consolidated bioprocessing.

    PubMed

    Tamaru, Yutaka; Miyake, Hideo; Kuroda, Kouichi; Ueda, Mitsuyoshi; Doi, Roy H

    2010-01-01

    Clostridium cellulovorans is an anaerobic, mesophilic bacterium that efficiently degrades native substrates in soft biomass such as corn fibre and rice straw by producing an extracellular enzyme complex called the cellulosomes. By examining genome sequences from multiple Clostridium species, comparative genomics offers new insight into genome evolution and the way natural selection moulds functional DNA sequence evolution. Recently, we reported the whole genome sequence of C. cellulovorans. A total of 57 cellulosomal genes were found in the C. cellulovorans genome and coded for not only carbohydrate-active enzymes but also lipase, peptidase and proteinase inhibitors, in addition to two novel genes encoding scaffolding proteins CbpB and CbpC. Interestingly, the genome size of C. cellulovorans was about 1 Mbp larger than that of other cellulosome-producing clostridia: mesophilic C. cellulolyticum and thermophilic C. thermocellum. Since the C. cellulovorans genome included not only cellulosomal genes but also a large number of genes encoding non-cellulosomal enzymes, the genome expansion of C. cellulovorans included genes more related to degradation of polysaccharides, such as hemicelluloses and pectins, than to cellulose. In this review, we propose a strategy for industrial applications such as biofuel production using enhanced mesophilic cellulosome- and solvent-producing clostridia.

  16. One-pot bioconversion of algae biomass into terpenes for advanced biofuels and bioproducts

    DOE PAGES

    Davis, Ryan Wesley; Wu, Weihua

    2016-01-01

    In this study, rising demand for transportation fuels, diminishing reserved of fossil oil, and the concerns with fossil fuel derived environmental pollution as well as the green-house gas emission derived climate change have resulted in the compelling need for alternative, sustainable new energy sources(1). Algae-based biofuels have been considered one of the promising alternatives to fossil fuels as they can overcome some of these issues (2-4). The current state-of-art of algal biofuel technologies have primarily focused on biodiesel production through prompting high algal lipid yields under the nutrient stress conditions. There are less interests of using algae-based carbohydrate and proteinsmore » as carbon sources for the fermentative production of liquid fuel compounds or other high-value bioproducts(5-7).« less

  17. One-pot bioconversion of algae biomass into terpenes for advanced biofuels and bioproducts

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, Ryan Wesley; Wu, Weihua

    2016-01-01

    In this study, rising demand for transportation fuels, diminishing reserved of fossil oil, and the concerns with fossil fuel derived environmental pollution as well as the green-house gas emission derived climate change have resulted in the compelling need for alternative, sustainable new energy sources(1). Algae-based biofuels have been considered one of the promising alternatives to fossil fuels as they can overcome some of these issues (2-4). The current state-of-art of algal biofuel technologies have primarily focused on biodiesel production through prompting high algal lipid yields under the nutrient stress conditions. There are less interests of using algae-based carbohydrate and proteins as carbon sources for the fermentative production of liquid fuel compounds or other high-value bioproducts(5-7).

  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. Techno-economic and Fluid Dynamics Analysis for Growing Microalgae with the Intent of Producing Biofuel Using a System Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raffaeli, Leah R.

    Techno-economic and systems studies on microalgal growth scenarios to date are abbreviated and missing a number of important variables. By including these variables in a detailed model integrating biology, chemistry, engineering, and financial aspects, a more defined systems analysis is possible. Through optimizing the model productivity based on the resulting net profit, the system analysis results in a more accurate assessment of environmental and economic sustainability of specific algal growth scenarios. Photobioreactor algal growth scenario optimization in the system model has resulted in realistic engineering design requirements based on algal growth requirements and fluid dynamics analysis. Results show feasibility for photobioreactor growth scenarios to be economically sustainable when co-products are included, but definite technological advancements and productivity improvements must be made. The main factors inhibiting a cost effective photobioreactor growth scenario are culture density, temperature, and lighting distribution for solar illuminated photobioreactors, and lighting cost for artificially illuminated photobioreactors. Open pond algal growth scenarios do not show any prospect of economic or environmental sustainability with current technology due to the large amount of surface area required, inefficient water use, and low culture density. All algal growth scenarios are inferior to petro-diesel regarding energy inputs, carbon emissions, and environmental sustainability. No algal growth scenarios analyzed in this study meet the U.S. requirement of biofuel emitting at least 20% less carbon emissions than diesel from crude oil.

  20. 7 CFR 4288.111 - Biofuel eligibility.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 15 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Biofuel eligibility. 4288.111 Section 4288.111... RURAL UTILITIES SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PAYMENT PROGRAMS Advanced Biofuel Payment Program General Provisions § 4288.111 Biofuel eligibility. To be eligible for this Program, a biofuel must...

  1. 7 CFR 4288.111 - Biofuel eligibility.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 15 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Biofuel eligibility. 4288.111 Section 4288.111... RURAL UTILITIES SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PAYMENT PROGRAMS Advanced Biofuel Payment Program General Provisions § 4288.111 Biofuel eligibility. To be eligible for this Program, a biofuel must...

  2. 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 ...

  3. The Use of Phytochemicals to Effectively Produce Biofuel from Rhizophora mangle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singhal, M.; Brinker, R.

    2015-12-01

    After successfully determining the presence of phytochemicals in both the Common Crabgrass (Digitaria ischaemum), and North American Dandelion (Taxacum officinale) , my research focused on the effects of specific phytochemicals, Luteolin from crabgrass and Taxasterol from dandelion, on electrical energy yield from a hydrogen fuel cell. Improvements in hydrogen fuel cell efficiency and cost are sought. By use of red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) propagules as an oxygen source the effects of Luteolin and Taxasterol could be tested as a means to optimize hydrogen fuel cells. The methodology began with physical chemical extraction, then proceeded with separation by column chromatography, and ended with fuel cell testing of the isolated phytochemicals. Published retention factor values were used to isolate Luteolin (.66) and Taxasterol (.30). In order to test electrical energy yield, the amount of current produced by the fuel cell was measured in microamperes (μA[RB1] ) over five minutes for both the three control and three experimental group trials for both experimental groups each. The largest ampere value collected from Luteolin group was 4.3 μA, while the largest value collected from Taxasterol group was 2.5 μA. Out of both experimental groups, taraxsterol had the smallest range, showing more consistency between the control and corresponding experimental groups tested. My hypothesis was not supported. Luteolin treated fuel cell produced a larger electrical energy yield than did fuel cells treated with Taxasterol. [RB1]I found μ by selecting "insert symbol", then looking at Greek symbols.

  4. Biofuels and North American agriculture--implications for the health and safety of North American producers.

    PubMed

    Gunderson, Paul D

    2008-01-01

    This decade has provided North American agricultural producers with opportunity to not only produce fiber and food, but also fuel and other industrial products. The drivers incenting this development could be sustained well into the future, therefore workforce safety and health implications are likely to persist for some time. Within production agriculture, the 'feedstock growth and harvest cycle' and 'transport' sectors possess the changing exposures experienced by workers. The Conference explored the following exposures: distiller's grains and bio-processing byproducts, spent catalyst, solvent brine, microbial agents, genetically modified organisms, discharge effluent, H2O dilutes, change in cropping patterns and resultant use of different seeding and harvest technologies, pests (whether target or non-target), and rural traffic resulting from concentrated movement of massive quantities of biomass and grain. Other issues of a more general public health nature such as watershed implications, other environmental impacts, emissions, uneven economic development potential, public safety issues associated with transport of both fuel and other industrial products, and rural emergency medical service need were explored. And, agronomic impacts were noted, including tillage change, potassium buildup in soil, nutrient depletion, sedimentation and erosion of tillable soil, and local esthetics. It was concluded that rural venues for formation and exploration of public policy need to be created.

  5. Recent advance in fabricating monolithic 3D porous graphene and their applications in biosensing and biofuel cells.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Hua-Jun; Guan, Yongxin; Luo, Pan; Wang, Yu

    2017-03-15

    Graphene shows great potential in biosensing and bioelectronics. To facilitate graphene's applications and enhance its performance, recently, three-dimensional (3D) graphene-based materials especially free-standing porous graphene with tunable pore size and void space, have attracted increasing attention for bio-related applications owing to their special features. 3D graphene usually shows the following merits such as an interconnected porous network, a high electronic conductivity, a large active surface area, good chemical/thermal stability and can be more easily handled compared with dispersed graphene sheets. With modified surface properties, graphene can also be bio-friendly. These properties make 3D graphene a perfect candidate as high-performance electrode materials in bioelectronics devices. In this review, we discuss recent advance in fabricating monolithic 3D graphene and their applications in biosensing and biofuel cells.

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

    PubMed

    Longstaff, Holly; Secko, David M

    2016-02-01

    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.

  7. Rapid Response Research and Development (R&D) for the Aerospace Systems Directorate. Delivery Order 0021: Engineering Research and Technical Analyses of Advanced Airbreathing Propulsion Fuels, Subtask: T700 Biofuel Low Lubricity Endurance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-01

    Engineering Research and Technical Analyses of Advanced Airbreathing Propulsion Fuels Subtask: T700 Biofuel Low Lubricity Endurance Jeff Sympson...Subtask: T700 Biofuel Low Lubricity Endurance 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER FA8650-08-D-2806-0021 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 63216F 6... biofuel low lubricity endurance test. The testing was performed on Woodward Item Number 6970-034 according to Woodward test procedure DTP-1827 Rev

  8. Dynamic Modeling of Learning in Emerging Energy Industries: The Example of Advanced Biofuels in the United States; NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

    SciTech Connect

    Peterson, Steve; Bush, Brian; Vimmerstedt, Laura

    2015-07-19

    This paper (and its supplemental model) presents novel approaches to modeling interactions and related policies among investment, production, and learning in an emerging competitive industry. New biomass-to-biofuels pathways are being developed and commercialized to support goals for U.S. advanced biofuel use, such as those in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. We explore the impact of learning rates and techno-economics in a learning model excerpted from the Biomass Scenario Model (BSM), developed by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to explore the impact of biofuel policy on the evolution of the biofuels industry. The BSM integrates investment, production, and learning among competing biofuel conversion options that are at different stages of industrial development. We explain the novel methods used to simulate the impact of differing assumptions about mature industry techno-economics and about learning rates while accounting for the different maturity levels of various conversion pathways. A sensitivity study shows that the parameters studied (fixed capital investment, process yield, progress ratios, and pre-commercial investment) exhibit highly interactive effects, and the system, as modeled, tends toward market dominance of a single pathway due to competition and learning dynamics.

  9. Techno-economic analysis of a conceptual biofuel production process from bioethylene produced by photosynthetic recombinant cyanobacteria

    SciTech Connect

    Markham, Jennifer N.; Tao, Ling; Davis, Ryan; Voulis, Nina; Angenent, Largus T.; Ungerer, Justin; Yu, Jianping

    2016-08-25

    Ethylene is a petrochemical produced in large volumes worldwide. It serves as a building block for a wide variety of plastics, textiles, and chemicals, and can be converted into liquid transportation fuels. There is great interest in the development of technologies that produce ethylene from renewable resources, such as biologically derived CO2 and biomass. One of the metabolic pathways used by microbes to produce ethylene is via an ethylene-forming enzyme (EFE). By expressing a bacterial EFE gene in a cyanobacterium, ethylene has been produced through photosynthetic carbon fixation. Here, we present a conceptual design and techno-economic analysis of a process of biofuel production based on the upgradation of ethylene generated by the recombinant cyanobacterium. This analysis focuses on potential near-term to long-term cost projections for the integrated process of renewable fuels derived from ethylene. The cost projections are important in showing the potential of this technology and determining research thrusts needed to reach target goals. The base case for this analysis is a midterm projection using tubular photobioreactors for cyanobacterial growth and ethylene production, cryogenic distillation for ethylene separation and purification, a two-step Ziegler oligomerization process with subsequent hydrotreatment and upgradation for fuel production, and a wastewater treatment process that utilizes anaerobic digestion of cyanobacterial biomass. The minimum fuel selling price (MFSP) for the midterm projection is 15.07 per gallon gasoline equivalent (GGE). Near-term and long-term projections are 28.66 per GGE and 5.36 per GGE, respectively. Single- and multi-point sensitivity analyses are conducted to determine the relative effect that chosen variables could have on the overall costs. This analysis identifies several key variables for improving the overall process economics and outlines strategies to guide future research directions. Finally, the

  10. Techno-economic analysis of a conceptual biofuel production process from bioethylene produced by photosynthetic recombinant cyanobacteria

    SciTech Connect

    Markham, Jennifer N.; Tao, Ling; Davis, Ryan; Voulis, Nina; Angenent, Largus T.; Ungerer, Justin; Yu, Jianping

    2016-01-01

    Ethylene is a petrochemical produced in large volumes worldwide. It serves as a building block for a wide variety of plastics, textiles, and chemicals, and can be converted into liquid transportation fuels. There is great interest in the development of technologies that produce ethylene from renewable resources, such as biologically derived CO2 and biomass. One of the metabolic pathways used by microbes to produce ethylene is via an ethylene-forming enzyme (EFE). By expressing a bacterial EFE gene in a cyanobacterium, ethylene has been produced through photosynthetic carbon fixation. Here, we present a conceptual design and techno-economic analysis of a process of biofuel production based on the upgradation of ethylene generated by the recombinant cyanobacterium. This analysis focuses on potential near-term to long-term cost projections for the integrated process of renewable fuels derived from ethylene. The cost projections are important in showing the potential of this technology and determining research thrusts needed to reach target goals. The base case for this analysis is a midterm projection using tubular photobioreactors for cyanobacterial growth and ethylene production, cryogenic distillation for ethylene separation and purification, a two-step Ziegler oligomerization process with subsequent hydrotreatment and upgradation for fuel production, and a wastewater treatment process that utilizes anaerobic digestion of cyanobacterial biomass. The minimum fuel selling price (MFSP) for the midterm projection is $15.07 per gallon gasoline equivalent (GGE). Near-term and long-term projections are $28.66 per GGE and $5.36 per GGE, respectively. Single- and multi-point sensitivity analyses are conducted to determine the relative effect that chosen variables could have on the overall costs. This analysis identifies several key variables for improving the overall process economics and outlines strategies to guide future research directions. The productivity of ethylene

  11. Techno-economic analysis of a conceptual biofuel production process from bioethylene produced by photosynthetic recombinant cyanobacteria

    DOE PAGES

    Markham, Jennifer N.; Tao, Ling; Davis, Ryan; ...

    2016-08-25

    Ethylene is a petrochemical produced in large volumes worldwide. It serves as a building block for a wide variety of plastics, textiles, and chemicals, and can be converted into liquid transportation fuels. There is great interest in the development of technologies that produce ethylene from renewable resources, such as biologically derived CO2 and biomass. One of the metabolic pathways used by microbes to produce ethylene is via an ethylene-forming enzyme (EFE). By expressing a bacterial EFE gene in a cyanobacterium, ethylene has been produced through photosynthetic carbon fixation. Here, we present a conceptual design and techno-economic analysis of a processmore » of biofuel production based on the upgradation of ethylene generated by the recombinant cyanobacterium. This analysis focuses on potential near-term to long-term cost projections for the integrated process of renewable fuels derived from ethylene. The cost projections are important in showing the potential of this technology and determining research thrusts needed to reach target goals. The base case for this analysis is a midterm projection using tubular photobioreactors for cyanobacterial growth and ethylene production, cryogenic distillation for ethylene separation and purification, a two-step Ziegler oligomerization process with subsequent hydrotreatment and upgradation for fuel production, and a wastewater treatment process that utilizes anaerobic digestion of cyanobacterial biomass. The minimum fuel selling price (MFSP) for the midterm projection is 15.07 per gallon gasoline equivalent (GGE). Near-term and long-term projections are 28.66 per GGE and 5.36 per GGE, respectively. Single- and multi-point sensitivity analyses are conducted to determine the relative effect that chosen variables could have on the overall costs. This analysis identifies several key variables for improving the overall process economics and outlines strategies to guide future research directions. Finally, the

  12. 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.

  13. Propulsion and Power Rapid Response Research and Development (R&D) Support. Task Order 0004: Advanced Propulsion Fuels R&D, Subtask: Optimization of Lipid Production and Processing of Microalgae for the Development of Biofuels

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-02-01

    Fuels R&D Subtask: Optimization of Lipid Production and Processing of Microalgae for the Development of Biofuels José Colucci, Govind Nadathur...Production and Processing of Microalgae for the Development of Biofuels 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER FA8650-08-D-2806-0004 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM...ABSTRACT Microalgae are considered a suitable feedstock to produce biofuels or bio-oils. Some species are known to naturally accumulate large amounts

  14. Next generation biofuel engineering in prokaryotes

    PubMed Central

    Gronenberg, Luisa S.; Marcheschi, Ryan J.; Liao, James C.

    2014-01-01

    Next-generation biofuels must be compatible with current transportation infrastructure and be derived from environmentally sustainable resources that do not compete with food crops. Many bacterial species have unique properties advantageous to the production of such next-generation fuels. However, no single species possesses all characteristics necessary to make high quantities of fuels from plant waste or CO2. Species containing a subset of the desired characteristics are used as starting points for engineering organisms with all desired attributes. Metabolic engineering of model organisms has yielded high titer production of advanced fuels, including alcohols, isoprenoids and fatty acid derivatives. Technical developments now allow engineering of native fuel producers, as well as lignocellulolytic and autotrophic bacteria, for the production of biofuels. Continued research on multiple fronts is required to engineer organisms for truly sustainable and economical biofuel production. PMID:23623045

  15. Extremophiles in biofuel synthesis.

    PubMed

    Barnard, Desire; Casanueva, Ana; Tuffin, Marla; Cowan, Donald

    2010-01-01

    The current global energy situation has demonstrated an urgent need for the development of alternative fuel sources to the continually diminishing fossil fuel reserves. Much research to address this issue focuses on the development of financially viable technologies for the production of biofuels. The current market for biofuels, defined as fuel products obtained from organic substrates, is dominated by bioethanol, biodiesel, biobutanol and biogas, relying on the use of substrates such as sugars, starch and oil crops, agricultural and animal wastes, and lignocellulosic biomass. This conversion from biomass to biofuel through microbial catalysis has gained much momentum as biotechnology has evolved to its current status. Extremophiles are a robust group of organisms producing stable enzymes, which are often capable of tolerating changes in environmental conditions such as pH and temperature. The potential application of such organisms and their enzymes in biotechnology is enormous, and a particular application is in biofuel production. In this review an overview of the different biofuels is given, covering those already produced commercially as well as those under development. The past and present trends in biofuel production are discussed, and future prospects for the industry are highlighted. The focus is on the current and future application of extremophilic organisms and enzymes in technologies to develop and improve the biotechnological production of biofuels.

  16. Biofuels Combustion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westbrook, Charles K.

    2013-04-01

    This review describes major features of current research in renewable fuels derived from plants and from fatty acids. Recent and ongoing fundamental studies of biofuel molecular structure, oxidation reactions, and biofuel chemical properties are reviewed, in addition to combustion applications of biofuels in the major types of engines in which biofuels are used. Biofuels and their combustion are compared with combustion features of conventional petroleum-based fuels. Two main classes of biofuels are described, those consisting of small, primarily alcohol, fuels (particularly ethanol, n-butanol, and iso-pentanol) that are used primarily to replace or supplement gasoline and those derived from fatty acids and used primarily to replace or supplement conventional diesel fuels. Research efforts on so-called second- and third-generation biofuels are discussed briefly.

  17. Biofuels combustion.

    PubMed

    Westbrook, Charles K

    2013-01-01

    This review describes major features of current research in renewable fuels derived from plants and from fatty acids. Recent and ongoing fundamental studies of biofuel molecular structure, oxidation reactions, and biofuel chemical properties are reviewed, in addition to combustion applications of biofuels in the major types of engines in which biofuels are used. Biofuels and their combustion are compared with combustion features of conventional petroleum-based fuels. Two main classes of biofuels are described, those consisting of small, primarily alcohol, fuels (particularly ethanol, n-butanol, and iso-pentanol) that are used primarily to replace or supplement gasoline and those derived from fatty acids and used primarily to replace or supplement conventional diesel fuels. Research efforts on so-called second- and third-generation biofuels are discussed briefly.

  18. Biofuels combustion*

    SciTech Connect

    Westbrook, Charles K.

    2013-01-04

    This review describes major features of current research in renewable fuels derived from plants and from fatty acids. Recent and ongoing fundamental studies of biofuel molecular structure, oxidation reactions, and biofuel chemical properties are reviewed, in addition to combustion applications of biofuels in the major types of engines in which biofuels are used. Biofuels and their combustion are compared with combustion features of conventional petroleum-based fuels. Two main classes of biofuels are described, those consisting of small, primarily alcohol, fuels (particularly ethanol, n-butanol, and iso-pentanol) that are used primarily to replace or supplement gasoline and those derived from fatty acids and used primarily to replace or supplement conventional diesel fuels. As a result, research efforts on so-called second- and third-generation biofuels are discussed briefly.

  19. Biofuels combustion*

    DOE PAGES

    Westbrook, Charles K.

    2013-01-04

    This review describes major features of current research in renewable fuels derived from plants and from fatty acids. Recent and ongoing fundamental studies of biofuel molecular structure, oxidation reactions, and biofuel chemical properties are reviewed, in addition to combustion applications of biofuels in the major types of engines in which biofuels are used. Biofuels and their combustion are compared with combustion features of conventional petroleum-based fuels. Two main classes of biofuels are described, those consisting of small, primarily alcohol, fuels (particularly ethanol, n-butanol, and iso-pentanol) that are used primarily to replace or supplement gasoline and those derived from fatty acidsmore » and used primarily to replace or supplement conventional diesel fuels. As a result, research efforts on so-called second- and third-generation biofuels are discussed briefly.« less

  20. Biofuels: not so bad

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thornley, Patricia; Morris, Trevor

    2008-09-01

    Kevin Joyce is right to draw attention to the energy consumed in producing biofuels (August p21) but wrong to conclude that this makes them "worse for carbon emissions than good old-fashioned gasoline". As he points out, energy is required to cultivate the biomass feedstock and convert it to biofuel, and the greenhouse-gas emissions associated with this must be offset against the savings from replacing mineral oil or diesel. However, even when this is taken into account, the biofuels on sale in the UK today are delivering greenhouse-gas savings.

  1. Potential for Electrified Vehicles to Contribute to U.S. Petroleum and Climate Goals and Implications for Advanced Biofuels.

    PubMed

    Meier, Paul J; Cronin, Keith R; Frost, Ethan A; Runge, Troy M; Dale, Bruce E; Reinemann, Douglas J; Detlor, Jennifer

    2015-07-21

    To examine the national fuel and emissions impacts from increasingly electrified light-duty transportation, we reconstructed the vehicle technology portfolios from two national vehicle studies. Using these vehicle portfolios, we normalized assumptions and examined sensitivity around the rates of electrified vehicle penetration, travel demand growth, and electricity decarbonization. We further examined the impact of substituting low-carbon advanced cellulosic biofuels in place of petroleum. Twenty-seven scenarios were benchmarked against a 50% petroleum-reduction target and an 80% GHG-reduction target. We found that with high rates of electrification (40% of miles traveled) the petroleum-reduction benchmark could be satisfied, even with high travel demand growth. The same highly electrified scenarios, however, could not satisfy 80% GHG-reduction targets, even assuming 80% decarbonized electricity and no growth in travel demand. Regardless of precise consumer vehicle preferences, emissions are a function of the total reliance on electricity versus liquid fuels and the corresponding greenhouse gas intensities of both. We found that at a relatively high rate of electrification (40% of miles and 26% by fuel), an 80% GHG reduction could only be achieved with significant quantities of low-carbon liquid fuel in cases with low or moderate travel demand growth.

  2. Novel biofuel formulations for enhanced vehicle performance

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, Dennis; Narayan, Ramani; Berglund, Kris; Lira, Carl; Schock, Harold; Jaberi, Farhad; Lee, Tonghun; Anderson, James; Wallington, Timothy; Kurtz, Eric; Ruona, Will; Hass, Heinz

    2013-08-30

    This interdisciplinary research program at Michigan State University, in collaboration with Ford Motor Company, has explored the application of tailored or designed biofuels for enhanced vehicle performance and reduced emissions. The project has included a broad range of experimental research, from chemical and biological formation of advanced biofuel components to multicylinder engine testing of blended biofuels to determine engine performance parameters. In addition, the project included computation modeling of biofuel physical and combustion properties, and simulation of advanced combustion modes in model engines and in single cylinder engines. Formation of advanced biofuel components included the fermentation of five-carbon and six-carbon sugars to n-butanol and to butyric acid, two four-carbon building blocks. Chemical transformations include the esterification of the butyric acid produced to make butyrate esters, and the esterification of succinic acid with n-butanol to make dibutyl succinate (DBS) as attractive biofuel components. The conversion of standard biodiesel, made from canola or soy oil, from the methyl ester to the butyl ester (which has better fuel properties), and the ozonolysis of biodiesel and the raw oil to produce nonanoate fuel components were also examined in detail. Physical and combustion properties of these advanced biofuel components were determined during the project. Physical properties such as vapor pressure, heat of evaporation, density, and surface tension, and low temperature properties of cloud point and cold filter plugging point were examined for pure components and for blends of components with biodiesel and standard petroleum diesel. Combustion properties, particularly emission delay that is the key parameter in compression ignition engines, was measured in the MSU Rapid Compression Machine (RCM), an apparatus that was designed and constructed during the project simulating the compression stroke of an internal combustion

  3. 7 CFR 4288.111 - Biofuel eligibility.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 15 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Biofuel eligibility. 4288.111 Section 4288.111... RURAL UTILITIES SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PAYMENT PROGRAMS Advanced Biofuel Payment Program General Provisions Eligibility Provisions § 4288.111 Biofuel eligibility. To be eligible for this...

  4. Biofuels from microalgae.

    PubMed

    Li, Yanqun; Horsman, Mark; Wu, Nan; Lan, Christopher Q; Dubois-Calero, Nathalie

    2008-01-01

    Microalgae are a diverse group of prokaryotic and eukaryotic photosynthetic microorganisms that grow rapidly due to their simple structure. They can potentially be employed for the production of biofuels in an economically effective and environmentally sustainable manner. Microalgae have been investigated for the production of a number of different biofuels including biodiesel, bio-oil, bio-syngas, and bio-hydrogen. The production of these biofuels can be coupled with flue gas CO2 mitigation, wastewater treatment, and the production of high-value chemicals. Microalgal farming can also be carried out with seawater using marine microalgal species as the producers. Developments in microalgal cultivation and downstream processing (e.g., harvesting, drying, and thermochemical processing) are expected to further enhance the cost-effectiveness of the biofuel from microalgae strategy.

  5. Alkalis in alternative biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Miles, T.R.; Miles, T.R. Jr.; Bryers, R.W.; Baxter, L.L.; Jenkins, B.M.; Oden, L.L.

    1994-12-31

    The alkali content and behavior of inorganic material of annually produced biofuels severely limits their use for generating electrical power in conventional furnaces. A recent eighteen-month investigation of the chemistry and firing characteristics of 26 different biofuels has been conducted. Firing conditions were simulated in the laboratory for eleven biofuels. This paper describes some results from the investigation including fuel properties, deposits, deposition mechanisms, and implications for biomass boiler design, fuel sampling and characterizations. Urban wood fuel, agricultural residues, energy crops, and other potential alternate fuels are included in the study. Conventional methods for establishing fuel alkali content and determining ash sticky temperatures were deceptive. The crux of the problem was found to be the high concentration of potassium in biofuels and its reactions with other fuel constituents which lower the ``sticky temperature`` of the ash to the 650 C to 760 C (1,200 F-1,400 F).

  6. Transgenic Plant-Produced Hydrolytic Enzymes and the Potential of Insect Gut-Derived Hydrolases for Biofuels

    PubMed Central

    Willis, Jonathan D.; Mazarei, Mitra; Stewart, C. Neal

    2016-01-01

    Various perennial C4 grass species have tremendous potential for use as lignocellulosic biofuel feedstocks. Currently available grasses require costly pre-treatment and exogenous hydrolytic enzyme application to break down complex cell wall polymers into sugars that can then be fermented into ethanol. It has long been hypothesized that engineered feedstock production of cell wall degrading (CWD) enzymes would be an efficient production platform for of exogenous hydrolytic enzymes. Most research has focused on plant overexpression of CWD enzyme-coding genes from free-living bacteria and fungi that naturally break down plant cell walls. Recently, it has been found that insect digestive tracts harbor novel sources of lignocellulolytic biocatalysts that might be exploited for biofuel production. These CWD enzyme genes can be located in the insect genomes or in symbiotic microbes. When CWD genes are transformed into plants, negative pleiotropic effects are possible such as unintended cell wall digestion. The use of codon optimization along with organelle and tissue specific targeting improves CWD enzyme yields. The literature teaches several important lessons on strategic deployment of CWD genes in transgenic plants, which is the focus of this review. PMID:27303411

  7. Biofuel-Food Market Interactions:A Review of Modeling Approaches and Findings

    SciTech Connect

    Oladosu, Gbadebo A; Msangi, Siwa

    2013-01-01

    The interaction between biofuels and food markets remains a policy issue for a number of reasons. There is a continuing need to understand the role of biofuels in the recent spikes in global food prices. Also, there is an ongoing discussion of changes to biofuel policy as a means to cope with severe weather-induced crop losses. Lastly, there are potential interactions between food markets and advanced biofuels, although most of the latter are expected to be produced from non-food feedstocks. This study reviews the existing literature on the food market impacts of biofuels. Findings suggest that initial conclusions attributing most of the spike in global food prices between 2005 and 2008 to biofuels have been revised. Instead, a multitude of factors, in addition to biofuels, converged during the period. Quantitative estimates of the impacts of biofuels on food markets vary significantly due to differences in modeling approaches, geographical scope, and assumptions about a number of crucial factors. In addition, many studies do not adequately account for the effects of macroeconomic changes, adverse weather conditions and direct market interventions during the recent food price spikes when evaluating the role of biofuels.

  8. Biofuels in the long-run global energy supply mix for transportation.

    PubMed

    Timilsina, Govinda R

    2014-01-13

    Various policy instruments along with increasing oil prices have contributed to a sixfold increase in global biofuels production over the last decade (2000-2010). This rapid growth has proved controversial, however, and has raised concerns over potential conflicts with global food security and climate change mitigation. To address these concerns, policy support is now focused on advanced or second-generation biofuels instead of crop-based first-generation biofuels. This policy shift, together with the global financial crisis, has slowed the growth of biofuels production, which has remained stagnant since 2010. Based upon a review of the literature, this paper examines the potential long-run contribution of biofuels to the global energy mix, particularly for transportation. We find that the contribution of biofuels to global transportation fuel demand is likely to be limited to around 5% over the next 10-15 years. However, a number of studies suggest that biofuels could contribute up to a quarter of global transportation fuel demand by 2050, provided technological breakthroughs reduce the costs of sustainably produced advanced biofuels to a level where they can compete with petroleum fuels.

  9. Biofuels and Their Co-Products as Livestock Feed: Global Economic and Environmental Implications.

    PubMed

    Popp, József; Harangi-Rákos, Mónika; Gabnai, Zoltán; Balogh, Péter; Antal, Gabriella; Bai, Attila

    2016-02-29

    This review studies biofuel expansion in terms of competition between conventional and advanced biofuels based on bioenergy potential. Production of advanced biofuels is generally more expensive than current biofuels because products are not yet cost competitive. What is overlooked in the discussion about biofuel is the contribution the industry makes to the global animal feed supply and land use for cultivation of feedstocks. The global ethanol industry produces 44 million metric tonnes of high-quality feed, however, the co-products of biodiesel production have a moderate impact on the feed market contributing to just 8-9 million tonnes of protein meal output a year. By economically displacing traditional feed ingredients co-products from biofuel production are an important and valuable component of the biofuels sector and the global feed market. The return of co-products to the feed market has agricultural land use (and GHG emissions) implications as well. The use of co-products generated from grains and oilseeds can reduce net land use by 11% to 40%. The proportion of global cropland used for biofuels is currently some 2% (30-35 million hectares). By adding co-products substituted for grains and oilseeds the land required for cultivation of feedstocks declines to 1.5% of the global crop area.

  10. Producibility aspects of advanced composites for an L-1011 Aileron

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Van Hamersveld, J.; Fogg, L. D.

    1976-01-01

    The design of advanced composite aileron suitable for long-term service on transport aircraft includes Kevlar 49 fabric skins on honeycomb sandwich covers, hybrid graphite/Kevlar 49 ribs and spars, and graphite/epoxy fittings. Weight and cost savings of 28 and 20 percent, respectively, are predicted by comparison with the production metallic aileron. The structural integrity of the design has been substantiated by analysis and static tests of subcomponents. The producibility considerations played a key role in the selection of design concepts with potential for low-cost production. Simplicity in fabrication is a major factor in achieving low cost using advanced tooling and manufacturing methods such as net molding to size, draping, forming broadgoods, and cocuring components. A broadgoods dispensing machine capable of handling unidirectional and bidirectional prepreg materials in widths ranging from 12 to 42 inches is used for rapid layup of component kits and covers. Existing large autoclaves, platen presses, and shop facilities are fully exploited.

  11. A New Biofuels Technology Blooms in Iowa

    ScienceCinema

    Mathisen, Todd; Bruch, Don

    2016-07-12

    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.

  12. Transition Metal Phosphide Nanoparticles Supported on SBA-15 as Highly Selective Hydrodeoxygenation Catalysts for the Production of Advanced Biofuels.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yongxing; Ochoa-Hernández, Cristina; de la Peña O'Shea, Víctor A; Pizarro, Patricia; Coronado, Juan M; Serrano, David P

    2015-09-01

    for hydrodeoxygenation MoP/SBA-15 appears as a very promising catalyst for the production of advanced biofuels.

  13. 77 FR 23673 - Notice of Stakeholder Meeting: Industry Roundtable-DON/USDA/DOE/DOT-FAA Advanced Drop-In Biofuels...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-04-20

    ... further details on the partnership between the DoN, DoE, and USDA to construct or retrofit multiple... Biofuels Production Project. Questions related to the Special Notices or the pending Broad Agency... federal government to present further details on the partnership between the DoN, DoE, and USDA...

  14. Biofuels in Oregon and Washington: A Business Case Analysis of Opportunities and Challenges

    SciTech Connect

    Stiles, Dennis L.; Jones, Susan A.; Orth, Rick J.; Saffell, Bernard F.; Zhu, Yunhua

    2008-02-28

    The purpose of this report is to assemble the information needed to estimate the significance of the opportunity for producing biofuels in the region as well as the associated challenges. The report reviews the current state of the industry, the biomass resources that are available within current production practices, and the biofuels production technology that is available within the marketplace. The report also identifys the areas in which alternative approaches or strategies, or technologoical advances, might offer an opportunity to expand the Nortwest biofuels industry beyond its current state.

  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 alternatives to ethanol: pumping the microbial well

    SciTech Connect

    Fortman, J.L.; Chhabra, Swapnil; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila; Chou, Howard; Lee, Taek Soon; Steen, Eric; Keasling, Jay D.

    2009-08-19

    Engineered microorganisms are currently used for the production of food products, pharmaceuticals, ethanol fuel and more. Even so, the enormous potential of this technology has yet to be fully exploited. The need for sustainable sources of transportation fuels has generated a tremendous interest in technologies that enable biofuel production. Decades of work have produced a considerable knowledge-base for the physiology and pathway engineering of microbes, making microbial engineering an ideal strategy for producing biofuel. Although ethanol currently dominates the biofuel market, some of its inherent physical properties make it a less than ideal product. To highlight additional options, we review advances in microbial engineering for the production of other potential fuel molecules, using a variety of biosynthetic pathways.

  17. Biofuel alternatives to ethanol: pumping the microbial well

    SciTech Connect

    Fortman, J. L.; Chhabra, Swapnil; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila; Chou, Howard; Lee, Taek Soon; Steen, Eric; Keasling, Jay D.

    2009-12-02

    Engineered microorganisms are currently used for the production of food products, pharmaceuticals, ethanol fuel and more. Even so, the enormous potential of this technology has yet to be fully exploited. The need for sustainable sources of transportation fuels has gener-ated a tremendous interest in technologies that enable biofuel production. Decades of work have produced a considerable knowledge-base for the physiology and pathway engineering of microbes, making microbial engineering an ideal strategy for producing biofuel. Although ethanol currently dominates the biofuel mar-ket, some of its inherent physical properties make it a less than ideal product. To highlight additional options, we review advances in microbial engineering for the production of other potential fuel molecules, using a variety of biosynthetic pathways.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-12-01

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Potential for Genetic Improvement of Sugarcane as a Source of Biomass for Biofuels

    PubMed Central

    Hoang, Nam V.; Furtado, Agnelo; Botha, Frederik C.; Simmons, Blake A.; Henry, Robert J.

    2015-01-01

    Sugarcane (Saccharum spp. hybrids) has great potential as a major feedstock for biofuel production worldwide. It is considered among the best options for producing biofuels today due to an exceptional biomass production capacity, high carbohydrate (sugar + fiber) content, and a favorable energy input/output ratio. To maximize the conversion of sugarcane biomass into biofuels, it is imperative to generate improved sugarcane varieties with better biomass degradability. However, unlike many diploid plants, where genetic tools are well developed, biotechnological improvement is hindered in sugarcane by our current limited understanding of the large and complex genome. Therefore, understanding the genetics of the key biofuel traits in sugarcane and optimization of sugarcane biomass composition will advance efficient conversion of sugarcane biomass into fermentable sugars for biofuel production. The large existing phenotypic variation in Saccharum germplasm and the availability of the current genomics technologies will allow biofuel traits to be characterized, the genetic basis of critical differences in biomass composition to be determined, and targets for improvement of sugarcane for biofuels to be established. Emerging options for genetic improvement of sugarcane for the use as a bioenergy crop are reviewed. This will better define the targets for potential genetic manipulation of sugarcane biomass composition for biofuels. PMID:26636072

  2. Potential for Genetic Improvement of Sugarcane as a Source of Biomass for Biofuels.

    PubMed

    Hoang, Nam V; Furtado, Agnelo; Botha, Frederik C; Simmons, Blake A; Henry, Robert J

    2015-01-01

    Sugarcane (Saccharum spp. hybrids) has great potential as a major feedstock for biofuel production worldwide. It is considered among the best options for producing biofuels today due to an exceptional biomass production capacity, high carbohydrate (sugar + fiber) content, and a favorable energy input/output ratio. To maximize the conversion of sugarcane biomass into biofuels, it is imperative to generate improved sugarcane varieties with better biomass degradability. However, unlike many diploid plants, where genetic tools are well developed, biotechnological improvement is hindered in sugarcane by our current limited understanding of the large and complex genome. Therefore, understanding the genetics of the key biofuel traits in sugarcane and optimization of sugarcane biomass composition will advance efficient conversion of sugarcane biomass into fermentable sugars for biofuel production. The large existing phenotypic variation in Saccharum germplasm and the availability of the current genomics technologies will allow biofuel traits to be characterized, the genetic basis of critical differences in biomass composition to be determined, and targets for improvement of sugarcane for biofuels to be established. Emerging options for genetic improvement of sugarcane for the use as a bioenergy crop are reviewed. This will better define the targets for potential genetic manipulation of sugarcane biomass composition for biofuels.

  3. The Goals and Research of the BioEnergy Sciences Center (BESC): Developing Cost-effective and Sustainable Means of Producing Biofuels by Overcoming Biomass Recalcitrance

    SciTech Connect

    Fowler, Suzy

    2009-01-01

    The mission of BioEnergy Sciences Center is to understand and overcome the recalcitrance of biomass to conversion by modifying plant cell walls with improved biocatalysts. The papers in this volume are from the plant transformation and the biomass characterization areas, and showcase the multidisciplinary and multi-institutional nature of the center. The challenge of converting cellulosic biomass to accessible sugars is the dominant obstacle to cost-effective production of biofuels in sustained quantities capable of impacting U.S. consumption of fossil transportation fuels. This was affirmed in a Biomass to Biofuels Workshop report, 'Breaking the Barriers to Cellulosic Ethanol' (DOE/SC-0095, 2006). The potential beneficial economic impact of addressing the difficulty of accessing biomass sugars was explained by Lynd et al. [1]. The BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) research project addresses this challenge with an unprecedented interdisciplinary effort focused on overcoming the recalcitrance of biomass. The 5-year mission of BESC is to make revolutionary advances in understanding and overcoming the recalcitrance of biomass to conversion into sugars, making it feasible to displace imported petroleum with ethanol and other fuels. BESC will combine plant cell walls engineered to reduce recalcitrance with new biocatalysts to improve deconstruction. These breakthroughs will be realized with a systems biology approach and new high-throughput analytical and computational technologies to achieve: (1) targeted modification of plant cell walls to reduce their recalcitrance (using Populus and switchgrass as high-impact bioenergy feedstocks), thereby, decreasing or eliminating the need for costly chemical pretreatment; and (2) consolidated bioprocessing, which involves the use of a single microorganism or microbial consortium to overcome biomass recalcitrance through single-step conversion of biomass to biofuels. We will greatly enhance our understanding of cell wall structure

  4. Transporter-mediated biofuel secretion.

    PubMed

    Doshi, Rupak; Nguyen, Tuan; Chang, Geoffrey

    2013-05-07

    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.

  5. Transporter-mediated biofuel secretion

    PubMed Central

    Doshi, Rupak; Nguyen, Tuan; Chang, Geoffrey

    2013-01-01

    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

  6. Interactive association between biopolymers and biofunctions in carinata seeds as energy feedstock and their coproducts (carinata meal) from biofuel and bio-oil processing before and after biodegradation: current advanced molecular spectroscopic investigations.

    PubMed

    Yu, Peiqiang; Xin, Hangshu; Ban, Yajing; Zhang, Xuewei

    2014-05-07

    Recent advances in biofuel and bio-oil processing technology require huge supplies of energy feedstocks for processing. Very recently, new carinata seeds have been developed as energy feedstocks for biofuel and bio-oil production. The processing results in a large amount of coproducts, which are carinata meal. To date, there is no systematic study on interactive association between biopolymers and biofunctions in carinata seed as energy feedstocks for biofuel and bioethanol processing and their processing coproducts (carinata meal). Molecular spectroscopy with synchrotron and globar sources is a rapid and noninvasive analytical technique and is able to investigate molecular structure conformation in relation to biopolymer functions and bioavailability. However, to date, these techniques are seldom used in biofuel and bioethanol processing in other research laboratories. This paper aims to provide research progress and updates with molecular spectroscopy on the energy feedstock (carinata seed) and coproducts (carinata meal) from biofuel and bioethanol processing and show how to use these molecular techniques to study the interactive association between biopolymers and biofunctions in the energy feedstocks and their coproducts (carinata meal) from biofuel and bio-oil processing before and after biodegradation.

  7. 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.

  8. Isoprenoid drugs, biofuels, and chemicals--artemisinin, farnesene, and beyond.

    PubMed

    George, Kevin W; Alonso-Gutierrez, Jorge; Keasling, Jay D; Lee, Taek Soon

    2015-01-01

    Isoprenoids have been identified and used as natural pharmaceuticals, fragrances, solvents, and, more recently, advanced biofuels. Although isoprenoids are most commonly found in plants, researchers have successfully engineered both the eukaryotic and prokaryotic isoprenoid biosynthetic pathways to produce these valuable chemicals in microorganisms at high yields. The microbial synthesis of the precursor to artemisinin--an important antimalarial drug produced from the sweet wormwood Artemisia annua--serves as perhaps the most successful example of this approach. Through advances in synthetic biology and metabolic engineering, microbial-derived semisynthetic artemisinin may soon replace plant-derived artemisinin as the primary source of this valuable pharmaceutical. The richness and diversity of isoprenoid structures also make them ideal candidates for advanced biofuels that may act as "drop-in" replacements for gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. Indeed, the sesquiterpenes farnesene and bisabolene, monoterpenes pinene and limonene, and hemiterpenes isopentenol and isopentanol have been evaluated as fuels or fuel precursors. As in the artemisinin project, these isoprenoids have been produced microbially through synthetic biology and metabolic engineering efforts. Here, we provide a brief review of the numerous isoprenoid compounds that have found use as pharmaceuticals, flavors, commodity chemicals, and, most importantly, advanced biofuels. In each case, we highlight the metabolic engineering strategies that were used to produce these compounds successfully in microbial hosts. In addition, we present a current outlook on microbial isoprenoid production, with an eye towards the many challenges that must be addressed to achieve higher yields and industrial-scale production.

  9. Concentrating-solar biomass gasification process for a 3rd generation biofuel.

    PubMed

    Hertwich, Edgar G; Zhang, Xiangping

    2009-06-01

    A new concept of producing synfuel from biomass using concentrating solar energy as its main energy source is proposed in this paper. The aim of the concept is to obtain an easy to handle fuel with near-zero CO2 emission and reduced land-use requirements compared to first and second generation biofuels. The concept's key feature is the use of high-temperature heat from a solar concentrating tower to drive the chemical process of converting biomassto a biofuel, obtaining a near-complete utilization of carbon atoms in the biomass. H2 from water electrolysis with solar power is used for reverse water gas shift to avoid producing CO2 during the process. In a chemical process simulation, we compare the solar biofuel concept with two other advanced synfuel concepts: second generation biofuel and coal-to-liquid, both using gasification technology and capture and storage of CO2 generated in the fuel production. The solar-driventhird generation biofuel requires only 33% of the biomass input and 38% of total land as the second generation biofuel, while still exhibiting a CO2-neutral fuel cycle. With CO2 capture, second generation biofuel would lead to the removal of 50% of the carbon in the biomass from the atmosphere. There is a trade-off between reduced biomass feed costs and the increased capital requirements for the solar-driven process; it is attractive at intermediate biomass and CO2 prices.

  10. 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

  11. Recent advances in engineering propionyl-CoA metabolism for microbial production of value-added chemicals and biofuels.

    PubMed

    Srirangan, Kajan; Bruder, Mark; Akawi, Lamees; Miscevic, Dragan; Kilpatrick, Shane; Moo-Young, Murray; Chou, C Perry

    2016-08-25

    Diminishing fossil fuel reserves and mounting environmental concerns associated with petrochemical manufacturing practices have generated significant interests in developing whole-cell biocatalytic systems for the production of value-added chemicals and biofuels. Although acetyl-CoA is a common natural biogenic precursor for the biosynthesis of numerous metabolites, propionyl-CoA is unpopular and non-native to most organisms. Nevertheless, with its C3-acyl moiety as a discrete building block, propionyl-CoA can serve as another key biogenic precursor to several biological products of industrial importance. As a result, engineering propionyl-CoA metabolism, particularly in genetically tractable hosts with the use of inexpensive feedstocks, has paved an avenue for novel biomanufacturing. Herein, we present a systematic review on manipulation of propionyl-CoA metabolism as well as relevant genetic and metabolic engineering strategies for microbial production of value-added chemicals and biofuels, including odd-chain alcohols and organic acids, bio(co)polymers and polyketides. [Formula: see text].

  12. 2016 National Algal Biofuels Technology Review

    SciTech Connect

    Barry, Amanda; Wolfe, Alexis; English, Christine; Ruddick, Colleen; Lambert, Devinn

    2016-06-01

    The Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, is committed to advancing the vision of a viable, sustainable domestic biomass industry that produces renewable biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower; enhances U.S. energy security; reduces our dependence on fossil fuels; provides environmental benefits; and creates economic opportunities across the nation. BETO’s goals are driven by various federal policies and laws, including the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). To accomplish its goals, BETO has undertaken a diverse portfolio of research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) activities, in partnership with national laboratories, academia, and industry.

  13. Possibilities to reduce carbon emissions in Brazilian Amazon region with non timber biomass valorization: The case of biofuels produced by vegetable tropical oils

    SciTech Connect

    Freitas, M.A.V. de; Rosa, L.P.; Lascio, M.A. Di |

    1996-12-31

    Brazil`s annual rate of deforestation reached 2.1 million ha or about 13.6% of the total annual rate of deforestation for the whole tropical area in the world during 1981--1990. Today, the extent of gross deforestation is 10.9% of the tropical closed forest area. Relative to Brazilian participation in the greenhouse effect, the changes in forest area and associated biomass burning in Amazon region are responsible for about 25.5% of CO{sub 2} emissions in the tropics. Harvest of the non-timber biomass products may be important as a potentially sustainable use of forest in some areas. An excellent option to promote these biomass products is to provide energy and industrial goods for the Amazon communities and other external markets. In this work, the biofuels produced by vegetable tropical oils and their by-products are analyzed in relation to job creation, economics and environmental impacts, with special regards concerning the limitation of the atmospheric emissions of greenhouse gases.

  14. Plant-Derived Terpenes: A Feedstock for Specialty Biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Mewalal, Ritesh; Rai, Durgesh K.; Kainer, David; Chen, Feng; Külheim, Carsten; Peter, Gary F.; Tuskan, Gerald A.

    2016-09-09

    Research toward renewable and sustainable energy has identified candidate terpenes capable of blending/replacing petroleum-derived jet, diesel and tactical fuels. Additionally, despite being naturally produced and stored by many plants, there are few examples of commercial recovery of terpenes from plants due to low yields. Plant terpene biosynthesis is regulated at multiple levels leading to wide variability in terpene content and chemistry. Advances in the plant molecular toolkit including annotated genomes, high-throughput omics profiling and genome-editing provides an ideal platform for high-resolution analysis and in-depth understanding of plant terpene metabolism. Concomitantly, such information is useful for bioengineering strategies of metabolic pathways for candidate terpenes. Within this paper, we review the status of terpenes as an advanced biofuel and discuss the potential of plants as a viable agronomic solution for future advanced terpene-derived biofuels.

  15. Plant-Derived Terpenes: A Feedstock for Specialty Biofuels

    DOE PAGES

    Mewalal, Ritesh; Rai, Durgesh K.; Kainer, David; ...

    2016-09-09

    Research toward renewable and sustainable energy has identified candidate terpenes capable of blending/replacing petroleum-derived jet, diesel and tactical fuels. Additionally, despite being naturally produced and stored by many plants, there are few examples of commercial recovery of terpenes from plants due to low yields. Plant terpene biosynthesis is regulated at multiple levels leading to wide variability in terpene content and chemistry. Advances in the plant molecular toolkit including annotated genomes, high-throughput omics profiling and genome-editing provides an ideal platform for high-resolution analysis and in-depth understanding of plant terpene metabolism. Concomitantly, such information is useful for bioengineering strategies of metabolic pathwaysmore » for candidate terpenes. Within this paper, we review the status of terpenes as an advanced biofuel and discuss the potential of plants as a viable agronomic solution for future advanced terpene-derived biofuels.« less

  16. Advancing oleaginous microorganisms to produce lipid via metabolic engineering technology.

    PubMed

    Liang, Ming-Hua; Jiang, Jian-Guo

    2013-10-01

    With the depletion of global petroleum and its increasing price, biodiesel has been becoming one of the most promising biofuels for global fuels market. Researchers exploit oleaginous microorganisms for biodiesel production due to their short life cycle, less labor required, less affection by venue, and easier to scale up. Many oleaginous microorganisms can accumulate lipids, especially triacylglycerols (TAGs), which are the main materials for biodiesel production. This review is covering the related researches on different oleaginous microorganisms, such as yeast, mold, bacteria and microalgae, which might become the potential oil feedstocks for biodiesel production in the future, showing that biodiesel from oleaginous microorganisms has a great prospect in the development of biomass energy. Microbial oils biosynthesis process includes fatty acid synthesis approach and TAG synthesis approach. In addition, the strategies to increase lipids accumulation via metabolic engineering technology, involving the enhancement of fatty acid synthesis approach, the enhancement of TAG synthesis approach, the regulation of related TAG biosynthesis bypass approaches, the blocking of competing pathways and the multi-gene approach, are discussed in detail. It is suggested that DGAT and ME are the most promising targets for gene transformation, and reducing PEPC activity is observed to be beneficial for lipid production.

  17. Reassessing Escherichia coli as a cell factory for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chonglong; Pfleger, Brian F; Kim, Seon-Won

    2017-03-11

    Via metabolic engineering, industrial microorganisms have the potential to convert renewable substrates into a wide range of biofuels that can address energy security and environmental challenges associated with current fossil fuels. The user-friendly bacterium, Escherichia coli, remains one of the most frequently used hosts for demonstrating production of biofuel candidates including alcohol-, fatty acid- and terpenoid-based biofuels. In this review, we summarize the metabolic pathways for synthesis of these biofuels and assess enabling technologies that assist in regulating biofuel synthesis pathways and rapidly assembling novel E. coli strains. These advances maintain E. coli's position as a prominent host for developing cell factories for biofuel production.

  18. Perspectives on engineering strategies for improving biofuel production from microalgae--a critical review.

    PubMed

    Ho, Shih-Hsin; Ye, Xiaoting; Hasunuma, Tomohisa; Chang, Jo-Shu; Kondo, Akihiko

    2014-12-01

    Although the potential for biofuel production from microalgae via photosynthesis has been intensively investigated, information on the selection of a suitable operation strategy for microalgae-based biofuel production is lacking. Many published reports describe competitive strains and optimal culture conditions for use in biofuel production; however, the major impediment to further improvements is the absence of effective engineering strategies for microalgae cultivation and biofuel production. This comprehensive review discusses recent advances in understanding the effects of major environmental stresses and the characteristics of various engineering operation strategies on the production of biofuels (mainly biodiesel and bioethanol) using microalgae. The performances of microalgae-based biofuel-producing systems under various environmental stresses (i.e., irradiance, temperature, pH, nitrogen depletion, and salinity) and cultivation strategies (i.e., fed-batch, semi-continuous, continuous, two-stage, and salinity-gradient) are compared. The reasons for variations in performance and the underlying theories of the various production strategies are also critically discussed. The aim of this review is to provide useful information to facilitate development of innovative and feasible operation technologies for effectively increasing the commercial viability of microalgae-based biofuel production.

  19. Alternative Crops and Biofuel Production

    SciTech Connect

    Kenkel, Philip; Holcomb, Rodney B.

    2013-03-01

    In order for the biofuel industry to meet the RFS benchmarks for biofuels, new feedstock sources and production systems will have to be identified and evaluated. The Southern Plains has the potential to produce over a billion gallons of biofuels from regionally produced alternative crops, agricultural residues, and animal fats. While information on biofuel conversion processes is available, it is difficult for entrepreneurs, community planners and other interested individuals to determine the feasibility of biofuel processes or to match production alternatives with feed stock availability and community infrastructure. This project facilitates the development of biofuel production from these regionally available feed stocks. Project activities are concentrated in five major areas. The first component focused on demonstrating the supply of biofuel feedstocks. This involves modeling the yield and cost of production of dedicated energy crops at the county level. In 1991 the DOE selected switchgrass as a renewable source to produce transportation fuel after extensive evaluations of many plant species in multiple location (Caddel et al,. 2010). However, data on the yield and cost of production of switchgrass are limited. This deficiency in demonstrating the supply of biofuel feedstocks was addressed by modeling the potential supply and geographic variability of switchgrass yields based on relationship of available switchgrass yields to the yields of other forage crops. This model made it possible to create a database of projected switchgrass yields for five different soil types at the county level. A major advantage of this methodology is that the supply projections can be easily updated as improved varieties of switchgrass are developed and additional yield data becomes available. The modeling techniques are illustrated using the geographic area of Oklahoma. A summary of the regional supply is then provided.

  20. Land clearing and the biofuel carbon debt.

    PubMed

    Fargione, Joseph; Hill, Jason; Tilman, David; Polasky, Stephen; Hawthorne, Peter

    2008-02-29

    Increasing energy use, climate change, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuels make switching to low-carbon fuels a high priority. Biofuels are a potential low-carbon energy source, but whether biofuels offer carbon savings depends on how they are produced. Converting rainforests, peatlands, savannas, or grasslands to produce food crop-based biofuels in Brazil, Southeast Asia, and the United States creates a "biofuel carbon debt" by releasing 17 to 420 times more CO2 than the annual greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions that these biofuels would provide by displacing fossil fuels. In contrast, biofuels made from waste biomass or from biomass grown on degraded and abandoned agricultural lands planted with perennials incur little or no carbon debt and can offer immediate and sustained GHG advantages.

  1. Biofuels from microbes.

    PubMed

    Antoni, Dominik; Zverlov, Vladimir V; Schwarz, Wolfgang H

    2007-11-01

    Today, biomass covers about 10% of the world's primary energy demand. Against a backdrop of rising crude oil prices, depletion of resources, political instability in producing countries and environmental challenges, besides efficiency and intelligent use, only biomass has the potential to replace the supply of an energy hungry civilisation. Plant biomass is an abundant and renewable source of energy-rich carbohydrates which can be efficiently converted by microbes into biofuels, of which, only bioethanol is produced on an industrial scale today. Biomethane is produced on a large scale, but is not yet utilised for transportation. Biobutanol is on the agenda of several companies and may be used in the near future as a supplement for gasoline, diesel and kerosene, as well as contributing to the partially biological production of butyl-t-butylether, BTBE as does bioethanol today with ETBE. Biohydrogen, biomethanol and microbially made biodiesel still require further development. This paper reviews microbially made biofuels which have potential to replace our present day fuels, either alone, by blending, or by chemical conversion. It also summarises the history of biofuels and provides insight into the actual production in various countries, reviewing their policies and adaptivity to the energy challenges of foreseeable future.

  2. Biofuels from food processing wastes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhanying; O'Hara, Ian M; Mundree, Sagadevan; Gao, Baoyu; Ball, Andrew S; Zhu, Nanwen; Bai, Zhihui; Jin, Bo

    2016-04-01

    Food processing industry generates substantial high organic wastes along with high energy uses. The recovery of food processing wastes as renewable energy sources represents a sustainable option for the substitution of fossil energy, contributing to the transition of food sector towards a low-carbon economy. This article reviews the latest research progress on biofuel production using food processing wastes. While extensive work on laboratory and pilot-scale biosystems for energy production has been reported, this work presents a review of advances in metabolic pathways, key technical issues and bioengineering outcomes in biofuel production from food processing wastes. Research challenges and further prospects associated with the knowledge advances and technology development of biofuel production are discussed.

  3. The National Biofuels Strategy - Importance of sustainable feedstock production systems in regional-based supply chains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Region-based production systems are needed to produce the feedstocks that will be turned into the biofuels required to meet Federal mandated targets. Executive and Legislative actions have put into motion significant government responses designed to advance the development and production of domestic...

  4. Biofuels and biodiversity: principles for creating better policies for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Groom, Martha J; Gray, Elizabeth M; Townsend, Patricia A

    2008-06-01

    Biofuels are a new priority in efforts to reduce dependence on fossil fuels; nevertheless, the rapid increase in production of biofuel feedstock may threaten biodiversity. There are general principles that should be used in developing guidelines for certifying biodiversity-friendly biofuels. First, biofuel feedstocks should be grown with environmentally safe and biodiversity-friendly agricultural practices. The sustainability of any biofuel feedstock depends on good growing practices and sound environmental practices throughout the fuel-production life cycle. Second, the ecological footprint of a biofuel, in terms of the land area needed to grow sufficient quantities of the feedstock, should be minimized. The best alternatives appear to be fuels of the future, especially fuels derived from microalgae. Third, biofuels that can sequester carbon or that have a negative or zero carbon balance when viewed over the entire production life cycle should be given high priority. Corn-based ethanol is the worst among the alternatives that are available at present, although this is the biofuel that is most advanced for commercial production in the United States. We urge aggressive pursuit of alternatives to corn as a biofuel feedstock. Conservation biologists can significantly broaden and deepen efforts to develop sustainable fuels by playing active roles in pursuing research on biodiversity-friendly biofuel production practices and by helping define biodiversity-friendly biofuel certification standards.

  5. 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

  6. Yeast synthetic biology toolbox and applications for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Ching-Sung; Kwak, Suryang; Turner, Timothy L; Jin, Yong-Su

    2015-02-01

    Yeasts are efficient biofuel producers with numerous advantages outcompeting bacterial counterparts. While most synthetic biology tools have been developed and customized for bacteria especially for Escherichia coli, yeast synthetic biological tools have been exploited for improving yeast to produce fuels and chemicals from renewable biomass. Here we review the current status of synthetic biological tools and their applications for biofuel production, focusing on the model strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae We describe assembly techniques that have been developed for constructing genes, pathways, and genomes in yeast. Moreover, we discuss synthetic parts for allowing precise control of gene expression at both transcriptional and translational levels. Applications of these synthetic biological approaches have led to identification of effective gene targets that are responsible for desirable traits, such as cellulosic sugar utilization, advanced biofuel production, and enhanced tolerance against toxic products for biofuel production from renewable biomass. Although an array of synthetic biology tools and devices are available, we observed some gaps existing in tool development to achieve industrial utilization. Looking forward, future tool development should focus on industrial cultivation conditions utilizing industrial strains.

  7. Towards Sustainable Production of Biofuels from Microalgae

    PubMed Central

    Patil, Vishwanath; Tran, Khanh-Quang; Giselrød, 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

  8. Co-Optimization of Internal Combustion Engines and Biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    McCormick, Robert L.

    2016-03-08

    The development of advanced engines has significant potential advantages in reduced aftertreatment costs for air pollutant emission control, and just as importantly for efficiency improvements and associated greenhouse gas emission reductions. There are significant opportunities to leverage fuel properties to create more optimal engine designs for both advanced spark-ignition and compression-ignition combustion strategies. The fact that biofuel blendstocks offer a potentially low-carbon approach to fuel production, leads to the idea of optimizing the entire fuel production-utilization value chain as a system from the standpoint of life cycle greenhouse gas emissions. This is a difficult challenge that has yet to be realized. This presentation will discuss the relationship between chemical structure and critical fuel properties for more efficient combustion, survey the properties of a range of biofuels that may be produced in the future, and describe the ongoing challenges of fuel-engine co-optimization.

  9. Biobutanol: an attractive biofuel.

    PubMed

    Dürre, Peter

    2007-12-01

    Biofuels are an attractive means to prevent a further increase of carbon dioxide emissions. Currently, gasoline is blended with ethanol at various percentages. However, butanol has several advantages over ethanol, such as higher energy content, lower water absorption, better blending ability, and use in conventional combustion engines without modification. Like ethanol, it can be produced fermentatively or petrochemically. Current crude oil prices render the biotechnological process economic again. The best-studied bacterium to perform a butanol fermentation is Clostridium acetobutylicum. Its genome has been sequenced, and the regulation of solvent formation is under intensive investigation. This opens the possibility to engineer recombinant strains with superior biobutanol-producing ability.

  10. [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.

  11. Carbon payback times for crop-based biofuel expansion in the tropics: the effects of changing yield and technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibbs, Holly K.; Johnston, Matt; Foley, Jonathan A.; Holloway, Tracey; Monfreda, Chad; Ramankutty, Navin; Zaks, David

    2008-07-01

    Biofuels from land-rich tropical countries may help displace foreign petroleum imports for many industrialized nations, providing a possible solution to the twin challenges of energy security and climate change. But concern is mounting that crop-based biofuels will increase net greenhouse gas emissions if feedstocks are produced by expanding agricultural lands. Here we quantify the 'carbon payback time' for a range of biofuel crop expansion pathways in the tropics. We use a new, geographically detailed database of crop locations and yields, along with updated vegetation and soil biomass estimates, to provide carbon payback estimates that are more regionally specific than those in previous studies. Using this cropland database, we also estimate carbon payback times under different scenarios of future crop yields, biofuel technologies, and petroleum sources. Under current conditions, the expansion of biofuels into productive tropical ecosystems will always lead to net carbon emissions for decades to centuries, while expanding into degraded or already cultivated land will provide almost immediate carbon savings. Future crop yield improvements and technology advances, coupled with unconventional petroleum supplies, will increase biofuel carbon offsets, but clearing carbon-rich land still requires several decades or more for carbon payback. No foreseeable changes in agricultural or energy technology will be able to achieve meaningful carbon benefits if crop-based biofuels are produced at the expense of tropical forests.

  12. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Sastri, B.; Lee, A.

    2008-09-15

    . 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.

  14. Improving Biofuels Recovery Processes for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

    EPA Science Inventory

    Biofuels are made from living or recently living organisms. For example, ethanol can be made from fermented plant materials. Biofuels have a number of important benefits when compared to fossil fuels. Biofuels are produced from renewable energy sources such as agricultural resou...

  15. From biomass to advanced bio-fuel by catalytic pyrolysis/hydro-processing: hydrodeoxygenation of bio-oil derived from biomass catalytic pyrolysis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuxin; He, Tao; Liu, Kaituo; Wu, Jinhu; Fang, Yunming

    2012-03-01

    Compared hydrodeoxygenation experimental studies of both model compounds and real bio-oil derived from biomass fast pyrolysis and catalytic pyrolysis was carried out over two different supported Pt catalysts. For the model compounds, the deoxygenation degree of dibenzofuran was higher than that of cresol and guaiacol over both Pt/Al(2)O(3) and the newly developed Pt supported on mesoporous zeolite (Pt/MZ-5) catalyst, and the deoxygenation degree of cresol over Pt/MZ-5 was higher than that over Pt/Al(2)O(3). The results indicated that hydrodeoxygenation become much easier upon oxygen reduction. Similar to model compounds study, the hydrodeoxygenation of the real bio-oil derived from catalytic pyrolysis was much easier than that from fast pyrolysis over both Pt catalysts, and the Pt/MZ-5 again shows much higher deoxygenation ability than Pt/Al(2)O(3). Clearly synergy between catalytic pyrolysis and bio-oil hydro-processing was found in this paper and this finding will lead an advanced biofuel production pathway in the future.

  16. A Survey of Biofuel Production potentials in Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lykova, Natalya; Gustafsson, Jan-Erik

    2010-01-01

    Due to the abundance of fossil fuel resources in Russia, the development of the renewable energy market there was delayed. Recent technological advancement has led to an increasing interest in biofuel production. The aim of research was to evaluate how biofuels are introduced into the current energy scheme of the country. The potential production of biofuels was estimated based on sustainable approaches which provide solution for carbon emission reduction and environmental benefits. Russia still requires biofuel policy to make biofuels compatible with traditional fossil fuels.

  17. Bioprocessing for biofuels.

    PubMed

    Blanch, Harvey W

    2012-06-01

    While engineering of new biofuels pathways into microbial hosts has received considerable attention, innovations in bioprocessing are required for commercialization of both conventional and next-generation fuels. For ethanol and butanol, reducing energy costs for product recovery remains a challenge. Fuels produced from heterologous aerobic pathways in yeast and bacteria require control of aeration and cooling at large scales. Converting lignocellulosic biomass to sugars for fuels production requires effective biomass pretreatment to increase surface area, decrystallize cellulose and facilitate enzymatic hydrolysis. Effective means to recover microalgae and extract their intracellular lipids remains a practical and economic bottleneck in algal biodiesel production.

  18. 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.

  19. Slash and Learn: Revealing Stakeholder Knowledge, Support, and Preferred Communication Methods Relative to Wood-Based Biofuels Projects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moroney, Jillian; Laninga, Tamara; Brooks, Randall

    2016-01-01

    The Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) is examining the feasibility of a woody biomass-to-biofuels supply chain in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. A part of the ongoing feasibility study involved conducting a survey of informed stakeholders on the use of woody biomass from forest residuals in producing sustainable bioenergy.…

  20. 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.

  1. Biofuels: 1995 project summaries

    SciTech Connect

    1996-01-01

    Domestic transportation fuels are derived primarily from petroleum and account for about two-thirds of the petroleum consumption in the United States. In 1994, more than 40% of our petroleum was imported. That percentage is likely to increase, as the Middle East has about 75% of the world`s oil reserves, but the United States has only about 5%. Because we rely so heavily on oil (and because we currently have no suitable substitutes for petroleum-based transportation fuels), we are strategically and economically vulnerable to disruptions in the fuel supply. Additionally, we must consider the effects of petroleum use on the environment. The Biofuels Systems Division (BSD) is part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EE). The day-to-day research activities, which address these issues, are managed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. BSD focuses its research on biofuels-liquid and gaseous fuels made from renewable domestic crops-and aggressively pursues new methods for domestically producing, recovering, and converting the feedstocks to produce the fuels economically. The biomass resources include forage grasses, oil seeds, short-rotation woody crops, agricultural and forestry residues, algae, and certain industrial and municipal waste streams. The resulting fuels include ethanol, methanol, biodiesel, and ethers.

  2. Plant-Derived Terpenes: A Feedstock for Specialty Biofuels.

    PubMed

    Mewalal, Ritesh; Rai, Durgesh K; Kainer, David; Chen, Feng; Külheim, Carsten; Peter, Gary F; Tuskan, Gerald A

    2017-03-01

    Research toward renewable and sustainable energy has identified specific terpenes capable of supplementing or replacing current petroleum-derived fuels. Despite being naturally produced and stored by many plants, there are few examples of commercial recovery of terpenes from plants because of low yields. Plant terpene biosynthesis is regulated at multiple levels, leading to wide variability in terpene content and chemistry. Advances in the plant molecular toolkit, including annotated genomes, high-throughput omics profiling, and genome editing, have begun to elucidate plant terpene metabolism, and such information is useful for bioengineering metabolic pathways for specific terpenes. We review here the status of terpenes as a specialty biofuel and discuss the potential of plants as a viable agronomic solution for future terpene-derived biofuels.

  3. Synthetic Biology Guides Biofuel Production

    PubMed Central

    Connor, Michael R.; Atsumi, Shota

    2010-01-01

    The advancement of microbial processes for the production of renewable liquid fuels has increased with concerns about the current fuel economy. The development of advanced biofuels in particular has risen to address some of the shortcomings of ethanol. These advanced fuels have chemical properties similar to petroleum-based liquid fuels, thus removing the need for engine modification or infrastructure redesign. While the productivity and titers of each of these processes remains to be improved, progress in synthetic biology has provided tools to guide the engineering of these processes through present and future challenges. PMID:20827393

  4. Algal Pretreatment Improves Biofuels Yield and Value; Highlights in Science, NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

    SciTech Connect

    2015-05-15

    One of the major challenges associated with algal biofuels production in a biorefinery-type setting is improving biomass utilization in its entirety, increasing the process energetic yields and providing economically viable and scalable co-product concepts. We demonstrate the effectiveness of a novel, integrated technology based on moderate temperatures and low pH to convert the carbohydrates in wet algal biomass to soluble sugars for fermentation, while making lipids more accessible for downstream extraction and leaving a protein-enriched fraction behind. This research has been highlighted in the Green Chemistry journal article mentioned above and a milestone report, and is based on the work the researchers are doing for the AOP projects Algal Biomass Conversion and Algal Biofuels Techno-economic Analysis. That work has demonstrated an advanced process for algal biofuel production that captures the value of both the algal lipids and carbohydrates for conversion to biofuels.  With this process, as much as 150 GGE/ton of biomass can be produced, 2-3X more than can be produced by terrestrial feedstocks.  This can also reduce the cost of biofuel production by as much as 40%. This also represents the first ever design case for the algal lipid upgrading pathway.

  5. Chemical Kinetic Modeling of Biofuel Combustion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarathy, Subram Maniam

    Bioalcohols, such as bioethanol and biobutanol, are suitable replacements for gasoline, while biodiesel can replace petroleum diesel. Improving biofuel engine performance requires understanding its fundamental combustion properties and the pathways of combustion. This study's contribution is experimentally validated chemical kinetic combustion mechanisms for biobutanol and biodiesel. Fundamental combustion data and chemical kinetic mechanisms are presented and discussed to improve our understanding of biofuel combustion. The net environmental impact of biobutanol (i.e., n-butanol) has not been studied extensively, so this study first assesses the sustainability of n-butanol derived from corn. The results indicate that technical advances in fuel production are required before commercializing biobutanol. The primary contribution of this research is new experimental data and a novel chemical kinetic mechanism for n-butanol combustion. The results indicate that under the given experimental conditions, n-butanol is consumed primarily via abstraction of hydrogen atoms to produce fuel radical molecules, which subsequently decompose to smaller hydrocarbon and oxygenated species. The hydroxyl moiety in n-butanol results in the direct production of the oxygenated species such as butanal, acetaldehyde, and formaldehyde. The formation of these compounds sequesters carbon from forming soot precursors, but they may introduce other adverse environmental and health effects. Biodiesel is a mixture of long chain fatty acid methyl esters derived from fats and oils. This research study presents high quality experimental data for one large fatty acid methyl ester, methyl decanoate, and models its combustion using an improved skeletal mechanism. The results indicate that methyl decanoate is consumed via abstraction of hydrogen atoms to produce fuel radicals, which ultimately lead to the production of alkenes. The ester moiety in methyl decanoate leads to the formation of low molecular

  6. A Modular Approach to Integrating Biofuels Education into ChE Curriculum Part I--Learning Materials

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    He, Q. Peter; Wang, Jin; Zhang, Rong; Johnson, Donald; Knight, Andrew; Polala, Ravali

    2016-01-01

    In view of potential demand for skilled engineers and competent researchers in the biofuels field, we have identified a significant gap between advanced biofuels research and undergraduate biofuels education in chemical engineering. To help bridge this gap, we created educational materials that systematically integrate biofuels technologies into…

  7. Analysis of Petroleum Technology Advances Through Applied Research by Independent Oil Producers

    SciTech Connect

    Brashear, Jerry P.; North, Walter B.; Thomas Charles P.; Becker, Alan B.; Faulder, David D.

    2000-01-12

    Petroleum Technology Advances Through Applied Research by Independent Oil Producers is a program of the National Oil Research Program, U.S. Department of Energy. Between 1995 and 1998, the program competitively selected and cost-shared twenty-two projects with small producers. The purpose was to involve small independent producers in testing technologies of interest to them that would advance (directly or indirectly) one or more of four national program objectives: (1) Extend the productive life of reservoirs; (2) Increase production and/or reserves; (3) Improve environmental performance; and (4) Broaden the exchange of technology information.

  8. Understanding Potential Air Emissions from a Cellulosic Biorefinery Producing Renewable Diesel Blendstock.

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Yimin; Heath, Garvin A.; Renzaglia, Jason; Thomas, Mae

    2015-06-22

    The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, through the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), mandates increased use of biofuels, including cellulosic biofuels. The RFS is expected to spur the development of advanced biofuel technologies (e.g., new and innovative biofuel conversion pathways) as well as the construction of biorefineries (refineries that produce biofuels) using these technologies. To develop sustainable cellulosic biofuels, one of the goals of the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) at the Department of Energy is to minimize air pollutants from the entire biofuel supply chain, as stated in their 2014 Multi-Year Program Plan (2014). Although biofuels in general have been found to have lower life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to petroleum fuels on an energy basis, biomass feedstock production, harvesting, transportation, processing and conversion are expected to emit a wide range of other air pollutants (e.g., criteria air pollutants, hazardous air pollutants), which could affect the environmental benefits of biofuels when displacing petroleum fuels. While it is important for policy makers, air quality planners and regulators, biofuel developers, and investors to understand the potential implications on air quality from a growing biofuel industry, there is a general lack of information and knowledge about the type, fate and magnitude of potential air pollutant emissions from the production of cellulosic biofuels due to the nascent stage of this emerging industry. This analysis assesses potential air pollutant emissions from a hypothetical biorefinery, selected by BETO for further research and development, which uses a biological conversion process of sugars to hydrocarbons to produce infrastructural-compatible renewable diesel blendstock from cellulosic biomass.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Biofuels: A Solution for Climate Change

    SciTech Connect

    Woodward, S.

    1999-10-04

    Our lives are linked to weather and climate, and to energy use. Since the late 1970s, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has invested in research and technology related to global climate change. DOE's Office Fuels Development (OFD) manages the National Biofuels Program and is the lead technical advisor on the development of biofuels technologies in the United States. Together with industry and other stakeholders, the program seeks to establish a major biofuels industry. Its goals are to develop and commercialize technologies for producing sustainable, domestic, environmentally beneficial, and economically viable fuels from dedicated biomass feedstocks.

  12. Environmental performance of algal biofuel technology options.

    PubMed

    Vasudevan, Venkatesh; Stratton, Russell W; Pearlson, Matthew N; Jersey, Gilbert R; Beyene, Abraham G; Weissman, Joseph C; Rubino, Michele; Hileman, James I

    2012-02-21

    Considerable research and development is underway to produce fuels from microalgae, one of several options being explored for increasing transportation fuel supplies and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). This work models life-cycle GHG and on-site freshwater consumption for algal biofuels over a wide technology space, spanning both near- and long-term options. The environmental performance of algal biofuel production can vary considerably and is influenced by engineering, biological, siting, and land-use considerations. We have examined these considerations for open pond systems, to identify variables that have a strong influence on GHG and freshwater consumption. We conclude that algal biofuels can yield GHG reductions relative to fossil and other biobased fuels with the use of appropriate technology options. Further, freshwater consumption for algal biofuels produced using saline pond systems can be comparable to that of petroleum-derived fuels.

  13. 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.

  14. Life Cycle Assessment for Biofuels

    EPA Science Inventory

    A presentation based on life cycle assessment (LCA) for biofuels is given. The presentation focuses on energy and biofuels, interesting environmental aspects of biofuels, and how to do a life cycle assessment with some examples related to biofuel systems. The stages of a (biofuel...

  15. The Third Pacific Basin Biofuels Workshop: Proceedings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Among the many compelling reasons for the development of biofuels on remote Pacific islands, several of the most important include: (1) a lack of indigenous fossil fuels necessitates their import at great economic loss to local island economics, (2) ideal conditions for plant growth exist on many Pacific islands to produce yields of biomass feedstocks, (3) gaseous and liquid fuels such as methane, methanol and ethanol manufactured locally from biomass feedstocks are the most viable alternatives to gasoline and diesel fuels for transportation, and (4) the combustion of biofuels is cleaner than burning petroleum products and contributes no net atmospheric CO2 to aggravate the greenhouse effect and the subsequent threat of sea level rise to low islands. Dr. Vic Phillips, HNEI Program Manager of the Hawaii Integrated Biofuels Research Program welcomed 60 participants to the Third Pacific Basin Biofuels Workshop at the Sheraton Makaha Hotel, Waianae, Oahu, on March 27 and 28, 1989. The objectives of the workshop were to update progress since the Second Pacific Basin Biofuels Workshop in April 1987 and to develop a plan for action for biofuels R and D, technology transfer, and commercialization now (immediate attention), in the near-term (less than two years), in the mid-term (three to five years), and in the long-term (more than six years). An emerging theme of the workshop was how the production, conversion, and utilization of biofuels can help increase environmental and economic security locally and globally. Individual papers are processed separately for the data base.

  16. Europe report discloses biofuels' embarrassing secret

    SciTech Connect

    2010-06-15

    According to a recently released European Union (EU) internal document, biofuels can produce up to four times more greenhouse gas emissions than the conventional diesel or gasoline they are intended to replace. Conventional gasoline and diesel emit around 85 kilograms of CO2-equivalent per gigajoule of energy. For biofuels to make any sense, they have to beat this by a margin, or else why bother given all the negative externalities associated with growing biofuels? The EU study suggests that the carbon footprint of typical European biofuels is in the range of 100--150 and North American soybeans score around 340 -- at least four times higher than conventional transportation fuels. By contrast, Latin American sugar cane and bioethanol from palm oil from Southeast Asia, is relatively better at 82 and 74 kilograms per gigajoule, respectively. But even in these cases, it is far from clear if biofuels are superior to conventional fuels due to the many externalities associated with biofuels, including clearing of virgin forests and loss of habitat and biodiversity. Moreover, biofuel production in many regions competes directly with food production, resulting in higher food costs.

  17. Biofuel from "humified" biomass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kpogbemabou, D.; Lemée, L.; Amblès, A.

    2009-04-01

    In France, 26% of the emissions of greenhouse effect gas originate from transportation which depends for 87% on fossil fuels. Nevertheless biofuels can contribute to the fight against climate change while reducing energetic dependence. Indeed biomass potentially represents in France 30 Mtoe a year that is to say 15% national consumption. But 80% of these resources are made of lignocellulosic materials which are hardly exploitable. First-generation biofuels are made from sugar, starch, vegetable oil, or animal fats. Due to their competition with human food chain, first-generation biofuels could lead to food shortages and price rises. At the contrary second-generation biofuel production can use a variety of non food crops while using the lignocellulosic part of biomass [1]. Gasification, fermentation and direct pyrolysis are the most used processes. However weak yields and high hydrogen need are limiting factors. In France, the National Program for Research on Biofuels (PNRB) aims to increase mobilizable biomass resource and to develop lignocellulosic biomass conversion. In this context, the LIGNOCARB project studies the liquefaction of biodegraded biomass in order to lower hydrogen consumption. Our aim was to develop and optimize the biodegradation of the biomass. Once the reactor was achieved, the influence of different parameters (starting material, aeration, moisture content) on the biotransformation process was studied. The monitored parameters were temperature, pH and carbon /nitrogen ratio. Chemical (IHSS protocol) and biochemical (van Soest) fractionations were used to follow the maturity ("humic acid"/"fulvic acid" ratio) and the biological stability (soluble, hemicelluloses, celluloses, lignin) of the organic matter (OM). In example, the increase in lignin can be related to the stabilization since the OM becomes refractory to biodegradation whereas the increase in the AH/AF ratio traduces "humification". However, contrarily to the composting process, we do

  18. Algal biofuels: challenges and opportunities.

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

    Biodiesel production using microalgae is attractive in a number of respects. Here a number of pros and cons to using microalgae for biofuels production are reviewed. Algal cultivation can be carried out using non-arable land and non-potable water with simple nutrient supply. In addition, algal biomass productivities are much higher than those of vascular plants and the extractable content of lipids that can be usefully converted to biodiesel, triacylglycerols (TAGs) can be much higher than that of the oil seeds now used for first generation biodiesel. On the other hand, practical, cost-effective production of biofuels from microalgae requires that a number of obstacles be overcome. These include the development of low-cost, effective growth systems, efficient and energy saving harvesting techniques, and methods for oil extraction and conversion that are environmentally benign and cost-effective. Promising recent advances in these areas are highlighted.

  19. Algae biofuels: versatility for the future of bioenergy.

    PubMed

    Jones, Carla S; Mayfield, Stephen P

    2012-06-01

    The world continues to increase its energy use, brought about by an expanding population and a desire for a greater standard of living. This energy use coupled with the realization of the impact of carbon dioxide on the climate, has led us to reanalyze the potential of plant-based biofuels. Of the potential sources of biofuels the most efficient producers of biomass are the photosynthetic microalgae and cyanobacteria. These versatile organisms can be used for the production of bioethanol, biodiesel, biohydrogen, and biogas. In fact, one of the most economic methods for algal biofuels production may be the combined biorefinery approach where multiple biofuels are produced from one biomass source.

  20. Biofuels in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Tianwei; Yu, Jianliang; Lu, Jike; Zhang, Tao

    The Chinese government is stimulating the biofuels development to replace partially fossil fuels in the transport sector, which can enhance energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and stimulate rural development. Bioethanol, biodiesel, biobutanol, biogas, and biohydrogen are the main biofuels developed in China. In this chapter, we mainly present the current status of biofuel development in China, and illustrate the issues of feedstocks, food security and conversion processes.

  1. Contrasts and synergies in different biofuel reports

    PubMed Central

    Michalopoulos, A.; Landeweerd, L.; Van der Werf-Kulichova, Z.; Puylaert, P. G. B.; Osseweijer, P.

    2011-01-01

    The societal debate on biofuels is characterised by increased complexity. This can hinder the effective governance of the field. This paper attempts a quantitative bird's eye meta-analysis of this complexity by mapping different stakeholder perspectives and expected outcomes as seen in the secondary literature on biofuels, along the lines of the People-Planet-Profit framework. Our analysis illustrates the tension between stated and actual drivers of large scale biofuel development, especially for first generation biofuels. Although environmental (Planet) aspects have dominated the biofuel debate, their overall assessment is mostly negative with regard to first generation biofuels. By contrast, economic (Profit) aspects are the only ones that are assessed positively with regard to first generation biofuels. Furthermore, positive and negative assessments of biofuel development are strongly influenced by the differences in focus between different stakeholder clusters. Stakeholders who appear generally supportive to biofuel development (industry) focus relatively more on aspects that are generally assessed as positive (Profit). By contrast, non-supportive stakeholders (NGO's) tend to focus mainly on aspects that are generally assessed as negative (Planet). Moreover, our analysis of reference lists revealed few citations of primary scientific data, and also that intergovernmental organizations produce the most influential publications in the debate. The surprising lack of listed references to scientific (primary) data reveals a need to assess in which arena the transition of scientific data towards secondary publications takes place, and how one can measure its quality. This work should be understood as a first effort to take some control over a complex and contradictory number of publications, and to allow the effective governance of the field through the identification of areas of overlapping consensus and persisting controversy, without reverting to claims on

  2. NREL biofuels program overview

    SciTech Connect

    Mielenz, J.R.

    1996-09-01

    The NREL Biofuels Program has been developing technology for conversion of biomass to transportation fuels with support from DOE Office of Transportation Technologies Biofuels System Program. This support has gone to both the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and over 100 subcontractors in universities and industry. This overview will outline the value of the Biofuels development program to the Nation, the current status of the technology development, and what research areas still need further support and progress for the development of a biofuels industry in the US.

  3. Soil carbon sequestration or biofuel production: new land-use opportunities for mitigating climate over abandoned Soviet farmlands.

    PubMed

    Vuichard, Nicolas; Ciais, Philippe; Wolf, Adam

    2009-11-15

    Although the CO(2) mitigation potential of biofuels has been studied by extrapolation of small-scale studies, few estimates exist of the net regional-scale carbon balance implications of biofuel cultivations programs, either growing conventional biofuel crops or applying new advanced technologies. Here we used a spatially distributed process-driven model over the 20 Mha of recently abandoned agricultural lands of the Former Soviet Union to quantify the GHG mitigation by biofuel production from Low Input/High Diversity (LIHD) grass-legume prairies and to compare this GHG mitigation with the one of soil C sequestration as it currently occurs. LIHD has recently received a lot of attention as an emerging opportunity to produce biofuels over marginal lands leading to a good energy efficiency with minimal adverse consequences on food security and ecosystem services. We found that, depending on the time horizon over which one seeks to maximize the GHG benefit, the optimal time for implementing biofuel production shifts from "never" (short-term horizon) to "as soon as possible" (longer-term horizon). These results highlight the importance of reaching agreement a priori on the target time interval during which biofuels are expected to play a role within the global energy system, to avoid deploying biofuel technology over a time interval for which it has a detrimental impact on the GHG mitigation objective. The window of opportunity for growing LIHD also stresses the need to reduce uncertainties in soil C inputs, turnover, and soil organic matter stability under current and future climate and management practices.

  4. Investigation of the optimal percentage of green seaweed that may be co-digested with dairy slurry to produce gaseous biofuel.

    PubMed

    Allen, Eoin; Wall, David M; Herrmann, Christiane; Murphy, Jerry D

    2014-10-01

    Ulva lactuca, a green seaweed, accumulates on beaches and shallow estuaries subject to eutrophication. As a residue, and a macro-algae, it is a source of sustainable third generation biofuel. Production of biomethane from mono-digestion of U. lactuca, however is problematic due to high levels of sulphur and low ratios of carbon to nitrogen. Fresh and dried U. lactuca were continuously co-digested with dairy slurry at ratios of 25%, 50% and 75% (by volatile solid content) in 6 number 5L reactors for 9months. The reactors digesting a mix with 75% U. lactuca struggled to reach stable conditions. Volatile fatty acid levels of 14,000mgl(-1) were experienced. The levels of ammonia increased with percentage U. lactuca in the mix. Optimum conditions were observed with a mix of 25% fresh U. lactuca and 75% slurry. A yield of 170LCH4kg(-1)VS was achieved at an organic loading rate of 2.5kgVSm(-3)d(-1).

  5. Pilot-scale data provide enhanced estimates of the life cycle energy and emissions profile of algae biofuels produced via hydrothermal liquefaction.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaowei; Saydah, Benjamin; Eranki, Pragnya; Colosi, Lisa M; Greg Mitchell, B; Rhodes, James; Clarens, Andres F

    2013-11-01

    Life cycle assessment (LCA) has been used widely to estimate the environmental implications of deploying algae-to-energy systems even though no full-scale facilities have yet to be built. Here, data from a pilot-scale facility using hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) is used to estimate the life cycle profiles at full scale. Three scenarios (lab-, pilot-, and full-scale) were defined to understand how development in the industry could impact its life cycle burdens. HTL-derived algae fuels were found to have lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than petroleum fuels. Algae-derived gasoline had significantly lower GHG emissions than corn ethanol. Most algae-based fuels have an energy return on investment between 1 and 3, which is lower than petroleum biofuels. Sensitivity analyses reveal several areas in which improvements by algae bioenergy companies (e.g., biocrude yields, nutrient recycle) and by supporting industries (e.g., CO2 supply chains) could reduce the burdens of the industry.

  6. 2016 National Algal Biofuels Technology Review Fact Sheet

    SciTech Connect

    2016-06-01

    Algae-based biofuels and bioproducts offer great promise in contributing to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office’s (BETO’s) vision of a thriving and sustainable bioeconomy fueled by innovative technologies. The state of technology for producing algal biofuels continues to mature with ongoing investment by DOE and the private sector, but additional research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) is needed to achieve widespread deployment of affordable, scalable, and sustainable algal biofuels.

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. PERSPECTIVE: Learning from the Brazilian biofuel experience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Michael

    2006-11-01

    . Advancements in technology associated with both sugarcane farming and ethanol production have definitely played an important role in yielding the significant benefits associated with sugarcane ethanol. The United States produced about 4 billion gallons of ethanol from corn in 2005. Production was expected to increase to about 5 billion gallons by 2006. Corn-based ethanol achieves moderate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. In the long run, the great potential of fuel ethanol lies in its production from cellulosic biomass, which is abundant in many regions of the world and can yield much greater reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and energy benefits. Figure 1 presents reductions in greenhouse emissions of several ethanol production pathways that were evaluated at the Argonne National Laboratory. Bagasse, a cellulosic biomass type already available in sugarcane ethanol plants, will certainly offer an opportunity for economically co-producing cellulosic ethanol and sugarcane ethanol in existing sugarcane ethanol plants. Greenhouse gas emissions per million Btu of gasoline and ethanol produced and used Figure 1. Greenhouse gas emissions per million Btu of gasoline and ethanol produced and used. Despite the encouraging progress of Brazil's ethanol program some issues will still need to be addressed. Figure 4 of [1] shows a significant drop in ethanol production in the 2000/2001 season. A steady supply of ethanol will be a key factor for the success of a fuel ethanol program. Consumers are not going to tolerate fluctuations in ethanol production. Instead, they will turn to conventional fuels for fueling their FFVs as a result of supply fluctuations, which can be detrimental to the success of the ethanol program. In addition to this, other environmental effects of biofuels in general, and sugarcane ethanol in particular, need to be assessed. Some have debated and speculated that Brazil's sugarcane ethanol program has caused (i) soil erosion and biodiversity problems by

  12. Biofuels as a sustainable energy source: an update of the applications of proteomics in bioenergy crops and algae.

    PubMed

    Ndimba, Bongani Kaiser; Ndimba, Roya Janeen; Johnson, T Sudhakar; Waditee-Sirisattha, Rungaroon; Baba, Masato; Sirisattha, Sophon; Shiraiwa, Yoshihiro; Agrawal, Ganesh Kumar; Rakwal, Randeep

    2013-11-20

    Sustainable energy is the need of the 21st century, not because of the numerous environmental and political reasons but because it is necessary to human civilization's energy future. Sustainable energy is loosely grouped into renewable energy, energy conservation, and sustainable transport disciplines. In this review, we deal with the renewable energy aspect focusing on the biomass from bioenergy crops to microalgae to produce biofuels to the utilization of high-throughput omics technologies, in particular proteomics in advancing our understanding and increasing biofuel production. We look at biofuel production by plant- and algal-based sources, and the role proteomics has played therein. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Translational Plant Proteomics.

  13. Sustainable Biofuels Development Center

    SciTech Connect

    Reardon, Kenneth F.

    2015-03-01

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

  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.

  15. Engineered photosynthetic bacteria, method of manufacture of biofuels

    DOEpatents

    Laible, Philip D.; Snyder, Seth W.

    2016-09-13

    The invention provides for a novel type of biofuel; a method for cleaving anchors from photosynthetic organisms; and a method for producing biofuels using photosynthetic organisms, the method comprising identifying photosynthesis co-factors and their anchors in the organisms; modifying the organisms to increase production of the anchors; accumulating biomass of the organisms in growth media; and harvesting the anchors.

  16. Biofuels: balancing risks and rewards

    PubMed Central

    Thornley, Patricia; Gilbert, Paul

    2013-01-01

    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

  17. Printed biofuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Wang, Joseph; Windmiller, Joshua Ray; Jia, Wenzhao

    2016-11-22

    Methods, systems, and devices are disclosed for implementing a biofuel cell device for extracting energy from a biofuel. In one aspect, a biofuel cell device includes a substrate, an anode including a catalyst to facilitate the conversion of a fuel in a biological fluid in an oxidative process that releases electrons captured at the anode, thereby extracting energy from the fuel substance, a cathode configured on the substrate adjacent to the anode and separated from the anode by a spacing region, and a load electrically coupled to the anode and cathode via electrical interconnects to obtain the extracted energy as electrical energy.

  18. Assessment of bio-fuel options for solid oxide fuel cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Jiefeng

    Rising concerns of inadequate petroleum supply, volatile crude oil price, and adverse environmental impacts from using fossil fuels have spurred the United States to promote bio-fuel domestic production and develop advanced energy systems such as fuel cells. The present dissertation analyzed the bio-fuel applications in a solid oxide fuel cell-based auxiliary power unit from environmental, economic, and technological perspectives. Life cycle assessment integrated with thermodynamics was applied to evaluate the environmental impacts (e.g., greenhouse gas emission, fossil energy consumption) of producing bio-fuels from waste biomass. Landfill gas from municipal solid wastes and biodiesel from waste cooking oil are both suggested as the promising bio-fuel options. A nonlinear optimization model was developed with a multi-objective optimization technique to analyze the economic aspect of biodiesel-ethanol-diesel ternary blends used in transportation sectors and capture the dynamic variables affecting bio-fuel productions and applications (e.g., market disturbances, bio-fuel tax credit, policy changes, fuel specification, and technological innovation). A single-tube catalytic reformer with rhodium/ceria-zirconia catalyst was used for autothermal reformation of various heavy hydrocarbon fuels (e.g., diesel, biodiesel, biodiesel-diesel, and biodiesel-ethanol-diesel) to produce a hydrogen-rich stream reformates suitable for use in solid oxide fuel cell systems. A customized mixing chamber was designed and integrated with the reformer to overcome the technical challenges of heavy hydrocarbon reformation. A thermodynamic analysis, based on total Gibbs free energy minimization, was implemented to optimize the operating environment for the reformations of various fuels. This was complimented by experimental investigations of fuel autothermal reformation. 25% biodiesel blended with 10% ethanol and 65% diesel was determined to be viable fuel for use on a truck travelling with

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. Sandia's Biofuels Program

    ScienceCinema

    Simmons, Blake; Singh, Seema; Lane, Todd; Reichardt, Tom; Davis, Ryan

    2016-07-12

    Sandia's biofuels program is focused on developing next-generation, renewable fuel solutions derived from biomass. In this video, various Sandia researchers discuss the program and the tools they employ to tackle the technical challenges they face.

  3. Sandia's Biofuels Program

    SciTech Connect

    Simmons, Blake; Singh, Seema; Lane, Todd; Reichardt, Tom; Davis, Ryan

    2014-07-22

    Sandia's biofuels program is focused on developing next-generation, renewable fuel solutions derived from biomass. In this video, various Sandia researchers discuss the program and the tools they employ to tackle the technical challenges they face.

  4. Synthetic biology and the technicity of biofuels.

    PubMed

    Mackenzie, Adrian

    2013-06-01

    The principal existing real-world application of synthetic biology is biofuels. Several 'next generation biofuel' companies-Synthetic Genomics, Amyris and Joule Unlimited Technologies-claim to be using synthetic biology to make biofuels. The irony of this is that highly advanced science and engineering serves the very mundane and familiar realm of transport. Despite their rather prosaic nature, biofuels could offer an interesting way to highlight the novelty of synthetic biology from several angles at once. Drawing on the French philosopher of technology and biology Gilbert Simondon, we can understand biofuels as technical objects whose genesis involves processes of concretisation that negotiate between heterogeneous geographical, biological, technical, scientific and commercial realities. Simondon's notion of technicity, the degree of concretisation of a technical object, usefully conceptualises this relationality. Viewed in terms of technicity, we might understand better how technical entities, elements, and ensembles are coming into being in the name of synthetic biology. The broader argument here is that when we seek to identify the newness of disciplines, their newness might be less epistemic and more logistic.

  5. 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.

  6. Thermochemical conversion of microalgal biomass into biofuels: a review.

    PubMed

    Chen, Wei-Hsin; Lin, Bo-Jhih; Huang, Ming-Yueh; Chang, Jo-Shu

    2015-05-01

    Following first-generation and second-generation biofuels produced from food and non-food crops, respectively, algal biomass has become an important feedstock for the production of third-generation biofuels. Microalgal biomass is characterized by rapid growth and high carbon fixing efficiency when they grow. On account of potential of mass production and greenhouse gas uptake, microalgae are promising feedstocks for biofuels development. Thermochemical conversion is an effective process for biofuel production from biomass. The technology mainly includes torrefaction, liquefaction, pyrolysis, and gasification. Through these conversion technologies, solid, liquid, and gaseous biofuels are produced from microalgae for heat and power generation. The liquid bio-oils can further be upgraded for chemicals, while the synthesis gas can be synthesized into liquid fuels. This paper aims to provide a state-of-the-art review of the thermochemical conversion technologies of microalgal biomass into fuels. Detailed conversion processes and their outcome are also addressed.

  7. 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

  8. Tradeoffs and synergies between biofuel production and large-scale solar infrastructure in deserts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ravi, S.; Lobell, D. B.; Field, C. B.

    2012-12-01

    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 scale solar installations. For efficient power generation, solar infrastructures require large amounts of water for operation (mostly for cleaning panels and dust suppression), leading to significant moisture additions to desert soil. A pertinent question is how to use the moisture inputs for sustainable agriculture/biofuel production. We investigated the water requirements for large solar infrastructures in North American deserts and explored the possibilities for integrating biofuel production with solar infrastructure. In co-located systems the possible decline in yields due to shading by solar panels may be offsetted by the benefits of periodic water addition to biofuel crops, simpler dust management and more efficient power generation in solar installations, and decreased impacts on natural habitats and scarce resources in deserts. In particular, we evaluated the potential to integrate solar infrastructure with biomass feedstocks that grow in arid and semi-arid lands (Agave Spp), which are found to produce high yields with minimal water inputs. To this end, we conducted detailed life cycle analysis for these coupled agave biofuel - solar energy systems to explore the tradeoffs and synergies, in the context of energy input-output, water use and carbon emissions.

  9. Bench to batch: advances in plant cell culture for producing useful products.

    PubMed

    Weathers, Pamela J; Towler, Melissa J; Xu, Jianfeng

    2010-02-01

    Despite significant efforts over nearly 30 years, only a few products produced by in vitro plant cultures have been commercialized. Some new advances in culture methods and metabolic biochemistry have improved the useful potential of plant cell cultures. This review will provide references to recent relevant reviews along with a critical analysis of the latest improvements in plant cell culture, co-cultures, and disposable reactors for production of small secondary product molecules, transgenic proteins, and other products. Some case studies for specific products or production systems are used to illustrate principles.

  10. 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.

  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. Trade-offs between Biofuels Energy Production, Land Use and Water Use in Florida

    SciTech Connect

    Fidler, Michal; Capece, John; Hanlon, Edward; Alsharif, Kamal

    2014-02-11

    Objective of the presentation is to document land use and water use implications of biomass production to demonstrate the overall resources implications associated with bioethanol production for Florida’s transportation sector needs. Rationale for using biofuels (BF) is explained, so are advantages & challenges of BF production and use. Land use changes (LUC) in Florida are presented and consequences outlined. It is documented that Florida’s agricultural land is a very limited resource, with only 0.43 ac/person comparing to the global average of 1.71 ac/person. The direct relation of increased biofuels production causing increased water use is explained. Favorable climate, water resources, advanced research, traditional leading agricultural role, minor oil reserves, no refineries and increasing energy demands are the main reasons why Florida considers pursuing BF production in large scale. Eight various bioethanol crops produced in Florida were considered in this study (Miscanthus, Switchgrass, Sweet Sorghum, Corn, Elephantgrass, Sugarcane, Energycane, Eucalyptus). Biomass yield and bioethanol yield of these crops are documented. Bioethanol needs of Florida are estimated and related land requirements for the needed bioethanol production calculated. Projections for various bioethanol blends (E15 to E85) are then presented. Finally, water demand for biofuels production is quantified. It is concluded that land use requirement for production of all ethanol in E85 fuel blend in Florida is roughly the same as the total available ag land in Florida for the best yielding biofuels crops (energycane, eucalyptus). Water demand for production of all ethanol needed for E100 would increase current overall water consumption in Florida between 65% and 100% for the most common biofuels crops. Vehicular energy is only 33% of Floridians energy consumption, so even all Florida’s agricultural land was given up for biofuels, it would still produce only 33% of Florida’s total

  13. Method for producing bio-fuel that integrates heat from carbon-carbon bond-forming reactions to drive biomass gasification reactions

    DOEpatents

    Cortright, Randy D.; Dumesic, James A.

    2013-04-02

    A low-temperature catalytic process for converting biomass (preferably glycerol recovered from the fabrication of bio-diesel) to synthesis gas (i.e., H.sub.2/CO gas mixture) in an endothermic gasification reaction is described. The synthesis gas is used in exothermic carbon-carbon bond-forming reactions, such as Fischer-Tropsch, methanol, or dimethylether syntheses. The heat from the exothermic carbon-carbon bond-forming reaction is integrated with the endothermic gasification reaction, thus providing an energy-efficient route for producing fuels and chemicals from renewable biomass resources.

  14. Method for producing bio-fuel that integrates heat from carbon-carbon bond-forming reactions to drive biomass gasification reactions

    DOEpatents

    Cortright, Randy D [Madison, WI; Dumesic, James A [Verona, WI

    2012-04-10

    A low-temperature catalytic process for converting biomass (preferably glycerol recovered from the fabrication of bio-diesel) to synthesis gas (i.e., H.sub.2/CO gas mixture) in an endothermic gasification reaction is described. The synthesis gas is used in exothermic carbon-carbon bond-forming reactions, such as Fischer-Tropsch, methanol, or dimethylether syntheses. The heat from the exothermic carbon-carbon bond-forming reaction is integrated with the endothermic gasification reaction, thus providing an energy-efficient route for producing fuels and chemicals from renewable biomass resources.

  15. Method for producing bio-fuel that integrates heat from carbon-carbon bond-forming reactions to drive biomass gasification reactions

    DOEpatents

    Cortright, Randy D [Madison, WI; Dumesic, James A [Verona, WI

    2011-01-18

    A low-temperature catalytic process for converting biomass (preferably glycerol recovered from the fabrication of bio-diesel) to synthesis gas (i.e., H.sub.2/CO gas mixture) in an endothermic gasification reaction is described. The synthesis gas is used in exothermic carbon-carbon bond-forming reactions, such as Fischer-Tropsch, methanol, or dimethylether syntheses. The heat from the exothermic carbon-carbon bond-forming reaction is integrated with the endothermic gasification reaction, thus providing an energy-efficient route for producing fuels and chemicals from renewable biomass resources.

  16. Efficient conversion of brown grease produced by municipal wastewater treatment plant into biofuel using aluminium chloride hexahydrate under very mild conditions.

    PubMed

    Pastore, Carlo; Lopez, Antonio; Mascolo, Giuseppe

    2014-03-01

    Wastes produced by oil/water separation at the wastewater treatment plant of Bari West (Southern Italy) were taken, characterized and converted. About 12% of this material was composed of greases, mainly made of free fatty acids (50%) and soaps (34%), and was easily separable by the aqueous phase through a hot centrifugation. After chemical activation of this fatty fraction, a direct esterification was carried out under very mild conditions (320K and atmospheric pressure), converting more than 90% of the original free fatty acids into the respective methyl esters in less than 4h, by using AlCl3·6H2O. The activation energy correlated to the use of this catalyst was also calculated (Eaest=43.9kJmol(-1)). The very low cost of the biodiesel produced (0.45€L(-1)) and the associated relevant specific energy (5.02MJ kgFAMEs(-1)) make such a process a really sustainable and effective example of valorization of a waste.

  17. Economic evaluation of advanced limestone, Davy S-H, and Dowa Gypsum-producing FGD processes

    SciTech Connect

    Dotson, R.L.; Maxwell, J.D.; Burnett, T.A.

    1984-02-01

    Economic evaluations were made of three gypsum-producing FGD processes: advanced limestone (in-loop forced oxidation with adipic acid additive), Davy S-H (lime), and Dowa (aluminum sulfate, limestone). For a 500-MW power unit burning 3.5% sulfur coal and meeting the 1979 NSPS, capital investments in 1982 costs are 93 M$ (186 $/kW) for the advanced limestone process, 116 M$ (231 $/kW) for the Davy S-H process, and 121 M$ (243 $/kW) for the Dowa process. First-year annual revenue requirements in 1984 costs for these processes are 26, 33, and 32 M$ (9.4, 11.9, and 11.7 mills/kWh), respectively. The lower capital investment and annual revenue requirements of the advanced limestone process is due in part to the use of adipic acid, which allows partial scrubbing at 95% removal. The Davy S-H has slightly higher annual revenue requirements than the Dowa process because lime rather than limestone is used. Changes in power unit size and coal sulfur content affect the costs of all three processes similarly. The Davy S-H process is more sensitive to raw material costs because lime is used. Landfill waste disposal is a minor cost element in all three processes. 103 references, 26 figures, 30 tables.

  18. 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.

  19. Omics in Chlamydomonas for Biofuel Production.

    PubMed

    Aucoin, Hanna R; Gardner, Joseph; Boyle, Nanette R

    2016-01-01

    In response to demands for sustainable domestic fuel sources, research into biofuels has become increasingly important. Many challenges face biofuels in their effort to replace petroleum fuels, but rational strain engineering of algae and photosynthetic organisms offers a great deal of promise. For decades, mutations and stress responses in photosynthetic microbiota were seen to result in production of exciting high-energy fuel molecules, giving hope but minor capability for design. However, '-omics' techniques for visualizing entire cell processing has clarified biosynthesis and regulatory networks. Investigation into the promising production behaviors of the model organism C. reinhardtii and its mutants with these powerful techniques has improved predictability and understanding of the diverse, complex interactions within photosynthetic organisms. This new equipment has created an exciting new frontier for high-throughput, predictable engineering of photosynthetically produced carbon-neutral biofuels.

  20. 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

  1. BioFuels Atlas (Presentation)

    SciTech Connect

    Moriarty, K.

    2011-02-01

    Presentation for biennial merit review of Biofuels Atlas, a first-pass visualization tool that allows users to explore the potential of biomass-to-biofuels conversions at various locations and scales.

  2. Iron oxide filled magnetic carbon nanotube-enzyme conjugates for recycling of amyloglucosidase: toward useful applications in biofuel production process.

    PubMed

    Goh, Wei Jiang; Makam, Venkata S; Hu, Jun; Kang, Lifeng; Zheng, Minrui; Yoong, Sia Lee; Udalagama, Chammika N B; Pastorin, Giorgia

    2012-12-11

    Biofuels are fast advancing as a new research area to provide alternative sources of sustainable and clean energy. Recent advances in nanotechnology have sought to improve the efficiency of biofuel production, enhancing energy security. In this study, we have incorporated iron oxide nanoparticles into single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) to produce magnetic single-walled carbon nanotubes (mSWCNTs). Our objective is to bridge both nanotechnology and biofuel production by immobilizing the enzyme, Amyloglucosidase (AMG), onto mSWCNTs using physical adsorption and covalent immobilization, with the aim of recycling the immobilized enzyme, toward useful applications in biofuel production processes. We have demonstrated that the enzyme retains a certain percentage of its catalytic efficiency (up to 40%) in starch prototype biomass hydrolysis when used repeatedly (up to ten cycles) after immobilization on mSWCNTs, since the nanotubes can be easily separated from the reaction mixture using a simple magnet. The enzyme loading, activity, and structural changes after immobilization onto mSWCNTs were also studied. In addition, we have demonstrated that the immobilized enzyme retains its activity when stored at 4 °C for at least one month. These results, combined with the unique intrinsic properties of the nanotubes, pave the way for greater efficiency in carbon nanotube-enzyme bioreactors and reduced capital costs in industrial enzyme systems.

  3. Advancements in the Quantification of the Crystal Structure of ZNS Materials Produced in Variable Gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castillo, Martin

    2016-07-01

    Screens and displays consume tremendous amounts of power. Global trends to significantly consume less power and increase battery life have led to the reinvestigation of electroluminescent materials. The state of the art in ZnS materials has not been furthered in the past 30 years and there is much potential in improving electroluminescent properties of these materials with advanced processing techniques. Self-propagating high temperature synthesis (SHS) utilises a rapid exothermic process involving high energy and nonlinearity coupled with a high cooling rate to produce materials formed outside of normal equilibrium boundaries thus possessing unique properties. The elimination of gravity during this process allows capillary forces to dominate mixing of the reactants which results in a superior and enhanced homogeneity in the product materials. ZnS type materials have been previously conducted in reduced gravity and normal gravity. It has been claimed in literature that a near perfect phases of ZnS wurtzite was produced. Although, the SHS of this material is possible at high pressures, there has been no quantitative information on the actual crystal structures and lattice parameters that were produced in this work. Utilising this process with ZnS doped with Cu, Mn, or rare earth metals such as Eu and Pr leads to electroluminescence properties, thus making this an attractive electroluminescent material. The work described here will revisit the synthesis of ZnS via high pressure SHS and will re-examine the work performed in both normal gravity and in reduced gravity within the ZARM drop tower facility. Quantifications in the lattice parameters, crystal structures, and phases produced will be presented to further explore the unique structure-property performance relationships produced from the SHS of ZnS materials.

  4. An overview of second generation biofuel technologies.

    PubMed

    Sims, Ralph E H; Mabee, Warren; Saddler, Jack N; Taylor, Michael

    2010-03-01

    The recently identified limitations of 1st-generation biofuels produced from food crops (with perhaps the exception of sugarcane ethanol) have caused greater emphasis to be placed on 2nd-generation biofuels produced from ligno-cellulosic feedstocks. Although significant progress continues to be made to overcome the technical and economic challenges, 2nd-generation biofuels production will continue to face major constraints to full commercial deployment. The logistics of providing a competitive, all-year-round, supply of biomass feedstock to a commercial-scale plant is challenging, as is improving the performance of the conversion process to reduce costs. The biochemical route, being less mature, probably has a greater cost reduction potential than the thermo-chemical route, but here a wider range of synthetic fuels can be produced to better suit heavy truck, aviation and marine applications. Continued investment in research and demonstration by both public and private sectors, coupled with appropriate policy support mechanisms, are essential if full commercialisation is to be achieved within the next decade. After that, the biofuel industry will grow only at a steady rate and encompass both 1st- and 2nd-generation technologies that meet agreed environmental, sustainability and economic policy goals.

  5. System for determining biofuel concentration

    DOEpatents

    Huff, Shean P.; Janke, Christopher James; Kass, Michael D.; Lewis, Sr, Samuel Arthur; Pawel, Steven J; Theiss, Timothy J.

    2016-09-13

    A measurement device or system configured to measure the content of biofuels within a fuel blend. By measuring a state of a responsive material within a fuel blend, a biofuel content of the fuel blend may be measured. For example, the solubility of a responsive material to biofuel content within a fuel blend, may affect a property of the responsive material, such as shape, dimensional size, or electrical impedance, which may be measured and used as a basis for determining biofuel content.

  6. Cellulosic biofuels from crop residue and groundwater extraction in the US Plains: the case of Nebraska.

    PubMed

    Sesmero, Juan P

    2014-11-01

    This study develops a model of crop residue (i.e. stover) supply and derived demand for irrigation water accounting for non-linear effects of soil organic matter on soil's water holding capacity. The model is calibrated for typical conditions in central Nebraska, United States, and identifies potential interactions between water and biofuel policies. The price offered for feedstock by a cost-minimizing plant facing that stover supply response is calculated. Results indicate that as biofuel production volumes increase, soil carbon depletion per unit of biofuel produced decreases. Consumption of groundwater per unit of biofuel produced first decreases and then increases (after a threshold of 363 dam(3) of biofuels per year) due to plants' increased reliance on the extensive margin for additional biomass. The analysis reveals a tension between biofuel and water policies. As biofuel production raises the economic benefits of relaxing water conservation policies (measured by the "shadow price" of water) increase.

  7. Lignin Bioproducts to Enable Biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Wyman, Charles E.; Ragauskas, Arthur J

    2015-09-15

    Here we report that today's and tomorrow's biofuels production facilities could benefit tremendously from increasing the value from the large amount of lignin that results from biofuels operations. Certainly, the scientific community, and biofuels industry has begun to recognize the challenges and opportunities associated with lignin.

  8. The Role of Biofuels Coproducts in Feeding the World Sustainably.

    PubMed

    Shurson, Gerald C

    2017-02-08

    One of the grand challenges facing our society today is finding solutions for feeding the world sustainably. The food-versus-fuel debate is a controversy embedded in this challenge, involving the trade-offs of using grains and oilseeds for biofuels production versus animal feed and human food. However, only 6% of total global grain produced is used to produce ethanol. Furthermore, biofuels coproducts contribute to sustainability of food production because only 1% to 2.5% of the overall energy efficiency is lost from converting crops into biofuels and animal feed, and approximately one-third of the corn used to produce ethanol is recovered as feed coproducts. Extensive research has been conducted over the past 15 years on biofuels coproducts to (a) optimize their use for improving caloric and nutritional efficiency in animal feeds, (b) identify benefits and limitations of use in various animal diets,

  9. Molecular structure of photosynthetic microbial biofuels for improved engine combustion and emissions characteristics.

    PubMed

    Hellier, Paul; Purton, Saul; Ladommatos, Nicos

    2015-01-01

    The metabolic engineering of photosynthetic microbes for production of novel hydrocarbons presents an opportunity for development of advanced designer biofuels. These can be significantly more sustainable, throughout the production-to-consumption lifecycle, than the fossil fuels and crop-based biofuels they might replace. Current biofuels, such as bioethanol and fatty acid methyl esters, have been developed primarily as drop-in replacements for existing fossil fuels, based on their physical properties and autoignition characteristics under specific combustion regimes. However, advances in the genetic engineering of microalgae and cyanobacteria, and the application of synthetic biology approaches offer the potential of designer strains capable of producing hydrocarbons and oxygenates with specific molecular structures. Furthermore, these fuel molecules can be designed for higher efficiency of energy release and lower exhaust emissions during combustion. This paper presents a review of potential fuel molecules from photosynthetic microbes and the performance of these possible fuels in modern internal combustion engines, highlighting which modifications to the molecular structure of such fuels may enhance their suitability for specific combustion regimes.

  10. Molecular Structure of Photosynthetic Microbial Biofuels for Improved Engine Combustion and Emissions Characteristics

    PubMed Central

    Hellier, Paul; Purton, Saul; Ladommatos, Nicos

    2015-01-01

    The metabolic engineering of photosynthetic microbes for production of novel hydrocarbons presents an opportunity for development of advanced designer biofuels. These can be significantly more sustainable, throughout the production-to-consumption lifecycle, than the fossil fuels and crop-based biofuels they might replace. Current biofuels, such as bioethanol and fatty acid methyl esters, have been developed primarily as drop-in replacements for existing fossil fuels, based on their physical properties and autoignition characteristics under specific combustion regimes. However, advances in the genetic engineering of microalgae and cyanobacteria, and the application of synthetic biology approaches offer the potential of designer strains capable of producing hydrocarbons and oxygenates with specific molecular structures. Furthermore, these fuel molecules can be designed for higher efficiency of energy release and lower exhaust emissions during combustion. This paper presents a review of potential fuel molecules from photosynthetic microbes and the performance of these possible fuels in modern internal combustion engines, highlighting which modifications to the molecular structure of such fuels may enhance their suitability for specific combustion regimes. PMID:25941673

  11. Challenges in engineering microbes for biofuels production.

    PubMed

    Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    2007-02-09

    Economic and geopolitical factors (high oil prices, environmental concerns, and supply instability) have been prompting policy-makers to put added emphasis on renewable energy sources. For the scientific community, recent advances, embodied in new insights into basic biology and technology that can be applied to metabolic engineering, are generating considerable excitement. There is justified optimism that the full potential of biofuel production from cellulosic biomass will be obtainable in the next 10 to 15 years.

  12. Cellulosic butanol production from agricultural biomass and residues: Recent advances in technology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This chapter details the recent advances made on bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass to butanol, a superior biofuel that can be used in internal combustion engines or transportation industry. It should be noted that butanol producing cultures cannot tolerate or produce more than 20-30 g/L of ac...

  13. The second Pacific basin biofuels workshop: Volume 1, Report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1987-01-01

    Biomass is the most flexible renewable energy resource in Hawaii. Today it provides the state with cost-effective fuel for electrical generation and for thermal energy used in sugarcane processing; tomorrow it will provide feedstock to produce liquid and gaseous fuels, which will help meet Hawaii's transportation energy needs. With optimal growing conditions year round and a strong economy based in part on sugarcane and pineapple cultivation, Hawaii is an ideal place to develop fuels from biomass. In November 1984, the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) held the First Pacific Basin BioFuels Workshop. The Plan for Action resulting from this workshop led to significant new program efforts that addressed the advancement of biomass research, development, and use. The Second Pacific Basin BioFuels Workshop was held at the Kauai Resort Hotel in Kapaa, Kauai, April 22-24, 1987. Before and after the workshop, HNEI conducted field visits to biomass energy facilities and test sites on Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, and Kauai. The workshop consisted of presentations, discussion groups, and plenary sessions on growth and yield, conversion, end use, institutional issues, and other topics. The final session focused on recommendations for a Plan for Action update.

  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. Beetles, Biofuel, and Coffee

    ScienceCinema

    Ceja-Navarro, Javier

    2016-07-12

    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.

  16. Sustainable Biofuels Redux

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biofuel sustainability has environmental, economic, and social facets that all interconnect. Tradeoffs among them vary widely by types of fuels and where they are grown, and thus need to be explicitly considered using a framework that allows the outcomes of alternative systems to be consistently eva...

  17. PNNL Aviation Biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Plaza, John; Holladay, John; Hallen, Rich

    2014-10-23

    Commercial airplanes really don’t have the option to move away from liquid fuels. Because of this, biofuels present an opportunity to create new clean energy jobs by developing technologies that deliver stable, long term fuel options. The Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is working with industrial partners on processes to convert biomass to aviation fuels.

  18. Agriculture - Sustainable biofuels Redux

    SciTech Connect

    Robertson, G. Phillip; Dale, Virginia H; Doering, Otto C.; Hamburg, Steven P; Melillo, Jerry M; Wander, Michele M; Parton, William

    2008-10-01

    Last May's passage of the 2008 Farm Bill raises the stakes for biofuel sustainability: A substantial subsidy for the production of cellulosic ethanol starts the United States again down a path with uncertain environmental consequences. This time, however, the subsidy is for both the refiners ($1.01 per gallon) and the growers ($45 per ton of biomass), which will rapidly accelerate adoption and place hard-to-manage pressures on efforts to design and implement sustainable production practices - as will a 2007 legislative mandate for 16 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year by 2022. Similar directives elsewhere, e.g., the European Union's mandate that 10% of all transport fuel in Europe be from renewable sources by 2020, make this a global issue. The European Union's current reconsideration of this target places even more emphasis on cellulosic feedstocks (1). The need for knowledge- and science-based policy is urgent. Biofuel sustainability has environmental, economic, and social facets that all interconnect. Tradeoffs among them vary widely by types of fuels and where they are grown and, thus, need to be explicitly considered by using a framework that allows the outcomes of alternative systems to be consistently evaluated and compared. A cellulosic biofuels industry could have many positive social and environmental attributes, but it could also suffer from many of the sustainability issues that hobble grain-based biofuels, if not implemented the right way.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Hawaii Integrated Biofuels Research Program

    SciTech Connect

    Takahashi, P.K.

    1989-10-01

    Hawaii provides a unique environment for production of biomass resources that can be converted into renewable energy products. The purpose of this work is to evaluate the potential of several biomass resources, including sugarcane, eucalyptus, and leucaena, particularly for utilization in thermochemical conversion processes to produce liquid or gaseous transportation fuels. This research program supports ongoing efforts of the Biofuels and Municipal Solid Waste Technology (BMWT) Program of the Department of Energy (DOE) and has goals that are consistent with BMWT. The Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) work completed here consists of research activities that support two of the five renewable fuel cycles being pursued by DOE researchers. The results are directly applicable in the American territories throughout the Pacific Basin and the Caribbean, and also to many parts of the United States and worldwide. The Hawaii Integrated Biofuels Research Program is organized into the following six research tasks, which are presented as appendices in report form: Biomass Resource Assessment and System Modeling (Task 1); Bioenergy Tree Research (Task 2); Breeding, Culture, and Selection of Tropical Grasses for Increased Energy Potential (Task 3); Study of Eucalyptus Plantations for Energy Production in Hawaii (Task 4); Fundamental Solvolysis Research (Task 5); and Effects of Feedstock Composition on Pyrolysis Products (Task 6). 54 refs., 35 figs., 55 tabs.

  2. Engineering microbial biofuel tolerance and export using efflux pumps

    PubMed Central

    Dunlop, Mary J; Dossani, Zain Y; Szmidt, Heather L; Chu, Hou Cheng; Lee, Taek Soon; Keasling, Jay D; Hadi, Masood Z; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila

    2011-01-01

    Many compounds being considered as candidates for advanced biofuels are toxic to microorganisms. This introduces an undesirable trade-off when engineering metabolic pathways for biofuel production because the engineered microbes must balance production against survival. Cellular export systems, such as efflux pumps, provide a direct mechanism for reducing biofuel toxicity. To identify novel biofuel pumps, we used bioinformatics to generate a list of all efflux pumps from sequenced bacterial genomes and prioritized a subset of targets for cloning. The resulting library of 43 pumps was heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli, where we tested it against seven representative biofuels. By using a competitive growth assay, we efficiently distinguished pumps that improved survival. For two of the fuels (n-butanol and isopentanol), none of the pumps improved tolerance. For all other fuels, we identified pumps that restored growth in the presence of biofuel. We then tested a beneficial pump directly in a production strain and demonstrated that it improved biofuel yields. Our findings introduce new tools for engineering production strains and utilize the increasingly large database of sequenced genomes. PMID:21556065

  3. Engineering microbial biofuel tolerance and export using efflux pumps.

    PubMed

    Dunlop, Mary J; Dossani, Zain Y; Szmidt, Heather L; Chu, Hou Cheng; Lee, Taek Soon; Keasling, Jay D; Hadi, Masood Z; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila

    2011-05-10

    Many compounds being considered as candidates for advanced biofuels are toxic to microorganisms. This introduces an undesirable trade-off when engineering metabolic pathways for biofuel production because the engineered microbes must balance production against survival. Cellular export systems, such as efflux pumps, provide a direct mechanism for reducing biofuel toxicity. To identify novel biofuel pumps, we used bioinformatics to generate a list of all efflux pumps from sequenced bacterial genomes and prioritized a subset of targets for cloning. The resulting library of 43 pumps was heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli, where we tested it against seven representative biofuels. By using a competitive growth assay, we efficiently distinguished pumps that improved survival. For two of the fuels (n-butanol and isopentanol), none of the pumps improved tolerance. For all other fuels, we identified pumps that restored growth in the presence of biofuel. We then tested a beneficial pump directly in a production strain and demonstrated that it improved biofuel yields. Our findings introduce new tools for engineering production strains and utilize the increasingly large database of sequenced genomes.

  4. Soil management implications of producing biofuel feedstock

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The demand for domestic, renewable energy resources and the need for more stable and higher commodity prices for farmers and rural communities are drivers for the developing bioenergy industry. First generation feedstocks focused on corn (Zea mays L) and soybean (Glycine max. L. [Merr.]) grain in t...

  5. 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 m² 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

  6. The role of biochemical engineering in the production of biofuels from microalgae.

    PubMed

    Costa, Jorge Alberto Vieira; de Morais, Michele Greque

    2011-01-01

    Environmental changes that have occurred due to the use of fossil fuels have driven the search for alternative sources that have a lower environmental impact. First-generation biofuels were derived from crops such as sugar cane, corn and soybean, which contribute to water scarcity and deforestation. Second-generation biofuels originated from lignocellulose agriculture and forest residues, however these needed large areas of land that could be used for food production. Based on technology projections, the third generation of biofuels will be derived from microalgae. Microalgae are considered to be an alternative energy source without the drawbacks of the first- and second-generation biofuels. Depending upon the growing conditions, microalgae can produce biocompounds that are easily converted into biofuels. The biofuels from microalgae are an alternative that can keep the development of human activity in harmony with the environment. This study aimed to present the main biofuels that can be derived from microalgae.

  7. Trade-Offs in Improving Biofuel Tolerance Using Combinations of Efflux Pumps.

    PubMed

    Turner, William J; Dunlop, Mary J

    2015-10-16

    Microbes can be engineered to produce next-generation biofuels; however, the accumulation of toxic biofuels can limit yields. Previous studies have shown that efflux pumps can increase biofuel tolerance and improve production. Here, we asked whether expressing multiple pumps in combination could further increase biofuel tolerance. Pump overexpression inhibits cell growth, suggesting a trade-off between biofuel and pump toxicity. With multiple pumps, it is unclear how the fitness landscape is impacted. To address this, we measured tolerance of Escherichia coli to the biojet fuel precursor α-pinene in one-pump and two-pump strains. To support our experiments, we developed a mathematical model describing toxicity due to biofuel and overexpression of pumps. We found that data from one-pump strains can accurately predict the performance of two-pump strains. This result suggests that it may be possible to dramatically reduce the number of experiments required for characterizing the effects of combined biofuel tolerance mechanisms.

  8. Engineering for biofuels: exploiting innate microbial capacity or importing biosynthetic potential?

    PubMed

    Alper, Hal; Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    2009-10-01

    The ideal microorganism for biofuel production will possess high substrate utilization and processing capacities, fast and deregulated pathways for sugar transport, good tolerance to inhibitors and product, and high metabolic fluxes and will produce a single fermentation product. It is unclear whether such an organism will be engineered using a native, isolated strain or a recombinant, model organism as the starting point. The choice between engineering natural function and importing biosynthetic capacity is affected by current progress in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology. This Review highlights some of the factors influencing the above decision, in light of current advances.

  9. Using advanced manufacturing to produce unmanned aerial vehicles: a feasibility study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Easter, Steven; Turman, Jonathan; Sheffler, David; Balazs, Michael; Rotner, Jonathan

    2013-05-01

    This paper reports on a feasibility study to explore the impact of advanced manufacturing on the production and maintenance of a 3D printed, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in theatre. Specifically, this report focuses on fused deposition modeling (FDM), the selective deposition of a molten thermoplastic. FDM is already a forward deployed technology, primarily used for printing custom tools and replacement parts. The authors ask if it is feasible to expand the printers' capacity to produce aerial platforms; the reduction in logistics and labor could significantly decrease costs per unit and enable far more platform customization and specialized deployment scenarios than are available in existing aircraft. The University of Virginia and The MITRE Corporation designed and built a prototype, 3D printed UAV for use as an aerial sensor platform. This report • Discusses the printed aerial platform, summarizes the design process, and compares printing methods • Describes the benefits and limitations to selecting FDM printers as the technology both for deployment as well as UAV design • Concludes with the current state and future expectations for FDM printing technologies relevant to UAV production. Our findings suggest that although 3D printing is not yet entirely field-ready, many of its advantages can already be realized.

  10. Advanced treatment of the reverse osmosis concentrate produced during reclamation of municipal wastewater.

    PubMed

    Dialynas, Emmanuel; Mantzavinos, Dionissios; Diamadopoulos, Evan

    2008-11-01

    The work investigated the treatment of the concentrate produced from the reverse osmosis treatment of an MBR effluent. Two conventional chemical processes, coagulation and activated carbon adsorption, and three advanced oxidation processes (electrochemical treatment, photocatalysis and sonolysis) were applied. Coagulation with alum gave dissolved organic carbon (DOC) removals up to 42%, while FeCl(3) achieved higher removals (52%) at lower molar doses. Adsorption with granular activated carbon showed the highest DOC removals up to 91.3% for 5 g/L. The adsorption isotherm was linear with a non-adsorbable organic fraction of around 1.2 mg/L DOC. The three oxidation methods employed, electrolytic oxidation over a boron-doped diamond electrode, UVA/TiO2 photocatalysis and sonolysis at 80 kHz, showed similar behavior: during the first few minutes of treatment there was a moderate removal of DOC followed by further oxidation at a very slow rate. Electrolytic oxidation was capable of removing up to 36% at 17.8A after 30 min of treatment, sonolysis removed up to 34% at 135W after 60 min, while photocatalysis was capable of removing up to 50% at 60 min.

  11. Protein Network Signatures Associated with Exogenous Biofuels Treatments in Cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803.

    PubMed

    Pei, Guangsheng; Chen, Lei; Wang, Jiangxin; Qiao, Jianjun; Zhang, Weiwen

    2014-01-01

    Although recognized as a promising microbial cell factory for producing biofuels, current productivity in cyanobacterial systems is low. To make the processes economically feasible, one of the hurdles, which need to be overcome is the low tolerance of hosts to toxic biofuels. Meanwhile, little information is available regarding the cellular responses to biofuels stress in cyanobacteria, which makes it challenging for tolerance engineering. Using large proteomic datasets of Synechocystis under various biofuels stress and environmental perturbation, a protein co-expression network was first constructed and then combined with the experimentally determined protein-protein interaction network. Proteins with statistically higher topological overlap in the integrated network were identified as common responsive proteins to both biofuels stress and environmental perturbations. In addition, a weighted gene co-expression network analysis was performed to distinguish unique responses to biofuels from those to environmental perturbations and to uncover metabolic modules and proteins uniquely associated with biofuels stress. The results showed that biofuel-specific proteins and modules were enriched in several functional categories, including photosynthesis, carbon fixation, and amino acid metabolism, which may represent potential key signatures for biofuels stress responses in Synechocystis. Network-based analysis allowed determination of the responses specifically related to biofuels stress, and the results constituted an important knowledge foundation for tolerance engineering against biofuels in Synechocystis.

  12. Life cycle environmental impacts of wastewater-based algal biofuels.

    PubMed

    Mu, Dongyan; Min, Min; Krohn, Brian; Mullins, Kimberley A; Ruan, Roger; Hill, Jason

    2014-10-07

    Recent research has proposed integrating wastewater treatment with algae cultivation as a way of producing algal biofuels at a commercial scale more sustainably. This study evaluates the environmental performance of wastewater-based algal biofuels with a well-to-wheel life cycle assessment (LCA). Production pathways examined include different nutrient sources (municipal wastewater influent to the activated sludge process, centrate from the sludge drying process, swine manure, and freshwater with synthetic fertilizers) combined with emerging biomass conversion technologies (microwave pyrolysis, combustion, wet lipid extraction, and hydrothermal liquefaction). Results show that the environmental performance of wastewater-based algal biofuels is generally better than freshwater-based algal biofuels, but depends on the characteristics of the wastewater and the conversion technologies. Of 16 pathways compared, only the centrate cultivation with wet lipid extraction pathway and the centrate cultivation with combustion pathway have lower impacts than petroleum diesel in all environmental categories examined (fossil fuel use, greenhouse gas emissions, eutrophication potential, and consumptive water use). The potential for large-scale implementation of centrate-based algal biofuel, however, is limited by availability of centrate. Thus, it is unlikely that algal biofuels can provide a large-scale and environmentally preferable alternative to petroleum transportation fuels without considerable improvement in current production technologies. Additionally, the cobenefit of wastewater-based algal biofuel production as an alternate means of treating various wastewaters should be further explored.

  13. The Advanced High-Temperature Reactor (AHTR) for Producing Hydrogen to Manufacture Liquid Fuels

    SciTech Connect

    Forsberg, C.W.; Peterson, P.F.; Ott, L.

    2004-10-06

    Conventional world oil production is expected to peak within a decade. Shortfalls in production of liquid fuels (gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel) from conventional oil sources are expected to be offset by increased production of fuels from heavy oils and tar sands that are primarily located in the Western Hemisphere (Canada, Venezuela, the United States, and Mexico). Simultaneously, there is a renewed interest in liquid fuels from biomass, such as alcohol; but, biomass production requires fertilizer. Massive quantities of hydrogen (H2) are required (1) to convert heavy oils and tar sands to liquid fuels and (2) to produce fertilizer for production of biomass that can be converted to liquid fuels. If these liquid fuels are to be used while simultaneously minimizing greenhouse emissions, nonfossil methods for the production of H2 are required. Nuclear energy can be used to produce H2. The most efficient methods to produce H2 from nuclear energy involve thermochemical cycles in which high-temperature heat (700 to 850 C) and water are converted to H2 and oxygen. The peak nuclear reactor fuel and coolant temperatures must be significantly higher than the chemical process temperatures to transport heat from the reactor core to an intermediate heat transfer loop and from the intermediate heat transfer loop to the chemical plant. The reactor temperatures required for H2 production are at the limits of practical engineering materials. A new high-temperature reactor concept is being developed for H2 and electricity production: the Advanced High-Temperature Reactor (AHTR). The fuel is a graphite-matrix, coated-particle fuel, the same type that is used in modular high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (MHTGRs). The coolant is a clean molten fluoride salt with a boiling point near 1400 C. The use of a liquid coolant, rather than helium, reduces peak reactor fuel and coolant temperatures 100 to 200 C relative to those of a MHTGR. Liquids are better heat transfer fluids than gases

  14. A Brief Literature Overview of Various Routes to Biorenewable Fuels from Lipids for the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bio-products (NAABB) Consortium

    SciTech Connect

    Albrecht, Karl O.; Hallen, Richard T.

    2011-03-29

    Renewable methods of producing transportation fuels are currently the focus of numerous large research efforts across the globe. Renewable fuel produced from algal lipids is one aspect of this research that could have profound implications on future transportation fuel requirements. However, technical challenges remain in several areas of algal-lipid-based fuels. These challenges include the identification and development of robust and productive algal species as well as extraction methods to recover the produced lipids. Not the least of these technical challenges is the conversion of the algae lipids to fungible fuels. This brief literature review focuses primarily on state-of-the-art “downstream” applications of producing fuel from fats and lipids, which can be applied to ongoing research with algae-derived lipids.

  15. Plant-based biofuels

    PubMed Central

    Hood, Elizabeth E.

    2016-01-01

    This review is a short synopsis of some of the latest breakthroughs in the areas of lignocellulosic conversion to fuels and utilization of oils for biodiesel. Although four lignocellulosic ethanol factories have opened in the USA and hundreds of biodiesel installations are active worldwide, technological improvements are being discovered that will rapidly evolve the biofuels industry into a new paradigm. These discoveries involve the feedstocks as well as the technologies to process them. PMID:26949525

  16. PNNL Aviation Biofuels

    ScienceCinema

    Plaza, John; Holladay, John; Hallen, Rich

    2016-07-12

    Commercial airplanes really don’t have the option to move away from liquid fuels. Because of this, biofuels present an opportunity to create new clean energy jobs by developing technologies that deliver stable, long term fuel options. The Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is working with industrial partners on processes to convert biomass to aviation fuels.

  17. Cyanofuels: biofuels from cyanobacteria. Reality and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Sarsekeyeva, Fariza; Zayadan, Bolatkhan K; Usserbaeva, Aizhan; Bedbenov, Vladimir S; Sinetova, Maria A; Los, Dmitry A

    2015-08-01

    Cyanobacteria are represented by a diverse group of microorganisms that, by virtue of being a part of marine and freshwater phytoplankton, significantly contribute to the fixation of atmospheric carbon via photosynthesis. It is assumed that ancient cyanobacteria participated in the formation of earth's oil deposits. Biomass of modern cyanobacteria may be converted into bio-oil by pyrolysis. Modern cyanobacteria grow fast; they do not compete for agricultural lands and resources; they efficiently convert excessive amounts of CO2 into biomass, thus participating in both carbon fixation and organic chemical production. Many cyanobacterial species are easier to genetically manipulate than eukaryotic algae and other photosynthetic organisms. Thus, the cyanobacterial photosynthesis may be directed to produce carbohydrates, fatty acids, or alcohols as renewable sources of biofuels. Here we review the recent achievements in the developments and production of cyanofuels-biofuels produced from cyanobacterial biomass.

  18. Engineering algae for biohydrogen and biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Beer, Laura L; Boyd, Eric S; Peters, John W; Posewitz, Matthew C

    2009-06-01

    There is currently substantial interest in utilizing eukaryotic algae for the renewable production of several bioenergy carriers, including starches for alcohols, lipids for diesel fuel surrogates, and H2 for fuel cells. Relative to terrestrial biofuel feedstocks, algae can convert solar energy into fuels at higher photosynthetic efficiencies, and can thrive in salt water systems. Recently, there has been considerable progress in identifying relevant bioenergy genes and pathways in microalgae, and powerful genetic techniques have been developed to engineer some strains via the targeted disruption of endogenous genes and/or transgene expression. Collectively, the progress that has been realized in these areas is rapidly advancing our ability to genetically optimize the production of targeted biofuels.

  19. 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

  20. Biofuels: What Are They and How Can They Improve Practical Work and Discussions?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MacLean, Tristan

    2014-01-01

    This article looks at the potential of bioenergy as a replacement for fossil fuels, the cutting-edge research being undertaken by scientists, and classroom resources available for teaching this topic. There is currently a large programme of scientific research aiming to develop advanced biofuels (replenishable liquid biofuels from non-food plants,…

  1. Integrated processes for produced water polishing: Enhanced flotation/sedimentation combined with advanced oxidation processes.

    PubMed

    Jiménez, Silvia; Micó, María M; Arnaldos, Marina; Ferrero, Enrique; Malfeito, Jorge J; Medina, Francisco; Contreras, Sandra

    2017-02-01

    In this study, bench scale dissolved air flotation (DAF) and settling processes have been studied and compared to a novel flotation technology based on the use of glass microspheres of limited buoyancy and its combination with conventional DAF, (Enhanced DAF or E-DAF). They were evaluated as pretreatments for advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) to polish produced water (PW) for reuse purposes. Settling and E-DAF without air injection showed adequate turbidity and oil and grease (O&G) removals, with eliminations higher than 87% and 90% respectively, employing 70 mg L(-1) of FeCl3 and 83 min of settling time, and 57.9 mg L(-1) of FeCl3, 300 mg L(-1) of microspheres and a flocculation rate of 40 rpm in the E-DAF process. A linear correlation was observed between final O&G concentration and turbidity after E-DAF. In order to polish the O&G content of the effluent even further, to remove soluble compounds as phenol and to take advantage of residual iron after these treatments, Fenton and photo-Fenton reactions were essayed. After 6 h of the Fenton reaction at pH 3, the addition of 1660 mg L(-1) of H2O2 and 133 mg L(-1) of iron showed a maximum O&G elimination of 57.6% and a phenol removal up to 80%. Photo-Fenton process showed better results after 3 h, adding 600 mg L(-1) of H2O2 and 300 mg L(-1) of iron, at pH 3, with a higher fraction of elimination of the O&G content (73.7%) and phenol (95%) compared to the conventional Fenton process.

  2. [Tobacco--a source of biofuels].

    PubMed

    Budzianowska, Anna; Budzianowski, Jaromir

    2012-01-01

    One of the concepts of global protection of environment is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mainly carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere by replacing fossil fuels by the so-called biofuels, which can be obtained from cultivated plants or any plant waste biomass. Currently applied industrial technologies allow the production of biofuels to receive ethanol, mostly from the reserve carbohydrates of sugar cane and corn as well as biodiesel from oil, mainly from rapeseed or oil palm. Tobacco, which provides a high biomass, can be used to produce biogas, bioethanol and biodiesel. The latter derived from oil from seeds and leaves of tobacco has proved useful for driving cars. Modest oil content in tobacco leaves can be increased by the expression of foreign genes encoding its biosynthesis. Promising future source of biofuels is a waste plant biomass consisting mainly of cell walls, which can be subjected to the degradation to produce sugars suitable for fermentation and the production of bioethanol. A number of enzymes needed for efficient degradation of plant cell walls can be produced using recombinant DNA technology in a variety of plants, particularly in chloroplasts of tobacco.

  3. Proteomic Analysis of Metabolic Responses to Biofuels and Chemicals in Photosynthetic Cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Sun, T; Chen, L; Zhang, W

    2017-01-01

    Recent progresses in various "omics" technologies have enabled quantitative measurements of biological molecules in a high-throughput manner. Among them, high-throughput proteomics is a rapidly advancing field that offers a new means to quantify metabolic changes at protein level, which has significantly facilitated our understanding of cellular process, such as protein synthesis, posttranslational modifications, and degradation in responding to environmental perturbations. Cyanobacteria are autotrophic prokaryotes that can perform oxygenic photosynthesis and have recently attracted significant attentions as one promising alternative to traditionally biomass-based "microbial cell factories" to produce green fuels and chemicals. However, early studies have shown that the low tolerance to toxic biofuels and chemicals represented one major hurdle for further improving productivity of the cyanobacterial production systems. To address the issue, metabolic responses and their regulation of cyanobacterial cells to toxic end-products need to be defined. In this chapter, we discuss recent progresses in interpreting cyanobacterial responses to biofuels and chemicals using high-throughput proteomics approach, aiming to provide insights and guidelines on how to enhance tolerance and productivity of biofuels or chemicals in the renewable cyanobacteria systems in the future.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Metabolic engineering of biosynthetic pathway for production of renewable biofuels.

    PubMed

    Singh, Vijai; Mani, Indra; Chaudhary, Dharmendra Kumar; Dhar, Pawan Kumar

    2014-02-01

    Metabolic engineering is an important area of research that involves editing genetic networks to overproduce a certain substance by the cells. Using a combination of genetic, metabolic, and modeling methods, useful substances have been synthesized in the past at industrial scale and in a cost-effective manner. Currently, metabolic engineering is being used to produce sufficient, economical, and eco-friendly biofuels. In the recent past, a number of efforts have been made towards engineering biosynthetic pathways for large scale and efficient production of biofuels from biomass. Given the adoption of metabolic engineering approaches by the biofuel industry, this paper reviews various approaches towards the production and enhancement of renewable biofuels such as ethanol, butanol, isopropanol, hydrogen, and biodiesel. We have also identified specific areas where more work needs to be done in the future.

  7. Biofuels and the Environment: the First Triennial Report to ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    EPA announced the release of the final report,Biofuels and the Environment: The First Triennial Report to Congress (EPA/600/R-10/183F), prepared by the National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) within EPA’s Office of Research and Development, as the first EPA report published on this issue. The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) mandates increased production of biofuels (fuels derived from organic materials) from 9 billion gallons per year in 2008 to 36 billion gallons per year by 2022. Additionally, EISA (Section 204) also requires that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assess and report to Congress every three years on the current and potential future environmental and resource conservation impacts associated with increased biofuel production and use. Produce report to Congress that addresses the environmental impact associated with current and future biofuel production and use.

  8. Biofuels and the Environment: The First Triennial Report to ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The Biofuels and the Environment: The First Triennial Report to Congress (External Review Draft) (EPA/600/R-10/183A) report, prepared by the National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) within EPA’s Office of Research and Development, is the first report published on this issue. The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) mandates increased production of biofuels (fuels derived from organic materials) from 9 billion gallons per year in 2008 to 36 billion gallons per year by 2022. Additionally, EISA (Section 204) also requires that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assess and report to Congress every three years on the current and potential future environmental and resource conservation impacts associated with increased biofuel production and use. Produce report to Congress that addresses the environmental impact associated with current and future biofuel production and use.

  9. Toward the design of sustainable biofuel landscapes: A modeling approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Izaurralde, R. C.; Zhang, X.; Manowitz, D. H.; Sahajpal, R.

    2011-12-01

    Biofuel crops have emerged as promising feedstocks for advanced bioenergy production in the form of cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel. However, large-scale deployment of biofuel crops for energy production has the potential to conflict with food production and generate a myriad of environmental outcomes related to land and water resources (e.g., decreases in soil carbon storage, increased erosion, altered runoff, deterioration in water quality). In order to anticipate the possible impacts of biofuel crop production on food production systems and the environment and contribute to the design of sustainable biofuel landscapes, we developed a spatially-explicit integrated modeling framework (SEIMF) aimed at understanding, among other objectives, the complex interactions among land, water, and energy. The framework is a research effort of the DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center. The SEIMF has three components: (1) a GIS-based data analysis system, (2) the biogeochemical model EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate), and (3) an evolutionary multi-objective optimization algorithm for examining trade-offs between biofuel energy production and ecosystem responses. The SEIMF was applied at biorefinery scale to simulate biofuel production scenarios and the yield and environmental results were used to develop trade-offs, economic and life-cycle analyses. The SEIMF approach was also applied to test the hypothesis that growing perennial herbaceous species on marginal lands can satisfy a significant fraction of targeted demands while avoiding competition with food systems and maintaining ecosystem services.

  10. From pandemic preparedness to biofuel production: Tobacco finds its biotechnology niche in North America

    SciTech Connect

    Powell, Joshua D.

    2015-09-25

    As part of my NSD Innovation awarded funds (95470 Powell Innovation: charge code N38540) one my deliverables was a review article for journal submission summarizing my work on this project. My NSD Innovation project is expressing Ebola antibodies in tobacco plants. I've attached abstract below Title: From pandemic preparedness to biofuel production: tobacco finds its biotechnology niche in North America Abstract: Abstract: In 2012 scientists funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) produced 10 million doses of influenza vaccine in tobacco in a milestone deadline of one month. Recently the experimental antibody cocktail Zmapp™, also produced in tobacco, has shown promise as an emergency intervention therapeutic against Ebola. These two examples showcase how collaborative efforts between government, private industry and academia are applying plant biotechnology to combat pathogenic agents. Opportunities now exist repurposing tobacco expression systems for exciting new applications in synthetic biology, biofuels production and industrial enzyme production. Lastly, as plant-produced biotherapeutics become more mainstream, government funding agencies need to be cognizant of the idea that many plant-produced biologicals are often safer, cheaper and just as efficacious as their counterparts that are produced using traditional expression systems.

  11. From pandemic preparedness to biofuel production: Tobacco finds its biotechnology niche in North America

    DOE PAGES

    Powell, Joshua D.

    2015-09-25

    As part of my NSD Innovation awarded funds (95470 Powell Innovation: charge code N38540) one my deliverables was a review article for journal submission summarizing my work on this project. My NSD Innovation project is expressing Ebola antibodies in tobacco plants. I've attached abstract below Title: From pandemic preparedness to biofuel production: tobacco finds its biotechnology niche in North America Abstract: Abstract: In 2012 scientists funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) produced 10 million doses of influenza vaccine in tobacco in a milestone deadline of one month. Recently the experimental antibody cocktail Zmapp™, also produced inmore » tobacco, has shown promise as an emergency intervention therapeutic against Ebola. These two examples showcase how collaborative efforts between government, private industry and academia are applying plant biotechnology to combat pathogenic agents. Opportunities now exist repurposing tobacco expression systems for exciting new applications in synthetic biology, biofuels production and industrial enzyme production. Lastly, as plant-produced biotherapeutics become more mainstream, government funding agencies need to be cognizant of the idea that many plant-produced biologicals are often safer, cheaper and just as efficacious as their counterparts that are produced using traditional expression systems.« less

  12. Overview of Aviation Fuel Markets for Biofuels Stakeholders

    SciTech Connect

    Davidson, C.; Newes, E.; Schwab, A.; Vimmerstedt, L.

    2014-07-01

    This report is for biofuels stakeholders interested the U.S. aviation fuel market. Jet fuel production represents about 10% of U.S. petroleum refinery production. Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and BP top producers, and Texas, Louisiana, and California are top producing states. Distribution of fuel primarily involves transport from the Gulf Coast to other regions. Fuel is transported via pipeline (60%), barges on inland waterways (30%), tanker truck (5%), and rail (5%). Airport fuel supply chain organization and fuel sourcing may involve oil companies, airlines, airline consortia, airport owners and operators, and airport service companies. Most fuel is used for domestic, commercial, civilian flights. Energy efficiency has substantially improved due to aircraft fleet upgrades and advanced flight logistic improvements. Jet fuel prices generally track prices of crude oil and other refined petroleum products, whose prices are more volatile than crude oil price. The single largest expense for airlines is jet fuel, so its prices and persistent price volatility impact industry finances. Airlines use various strategies to manage aviation fuel price uncertainty. The aviation industry has established goals to mitigate its greenhouse gas emissions, and initial estimates of biojet life cycle greenhouse gas emissions exist. Biojet fuels from Fischer-Tropsch and hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids processes have ASTM standards. The commercial aviation industry and the U.S. Department of Defense have used aviation biofuels. Additional research is needed to assess the environmental, economic, and financial potential of biojet to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate long-term upward price trends, fuel price volatility, or both.

  13. Biofuels: Project summaries

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-07-01

    The US DOE, through the Biofuels Systems Division (BSD) is addressing the issues surrounding US vulnerability to petroleum supply. The BSD goal is to develop technologies that are competitive with fossil fuels, in both cost and environmental performance, by the end of the decade. This document contains summaries of ongoing research sponsored by the DOE BSD. A summary sheet is presented for each project funded or in existence during FY 1993. Each summary sheet contains and account of project funding, objectives, accomplishments and current status, and significant publications.

  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. 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.

  16. Growing duckweed for biofuel production: a review.

    PubMed

    Cui, W; Cheng, J J

    2015-01-01

    Duckweed can be utilised to produce ethanol, butanol and biogas, which are promising alternative energy sources to minimise dependence on limited crude oil and natural gas. The advantages of this aquatic plant include high rate of nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) uptake, high biomass yield and great potential as an alternative feedstock for the production of fuel ethanol, butanol and biogas. The objective of this article is to review the published research on growing duckweed for the production of the biofuels, especially starch enrichment in duckweed plants. There are mainly two processes affecting the accumulation of starch in duckweed biomass: photosynthesis for starch generation and metabolism-related starch consumption. The cost of stimulating photosynthesis is relatively high based on current technologies. Considerable research efforts have been made to inhibit starch degradation. Future research need in this area includes duckweed selection, optimisation of duckweed biomass production, enhancement of starch accumulation in duckweeds and use of duckweeds for production of various biofuels.

  17. Anthropogenic CO2 as a Feedstock for Cyanobacteria-Based Biofuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chance, Ronald

    2015-04-01

    Biofuels have great potential as low-carbon alternatives to fossil-based transportation fuels, and can serve as drop-in fuels for existing transportation infrastructures. This talk will focus on utilization of anthropogenic CO2 in an advanced biofuel system and the integration of that system with fossil-fuel power plants. The biofuel system is the Algenol Direct to Ethanol® technology, which provides an efficient, cyanobacteria-based system for producing ethanol, as well as a bio-crude co-product. The talk will begin with an overview of the Algenol technology: the genetic enhancement approach for enabling ethanol production in the organisms; ethanol and biomass production in outdoor cultures contained in large photobioreactor arrays; downstream processing systems; and phenomenological productivity modeling in terms of quantum yields, photo-saturation effects, respiration, and carbon partitioning. Overall, the results are consistent with a very efficient photosynthetic system in which more than 75% of the photosynthetically fixed carbon is diverted into the ethanol production pathway. The Algenol process consumes CO2 in a solar energy conversion process that yields a biofuel with much lower greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline. Different options for CO2 capture and utilization are considered and their impact on the overall system operation evaluated. Comparisons of life-cycle carbon footprints are made for the Algenol technology versus other transportation fuel options, including electric vehicles. Finally, we expand the boundary of the life cycle analysis to include the power plant, specifically considering natural gas and three coal-based options, and compare carbon footprints for the integrated systems to CCS (carbon capture and sequestration) as well as to the status quo of CO2 release to the atmosphere.

  18. 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.

  19. Integrated microbial processes for biofuels and high value-added products: the way to improve the cost effectiveness of biofuel production.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Teresa Lopes; Gouveia, Luísa; Reis, Alberto

    2014-02-01

    The production of microbial biofuels is currently under investigation, as they are alternative sources to fossil fuels, which are diminishing and their use has a negative impact on the environment. However, so far, biofuels derived from microbes are not economically competitive. One way to overcome this bottleneck is the use of microorganisms to transform substrates into biofuels and high value-added products, and simultaneously taking advantage of the various microbial biomass components to produce other products of interest, as an integrated process. In this way, it is possible to maximize the economic value of the whole process, with the desired reduction of the waste streams produced. It is expected that this integrated system makes the biofuel production economically sustainable and competitive in the near future. This review describes the investigation on integrated microbial processes (based on bacteria, yeast, and microalgal cultivations) that have been experimentally developed, highlighting the importance of this approach as a way to optimize microbial biofuel production process.

  20. Meeting the Demand for Biofuels: Impact on Land Use and Carbon Mitigation

    SciTech Connect

    Khanna, Madhu; Jain, Atul; Onal, Hayri; Scheffran, Jurgen; Chen, Xiaoguang; Erickson, Matt; Huang, Haixiao; Kang, Seungmo.

    2011-08-14

    The purpose of this research was to develop an integrated, interdisciplinary framework to investigate the implications of large scale production of biofuels for land use, crop production, farm income and greenhouse gases. In particular, we examine the mix of feedstocks that would be viable for biofuel production and the spatial allocation of land required for producing these feedstocks at various gasoline and carbon emission prices as well as biofuel subsidy levels. The implication of interactions between energy policy that seeks energy independence from foreign oil and climate policy that seeks to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions for the optimal mix of biofuels and land use will also be investigated. This project contributes to the ELSI research goals of sustainable biofuel production while balancing competing demands for land and developing policy approaches needed to support biofuel production in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner.

  1. The Biofuels Revolution: Understanding the Social, Cultural and Economic Impacts of Biofuels Development on Rural Communities

    SciTech Connect

    Selfa, Theresa L; Goe, Richard; Kulcsar, Laszlo; Middendorf, Gerad; Bain, Carmen

    2013-02-11

    The aim of this research was an in-depth analysis of the impacts of biofuels industry and ethanol plants on six rural communities in the Midwestern states of Kansas and Iowa. The goal was to provide a better understanding of the social, cultural, and economic implications of biofuels development, and to contribute to more informed policy development regarding bioenergy.Specific project objectives were: 1. To understand how the growth of biofuel production has affected and will affect Midwestern farmers and rural communities in terms of economic, demographic, and socio-cultural impacts; 2. To determine how state agencies, groundwater management districts, local governments and policy makers evaluate or manage bioenergy development in relation to competing demands for economic growth, diminishing water resources, and social considerations; 3. To determine the factors that influence the water management practices of agricultural producers in Kansas and Iowa (e.g. geographic setting, water management institutions, competing water-use demands as well as producers attitudes, beliefs, and values) and how these influences relate to bioenergy feedstock production and biofuel processing; 4. To determine the relative importance of social-cultural, environmental and/or economic factors in the promotion of biofuels development and expansion in rural communities; The research objectives were met through the completion of six detailed case studies of rural communities that are current or planned locations for ethanol biorefineries. Of the six case studies, two will be conducted on rural communities in Iowa and four will be conducted on rural communities in Kansas. A multi-method or mixed method research methodology was employed for each case study.

  2. Challenge of biofuel: filling the tank without emptying the stomach?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajagopal, D.; Sexton, S. E.; Roland-Holst, D.; Zilberman, D.

    2007-10-01

    Biofuels have become a leading alternative to fossil fuel because they can be produced domestically by many countries, require only minimal changes to retail distribution and end-use technologies, are a partial response to global climate change, and because they have the potential to spur rural development. Production of biofuel has increased most rapidly for corn ethanol, in part because of government subsidies; yet, corn ethanol offers at most a modest contribution to society's climate change goals and only a marginally positive net energy balance. Current biofuels pose long-run consequences for the provision of food and environmental amenities. In the short run, however, when gasoline supply and demand are inelastic, they serve as a buffer supply of energy, helping to reduce prices. Employing a conceptual model and with back-of-the-envelope estimates of wealth transfers resulting from biofuel production, we find that ethanol subsidies pay for themselves. Adoption of second-generation technologies may make biofuels more beneficial to society. The large-scale production of new types of crops dedicated to energy is likely to induce structural change in agriculture and change the sources, levels, and variability of farm incomes. The socio-economic impact of biofuel production will largely depend on how well the process of technology adoption by farmers and processors is understood and managed. The confluence of agricultural policy with environmental and energy policies is expected.

  3. 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...

  4. Biofuels-Strengthening links between agriculture and military

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    U.S. agricultural producers and military planners share a strong commitment to the commercial-scale development of ready-to-use biofuels that can be sustainably produced using plant-based materials harvested from farms, forests, and other rural lands. Researchers in private business, government, and...

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    Petrovič, 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.

  7. Advanced Membrane Filtration Technology for Cost Effective Recovery of Fresh Water from Oil & Gas Produced Brine

    SciTech Connect

    David B. Burnett

    2005-09-29

    This study is developing a comprehensive study of what is involved in the desalination of oil field produced brine and the technical developments and regulatory changes needed to make the concept a commercial reality. It was originally based on ''conventional'' produced water treatment and reviewed (1) the basics of produced water management, (2) the potential for desalination of produced brine in order to make the resource more useful and available in areas of limited fresh water availability, and (3) the potential beneficial uses of produced water for other than oil production operations. Since we have begun however, a new area of interest has appeared that of brine water treatment at the well site. Details are discussed in this technical progress report. One way to reduce the impact of O&G operations is to treat produced brine by desalination. The main body of the report contains information showing where oil field brine is produced, its composition, and the volume available for treatment and desalination. This collection of information all relates to what the oil and gas industry refers to as ''produced water management''. It is a critical issue for the industry as produced water accounts for more than 80% of all the byproducts produced in oil and gas exploration and production. The expense of handling unwanted waste fluids draws scarce capital away for the development of new petroleum resources, decreases the economic lifetimes of existing oil and gas reservoirs, and makes environmental compliance more expensive to achieve. More than 200 million barrels of produced water are generated worldwide each day; this adds up to more than 75 billion barrels per year. For the United States, the American Petroleum Institute estimated about 18 billion barrels per year were generated from onshore wells in 1995, and similar volumes are generated today. Offshore wells in the United States generate several hundred million barrels of produced water per year. Internationally

  8. Estimating Nitrogen Load Resulting from Biofuel Mandates

    PubMed Central

    Alshawaf, Mohammad; Douglas, Ellen; Ricciardi, Karen

    2016-01-01

    The Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 were enacted to reduce the U.S. dependency on foreign oil by increasing the use of biofuels. The increased demand for biofuels from corn and soybeans could result in an increase of nitrogen flux if not managed properly. The objectives of this study are to estimate nitrogen flux from energy crop production and to identify the catchment areas with high nitrogen flux. The results show that biofuel production can result in an increase of nitrogen flux to the northern Gulf of Mexico from 270 to 1742 thousand metric tons. Using all cellulosic (hay) ethanol or biodiesel to meet the 2022 mandate is expected to reduce nitrogen flux; however, it requires approximately 25% more land when compared to other scenarios. Producing ethanol from switchgrass rather than hay results in three-times more nitrogen flux, but requires 43% less land. Using corn ethanol for 2022 mandates is expected to have double the nitrogen flux when compared to the EISA-specified 2022 scenario; however, it will require less land area. Shifting the U.S. energy supply from foreign oil to the Midwest cannot occur without economic and environmental impacts, which could potentially lead to more eutrophication and hypoxia. PMID:27171101

  9. A techno-economic review of thermochemical cellulosic biofuel pathways.

    PubMed

    Brown, Tristan R

    2015-02-01

    Recent advances in the thermochemical processing of biomass have resulted in efforts to commercialize several cellulosic biofuel pathways. Until commercial-scale production is achieved, however, techno-economic analysis is a useful methodology for quantifying the economic competitiveness of these pathways with petroleum, providing one indication of their long-term feasibility under the U.S. revised Renewable Fuel Standard. This review paper covers techno-economic analyses of thermochemical cellulosic biofuel pathways in the open literature, discusses and compares their results, and recommends the adoption of additional analytical methodologies that will increase the value of future pathway analyses.

  10. 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.

  11. Algal Biofuels; Algal Biofuels R&D at NREL (Brochure)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2010-09-01

    An overview of NREL's algal biofuels projects, including U.S. Department of Energy-funded work, projects with U.S. and international partners, and Laboratory Directed Research and Development projects.

  12. [The Advances in the Contamination and Detection of Foodborne Pathogen Noroviruses in Fresh Produce].

    PubMed

    Xie, Yajing; Liu, Xianjin

    2015-11-01

    This article reviewed the researches proceeding on the contamination and detection of the foodborne pathogen noroviruses (NoVs) in fresh produce, which involved the NoVs contaminations in fresh produce, the special attachment of NoVs in fresh produce, the NoVs outbreaks associated with fresh produce and the NoVs detection in fresh produce. There had been an increase in reported infectious disease risks associated with the consumptions of fresh produce for recent 30 years. Because the NoVs, as a primary cause of viral gastroenteritis thoughout the world, were highly contagious, had a low infectious dose, and were persistent in the environment. And also the methods for NoVs detection in food had significantly developed over the last 15 years. Currently NoVs were the most common pathogen accounting for 40% of outbreaks associated with fresh produce (i. e., fruits and vegetables). Data from outbreaks investigations verified fresh produce as the high risk food products for NoVs. The fresh produce were typically eaten raw with no thermal processing, can be contaminated at any step during production and processing from faecally polluted water and fertilizers, the poor hygiene practices by food handlers and the cross-contamination. The attachment of NoVs to the fresh produce was due to the physio-chemical factors of virus protein coat, the special attachment to different fresh produce, and the possibility for internalization of NoVs. It might provide answers to why those high risk foods were more frequently implicated (i. e., lettuce and raspberries). According to the data of foodborne NoVs outbreaks which were associated with fresh produce from EU countries and the USA, the outbreaks in EU countries were mainly associated with NoVs contaminated raspberries and lettuce, while in USA which were associated with NoVs contaminated lettuce. Unfortunately, there were no NoVs detection methods for fresh produce or the data of foodborne NoVs outbreaks which were associated with

  13. Vasohibin-1 expression inhibits advancement of ovarian cancer producing various angiogenic factors.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Yoshifumi; Saga, Yasushi; Koyanagi, Takahiro; Takei, Yuji; Machida, Shizuo; Taneichi, Akiyo; Mizukami, Hiroaki; Sato, Yasufumi; Matsubara, Shigeki; Fujiwara, Hiroyuki

    2016-05-01

    Vasohibin-1 (VASH1) is a negative feedback regulator of angiogenesis, the first to be discovered, and was identified in vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-stimulated vascular endothelial cells. Vasohibin-1 inhibits abnormal vascularization induced by various angiogenic factors including fibroblast growth factor and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), in addition to VEGF. By focusing on this characteristic of VASH1, we investigated the antitumor effects of VASH1 expression on ovarian cancer cells that produce different angiogenic factors. By using a high VEGF-producing ovarian cancer cell line, SHIN-3, and a high PDGF-producing ovarian cancer cell line, KOC-2S, the cells were transfected with either a VEGF antagonist, soluble VEGF receptor-1 (sVEGFR-1, or sFlt-1), or VASH1 genes to establish their respective cellular expression. The characteristics of these transfectants were compared with controls. We previously reported that the expression of sFlt-1 inhibited tumor vascularization and growth of high VEGF-producing ovarian cancer cells, reduced peritoneal dissemination and ascites development, and prolonged the survival time of the host. However, in the current study, the expression of sFlt-1 had no such effect on the high PDGF-producing ovarian cancer cells used here, whereas VASH1 expression inhibited tumor vascularization and growth, not only in high VEGF-producing cells, but also in high PDGF-producing cells, reduced their peritoneal dissemination and ascites, and prolonged the survival time of the host. These results suggest that VASH1 is an effective treatment for ovarian cancer cells that produce different angiogenic factors.

  14. Advanced Membrane Filtration Technology for Cost Effective Recovery of Fresh Water from Oil & Gas Produced Brine

    SciTech Connect

    David B. Burnett

    2004-09-29

    Produced water is a major waste generated at the oil and natural gas wells in the state of Texas. This water could be a possible source of new fresh water to meet the growing demands of the state after treatment and purification. Treatment of brine generated in oil fields or produced water with an ultrafiltration membranes were the subject of this thesis. The characterization of ultrafiltration membranes for oil and suspended solids removal of produced water, coupled with the reverse osmosis (RO) desalination of brine were studied on lab size membrane testing equipment and a field size testing unit to test whether a viable membrane system could be used to treat produced water. Oil and suspended solids were evaluated using turbidity and oil in water measurements taken periodically. The research considered the effect of pressure and flow rate on membrane performance of produced water treatment of three commercially available membranes for oily water. The study also analyzed the flux through the membrane and any effect it had on membrane performance. The research showed that an ultrafiltration membrane provided turbidity removal of over 99% and oil removal of 78% for the produced water samples. The results indicated that the ultrafiltration membranes would be asset as one of the first steps in purifying the water. Further results on selected RO membranes showed that salt rejection of greater than 97% could be achieved with satisfactory flux and at reasonable operating cost.

  15. Global metabolomic and network analysis of Escherichia coli responses to exogenous biofuels.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jiangxin; Chen, Lei; Tian, Xiaoxu; Gao, Lianju; Niu, Xiangfeng; Shi, Mengliang; Zhang, Weiwen

    2013-11-01

    Although synthetic biology progress has made it possible to produce various biofuels in more user-friendly hosts, such as Escherichia coli, the large-scale biofuel production in these non-native systems is still challenging, mostly due to the very low tolerance of these non-native hosts to the biofuel toxicity. To address the issues, in this study we determined the metabolic responses of E. coli induced by three major biofuel products, ethanol, butanol, and isobutanol, using a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) approach. A metabolomic data set of 65 metabolites identified in all samples was then subjected to principal component analysis (PCA) to compare their effects and a weighted correlation network analysis (WGCNA) to identify the metabolic modules specifically responsive to each of the biofuel stresses, respectively. The PCA analysis showed that cellular responses caused by the biofuel stress were in general similar to aging cells at stationary phase, inconsistent with early studies showing a high degree of dissimilarity between metabolite responses during growth cessation as induced through stationary phases or through various environmental stress applications. The WGCNA analysis allowed identification of 2, 4, and 2 metabolic modules specifically associated with ethanol, butanol, and isobutanol treatments, respectively. The biofuel-associated modules included amino acids and osmoprotectants, such as isoleucine, valine, glycine, glutamate, and trehalose, suggesting amino acid metabolism and osmoregulation are among the key protection mechanisms against biofuel stresses in E. coli. Interestingly, no module was found associated with all three biofuel products, suggesting differential effects of each biofuel on E. coli. The findings enhanced our understanding of E. coli responses to exogenous biofuels and also demonstrated the effectiveness of the metabolomic and network analysis in identifying key targets for biofuel tolerance.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Water quality under increased biofuel production and future climate change and uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demissie, Y. K.; Yan, E.

    2015-12-01

    Over the past decade, biofuel has emerged as an important renewable energy source to supplement gasoline and reduce the associated greenhouse gas emission. Many countries, for instant, have adopted biofuel production goals to blend 10% or more of gasoline with biofuels within 10 to 20 years. However, meeting these goals requires sustainable production of biofuel feedstock which can be challenging under future change in climate and extreme weather conditions, as well as the likely impacts of biofuel feedstock production on water quality and availability. To understand this interrelationship and the combined effects of increased biofuel production and climate change on regional and local water resources, we have performed watershed hydrology and water quality analyses for the Ohio River Basin. The basin is one of the major biofuel feedstock producing region in the United States, which also currently contributes about half of the flow and one third of phosphorus and nitrogen loadings to the Mississippi River that eventually flows to the Gulf of Mexico. The analyses integrate future scenarios and climate change and biofuel development through various mixes of landuse and agricultural management changes and examine their potential impacts on regional and local hydrology, water quality, soil erosion, and agriculture productivity. The results of the study are expected to provide much needed insight about the sustainability of large-scale biofuel feedstock production under the future climate change and uncertainty, and helps to further optimize the feedstock production taking into consideration the water-use efficiency.

  19. Flambeau River Biofuels Demonstration Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Byrne, Robert J.

    2012-07-30

    Flambeau River BioFuels, Inc. (FRB) proposed to construct a demonstration biomass-to-liquids (BTL) biorefinery in Park Falls, Wisconsin. The biorefinery was to be co-located at the existing pulp and paper mill, Flambeau River Papers, and when in full operation would both generate renewable energy – making Flambeau River Papers the first pulp and paper mill in North America to be nearly fossil fuel free – and produce liquid fuels from abundant and renewable lignocellulosic biomass. The biorefinery would serve to validate the thermochemical pathway and economic models for BTL production using forest residuals and wood waste, providing a basis for proliferating BTL conversion technologies throughout the United States. It was a project goal to create a compelling new business model for the pulp and paper industry, and support the nation’s goal for increasing renewable fuels production and reducing its dependence on foreign oil. FRB planned to replicate this facility at other paper mills after this first demonstration scale plant was operational and had proven technical and economic feasibility.

  20. Breakthrough: Using Microbes to Make Advanced Biofuels

    ScienceCinema

    Keasling, Jay

    2016-07-12

    Jay Keasling, Berkeley Lab's Associate Director for Bioscience and the CEO of DOE's Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), explains how special strains of microbes can convert the biomass of non-food crops and agricultural waste into fuels for cars, trucks and jet planes. Keasling's research team at JBEI has developed E.coli that can digest switchgrass and convert the plant sugars into gasoline, diesel or jet fuel, not unlike the process by which beer is brewed.

  1. Breakthrough: Using Microbes to Make Advanced Biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Keasling, Jay

    2012-01-01

    Jay Keasling, Berkeley Lab's Associate Director for Bioscience and the CEO of DOE's Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), explains how special strains of microbes can convert the biomass of non-food crops and agricultural waste into fuels for cars, trucks and jet planes. Keasling's research team at JBEI has developed E.coli that can digest switchgrass and convert the plant sugars into gasoline, diesel or jet fuel, not unlike the process by which beer is brewed.

  2. Innovative processing to produce advanced intermetallic materials. Phase 1 final report

    SciTech Connect

    Loutfy, R.O.

    1989-09-01

    The program demonstrates the technical feasibility of synthesizing submicron titanium aluminide in a thermal rf plasma. Micron and submicron spherical titanium aluminide particles are produced in argon, hydrogen, and argon/hydrogen plasmas from the reaction of TiCl4(g), and Al(g). The ratio of Ti and Al is varied to produce the compounds Ti3Al, TiAl, and TiAl3. Microalloying with boron and macroalloying with niobium is demonstrated. Ti3Al whiskers can be produced, as well as other intermetallics of niobium aluminide, nickel aluminide, and molybdenum disilicide in the plasma synthesis process. Since submicron particles are produced, they have a high surface area and are sensitive to oxidation if not treated with a fugitive protective coating or utilized in a nonoxidizing atmosphere. Ti3Al particles are consolidated and utilized as a matrix for TiC and AlN composites. The submicron AlTi3 has significantly higher strength at room temperature than reported for commercial Ti3Al-11Nb alloy and useable strength is maintained up to 1000 C. The elongation is about the same as for commercial material because of possible oxide contamination in powder handling. However, dimpling and nacking is evident in the fracture surface, which suggests true room temperature ductility. Titanium aluminides have the potential to replace superalloys and become the dominant material for aerospace engines, air frames and skins for hypersonic vehicles.

  3. Producing Success: The Culture of Personal Advancement in an American High School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Demerath, Peter

    2009-01-01

    Middle- and upper-middle-class students continue to outpace those from less privileged backgrounds. Most attempts to redress this inequality focus on the issue of access to financial resources, but as "Producing Success" makes clear, the problem goes beyond mere economics. In this eye-opening study, Peter Demerath examines a typical suburban…

  4. Block Copolymer Membranes for Biofuel Purification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evren Ozcam, Ali; Balsara, Nitash

    2012-02-01

    Purification of biofuels such as ethanol is a matter of considerable concern as they are produced in complex multicomponent fermentation broths. Our objective is to design pervaporation membranes for concentrating ethanol from dilute aqueous mixtures. Polystyrene-b-polydimethylsiloxane-b-polystyrene block copolymers were synthesized by anionic polymerization. The polydimethylsiloxane domains provide ethanol-transporting pathways, while the polystyrene domains provide structural integrity for the membrane. The morphology of the membranes is governed by the composition of the block copolymer while the size of the domains is governed by the molecular weight of the block copolymer. Pervaporation data as a function of these two parameters will be presented.

  5. Small scale production of biofuels: a feasibility assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Geyler, J.

    1980-01-01

    Current public policy fails to adequately address one of the most exigent concerns of the agricultural producer: the cost and availability of energy. Specifically, they are interested in energy production alternatives that are feasible and economic for implementation by smaller agricultural producers. After a extended review of much of the available popular and technical literature, as well as conducting interviews with numerous individuals knowledgeable in the field of alternative energy production, the Roosevelt-Custer Regional Council for Development has prepared this preliminary feasibility assessment on the small scale production of biofuels in North Dakota. The production of energy from renewable sources is not chimerical; it is reality. Currently, North Dakotan's rely on energy produced from agricultural products to run their automobiles and to heat their homes, as well as to dry the crops on which much of the North Dakota economy depends. Over the next 20 years, this reliance on renewable energy sources is expected to triple. Unfortunately, most of the processes currently used to produce these biofuels are not adaptable for use by the smaller producer/consumer. Today, economics simply preclude the small scale production of biofuels. A deplorable consequence of this lag between demand and technical feasibility is the appearance of the quick-buck consultant. These individuals have not limited their activities to North Dakota but, in fact, they have appeared over the length and breadth of this Nation. This report then is an assessment of the feasibility of producing biofuels in North Dakota by the small scale producer. Specific types of biofuels to be critiqued are: alcohol; vegetable oils; biogas/methane; and biomass briquettes.

  6. Small scale production of biofuels: a feasibility assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Geyler, J.

    1980-01-01

    Current public policy fails to adequately address one of the most exigent concerns of the agricultural producer: the cost and availability of energy. Specifically, they are interested in energy production alternatives that are feasible and economic for implementation by smaller agricultural producers. After an extended review of much of the available popular and technical literature, as well as conducting interviews with numerous individuals knowledgeable in the field of alternative energy production, the Roosevelt-Custer Regional Council for Development has prepared this preliminary feasibility assessment on the small scale production of biofuels in North Dakota. The production of energy from renewable sources is not commerical; it is reality. Currently, North Dakotan's rely on energy produced from agricultural products to run their automobiles and to heat their homes, as well as to dry the crops on which much of the North Dakota economy depends. Over the next 20 years, this reliance on renewable energy sources is expected to triple. Unfortunately, most of the processes currently used to produce these biofuels are not adaptable for use by the smaller producer/consumer. Today, economics simply preclude the small scale production of biofuels. A deplorable consequence of this lag between demand and technical feasibility is the appearance of the quick-buck consultant. These individuals have not limited their activities to North Dakota but, in fact, they have appeared over the length and breadth of this nation. This report then is an assessment of the feasibility of producing biofuels in North Dakota by the small scale producer. Specific types of biofuels to be critiqued are: alcohol; vegetable oils; biogas/methane; and biomass briquettes.

  7. Accelerating Commercialization of Algal Biofuels Through Partnerships (Brochure)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2011-10-01

    This brochure describes National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) algal biofuels research capabilities and partnership opportunities. NREL is accelerating algal biofuels commercialization through: (1) Advances in applied biology; (2) Algal strain development; (3) Development of fuel conversion pathways; (4) Techno-economic analysis; and (5) Development of high-throughput lipid analysis methodologies. NREL scientists and engineers are addressing challenges across the algal biofuels value chain, including algal biology, cultivation, harvesting and extraction, and fuel conversion. Through partnerships, NREL can share knowledge and capabilities in the following areas: (1) Algal Biology - A fundamental understanding of algal biology is key to developing cost-effective algal biofuels processes. NREL scientists are experts in the isolation and characterization of microalgal species. They are identifying genes and pathways involved in biofuel production. In addition, they have developed a high-throughput, non-destructive technique for assessing lipid production in microalgae. (2) Cultivation - NREL researchers study algal growth capabilities and perform compositional analysis of algal biomass. Laboratory-scale photobioreactors and 1-m2 open raceway ponds in an on-site greenhouse allow for year-round cultivation of algae under a variety of conditions. A bioenergy-focused algal strain collection is being established at NREL, and our laboratory houses a cryopreservation system for long-term maintenance of algal cultures and preservation of intellectual property. (3) Harvesting and Extraction - NREL is investigating cost-effective harvesting and extraction methods suitable for a variety of species and conditions. Areas of expertise include cell wall analysis and deconstruction and identification and utilization of co-products. (4) Fuel Conversion - NREL's excellent capabilities and facilities for biochemical and thermochemical conversion of biomass to biofuels are being

  8. Co-production of bio-oil and propylene through the hydrothermal liquefaction of polyhydroxybutyrate producing cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Jonathan; Bransgrove, Rachel; Beacham, Tracey A; Allen, Michael J; Meixner, Katharina; Drosg, Bernhard; Ting, Valeska P; Chuck, Christopher J

    2016-05-01

    A polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) producing cyanobacteria was converted through hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) into propylene and a bio-oil suitable for advanced biofuel production. HTL of model compounds demonstrated that in contrast to proteins and carbohydrates, no synergistic effects were detected when converting PHB in the presence of algae. Subsequently, Synechocystis cf. salina, which had accumulated 7.5wt% PHB was converted via HTL (15% dry weight loading, 340°C). The reaction gave an overall propylene yield of 2.6%, higher than that obtained from the model compounds, in addition to a bio-oil with a low nitrogen content of 4.6%. No propylene was recovered from the alternative non-PHB producing cyanobacterial strains screened, suggesting that PHB is the source of propylene. PHB producing microorganisms could therefore be used as a feedstock for a biorefinery to produce polypropylene and advanced biofuels, with the level of propylene being proportional to the accumulated amount of PHB.

  9. Biofuels News, Fall 1998, Vol. 1, No. 4

    SciTech Connect

    ICF Kaiser

    1998-12-08

    This issue of the Biofuels News focuses on a new industry in renewable transportation fuel. BC International (BCI) became the first company to dedicate a facility to produce ethanol from agricultural residues. Also, featured is an article on the potential of switchgrass as an energy crop.

  10. Biofuels News, Vol. 2, Issue 3, Summer 99

    SciTech Connect

    Woodward, S.

    1999-09-01

    The focus of this Biofuels News is biodiesel. Biodiesel is a domestically produced renewable fuel that is made by reacting alcohol (usually methanol or ethanol) with vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled cooking greases. It can be used neat (pure) or in blends (the most popular is 20% biodiesel blend) with any type of diesel fuel.

  11. 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.

  12. A 3rd Generation Advanced High-Strength Steel (AHSS) Produced by Dual Stabilization Heat Treatment (DSHT)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qu, Hao; Michal, Gary M.; Heuer, Arthur H.

    2013-10-01

    A 3rd generation advanced high-strength steel containing, in wt pct, 0.3 C, 4.0 Mn, 1.5 Al, 2.1 Si, and 0.5 Cr has been produced using a dual stabilization heat treatment—a five stage thermal processing schedule compatible with continuous galvanized steel production. In excess of 30 vol pct retained austenite containing at least 0.80 wt pct C was achieved with this alloy, which had tensile strengths up to 1650 MPa and tensile elongations around 20 pct.

  13. Laccase applications in biofuels production: current status and future prospects.

    PubMed

    Kudanga, Tukayi; Le Roes-Hill, Marilize

    2014-08-01

    The desire to reduce dependence on the ever diminishing fossil fuel reserves coupled with the impetus towards green energy has seen increased research in biofuels as alternative sources of energy. Lignocellulose materials are one of the most promising feedstocks for advanced biofuels production. However, their utilisation is dependent on the efficient hydrolysis of polysaccharides, which in part is dependent on cost-effective and benign pretreatment of biomass to remove or modify lignin and release or expose sugars to hydrolytic enzymes. Laccase is one of the enzymes that are being investigated not only for potential use as pretreatment agents in biofuel production, mainly as a delignifying enzyme, but also as a biotechnological tool for removal of inhibitors (mainly phenolic) of subsequent enzymatic processes. The current review discusses the major advances in the application of laccase as a potential pretreatment strategy, the underlying principles as well as directions for future research in the search for better enzyme-based technologies for biofuel production. Future perspectives could include synergy between enzymes that may be required for optimal results and the adoption of the biorefinery concept in line with the move towards the global implementation of the bioeconomy strategy.

  14. Supply Chain Sustainability Analysis of Three Biofuel Pathways

    SciTech Connect

    Jacob J. Jacobson; Erin Searcy; Kara Cafferty; Jennifer B. Dunn; Michael Johnson; Zhichao Wang; Michael Wang; Mary Biddy; Abhijit Dutta; Daniel Inman; Eric Tan; Sue Jones; Lesley Snowden-Swan

    2013-11-01

    The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) collaborates with industrial, agricultural, and non-profit partners to develop and deploy biofuels and other biologically-derived products. As part of this effort, BETO and its national laboratory teams conduct in-depth techno-economic assessments (TEA) of technologies to produce biofuels as part state of technology (SOT) analyses. An SOT assesses progress within and across relevant technology areas based on actual experimental results relative to technical targets and cost goals from design cases and includes technical, economic, and environmental criteria as available. Overall assessments of biofuel pathways begin with feedstock production and the logistics of transporting the feedstock from the farm or plantation to the conversion facility or biorefinery. The conversion process itself is modeled in detail as part of the SOT analysis. The teams then develop an estimate of the biofuel minimum selling price (MSP) and assess the cost competitiveness of the biofuel with conventional fuels such as gasoline.

  15. Chemistry and combustion of fit-for-purpose biofuels.

    PubMed

    Rothamer, David A; Donohue, Timothy J

    2013-06-01

    From the inception of internal combustion engines, biologically derived fuels (biofuels) have played a role. Nicolaus Otto ran a predecessor to today's spark-ignition engine with an ethanol fuel blend in 1860. At the 1900 Paris world's fair, Rudolf Diesel ran his engine on peanut oil. Over 100 years of petroleum production has led to consistency and reliability of engines that demand standardized fuels. New biofuels can displace petroleum-based fuels and produce positive impacts on the environment, the economy, and the use of local energy sources. This review discusses the combustion, performance and other requirements of biofuels that will impact their near-term and long-term ability to replace petroleum fuels in transportation applications.

  16. Genetically engineered crops for biofuel production: regulatory perspectives.

    PubMed

    Lee, David; Chen, Alice; Nair, Ramesh

    2008-01-01

    There are numerous challenges in realizing the potential of biofuels that many policy makers have envisioned. The technical challenges in making the production of biofuels economical and on a scale to replace a significant fraction of transportation fuel have been well described, along with the potential environmental concerns. The use of biotechnology can potentially address many of these technical challenges and environmental concerns, but brings significant regulatory hurdles that have not been discussed extensively in the scientific community. This review will give an overview of the approaches being developed to produce transgenic biofuel feedstocks, particularly cellulosic ethanol, and the regulatory process in the United States that oversees the development and commercialization of new transgenic plants. We hope to illustrate that the level of regulation for transgenic organisms is not proportional to their potential risk to human health or the environment, and that revisions to the regulatory system in the U.S. currently under consideration are necessary to streamline the process.

  17. Biofuel supply chain considering depreciation cost of installed plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rabbani, Masoud; Ramezankhani, Farshad; Giahi, Ramin; Farshbaf-Geranmayeh, Amir

    2016-01-01

    Due to the depletion of the fossil fuels and major concerns about the security of energy in the future to produce fuels, the importance of utilizing the renewable energies is distinguished. Nowadays there has been a growing interest for biofuels. Thus, this paper reveals a general optimization model which enables the selection of preprocessing centers for the biomass, biofuel plants, and warehouses to store the biofuels. The objective of this model is to maximize the total benefits. Costs of the model consist of setup cost of preprocessing centers, plants and warehouses, transportation costs, production costs, emission cost and the depreciation cost. At first, the deprecation cost of the centers is calculated by means of three methods. The model chooses the best depreciation method in each period by switching between them. A numerical example is presented and solved by CPLEX solver in GAMS software and finally, sensitivity analyses are accomplished.

  18. 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.

  19. Reducing Enzyme Costs Increases Market Potential of Biofuels; The Spectrum of Clean Energy Innovation (Fact Sheet)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2010-06-01

    Fact sheet describing NREL's work with enzyme producers Novozymes and Genencor to engineer new cellulase enzymes to breakdown cellulosic ethanol into fermentable sugars that can be converted into biofuels.

  20. The influence of catalysts on biofuel life cycle analysis (LCA)

    DOE PAGES

    Benavides, Pahola Thathiana; Cronauer, Donald C.; Adom, Felix K.; ...

    2017-01-21

    Catalysts play an important role in biofuel production but are rarely included in biofuel life cycle analysis (LCA). In this work, we estimate the cradle-to-gate energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of Pt/γ-Al2O3, CoMo/γ-Al2O3, and ZSM-5, catalysts that could be used in processes to convert biomass to biofuels. We also consider the potential impacts of catalyst recovery and recycling. Integrating the energy and environmental impacts of CoMo/γ-Al2O3 and ZSM-5 into an LCA of renewable gasoline produced via in-situ and ex-situ fast pyrolysis of a blended woody feedstock revealed that the ZSM-5, with cradle-to-gate GHG emissions of 7.7 kg CO2e/kg,more » could influence net life-cycle GHG emissions of the renewable gasoline (1.7 gCO2e/MJ for the in-situ process, 1.2 gCO2e/MJ for the ex-situ process) by up to 14% depending on the loading rate. CoMo/γ-Al2O3 had a greater GHG intensity (9.6 kg CO2e/kg) than ZSM-5, however, it contributed approximately only 1% to the life-cycle GHG emissions of the renewable gasoline because of the small amount of this catalyst needed per kg of biofuel produced. As a result, given that catalysts can contribute significantly to biofuel life-cycle GHG emissions depending on the GHG intensity of their production and their consumption rates, biofuel LCAs should consider the potential influence of catalysts on LCA results.« less

  1. Innovation in biological production and upgrading of methane and hydrogen for use as gaseous transport biofuel.

    PubMed

    Xia, Ao; Cheng, Jun; Murphy, Jerry D

    2016-01-01

    Biofuels derived from biomass will play a major role in future renewable energy supplies in transport. Gaseous biofuels have superior energy balances, offer greater greenhouse gas emission reductions and produce lower pollutant emissions than liquid biofuels. Biogas derived through fermentation of wet organic substrates will play a major role in future transport systems. Biogas (which is composed of approximately 60% methane/hydrogen and 40% carbon dioxide) requires an upgrading process to reduce the carbon dioxide content to less than 3% before it is used as compressed gas in transport. This paper reviews recent developments in fermentative biogas production and upgrading as a transport fuel. Third generation gaseous biofuels may be generated using marine-based algae via two-stage fermentation, cogenerating hydrogen and methane. Alternative biological upgrading techniques, such as biological methanation and microalgal biogas upgrading, have the potential to simultaneously upgrade biogas, increase gaseous biofuel yield and reduce carbon dioxide emission.

  2. 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...

  3. Life-cycle analysis of energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and water consumption in the 2016 MYPP algal biofuel scenarios

    SciTech Connect

    Frank, Edward; Pegallapati, Ambica K.; Davis, Ryan; Markham, Jennifer; Coleman, Andre; Jones, Sue; Wigmosta, Mark S.; Zhu, Yunhua

    2016-06-16

    The Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Multi-year Program Plan (MYPP) describes the bioenergy objectives pursued by BETO, the strategies for achieving those objectives, the current state of technology (SOT), and a number of design cases that explore cost and operational performance required to advance the SOT towards middle and long term goals (MYPP, 2016). Two options for converting algae to biofuel intermediates were considered in the MYPP, namely algal biofuel production via lipid extraction and algal biofuel production by thermal processing. The first option, lipid extraction, is represented by the Combined Algae Processing (CAP) pathway in which algae are hydrolyzed in a weak acid pretreatment step. The treated slurry is fermented for ethanol production from sugars. The fermentation stillage contains most of the lipids from the original biomass, which are recovered through wet solvent extraction. The process residuals after lipid extraction, which contain much of the original mass of amino acids and proteins, are directed to anaerobic digestion (AD) for biogas production and recycle of N and P nutrients. The second option, thermal processing, comprises direct hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of the wet biomass, separation of aqueous, gas, and oil phases, and treatment of the aqueous phase with catalytic hydrothermal gasification (CHG) to produce biogas and to recover N and P nutrients. The present report describes a life cycle analysis of energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the CAP and HTL options for the three scenarios just described. Water use is also reported. Water use during algal biofuel production comes from evaporation during cultivation, discharge to bleed streams to control pond salinity (“blowdown”), and from use during preprocessing and upgrading. For scenarios considered to date, most water use was from evaporation and, secondarily, from bleed streams. Other use was relatively small at the level of

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. Recent Advances in the Application of Metabolomics to Studies of Biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds (BVOC) Produced by Plant

    PubMed Central

    Iijima, Yoko

    2014-01-01

    In many plants, biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) are produced as specialized metabolites that contribute to the characteristics of each plant. The varieties and composition of BVOCs are chemically diverse by plant species and the circumstances in which the plants grow, and also influenced by herbivory damage and pathogen infection. Plant-produced BVOCs are receptive to many organisms, from microorganisms to human, as both airborne attractants and repellants. In addition, it is known that some BVOCs act as signals to prime a plant for the defense response in plant-to-plant communications. The compositional profiles of BVOCs can, thus, have profound influences in the physiological and ecological aspects of living organisms. Apart from that, some of them are commercially valuable as aroma/flavor compounds for human. Metabolomic technologies have recently revealed new insights in biological systems through metabolic dynamics. Here, the recent advances in metabolomics technologies focusing on plant-produced BVOC analyses are overviewed. Their application markedly improves our knowledge of the role of BVOCs in chemosystematics, ecological influences, and aroma research, as well as being useful to prove the biosynthetic mechanisms of BVOCs. PMID:25257996

  7. A novel method for quantifying the greenhouse gas emissions of biofuels based on historical land use change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, X.; Rhodes, J.; Clarens, A. F.

    2012-12-01

    existing life cycle assessment frameworks. HLUC does not represent a direct substitute for conventional ILUC estimates but rather an alternate approach for capturing LUC emissions overall. HLUC estimates for six biofuel producing countries: US (corn ethanol), Brazil (sugarcane ethanol), France (rapeseed biodiesel), Germany (rapeseed biodiesel), Indonesia (palm oil biodiesel), and Malaysia (palm oil biodiesel) were developed. The values are highly comparable to published ILUC values but the nature and magnitude of the uncertainty is lower and the estimates are more regionally variable. Important differences were found between government-derived LUC estimates and HLUC estimates in Brazil and South Asia, which suggest that HLUC could be a more equitable means for allocating emissions than existing approaches. Sensitivity analysis in terms of the spatial resolution of the data suggest that the open source data sets are adequate for obtaining reasonable estimates of HLUC with minimal effort. Alternative allocation scenarios could consider some of the climate dynamics, e.g., carbon degradation in the atmosphere, that would inform more sophisticated accounting. HLUC represents a more straightforward and less controversial policy tool for capturing the emissions associated for land use change and it could enable the advancement of coherent biofuel and climate policy instruments.

  8. Biofuels and Agriculture: A Fact Sheet for Farmers

    SciTech Connect

    2001-09-01

    American farmers have a great opportunity, now and in the coming years, to help make the nation more self-sufficient in energy, and to reduce air pollution, including emissions of greenhouse gases. Advances in technologies for making biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel mean that new markets are opening up. These can provide extra farm income, help to revitalize rural communities, and improve the environment at the same time.

  9. Estimates of US biofuels consumption, 1990

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-10-01

    This report is the sixth in the series of publications developed by the Energy Information Administration to quantify the amount of biofuel-derived primary energy used by the US economy. It provides preliminary estimates of 1990 US biofuels energy consumption by sector and by biofuels energy resource type. The objective of this report is to provide updated annual estimates of biofuels energy consumption for use by congress, federal and state agencies, and other groups involved in activities related to the use of biofuels. 5 figs., 10 tabs.

  10. Microalgae as a raw material for biofuels production.

    PubMed

    Gouveia, Luisa; Oliveira, Ana Cristina

    2009-02-01

    Biofuels demand is unquestionable in order to reduce gaseous emissions (fossil CO(2), nitrogen and sulfur oxides) and their purported greenhouse, climatic changes and global warming effects, to face the frequent oil supply crises, as a way to help non-fossil fuel producer countries to reduce energy dependence, contributing to security of supply, promoting environmental sustainability and meeting the EU target of at least of 10% biofuels in the transport sector by 2020. Biodiesel is usually produced from oleaginous crops, such as rapeseed, soybean, sunflower and palm. However, the use of microalgae can be a suitable alternative feedstock for next generation biofuels because certain species contain high amounts of oil, which could be extracted, processed and refined into transportation fuels, using currently available technology; they have fast growth rate, permit the use of non-arable land and non-potable water, use far less water and do not displace food crops cultures; their production is not seasonal and they can be harvested daily. The screening of microalgae (Chlorella vulgaris, Spirulina maxima, Nannochloropsis sp., Neochloris oleabundans, Scenedesmus obliquus and Dunaliella tertiolecta) was done in order to choose the best one(s), in terms of quantity and quality as oil source for biofuel production. Neochloris oleabundans (fresh water microalga) and Nannochloropsis sp. (marine microalga) proved to be suitable as raw materials for biofuel production, due to their high oil content (29.0 and 28.7%, respectively). Both microalgae, when grown under nitrogen shortage, show a great increase (approximately 50%) in oil quantity. If the purpose is to produce biodiesel only from one species, Scenedesmus obliquus presents the most adequate fatty acid profile, namely in terms of linolenic and other polyunsaturated fatty acids. However, the microalgae Neochloris oleabundans, Nannochloropsis sp. and Dunaliella tertiolecta can also be used if associated with other

  11. Environmental, economic, and energetic costs and benefits of biodiesel and ethanol biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Hill, J. |; Tilman, D.; Polasky, S.; Tiffany, D.

    2006-07-25

    Negative environmental consequences of fossil fuels and concerns about petroleum supplies have spurred the search for renewable transportation biofuels. To be a viable alternative, a biofuel should provide a net energy gain, have environmental benefits, be economically competitive, and be producible in large quantities without reducing food supplies. The authors use these criteria to evaluate, through life-cycle accounting, ethanol from corn grain and biodiesel from soybeans. Ethanol yields 25% more energy than the energy invested in its production, whereas biodiesel yields 93% more. Compared with ethanol, biodiesel releases just 1.0%, 8.3% and 13% of the agricultural nitrogen, phosphorus, and pesticide pollutants, respectively, per net energy gain. Relative to the fossil fuels they displace, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced 12% by the production and combustion of ethanol and 41% by biodiesel. Biodiesel also releases less air pollutants per net energy gain than ethanol. These advantages of biodiesel over ethanol come from lower agricultural inputs and more efficient conversion of feedstocks to fuel. Neither biofuel can replace much petroleum without impacting food supplies. Even dedicating all U.S. corn and soybean production to biofuels would meet only 12% of gasoline demand and 6% of diesel demand. Until recent increases in petroleum prices, high production costs made biofuels unprofitable without subsidies. Biodiesel provides sufficient environmental advantages to merit subsidy. Transportation biofuels such as synfuel hydrocarbons or cellulosic ethanol, if produced from low-input biomass, could provide much greater supplies and environmental benefits than food-based biofuels.

  12. Algae Biofuel in the Nigerian Energy Context

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elegbede, Isa; Guerrero, Cinthya

    2016-05-01

    The issue of energy consumption is one of the issues that have significantly become recognized as an important topic of global discourse. Fossil fuels production reportedly experiencing a gradual depletion in the oil-producing nations of the world. Most studies have relatively focused on biofuel development and adoption, however, the awareness of a prospect in the commercial cultivation of algae having potential to create economic boost in Nigeria, inspired this research. This study aims at exploring the potential of the commercialization of a different but commonly found organism, algae, in Nigeria. Here, parameters such as; water quality, light, carbon, average temperature required for the growth of algae, and additional beneficial nutrients found in algae were analysed. A comparative cum qualitative review of analysis was used as the study made use of empirical findings on the work as well as the author's deductions. The research explored the cultivation of algae with the two major seasonal differences (i.e. rainy and dry) in Nigeria as a backdrop. The results indicated that there was no significant difference in the contribution of algae and other sources of biofuels as a necessity for bioenergy in Nigeria. However, for an effective sustainability of this prospect, adequate measures need to be put in place in form of funding, provision of an economically-enabling environment for the cultivation process as well as proper healthcare service in the face of possible health hazard from technological processes. Further studies can seek to expand on the potential of cultivating algae in the Harmattan season.

  13. Hawaii integrated biofuels research program, phase 1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, Patrick K.

    1989-10-01

    Hawaii provides a unique environment for production of biomass resources that can be converted into renewable energy products. The purpose of this work is to evaluate the potential of several biomass resources, including sugarcane, eucalyptus, and leucaena, particularly for utilization in thermochemical conversion processes to produce liquid or gaseous transportation fuels. This research program supports ongoing efforts of the Biofuels and Municipal Solid Waste Technology (BMWT) Program of the Department of Energy (DOE) and has goals that are consistent with BMWT. The Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) work completed here consists of research activities that support two of the five renewable fuel cycles being pursued by DOE researchers. The results are directly applicable in the American territories throughout the Pacific Basin and the Caribbean, and also to many parts of the United States and worldwide. The Hawaii Integrated Biofuels Research Program is organized into the following six research tasks, which are presented as appendices in report form: Biomass Resource Assessment and System Modeling (Task 1); Bioenergy Tree Research (Task 2); Breeding, Culture, and Selection of Tropical Grasses for Increased Energy Potential (Task 3); Study of Eucalyptus Plantations for Energy Production in Hawaii (Task 4); Fundamental Solvolysis Research (Task 5); and Effects of Feedstock Composition on Pyrolysis Products (Task 6).

  14. 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

  15. Mechanism and challenges in commercialisation of algal biofuels.

    PubMed

    Singh, Anoop; Nigam, Poonam Singh; Murphy, Jerry D

    2011-01-01

    Biofuels made from algal biomass are being considered as the most suitable alternative energy in current global and economical scenario. Microalgae are known to produce and accumulate lipids within their cell mass which is similar to those found in many vegetable oils. The efficient lipid producer algae cell mass has been reported to contain more than 30% of their cell weight as lipids. According to US DOE microalgae have the potential to produce 100 times more oil per acre land than any terrestrial plants. This article reviews up to date literature on the composition of algae, mechanism of oil droplets, triacylglycerol (TAG) production in algal biomass, research and development made in the cultivation of algal biomass, harvesting strategies, and recovery of lipids from algal mass. The economical challenges in the production of biofuels from algal biomass have been discussed in view of the future prospects in the commercialisation of algal fuels.

  16. Advanced Technology and Alternative Fuel Vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Tuttle, J.

    2001-08-20

    This fact sheet provides a basic overview of today's alternative fuel choices--including biofuels, biodiesel, electricity, and hydrogen--alternative fuel vehicles, and advanced vehicle technology, such as hybrid electric vehicles, fuel cells and advanced drive trains.

  17. 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

  18. Effects of Deployment Investment on the Growth of the Biofuels Industry

    SciTech Connect

    Vimmerstedt, L. J.; Bush, B. W.

    2013-12-01

    In support of the national goals for biofuel use in the United States, numerous technologies have been developed that convert biomass to biofuels. Some of these biomass to biofuel conversion technology pathways are operating at commercial scales, while others are in earlier stages of development. The advancement of a new pathway toward commercialization involves various types of progress, including yield improvements, process engineering, and financial performance. Actions of private investors and public programs can accelerate the demonstration and deployment of new conversion technology pathways. These investors (both private and public) will pursue a range of pilot, demonstration, and pioneer scale biorefinery investments; the most cost-effective set of investments for advancing the maturity of any given biomass to biofuel conversion technology pathway is unknown. In some cases, whether or not the pathway itself will ultimately be technically and financially successful is also unknown. This report presents results from the Biomass Scenario Model -- a system dynamics model of the biomass to biofuels system -- that estimate effects of investments in biorefineries at different maturity levels and operational scales. The report discusses challenges in estimating effects of such investments and explores the interaction between this deployment investment and a volumetric production incentive. Model results show that investments in demonstration and deployment have a substantial positive effect on the development of the biofuels industry. Results also show that other conditions, such as supportive policies, have major impacts on the effectiveness of such investments.

  19. Application of metagenomic techniques in mining enzymes from microbial communities for biofuel synthesis.

    PubMed

    Xing, Mei-Ning; Zhang, Xue-Zhu; Huang, He

    2012-01-01

    Feedstock for biofuel synthesis is transitioning to lignocelluosic biomass to address criticism over competition between first generation biofuels and food production. As microbial catalysis is increasingly applied for the conversion of biomass to biofuels, increased import has been placed on the development of novel enzymes. With revolutionary advances in sequencer technology and metagenomic sequencing, mining enzymes from microbial communities for biofuel synthesis is becoming more and more practical. The present article highlights the latest research progress on the special characteristics of metagenomic sequencing, which has been a powerful tool for new enzyme discovery and gene functional analysis in the biomass energy field. Critical enzymes recently developed for the pretreatment and conversion of lignocellulosic materials are evaluated with respect to their activity and stability, with additional explorations into xylanase, laccase, amylase, chitinase, and lipolytic biocatalysts for other biomass feedstocks.

  20. Forests, food, and fuel in the tropics: the uneven social and ecological consequences of the emerging political economy of biofuels.

    PubMed

    Dauvergne, Peter; Neville, Kate J

    2010-01-01

    The global political economy of biofuels emerging since 2007 appears set to intensify inequalities among the countries and rural peoples of the global South. Looking through a global political economy lens, this paper analyses the consequences of proliferating biofuel alliances among multinational corporations, governments, and domestic producers. Since many major biofuel feedstocks - such as sugar, oil palm, and soy - are already entrenched in industrial agricultural and forestry production systems, the authors extrapolate from patterns of production for these crops to bolster their argument that state capacities, the timing of market entry, existing institutions, and historical state-society land tenure relations will particularly affect the potential consequences of further biofuel development. Although the impacts of biofuels vary by region and feedstock, and although some agrarian communities in some countries of the global South are poised to benefit, the analysis suggests that already-vulnerable people and communities will bear a disproportionate share of the costs of biofuel development, particularly for biofuels from crops already embedded in industrial production systems. A core reason, this paper argues, is that the emerging biofuel alliances are reinforcing processes and structures that increase pressures on the ecological integrity of tropical forests and further wrest control of resources from subsistence farmers, indigenous peoples, and people with insecure land rights. Even the development of so-called 'sustainable' biofuels looks set to displace livelihoods and reinforce and extend previous waves of hardship for such marginalised peoples.

  1. Favouring butyrate production for a new generation biofuel by acidogenic glucose fermentation using cells immobilised on γ-alumina.

    PubMed

    Syngiridis, Kostas; Bekatorou, Argyro; Kandylis, Panagiotis; Larroche, Christian; Kanellaki, Maria; Koutinas, Athanasios A

    2014-06-01

    The effect of γ-alumina as a fermentation advancing tool and as carrier for culture immobilisation, regarding VFAs and ethanol production during acidogenic fermentation of glucose, was examined at various process conditions (sugar concentration, pH) and operation modes (continuous with and without effluent recirculation and batch). The results showed that at high initial pH (8.9) the continuous acidogenic fermentation of glucose led to high yields of VFAs and favoured the accumulation of butyric acid. The batch process on the other hand at pH 6.5, favoured the ethanol-type fermentation. The results indicate that in the frame of technology development for new generation biofuels, using γ-alumina as a process advancing tool at optimum process conditions (pH, initial glucose concentration and mode of operation), the produced VFAs profile and ethanol concentration may be manipulated.

  2. Algal biofuels from wastewater treatment high rate algal ponds.

    PubMed

    Craggs, R J; Heubeck, S; Lundquist, T J; Benemann, J R

    2011-01-01

    This paper examines the potential of algae biofuel production in conjunction with wastewater treatment. Current technology for algal wastewater treatment uses facultative ponds, however, these ponds have low productivity (∼10 tonnes/ha.y), are not amenable to cultivating single algal species, require chemical flocculation or other expensive processes for algal harvest, and do not provide consistent nutrient removal. Shallow, paddlewheel-mixed high rate algal ponds (HRAPs) have much higher productivities (∼30 tonnes/ha.y) and promote bioflocculation settling which may provide low-cost algal harvest. Moreover, HRAP algae are carbon-limited and daytime addition of CO(2) has, under suitable climatic conditions, the potential to double production (to ∼60 tonnes/ha.y), improve bioflocculation algal harvest, and enhance wastewater nutrient removal. Algae biofuels (e.g. biogas, ethanol, biodiesel and crude bio-oil), could be produced from the algae harvested from wastewater HRAPs, The wastewater treatment function would cover the capital and operation costs of algal production, with biofuel and recovered nutrient fertilizer being by-products. Greenhouse gas abatement results from both the production of the biofuels and the savings in energy consumption compared to electromechanical treatment processes. However, to achieve these benefits, further research is required, particularly the large-scale demonstration of wastewater treatment HRAP algal production and harvest.

  3. Direct fuel cell - A high proficiency power generator for biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Patel, P.S.; Steinfeld, G.; Baker, B.S.

    1994-12-31

    Conversion of renewable bio-based resources into energy offers significant benefits for our environment and domestic economic activity. It also improves national security by displacing fossil fuels. However, in the current economic environment, it is difficult for biofuel systems to compete with other fossil fuels. The biomass-fired power plants are typically smaller than 50 MW, lower in electrical efficiencies (<25%) and experience greater costs for handling and transporting the biomass. When combined with fuel cells such as the Direct Fuel Cell (DFC), biofuels can produce power more efficiently with negligible environmental impact. Agricultural and other waste biomass can be converted to ethanol or methane-rich biofuels for power generation use in the DFC. These DFC power plants are modular and factory assembled. Due to their electrochemical (non-combustion) conversion process, these plants are environmentally friendly, highly efficient and potentially cost effective, even in sizes as small as a few meagawatts. They can be sited closer to the source of the biomass to minimize handling and transportation costs. The high-grade waste heat available from DFC power plants makes them attractive in cogeneration applications for farming and rural communities. The DFC potentially opens up new markets for biofuels derived from wood, grains and other biomass waste products.

  4. Advanced Algal Systems Fact Sheet

    SciTech Connect

    2016-06-01

    Research and development (R&D) on advanced algal biofuels and bioproducts presents an opportunity to sustainably expand biomass resource potential in the United States. The Bioenergy Technologies Office’s (BETO’s) Advanced Algal Systems Program is carrying out a long-term, applied R&D strategy to lower the costs of algal biofuel production by working with partners to develop revolutionary technologies and conduct crosscutting analyses to better understand the potential

  5. Sustainable Biofuels A Transitions Approach to Understanding the Global Expansion of Ethanol and Biodiesel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cottes, Jeffrey Jacob

    readily adapt to technical and regulatory change. This dissertation argues that dominant biofuels regimes have not produced a sustainable energy option. It explores the Canadian case to evaluate the opportunities for niche development, and suggests that small markets can develop niche innovations by regulating the insertion of sustainability criteria in order to de-align the dominant trajectory of global biofuels production regimes and encourage their re-alignment in a more sustainable configuration.

  6. Cyanobacterial Biofuels: Strategies and Developments on Network and Modeling.

    PubMed

    Klanchui, Amornpan; Raethong, Nachon; Prommeenate, Peerada; Vongsangnak, Wanwipa; Meechai, Asawin

    2016-10-26

    Cyanobacteria, the phototrophic microorganisms, have attracted much attention recently as a promising source for environmentally sustainable biofuels production. However, barriers for commercial markets of cyanobacteria-based biofuels concern the economic feasibility. Miscellaneous strategies for improving the production performance of cyanobacteria have thus been developed. Among these, the simple ad hoc strategies resulting in failure to optimize fully cell growth coupled with desired product yield are explored. With the advancement of genomics and systems biology, a new paradigm toward systems metabolic engineering has been recognized. In particular, a genome-scale metabolic network reconstruction and modeling is a crucial systems-based tool for whole-cell-wide investigation and prediction. In this review, the cyanobacterial genome-scale metabolic models, which offer a system-level understanding of cyanobacterial metabolism, are described. The main process of metabolic network reconstruction and modeling of cyanobacteria are summarized. Strategies and developments on genome-scale network and modeling through the systems metabolic engineering approach are advanced and employed for efficient cyanobacterial-based biofuels production.

  7. Genetic engineering of algae for enhanced biofuel production.

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

    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 H(2) 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 H(2) 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.

  8. 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

  9. Guiding optimal biofuels :

    SciTech Connect

    Paap, Scott M.; West, Todd H.; Manley, Dawn Kataoka; Dibble, Dean C.; Simmons, Blake Alexander; Steen, Eric J.; Beller, Harry R.; Keasling, Jay D.; Chang, Shiyan

    2013-01-01

    In the current study, processes to produce either ethanol or a representative fatty acid ethyl ester (FAEE) via the fermentation of sugars liberated from lignocellulosic materials pretreated in acid or alkaline environments are analyzed in terms of economic and environmental metrics. Simplified process models are introduced and employed to estimate process performance, and Monte Carlo analyses were carried out to identify key sources of uncertainty and variability. We find that the near-term performance of processes to produce FAEE is significantly worse than that of ethanol production processes for all metrics considered, primarily due to poor fermentation yields and higher electricity demands for aerobic fermentation. In the longer term, the reduced cost and energy requirements of FAEE separation processes will be at least partially offset by inherent limitations in the relevant metabolic pathways that constrain the maximum yield potential of FAEE from biomass-derived sugars.

  10. The blue water footprint and land use of biofuels from algae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerbens-Leenes, P. W.; Xu, L.; Vries, G. J.; Hoekstra, A. Y.

    2014-11-01

    Biofuels from microalgae are potentially important sources of liquid renewable energy. Algae are not yet produced on a large scale, but research shows promising results. This study assesses the blue water footprint (WF) and land use of algae-based biofuels. It combines the WF concept with an energy balance approach to determine the blue WF of net energy. The study considers open ponds and closed photobioreactors (PBRs). All systems have a positive energy balance, with output-input ratios ranging between 1.13 and 1.98. This study shows that the WF of algae-based biofuels lies between 8 and 193 m3/GJ net energy provided. The land use of microalgal biofuels ranges from 20 to 200 m2/GJ net energy. For a scenario in which algae-based biofuels provide 3.5% of the transportation fuels in the European Union in 2030, the system with the highest land productivity needs 17,000 km2 to produce the 850 PJ/yr. Producing all algae-based biofuels through the system with the highest water productivity would lead to a blue WF of 7 Gm3/yr, which is equivalent to 15% of the present blue WF in the EU28. A transition to algae-based transportation fuels will substantially increase competition over water and land resources.

  11. Biofuel: A Comparative Case Study

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-06-01

    program (DoE, 2010). During this time, the program collected 3,000 types of microalgae . Plant Source Oil yield (L/ha/yr) Soybeans 446 Rapeseeds...autotrophic microalgae production. Applied Energy, 88(10), 3524–3531. Department of Defense (DoD). (2011). Opportunities for DoD use of alternative and...Tran, K.-Q., & Giselrød, H. R. (2008). Towards sustainable production of biofuels from microalgae . International Journal of Molecular Science, 9

  12. Policies for the Sustainable Development of Biofuels in the Pan American Region: A Review and Synthesis of Five Countries.

    PubMed

    Solomon, Barry D; Banerjee, Aparajita; Acevedo, Alberto; Halvorsen, Kathleen E; Eastmond, Amarella

    2015-12-01

    Rapid growth of biofuel production in the United States and Brazil over the past decade has increased interest in replicating this success in other nations of the Pan American region. However, the continued use of food-based feedstock such as maize is widely seen as unsustainable and is in some cases linked to deforestation and increased greenhouse gas emissions, raising further doubts about long-term sustainability. As a result, many nations are exploring the production and use of cellulosic feedstock, though progress has been extremely slow. In this paper, we will review the North-South axis of biofuel production in the Pan American region and its linkage with the agricultural sectors in five countries. Focus will be given to biofuel policy goals, their results to date, and consideration of sustainability criteria and certification of producers. Policy goals, results, and sustainability will be highlighted for the main biofuel policies that have been enacted at the national level. Geographic focus will be given to the two largest producers-the United States and Brazil; two smaller emerging producers-Argentina and Canada; and one stalled program-Mexico. However, several additional countries in the region are either producing or planning to produce biofuels. We will also review alternative international governance schemes for biofuel sustainability that have been recently developed, and whether the biofuel programs are being managed to achieve improved environmental quality and sustainable development.

  13. 7 CFR 4288.110 - Applicant eligibility.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... RURAL UTILITIES SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PAYMENT PROGRAMS Advanced Biofuel Payment Program....119 present the requirements associated with advanced biofuel producer eligibility, biofuel... advanced biofuel producer, as defined in this subpart. (b) Eligibility determination. The Agency...

  14. Biofuels development and the policy regime.

    PubMed

    Philp, Jim C; Guy, Ken; Ritchie, Rachael J

    2013-01-01

    Any major change to the energy order is certain to provoke both positive and negative societal responses. The current wave of biofuels development ignited controversies that have re-shaped the thinking about their future development. Mistakes were made in the early support for road transport biofuels in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. This article examines some of the policies that shaped the early development of biofuels and looks to the future.

  15. Optimization of Biofuel Production From Transgenic Microalgae

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-02-27

    AFRL-OSR-VA-TR-2013-0145 OPTIMIZATION OF BIOFUEL PRODUCTION FROM TRANSGENIC MICROALGAE Richard Sayre Donald Danforth...Technical 20080815 to 20120630 OPTIMIZATION OF BIOFUEL PRODUCTION FROM TRANSGENIC MICROALGAE FA9550-08-1-0451 Richard Sayre Donald Danforth Plant...BIOFUEL PRODUCTION FROM TRANSGENIC MICROALGAE Grant/Contract Number: FA9550-08-1-0451 Reporting Period: Final Report Abstract: We have compared the

  16. 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.

  17. Biofuel Crops Expansion: Evaluating the Impact on the Agricultural Water Scarcity Costs and Hydropower Production with Hydro Economic Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marques, G.

    2015-12-01

    Biofuels such as ethanol from sugar cane remain an important element to help mitigate the impacts of fossil fuels on the atmosphere. However, meeting fuel demands with biofuels requires technological advancement for water productivity and scale of production. This may translate into increased water demands for biofuel crops and potential for conflicts with incumbent crops and other water uses including domestic, hydropower generation and environmental. It is therefore important to evaluate the effects of increased biofuel production on the verge of water scarcity costs and hydropower production. The present research applies a hydro-economic optimization model to compare different scenarios of irrigated biofuel and hydropower production, and estimates the potential tradeoffs. A case study from the Araguari watershed in Brazil is provided. These results should be useful to (i) identify improved water allocation among competing economic demands, (ii) support water management and operations decisions in watersheds where biofuels are expected to increase, and (iii) identify the impact of bio fuel production in the water availability and economic value. Under optimized conditions, adoption of sugar cane for biofuel production heavily relies on the opportunity costs of other crops and hydropower generation. Areas with a lower value crop groups seem more suitable to adopt sugar cane for biofuel when the price of ethanol is sufficiently high and the opportunity costs of hydropower productions are not conflicting. The approach also highlights the potential for insights in water management from studying regional versus larger scales bundled systems involving water use, food production and power generation.

  18. Algae Biofuels Collaborative Project: Cooperative Research and Development Final Report, CRADA Number CRD-10-371

    SciTech Connect

    French, R. J.

    2012-04-01

    The goal of this project is to advance biofuels research on algal feedstocks and NREL's role in the project is to explore novel liquid extraction methods, gasification and pyrolysis as means to produce fuels from algae. To that end several different extraction methods were evaluated and numerous gasification and pyrolysis conditions were explored. It was found that mild hydrothermal treatment is a promising means to improve the extraction and conversion of lipids from algae over those produced by standard extraction methods. The algae were essentially found to gasify completely at a fairly low temperature of 750 degrees C in the presence of oxygen. Pyrolysis from 300-550 degrees C showed sequential release of phytene hydrocarbons, glycerides, and aromatics as temperature was increased. It appears that this has potential to release the glycerides from the non-fatty acid groups present in the polar lipids to produce a cleaner lipid. Further research is needed to quantify the pyrolysis and gasification yields, analyze the liquids produced and to test strategies for removing organic-nitrogen byproducts produced because of the high protein content of the feed. Possible strategies include use of high-lipid/low-protein algae or the use of catalytic pyrolysis.

  19. Estimation of Economic Impacts of Cellulosic Biofuel Production: A Comparative Analysis of Three Biofuel Pathways

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Yimin; Goldberg, Marshall; Tan, Eric; Meyer, Pimphan Aye

    2016-05-01

    The development of a cellulosic biofuel industry utilizing domestic biomass resources is expected to create opportunities for economic growth resulting from the construction and operation of new biorefineries. We applied an economic input-output model to estimate potential economic impacts, particularly gross job growth, resulting from the construction and operation of biorefineries using three different technology pathways: (i) cellulosic ethanol via biochemical conversion in Iowa, (ii) renewable diesel blendstock via biological conversion in Georgia, and (iii) renewable diesel and gasoline blendstock via fast pyrolysis in Mississippi. Combining direct, indirect (revenue- and supply-chain-related), and induced effects, capital investment associated with the construction of a biorefinery processing 2000 dry metric tons of biomass per day (DMT/day) could yield between 5960 and 8470 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs during the construction period, depending on the biofuel pathways. Fast pyrolysis biorefineries produce the most jobs on a project level thanks to the highest capital requirement among the three pathways. Normalized on the scale of $1 million of capital investment, the fast pyrolysis biorefineries are estimated to yield slighter higher numbers of jobs (12.1 jobs) than the renewable diesel (11.8 jobs) and the cellulosic ethanol (11.6 jobs) biorefineries. While operating biorefineries is not labor-intensive, the annual operation of a 2000 DMT/day biorefinery could support between 720 and 970 jobs when the direct, indirect, and induced effects are considered. The major factor, which results in the variations among the three pathways, is the type of biomass feedstock used for biofuels. Unlike construction jobs, these operation-related jobs are necessary over the entire life of the biorefineries. Our results show that indirect effects stimulated by the operation of biorefineries are the primary contributor to job growth. The agriculture/forest, services, and

  20. Estimation of economic impacts of cellulosic biofuel production: a comparative analysis of three biofuel pathways

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Yimin; Goldberg, Marshall; Tan, Eric; Meyer, Pimphan Aye

    2016-03-07

    The development of a cellulosic biofuel industry utilizing domestic biomass resources is expected to create opportunities for economic growth resulting from the construction and operation of new biorefineries. We applied an economic input-output model to estimate potential economic impacts, particularly gross job growth, resulting from the construction and operation of biorefineries using three different technology pathways: (i) cellulosic ethanol via biochemical conversion in Iowa, (ii) renewable diesel blendstock via biological conversion in Georgia, and (iii) renewable diesel and gasoline blendstock via fast pyrolysis in Mississippi. Combining direct, indirect (revenue- and supply-chain-related), and induced effects, capital investment associated with the construction of a biorefinery processing 2000 dry metric tons of biomass per day (DMT/day) could yield between 5960 and 8470 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs during the construction period, depending on the biofuel pathways. Fast pyrolysis biorefineries produce the most jobs on a project level thanks to the highest capital requirement among the three pathways. Normalized on the scale of $1 million of capital investment, the fast pyrolysis biorefineries are estimated to yield slighter higher numbers of jobs (12.1 jobs) than the renewable diesel (11.8 jobs) and the cellulosic ethanol (11.6 jobs) biorefineries. While operating biorefineries is not labor-intensive, the annual operation of a 2000 DMT/day biorefinery could support between 720 and 970 jobs when the direct, indirect, and induced effects are considered. The major factor, which results in the variations among the three pathways, is the type of biomass feedstock used for biofuels. Unlike construction jobs, these operation-related jobs are necessary over the entire life of the biorefineries. In conclusion, our results show that indirect effects stimulated by the operation of biorefineries are the primary contributor to job growth. The agriculture

  1. Estimation of economic impacts of cellulosic biofuel production: a comparative analysis of three biofuel pathways

    DOE PAGES

    Zhang, Yimin; Goldberg, Marshall; Tan, Eric; ...

    2016-03-07

    The development of a cellulosic biofuel industry utilizing domestic biomass resources is expected to create opportunities for economic growth resulting from the construction and operation of new biorefineries. We applied an economic input-output model to estimate potential economic impacts, particularly gross job growth, resulting from the construction and operation of biorefineries using three different technology pathways: (i) cellulosic ethanol via biochemical conversion in Iowa, (ii) renewable diesel blendstock via biological conversion in Georgia, and (iii) renewable diesel and gasoline blendstock via fast pyrolysis in Mississippi. Combining direct, indirect (revenue- and supply-chain-related), and induced effects, capital investment associated with the constructionmore » of a biorefinery processing 2000 dry metric tons of biomass per day (DMT/day) could yield between 5960 and 8470 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs during the construction period, depending on the biofuel pathways. Fast pyrolysis biorefineries produce the most jobs on a project level thanks to the highest capital requirement among the three pathways. Normalized on the scale of $1 million of capital investment, the fast pyrolysis biorefineries are estimated to yield slighter higher numbers of jobs (12.1 jobs) than the renewable diesel (11.8 jobs) and the cellulosic ethanol (11.6 jobs) biorefineries. While operating biorefineries is not labor-intensive, the annual operation of a 2000 DMT/day biorefinery could support between 720 and 970 jobs when the direct, indirect, and induced effects are considered. The major factor, which results in the variations among the three pathways, is the type of biomass feedstock used for biofuels. Unlike construction jobs, these operation-related jobs are necessary over the entire life of the biorefineries. In conclusion, our results show that indirect effects stimulated by the operation of biorefineries are the primary contributor to job growth. The agriculture

  2. 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

  3. Estimation of economic impacts of cellulosic biofuel production: a comparative analysis of three biofuel pathways: Economic impacts of biofuel production

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Yimin; Goldberg, Marshall; Tan, Eric; Meyer, Pimphan Aye

    2016-03-07

    The development of a cellulosic biofuel industry utilizing domestic biomass resources is expected to create opportunities for economic growth resulting from the construction and operation of new biorefineries. We applied an economic input-output model to estimate potential economic impacts, particularly gross job growth, resulting from the construction and operation of biorefineries using three different technology pathways: 1) cellulosic ethanol via biochemical conversion in Iowa, 2) renewable diesel blendstock via biological conversion in Georgia, and 3) renewable diesel and gasoline blendstock via fast pyrolysis in Mississippi. Combining direct, indirect, and induced effects, capital investment associated with the construction of a biorefinery processing 2,000 dry metric tons of biomass per day (DMT/day) could yield between 5,960 and 8,470 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs during the construction period. Fast pyrolysis biorefineries produce the most jobs on a project level thanks to the highest capital requirement among the three pathways. Normalized for one million dollars of capital investment, the fast pyrolysis biorefineries are estimated to yield slighter more jobs (12.1 jobs) than the renewable diesel (11.8 jobs) and the cellulosic ethanol (11.6 jobs) biorefineries. While operating biorefineries is not labor-intensive, the annual operation of a 2,000 DMT/day biorefinery could support between 720 and 970 jobs when the direct, indirect, and induced effects are considered. The major factor, which results in the variations among the three pathways, is the type of biomass feedstock used for biofuels. The agriculture/forest, services, and trade industries are the primary sectors that will benefit from the ongoing operation of biorefineries.

  4. Algae Derived Biofuel

    SciTech Connect

    Jahan, Kauser

    2015-03-31

    One of the most promising fuel alternatives is algae biodiesel. Algae reproduce quickly, produce oils more efficiently than crop plants, and require relatively few nutrients for growth. These nutrients can potentially be derived from inexpensive waste sources such as flue gas and wastewater, providing a mutual benefit of helping to mitigate carbon dioxide waste. Algae can also be grown on land unsuitable for agricultural purposes, eliminating competition with food sources. This project focused on cultivating select algae species under various environmental conditions to optimize oil yield. Membrane studies were also conducted to transfer carbon di-oxide more efficiently. An LCA study was also conducted to investigate the energy intensive steps in algae cultivation.

  5. Cellulases and biofuels.

    PubMed

    Wilson, David B

    2009-06-01

    There is a major international effort to develop renewable alternatives to fossil fuels. One approach is to produce a liquid fuel by enzymatically hydrolyzing carbohydrate polymers in biomass to sugars and fermenting them to ethanol. Cellulose is the main polymer in biomass and cellulases can hydrolyze it to cellobiose, which can be converted to glucose by beta-glucosidase. Extensive research is being carried out to try to obtain cellulases with higher activity on pretreated biomass substrates by screening and sequencing new organisms, engineering cellulases with improved properties and by identifying proteins that can stimulate cellulases. Despite extensive research on cellulases there are major gaps in our understanding of how they hydrolyze crystalline cellulose, act synergistically, and the role of carbohydrate binding modules.

  6. Growth, reproductive phenology and yield responses of a potential biofuel plant, Jatropha curcas grown under projected 2050 levels of elevated CO2.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Sumit; Chaitanya, Bharatula S K; Ghatty, Sreenivas; Reddy, Attipalli R

    2014-11-01

    Jatropha (Jatropha curcas) is a non-edible oil producing plant which is being advocated as an alternative biofuel energy resource. Its ability to grow in diverse soil conditions and minimal requirements of essential agronomical inputs compared with other oilseed crops makes it viable for cost-effective advanced biofuel production. We designed a study to investigate the effects of elevated carbon dioxide concentration ([CO(2)]) (550 ppm) on the growth, reproductive development, source-sink relationships, fruit and seed yield of J. curcas. We report, for the first time that elevated CO(2) significantly influences reproductive characteristics of Jatropha and improve its fruit and seed yields. Net photosynthetic rate of Jatropha was 50% higher in plants grown in elevated CO(2) compared with field and ambient CO(2) -grown plants. The study also revealed that elevated CO(2) atmosphere significantly increased female to male flower ratio, above ground biomass and carbon sequestration potential in Jatropha (24 kg carbon per tree) after 1 year. Our data demonstrate that J. curcas was able to sustain enhanced rate of photosynthesis in elevated CO(2) conditions as it had sufficient sink strength to balance the increased biomass yields. Our study also elucidates that the economically important traits including fruit and seed yield in elevated CO(2) conditions were significantly high in J. curcas that holds great promise as a potential biofuel tree species for the future high CO(2) world.

  7. Using System Dynamics to Model the Transition to Biofuels in the United States

    SciTech Connect

    Bush, B.; Duffy, M.; Sandor, D.; Peterson, S.

    2008-01-01

    Today, the U.S. consumes almost 21 million barrels of crude oil per day; approximately 60% of the U.S. demand is supplied by imports. The transportation sector alone accounts for two-thirds of U.S. petroleum use. Biofuels, liquid fuels produced from domestically-grown biomass, have the potential to displace about 30% of current U.S. gasoline consumption. Transitioning to a biofuels industry on this scale will require the creation of a robust biomass-to-biofuels system-of-systems that operates in concert with the existing agriculture, forestry, energy, and transportation markets. The U.S. Department of Energy is employing a system dynamics approach to investigate potential market penetration scenarios for cellulosic ethanol, and to aid decision makers in focusing government actions on the areas with greatest potential to accelerate the deployment of biofuels and ultimately reduce the nationpsilas dependence on imported oil.

  8. Gene flow matters in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), a potential widespread biofuel feedstock.

    PubMed

    Kwit, Charles; Stewart, C Neal

    2012-01-01

    There currently exists a large push for the use, improvement, and expansion via landscape modification of dedicated biofuel crops (feedstocks) in the United States and in many parts of the world. Ecological concerns have been voiced because many biofuel feedstocks exhibit characteristics associated with invasiveness, and due to potential negative consequences of agronomic genes in native wild populations. Seed purity concerns for biofuel feedstock cultivars whose seeds would be harvested in agronomic fields also exist from the agribusiness sector. The common thread underlying these concerns, which have regulatory implications, is gene flow; thus detailed knowledge of gene flow in biofuel crop plants is important in the formulation of environmental risk management plans. Here, we synthesize the current state of knowledge of gene flow in an exemplary biofuel crop, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), which is native to eastern North America and is currently experiencing conventional and technological advances in biomass yields and ethanol production. Surprisingly little is known regarding aspects of switchgrass pollen flow and seed dispersal, and whether native populations of conspecific or congeneric relatives will readily cross with current agronomic switchgrass cultivars. We pose that filling these important gaps will be required to confront the sustainability challenges of widespread planting of biofuel feedstocks.

  9. Fuel from Bacteria: Bioconversion of Carbon Dioxide to Biofuels by Facultatively Autotrophic Hydrogen Bacteria

    SciTech Connect

    2010-07-01

    Electrofuels Project: Ohio State is genetically modifying bacteria to efficiently convert carbon dioxide directly into butanol, an alcohol that can be used directly as a fuel blend or converted to a hydrocarbon, which closely resembles a gasoline. Bacteria are typically capable of producing a certain amount of butanol before it becomes too toxic for the bacteria to survive. Ohio State is engineering a new strain of the bacteria that could produce up to 50% more butanol before it becomes too toxic for the bacteria to survive. Finding a way to produce more butanol more efficiently would significantly cut down on biofuel production costs and help make butanol cost competitive with gasoline. Ohio State is also engineering large tanks, or bioreactors, to grow the biofuel-producing bacteria in, and they are developing ways to efficiently recover biofuel from the tanks.

  10. Fuel-mix, fuel efficiency, and transport demand affect prospects for biofuels in northern Europe.

    PubMed

    Bright, Ryan M; Strømman, 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.

  11. Use of U.S. croplands for biofuels increases greenhouse gases through emissions from land-use change.

    PubMed

    Searchinger, Timothy; Heimlich, Ralph; Houghton, R A; Dong, Fengxia; Elobeid, Amani; Fabiosa, Jacinto; Tokgoz, Simla; Hayes, Dermot; Yu, Tun-Hsiang

    2008-02-29

    Most prior studies have found that substituting biofuels for gasoline will reduce greenhouse gases because biofuels sequester carbon through the growth of the feedstock. These analyses have failed to count the carbon emissions that occur as farmers worldwide respond to higher prices and convert forest and grassland to new cropland to replace the grain (or cropland) diverted to biofuels. By using a worldwide agricultural model to estimate emissions from land-use change, we found that corn-based ethanol, instead of producing a 20% savings, nearly doubles greenhouse emissions over 30 years and increases greenhouse gases for 167 years. Biofuels from switchgrass, if grown on U.S. corn lands, increase emissions by 50%. This result raises concerns about large biofuel mandates and highlights the value of using waste products.

  12. Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land-Use Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Searchinger, Timothy; Heimlich, Ralph; Houghton, R. A.; Dong, Fengxia; Elobeid, Amani; Fabiosa, Jacinto; Tokgoz, Simla; Hayes, Dermot; Yu, Tun-Hsiang

    2008-02-01

    Most prior studies have found that substituting biofuels for gasoline will reduce greenhouse gases because biofuels sequester carbon through the growth of the feedstock. These analyses have failed to count the carbon emissions that occur as farmers worldwide respond to higher prices and convert forest and grassland to new cropland to replace the grain (or cropland) diverted to biofuels. By using a worldwide agricultural model to estimate emissions from land-use change, we found that corn-based ethanol, instead of producing a 20% savings, nearly doubles greenhouse emissions over 30 years and increases greenhouse gases for 167 years. Biofuels from switchgrass, if grown on U.S. corn lands, increase emissions by 50%. This result raises concerns about large biofuel mandates and highlights the value of using waste products.

  13. 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 ...

  14. Energy Primer: Solar, Water, Wind, and Biofuels.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Portola Inst., Inc., Menlo Park, CA.

    This is a comprehensive, fairly technical book about renewable forms of energy--solar, water, wind, and biofuels. The biofuels section covers biomass energy, agriculture, aquaculture, alcohol, methane, and wood. The focus is on small-scale systems which can be applied to the needs of the individual, small group, or community. More than one-fourth…

  15. 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.

  16. NREL Algal Biofuels Projects and Partnerships

    SciTech Connect

    2016-10-01

    This fact sheet highlights several algal biofuels research and development projects focused on improving the economics of the algal biofuels production process. These projects should serve as a foundation for the research efforts toward algae as a source of fuels and other chemicals.

  17. COMPUTATIONAL RESOURCES FOR BIOFUEL FEEDSTOCK SPECIES

    SciTech Connect

    Buell, Carol Robin; Childs, Kevin L

    2013-05-07

    While current production of ethanol as a biofuel relies on starch and sugar inputs, it is anticipated that sustainable production of ethanol for biofuel use will utilize lignocellulosic feedstocks. Candidate plant species to be used for lignocellulosic ethanol production include a large number of species within the Grass, Pine and Birch plant families. For these biofuel feedstock species, there are variable amounts of genome sequence resources available, ranging from complete genome sequences (e.g. sorghum, poplar) to transcriptome data sets (e.g. switchgrass, pine). These data sets are not only dispersed in location but also disparate in content. It will be essential to leverage and improve these genomic data sets for the improvement of biofuel feedstock production. The objectives of this project were to provide computational tools and resources for data-mining genome sequence/annotation and large-scale functional genomic datasets available for biofuel feedstock species. We have created a Bioenergy Feedstock Genomics Resource that provides a web-based portal or clearing house for genomic data for plant species relevant to biofuel feedstock production. Sequence data from a total of 54 plant species are included in the Bioenergy Feedstock Genomics Resource including model plant species that permit leveraging of knowledge across taxa to biofuel feedstock species.We have generated additional computational analyses of these data, including uniform annotation, to facilitate genomic approaches to improved biofuel feedstock production. These data have been centralized in the publicly available Bioenergy Feedstock Genomics Resource (http://bfgr.plantbiology.msu.edu/).

  18. Chemical structures of swine-manure chars produced under different carbonization conditions investigated by advanced solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two types of swine manure chars, hydrothermally-produced hydrochar and slow-pyrolysis pyrochar, and their raw swine manure solid were characterized using advanced 13C solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Compared with the parent raw swine manure, both hydrochars and pyrochar di...

  19. Performance of biofuel processes utilising separate lignin and carbohydrate processing.

    PubMed

    Melin, Kristian; Kohl, Thomas; Koskinen, Jukka; Hurme, Markku

    2015-09-01

    Novel biofuel pathways with increased product yields are evaluated against conventional lignocellulosic biofuel production processes: methanol or methane production via gasification and ethanol production via steam-explosion pre-treatment. The novel processes studied are ethanol production combined with methanol production by gasification, hydrocarbon fuel production with additional hydrogen produced from lignin residue gasification, methanol or methane synthesis using synthesis gas from lignin residue gasification and additional hydrogen obtained by aqueous phase reforming in synthesis gas production. The material and energy balances of the processes were calculated by Aspen flow sheet models and add on excel calculations applicable at the conceptual design stage to evaluate the pre-feasibility of the alternatives. The processes were compared using the following criteria: energy efficiency from biomass to products, primary energy efficiency, GHG reduction potential and economy (expressed as net present value: NPV). Several novel biorefinery concepts gave higher energy yields, GHG reduction potential and NPV.

  20. 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.

  1. Microalgal cultivation with biogas slurry for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Liandong; Yan, Cheng; Li, Zhaohua

    2016-11-01

    Microalgal growth requires a substantial amount of chemical fertilizers. An alternative to the utilization of fertilizer is to apply biogas slurry produced through anaerobic digestion to cultivate microalgae for the production of biofuels. Plenty of studies have suggested that anaerobic digestate containing high nutrient contents is a potentially feasible nutrient source to culture microalgae. However, current literature indicates a lack of review available regarding microalgal cultivation with biogas slurry for the production of biofuels. To help fill this gap, this review highlights the integration of digestate nutrient management with microalgal production. It first unveils the current status of microalgal production, providing basic background to the topic. Subsequently, microalgal cultivation technologies using biogas slurry are discussed in detail. A scale-up scheme for simultaneous biogas upgrade and digestate application through microalgal cultivation is then proposed. Afterwards, several uncertainties that might affect this practice are explored. Finally, concluding remarks are put forward.

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

    DOEpatents

    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. Tailoring lignin biosynthesis for efficient and sustainable biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Liu, Chang-Jun; Cai, Yuanheng; Zhang, Xuebin; Gou, Mingyue; Yang, Huijun

    2014-12-01

    Increased global interest in a bio-based economy has reinvigorated the research on the cell wall structure and composition in plants. In particular, the study of plant lignification has become a central focus, with respect to its intractability and negative impact on the utilization of the cell wall biomass for producing biofuels and bio-based chemicals. Striking progress has been achieved in the last few years both on our fundamental understanding of lignin biosynthesis, deposition and assembly, and on the interplay of lignin synthesis with the plant growth and development. With the knowledge gleaned from basic studies, researchers are now able to invent and develop elegant biotechnological strategies to sophisticatedly manipulate the quantity and structure of lignin and thus to create economically viable bioenergy feedstocks. These concerted efforts open an avenue for the commercial production of cost-competitive biofuel to meet our energy needs.

  4. Consortium for Algal Biofuel Commercialization (CAB-COMM) Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Mayfield, Stephen P.

    2015-12-04

    The Consortium for Algal Biofuel Commercialization (CAB-Comm) was established in 2010 to conduct research to enable commercial viability of alternative liquid fuels produced from algal biomass. The main objective of CAB-Comm was to dramatically improve the viability of algae as a source of liquid fuels to meet US energy needs, by addressing several significant barriers to economic viability. To achieve this goal, CAB-Comm took a diverse set of approaches on three key aspects of the algal biofuels value chain: crop protection; nutrient utilization and recycling; and the development of genetic tools. These projects have been undertaken as collaboration between six academic institutions and two industrial partners: University of California, San Diego; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Rutgers University; University of California, Davis; Johns Hopkins University; Sapphire Energy; and Life Technologies.

  5. Policies for the Sustainable Development of Biofuels in the Pan American Region: A Review and Synthesis of Five Countries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solomon, Barry D.; Banerjee, Aparajita; Acevedo, Alberto; Halvorsen, Kathleen E.; Eastmond, Amarella

    2015-12-01

    Rapid growth of biofuel production in the United States and Brazil over the past decade has increased interest in replicating this success in other nations of the Pan American region. However, the continued use of food-based feedstock such as maize is widely seen as unsustainable and is in some cases linked to deforestation and increased greenhouse gas emissions, raising further doubts about long-term sustainability. As a result, many nations are exploring the production and use of cellulosic feedstock, though progress has been extremely slow. In this paper, we will review the North-South axis of biofuel production in the Pan American region and its linkage with the agricultural sectors in five countries. Focus will be given to biofuel policy goals, their results to date, and consideration of sustainability criteria and certification of producers. Policy goals, results, and sustainability will be highlighted for the main biofuel policies that have been enacted at the national level. Geographic focus will be given to the two largest producers—the United States and Brazil; two smaller emerging producers—Argentina and Canada; and one stalled program—Mexico. However, several additional countries in the region are either producing or planning to produce biofuels. We will also review alternative international governance schemes for biofuel sustainability that have been recently developed, and whether the biofuel programs are being managed to achieve improved environmental quality and sustainable development.

  6. Biofuels and the conundrum of sustainability.

    PubMed

    Sheehan, John J

    2009-06-01

    Sustainable energy is the problem of the 21st century. If biofuels want to be part of the solution they must accept a degree of scrutiny unprecedented in the development of a new industry. That is because sustainability deals explicitly with the role of biofuels in ensuring the well-being of our planet, our economy, and our society both today and in the future. Life cycle assessment (LCA) has been the standard framework for assessing sustainability of biofuels. These assessments show that corn ethanol has a marginally lower fossil energy and greenhouse gas footprint compared to petroleum fuel. Sugarcane ethanol and some forms of biodiesel offer substantially lower footprints. New biofuels may offer low footprints. The science of LCA is being stretched to its limits as policy makers consider direct and indirect effects of biofuels on global land and water resources, global ecosystems, air quality, public health, and social justice.

  7. 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

  8. Coupling of algal biofuel production with wastewater.

    PubMed

    Bhatt, Neha Chamoli; 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.

  9. Methane and nitrous oxide emissions affect the life-cycle analysis of algal biofuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frank, Edward D.; Han, Jeongwoo; Palou-Rivera, Ignasi; Elgowainy, Amgad; Wang, Michael Q.

    2012-03-01

    Researchers around the world are developing sustainable plant-based liquid transportation fuels (biofuels) to reduce petroleum consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Algae are attractive because they promise large yields per acre compared to grasses, grains and trees, and because they produce oils that might be converted to diesel and gasoline equivalents. It takes considerable energy to produce algal biofuels with current technology; thus, the potential benefits of algal biofuels compared to petroleum fuels must be quantified. To this end, we identified key parameters for algal biofuel production using GREET, a tool for the life-cycle analysis of energy use and emissions in transportation systems. The baseline scenario produced 55 400 g CO2 equivalent per million BTU of biodiesel compared to 101 000 g for low-sulfur petroleum diesel. The analysis considered the potential for greenhouse gas emissions from anaerobic digestion processes commonly used in algal biofuel models. The work also studied alternative scenarios, e.g., catalytic hydrothermal gasification, that may reduce these emissions. The analysis of the nitrogen recovery step from lipid-extracted algae (residues) highlighted the importance of considering the fate of the unrecovered nitrogen fraction, especially that which produces N2O, a potent greenhouse gas with global warming potential 298 times that of CO2.

  10. 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

  11. A geographical assessment of vegetation carbon stocks and greenhouse gas emissions on potential microalgae-based biofuel facilities in the United States.

    PubMed

    Quiroz Arita, Carlos; Yilmaz, Özge; Barlak, Semin; Catton, Kimberly B; Quinn, Jason C; Bradley, Thomas H

    2016-12-01

    The microalgae biofuels life cycle assessments (LCA) present in the literature have excluded the effects of direct land use change (DLUC) from facility construction under the assumption that DLUC effects are negligible. This study seeks to model the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of microalgae biofuels including DLUC by quantifying the CO2 equivalence of carbon released to the atmosphere through the construction of microalgae facilities. The locations and types of biomass and Soil Organic Carbon that are disturbed through microalgae cultivation facility construction are quantified using geographical models of microalgae productivity potential including consideration of land availability. The results of this study demonstrate that previous LCA of microalgae to biofuel processes have overestimated GHG benefits of microalgae-based biofuels production by failing to include the effect of DLUC. Previous estimations of microalgae biofuel production potential have correspondingly overestimated the volume of biofuels that can be produced in compliance with U.S. environmental goals.

  12. 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.

  13. The water-land-food nexus of first-generation biofuels

    PubMed Central

    Rulli, Maria Cristina; Bellomi, Davide; Cazzoli, Andrea; De Carolis, Giulia; D’Odorico, Paolo

    2016-01-01

    Recent energy security strategies, investment opportunities and energy policies have led to an escalation in biofuel consumption at the expenses of food crops and pastureland. To evaluate the important impacts of biofuels on food security, the food-energy nexus needs to be investigated in the context of its linkages with the overall human appropriation of land and water resources. Here we provide a global assessment of biofuel crop production, reconstruct global patterns of biofuel crop/oil trade and determine the associated displacement of water and land use. We find that bioethanol is mostly produced with domestic crops while 36% of biodiesel consumption relies on international trade, mainly from Southeast Asia. Altogether, biofuels rely on about 2-3% of the global water and land used for agriculture, which could feed about 30% of the malnourished population. We evaluate the food-energy tradeoff and the impact an increased reliance on biofuel would have on the number of people the planet can feed. PMID:26936679

  14. The water-land-food nexus of first-generation biofuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rulli, Maria Cristina; Bellomi, Davide; Cazzoli, Andrea; de Carolis, Giulia; D’Odorico, Paolo

    2016-03-01

    Recent energy security strategies, investment opportunities and energy policies have led to an escalation in biofuel consumption at the expenses of food crops and pastureland. To evaluate the important impacts of biofuels on food security, the food-energy nexus needs to be investigated in the context of its linkages with the overall human appropriation of land and water resources. Here we provide a global assessment of biofuel crop production, reconstruct global patterns of biofuel crop/oil trade and determine the associated displacement of water and land use. We find that bioethanol is mostly produced with domestic crops while 36% of biodiesel consumption relies on international trade, mainly from Southeast Asia. Altogether, biofuels rely on about 2-3% of the global water and land used for agriculture, which could feed about 30% of the malnourished population. We evaluate the food-energy tradeoff and the impact an increased reliance on biofuel would have on the number of people the planet can feed.

  15. Metal organic frameworks for enzyme immobilization in biofuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodell, JaDee

    Interest in biofuel cells has been rapidly expanding as an ever-growing segment of the population gains access to electronic devices. The largest areas of growth for new populations using electronic devices are often in communities without electrical infrastructure. This lack of infrastructure in remote environments is one of the key driving factors behind the development of biofuel cells. Biofuel cells employ biological catalysts such as enzymes to catalyze oxidation and reduction reactions of select fuels to generate power. There are several benefits to using enzymes to catalyze reactions as compared to traditional fuel cells which use metal catalysts. First, enzymes are able to catalyze reactions at or near room temperature, whereas traditional metal catalysts are only efficient at very high temperatures. Second, biofuel cells can operate under mild pH conditions which is important for the eventual design of safe, commercially viable devices. Also, biofuel cells allow for implantable and flexible technologies. Finally, enzymes exhibit high selectivity and can be combined to fully oxidize or reduce the fuel which can generate several electrons from a single molecule of fuel, increasing the overall device efficiency. One of the main challenges which persist in biofuel cells is the instability of enzymes over time which tend to denature after hours or days. For a viable commercial biofuel cell to be produced, the stability of enzymes must be extended to months or years. Enzymes have been shown to have improved stability after being immobilized. The focus of this research was to find a metal organic framework (MOF) structure which could successfully immobilize enzymes while still allowing for electron transport to occur between the catalytic center of the enzyme and the electrode surface within a biofuel cell for power generation. Four MOF structures were successfully synthesized and were subsequently tested to determine the MOF's ability to immobilize the following

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  17. Endophytic fungi as a source of biofuel precursors.

    PubMed

    Santos-Fo, Florisvaldo; Fill, Taicia Pacheco; Nakamura, Joanita; Monteiro, Marcos Roberto; Rodrigues-Fo, Edson

    2011-07-01

    Endophytic fungi, isolated from a number of different species of tropical plants, were investigated for lipid biodiesel precursor production. The extracts produced from liquid cultures of these fungi were subjected to acidcatalyzed transesterification reactions with methanol producing methyl esters and then analyzed through chromatographic (GC-FID) and spectrometric techniques (MS, NMR ¹H). The European Standard Method, EN 14103, was used for the quantification of methyl esters extracted from the fungi of the species and genera studied. Xylariaceous fungi exhibited the highest concentrations of methyl esters (91%), and hence may be a promising source for biofuel.

  18. Integrated green algal technology for bioremediation and biofuel.

    PubMed

    Sivakumar, Ganapathy; Xu, Jianfeng; Thompson, Robert W; Yang, Ying; Randol-Smith, Paula; Weathers, Pamela J

    2012-03-01

    Sustainable non-food energy biomass and cost-effective ways to produce renewable energy technologies from this biomass are continuously emerging. Algae are capable of producing lipids and hydrocarbons quickly and their photosynthetic abilities make them a promising candidate for an alternative energy source. In addition, their favorable carbon life cycle and a renewed focus on rural economic development are attractive factors. In this review the focus is mainly on the integrated approach of algae culture for bioremediation and oil-based biofuel production with mention of possible other value-added benefits of using algae for those purposes.

  19. Turning yard waste into an upgraded biofuel

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Y.; Hu, R.; Wenzel, J.E.; Liu, H.

    2000-07-01

    A high-pressure piston-and-mold (punch-and-die) process was employed to compact yard waste (biomass) into densified biofuel. The results show that the yard waste including lawn grass clippings, leaves, pine needles, and pine cones can be compacted into dense logs (slugs) under appropriate pressure and moisture conditions. The strong and dense logs can be handled easily and stored and transported efficiently. The high-density logs also have a high energy content per unit volume and can be co-fired with coal at power plants efficiently. It was found that the appropriate moisture content for effective compaction of all the materials is in the range of 6--13%, and the optimum is in the neighborhood of 9%. To produce high quality logs, a minimum compaction pressure of 70 MPa is necessary for hardwood leaves, pine needles and pine cones, and 100 MPa for lawn grass. The logs produced under such pressure and moisture conditions can have a dry density close or higher than 0.8 kg/m{sup 3} (wet density about 0.9 kg/m{sup 3}). After compaction the yard waste can reach a density 25 to 90 times that of its loose state when piled up in a container under the action of gravity. Such volume reduction greatly improves the handling properties of the raw materials.

  20. Biofuels 2020: Biorefineries based on lignocellulosic materials.

    PubMed

    Valdivia, Miguel; Galan, Jose Luis; Laffarga, Joaquina; Ramos, Juan-Luis

    2016-09-01

    The production of liquid biofuels to blend with gasoline is of worldwide importance to secure the energy supply while reducing the use of fossil fuels, supporting the development of rural technology with knowledge-based jobs and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. Today, engineering for plant construction is accessible and new processes using agricultural residues and municipal solid wastes have reached a good degree of maturity and high conversion yields (almost 90% of polysaccharides are converted into monosaccharides ready for fermentation). For the complete success of the 2G technology, it is still necessary to overcome a number of limitations that prevent a first-of-a-kind plant from operating at nominal capacity. We also claim that the triumph of 2G technology requires the development of favourable logistics to guarantee biomass supply and make all actors (farmers, investors, industrial entrepreneurs, government, others) aware that success relies on agreement advances. The growth of ethanol production for 2020 seems to be secured with a number of 2G plants, but public/private investments are still necessary to enable 2G technology to move on ahead from its very early stages to a more mature consolidated technology.

  1. Characterization of Mixing Between Water and Biofuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cotel, Aline; Green, Erica; Acevedo, Marina; Otero, Margarita; Demond, Avery

    2012-11-01

    Currently, gasoline containing ethanol is considered to be among the best alternatives to gasoline. However, the potential environmental impact of a spill of ethanol-based biofuels on aquatic environments is an area of open discussion and research. Since these fuels are a combination of a miscible fluid (ethanol) and an immiscible fluid (gasoline), models used for traditional gasoline fuels (immiscible in water) are not applicable. Preliminary experiments show that when a solution of ethanol and glycol is mixed with water, a third mixed fluid is formed. Two distinct mixing regimes were observed. An exothermic reaction also occurred between ethanol and water. In the first regime, a turbulent wake is created between the ethanol/glycol and water layers causing the ethanol and glycol solution to entrain and mix into with the water phase. Because the mixed fluid is denser than either parent fluid, a dramatic overturning is possible. The amount of mixing was found to be dependent upon the initial ratio of ethanol to glycol in the parent fluid. The second regime begins when the turbulent wake has dissipated and the internal wave created by the plate has begun to settle, typically within the first minute. At this point, Bénard-like cells, similar to those typically seen in Rayleigh-Bénard convection, form at the interface and relatively slow mass transfer is evident. The cells at the interface show distinct features of interfacial turbulence, including small transverse waves, denoting that instabilities exist there. Funding from UM-OVPR and NSF Advance.

  2. The effect of seasonal variation on biomethane production from seaweed and on application as a gaseous transport biofuel.

    PubMed

    Tabassum, Muhammad Rizwan; Xia, Ao; Murphy, Jerry D

    2016-06-01

    Biomethane produced from seaweed may be used as a transport biofuel. Seasonal variation will have an effect on this industry. Laminaria digitata, a typical Irish brown seaweed species, shows significant seasonal variation both in proximate, ultimate and biochemical composition. The characteristics in August were optimal with the lowest level of ash (20% of volatile solids), a C:N ratio of 32 and the highest specific methane yield measured at 327LCH4kgVS(-1), which was 72% of theoretical yield. The highest yield per mass collected of 53m(3)CH4t(-1) was achieved in August, which is 4.5 times higher than the lowest value, obtained in December. A seaweed cultivation area of 11,800ha would be required to satisfy the 2020 target for advanced biofuels in Ireland, of 1.25% renewable energy supply in transport (RES-T) based on the optimal gross energy yield obtained in August (200GJha(-1)yr(-1)).

  3. Indirect land use change and biofuel policy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kocoloski, Matthew; Griffin, W. Michael; Matthews, H. Scott

    2009-09-01

    Biofuel debates often focus heavily on carbon emissions, with parties arguing for (or against) biofuels solely on the basis of whether the greenhouse gas emissions of biofuels are less than (or greater than) those of gasoline. Recent studies argue that land use change leads to significant greenhouse gas emissions, making some biofuels more carbon intensive than gasoline. We argue that evaluating the suitability and utility of biofuels or any alternative energy source within the limited framework of plus and minus carbon emissions is too narrow an approach. Biofuels have numerous impacts, and policy makers should seek compromises rather than relying solely on carbon emissions to determine policy. Here, we estimate that cellulosic ethanol, despite having potentially higher life cycle CO2 emissions (including from land use) than gasoline, would still be cost-effective at a CO2 price of 80 per ton or less, well above estimated CO2 mitigation costs for many alternatives. As an example of the broader approach to biofuel policy, we suggest the possibility of using the potential cost reductions of cellulosic ethanol relative to gasoline to balance out additional carbon emissions resulting from indirect land use change as an example of ways in which policies could be used to arrive at workable solutions.

  4. Have Indirect Emissions from Biofuels Been Exaggerated?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kicklighter, D. W.; Gurgel, A.; Melillo, J. M.; Reilly, J. M.; Cronin, T.; Felzer, B. S.; Paltsev, S.; Schlosser, C. A.; Sokolov, A. P.

    2009-12-01

    The production of biofuels may lead to enhanced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from land to the atmosphere either by directly converting land to biofuel crops, or indirectly, by causing the displacement of food production and other land uses which then require additional land conversions. The importance of indirect GHG emissions from biofuel-related displacement of food production and other land uses is not known and is highly controversial. Here, we examine the direct and indirect land-use emissions over the 21st century from an expanded global bioenergy program, using a linked economic and terrestrial biogeochemistry modeling system under two different land use policies. We account for the dynamics of potential carbon losses or gains from land-use change along with nitrous oxide emissions from increased N fertilizer application. We find that: 1) indirect emissions from land use are responsible for substantially more carbon loss (up to twice as much) than direct land use; 2) increased nitrous oxide emissions over the century are more important to the GHG balance than the carbon losses themselves; 3) the GHG effects of biofuels change in both sign and magnitude over time so that the GHG cost/benefit of biofuels depends on the time horizon considered; and 4) the economics of biofuels become favorable sooner with the protection of forests. While biofuels can be an effective low carbon energy source from a GHG balance perspective, the associated land conversions may lead to an unacceptable loss of other ecosystem services.

  5. Global biofuel use, 1850-2000

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandes, Suneeta D.; Trautmann, Nina M.; Streets, David G.; Roden, Christoph A.; Bond, Tami C.

    2007-06-01

    This paper presents annual, country-level estimates of biofuel use for the period 1850-2000. We estimate that global biofuel consumption rose from about 1000 Tg in 1850 to 2460 Tg in 2000, an increase of 140%. In the late 19th century, biofuel consumption in North America was very high, ˜220-250 Tg/yr, because widespread land clearing supplied plentiful fuelwood. At that time biofuel use in Western Europe was lower, ˜180-200 Tg/yr. As fossil fuels became available, biofuel use in the developed world fell. Compensating changes in other parts of the world, however, caused global consumption to remain remarkably stable between 1850 and 1950 at ˜1200 ± 200 Tg/yr. It was only after World War II that biofuel use began to increase more rapidly in response to population growth in the developing world. Between 1950 and 2000, biofuel use in Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia grew by 170%, 160%, and 130%, respectively.

  6. Global Biofuel Use, 1850-2000.

    SciTech Connect

    Fernandes, S. D.; Trautmann, N. M.; Streets, D. G.; Roden, C. A.; Bond, T. C.; Decision and Information Sciences; Univ. of Illinois

    2007-05-30

    This paper presents annual, country-level estimates of biofuel use for the period 1850-2000. We estimate that global biofuel consumption rose from about 1000 Tg in 1850 to 2460 Tg in 2000, an increase of 140%. In the late 19th century, biofuel consumption in North America was very high, {approx}220-250 Tg/yr, because widespread land clearing supplied plentiful fuelwood. At that time biofuel use in Western Europe was lower, {approx}180-200 Tg/yr. As fossil fuels became available, biofuel use in the developed world fell. Compensating changes in other parts of the world, however, caused global consumption to remain remarkably stable between 1850 and 1950 at {approx}1200 {+-} 200 Tg/yr. It was only after World War II that biofuel use began to increase more rapidly in response to population growth in the developing world. Between 1950 and 2000, biofuel use in Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia grew by 170%, 160%, and 130%, respectively.

  7. Can biofuels be a solution to climate change? The implications of land use change-related emissions for policy

    PubMed Central

    Khanna, Madhu; Crago, Christine L.; Black, Mairi

    2011-01-01

    Biofuels have gained increasing attention as an alternative to fossil fuels for several reasons, one of which is their potential to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transportation sector. Recent studies have questioned the validity of claims about the potential of biofuels to reduce GHG emissions relative to the liquid fossil fuels they are replacing when emissions owing to direct (DLUC) and indirect land use changes (ILUC) that accompany biofuels are included in the life cycle GHG intensity of biofuels. Studies estimate that the GHG emissions released from ILUC could more than offset the direct GHG savings by producing biofuels and replacing liquid fossil fuels and create a ‘carbon debt’ with a long payback period. The estimates of this payback period, however, vary widely across biofuels from different feedstocks and even for a single biofuel across different modelling assumptions. In the case of corn ethanol, this payback period is found to range from 15 to 200 years. We discuss the challenges in estimating the ILUC effect of a biofuel and differences across biofuels, and its sensitivity to the assumptions and policy scenarios considered by different economic models. We also discuss the implications of ILUC for designing policies that promote biofuels and seek to reduce GHG emissions. In a first-best setting, a global carbon tax is needed to set both DLUC and ILUC emissions to their optimal levels. However, it is unclear whether unilateral GHG mitigation policies, even if they penalize the ILUC-related emissions, would increase social welfare and lead to optimal emission levels. In the absence of a global carbon tax, incentivizing sustainable land use practices through certification standards, government regulations and market-based pressures may be a viable option for reducing ILUC. PMID:22482030

  8. Neural and Hybrid Modeling: An Alternative Route to Efficiently Predict the Behavior of Biotechnological Processes Aimed at Biofuels Obtainment

    PubMed Central

    Saraceno, Alessandra; Calabrò, Vincenza; Iorio, Gabriele

    2014-01-01

    The present paper was aimed at showing that advanced modeling techniques, based either on artificial neural networks or on hybrid systems, might efficiently predict the behavior of two biotechnological processes designed for the obtainment of second-generation biofuels from waste biomasses. In particular, the enzymatic transesterification of waste-oil glycerides, the key step for the obtainment of biodiesel, and the anaerobic digestion of agroindustry wastes to produce biogas were modeled. It was proved that the proposed modeling approaches provided very accurate predictions of systems behavior. Both neural network and hybrid modeling definitely represented a valid alternative to traditional theoretical models, especially when comprehensive knowledge of the metabolic pathways, of the true kinetic mechanisms, and of the transport phenomena involved in biotechnological processes was difficult to be achieved. PMID:24516363

  9. Computational Approaches for Microalgal Biofuel Optimization: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Chaiboonchoe, Amphun

    2014-01-01

    The increased demand and consumption of fossil fuels have raised interest in finding renewable energy sources throughout the globe. Much focus has been placed on optimizing microorganisms and primarily microalgae, to efficiently produce compounds that can substitute for fossil fuels. However, the path to achieving economic feasibility is likely to require strain optimization through using available tools and technologies in the fields of systems and synthetic biology. Such approaches invoke a deep understanding of the metabolic networks of the organisms and their genomic and proteomic profiles. The advent of next generation sequencing and other high throughput methods has led to a major increase in availability of biological data. Integration of such disparate data can help define the emergent metabolic system properties, which is of crucial importance in addressing biofuel production optimization. Herein, we review major computational tools and approaches developed and used in order to potentially identify target genes, pathways, and reactions of particular interest to biofuel production in algae. As the use of these tools and approaches has not been fully implemented in algal biofuel research, the aim of this review is to highlight the potential utility of these resources toward their future implementation in algal research. PMID:25309916

  10. Computational approaches for microalgal biofuel optimization: a review.

    PubMed

    Koussa, Joseph; Chaiboonchoe, Amphun; Salehi-Ashtiani, Kourosh

    2014-01-01

    The increased demand and consumption of fossil fuels have raised interest in finding renewable energy sources throughout the globe. Much focus has been placed on optimizing microorganisms and primarily microalgae, to efficiently produce compounds that can substitute for fossil fuels. However, the path to achieving economic feasibility is likely to require strain optimization through using available tools and technologies in the fields of systems and synthetic biology. Such approaches invoke a deep understanding of the metabolic networks of the organisms and their genomic and proteomic profiles. The advent of next generation sequencing and other high throughput methods has led to a major increase in availability of biological data. Integration of such disparate data can help define the emergent metabolic system properties, which is of crucial importance in addressing biofuel production optimization. Herein, we review major computational tools and approaches developed and used in order to potentially identify target genes, pathways, and reactions of particular interest to biofuel production in algae. As the use of these tools and approaches has not been fully implemented in algal biofuel research, the aim of this review is to highlight the potential utility of these resources toward their future implementation in algal research.

  11. Biofuel from biomass via photo-electrochemical reactions: An overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ibrahim, N.; Kamarudin, S. K.; Minggu, L. J.

    2014-08-01

    Biomass is attracting a great deal of attention as a renewable energy resource to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Converting biomass from municipal, agricultural and livestock into biofuel and electrical power has significant environmental and economic advantages. The conversion of biomass into practical energy requires elegant designs and further investigation. Thus, biomass is a promising renewable energy source due to its low production cost and simple manufacturing processes. Biofuel (hydrogen and methanol) from biomass will be possible to be used for transportation with near-zero air pollution, involves efficient uses of land and major contribution to reduce dependence on insecure source of petroleum. Photoelectrochemical (PEC) reactions study has potential pathway for producing fuel from biomass and bio-related compound in the near future. This review highlights recent work related to the PEC conversion of biomass and bio-related compounds into useful biofuels and electricity. This review covers different types of photochemical reaction cells utilizing various types of organic and inorganic waste. It also presents recent developments in photoelectrodes, photocatalysts and electrolytes as well as the production of different types of fuel from PEC cells and highlights current developments and problems in PEC reactions.

  12. Quality of Rapeseed Bio-Fuel Waste: Optical Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sujak, Agnieszka; Muszyñski, Siemowit; Kachel-Jakubowska, Magdalena

    2014-04-01

    The objective of the presented work was to examine the optical properties of selected bio-fuel waste. Three independent optical methods: UV-Vis spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy and chromametric measurements were applied to establish the possible quality control test for the obtained substances. The following by-products were tested: distilled glycerine, technical glycerine and matter organic non glycerine fraction from rapeseed oil bio-fuel production. The results show that analysis of UV-Vis spectra can give rapid information about the purity of distilled glycerine, while no direct information can be obtained concerning the concentration and kind of impurities. Transmission mode is more useful as compared to absorption, concerning the detection abilities of average UV-Vis spectrometers. Infrared spectroscopy can be used as a complementary method for determining impurities/admixtures in samples. Measurements of chroma give the quickest data to compare the colour of biofuel by-products obtained by different producers. The condition is, however, that the products are received through the same or similar chemical processes. The other important factor is application of well defined measuring background. All the discussed analyses are quick, cheap and non-destructive, and can help to compare the quality of products.

  13. The Biofuel Feedstock Genomics Resource: a web-based portal and database to enable functional genomics of plant biofuel feedstock species.

    PubMed

    Childs, Kevin L; Konganti, Kranti; Buell, C Robin

    2012-01-01

    Major feedstock sources for future biofuel production are likely to be high biomass producing plant species such as poplar, pine, switchgrass, sorghum and maize. One active area of research in these species is genome-enabled improvement of lignocellulosic biofuel feedstock quality and yield. To facilitate genomic-based investigations in these species, we developed the Biofuel Feedstock Genomic Resource (BFGR), a database and web-portal that provides high-quality, uniform and integrated functional annotation of gene and transcript assembly sequences from species of interest to lignocellulosic biofuel feedstock researchers. The BFGR includes sequence data from 54 species and permits researchers to view, analyze and obtain annotation at the gene, transcript, protein and genome level. Annotation of biochemical pathways permits the identification of key genes and transcripts central to the improvement of lignocellulosic properties in these species. The integrated nature of the BFGR in terms of annotation methods, orthologous/paralogous relationships and linkage to seven species with complete genome sequences allows comparative analyses for biofuel feedstock species with limited sequence resources. Database URL: http://bfgr.plantbiology.msu.edu.

  14. Near-zero emissions combustor system for syngas and biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Yongho, Kim; Rosocha, Louis

    2010-01-01

    research necessary to develop a novel, high-efficiency, low-emissions (near-zero, or as low as reasonably achievable), advanced combustion technology for electricity and heat production from biofuels and fuels derived from MSW. For any type of combustion technology, including the advanced technology of this project, two problems of special interest must be addressed: developing and optimizing the combustion chambers and the systems for igniting and sustaining the fuel-burning process. For MSW in particular, there are new challenges over gaseous or liquid fuels because solid fuels must be ground into fine particulates ({approx} 10 {micro}m diameter), fed into the advanced combustor, and combusted under plasma-assisted conditions that are quite different than gaseous or liquid fuels. The principal idea of the combustion chamber design is to use so-called reverse vortex gas flow, which allows efficient cooling of the chamber wall and flame stabilization in the central area of the combustor (Tornado chamber). Considerable progress has been made in design ing an advanced, reverse vortex flow combustion chamber for biofuels, although it was not tested on biofuels and a system that could be fully commercialized has never been completed.

  15. From the Cover: Environmental, economic, and energetic costs and benefits of biodiesel and ethanol biofuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, Jason; Nelson, Erik; Tilman, David; Polasky, Stephen; Tiffany, Douglas

    2006-07-01

    Negative environmental consequences of fossil fuels and concerns about petroleum supplies have spurred the search for renewable transportation biofuels. To be a viable alternative, a biofuel should provide a net energy gain, have environmental benefits, be economically competitive, and be producible in large quantities without reducing food supplies. We use these criteria to evaluate, through life-cycle accounting, ethanol from corn grain and biodiesel from soybeans. Ethanol yields 25% more energy than the energy invested in its production, whereas biodiesel yields 93% more. Compared with ethanol, biodiesel releases just 1.0%, 8.3%, and 13% of the agricultural nitrogen, phosphorus, and pesticide pollutants, respectively, per net energy gain. Relative to the fossil fuels they displace, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced 12% by the production and combustion of ethanol and 41% by biodiesel. Biodiesel also releases less air pollutants per net energy gain than ethanol. These advantages of biodiesel over ethanol come from lower agricultural inputs and more efficient conversion of feedstocks to fuel. Neither biofuel can replace much petroleum without impacting food supplies. Even dedicating all U.S. corn and soybean production to biofuels would meet only 12% of gasoline demand and 6% of diesel demand. Until recent increases in petroleum prices, high production costs made biofuels unprofitable without subsidies. Biodiesel provides sufficient environmental advantages to merit subsidy. Transportation biofuels such as synfuel hydrocarbons or cellulosic ethanol, if produced from low-input biomass grown on agriculturally marginal land or from waste biomass, could provide much greater supplies and environmental benefits than food-based biofuels. corn | soybean | life-cycle accounting | agriculture | fossil fuel

  16. Environmental, economic, and energetic costs and benefits of biodiesel and ethanol biofuels.

    PubMed

    Hill, Jason; Nelson, Erik; Tilman, David; Polasky, Stephen; Tiffany, Douglas

    2006-07-25

    Negative environmental consequences of fossil fuels and concerns about petroleum supplies have spurred the search for renewable transportation biofuels. To be a viable alternative, a biofuel should provide a net energy gain, have environmental benefits, be economically competitive, and be producible in large quantities without reducing food supplies. We use these criteria to evaluate, through life-cycle accounting, ethanol from corn grain and biodiesel from soybeans. Ethanol yields 25% more energy than the energy invested in its production, whereas biodiesel yields 93% more. Compared with ethanol, biodiesel releases just 1.0%, 8.3%, and 13% of the agricultural nitrogen, phosphorus, and pesticide pollutants, respectively, per net energy gain. Relative to the fossil fuels they displace, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced 12% by the production and combustion of ethanol and 41% by biodiesel. Biodiesel also releases less air pollutants per net energy gain than ethanol. These advantages of biodiesel over ethanol come from lower agricultural inputs and more efficient conversion of feedstocks to fuel. Neither biofuel can replace much petroleum without impacting food supplies. Even dedicating all U.S. corn and soybean production to biofuels would meet only 12% of gasoline demand and 6% of diesel demand. Until recent increases in petroleum prices, high production costs made biofuels unprofitable without subsidies. Biodiesel provides sufficient environmental advantages to merit subsidy. Transportation biofuels such as synfuel hydrocarbons or cellulosic ethanol, if produced from low-input biomass grown on agriculturally marginal land or from waste biomass, could provide much greater supplies and environmental benefits than food-based biofuels.

  17. 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

  18. Systems and methods for producing biofuels and related materials

    DOEpatents

    Leschine, Susan; Warnick, Thomas A.

    2010-03-23

    Clostridium phytofermentans cells (American Type Culture Collection 700394.sup.T) and all other strains of the species can ferment materials such as biomass into useful products and coproducts, such as ethanol, hydrogen and organic acids. Compositions that include Clostridium phytofermentans are also disclosed.

  19. 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) (σ=60), 3 times more methane than was produced by the LEA, 140 cm(3)-CH4 g-VS(-1) (σ=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.

  20. Conversion of waste cooking oil to jet biofuel with nickel-based mesoporous zeolite Y catalyst.

    PubMed

    Li, Tao; Cheng, Jun; Huang, Rui; Zhou, Junhu; Cen, Kefa

    2015-12-01

    Three types of zeolites (Meso-Y, SAPO-34, and HY) loaded with nickel were used to convert waste cooking oil to jet biofuel. Mesoporous zeolite Y exhibited a high jet range alkane selectivity of 53% and a proper jet range aromatic hydrocarbon selectivity of 13.4% in liquid fuel products. Reaction temperature was optimized to produce quality jet biofuel. Zeolite Meso-Y exhibited a high jet range alkane yield of 40.5% and a low jet range aromatic hydrocarbon yield of 11.3% from waste cooking oil at 400°C. The reaction pathway for converting waste cooking oil to jet biofuel was proposed. Experimental results showed that waste cooking oil mainly deoxygenated to heptadecane (C17H36) and pentadecane (C15H30) through the decarbonylation pathway for the first 3h. Long chain alkanes cracked into jet range alkanes (C8-C16). Cycloalkanes and aromatic hydrocarbons were produced through cyclization and dehydrogenation pathways.

  1. [Life cycle assessment on oxygen biofuels].

    PubMed

    Yi, Hong-hong; Zhu, Yong-qing; Wang, Jian-xin; Hao, Ji-ming

    2005-11-01

    Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was used to compare energy consumption and pollutant emissions of two oxygen biofuels, ethanol and methyl ester, which were mixed with gasoline and diesel oil at levels of 10% and 30% of the biofuel. The future of oxygen-containing biofuels was analyzed and forecasted. The results show that the mixture of biofuels and petroleum products can reduce crude oil consumption, but only methyl ester alternative fuel can reduce fossil fuel consumption. Use of methyl ester mixtures would reduce NOx by 50% compared to gasoline or diesel on a life cycle basis; however, NOx would increase using ethanol. Each alternative fuel mixture reduced PM10 emissions from the vehicle and methyl ester decreased VOCs. The SO2 emissions from the fuel production processes, which account for about 80% of SO2 life cycle emissions, must be strictly controlled.

  2. 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.

  3. NASA Now: Biology: Extreme Green Biofuels

    NASA Video Gallery

    Learn what makes something a “green” technology, how scientists are using climactic adaptation in their research and what aspects of plants NASA is most interested in for generating biofuel.

  4. Graphene based enzymatic bioelectrodes and biofuel cells.

    PubMed

    Karimi, Anahita; Othman, Ali; Uzunoglu, Aytekin; Stanciu, Lia; Andreescu, Silvana

    2015-04-28

    The excellent electrical conductivity and ease of functionalization make graphene a promising material for use in enzymatic bioelectrodes and biofuel cells. Enzyme based biofuel cells have attracted substantial interest due to their potential to harvest energy from organic materials. This review provides an overview of the functional properties and applications of graphene in the construction of biofuel cells as alternative power sources. The review covers the current state-of-the-art research in graphene based nanomaterials (physicochemical properties and surface functionalities), the role of these parameters in enhancing electron transfer, the stability and activity of immobilized enzymes, and how enhanced power density can be achieved. Specific examples of enzyme immobilization methods, enzyme loading, stability and function on graphene, functionalized graphene and graphene based nanocomposite materials are discussed along with their advantages and limitations. Finally, a critical evaluation of the performance of graphene based enzymatic biofuel cells, the current status, challenges and future research needs are provided.

  5. Graphene based enzymatic bioelectrodes and biofuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karimi, Anahita; Othman, Ali; Uzunoglu, Aytekin; Stanciu, Lia; Andreescu, Silvana

    2015-04-01

    The excellent electrical conductivity and ease of functionalization make graphene a promising material for use in enzymatic bioelectrodes and biofuel cells. Enzyme based biofuel cells have attracted substantial interest due to their potential to harvest energy from organic materials. This review provides an overview of the functional properties and applications of graphene in the construction of biofuel cells as alternative power sources. The review covers the current state-of-the-art research in graphene based nanomaterials (physicochemical properties and surface functionalities), the role of these parameters in enhancing electron transfer, the stability and activity of immobilized enzymes, and how enhanced power density can be achieved. Specific examples of enzyme immobilization methods, enzyme loading, stability and function on graphene, functionalized graphene and graphene based nanocomposite materials are discussed along with their advantages and limitations. Finally, a critical evaluation of the performance of graphene based enzymatic biofuel cells, the current status, challenges and future research needs are provided.

  6. Recent development of miniatured enzymatic biofuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Yin; Penmatsa, Varun; Wang, Chunlei

    2011-06-01

    Enzymatic biofuel cells (EBFCs) that oxidize biological fuels using enzyme-modified electrodes are considered a promising candidate for implantable power sources. However, there are still challenges to overcome before biofuel cells become competitive in any practical applications. Currently, the short lifespan of the catalytic enzymes and poor power density are the most critical issues in developing EBFCs. In this paper, we will review the recent development of biofuel cells and highlight the progress in Carbon-microelectromechanical system (C-MEMS) based micro biofuel cells by both computational modeling and experimental work. Also, our effort on utilizing a covalent immobilization technique for the attachment of enzymes onto the substrate which is expected to increase the enzyme loading efficiency and the power density of devices is discussed in this paper.

  7. Biofuels from algae: challenges and potential.

    PubMed

    Hannon, Michael; Gimpel, Javier; Tran, Miller; Rasala, Beth; Mayfield, Stephen

    2010-09-01

    Algae biofuels may provide a viable alternative to fossil fuels; however, this technology must overcome a number of hurdles before it can compete in the fuel market and be broadly deployed. These challenges include strain identification and improvement, both in terms of oil productivity and crop protection, nutrient and resource allocation and use, and the production of co-products to improve the economics of the entire system. Although there is much excitement about the potential of algae biofuels, much work is still required in the field. In this article, we attempt to elucidate the major challenges to economic algal biofuels at scale, and improve the focus of the scientific community to address these challenges and move algal biofuels from promise to reality.

  8. Biofuels from algae: challenges and potential

    PubMed Central

    Hannon, Michael; Gimpel, Javier; Tran, Miller; Rasala, Beth; Mayfield, Stephen

    2011-01-01

    Algae biofuels may provide a viable alternative to fossil fuels; however, this technology must overcome a number of hurdles before it can compete in the fuel market and be broadly deployed. These challenges include strain identification and improvement, both in terms of oil productivity and crop protection, nutrient and resource allocation and use, and the production of co-products to improve the economics of the entire system. Although there is much excitement about the potential of algae biofuels, much work is still required in the field. In this article, we attempt to elucidate the major challenges to economic algal biofuels at scale, and improve the focus of the scientific community to address these challenges and move algal biofuels from promise to reality. PMID:21833344

  9. Glucose electro-oxidizing biofuel cell anodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Binyamin, Gary Neil

    The glucose electro-oxidizing anode for a proposed biofuel cell operating at a current density of 1 mA cm-2 in a 1 mW, 1 cm 3 cell with an oxygen cathode is developed. The anode is based on electrically "wiring" the reaction centers of glucose oxidase to a carbon electrode through an electron conducting redox hydrogel. A flow system is simulated using rotating disk electrodes in variable volumes. The relationship between the mechanical strength and electron transport within the redox hydrogels was determined and a mechanically stable composite anode was designed. The anode was successfully tested under the shear stress of 0.06 N/m2, similar to that produced by a fluid flowing at a linear velocity of ˜10 cm-1 in a tubular cell of 2--5 mm diameter. A composite anode was made of hydrophilized graphite particles bound by the "wired" enzyme. When the enzyme was fully glucose-complexed, glucose was electrooxidized at a current density of 1.9 mA cm-2. H2O2 and gluconolactone, the two known damaging reaction products of the glucose oxidase-catalyzed oxidation of glucose by O2, did not rapidly damage the anodes in this system. The anodes were, however damaged by the transition metal ions and urate present in serum. The transition metal ions coordinatively crosslinked heterocyclic nitrogens of the "wires" reducing their segmental mobility and thereby the transport of electrons and also inhibited the glucose oxidase catalyzed-oxidation of glucose. Urate damaged the anodes because it was oxidatively electropolymerized and the polymer formed precipitated in the enzyme "wiring" film. The damage by transition metal ions and by urate can be alleviated by overcoating the anode films with thin membranes that do not limit mass transport. A slightly (0.05mA cm2) oxidizing shift in Tafel region of a biofuel cell cathode is observed by overcoating high surface area platinum black with superoxide dismutase and albumin. A "wired" pyruvate oxidase anode, sensitive over physiological

  10. Advanced glycation end-products produced systemically and by macrophages: A common contributor to inflammation and degenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Byun, Kyunghee; Yoo, YongCheol; Son, Myeongjoo; Lee, Jaesuk; Jeong, Goo-Bo; Park, Young Mok; Salekdeh, Ghasem Hosseini; Lee, Bonghee

    2017-02-13

    Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and their receptor have been implicated in the progressions of many intractable diseases, such as diabetes and atherosclerosis, and are also critical for pathologic changes in chronic degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and alcoholic brain damage. Recently activated macrophages were found to be a source of AGEs, and the most abundant form of AGEs, AGE-albumin excreted by macrophages has been implicated in these diseases and to act through common pathways. AGEs inhibition has been shown to prevent the pathogenesis of AGEs-related diseases in human, and therapeutic advances have resulted in several agents that prevent their adverse effects. Recently, anti-inflammatory molecules that inhibit AGEs have been shown to be good candidates for ameliorating diabetic complications as well as degenerative diseases. This review was undertaken to present, discuss, and clarify current understanding regarding AGEs formation in association with macrophages, different diseases, therapeutic and diagnostic strategy and links with RAGE inhibition.

  11. Effects of Deployment Investment on the Growth of the Biofuels Industry. 2016 Update

    SciTech Connect

    Vimmerstedt, Laura J.; Warner, Ethan S.; Stright, Dana

    2016-03-01

    This report updates the 2013 report of the same title. Some text originally published in that report is retained and indicated in gray. In support of the national goals for biofuel use in the United States, numerous technologies have been developed that convert biomass to biofuels. Some of these biomass to biofuel conversion technology pathways are operating at commercial scales, while others are in earlier stages of development. The advancement of a new pathway toward commercialization involves various types of progress, including yield improvements, process engineering, and financial performance. Actions of private investors and public programs can accelerate the demonstration and deployment of new conversion technology pathways. These investors (both private and public) will pursue a range of pilot, demonstration, and pioneer scale biorefinery investments; the most cost-effective set of investments for advancing the maturity of any given biomass to biofuel conversion technology pathway is unknown. In some cases, whether or not the pathway itself will ultimately be technically and financially successful is also unknown. This report presents results from the Biomass Scenario Model--a system dynamics model of the biomass to biofuels system--that estimate effects of investments in biorefineries at different maturity levels and operational scales. The report discusses challenges in estimating effects of such investments and explores the interaction between this deployment investment and a volumetric production incentive. Model results show that investments in demonstration and deployment have a substantial growth impact on the development of the biofuels industry. Results also show that other conditions, such as accompanying incentives, have major impacts on the effectiveness of such investments. Results from the 2013 report are compared to new results. This report does not advocate for or against investments, incentives, or policies, but analyzes simulations of

  12. Assessing Biofuel Crop Invasiveness: A Case Study

    PubMed Central

    Buddenhagen, Christopher Evan; Chimera, Charles; Clifford, Patti

    2009-01-01

    Background There is widespread interest in biofuel crops as a solution to the world's energy needs, particularly in light of concerns over greenhouse-gas emissions. Despite reservations about their adverse environmental impacts, no attempt has been made to quantify actual, relative or potential invasiveness of terrestrial biofuel crops at an appropriate regional or international scale, and their planting continues to be largely unregulated. Methodology/Principal Findings Using a widely accepted weed risk assessment system, we analyzed a comprehensive list of regionally suitable biofuel crops to show that seventy percent have a high risk of becoming invasive versus one-quarter of non-biofuel plant species and are two to four times more likely to establish wild populations locally or be invasive in Hawaii or in other locations with a similar climate. Conclusions/Significance Because of climatic and ecological similarities, predictions of biofuel crop invasiveness in Hawaii are applicable to other vulnerable island and subtropical ecosystems worldwide. We demonstrate the utility of an accessible and scientifically proven risk assessment protocol that allows users to predict if introduced species will become invasive in their region of interest. Other evidence supports the contention that propagule pressure created by extensive plantings will exacerbate invasions, a scenario expected with large-scale biofuel crop cultivation. Proactive measures, such as risk assessments, should be employed to predict invasion risks, which could then be mitigated via implementation of appropriate planting policies and adoption of the “polluter-pays” principle. PMID:19384412

  13. Advancements in the quantification of the crystal structure of ZnS materials produced in variable gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castillo, Martin; Hales, Matthew; Lynn, David; Steinberg, Theodore

    SHS allows for the rapid creation of difficult to produce intermetallic materials, biomedical materials, and cermet materials by taking advantage of internal chemical energy present in the mixture. This manufacturing method utilities a rapid exothermic process involving high energy and nolinearity coupled with a high cooling rate to produce materials formed outside of normal equilibrium boundaries thus possessing unique properties. The elimination of gravity during this process allows capillary forces to dominate mixing of the reactants which results in a superior and enhanced homogeneity in the product materials formed The self-propagating high temperature synthesis (SHS) of ZnS type materials have been previously conducted in reduced gravity and normal gravity. It has been claimed in literature that a near perfect phases of ZnS wurtzite was produced. Although, the SHS of this material is possible at high pressures, there has been no quantitative information on the actual crystal structures and lattice parameters that were produced in this work. Utilizing this process with ZnS doped with Cu, Mn, or rare earth metals such as Eu and Pr leads to electroluminescence properties, thus making this an attractive electroluminescent material. The work described here will revisit the synthesis of ZnS via high pressure SHS and will re-examine the work performed in both normal gravity and in reduced gravity within the Queensland University of Technology Drop Tower Facility. Quantifications in the lattice parameters, crystal structures, and phases produced are presented to further explore the unique structure-property performance relationships produced from the SHS of ZnS materials.

  14. The market and environmental effects of alternative biofuel policies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drabik, Dusan

    This dissertation analyzes market and environmental effects of alternative U.S. and Brazilian biofuel policies. Although we focus on corn- and sugarcane-ethanol, the advanced analytical framework can easily be extended to other biofuels and biofuel feedstocks, such as biodiesel and soybean. The dissertation consists of three chapters. The first chapter develops an analytical framework to assess the market effects of a set of biofuel policies (including subsidies to feedstocks). U.S. corn-ethanol policies are used as an example to study the effects of biofuel policies on corn prices. We determine the 'no policy' ethanol price, analyze the implications for the 'no policy' corn price and resulting 'water' in the ethanol price premium due to the policy, and generalize the surprising interaction effects between mandates and tax credits to include ethanol and corn production subsidies. The effect of an ethanol price premium depends on the value of the ethanol co-product, the value of production subsidies, and how the world ethanol price is determined. U.S. corn-ethanol policies are shown to be a major reason for recent rises in corn prices. The ethanol policy-induced increase in corn prices is estimated to be 33 -- 46.5 percent in the period 2008 -- 2011. The second chapter seeks to answer the question of what caused the significant increase in ethanol, sugar, and sugarcane prices in Brazil in the period 2010/11 to 2011/12. We develop a general economic model of the Brazilian fuel-ethanol-sugar complex. Unlike biofuel mandates and tax exemptions elsewhere, Brazil's fuel-ethanol-sugar markets and fuel policies are unique in that each policy, in this setting, theoretically has an ambiguous impact on the market price of ethanol and hence on sugarcane and sugar prices. Our empirical analysis shows that there are two policies that seemingly help the ethanol industry but do otherwise in reality: a low gasoline tax and a high anhydrous tax exemption result in lower ethanol

  15. Algae Biofuels Co-Location Assessment Tool for Canada

    SciTech Connect

    2011-11-29

    The Algae Biofuels Co-Location Assessment Tool for Canada uses chemical stoichiometry to estimate Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Carbon atom availability from waste water and carbon dioxide emissions streams, and requirements for those same elements to produce a unit of algae. This information is then combined to find limiting nutrient information and estimate potential productivity associated with waste water and carbon dioxide sources. Output is visualized in terms of distributions or spatial locations. Distances are calculated between points of interest in the model using the great circle distance equation, and the smallest distances found by an exhaustive search and sort algorithm.

  16. Alternative biofuel production in non-natural hosts.

    PubMed

    McEwen, Jordan T; Atsumi, Shota

    2012-10-01

    Global energy and environmental concerns have stimulated increased efforts in synthesizing petroleum-derived products from renewable resources. Biological production of metabolites for fuel is increasingly becoming a feasible, renewable, environmentally sound alternative. However, many of these chemicals are not highly produced in any known native organism. Here we review the current progress of modifying microorganisms with heterogeneous elements for the production of biofuels. This strategy has been extensively employed in a variety of hosts for the development of production of various alcohols, fatty acids, alkenes and alkanes.

  17. A miniature biofuel cell operating in a physiological buffer.

    PubMed

    Mano, Nicolas; Mao, Fei; Heller, Adam

    2002-11-06

    A glucose-O2 biofuel cell, consisting only of two electrocatalyst coated 7-mum diameter, 2-cm long carbon fibers is reported. The cell operated continuously at 0.52 V at 37 degrees C in a physiological buffer solution for a week, producing 1.9 muW during the first and 1.0 muW during the last day, generating in the period 0.9 J of electrical energy while passing a charge of 1.7 C. If a similar dimension zinc fiber were utilized in a battery at 100% current efficiency, only 0.016 C would have been generated.

  18. Biofuels and Food Security. A report by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition

    SciTech Connect

    2013-06-15

    In October 2011, the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) recommended a ''review of biofuels policies -- where applicable and if necessary -- according to balanced science-based assessments of the opportunities and challenges that they may represent for food security so that biofuels can be produced where it is socially, economically and environmentally feasible to do so''. In line with this, the CFS requested the HLPE (High Level Panel of Experts) to ''conduct a science-based comparative literature analysis taking into consideration the work produced by the FAO and Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP) of the positive and negative effects of biofuels on food security''. Recommendations from the report include the following. Food security policies and biofuel policies cannot be separated because they mutually interact. Food security and the right to food should be priority concerns in the design of any biofuel policy. Governments should adopt the principle: biofuels shall not compromise food security and therefore should be managed so that food access or the resources necessary for the production of food, principally land, biodiversity, water and labour are not put at risk. The CFS should undertake action to ensure that this principle is operable in the very varied contexts in which all countries find themselves. Given the trend to the emergence of a global biofuels market, and a context moving from policy-driven to market-driven biofuels, there is an urgent need for close and pro-active coordination of food security, biofuel/bioenergy policies and energy policies, at national and international levels, as well as rapid response mechanisms in case of crisis. There is also an urgent need to create an enabling, responsible climate for food and non-food investments compatible with food security. The HLPE recommends that governments adopt a coordinated food security and energy security strategy, which would require articulation around the following five axes

  19. Essays concerning the cellulosic biofuel industry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosburg, Alicia Sue

    Despite market-based incentives and mandated production, the U.S. cellulosic biofuel industry has been slow to develop. This dissertation explores the economic factors that have limited industry development along with important economic tradeoffs that will be encountered with commercial-scale production. The first essay provides an overview of the policies, potential, and challenges of the biofuel industry, with a focus on cellulosic biofuel. The second essay considers the economics of cellulosic biofuel production. Breakeven models of the local feedstock supply system and biofuel refining process are constructed to develop the Biofuel Breakeven (BioBreak) program, a stochastic, Excel-based program that evaluates the feasibility of local biofuel and biomass markets under various policy and market scenarios. An application of the BioBreak program is presented using expected market conditions for 14 local cellulosic biofuel markets that vary by feedstock and location. The economic costs of biofuel production identified from the BioBreak application are higher than frequently anticipated and raise questions about the potential of cellulosic ethanol as a sustainable and economical substitute for conventional fuels. Program results also are extended using life-cycle analysis to evaluate the cost of reducing GHG emissions by substituting cellulosic ethanol for conventional fuel. The third essay takes a closer look at the economic trade-offs within the biorefinery industry and feedstock production processes. A long-run biomass production through bioenergy conversion cost model is developed that incorporates heterogeneity of biomass suppliers within and between local markets. The model builds on previous literature by treating biomass as a non-commoditized feedstock and relaxes the common assumption of fixed biomass density and price within local markets. An empirical application is provided for switchgrass-based ethanol production within U.S. crop reporting districts

  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…