Science.gov

Sample records for algae biofuel production

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

    PubMed

    Menetrez, Marc Y

    2012-07-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Performance assessment of biofuel production in an algae-based remediation system.

    PubMed

    Wuang, Shy Chyi; Luo, Yanpei Darren; Wang, Simai; Chua, Pei Qiang Danny; Tee, Pok Siang

    2016-03-10

    The production of biofuel from microalgae has been an area of great interest as microalgae have higher productivities than land plants, and certain species have high lipid constituents which are the major feedstock for biodiesel production. One way to enhance the economic feasibility of algal-based biofuel is to couple it with waste remediation. This study investigated the technical feasibility of cultivating Chlorella sp. and Nannochloropsis sp. with fish water for biofuel production. The remediation potential of Chlorella sp. was found to be higher but the lipid yield is lower, when compared to Nannochloropsis sp. Lipid productivities were found to be similar for both types of algae at 1.1-1.3mgL(-1)h(-1). The fatty acid profiles of the obtained lipids were found suitable for biofuel production, and the calorific values were high at 30-32MJ/kg. The results provide insights into lipid production in Chlorella sp. and Nannochloropsis sp., when coupled with waste remediation. PMID:26808868

  6. The Selective Use of Hypochlorite to Prevent Pond Crashes for Algae-Biofuel Production.

    PubMed

    Park, Sichoon; Van Ginkel, Steven W; Pradeep, Priya; Igou, Thomas; Yi, Christine; Snell, Terry; Chen, Yongsheng

    2016-01-01

    Although algae-biofuels have many advantages including high areal productivity, algae can be preyed upon by amoebas, protozoans, ciliates, and rotifers, particularly in open pond systems. Thus, these higher organisms need to be controlled. In this study, Chlorella kessleri was used as the algal culture and Brachionus calyciflorus as the source of predation. The effect of sodium hypochlorite (bleach) was tested with the goal of totally inhibiting the rotifer while causing minor inhibition to the alga. The 24-hr LC(50) for B. calyciflorus in spring water was 0.198 mg Cl/L while the 24-hr LC(50) for C. kessleri was 0.321 mg Cl/L. However, chlorine dissipates rapidly as the algae serves as reductant. Results showed a chlorine dosage between 0.45 to 0.6 mg Cl/L and a dosing interval of two hours created the necessary chlorine concentrations to inhibit predation while letting the algae grow; thus giving algae farmers a tool to prevent pond crashes. PMID:26803029

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-02-19

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

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. AlgaeSim: a model for integrated algal biofuel production and wastewater treatment.

    PubMed

    Drexler, Ivy L C; Joustra, Caryssa; Prieto, Ana; Bair, Robert; Yeh, Daniel H

    2014-02-01

    AlgaeSim, a dynamic multiple-systems (C, N, P) mass balance model, was developed to explore the potential for algae biomass production from wastewater by coupling two photobioreactors into the main treatment train at a municipal wastewater resource recovery facility (WRRF) in Tampa, Florida. The scoping model examined the synergy between algae cultivation and wastewater treatment through algal growth and substrate removal kinetics, as well as through macroeconomic analyses of biomass conversion to bioproducts. Sensitivity analyses showed that biomass production is strongly dependent on Monod variables and harvesting regime, with sensitivity changing with growth phase. Profitability was sensitive to processing costs and market prices of products. Under scenarios based on current market conditions and typical algae production, AlgaeSim shows that a WRRF can potentially generate significant profit if algae are processed for biodiesel, biogas, or fertilizer. Wastewater resource recovery facilities could similarly save on operating costs resulting from the reduction in aeration (for nitrification) and chemicals (for denitrification). PMID:24645547

  12. 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. PMID:25181698

  13. Perspective assessment of algae-based biofuel production using recycled nutrient sources: the case of Japan.

    PubMed

    Wang, Tunyen; Yabar, Helmut; Higano, Yoshiro

    2013-01-01

    In this study, an upper limit in the solar energy conversion efficiency which can be translated to a maximum potential algal yield of a large-scale culture is calculated based on the algal productivity model in which light and nutrient are made the growth rate limiting factors, and taking the design characteristics of the cultivation system into account. Our results indicate that for the production of low-cost biodiesel within the limits of the wastewater quality standards, that the culturing of high lipid content algae within a raceway pond would provide an appropriate solution for manufacturing biodiesel from algae. However, due to inefficient sunlight utilization and due to the large amount of fertilizer required in raceway ponds, a greater effluent recycle rate would have to be implemented to reduce the amount of fertilizer discharge to meet the wastewater quality standards and to maximize the attainable productivity of algal biomass. PMID:23228517

  14. Fuel from wastewater : harnessing a potential energy source in Canada through the co-location of algae biofuel production to sources of effluent, heat and CO2.

    SciTech Connect

    Passell, Howard David; Whalen, Jake; Pienkos, Philip P.; O'Leary, Stephen J.; Roach, Jesse Dillon; Moreland, Barbara D.; Klise, Geoffrey Taylor

    2010-12-01

    Sandia National Laboratories is collaborating with the National Research Council (NRC) Canada and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to develop a decision-support model that will evaluate the tradeoffs associated with high-latitude algae biofuel production co-located with wastewater, CO2, and waste heat. This project helps Canada meet its goal of diversifying fuel sources with algae-based biofuels. The biofuel production will provide a wide range of benefits including wastewater treatment, CO2 reuse and reduction of demand for fossil-based fuels. The higher energy density in algae-based fuels gives them an advantage over crop-based biofuels as the 'production' footprint required is much less, resulting in less water consumed and little, if any conversion of agricultural land from food to fuel production. Besides being a potential source for liquid fuel, algae have the potential to be used to generate electricity through the burning of dried biomass, or anaerobically digested to generate methane for electricity production. Co-locating algae production with waste streams may be crucial for making algae an economically valuable fuel source, and will certainly improve its overall ecological sustainability. The modeling process will address these questions, and others that are important to the use of water for energy production: What are the locations where all resources are co-located, and what volumes of algal biomass and oil can be produced there? In locations where co-location does not occur, what resources should be transported, and how far, while maintaining economic viability? This work is being funded through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Biomass Program Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and is part of a larger collaborative effort that includes sampling, strain isolation, strain characterization and cultivation being performed by the NREL and Canada's NRC. Results from the NREL / NRC collaboration including specific

  15. 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...

  16. Algae Biofuels Co-Location Assessment Tool

    2013-09-18

    ABCLAT was built to help any model user with spatially explicit Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Carbon Dioxide nutrient flux information, and solar resource information evaluate algal cultivation potential. Initial applications of this modeling framework include Algae Biofuels Co-Location Assessment Tool Canada and Australia. The Canadian application was copyrighted November 29th 2011 as the Algae Biofuels Co-Location Assessment Tool for Canada. This copyright assertion is for the general framework from which any country or region with themore » requisite data could create a regionally specific application. The ABCLAT model framework developed by SNL looks at the growth potential in a given region as a function of available nutrients from wastewater and other sources, carbon dioxide from power plants, available solar potential, and if available, land cover and use information. The model framework evaluates the biomass potential, fixed carbon dioxide, potential algal biocrude and required land area for nutrient sources. ABCLAT is built with an object-oriented software program that can provide an easy to use interface for exploring questions related to aigal biomass production.« less

  17. Algae Biofuels Co-Location Assessment Tool

    SciTech Connect

    2013-09-18

    ABCLAT was built to help any model user with spatially explicit Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Carbon Dioxide nutrient flux information, and solar resource information evaluate algal cultivation potential. Initial applications of this modeling framework include Algae Biofuels Co-Location Assessment Tool Canada and Australia. The Canadian application was copyrighted November 29th 2011 as the Algae Biofuels Co-Location Assessment Tool for Canada. This copyright assertion is for the general framework from which any country or region with the requisite data could create a regionally specific application. The ABCLAT model framework developed by SNL looks at the growth potential in a given region as a function of available nutrients from wastewater and other sources, carbon dioxide from power plants, available solar potential, and if available, land cover and use information. The model framework evaluates the biomass potential, fixed carbon dioxide, potential algal biocrude and required land area for nutrient sources. ABCLAT is built with an object-oriented software program that can provide an easy to use interface for exploring questions related to aigal biomass production.

  18. Fuel from Wastewater - Harnessing a Potential Energy Source in Canada through the Co-location of Algae Biofuel Production to Sources of Effluent, Heat and CO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klise, G. T.; Roach, J. D.; Passell, H. D.; Moreland, B. D.; O'Leary, S. J.; Pienkos, P. T.; Whalen, J.

    2010-12-01

    Sandia National Laboratories is collaborating with the National Research Council (NRC) Canada and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to develop a decision-support model that will evaluate the tradeoffs associated with high-latitude algae biofuel production co-located with wastewater, CO2, and waste heat. This project helps Canada meet its goal of diversifying fuel sources with algae-based biofuels. The biofuel production will provide a wide range of benefits including wastewater treatment, CO2 reuse and reduction of demand for fossil-based fuels. The higher energy density in algae-based fuels gives them an advantage over crop-based biofuels as the “production” footprint required is much less, resulting in less water consumed and little, if any conversion of agricultural land from food to fuel production. Besides being a potential source for liquid fuel, algae have the potential to be used to generate electricity through the burning of dried biomass, or anaerobically digested to generate methane for electricity production. Co-locating algae production with waste streams may be crucial for making algae an economically valuable fuel source, and will certainly improve its overall ecological sustainability. The modeling process will address these questions, and others that are important to the use of water for energy production: What are the locations where all resources are co-located, and what volumes of algal biomass and oil can be produced there? In locations where co-location does not occur, what resources should be transported, and how far, while maintaining economic viability? This work is being funded through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Biomass Program Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and is part of a larger collaborative effort that includes sampling, strain isolation, strain characterization and cultivation being performed by the NREL and Canada’s NRC. Results from the NREL / NRC collaboration including specific

  19. Offshore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae (OMEGA: A System for Biofuel Production, Wastewater Treatment, and CO2 Sequestration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trent, Jonathan; Embaye, Tsegereda; Buckwalter, Patrick; Richardson, Tra-My; Kagawa, Hiromi; Reinsch, Sigrid; Martis, Mary

    2010-01-01

    We are developing Offshore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae (OMEGA). OMEGAs are closed photo-bioreactors constructed of flexible, inexpensive, and durable plastic with small sections of semi-permeable membranes for gas exchange and forward osmosis (FO). Each OMEGA modules is filled with municipal wastewater and provided with CO2 from coastal CO2 sources. The OMEGA modules float just below the surface, and the surrounding seawater provides structural support, temperature control, and mixing for the freshwater algae cultures inside. The salinit7 gradient from inside to outside drives forward osmosis through the patches of FO membranes. This concentrates nutrients in the wastewater, which enhances algal growth, and slowly dewaters the algae, which facilitates harvesting. Thy concentrated algal biomass is harvested for producing biofuels and fertilizer. OMEGA system cleans the wastewater released into the surrounding coastal waters and functions as a carbon sequestration system.

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:25717470

  2. 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.

  3. Algae Biofuels Co-Location Assessment Tool for Canada

    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 betweenmore » points of interest in the model using the great circle distance equation, and the smallest distances found by an exhaustive search and sort algorithm.« less

  4. Importance of algae as a potential source of biofuel.

    PubMed

    Singh, A K; Singh, M P

    2014-01-01

    Algae have a great potential source of biofuels and also have unique importance to reduce gaseous emissions, greenhouse gases, climatic changes, global warming receding of glaciers, rising sea levels and loss of biodiversity. The microalgae, like Scenedesmus obliquus, Neochloris oleabundans, Nannochloropsis sp., Chlorella emersonii, and Dunaliella tertiolecta have high oil content. Among the known algae, Scenedesmus obliquus is one of the most potential sources for biodiesel as it has adequate fatty acid (linolenic acid) and other polyunsaturated fatty acids. Bio—ethanol is already in the market of United States of America and Europe as an additive in gasoline. Bio—hydrogen is the cleanest biofuel and extensive efforts are going on to bring it to market at economical price. This review highlights recent development and progress in the field of algae as a potential source of biofuel. PMID:25535720

  5. Cyanobacterial biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Machado, Iara M P; Atsumi, Shota

    2012-11-30

    The development of new technologies for production of alternative fuel became necessary to circumvent finite petroleum resources, associate rising costs, and environmental concerns due to rising fossil fuel 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. PMID:22446641

  6. Multispectral sorter for rapid, nondestructive optical bioprospecting for algae biofuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Ryan W.; Wu, Hauwen; Singh, Seema

    2014-03-01

    Microalgal biotechnology is a nascent yet burgeoning field for developing the next generation of sustainable feeds, fuels, and specialty chemicals. Among the issues facing the algae bioproducts industry, the lack of efficient means of cultivar screening and phenotype selection represents a critical hurdle for rapid development and diversification. To address this challenge, we have developed a multi-modal and label-free optical tool which simultaneously assesses the photosynthetic productivity and biochemical composition of single microalgal cells, and provides a means for actively sorting attractive specimen (bioprospecting) based on the spectral readout. The device integrates laser-trapping micro-Raman spectroscopy and pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorometry of microalgal cells in a flow cell. Specifically, the instrument employs a dual-purpose epi-configured IR laser for single-cell trapping and Raman spectroscopy, and a high-intensity VISNIR trans-illumination LED bank for detection of variable photosystem II (PSII) fluorescence. Micro-Raman scatter of single algae cells revealed vibrational modes corresponding to the speciation and total lipid content, as well as other major biochemical pools, including total protein, carbohydrates, and carotenoids. PSII fluorescence dynamics provide a quantitative estimate of maximum photosynthetic efficiency and regulated and non-regulated non-photochemical quenching processes. The combined spectroscopic readouts provide a set of metrics for subsequent optical sorting of the cells by the laser trap for desirable biomass properties, e.g. the combination of high lipid productivity and high photosynthetic yield. Thus the device provides means for rapid evaluation and sorting of algae cultures and environmental samples for biofuels development.

  7. Landfill leachate--a water and nutrient resource for algae-based biofuels.

    PubMed

    Edmundson, Scott J; Wilkie, Ann C

    2013-01-01

    There is a pressing need for sustainable renewable fuels that do not negatively impact food and water resources. Algae have great potential for the production of renewable biofuels but require significant water and fertilizer resources for large-scale production. Municipal solid waste (MSW) landfill leachate (LL) was evaluated as a cultivation medium to reduce both water and elemental fertilizer demands of algae cultivation. Daily growth rate and cell yield of two isolated species of algae (Scenedesmus cf. rubescens and Chlorella cf. ellipsoidea) were cultivated in MSW LL and compared with Bold's Basal Medium (BBM). Results suggest that LL can be used as a nutrient resource and medium for the cultivation of algae biomass. S. cf. rubescens grew well in 100% LL, when pH was regulated, with a mean growth rate and cell yield 91.2% and 92.8% of those observed in BBM, respectively. S. cf. rubescens was more adaptable than C. cf. ellipsoidea to the LL tested. The LL used in this study supported a maximum volumetric productivity of 0.55 g/L/day of S. cf. rubescens biomass. The leachate had sufficient nitrogen to supply 17.8 g/L of algae biomass, but was limited by total phosphorus. Cultivation of algae on LL offsets both water and fertilizer consumption, reducing the environmental footprint and increasing the potential sustainability of algae-based biofuels. PMID:24350438

  8. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  10. 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...

  11. Microcontact imprinting of algae on poly(ethylene-co-vinyl alcohol) for biofuel cells.

    PubMed

    Chen, Wen-Janq; Lee, Mei-Hwa; Thomas, James L; Lu, Po-Hsun; Li, Ming-Huan; Lin, Hung-Yin

    2013-11-13

    Hydrogen can be produced using microorganisms (e.g., bacteria and algae); algal production has the additional ecological benefit of carbon dioxide fixation. The conversion of hydrogen to electricity via fuel cells may be more efficient compared to other energy sources of electricity. However, the anode of biofuel cells requires the immobilization of microorganisms or enzymes. In this work, poly(ethylene-co-vinyl alcohol) (EVAL), was coated on the electrode, and green algae was microcontact imprinted onto the EVAL film. The readsorption of algae onto algae-imprinted EVAL thin films was compared to determine the ethylene content that gave highest imprinting effectiveness and algal binding. Scanning electron microscopy and fluorescence spectrometry were employed to characterize the surface morphology, recognition capacity, and reusability of the algae-imprinted cavities. The recognition of an individual algal cell by binding to the imprinted cavities was directly observed by video microscopy. Finally, the power and current density of the algal biofuel cell using the algae-imprinted EVAL-coated electrode were measured at about 2-fold higher than electrode sputtered platinum on poly(ethylene terephthalate). PMID:24095224

  12. 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. PMID:27023246

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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

  14. 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).

  15. 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

  16. Hydrothermal liquefaction of municipal wastewater cultivated algae: Increasing overall sustainability and value streams of algal biofuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, Griffin William

    The forefront of the 21st century presents ongoing challenges in economics, energy, and environmental remediation, directly correlating with priorities for U.S. national security. Displacing petroleum-derived fuels with clean, affordable renewable fuels represents a solution to increase energy independence while stimulating economic growth and reducing carbon-based emissions. The U.S. government embodied this goal by passing the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) in 2007, mandating 36 billion gallons of annual biofuel production by 2022. Algae possess potential to support EISA goals and have been studied for the past 30-50 years as an energy source due to its fast growth rates, noncompetitive nature to food markets, and ability to grow using nutrient waste streams. Algae biofuels have been identified by the National Research Council to have significant sustainability concerns involving water, nutrient, and land use. Utilizing municipal wastewater to cultivate algae provides both water and nutrients needed for growth, partially alleviating these concerns. This dissertation demonstrates a pathway for algae biofuels which increases both sustainability and production of high-value products. Algae are cultivated in pilot-scale open ponds located at the Lawrence Wastewater Treatment Plant (Lawrence, KS) using solely effluent from the secondary clarifier, prior to disinfection and discharge, as both water and nutrient sources. Open ponds were self-inoculated by wastewater effluent and produced a mixed-species culture of various microalgae and macroalgae. Algae cultivation provided further wastewater treatment, removing both nitrogen and phosphorus, which have devastating pollution effects when discharged to natural watersheds, especially in large draining watersheds like the Gulf Coast. Algae demonstrated significant removal of other trace metals such as iron, manganese, barium, aluminum, and zinc. Calcium did not achieve high removal rate but did present a

  17. Hydrothermal liquefaction of municipal wastewater cultivated algae: Increasing overall sustainability and value streams of algal biofuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, Griffin William

    The forefront of the 21st century presents ongoing challenges in economics, energy, and environmental remediation, directly correlating with priorities for U.S. national security. Displacing petroleum-derived fuels with clean, affordable renewable fuels represents a solution to increase energy independence while stimulating economic growth and reducing carbon-based emissions. The U.S. government embodied this goal by passing the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) in 2007, mandating 36 billion gallons of annual biofuel production by 2022. Algae possess potential to support EISA goals and have been studied for the past 30-50 years as an energy source due to its fast growth rates, noncompetitive nature to food markets, and ability to grow using nutrient waste streams. Algae biofuels have been identified by the National Research Council to have significant sustainability concerns involving water, nutrient, and land use. Utilizing municipal wastewater to cultivate algae provides both water and nutrients needed for growth, partially alleviating these concerns. This dissertation demonstrates a pathway for algae biofuels which increases both sustainability and production of high-value products. Algae are cultivated in pilot-scale open ponds located at the Lawrence Wastewater Treatment Plant (Lawrence, KS) using solely effluent from the secondary clarifier, prior to disinfection and discharge, as both water and nutrient sources. Open ponds were self-inoculated by wastewater effluent and produced a mixed-species culture of various microalgae and macroalgae. Algae cultivation provided further wastewater treatment, removing both nitrogen and phosphorus, which have devastating pollution effects when discharged to natural watersheds, especially in large draining watersheds like the Gulf Coast. Algae demonstrated significant removal of other trace metals such as iron, manganese, barium, aluminum, and zinc. Calcium did not achieve high removal rate but did present a

  18. Siting algae cultivation facilities for biofuel production in the United States: trade-offs between growth rate, site constructability, water availability, and infrastructure

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-02-21

    Locating sites for new algae cultivation facilities is a complex task. The climate must support high growth rates, and cultivation ponds require appropriate land and water resources as well as key utility and transportation infrastructure. We employ our spatiotemporal Biomass Assessment Tool (BAT) to select promising locations based on the open-pond cultivation of Arthrospira sp. and a strain of the order Desmidiales. 64,000 potential sites across the southern United States were evaluated. We progressively apply a range of screening criteria and track their impact on the number of selected sites, geographic location, and biomass productivity. Both strains demonstrate maximum productivity along the Gulf of Mexico coast, with the highest values on the Florida peninsula. In contrast, sites meeting all selection criteria for Arthrospira were located along the southern coast of Texas and for Desmidiales were located in Louisiana and southern Arkansas. Site selection was driven mainly by the lack of oil pipeline access in Florida and elevated groundwater salinity in southern Texas. The requirement for low salinity freshwater (<400 mg L-1) constrained Desmidiales locations; siting flexibility is greater for salt-tolerant species such as Arthrospira. Combined siting factors can result in significant departures from regions of maximum productivity but are within the expected range of site-specific process improvements.

  19. Siting algae cultivation facilities for biofuel production in the United States: trade-offs between growth rate, site constructability, water availability, and infrastructure.

    PubMed

    Venteris, Erik R; McBride, Robert C; Coleman, Andre M; Skaggs, Richard L; Wigmosta, Mark S

    2014-03-18

    Locating sites for new algae cultivation facilities is a complex task. The climate must support high growth rates, and cultivation ponds require appropriate land and water resources, as well as transportation and utility infrastructure. We employ our spatiotemporal Biomass Assessment Tool (BAT) to select promising locations based on the open-pond cultivation of Arthrospira sp. and strains of the order Sphaeropleales. A total of 64,000 sites across the southern United States were evaluated. We progressively applied screening criteria and tracked their impact on the number of potential sites, geographic location, and biomass productivity. Both strains demonstrated maximum productivity along the Gulf of Mexico coast, with the highest values on the Florida peninsula. In contrast, sites meeting all selection criteria for Arthrospira were located along the southern coast of Texas and for Sphaeropleales were located in Louisiana and southern Arkansas. Results were driven mainly by the lack of oil pipeline access in Florida and elevated groundwater salinity in southern Texas. The requirement for low-salinity freshwater (<400 mg L(-1)) constrained Sphaeropleales locations; siting flexibility is greater for salt-tolerant species like Arthrospira. Combined siting factors can result in significant departures from regions of maximum productivity but are within the expected range of site-specific process improvements. PMID:24559117

  20. A National-Scale Comparison of Resource and Nutrient Demands for Algae-Based Biofuel Production by Lipid Extraction and Hydrothermal Liquefaction

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-03-01

    Algae’s high productivity provides potential resource advantages over other fuel crops. However, demand for land, water, and nutrients must be minimized to avoid impacts on food production. We apply our national-scale, open-pond, growth and resource models to assess several biomass to fuel technological pathways based on Chlorella. We compare resource demands between hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) and lipid extraction (LE) to meet 1.89E+10 and 7.95E+10 L yr-1 biofuel targets. We estimate nutrient demands where post-fuel biomass is consumed as co-products and recycling by anaerobic digestion (AD) or catalytic hydrothermal gasification (CHG). Sites are selected through prioritization based on fuel value relative to a set of site-specific resource costs. The highest priority sites are located along the Gulf of Mexico coast, but potential sites exist nationwide. We find that HTL reduces land and freshwater consumption by up to 46% and saline groundwater by around 70%. Without recycling, nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) demand is reduced 33%, but is large relative to current U.S. agricultural consumption. The most nutrient-efficient pathways are LE+CHG for N and HTL+CHG for P (by 42%). Resource gains for HTL+CHG are offset by a 344% increase in N consumption relative to LE+CHG (with potential for further recycling). Nutrient recycling is essential to effective use of alternative nutrient sources. Modeling of utilization availability and costs remains, but we find that for HTL+CHG at the 7.95E+10 L yr-1 production target, municipal sources can offset 17% of N and 40% of P demand and animal manures can generally meet demands.

  1. 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

  2. Toward nitrogen neutral biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Huo, Yi-Xin; Wernick, David G; Liao, James C

    2012-06-01

    Environmental concerns and an increasing global energy demand have spurred scientific research and political action to deliver large-scale production of liquid biofuels. Current biofuel processes and developing approaches have focused on closing the carbon cycle by biological fixation of atmospheric carbon dioxide and conversion of biomass to fuels. To date, these processes have relied on fertilizer produced by the energy-intensive Haber-Bosch process, and have not addressed the global nitrogen cycle and its environmental implications. Recent developments to convert protein to fuel and ammonia may begin to address these problems. In this scheme, recycling ammonia to either plant or algal feedstocks reduces the demand for synthetic fertilizer supplementation. Further development of this technology will realize its advantages of high carbon fixation rates, inexpensive and simple feedstock processing, in addition to reduced fertilizer requirements. PMID:22054644

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Label-free hyperspectral nonlinear optical microscopy of the biofuel micro-algae Haematococcus Pluvialis

    PubMed Central

    Barlow, Aaron M.; Slepkov, Aaron D.; Ridsdale, Andrew; McGinn, Patrick J.; Stolow, Albert

    2014-01-01

    We consider multi-modal four-wave mixing microscopies to be ideal tools for the in vivo study of carotenoid distributions within the important biofuel microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis. We show that hyperspectral coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy generates non-invasive, quantitative real-time concentrations maps of intracellular carotenoid distributions in live algae. PMID:25360358

  6. Label-free hyperspectral nonlinear optical microscopy of the biofuel micro-algae Haematococcus Pluvialis.

    PubMed

    Barlow, Aaron M; Slepkov, Aaron D; Ridsdale, Andrew; McGinn, Patrick J; Stolow, Albert

    2014-10-01

    We consider multi-modal four-wave mixing microscopies to be ideal tools for the in vivo study of carotenoid distributions within the important biofuel microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis. We show that hyperspectral coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy generates non-invasive, quantitative real-time concentrations maps of intracellular carotenoid distributions in live algae. PMID:25360358

  7. Algae as a Feedstock for Biofuels: An Assessment of the State of Technology and Opportunities. Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Sikes, K.; McGill, R.; Van Walwijk, M.

    2011-05-15

    cycle before it is released into the atmosphere 6) Ability to be cultivated on land that that is unsuitable for agriculture, so it does not directly compete with farmland Given microalgae's high lipid content and rapid growth rates, maximum oil yields of 20,000--115,000 L/ha/yr (2,140-13,360 gal/ac/yr) have been estimated. xiv 7) Ability to thrive in seawater, wastewater, or other non-potable sources, so it does not directly compete with fresh water resources. In fact, wastewater can provide algae with some essential nutrients, such as nitrogen, so algae may contribute to cleaning up wastewater streams. 8) Non-toxic and biodegradable 9) Co-products that may present high value in other markets, including nutriceuticals and cosmetics Given microalgae's high lipid content and rapid growth rate, maximum oil yields of 20,000 -- 115,000 liters per hectare per year (L/ha/yr) (2,140 -- 13,360 gallons per acre per year) (Baldos, 2009; Wijffels, 2008) have been estimated, which is considerably higher than any other competing feedstock. Although algae species collectively present many strong advantages (although one specific species is unlikely to possess all of the advantages listed), a sustainable algal biofuel industry is at least one or two decades away from maturity, and no commercial scale operations currently exist. Several barriers must first be overcome before algal biofuels can compete with traditional petroleum-based fuels. Production chains with net energy output need to be identified, and continued R&D is needed to reduce the cost in all segments of the production spectrum (e.g., harvesting, dewatering, extracting of oil). Further research to identify strains with high production rates and/or oil yields may also improve competitiveness within the market. Initiatives to seamlessly integrate algal biofuels into the existing transportation infrastructure may increase their convenience level.

  8. 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

  9. Environmental indicators for sustainable production of algal biofuels

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Efroymson, Rebecca A.; Dale, Virginia H.

    2014-10-01

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

  10. Environmental indicators for sustainable production of algal biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Efroymson, Rebecca A.; Dale, Virginia H.

    2014-10-01

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

  11. Method and apparatus using an active ionic liquid for algae biofuel harvest and extraction

    SciTech Connect

    Salvo, Roberto Di; Reich, Alton; Dykes, Jr., H. Waite H.; Teixeira, Rodrigo

    2012-11-06

    The invention relates to use of an active ionic liquid to dissolve algae cell walls. The ionic liquid is used to, in an energy efficient manner, dissolve and/or lyse an algae cell walls, which releases algae constituents used in the creation of energy, fuel, and/or cosmetic components. The ionic liquids include ionic salts having multiple charge centers, low, very low, and ultra low melting point ionic liquids, and combinations of ionic liquids. An algae treatment system is described, which processes wet algae in a lysing reactor, separates out algae constituent products, and optionally recovers the ionic liquid in an energy efficient manner.

  12. 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

  13. Metabolic Engineering of Microalgal Based Biofuel Production: Prospects and Challenges.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Chiranjib; Dubey, Kashyap K; Shukla, Pratyoosh

    2016-01-01

    The current scenario in renewable energy is focused on development of alternate and sustainable energy sources, amongst which microalgae stands as one of the promising feedstock for biofuel production. It is well known that microalgae generate much larger amounts of biofuels in a shorter time than other sources based on plant seeds. However, the greatest challenge in a transition to algae-based biofuel production is the various other complications involved in microalgal cultivation, its harvesting, concentration, drying and lipid extraction. Several green microalgae accumulate lipids, especially triacylglycerols (TAGs), which are main precursors in the production of lipid. The various aspects on metabolic pathway analysis of an oleaginous microalgae i.e., Chlamydomonas reinhardtii have elucidated some novel metabolically important genes and this enhances the lipid production in this microalgae. Adding to it, various other aspects in metabolic engineering using OptFlux and effectual bioprocess design also gives an interactive snapshot of enhancing lipid production which ultimately improvises the oil yield. This article reviews the current status of microalgal based technologies for biofuel production, bioreactor process design, flux analysis and it also provides various strategies to increase lipids accumulation via metabolic engineering. PMID:27065986

  14. Metabolic Engineering of Microalgal Based Biofuel Production: Prospects and Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Banerjee, Chiranjib; Dubey, Kashyap K.; Shukla, Pratyoosh

    2016-01-01

    The current scenario in renewable energy is focused on development of alternate and sustainable energy sources, amongst which microalgae stands as one of the promising feedstock for biofuel production. It is well known that microalgae generate much larger amounts of biofuels in a shorter time than other sources based on plant seeds. However, the greatest challenge in a transition to algae-based biofuel production is the various other complications involved in microalgal cultivation, its harvesting, concentration, drying and lipid extraction. Several green microalgae accumulate lipids, especially triacylglycerols (TAGs), which are main precursors in the production of lipid. The various aspects on metabolic pathway analysis of an oleaginous microalgae i.e., Chlamydomonas reinhardtii have elucidated some novel metabolically important genes and this enhances the lipid production in this microalgae. Adding to it, various other aspects in metabolic engineering using OptFlux and effectual bioprocess design also gives an interactive snapshot of enhancing lipid production which ultimately improvises the oil yield. This article reviews the current status of microalgal based technologies for biofuel production, bioreactor process design, flux analysis and it also provides various strategies to increase lipids accumulation via metabolic engineering. PMID:27065986

  15. 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

  16. Microcontact imprinting of algae for biofuel systems: the effects of the polymer concentration.

    PubMed

    Lee, Mei-Hwa; Thomas, James L; Lai, Ming-Yuan; Shih, Ching-Ping; Lin, Hung-Yin

    2014-11-25

    Microcontact imprinting of cells often involves the deposition of a polymer solution onto a monolayer cell stamp, followed by solvent evaporation. Thus, the concentration of the polymer may play an important role in the final morphology and efficacy of the imprinted film. In this work, various concentrations of poly(ethylene-co-vinyl alcohol) (EVAL) were dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) for the microcontact imprinting of algae on an electrode. Scanning electron microscopy and fluorescence spectrometry were used to characterize the surface morphology and recognition capacity of algae to the algae-imprinted cavities. The readsorption of algae onto algae-imprinted EVAL thin films was quantified to obtain the EVAL concentration that maximized algal binding. Finally, the power and current density of an algal biofuel cell with the algae-imprinted EVAL-coated electrode were measured and found to be approximately double those of such a cell with a Pt/indium tin oxide (ITO)/poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) electrode. PMID:25356853

  17. Plant sciences and biofuels production

    SciTech Connect

    Ranney, J.W.; Cushman, J.H.

    1987-04-01

    Integrating the production of lignocellulosic energy crops with conversion into efficient biofuel pathways requires the identification and prioritization of plant qualities that affect the conversion processes. When desirable or undesirable characteristics have been identified, potential crop species must be evaluated to determine how much genetic improvement is possible while maintaining a thriving fast-growing plant. Lignin, as an example, can be important in both thermochemical and biochemical conversion systems. Lignin's chemical composition is complex and varies among species. Lignin is energetically expensive for plants to produce, and it plays an important role in plant viability. To improve biomass feedstocks, lignin may be desired in increased or decreased amounts depending on the fuel pathway involved. Changes in chemical composition may also be desirable. The lignin component of biomass feedstocks can be significantly affected, both in amount and in chemical composition, by species selection. Changing lignin content or chemical composition of a species is possible but will be more difficult, more expensive, and may affect plant growth and survival. Other biomass components are similar. Such considerations will strongly affect the choice and efficiency of breeding and bioengineering strategies. The selection of traits for improvement in energy crops is an important decision which must be made by plant scientists and investigators developing conversion technologies working as a team. 5 figs.

  18. Assessing microalgae biorefinery routes for the production of biofuels via hydrothermal liquefaction.

    PubMed

    López Barreiro, Diego; Samorì, Chiara; Terranella, Giuseppe; Hornung, Ursel; Kruse, Andrea; Prins, Wolter

    2014-12-01

    The interest in third generation biofuels from microalgae has been rising during the past years. Meanwhile, it seems not economically feasible to grow algae just for biofuels. Co-products with a higher value should be produced by extracting a particular algae fraction to improve the economics of an algae biorefinery. The present study aims at analyzing the influence of two main microalgae components (lipids and proteins) on the composition and quantity of biocrude oil obtained via hydrothermal liquefaction of two strains (Nannochloropsis gaditana and Scenedesmus almeriensis). The algae were liquefied as raw biomass, after extracting lipids and after extracting proteins in microautoclave experiments at different temperatures (300-375°C) for 5 and 15min. The results indicate that extracting the proteins from the microalgae prior to HTL may be interesting to improve the economics of the process while at the same time reducing the nitrogen content of the biocrude oil. PMID:25463806

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  20. Strain selection, biomass to biofuel conversion, and resource colocation have strong impacts on the economic performance of algae cultivation sites

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-09-16

    Decisions involving strain selection, biomass to biofuel technology, and the location of cultivation facilities can strongly influence the economic viability of an algae-based biofuel enterprise. In this contribution we summarize our past results in a new analysis to explore the relative economic impact of these design choices. We present strain-specific growth model results from two saline strains (Nannocloropsis salina, Arthrospira sp.), a fresh to brackish strain (Chlorella sp., DOE strain 1412), and a freshwater strain of the order Sphaeropleales. Biomass to biofuel conversion is compared between lipid extraction (LE) and hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) technologies. National-scale models of water, CO2 (as flue gas), land acquisition, site leveling, construction of connecting roads, and transport of HTL oil to existing refineries are used in conjunction with estimates of fuel value (from HTL) to prioritize and select from 88,692 unit farms (UF, 405 ha in pond area), a number sufficient to produce 136E+9 L yr-1 of renewable diesel (36 billion gallons yr-1, BGY). Strain selection and choice of conversion technology have large economic impacts, with differences between combinations of strains and biomass to biofuel technologies being up to $10 million dollars yr-1 UF-1. Results based on the most productive species, HTL-based fuel conversion, and resource costs show that the economic potential between geographic locations within the selection can differ by up to $4 million yr-1 UF-1, with 2.0 BGY of production possible from the most cost-effective sites. The local spatial variability in site rank is extreme, with very high and low rank sites within 10s of km of each other. Colocation with flue gas sources has a strong influence on site rank, but the most costly resource component varies from site to site. The highest rank sites are located predominantly in Florida and Texas, but most states south of 37°N latitude contain promising locations. Keywords: algae

  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. PMID:26724182

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

    PubMed

    Blaas, Harry; Kroeze, Carolien

    2014-10-15

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

  3. Impacts of Climate Change on Biofuels Production

    SciTech Connect

    Melillo, Jerry M.

    2014-04-30

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

  4. Biogas production experimental research using algae.

    PubMed

    Baltrėnas, Pranas; Misevičius, Antonas

    2015-01-01

    The current study is on the the use of macro-algae as feedstock for biogas production. Three types of macro-algae, Cladophora glomerata (CG), Chara fragilis (CF), and Spirogyra neglecta (SN), were chosen for this research. The experimental studies on biogas production were carried out with these algae in a batch bioreactor. In the bioreactor was maintained 35 ± 1°C temperature. The results showed that the most appropriate macro-algae for biogas production are Spirogyra neglecta (SN) and Cladophora glomerata (CG). The average amount of biogas obtained from the processing of SN - 0.23 m(3)/m(3)d, CG - 0.20 m(3)/m(3)d, and CF - 0.12 m(3)/m(3)d. Considering the concentration of methane obtained during the processing of SN and CG, which after eight days and until the end of the experiment exceeded 60%, it can be claimed that biogas produced using these algae is valuable. When processing CF, the concentration of methane reached the level of 50% only by the final day of the experiment, which indicates that this alga is less suitable for biogas production. PMID:25859392

  5. Comprehensive techno-economic analysis of wastewater-based algal biofuel production: A case study.

    PubMed

    Xin, Chunhua; Addy, Min M; Zhao, Jinyu; Cheng, Yanling; Cheng, Sibo; Mu, Dongyan; Liu, Yuhuan; Ding, Rijia; Chen, Paul; Ruan, Roger

    2016-07-01

    Combining algae cultivation and wastewater treatment for biofuel production is considered the feasible way for resource utilization. An updated comprehensive techno-economic analysis method that integrates resources availability into techno-economic analysis was employed to evaluate the wastewater-based algal biofuel production with the consideration of wastewater treatment improvement, greenhouse gases emissions, biofuel production costs, and coproduct utilization. An innovative approach consisting of microalgae cultivation on centrate wastewater, microalgae harvest through flocculation, solar drying of biomass, pyrolysis of biomass to bio-oil, and utilization of co-products, was analyzed and shown to yield profound positive results in comparison with others. The estimated break even selling price of biofuel ($2.23/gallon) is very close to the acceptable level. The approach would have better overall benefits and the internal rate of return would increase up to 18.7% if three critical components, namely cultivation, harvest, and downstream conversion could achieve breakthroughs. PMID:27039331

  6. A resilience perspective on biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Mu, Dongyan; Seager, Thomas P; Rao, P Suresh C; Park, Jeryang; Zhao, Fu

    2011-07-01

    The recent investment boom and collapse of the corn ethanol industry calls into question the long-term sustainability of traditional approaches to biofuel technologies. Compared with petroleum-based transportation fuels, biofuel production systems are more closely connected to complex and variable natural systems. Especially as biofeedstock production itself becomes more independent of fossil fuel-based supports, stochasticity will become an increasingly important, inherent feature of biofuel feedstock production systems. Accordingly, a fundamental change in design philosophy is necessary to ensure the long-term viability of the biofuels industry. To respond effectively to unexpected disruptions, the new approach will require systems to be designed for resilience (indicated by diversity, efficiency, cohesion, and adaptability) rather than more narrowly defined measures of efficiency. This paper addresses important concepts in the design of coupled engineering-ecological systems (resistance, resilience, adaptability, and transformability) and examines biofuel conversion technologies from a resilience perspective. Conversion technologies that can accommodate multiple feedstocks and final products are suggested to enhance the diversity and flexibility of the entire industry. PMID:21309075

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Role of Escherichia coli in Biofuel Production.

    PubMed

    Koppolu, Veerendra; Vasigala, Veneela Kr

    2016-01-01

    Increased energy consumption coupled with depleting petroleum reserves and increased greenhouse gas emissions have renewed our interest in generating fuels from renewable energy sources via microbial fermentation. Central to this problem is the choice of microorganism that catalyzes the production of fuels at high volumetric productivity and yield from cheap and abundantly available renewable energy sources. Microorganisms that are metabolically engineered to redirect renewable carbon sources into desired fuel products are contemplated as best choices to obtain high volumetric productivity and yield. Considering the availability of vast knowledge in genomic and metabolic fronts, Escherichia coli is regarded as a primary choice for the production of biofuels. Here, we reviewed the microbial production of liquid biofuels that have the potential to be used either alone or in combination with the present-day fuels. We specifically highlighted the metabolic engineering and synthetic biology approaches used to improve the production of biofuels from E. coli over the past few years. We also discussed the challenges that still exist for the biofuel production from E. coli and their possible solutions. PMID:27441002

  10. Role of Escherichia coli in Biofuel Production

    PubMed Central

    Koppolu, Veerendra; Vasigala, Veneela KR

    2016-01-01

    Increased energy consumption coupled with depleting petroleum reserves and increased greenhouse gas emissions have renewed our interest in generating fuels from renewable energy sources via microbial fermentation. Central to this problem is the choice of microorganism that catalyzes the production of fuels at high volumetric productivity and yield from cheap and abundantly available renewable energy sources. Microorganisms that are metabolically engineered to redirect renewable carbon sources into desired fuel products are contemplated as best choices to obtain high volumetric productivity and yield. Considering the availability of vast knowledge in genomic and metabolic fronts, Escherichia coli is regarded as a primary choice for the production of biofuels. Here, we reviewed the microbial production of liquid biofuels that have the potential to be used either alone or in combination with the present-day fuels. We specifically highlighted the metabolic engineering and synthetic biology approaches used to improve the production of biofuels from E. coli over the past few years. We also discussed the challenges that still exist for the biofuel production from E. coli and their possible solutions. PMID:27441002

  11. Potential of mass algae production in Kuwait

    SciTech Connect

    Prokop, A.; Fekri, M.

    1984-11-01

    The rationale for efficient light absorption by algae at a production unit is given and design details of an intensive thin-layer technology outdoor (2.11m/sup 2/) unit are presented. Data on productivity under extreme conditions were collected. Maximum productivity data are close to those reported in the literature for similar geographic areas.

  12. 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.

  13. Environmental impacts of biofuel production and use

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  14. 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. PMID:18261147

  15. 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.

  16. Use of Copper to Selectively Inhibit Brachionus calyciflorus (Predator) Growth in Chlorella kessleri (Prey) Mass Cultures for Algae Biodiesel Production.

    PubMed

    Pradeep, Vishnupriya; Van Ginkel, Steven W; Park, Sichoon; Igou, Thomas; Yi, Christine; Fu, Hao; Johnston, Rachel; Snell, Terry; Chen, Yongsheng

    2015-01-01

    A single Brachionus rotifer can consume thousands of algae cells per hour causing an algae pond to crash within days of infection. Thus, there is a great need to reduce rotifers in order for algal biofuel production to become reality. Copper can selectively inhibit rotifers in algae ponds, thereby protecting the algae crop. Differential toxicity tests were conducted to compare the copper sensitivity of a model rotifer-B. calyciflorus and an alga, C. kessleri. The rotifer LC50 was <0.1 ppm while the alga was not affected up to 5 ppm Cu(II). The low pH of the rotifer stomach may make it more sensitive to copper. However, when these cultures were combined, a copper concentration of 1.5 ppm was needed to inhibit the rotifer as the alga bound the copper, decreasing its bioavailability. Copper (X ppm) had no effect on downstream fatty acid methyl ester extraction. PMID:26404247

  17. 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. PMID:24985498

  18. Policy options to support biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Mabee, W E

    2007-01-01

    Biofuels for use in the transportation sector have been produced on a significant scale since the 1970s, using a variety of technologies. The biofuels widely available today are predominantly sugar- and starch-based bioethanol, and oilseed- and waste oil-based biodiesel, although new technologies under development may allow the use of lignocellulosic feedstocks. Measures to promote the use of biofuels include renewable fuel mandates, tax incentives, and direct funding for capital projects or fleet upgrades. This paper provides a review of the policies behind the successful establishment of the biofuel industry in countries around the world. The impact of direct funding programs and excise tax exemptions are examined using the United States as a case study. It is found that the success of five major bioethanol producing states (Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Minnesota) is closely related to the presence of funding designed to support the industry in its start-up phase, while tax exemptions on bioethanol use do not influence the development of production capacity. The study concludes that successful policy interventions can take many forms, but that success is equally dependent upon external factors, which include biomass availability, an active industry, and competitive energy prices. PMID:17846726

  19. Plant biotechnology for lignocellulosic biofuel production.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Use of Brown Algae to Demonstrate Natural Products Techniques.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Porter, Lee A.

    1985-01-01

    Background information is provided on the natural products found in marine organisms in general and the brown algae in particular. Also provided are the procedures needed to isolate D-mannitol (a primary metabolite) and cholesterol from brown algae. (JN)

  2. 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

  3. 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).

  4. Antibody Production in Plants and Green Algae.

    PubMed

    Yusibov, Vidadi; Kushnir, Natasha; Streatfield, Stephen J

    2016-04-29

    Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have a wide range of modern applications, including research, diagnostic, therapeutic, and industrial uses. Market demand for mAbs is high and continues to grow. Although mammalian systems, which currently dominate the biomanufacturing industry, produce effective and safe recombinant mAbs, they have a limited manufacturing capacity and high costs. Bacteria, yeast, and insect cell systems are highly scalable and cost effective but vary in their ability to produce appropriate posttranslationally modified mAbs. Plants and green algae are emerging as promising production platforms because of their time and cost efficiencies, scalability, lack of mammalian pathogens, and eukaryotic posttranslational protein modification machinery. So far, plant- and algae-derived mAbs have been produced predominantly as candidate therapeutics for infectious diseases and cancer. These candidates have been extensively evaluated in animal models, and some have shown efficacy in clinical trials. Here, we review ongoing efforts to advance the production of mAbs in plants and algae. PMID:26905655

  5. Development of an attached microalgal growth system for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Michael B; Wen, Zhiyou

    2010-01-01

    Algal biofuel production has gained a renewed interest in recent years but is still not economically feasible due to several limitations related to algal culture. The objective of this study is to explore a novel attached culture system for growing the alga Chlorella sp. as biodiesel feedstock, with dairy manure wastewater being used as growth medium. Among supporting materials tested for algal attachment, polystyrene foam led to a firm attachment, high biomass yield (25.65 g/m(2), dry basis), and high fatty acid yield (2.31 g/m(2)). The biomass attached on the supporting material surface was harvested by scraping; the residual colonies left on the surface served as inoculum for regrowth. The algae regrowth on the colony-established surface resulted in a higher biomass yield than that from the initial growth on fresh surface due to the downtime saved for initial algal attachment. The 10-day regrowth culture resulted in a high biodiesel production potential with a fatty acid methyl esters yield of 2.59 g/m(2) and a productivity of 0.26 g/m(-2) day(-1). The attached algal culture also removed 61-79% total nitrogen and 62-93% total phosphorus from dairy manure wastewater, depending on different culture conditions. The biomass harvested from the attached growth system (through scraping) had a water content of 93.75%, similar to that harvested from suspended culture system (through centrifugation). Collectively, the attached algal culture system with polystyrene foam as a supporting material demonstrated a good performance in terms of biomass yield, biodiesel production potential, ease to harvest biomass, and physical robustness for reuse. PMID:19636552

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  8. Genetically Engineered Materials for Biofuels Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raab, Michael

    2012-02-01

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

  9. Rapid saccharification for production of cellulosic biofuels.

    PubMed

    Lee, Dae-Seok; Wi, Seung Gon; Lee, Soo Jung; Lee, Yoon-Gyo; Kim, Yeong-Suk; Bae, Hyeun-Jong

    2014-04-01

    The economical production of biofuels is hindered by the recalcitrance of lignocellulose to processing, causing high consumption of processing enzymes and impeding hydrolysis of pretreated lignocellulosic biomass. We determined the major rate-limiting factor in the hydrolysis of popping pre-treated rice straw (PPRS) by examining cellulase adsorption to lignin and cellulose, amorphogenesis of PPRS, and re-hydrolysis. Based on the results, equivalence between enzyme loading and the open structural area of cellulose was required to significantly increase productive adsorption of cellulase and to accelerate enzymatic saccharification of PPRS. Amorphogenesis of PPRS by phosphoric acid treatment to expand open structural area of the cellulose fibers resulted in twofold higher cellulase adsorption and increased the yield of the first re-hydrolysis step from 13% to 46%. The total yield from PPRS was increased to 84% after 3h. These results provide evidence that cellulose structure is one of major effects on the enzymatic hydrolysis. PMID:24607460

  10. Re-utilization of Industrial CO2 for Algae Production Using a Phase Change Material

    SciTech Connect

    Joseph, Brian

    2013-12-31

    This is the final report of a 36-month Phase II cooperative agreement. Under this project, Touchstone Research Laboratory (Touchstone) investigated the merits of incorporating a Phase Change Material (PCM) into an open-pond algae production system that can capture and re-use the CO2 from a coal-fired flue gas source located in Wooster, OH. The primary objective of the project was to design, construct, and operate a series of open algae ponds that accept a slipstream of flue gas from a coal-fired source and convert a significant portion of the CO2 to liquid biofuels, electricity, and specialty products, while demonstrating the merits of the PCM technology. Construction of the pilot facility and shakedown of the facility in Wooster, OH, was completed during the first two years, and the focus of the last year was on operations and the cultivation of algae. During this Phase II effort a large-scale algae concentration unit from OpenAlgae was installed and utilized to continuously harvest algae from indoor raceways. An Algae Lysing Unit and Oil Recovery Unit were also received and installed. Initial parameters for lysing nanochloropsis were tested. Conditions were established that showed the lysing operation was effective at killing the algae cells. Continuous harvesting activities yielded over 200 kg algae dry weight for Ponds 1, 2 and 4. Studies were conducted to determine the effect of anaerobic digestion effluent as a nutrient source and the resulting lipid productivity of the algae. Lipid content and total fatty acids were unaffected by culture system and nutrient source, indicating that open raceway ponds fed diluted anaerobic digestion effluent can obtain similar lipid productivities to open raceway ponds using commercial nutrients. Data were also collected with respect to the performance of the PCM material on the pilot-scale raceway ponds. Parameters such as evaporative water loss, temperature differences, and growth/productivity were tracked. The pond with the

  11. Reevaluation of the global warming impacts of algae-derived biofuels to account for possible contributions of nitrous oxide.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Sarah K; Grotz, Lara S; Connelly, Elizabeth B; Colosi, Lisa M

    2016-10-01

    The environmental impacts of algae biofuels have been evaluated by life-cycle assessment (LCA); however, these analyses have overlooked nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas. A literature analysis was performed to estimate algal N2O emissions and assess the impacts of growth conditions on flux magnitudes. Nitrogen source and dissolved oxygen concentration were identified as possible key contributors; therefore, their individual and combined impacts were evaluated using bench-scale experiments. It was observed that maximum N2O emissions (77.5μg/galgae/day) occur under anoxic conditions with nitrite. Conversely, minimum emissions (6.25μg/galgae/day) occur under oxic conditions with nitrate. Aggregated N2O flux estimates were then incorporated into a LCA framework for algae biodiesel. Accounting for "low" N2O emissions mediated no significant increase (<1%) compared to existing GWP estimates; however, "high" N2O emissions mediate an increase of roughly 25%, potentially jeopardizing the anticipated economic and environmental performances of algae biofuels. PMID:27367816

  12. Next-generation biomass feedstocks for biofuel production

    PubMed Central

    Simmons, Blake A; Loque, Dominique; Blanch, Harvey W

    2008-01-01

    The development of second-generation biofuels - those that do not rely on grain crops as inputs - will require a diverse set of feedstocks that can be grown sustainably and processed cost-effectively. Here we review the outlook and challenges for meeting hoped-for production targets for such biofuels in the United States. PMID:19133109

  13. 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

  14. Downstream Processing of Synechocystis for Biofuel Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheng, Jie

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  16. Sustainable production of grain crops for biofuels

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  17. Using the GREET model to analyze algae as a feedstock for biodiesel production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tatum, Christopher

    There is a growing interest in renewable, carbon-neutral biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. A life-cycle analysis is conducted in this study to determine the viability of using algae as a feedstock for biodiesel. The method involves assessing energy use, fossil fuel use, greenhouse gas emissions, and criteria pollutant emissions using a simulation developed by Argonne National Laboratory. The energy and emissions of algae-derived biodiesel are compared to those of soybean biodiesel, corn ethanol, conventional gasoline, and low-sulfur diesel. Results show that there are sizeable greenhouse gas emission benefits attributed to the production of both types of biodiesel as compared to petroleum fuels. Energy expenditures are much larger when producing algae biodiesel than compared to the other four fuels. The alternative scenario of growing algae at a wastewater treatment plant is also evaluated and is proven to reduce fossil fuel consumption by 17%. The results suggest that producing biodiesel from algae, while not yet competitive regarding energy use, does have many benefits and is worthy of further research and development.

  18. Photobiological hydrogen production with switchable photosystem-II designer algae

    DOEpatents

    Lee, James Weifu

    2014-02-18

    A process for enhanced photobiological H.sub.2 production using transgenic alga. The process includes inducing exogenous genes in a transgenic alga by manipulating selected environmental factors. In one embodiment inducing production of an exogenous gene uncouples H.sub.2 production from existing mechanisms that would downregulate H.sub.2 production in the absence of the exogenous gene. In other embodiments inducing an exogenous gene triggers a cascade of metabolic changes that increase H.sub.2 production. In some embodiments the transgenic alga are rendered non-regenerative by inducing exogenous transgenes for proton channel polypeptides that are targeted to specific algal membranes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christiansen, Katrina Lea

    2011-12-01

    Development and extraction of energy sources, energy production and energy use have huge economic, environmental and geopolitical impacts. Increasing energy demands in tandem with reductions in fossil fuel production has led to significant investments in research into alternative forms of energy. One that is promising but yet not commercially established is the production of biofuel from algae. This research quantitatively assessed the potential of algae biofuel production by examining its cost and environmental impacts. First, two models developed by the RAND corporation were employed to assess Cost Growth defined as the ratio of actual costs to estimated costs, and Plant Performance defined as the ratio of actual production levels to design performance, of three algal biofuel production technologies. The three algal biofuel production technologies examined to open raceway ponds (ORPs), photobioreactors (PBRs), and a system that couples PBRs to ORPs (PBR-ORPs). Though these analyses lack precision due to uncertainty, the results highlight the risks associated with implementing algal biofuel systems, as all scenarios examined were predicted to have Cost Growth, ranging from 1.2 to 1.8, and Plant Performance was projected as less than 50% of design performance for all cases. Second, the Framework the Evaluation of Biomass Energy Feedstocks (FEBEF) was used to assess the cost and environmental impacts of biodiesel produced from three algal production technologies. When these results were compared with ethanol from corn and biodiesel from soybeans, biodiesel from algae produced from the different technologies were estimated to be more expensive, suffered from low energy gains, and did not result in lower greenhouse gas emissions. To identify likely routes to making algal biofuels more competitive, a third study was undertaken. In this case, FEBEF was employed to examine pinch-points (defined as the most costly, energy consuming, greenhouse gas producing processes), in

  20. Comments on the Manuscript, "Biodiesel Production from Freshwater Algae"

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A recent publication (Vijayaragahavan, K.; Hemanathan, K., Biodiesel from freshwater algae, Energy Fuels, 2009, 23(11):5448-5453) on fuel production from algae is evaluated. It is discussed herein that the fuel discussed in that paper is not biodiesel, rather it probably consists of hydrocarbons. ...

  1. An Energy-limited Model of Algal Biofuels Production: Towards the Next Generation of Advanced Biofuels

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Dunlop, Eric

    2013-01-01

    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

  2. An Energy-limited Model of Algal Biofuels Production: Towards the Next Generation of Advanced Biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Dunlop, Eric

    2013-01-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Quantitative uncertainty analysis of Life Cycle Assessment for algal biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Sills, Deborah L; Paramita, Vidia; Franke, Michael J; Johnson, Michael C; Akabas, Tal M; Greene, Charles H; Tester, Jefferson W

    2013-01-15

    As a result of algae's promise as a renewable energy feedstock, numerous studies have used Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to quantify the environmental performance of algal biofuels, yet there is no consensus of results among them. Our work, motivated by the lack of comprehensive uncertainty analysis in previous studies, uses a Monte Carlo approach to estimate ranges of expected values of LCA metrics by incorporating parameter variability with empirically specified distribution functions. Results show that large uncertainties exist at virtually all steps of the biofuel production process. Although our findings agree with a number of earlier studies on matters such as the need for wet lipid extraction, nutrients recovered from waste streams, and high energy coproducts, the ranges of reported LCA metrics show that uncertainty analysis is crucial for developing technologies, such as algal biofuels. In addition, the ranges of energy return on (energy) invested (EROI) values resulting from our analysis help explain the high variability in EROI values from earlier studies. Reporting results from LCA models as ranges, and not single values, will more reliably inform industry and policy makers on expected energetic and environmental performance of biofuels produced from microalgae. PMID:23237457

  5. Advanced biofuel production by the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  6. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    McGill, Ralph

    2008-05-15

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

  8. 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. PMID:23792822

  9. Microalgae biofuel potentials (review).

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Microalgae cultivation using an aquaculture wastewater as growth medium for biomass and biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Guo, Zhen; Liu, Yuan; Guo, Haiyan; Yan, Song; Mu, Jun

    2013-12-01

    Microalgae as a main feedstock has attracted much attention in recent years but is still not economically feasible due to high algal culture cost. The objective of this study was to develop a comprehensive eco-friendly technology for cultivating microalgae Platymonas subcordiformis using aquaculture wastewater as growth medium for biomass and biofuel production. Platymonas subcordiformis was grown in pretreated flounder aquaculture wastewaters taken from different stages. Each of wastewater contained different levels of nutrients. The biomass yield of microalgae and associated nitrogen and phosphorous removal were investigated. The results showed that algal cell density increased 8.9 times than the initial level. Platymonas subcordiformis removed nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater with an average removal efficiency of 87%-95% for nitrogen and 98%-99% for phosphorus. It was feasible to couple the removal of nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater to algal biomass and biofuel production. However, further studies are required to make this technologies economically viable for algae biofuel production. PMID:25078847

  11. The potential of C4 grasses for cellulosic biofuel production.

    PubMed

    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

  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. 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

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

    DOEpatents

    Wohlbach, Dana J.; Gasch, Audrey P.

    2015-09-29

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

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

    DOEpatents

    Wohlbach, Dana J.; Gasch, Audrey P.

    2014-08-05

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

  16. 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. PMID:20624676

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  18. Bioeconomic Sustainability of Cellulosic Biofuel Production on Marginal Lands

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gutierrez, Andrew Paul; Ponti, Luigi

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  20. Utilization of biofuel production residuals for food applications

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recent increase in biofuel production creates a sizable stockpile of its co-product – non-fermentable grain kernel components such as proteins, fibers, and lipids, in the form of Distiller’s Dried Grain with Solubles (DDGS) that has found limited uses in animal feeds. The market demand for DDGS in ...

  1. Designer proton-channel transgenic algae for photobiological hydrogen production

    DOEpatents

    Lee, James Weifu

    2011-04-26

    A designer proton-channel transgenic alga for photobiological hydrogen production that is specifically designed for production of molecular hydrogen (H.sub.2) through photosynthetic water splitting. The designer transgenic alga includes proton-conductive channels that are expressed to produce such uncoupler proteins in an amount sufficient to increase the algal H.sub.2 productivity. In one embodiment the designer proton-channel transgene is a nucleic acid construct (300) including a PCR forward primer (302), an externally inducible promoter (304), a transit targeting sequence (306), a designer proton-channel encoding sequence (308), a transcription and translation terminator (310), and a PCR reverse primer (312). In various embodiments, the designer proton-channel transgenic algae are used with a gas-separation system (500) and a gas-products-separation and utilization system (600) for photobiological H.sub.2 production.

  2. Wastewater use in algae production for generation of renewable resources: a review and preliminary results.

    PubMed

    Dalrymple, Omatoyo K; Halfhide, Trina; Udom, Innocent; Gilles, Benjamin; Wolan, John; Zhang, Qiong; Ergas, Sarina

    2013-01-01

    Microalgae feedstock production can be integrated with wastewater and industrial sources of carbon dioxide. This study reviews the literature on algae grown on wastewater and includes a preliminary analysis of algal production based on anaerobic digestion sludge centrate from the Howard F. Curren Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant (HFC AWTP) in Tampa, Florida and secondary effluent from the City of Lakeland wastewater treatment facilities in Lakeland, Florida. It was demonstrated that a mixed culture of wild algae species could successfully be grown on wastewater nutrients and potentially scaled to commercial production. Algae have demonstrated the ability to naturally colonize low-nutrient effluent water in a wetland treatment system utilized by the City of Lakeland. The results from these experiments show that the algae grown in high strength wastewater from the HFC AWTP are light-limited when cultivated indoor since more than 50% of the outdoor illumination is attenuated in the greenhouse.An analysis was performed to determine the mass of algae that can be supported by the wastewater nutrients (mainly nitrogen and phosphorous) available from the two Florida cities. The study was guided by the growth and productivity data obtained for algal growth in the photobioreactors in operation at the University of South Florida. In the analysis, nutrients and light are assumed to be limited, while CO2 is abundantly available. There is some limitation on land, especially since the HFC AWTP is located at the Port of Tampa. The temperature range in Tampa is assumed to be suitable for algal growth year round. Assuming that the numerous technical challenges to achieving commercial-scale algal production can be met, the results presented suggest that an excess of 71 metric tons per hectare per year of algal biomass can be produced. Two energy production options were considered; liquid biofuels from feedstock with high lipid content, and biogas generation from anaerobic

  3. Algae.

    PubMed

    Raven, John A; Giordano, Mario

    2014-07-01

    Algae frequently get a bad press. Pond slime is a problem in garden pools, algal blooms can produce toxins that incapacitate or kill animals and humans and even the term seaweed is pejorative - a weed being a plant growing in what humans consider to be the wrong place. Positive aspects of algae are generally less newsworthy - they are the basis of marine food webs, supporting fisheries and charismatic marine megafauna from albatrosses to whales, as well as consuming carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. Here we consider what algae are, their diversity in terms of evolutionary origin, size, shape and life cycles, and their role in the natural environment and in human affairs. PMID:25004359

  4. Agrigenomics for microalgal biofuel production: an overview of various bioinformatics resources and recent studies to link OMICS to bioenergy and bioeconomy.

    PubMed

    Misra, Namrata; Panda, Prasanna Kumar; Parida, Bikram Kumar

    2013-11-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

    Kircher, Manfred

    2015-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Huesemann, Michael H.; Benemann, John R.

    2009-12-31

    There is currently great interest in using microalgae for the production of biofuels, mainly due to the fact that microalgae can produce biofuels at a much higher productivity than conventional plants and that they can be cultivated using water, in particular seawater, and land not competing for resources with conventional agriculture. However, at present such microalgae-based technologies are not yet developed and the economics of such processes are uncertain. We review power generation by direct combustion, production of hydrogen and other fuel gases and liquids by gasification and pyrolysis, methane generation by anaerobic digestion, ethanol fermentations, and hydrogen production by dark and light-driven metabolism. We in particular discuss the production of lipids, vegetable oils and hydrocarbons, which could be converted to biodiesel. Direct combustion for power generation has two major disadvantages in that the high N-content of algal biomass causes unacceptably high NOx emissions and losses of nitrogen fertilizer. Thus, the use of sun-dried microalgal biomass would not be cost-competitive with other solid fuels such as coal and wood. Thermochemical conversion processes such as gasification and pyrolysis have been successfully demonstrated in the laboratory but will be difficult to scale up commercially and suffers from similar, though sometimes not as stringent, limitations as combustion. Anaerobic digestion of microalgal cells yields only about 0.3 L methane per g volatile solids destroyed, about half of the maximum achievable, but yields can be increased by adding carbon rich substrates to circumvent ammonia toxicity caused by the N-rich algal biomass. Anaerobic digestion would be best suited for the treatment of algal biomass waste after value-added products have been separated. Algae can also be grown to accumulate starches or similar fermentable products, and ethanol or similar (e.g., butanol) fermentations could be applied to such biomass, but research

  8. Bioenergy from Biofuel Residues and Wastes.

    PubMed

    Choudri, B S; Baawain, Mahad

    2015-10-01

    This review includes works published in the general scientific literature during 2014 on the production of bioenergy and biofuel from waste residues generated during bioethanol and biodiesel production with a brief overview of current and emerging feedstocks. Anothersection of this review summarizes literature on culturing algae for biofuels including bioreactors and open pond cultivation systems with the utilization of inorganic and organic sources of nutrients. New methods applicable to the mass culture of algae are highlighted. Algal cell harvesting and oil extraction techniques tested and developed for algae are also discussed. PMID:26420094

  9. Bioenergy from Biofuel Residues and Wastes.

    PubMed

    Choudri, B S; Baawain, Mahad

    2016-10-01

    This review includes works published in the general scientific literature during 2015 on the production of bioenergy and biofuel from waste residues generated during bioethanol and biodiesel production with a brief overview of current and emerging feedstocks. A section of this review summarizes literature on culturing algae for biofuels including bioreactors and open pond cultivation systems with the utilization of inorganic and organic sources of nutrients. New methods applicable to the mass culture of algae are highlighted. Algal cell harvesting and oil extraction techniques tested and developed for algae discussed alongwith policies and economics are also provided. PMID:27620098

  10. Spatially Explicit Life Cycle Assessment of Biofuel Feedstock Production

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  11. Switchgrass: a productive, profitable, and sustainable biofuel feedstock

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Switchgrass is a model biofuel feedstock for the USA. Progress has been made in all areas of switchgrass for bioenergy and a complete field-validated biomass production system has been developed. However, switchgrass for bioenergy has not been adopted on a large scale. This is a classic chicken-and-...

  12. Will Sulfur Limit Bio-fuel Corn Production?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  13. Production of Liquid Biofuels from Biomass: Emerging Technologies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  14. 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.

  15. Biofuels production on abandoned and marginal agriculture lands in the Midwestern United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, J. E.; Lobell, D. B.; Field, C. B.

    2008-12-01

    The location of biofuels agriculture land is a critical parameter for predicting biomass feedstock yields, land use emissions, and optimal plant varieties. Using abandoned and marginal agriculture lands to grow feedstocks for second-generation biofuels could provide a sustainable alternative to conventional biofuels production. These marginal areas are in a state of flux in the Midwestern U.S. where a 2007 surge in biofuels has contributed to competing land use demands including conventional biofuels crops, food agriculture, and conservation. Here we apply land use and agriculture data to consider the extent and productivity of abandoned and marginal lands in the Midwestern U.S. for production of second-generation biofuels.

  16. 75 FR 42745 - Production Incentives for Cellulosic Biofuels: Notice of Program Intent

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-22

    ..., ``Production Incentives for Cellulosic Biofuels; Reverse Auction Procedures and Standards,'' (74 FR 52867... of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Production Incentives for Cellulosic Biofuels: Notice of... incentive program for the production of cellulosic biofuels and to implement that program by means of...

  17. Hydrocracking of used cooking oil for biofuels production.

    PubMed

    Bezergianni, Stella; Kalogianni, Aggeliki

    2009-09-01

    Hydrocracking of used cooking oil is studied as a potential process for biofuels production. In this work several parameters are considered for evaluating the effectiveness of this technology, including hydrocracking temperature, liquid hourly space velocity (LHSV) and days on stream (DOS). Conversion and total biofuels production is favored by increasing temperature and decreasing LHSV. However moderate reaction temperatures and LHSVs are more attractive for diesel production, whereas higher temperatures and smaller LHSVs are more suitable for gasoline production. Furthermore heteroatom (S, N and O) removal increases as hydrocracking temperature increases, with de-oxygenation being particularly favorable. Saturation, however, is not favored with temperature indicating the necessity of a pre-treatment step prior to hydrocracking to enable saturation of the double bonds and heteroatom removal. Finally the impact of extended operation (catalyst life) on product yields and qualities indicates that all reactions are affected yet at different rates. PMID:19369071

  18. 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.

  19. Synthetic Feedback Loop Model for Increasing Microbial Biofuel Production Using a Biosensor

    PubMed Central

    Harrison, Mary E.; Dunlop, Mary J.

    2012-01-01

    Current biofuel production methods use engineered bacteria to break down cellulose and convert it to biofuel. A major challenge in microbial fuel production is that increasing biofuel yields can be limited by the toxicity of the biofuel to the organism that is producing it. Previous research has demonstrated that efflux pumps are effective at increasing tolerance to various biofuels. However, when overexpressed, efflux pumps burden cells, which hinders growth and slows biofuel production. Therefore, the toxicity of the biofuel must be balanced with the toxicity of pump overexpression. We have developed a mathematical model for cell growth and biofuel production that implements a synthetic feedback loop using a biosensor to control efflux pump expression. In this way, the production rate will be maximal when the concentration of biofuel is low because the cell does not expend energy expressing efflux pumps when they are not needed. Additionally, the microbe is able to adapt to toxic conditions by triggering the expression of efflux pumps, which allow it to continue biofuel production. Sensitivity analysis indicates that the feedback sensor model is insensitive to many system parameters, but a few key parameters can influence growth and production. In comparison to systems that express efflux pumps at a constant level, the feedback sensor increases overall biofuel production by delaying pump expression until it is needed. This result is more pronounced when model parameters are variable because the system can use feedback to adjust to the actual rate of biofuel production. PMID:23112794

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Switchable photosystem-II designer algae for photobiological hydrogen production

    DOEpatents

    Lee, James Weifu

    2010-01-05

    A switchable photosystem-II designer algae for photobiological hydrogen production. The designer transgenic algae includes at least two transgenes for enhanced photobiological H.sub.2 production wherein a first transgene serves as a genetic switch that can controls photosystem II (PSII) oxygen evolution and a second transgene encodes for creation of free proton channels in the algal photosynthetic membrane. In one embodiment, the algae includes a DNA construct having polymerase chain reaction forward primer (302), a inducible promoter (304), a PSII-iRNA sequence (306), a terminator (308), and a PCR reverse primer (310). In other embodiments, the PSII-iRNA sequence (306) is replaced with a CF.sub.1-iRNA sequence (312), a streptomycin-production gene (314), a targeting sequence (316) followed by a proton-channel producing gene (318), or a PSII-producing gene (320). In one embodiment, a photo-bioreactor and gas-product separation and utilization system produce photobiological H.sub.2 from the switchable PSII designer alga.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Metabolic engineering for isoprenoid-based biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Gupta, P; Phulara, S C

    2015-09-01

    Sustainable economic and industrial growth is the need of the hour and it requires renewable energy resources having better performance and compatibility with existing fuel infrastructure from biological routes. Isoprenoids (C ≥ 5) can be a potential alternative due to their diverse nature and physiochemical properties similar to that of petroleum based fuels. In the past decade, extensive research has been done to utilize metabolic engineering strategies in micro-organisms primarily, (i) to overcome the limitations associated with their natural and non-natural production and (ii) to develop commercially competent microbial strain for isoprenoid-based biofuel production. This review briefly describes the engineered isoprenoid biosynthetic pathways in well-characterized microbial systems for the production of several isoprenoid-based biofuels and fuel precursors. PMID:26095690

  7. 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.

  8. Developments and perspectives of photobioreactors for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Morweiser, Michael; Kruse, Olaf; Hankamer, Ben; Posten, Clemens

    2010-07-01

    The production of biofuels from microalgae requires efficient photobioreactors in order to meet the tight constraints of energy efficiency and economic profitability. Current cultivation systems are designed for high-value products rather than for mass production of cheap energy carriers. Future bioreactors will imply innovative solutions in terms of energy efficiency, light and gas transfer or attainable biomass concentration to lower the energy demand and cut down production costs. A new generation of highly developed reactor designs demonstrates the enormous potential of photobioreactors. However, a net energy production with microalgae remains challenging. Therefore, it is essential to review all aspects and production steps for optimization potential. This includes a custom process design according to production organism, desired product and production site. Moreover, the potential of microalgae to synthesize valuable products additionally to the energetic use can be integrated into a production concept as well as waste streams for carbon supply or temperature control. PMID:20535467

  9. 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.

  10. BIOFUEL AND BIOENERGY PRODUCTION FROM SUGAR BEETS

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  11. Feeding biofuels co-products to pigs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and other co-products from the fuel ethanol industry may be included in diets fed to pigs in all phases of production. The concentration of digestible energy (DE) and metabolizable energy (ME) in DDGS and corn germ is similar to corn, but high protein dis...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. Assessing extension and outreach education levels for biofuel feedstock production in the Western United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A growing biofuels industry requires the development of effective methods to educate farmers, government, and agribusiness about biofuel feedstock production if the market is going to significantly expand beyond first generation biofuels. Extension and outreach education provides a conduit for impor...

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:25209835

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  19. 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. PMID:24045203

  20. PETRO: Higher Productivity Crops for Biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Maturation of biomass-to-biofuels conversion technology pathways for rapid expansion of biofuels production: A system dynamics perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Vimmerstedt, Laura J.; Bush, Brian W.; Hsu, Dave D.; Inman, Daniel; Peterson, Steven O.

    2014-08-12

    The Biomass Scenario Model (BSM) is a system-dynamics simulation model intended to explore the potential for rapid expansion of the biofuels industry. The model is not predictive — it uses scenario assumptions based on various types of data to simulate industry development, emphasizing how incentives and technological learning-by-doing might accelerate industry growth. The BSM simulates major sectors of the biofuels industry, including feedstock production and logistics, conversion, distribution, and end uses, as well as interactions among sectors. The model represents conversion of biomass to biofuels as a set of technology pathways, each of which has allowable feedstocks, capital and operating costs, allowable products, and other defined characteristics. This study and the BSM address bioenergy modeling analytic needs that were identified in recent literature reviews. Simulations indicate that investments are most effective at expanding biofuels production through learning-by-doing when they are coordinated with respect to timing, pathway, and target sector within the biofuels industry. Effectiveness metrics include timing and magnitude of increased production, incentive cost and cost effectiveness, and avoidance of windfall profits. Investment costs and optimal investment targets have inherent risks and uncertainties, such as the relative value of investment in more-mature versus less mature pathways. These can be explored through scenarios, but cannot be precisely predicted. Dynamic competition, including competition for cellulosic feedstocks and ethanol market shares, intensifies during times of rapid growth. Ethanol production increases rapidly, even up to Renewable Fuel Standards-targeted volumes of biofuel, in simulations that allow higher blending proportions of ethanol in gasoline-fueled vehicles. Published 2014. This document is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA. Biofuels, Bioproducts, Biorefining published by John Wiley

  2. Maturation of biomass-to-biofuels conversion technology pathways for rapid expansion of biofuels production: A system dynamics perspective

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Vimmerstedt, Laura J.; Bush, Brian W.; Hsu, Dave D.; Inman, Daniel; Peterson, Steven O.

    2014-08-12

    The Biomass Scenario Model (BSM) is a system-dynamics simulation model intended to explore the potential for rapid expansion of the biofuels industry. The model is not predictive — it uses scenario assumptions based on various types of data to simulate industry development, emphasizing how incentives and technological learning-by-doing might accelerate industry growth. The BSM simulates major sectors of the biofuels industry, including feedstock production and logistics, conversion, distribution, and end uses, as well as interactions among sectors. The model represents conversion of biomass to biofuels as a set of technology pathways, each of which has allowable feedstocks, capital and operatingmore » costs, allowable products, and other defined characteristics. This study and the BSM address bioenergy modeling analytic needs that were identified in recent literature reviews. Simulations indicate that investments are most effective at expanding biofuels production through learning-by-doing when they are coordinated with respect to timing, pathway, and target sector within the biofuels industry. Effectiveness metrics include timing and magnitude of increased production, incentive cost and cost effectiveness, and avoidance of windfall profits. Investment costs and optimal investment targets have inherent risks and uncertainties, such as the relative value of investment in more-mature versus less mature pathways. These can be explored through scenarios, but cannot be precisely predicted. Dynamic competition, including competition for cellulosic feedstocks and ethanol market shares, intensifies during times of rapid growth. Ethanol production increases rapidly, even up to Renewable Fuel Standards-targeted volumes of biofuel, in simulations that allow higher blending proportions of ethanol in gasoline-fueled vehicles. Published 2014. This document is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA. Biofuels, Bioproducts, Biorefining published by John

  3. Downgrading recent estimates of land available for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Fritz, Steffen; See, Linda; van der Velde, Marijn; Nalepa, Rachel A; Perger, Christoph; Schill, Christian; McCallum, Ian; Schepaschenko, Dmitry; Kraxner, Florian; Cai, Ximing; Zhang, Xiao; Ortner, Simone; Hazarika, Rubul; Cipriani, Anna; Di Bella, Carlos; Rabia, Ahmed H; Garcia, Alfredo; Vakolyuk, Mar'yana; Singha, Kuleswar; Beget, Maria E; Erasmi, Stefan; Albrecht, Franziska; Shaw, Brian; Obersteiner, Michael

    2013-02-01

    Recent estimates of additional land available for bioenergy production range from 320 to 1411 million ha. These estimates were generated from four scenarios regarding the types of land suitable for bioenergy production using coarse-resolution inputs of soil productivity, slope, climate, and land cover. In this paper, these maps of land availability were assessed using high-resolution satellite imagery. Samples from these maps were selected and crowdsourcing of Google Earth images was used to determine the type of land cover and the degree of human impact. Based on this sample, a set of rules was formulated to downward adjust the original estimates for each of the four scenarios that were previously used to generate the maps of land availability for bioenergy production. The adjusted land availability estimates range from 56 to 1035 million ha depending upon the scenario and the ruleset used when the sample is corrected for bias. Large forest areas not intended for biofuel production purposes were present in all scenarios. However, these numbers should not be considered as definitive estimates but should be used to highlight the uncertainty in attempting to quantify land availability for biofuel production when using coarse-resolution inputs with implications for further policy development. PMID:23308357

  4. Transporter-mediated biofuel secretion.

    PubMed

    Doshi, Rupak; Nguyen, Tuan; Chang, Geoffrey

    2013-05-01

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

  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. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-09-08

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus) and Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) have been identified as the primary targets for second-generation cellulosic biofuel crops. Prairie managed for biomass is also considered as one of the alternative to conventional biofuel and promised to provide ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration. These perennial grasses possess a number of traits that make them desirable biofuel crops and can be cultivated on marginal lands or interspersed with maize and soybean in the Corn Belt region. The U.S. Corn Belt region is the world's most productive and expansive maize-growing region, approximately 20% of the world's harvested corn hectares are found in 12 Corn Belt states. The introduction of a second generation cellulosic biofuels for biomass production in a landscape dominated by a grain crop (maize) has potential implications on the carbon and water cycles of the region. This issue is further intensified by the uncertainty in the response of the vegetation to the climate change induced drought periods, as was seen during the extreme droughts of 2011 and 2012 in the Midwest. The 2011 and 2012 growing seasons were considered driest since the 1932 dust bowl period; temperatures exceeded 3.0 °C above the 50- year mean and precipitation deficit reached 50 %. The major objective of this study was to evaluate the drought responses (2011 and 2012) of corn and perennial species at large scale, and to determine the seasonability of carbon and water fluxes in the response of controlling factors. We measured net CO2 ecosystem exchange (NEE) and water fluxes of maize-maize-soybean, and perennial species such as miscanthus, switchgrass and mixture of prairie grasses, using eddy covariance in the University of Illinois energy farm at Urbana, IL. The data presented here were for 5 years (2008- 2012). In the first two years, higher NEE in maize led to large CO2 sequestration. NEE however, decreased in dry years, particularly in 2012. On the other

  10. Metabolic engineering of higher plants and algae for isoprenoid production.

    PubMed

    Kempinski, Chase; Jiang, Zuodong; Bell, Stephen; Chappell, Joe

    2015-01-01

    Isoprenoids are a class of compounds derived from the five carbon precursors, dimethylallyl diphosphate, and isopentenyl diphosphate. These molecules present incredible natural chemical diversity, which can be valuable for humans in many aspects such as cosmetics, agriculture, and medicine. However, many terpenoids are only produced in small quantities by their natural hosts and can be difficult to generate synthetically. Therefore, much interest and effort has been directed toward capturing the genetic blueprint for their biochemistry and engineering it into alternative hosts such as plants and algae. These autotrophic organisms are attractive when compared to traditional microbial platforms because of their ability to utilize atmospheric CO2 as a carbon substrate instead of supplied carbon sources like glucose. This chapter will summarize important techniques and strategies for engineering the accumulation of isoprenoid metabolites into higher plants and algae by choosing the correct host, avoiding endogenous regulatory mechanisms, and optimizing potential flux into the target compound. Future endeavors will build on these efforts by fine-tuning product accumulation levels via the vast amount of available "-omic" data and devising metabolic engineering schemes that integrate this into a whole-organism approach. With the development of high-throughput transformation protocols and synthetic biology molecular tools, we have only begun to harness the power and utility of plant and algae metabolic engineering. PMID:25636485

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillon, Sean Thomas

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

  13. 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

  14. Solar-driven hydrogen production in green algae.

    PubMed

    Burgess, Steven J; Tamburic, Bojan; Zemichael, Fessehaye; Hellgardt, Klaus; Nixon, Peter J

    2011-01-01

    The twin problems of energy security and global warming make hydrogen an attractive alternative to traditional fossil fuels with its combustion resulting only in the release of water vapor. Biological hydrogen production represents a renewable source of the gas and can be performed by a diverse range of microorganisms from strict anaerobic bacteria to eukaryotic green algae. Compared to conventional methods for generating H(2), biological systems can operate at ambient temperatures and pressures without the need for rare metals and could potentially be coupled to a variety of biotechnological processes ranging from desalination and waste water treatment to pharmaceutical production. Photobiological hydrogen production by microalgae is particularly attractive as the main inputs for the process (water and solar energy) are plentiful. This chapter focuses on recent developments in solar-driven H(2) production in green algae with emphasis on the model organism Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. We review the current methods used to achieve sustained H(2) evolution and discuss possible approaches to improve H(2) yields, including the optimization of culturing conditions, reducing light-harvesting antennae and targeting auxiliary electron transport and fermentative pathways that compete with the hydrogenase for reductant. Finally, industrial scale-up is discussed in the context of photobioreactor design and the future prospects of the field are considered within the broader context of a biorefinery concept. PMID:21807246

  15. 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.

  16. Photosynthetic hydrogen and oxygen production by green algae

    SciTech Connect

    Greenbaum, E.; Lee, J.W.

    1997-12-31

    An overview of photosynthetic hydrogen and oxygen production by green algae in the context of its potential as a renewable chemical feed stock and energy carrier is presented. Beginning with its discovery by Gaffron and Rubin in 1942, motivated by curiosity-driven laboratory research, studies were initiated in the early 1970s that focused on photosynthetic hydrogen production from an applied perspective. From a scientific and technical point of view, current research is focused on optimizing net thermodynamic conversion efficiencies represented by the Gibbs Free Energy of molecular hydrogen. The key research questions of maximizing hydrogen and oxygen production by light-activated water splitting in green algae are (1) removing the oxygen sensitivity of algal hydrogenases; (2) linearizing the light saturation curves of photosynthesis throughout the entire range of terrestrial solar irradiance--including the role of bicarbonate and carbon dioxide in optimization of photosynthetic electron transport and (3) the minimum number of light reactions that are required to split water to elemental hydrogen and oxygen. Each of these research topics is being actively addressed by the photobiological hydrogen research community.

  17. Photosynthetic Hydrogen and Oxygen Production by Green Algae

    SciTech Connect

    Greenbaum, E.; Lee, J.W.

    1999-08-22

    Photosynthesis research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is focused on hydrogen and oxygen production by green algae in the context of its potential as a renewable fuel and chemical feed stock. Beginning with its discovery by Gaffron and Rubin in 1942, motivated by curiosity-driven laboratory research, studies were initiated in the early 1970s that focused on photosynthetic hydrogen production from an applied perspective. From a scientific and technical point of view, current research is focused on optimizing net thermodynamic conversion efficiencies represented by the Gibbs Free Energy of molecular hydrogen. The key research questions of maximizing hydrogen and oxygen production by light-activated water splitting in green algae are: (1) removing the oxygen sensitivity of algal hydrogenases; (2) linearizing the light saturation curves of hotosynthesis throughout the entire range of terrestrial solar irradiance-including the role of bicarbonate and carbon dioxide in optimization of photosynthetic electron transpor;t and (3) constructing real-world bioreactors, including the generation of hydrogen and oxygen against workable back pressures of the photoproduced gases.

  18. 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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26938514

  19. Burkholderia cepacia lipase is a promising biocatalyst for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Sasso, Francesco; Natalello, Antonino; Castoldi, Simone; Lotti, Marina; Santambrogio, Carlo; Grandori, Rita

    2016-07-01

    Lipases resistant to inhibition and denaturation by methanol are valuable tools for biotechnological applications, in particular for biofuel production. Microbial lipases have attracted a great deal of interest because of their stability at high concentrations of organic solvents. Burkholderia cepacia lipase (BCL) is tested here for robustness towards methanol in terms of conformational stability and catalytic activity in transesterification assays. This lipase turns out to be even more tolerant than the homologous and better characterized enzyme from Burkholderia glumae. BCL unfolding transition, as monitored by far-UV circular dichroism (CD) and intrinsic fluorescence, displays a Tm above 60°C in the presence of 50% methanol. The protein unfolds at low pH, and the organic solvent affects the nature of the denatured state under acidic conditions. The protein performs well in transesterification assays upon prolonged incubations at high methanol concentrations. BCL is highly tolerant to methanol and displays particularly high conformational stability under conditions employed for transesterification reactions. These features depict BCL as a promising enzyme for biofuel industry. PMID:27067648

  20. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  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. Landscape considerations of perennial biofuel feedstock production in conservation buffers of the Georgia Coastal Plain, USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    With global increases in the production of cellulosic biomass for fuel, or “biofuel,” concerns over potential negative effects of using land for biofuel production have promoted attention to concepts of agricultural landscape design that sustainably balance tradeoffs between food, fuel, fiber, and c...

  4. Impact of shifting crop production for biofuel demand on soil and water quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  5. A GIS COST MODEL TO ASSESS THE AVAILABILITY OF FRESHWATER, SEAWATER, AND SALINE GROUNDWATER FOR ALGAL BIOFUEL PRODUCTION IN THE UNITED STATES

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-03-15

    A key advantage of using microalgae for biofuel production is the ability of some algal strains to thrive in waters unsuitable for conventional crop irrigation such as saline groundwater or seawater. Nonetheless, the availability of sustainable water supplies will provide significant challenges for scale-up and development of algal biofuels. We conduct a limited techno-economic assessment based on the availability of freshwater, saline groundwater, and seawater for use in open pond algae cultivation systems. We explore water issues through GIS-based models of algae biofuel production, freshwater supply, and cost models for supplying seawater and saline groundwater. We estimate that combined, within the coterminous US these resources can support production on the order of 9.46E+7 m3 yr-1 (25 billion gallons yr-1) of renewable biodiesel. Achievement of larger targets requires the utilization of less water efficient sites and relatively expensive saline waters. Geographically, water availability is most favorable for the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and Florida peninsula, where evaporation relative to precipitation is moderate and various saline waters are economically available. As a whole, barren and scrub lands of the southwestern US have limited freshwater supplies so accurate assessment of alternative waters is critical.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  7. Cyanobacterial chassis engineering for enhancing production of biofuels and chemicals.

    PubMed

    Gao, Xinyan; Sun, Tao; Pei, Guangsheng; Chen, Lei; Zhang, Weiwen

    2016-04-01

    To reduce dependence on fossil fuels and curb greenhouse effect, cyanobacteria have emerged as an important chassis candidate for producing biofuels and chemicals due to their capability to directly utilize sunlight and CO2 as the sole energy and carbon sources, respectively. Recent progresses in developing and applying various synthetic biology tools have led to the successful constructions of novel pathways of several dozen green fuels and chemicals utilizing cyanobacterial chassis. Meanwhile, it is increasingly recognized that in order to enhance productivity of the synthetic cyanobacterial systems, optimizing and engineering more robust and high-efficient cyanobacterial chassis should not be omitted. In recent years, numerous research studies have been conducted to enhance production of green fuels and chemicals through cyanobacterial chassis modifications involving photosynthesis, CO2 uptake and fixation, products exporting, tolerance, and cellular regulation. In this article, we critically reviewed recent progresses and universal strategies in cyanobacterial chassis engineering to make it more robust and effective for bio-chemicals production. PMID:26883347

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

    SciTech Connect

    Sun, Amy Cha-Tien; Norman, Kirsten

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Fuel From Algae: Scaling and Commercialization of Algae Harvesting Technologies

    SciTech Connect

    2010-01-15

    Broad Funding Opportunity Announcement Project: Led by CEO Ross Youngs, AVS has patented a cost-effective dewatering technology that separates micro-solids (algae) from water. Separating micro-solids from water traditionally requires a centrifuge, which uses significant energy to spin the water mass and force materials of different densities to separate from one another. In a comparative analysis, dewatering 1 ton of algae in a centrifuge costs around $3,400. AVS’s Solid-Liquid Separation (SLS) system is less energy-intensive and less expensive, costing $1.92 to process 1 ton of algae. The SLS technology uses capillary dewatering with filter media to gently facilitate water separation, leaving behind dewatered algae which can then be used as a source for biofuels and bio-products. The biomimicry of the SLS technology emulates the way plants absorb and spread water to their capillaries.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  12. Evidence for methane production by the marine algae Emiliania huxleyi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lenhart, Katharina; Klintzsch, Thomas; Langer, Gerald; Nehrke, Gernot; Bunge, Michael; Schnell, Sylvia; Keppler, Frank

    2016-06-01

    Methane (CH4), an important greenhouse gas that affects radiation balance and consequently the earth's climate, still has uncertainties in its sinks and sources. The world's oceans are considered to be a source of CH4 to the atmosphere, although the biogeochemical processes involved in its formation are not fully understood. Several recent studies provided strong evidence of CH4 production in oxic marine and freshwaters, but its source is still a topic of debate. Studies of CH4 dynamics in surface waters of oceans and large lakes have concluded that pelagic CH4 supersaturation cannot be sustained either by lateral inputs from littoral or benthic inputs alone. However, regional and temporal oversaturation of surface waters occurs frequently. This comprises the observation of a CH4 oversaturating state within the surface mixed layer, sometimes also termed the "oceanic methane paradox". In this study we considered marine algae as a possible direct source of CH4. Therefore, the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi was grown under controlled laboratory conditions and supplemented with two 13C-labeled carbon substrates, namely bicarbonate and a position-specific 13C-labeled methionine (R-S-13CH3). The CH4 production was 0.7 µg particular organic carbon (POC) g-1 d-1, or 30 ng g-1 POC h-1. After supplementation of the cultures with the 13C-labeled substrate, the isotope label was observed in headspace CH4. Moreover, the absence of methanogenic archaea within the algal culture and the oxic conditions during CH4 formation suggest that the widespread marine algae Emiliania huxleyi might contribute to the observed spatially and temporally restricted CH4 oversaturation in ocean surface waters.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  14. 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. PMID:24337249

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-08-01

    Production of renewable biofuels to displace fossil fuels currently consumed in the transportation sector is a pressing multi-agency national priority. Currently, nearly all fuel ethanol is produced from corn-derived starch. Dedicated 'energy crops' and agricultural waste are preferred long-term solutions for renewable, cheap, and globally available biofuels as they avoid some of the market pressures and secondary greenhouse gas emission challenges currently facing corn ethanol. These sources of lignocellulosic biomass are converted to fermentable sugars using a variety of chemical and thermochemical pretreatments, which disrupt cellulose and lignin cross-links, allowing exogenously added recombinant microbial enzymes to more efficiently hydrolyze the cellulose for 'deconstruction' into glucose. This process is plagued with inefficiencies, primarily due to the recalcitrance of cellulosic biomass, mass transfer issues during deconstruction, and low activity of recombinant deconstruction enzymes. Costs are also high due to the requirement for enzymes and reagents, and energy-intensive and cumbersome pretreatment steps. One potential solution to these problems is found in synthetic biology; they propose to engineer plants that self-produce a suite of cellulase enzymes targeted to the apoplast for cleaving the linkages between lignin and cellulosic fibers; the genes encoding the degradation enzymes, also known as cellulases, are obtained from extremophilic organisms that grow at high temperatures (60-100 C) and acidic pH levels (<5). These enzymes will remain inactive during the life cycle of the plant but become active during hydrothermal pretreatment i.e., elevated temperatures. Deconstruction can be integrated into a one-step process, thereby increasing efficiency (cellulose-cellulase mass-transfer rates) and reducing costs. The proposed disruptive technologies address biomass deconstruction processes by developing transgenic plants encoding a suite of enzymes used

  16. A GIS cost model to assess the availability of freshwater, seawater, and saline groundwater for algal biofuel production in the United States.

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

    A key advantage of using microalgae for biofuel production is the ability of some algal strains to thrive in waters unsuitable for conventional crop irrigation such as saline groundwater or seawater. Nonetheless, the availability of sustainable water supplies will provide significant challenges for scale-up and development of algal biofuels. We conduct a partial techno-economic assessment based on the availability of freshwater, saline groundwater, and seawater for use in open pond algae cultivation systems. We explore water issues through GIS-based models of algae biofuel production, freshwater supply (constrained to less than 5% of mean annual flow per watershed) and costs, and cost-distance models for supplying seawater and saline groundwater. We estimate that, combined, these resources can support 9.46 × 10(7) m(3) yr(-1) (25 billion gallons yr(-1)) of renewable biodiesel production in the coterminous United States. Achievement of larger targets requires the utilization of less water efficient sites and relatively expensive saline waters. Despite the addition of freshwater supply constraints and saline water resources, the geographic conclusions are similar to our previous results. Freshwater availability and saline water delivery costs are most favorable for the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and Florida peninsula, where evaporation relative to precipitation is moderate. As a whole, the barren and scrub lands of the southwestern U.S. have limited freshwater supplies, and large net evaporation rates greatly increase the cost of saline alternatives due to the added makeup water required to maintain pond salinity. However, this and similar analyses are particularly sensitive to knowledge gaps in algae growth/lipid production performance and the proportion of freshwater resources available, key topics for future investigation. PMID:23495893

  17. Characterization of the bacterial metagenome in an industrial algae bioenergy production system

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, Shi; Fulbright, Scott P; Zeng, Xiaowei; Yates, Tracy; Wardle, Greg; Chisholm, Stephen T; Xu, Jian; Lammers, Peter

    2011-03-16

    Cultivation of oleaginous microalgae for fuel generally requires growth of the intended species to the maximum extent supported by available light. The presence of undesired competitors, pathogens and grazers in cultivation systems will create competition for nitrate, phosphate, sulfate, iron and other micronutrients in the growth medium and potentially decrease microalgal triglyceride production by limiting microalgal health or cell density. Pathogenic bacteria may also directly impact the metabolism or survival of individual microalgal cells. Conversely, symbiotic bacteria that enhance microalgal growth may also be present in the system. Finally, the use of agricultural and municipal wastes as nutrient inputs for microalgal production systems may lead to the introduction and proliferation of human pathogens or interfere with the growth of bacteria with beneficial effects on system performance. These considerations underscore the need to understand bacterial community dynamics in microalgal production systems in order to assess microbiome effects on microalgal productivity and pathogen risks. Here we focus on the bacterial component of microalgal production systems and describe a pipeline for metagenomic characterization of bacterial diversity in industrial cultures of an oleaginous alga, Nannochloropsis salina. Environmental DNA was isolated from 12 marine algal cultures grown at Solix Biofuels, a region of the 16S rRNA gene was amplified by PCR, and 16S amplicons were sequenced using a 454 automated pyrosequencer. The approximately 70,000 sequences that passed quality control clustered into 53,950 unique sequences. The majority of sequences belonged to thirteen phyla. At the genus level, sequences from all samples represented 169 different genera. About 52.94% of all sequences could not be identified at the genus level and were classified at the next highest possible resolution level. Of all sequences, 79.92% corresponded to 169 genera and 70 other taxa. We

  18. 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

  19. Method and apparatus for processing algae

    DOEpatents

    Chew, Geoffrey; Reich, Alton J.; Dykes, Jr., H. Waite; Di Salvo, Roberto

    2012-07-03

    Methods and apparatus for processing algae are described in which a hydrophilic ionic liquid is used to lyse algae cells. The lysate separates into at least two layers including a lipid-containing hydrophobic layer and an ionic liquid-containing hydrophilic layer. A salt or salt solution may be used to remove water from the ionic liquid-containing layer before the ionic liquid is reused. The used salt may also be dried and/or concentrated and reused. The method can operate at relatively low lysis, processing, and recycling temperatures, which minimizes the environmental impact of algae processing while providing reusable biofuels and other useful products.

  20. 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.

  1. Production of carbonate sediments by a unicellular green alga

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yates, K.K.; Robbins, L.L.

    1998-01-01

    This study investigates the ability of the unicellular green alga Natmochloris atoimis to precipitate CaCO3, quantifies mineral precipitation rates, estimates sediment production in a N. atomiis bloom, and discusses the implications of microbial calcification for carbonate sediment deposition. A series of N. atomus cultures, isolated from Lake Reeve, Australia, were incubated at various pH and calcium concentrations to determine environmental parameters for calcification. Rates of calcification were calculated from initial and postincubation alkalinity, pH, and calcium measurements. Replicate experiments and controls consisting of non-calcifying cultures, uninoculated media, and dead cell cultures were performed using environmental culture parameters determined in series cultures. Average calcification rates from replicate experiments were used to predict daily sediment production rates in a small bloom of N. atomus. N. atomus precipitates 0.138 g/L of calcite in approximately 4 h when incubated at pH 8.5, 14.24 mM calcium concentration, 33 ??C, 100 ??E/m2/s light intensity, and a cell population density of 107 cells/mL. Assuming continuous precipitation, this corresponds to a maximum estimated sediment production rate of 1.6 ?? 106 kg of CaCO3, per 12 h day in a single bloom of 3.2 ?? 109 L. Our results suggest that microbial calcification contributes significantly to the carbonate sediment budget.

  2. Analytical approaches to photobiological hydrogen production in unicellular green algae.

    PubMed

    Hemschemeier, Anja; Melis, Anastasios; Happe, Thomas

    2009-01-01

    Several species of unicellular green algae, such as the model green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, can operate under either aerobic photosynthesis or anaerobic metabolism conditions. A particularly interesting metabolic condition is that of "anaerobic oxygenic photosynthesis", whereby photosynthetically generated oxygen is consumed by the cell's own respiration, causing anaerobiosis in the culture in the light, and induction of the cellular "hydrogen metabolism" process. The latter entails an alternative photosynthetic electron transport pathway, through the oxygen-sensitive FeFe-hydrogenase, leading to the light-dependent generation of molecular hydrogen in the chloroplast. The FeFe-hydrogenase is coupled to the reducing site of photosystem-I via ferredoxin and is employed as an electron-pressure valve, through which electrons are dissipated, thus permitting a sustained electron transport in the thylakoid membrane of photosynthesis. This hydrogen gas generating process in the cells offers testimony to the unique photosynthetic metabolism that can be found in many species of green microalgae. Moreover, it has attracted interest by the biotechnology and bioenergy sectors, as it promises utilization of green microalgae and the process of photosynthesis in renewable energy production. This article provides an overview of the principles of photobiological hydrogen production in microalgae and addresses in detail the process of induction and analysis of the hydrogen metabolism in the cells. Furthermore, methods are discussed by which the interaction of photosynthesis, respiration, cellular metabolism, and H(2) production in Chlamydomonas can be monitored and regulated. PMID:19291418

  3. Conversion of membrane lipid acyl groups to triacylglycerol and formation of lipid bodies upon nitrogen starvation in biofuel green algae Chlorella UTEX29.

    PubMed

    Goncalves, Elton C; Johnson, Jodie V; Rathinasabapathi, Bala

    2013-11-01

    Algal lipids are ideal biofuel sources. Our objective was to determine the contributors to triacylglycerol (TAG) accumulation and lipid body formation in Chlorella UTEX29 under nitrogen (N) deprivation. A fivefold increase in intracellular lipids following N starvation for 24 h confirmed the oleaginous characteristics of UTEX29. Ultrastructural studies revealed increased number of lipid bodies and decreased starch granules in N-starved cells compared to N-replete cells. Lipid bodies were observed as early as 3 h after N removal and plastids collapsed after 48 h of stress. Moreover, the identification of intracellular pyrenoids and differences in the expected nutritional requirements for Chlorella protothecoides (as UTEX29 is currently classified) led us to conduct a phylogenetic study using 18S and actin cDNA sequences. This indicated UTEX29 to be more phylogenetically related to Chlorella vulgaris. To investigate the fate of different lipids after N starvation, radiolabeling using ¹⁴C-acetate was used. A significant decrease in ¹⁴C-galactolipids and phospholipids matched the increase in ¹⁴C-TAG starting at 3 h of N starvation, consistent with acyl groups from structural lipids as sources for TAG under N starvation. These results have important implications for the identification of key steps controlling oil accumulation in N-starved biofuel algae and demonstrate membrane recycling during lipid body formation. PMID:23928654

  4. 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

  5. Protein engineering in designing tailored enzymes and microorganisms for biofuels production

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Fei; Nair, Nikhil U; Zhao, Huimin

    2009-01-01

    Summary Lignocellulosic biofuels represent a sustainable, renewable, and the only foreseeable alternative energy source to transportation fossil fuels. However, the recalcitrant nature of lignocellulose poses technical hurdles to an economically viable biorefinery. Low enzymatic hydrolysis efficiency and low productivity, yield, and titer of biofuels are among the top cost contributors. Protein engineering has been used to improve the performances of lignocellulose-degrading enzymes, as well as proteins involved in biofuel synthesis pathways. Unlike its great success seen in other industrial applications, protein engineering has achieved only modest results in improving the lignocellulose-to-biofuels efficiency. This review will discuss the unique challenges that protein engineering faces in the process of converting lignocellulose to biofuels and how they are addressed by recent advances in this field. PMID:19660930

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2014-12-02

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-12-02

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  9. Engineering ionic liquid-tolerant cellulases for biofuels production.

    PubMed

    Wolski, Paul W; Dana, Craig M; Clark, Douglas S; Blanch, Harvey W

    2016-04-01

    Dissolution of lignocellulosic biomass in certain ionic liquids (ILs) can provide an effective pretreatment prior to enzymatic saccharification of cellulose for biofuels production. Toward the goal of combining pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis, we evolved enzyme variants of Talaromyces emersonii Cel7A to be more active and stable than wild-type T. emersonii Cel7A or Trichoderma reesei Cel7A in aqueous-IL solutions (up to 43% (w/w) 1,3-dimethylimdazolium dimethylphosphate and 20% (w/w) 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate). In general, greater enzyme stability in buffer at elevated temperature corresponded to greater stability in aqueous-ILs. Post-translational modification of the N-terminal glutamine residue to pyroglutamate via glutaminyl cyclase enhanced the stability of T. emersonii Cel7A and variants. Differential scanning calorimetry revealed an increase in melting temperature of 1.9-3.9°C for the variant 1M10 over the wild-type T. emersonii Cel7A in aqueous buffer and in an IL-aqueous mixture. We observed this increase both with and without glutaminyl cyclase treatment of the enzymes. PMID:26819239

  10. Membranes with artificial free-volume for biofuel production

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Membranes with artificial free-volume for biofuel production

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-06-24

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

  12. Membranes with artificial free-volume for biofuel production

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2015-06-24

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

  13. Membranes with artificial free-volume for biofuel production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  14. The Implications of Biofuel Production on Soil Productivity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Production of biomass from agricultural crops as a source of energy generated either as a primary or secondary source from agricultural systems has the potential to provide a portion of the nation’s energy needs. Removal of crop residue after harvest is viewed as a major source of cellulosic materia...

  15. Method and apparatus for lysing and processing algae

    DOEpatents

    Chew, Geoffrey; Reich, Alton J.; Dykes, Jr., H. Waite H.; Di Salvo, Roberto

    2013-03-05

    Methods and apparatus for processing algae are described in which a hydrophilic ionic liquid is used to lyse algae cells at lower temperatures than existing algae processing methods. A salt or salt solution is used as a separation agent and to remove water from the ionic liquid, allowing the ionic liquid to be reused. The used salt may be dried or concentrated and reused. The relatively low lysis temperatures and recycling of the ionic liquid and salt reduce the environmental impact of the algae processing while providing biofuels and other useful products.

  16. Uptake of caprolactam and its influence on growth and oxygen production of Desmodesmus quadricauda algae.

    PubMed

    Kalinová, Jana Pexová; Tříska, Jan; Vrchotová, Naděžda; Novák, Jan

    2016-06-01

    The consumption of polyamides produced from caprolactam is increasing continuously, and for that reason the danger of environmental contamination by this lactam is also rising. This study's aim was to evaluate the influence of caprolactam on the growth and oxygen production of the green alga Desmodesmus quadricauda and on caprolactam uptake by this alga. The presence of caprolactam in water was observed to cause the algae significantly to increase its oxygen production. Caprolactam concentration of 5,000 mg/L stopped algae growth after 6 days and influenced coenobia structure (seen as disappearance of pyrenoids, deformation of cells) but did not decrease the number of cells in the coenobia. Caprolactam uptake is probably passive but relatively rapid. Maximum concentration in the algae was reached after 18-24 h. PMID:26985739

  17. Production of recombinant protein in Escherichia coli cultured in extract from waste product alga, Ulva lactuca.

    PubMed

    Rechtin, Tammy M; Hurst, Matthew; Potts, Tom; Hestekin, Jamie; Beitle, Robert; McLaughlin, John; May, Peter

    2014-01-01

    This study examined the potential for waste product alga, Ulva lactuca, to serve as a media component for recombinant protein production in Escherichia coli. To facilitate this investigation, U. lactuca harvested from Jamaica Bay was dried, and nutrients acid extracted for use as a growth media. The E. coli cell line BL21(DE3) was used to assess the effects on growth and production of recombinant green fluorescent protein (GFP). This study showed that media composed of acid extracts without further nutrient addition maintained E. coli growth and recombinant protein production. Extracts made from dried algae lots less than six-months-old were able to produce two-fold more GFP protein than traditional Lysogeny Broth media. PMID:24799463

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

    SciTech Connect

    2010-07-15

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

  19. Photobiological hydrogen production in green algae and photosynthetic bacteria

    SciTech Connect

    Greenbaum, E.

    1986-01-01

    We have shown that, under appropriate physiological conditions, certain freshwater and marine green algae are capable of splitting water to molecular hydrogen and oxygen in a sustained steady-state reaction. In these algae, the gaseous-fuel-producing reaction can be driven by light throughout the visible portion of the solar emission spectrum, including the long wavelength (red) 700-nm region. No external energy sources are required.

  20. 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

  1. Optimizing root system architecture in biofuel crops for sustainable energy production and soil carbon sequestration

    PubMed Central

    To, Jennifer PC; Zhu, Jinming; Benfey, Philip N

    2010-01-01

    Root system architecture (RSA) describes the dynamic spatial configuration of different types and ages of roots in a plant, which allows adaptation to different environments. Modifications in RSA enhance agronomic traits in crops and have been implicated in soil organic carbon content. Together, these fundamental properties of RSA contribute to the net carbon balance and overall sustainability of biofuels. In this article, we will review recent data supporting carbon sequestration by biofuel crops, highlight current progress in studying RSA, and discuss future opportunities for optimizing RSA for biofuel production and soil carbon sequestration. PMID:21173868

  2. Energy Productivity of the High Velocity Algae Raceway Integrated Design (ARID-HV)

    SciTech Connect

    Attalah, Said; Waller, Peter M.; Khawam, George; Ryan, Randy D.; Huesemann, Michael H.

    2015-06-03

    The original Algae Raceway Integrated Design (ARID) raceway was an effective method to increase algae culture temperature in open raceways. However, the energy input was high and flow mixing was poor. Thus, the High Velocity Algae Raceway Integrated Design (ARID-HV) raceway was developed to reduce energy input requirements and improve flow mixing in a serpentine flow path. A prototype ARID-HV system was installed in Tucson, Arizona. Based on algae growth simulation and hydraulic analysis, an optimal ARID-HV raceway was designed, and the electrical energy input requirement (kWh ha-1 d-1) was calculated. An algae growth model was used to compare the productivity of ARIDHV and conventional raceways. The model uses a pond surface energy balance to calculate water temperature as a function of environmental parameters. Algae growth and biomass loss are calculated based on rate constants during day and night, respectively. A 10 year simulation of DOE strain 1412 (Chlorella sorokiniana) showed that the ARID-HV raceway had significantly higher production than a conventional raceway for all months of the year in Tucson, Arizona. It should be noted that this difference is species and climate specific and is not observed in other climates and with other algae species. The algae growth model results and electrical energy input evaluation were used to compare the energy productivity (algae production rate/energy input) of the ARID-HV and conventional raceways for Chlorella sorokiniana in Tucson, Arizona. The energy productivity of the ARID-HV raceway was significantly greater than the energy productivity of a conventional raceway for all months of the year.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Sastri, B.; Lee, A.

    2008-09-15

    This study by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates the worldwide potential to produce biofuels including biofuels for export. It was undertaken to improve our understanding of the potential for imported biofuels to satisfy the requirements of Title II of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) in the coming decades. Many other countries biofuels production and policies are expanding as rapidly as ours. Therefore, we modeled a detailed and up-to-date representation of the amount of biofuel feedstocks that are being and can be grown, current and future biofuels production capacity, and other factors relevant to the economic competitiveness of worldwide biofuels production, use, and trade. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) identified and prepared feedstock data for countries that were likely to be significant exporters of biofuels to the U.S. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) calculated conversion costs by conducting material flow analyses and technology assessments on biofuels technologies. Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) integrated the country specific feedstock estimates and conversion costs into the global Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP) MARKAL (MARKet ALlocation) model. The model uses least-cost optimization to project the future state of the global energy system in five year increments. World biofuels production was assessed over the 2010 to 2030 timeframe using scenarios covering a range U.S. policies (tax credits, tariffs, and regulations), as well as oil prices, feedstock availability, and a global CO{sub 2} price. All scenarios include the full implementation of existing U.S. and selected other countries biofuels policies (Table 4). For the U.S., the most important policy is the EISA Title II Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). It progressively increases the required volumes of renewable fuel used in motor vehicles (Appendix B). The RFS requires 36 billion (B) gallons (gal) per year of renewable fuels by 2022

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

    SciTech Connect

    2015-09-01

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

  5. The importance of vertical resolution in sea ice algae production models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duarte, Pedro; Assmy, Philipp; Hop, Haakon; Spreen, Gunnar; Gerland, Sebastian; Hudson, Stephen R.

    2015-05-01

    In this study an ice-algal mathematical model is used to resolve the vertical fine structure of sea ice with ice algae, and results are compared to simulations with ice algae located only at the bottom ice layer and to those where ice algae are distributed homogeneously across part of the ice column. Ice algae are reported to contribute 4-26% of overall Arctic Ocean primary production and are an important food source for the ice-associated ecosystem. Thus, it is important to estimate the future impacts of global warming on the contribution of ice algae to Arctic primary production. Primary production models, describing the relationships between ice-algal physiology and population dynamics, with environmental forcing and trophic interactions involving bacteria and grazers, can be applied to quantify such impacts. One important aspect in these models is how to represent the vertical distribution of ice algae in sea ice. In most models, only the bottom ice layer is considered where most of the algal biomass tends to be concentrated. However, since ice algae are also present along the entire ice column, this may lead to underestimation of ice-algal production. Some empirical data and model results suggest that ice algae located in the surface and interior layers may be kept at lower concentrations, in spite of high growth rates, due to grazing by micro- and meiofauna. Results obtained in this study show the importance of resolving vertically the distribution of ice algae to avoid bias in primary production estimates, well in line with empirical studies.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  7. Method to transform algae, materials therefor, and products produced thereby

    DOEpatents

    Dunahay, Terri Goodman; Roessler, Paul G.; Jarvis, Eric E.

    1997-01-01

    Disclosed is a method to transform chlorophyll C-containing algae which includes introducing a recombinant molecule comprising a nucleic acid molecule encoding a dominant selectable marker operatively linked to an algal regulatory control sequence into a chlorophyll C-containing alga in such a manner that the marker is produced by the alga. In a preferred embodiment the algal regulatory control sequence is derived from a diatom and preferably Cyclotella cryptica. Also disclosed is a chimeric molecule having one or more regulatory control sequences derived from one or more chlorophyll C-containing algae operatively linked to a nucleic acid molecule encoding a selectable marker, an RNA molecule and/or a protein, wherein the nucleic acid molecule does not normally occur with one or more of the regulatory control sequences. Further specifically disclosed are molecules pACCNPT10, pACCNPT4.8 and pACCNPT5.1. The methods and materials of the present invention provide the ability to accomplish stable genetic transformation of chlorophyll C-containing algae.

  8. Method to transform algae, materials therefor, and products produced thereby

    DOEpatents

    Dunahay, T.G.; Roessler, P.G.; Jarvis, E.E.

    1997-08-26

    Disclosed is a method to transform chlorophyll C-containing algae. The method includes introducing a recombinant molecule comprising a nucleic acid molecule encoding a dominant selectable marker operatively linked to an algal regulatory control sequence into a chlorophyll C-containing alga in such a manner that the marker is produced by the alga. In a preferred embodiment the algal regulatory control sequence is derived from a diatom and preferably Cyclotella cryptica. Also disclosed is a chimeric molecule having one or more regulatory control sequences derived from one or more chlorophyll C-containing algae operatively linked to a nucleic acid molecule encoding a selectable marker, an RNA molecule and/or a protein, wherein the nucleic acid molecule does not normally occur with one or more of the regulatory control sequences. Further, specifically disclosed are molecules pACCNPT10, pACCNPT4.8 and pACCNPT5.1. The methods and materials of the present invention provide the ability to accomplish stable genetic transformation of chlorophyll C-containing algae. 2 figs.

  9. Formation of algae growth constitutive relations for improved algae modeling.

    SciTech Connect

    Gharagozloo, Patricia E.; Drewry, Jessica L.

    2013-01-01

    This SAND report summarizes research conducted as a part of a two year Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project to improve our abilities to model algal cultivation. Algae-based biofuels have generated much excitement due to their potentially large oil yield from relatively small land use and without interfering with the food or water supply. Algae mitigate atmospheric CO2 through metabolism. Efficient production of algal biofuels could reduce dependence on foreign oil by providing a domestic renewable energy source. Important factors controlling algal productivity include temperature, nutrient concentrations, salinity, pH, and the light-to-biomass conversion rate. Computational models allow for inexpensive predictions of algae growth kinetics in these non-ideal conditions for various bioreactor sizes and geometries without the need for multiple expensive measurement setups. However, these models need to be calibrated for each algal strain. In this work, we conduct a parametric study of key marine algae strains and apply the findings to a computational model.

  10. Developing herbaceous energy crops as feedstocks for biofuel production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  12. Lifecycle Assessment of Biofuel Production from Wood Pyrolysis Technology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manyele, S. V.

    2007-01-01

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

  13. 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...

  14. Unraveling water quality and quantity effects of biofuels production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  15. Comparative energetics and kinetics of autotrophic lipid and starch metabolism in chlorophytic microalgae: implications for biomass and biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Subramanian, Sowmya; Barry, Amanda N; Pieris, Shayani; Sayre, Richard T

    2013-01-01

    Due to the growing need to provide alternatives to fossil fuels as efficiently, economically, and sustainably as possible there has been growing interest in improved biofuel production systems. Biofuels produced from microalgae are a particularly attractive option since microalgae have production potentials that exceed the best terrestrial crops by 2 to 10-fold. In addition, autotrophically grown microalgae can capture CO2 from point sources reducing direct atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions. The enhanced biomass production potential of algae is attributed in part to the fact that every cell is photosynthetic. Regardless, overall biological energy capture, conversion, and storage in microalgae are inefficient with less than 8% conversion of solar into chemical energy achieved. In this review, we examine the thermodynamic and kinetic constraints associated with the autotrophic conversion of inorganic carbon into storage carbohydrate and oil, the dominant energy storage products in Chlorophytic microalgae. We discuss how thermodynamic restrictions including the loss of fixed carbon during acetyl CoA synthesis reduce the efficiency of carbon accumulation in lipids. In addition, kinetic limitations, such as the coupling of proton to electron transfer during plastoquinone reduction and oxidation and the slow rates of CO2 fixation by Rubisco reduce photosynthetic efficiency. In some cases, these kinetic limitations have been overcome by massive increases in the numbers of effective catalytic sites, e.g. the high Rubisco levels (mM) in chloroplasts. But in other cases, including the slow rate of plastoquinol oxidation, there has been no compensatory increase in the abundance of catalytically limiting protein complexes. Significantly, we show that the energetic requirements for producing oil and starch relative to the recoverable energy stored in these molecules are very similar on a per carbon basis. Presently, the overall rates of starch and lipid synthesis in

  16. Comparative energetics and kinetics of autotrophic lipid and starch metabolism in chlorophytic microalgae: implications for biomass and biofuel production

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Due to the growing need to provide alternatives to fossil fuels as efficiently, economically, and sustainably as possible there has been growing interest in improved biofuel production systems. Biofuels produced from microalgae are a particularly attractive option since microalgae have production potentials that exceed the best terrestrial crops by 2 to 10-fold. In addition, autotrophically grown microalgae can capture CO2 from point sources reducing direct atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions. The enhanced biomass production potential of algae is attributed in part to the fact that every cell is photosynthetic. Regardless, overall biological energy capture, conversion, and storage in microalgae are inefficient with less than 8% conversion of solar into chemical energy achieved. In this review, we examine the thermodynamic and kinetic constraints associated with the autotrophic conversion of inorganic carbon into storage carbohydrate and oil, the dominant energy storage products in Chlorophytic microalgae. We discuss how thermodynamic restrictions including the loss of fixed carbon during acetyl CoA synthesis reduce the efficiency of carbon accumulation in lipids. In addition, kinetic limitations, such as the coupling of proton to electron transfer during plastoquinone reduction and oxidation and the slow rates of CO2 fixation by Rubisco reduce photosynthetic efficiency. In some cases, these kinetic limitations have been overcome by massive increases in the numbers of effective catalytic sites, e.g. the high Rubisco levels (mM) in chloroplasts. But in other cases, including the slow rate of plastoquinol oxidation, there has been no compensatory increase in the abundance of catalytically limiting protein complexes. Significantly, we show that the energetic requirements for producing oil and starch relative to the recoverable energy stored in these molecules are very similar on a per carbon basis. Presently, the overall rates of starch and lipid synthesis in

  17. Production of biofuel using molluscan pseudofeces derived from algal cells

    SciTech Connect

    Das, Keshav C.; Chinnasamy, Senthil; Shelton, James; Wilde, Susan B.; Haynie, Rebecca S.; Herrin, James A.

    2012-08-28

    Embodiments of the present disclosure provide for novel strategies to harvest algal lipids using mollusks which after feeding algae from the growth medium can convert algal lipids into their biomass or excrete lipids in their pseudofeces which makes algae harvesting energy efficient and cost effective. The bioconverter, filter-feeding mollusks and their pseudofeces can be harvested and converted to biocrude using an advanced thermochemical liquefaction technology. Methods, systems, and materials are disclosed for the harvest and isolation of algal lipids from the mollusks, molluscan feces and molluscan pseudofeces.

  18. 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. PMID:21330711

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

  20. Green energy from marine algae: biogas production and composition from the anaerobic digestion of Irish seaweed species.

    PubMed

    Vanegas, C H; Bartlett, J

    2013-01-01

    Marine algae have emerged as an alternative feedstock for the production of a number of renewable fuels, including biogas. In addition to energy potential, other characteristics make them attractive as an energy source, including their ability to absorb carbon dioxide (CO2), higher productivity rates than land-based crops and the lack of water use or land competition. For Ireland, biofuels from marine algae can play an important role by reducing imports of fossil fuels as well as providing the necessary energy in rural communities. In this study, five potential seaweed species common in Irish waters, Saccorhiza polyschides, Ulva sp., Laminaria digitata, Fucus serratus and Saccharina latissima, were co-digested individually with bovine slurry. Batch reactors of 120ml and 1000ml were set up and incubated at 35 degrees C to investigate their suitability for production of biogas. Digesters fed with S. latissima produced the maximum methane yield (335 ml g volatile solids(-1) (g(VS)(-1) followed by S. polyschides with 255 ml g(VS)(-1). L. digitata produced 246ml g(VS)(-1) and the lowest yields were from the green seaweed Ulva sp. 191ml g(VS)(-1). The methane and CO2 percentages ranged between 50-72% and 10-45%, respectively. The results demonstrated that the seaweed species investigated are good feedstocks candidates for the production of biogas and methane as a source of energy. Their use on a large-scale process will require further investigation to increase yields and reduce production costs. PMID:24350482

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-03-15

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

  2. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pumkaew, Watcharapol

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    2010-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Ma, Ruoshui; Xu, Yan; Zhang, Xiao

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Effect of centrifugation on water recycling and algal growth to enable algae biodiesel production.

    PubMed

    Igou, Thomas; Van Ginkel, Steven W; Penalver-Argueso, Patricia; Fu, Hao; Doi, Shusuke; Narode, Asmita; Cheruvu, Sarasija; Zhang, Qian; Hassan, Fariha; Woodruff, Frazier; Chen, Yongsheng

    2014-12-01

    The latest research shows that algal biofuels, at the production levels mandated in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, will place significant demands on water and compete with agriculture meant for food production. Thus, there is a great need to recycle water while producing algal biofuels. This study shows that when using a synthetic medium, soluble algal products, bacteria, and other inhibitors can be removed by centrifugation and enable water recycling. Average water recovery reached 84% and water could be recycled at least 10 times without reducing algal growth. PMID:25654935

  8. Application of synthetic biology in cyanobacteria and algae

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Bo; Wang, Jiangxin; Zhang, Weiwen; Meldrum, Deirdre R.

    2012-01-01

    Cyanobacteria and algae are becoming increasingly attractive cell factories for producing renewable biofuels and chemicals due to their ability to capture solar energy and CO2 and their relatively simple genetic background for genetic manipulation. Increasing research efforts from the synthetic biology approach have been made in recent years to modify cyanobacteria and algae for various biotechnological applications. In this article, we critically review recent progresses in developing genetic tools for characterizing or manipulating cyanobacteria and algae, the applications of genetically modified strains for synthesizing renewable products such as biofuels and chemicals. In addition, the emergent challenges in the development and application of synthetic biology for cyanobacteria and algae are also discussed. PMID:23049529

  9. Carbon Calculator for Land Use Change from Biofuels Production (CCLUB). Users' Manual and Technical Documentation

    SciTech Connect

    Dunn, Jennifer B.; Qin, Zhangcai; Mueller, Steffen; Kwon, Ho-young; Wander, Michelle M.; Wang, Michael

    2014-09-01

    The Carbon Calculator for Land Use Change from Biofuels Production (CCLUB) calculates carbon emissions from land use change (LUC) for four different ethanol production pathways including corn grain ethanol and cellulosic ethanol from corn stover, Miscanthus, and switchgrass. This document discusses the version of CCLUB released September 30, 2014 which includes corn and three cellulosic feedstocks: corn stover, Miscanthus, and switchgrass.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  11. 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...

  12. Study of the flow mixing in a novel ARID raceway for algae production

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Xu, Ben; Li, Peiwen; Waller, P.

    2014-07-31

    A novel flow field for algae raceways has been proposed, which is fundamentally different from traditional paddlewheel-driven raceways. To reduce freezing and heat loss in the raceway during cold time, the water is drained to a deep storage canal. The ground bed of the new raceway has a low slope so that water, lifted by propeller pump, can flow down in laterally-laid serpentine channels, relying on gravitational force. The flow rate of water is controlled so that it can overflow the lateral channel walls and mix with the main flow in the next lower channel, which thus creates a bettermore » mixing. In order to optimize the design parameters of the new flow field, methods including flow visualization, local point velocity measurement, and CFD analysis were employed to investigate the flow mixing features. Different combinations of channel geometries and water velocities were evaluated. An optimized flow field design and details of flow mixing are presented. The study offers an innovative design for large scale algae growth raceways which is of significance to the algae and biofuel industry.« less

  13. Study of the flow mixing in a novel ARID raceway for algae production

    SciTech Connect

    Xu, Ben; Li, Peiwen; Waller, P.

    2014-07-31

    A novel flow field for algae raceways has been proposed, which is fundamentally different from traditional paddlewheel-driven raceways. To reduce freezing and heat loss in the raceway during cold time, the water is drained to a deep storage canal. The ground bed of the new raceway has a low slope so that water, lifted by propeller pump, can flow down in laterally-laid serpentine channels, relying on gravitational force. The flow rate of water is controlled so that it can overflow the lateral channel walls and mix with the main flow in the next lower channel, which thus creates a better mixing. In order to optimize the design parameters of the new flow field, methods including flow visualization, local point velocity measurement, and CFD analysis were employed to investigate the flow mixing features. Different combinations of channel geometries and water velocities were evaluated. An optimized flow field design and details of flow mixing are presented. The study offers an innovative design for large scale algae growth raceways which is of significance to the algae and biofuel industry.

  14. 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.

  15. The Use of the Schizonticidal Agent Quinine Sulfate to Prevent Pond Crashes for Algal-Biofuel Production

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Chunyan; Wu, Kangyan; Van Ginkel, Steve W.; Igou, Thomas; Lee, Hwa Jong; Bhargava, Aditya; Johnston, Rachel; Snell, Terry; Chen, Yongsheng

    2015-01-01

    Algal biofuels are investigated as a promising alternative to petroleum fuel sources to satisfy transportation demand. Despite the high growth rate of algae, predation by rotifers, ciliates, golden algae, and other predators will cause an algae in open ponds to crash. In this study, Chlorella kessleri was used as a model alga and the freshwater rotifer, Brachionus calyciflorus, as a model predator. The goal of this study was to test the selective toxicity of the chemical, quinine sulfate (QS), on both the alga and the rotifer in order to fully inhibit the rotifer while minimizing its impact on algal growth. The QS LC50 for B. calyciflorus was 17 µM while C. kessleri growth was not inhibited at concentrations <25 µM. In co-culture, complete inhibition of rotifers was observed when the QS concentration was 7.7 µM, while algal growth was not affected. QS applications to produce 1 million gallons of biodiesel in one year are estimated to be $0.04/gallon or ~1% of Bioenergy Technologies Office’s (BETO) projected cost of $5/gge (gallon gasoline equivalent). This provides algae farmers an important tool to manage grazing predators in algae mass cultures and avoid pond crashes. PMID:26593899

  16. The Use of the Schizonticidal Agent Quinine Sulfate to Prevent Pond Crashes for Algal-Biofuel Production.

    PubMed

    Xu, Chunyan; Wu, Kangyan; Van Ginkel, Steve W; Igou, Thomas; Lee, Hwa Jong; Bhargava, Aditya; Johnston, Rachel; Snell, Terry; Chen, Yongsheng

    2015-01-01

    Algal biofuels are investigated as a promising alternative to petroleum fuel sources to satisfy transportation demand. Despite the high growth rate of algae, predation by rotifers, ciliates, golden algae, and other predators will cause an algae in open ponds to crash. In this study, Chlorella kessleri was used as a model alga and the freshwater rotifer, Brachionus calyciflorus, as a model predator. The goal of this study was to test the selective toxicity of the chemical, quinine sulfate (QS), on both the alga and the rotifer in order to fully inhibit the rotifer while minimizing its impact on algal growth. The QS LC50 for B. calyciflorus was 17 µM while C. kessleri growth was not inhibited at concentrations <25 µM. In co-culture, complete inhibition of rotifers was observed when the QS concentration was 7.7 µM, while algal growth was not affected. QS applications to produce 1 million gallons of biodiesel in one year are estimated to be $0.04/gallon or ~1% of Bioenergy Technologies Office's (BETO) projected cost of $5/gge (gallon gasoline equivalent). This provides algae farmers an important tool to manage grazing predators in algae mass cultures and avoid pond crashes. PMID:26593899

  17. Life cycle energy and greenhouse gas emissions for an ethanol production process based on blue-green algae.

    PubMed

    Luo, Dexin; Hu, Zushou; Choi, Dong Gu; Thomas, Valerie M; Realff, Matthew J; Chance, Ronald R

    2010-11-15

    Ethanol can be produced via an intracellular photosynthetic process in cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), excreted through the cell walls, collected from closed photobioreactors as a dilute ethanol-in-water solution, and purified to fuel grade ethanol. This sequence forms the basis for a biofuel production process that is currently being examined for its commercial potential. In this paper, we calculate the life cycle energy and greenhouse gas emissions for three different system scenarios for this proposed ethanol production process, using process simulations and thermodynamic calculations. The energy required for ethanol separation increases rapidly for low initial concentrations of ethanol, and, unlike other biofuel systems, there is little waste biomass available to provide process heat and electricity to offset those energy requirements. The ethanol purification process is a major consumer of energy and a significant contributor to the carbon footprint. With a lead scenario based on a natural-gas-fueled combined heat and power system to provide process electricity and extra heat and conservative assumptions around the ethanol separation process, the net life cycle energy consumption, excluding photosynthesis, ranges from 0.55 MJ/MJ(EtOH) down to 0.20 MJ/ MJ(EtOH), and the net life cycle greenhouse gas emissions range from 29.8 g CO₂e/MJ(EtOH) down to 12.3 g CO₂e/MJ(EtOH) for initial ethanol concentrations from 0.5 wt % to 5 wt %. In comparison to gasoline, these predicted values represent 67% and 87% reductions in the carbon footprint for this ethanol fuel on a energy equivalent basis. Energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions can be further reduced via employment of higher efficiency heat exchangers in ethanol purification and/ or with use of solar thermal for some of the process heat. PMID:20968295

  18. Using wastewater and high-rate algal ponds for nutrient removal and the production of bioenergy and biofuels.

    PubMed

    Batten, David; Beer, Tom; Freischmidt, George; Grant, Tim; Liffman, Kurt; Paterson, David; Priestley, Tony; Rye, Lucas; Threlfall, Greg

    2013-01-01

    This paper projects a positive outcome for large-scale algal biofuel and energy production when wastewater treatment is the primary goal. Such a view arises partly from a recent change in emphasis in wastewater treatment technology, from simply oxidising the organic matter in the waste (i.e. removing the biological oxygen demand) to removing the nutrients - specifically nitrogen and phosphorus - which are the root cause of eutrophication of inland waterways and coastal zones. A growing need for nutrient removal greatly improves the prospects for using new algal ponds in wastewater treatment, since microalgae are particularly efficient in capturing and removing such nutrients. Using a spreadsheet model, four scenarios combining algae biomass production with the making of biodiesel, biogas and other products were assessed for two of Australia's largest wastewater treatment plants. The results showed that super critical water reactors and anaerobic digesters could be attractive pathway options, the latter providing significant savings in greenhouse gas emissions. Combining anaerobic digestion with oil extraction and the internal economies derived from cheap land and recycling of water and nutrients on-site could allow algal oil to be produced for less than US$1 per litre. PMID:23306273

  19. Local bioprospecting for high-lipid producing microalgal strains to be grown on concentrated municipal wastewater for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Wenguang; Li, Yecong; Min, Min; Hu, Bing; Chen, Paul; Ruan, Roger

    2011-07-01

    Mass cultivation of microalgae for biofuel production depends heavily on the performance of the microalgae strains used. In this study, 60 algae-like microorganisms collected from different sampling sites in Minnesota were examined using multi-step screening and acclimation procedures to select high-lipid producing facultative heterotrophic microalgae strains capable of growing on concentrated municipal wastewater (CMW) for simultaneous energy crop production and wastewater treatment. Twenty-seven facultative heterotrophic microalgae strains were found, among which 17 strains were proved to be tolerant to CMW. These 17 top-performing strains were identified through morphological observation and DNA sequencing as Chlorella sp., Heynigia sp., Hindakia sp., Micractinium sp., and Scenedesmus sp. Five strains were chosen for other studies because of their ability to adapt to CMW, high growth rates (0.455-0.498 d(-1)) and higher lipid productivities (74.5-77.8 mg L(-1)d(-1)). These strains are considered highly promising compared with other strains reported in the literature. PMID:21546246

  20. Fuelling the future: microbial engineering for the production of sustainable biofuels.

    PubMed

    Liao, James C; Mi, Luo; Pontrelli, Sammy; Luo, Shanshan

    2016-04-01

    Global climate change linked to the accumulation of greenhouse gases has caused concerns regarding the use of fossil fuels as the major energy source. To mitigate climate change while keeping energy supply sustainable, one solution is to rely on the ability of microorganisms to use renewable resources for biofuel synthesis. In this Review, we discuss how microorganisms can be explored for the production of next-generation biofuels, based on the ability of bacteria and fungi to use lignocellulose; through direct CO2 conversion by microalgae; using lithoautotrophs driven by solar electricity; or through the capacity of microorganisms to use methane generated from landfill. Furthermore, we discuss how to direct these substrates to the biosynthetic pathways of various fuel compounds and how to optimize biofuel production by engineering fuel pathways and central metabolism. PMID:27026253

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  3. Optimizing biofuel feedstock production based on impacts on regional water resources and quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    The impact of water pollution on surface water has been of increasing concern as more land and agricultural residues are used for biofuel feedstock production. This study presents the potential impacts of different feedstock production scenarios on regional water resources and quality and further optimize the production using stream discharge and water quality as additional constrains. An integrated watershed hydrology model and optimization algorithm was developed to simulate stream water quality and optimize the change in land use and residue management on the Ohio River Basin, which currently contributes the majority of the flow volume and pollutions of nutrient and sediment to the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico. Various plausible future biofuel feedstock production scenarios, including the projection by the DOE Billion Ton Study, were considered to assess the potential impacts on the region and local streams discharges, evapotranspiration, soil moisture content, sediment erosion, nitrogen and phosphorus loadings. Depending on the associated land use and management changes for biofuel, the resulted impacts on the region water resources and stream qualities are found to be mixed with considerable spatial and temporal variations, thus providing an opportunity to further optimize the biomass production by taking into account its potential implication on the basin water resources and quality. An evolution-based optimization technique was applied to optimize the feedstock production by considering their associated impacts on water. The results confirm the capacity to meet both the biofuel and water resources and quality demands.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Simultaneous production of bio-ethanol and bleached pulp from red algae.

    PubMed

    Yoon, Min Ho; Lee, Yoon Woo; Lee, Chun Han; Seo, Yung Bum

    2012-12-01

    The red algae, Gelidium corneum, was used to produce bleached pulp for papermaking and ethanol. Aqueous extracts obtained at 100-140 °C were subjected to saccharification, purification, fermentation, and distillation to produce ethanol. The solid remnants were bleached with chlorine dioxide and peroxide to make pulp. In the extraction process, sulfuric acid and sodium thiosulfate were added to increase the extract yield and to improve de-polymerization of the extracts, as well as to generate high-quality pulp. An extraction process incorporating 5% sodium thiosulfate by dry weight of the algae provided optimal production conditions for the production of both strong pulp and a high ethanol yield. These results suggest that it might be possible to utilize algae instead of trees and starch for pulp and ethanol production, respectively. PMID:23073109

  7. 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. PMID:22230775

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Duncan

    Distributed mobile conversion facilities using either fast pyrolysis or torrefaction processes can be used to convert forest residues to more energy dense substances (bio-oil, bio-slurry or torrefied wood) that can be transported as feedstock for bio-fuel facilities. All feedstock are suited for gasification, which produces syngas that can be used to synthesise petrol or diesel via Fischer-Tropsch reactions, or produce hydrogen via water gas shift reactions. Alternatively, the bio-oil product of fast pyrolysis may be upgraded to produce petrol and diesel, or can undergo steam reformation to produce hydrogen. Implementing a network of mobile facilities reduces the energy content of forest residues delivered to a bio-fuel facility as mobile facilities use a fraction of the biomass energy content to meet thermal or electrical demands. The total energy delivered by bio-oil, bio-slurry and torrefied wood is 45%, 65% and 87% of the initial forest residue energy content, respectively. However, implementing mobile facilities is economically feasible when large transport distances are required. For an annual harvest of 1.717 million m3 (equivalent to 2000 ODTPD), transport costs are reduced to less than 40% of the total levelised delivered feedstock cost when mobile facilities are implemented; transport costs account for up to 80% of feedstock costs for conventional woodchip delivery. Torrefaction provides the lowest cost pathway of delivering a forest residue resource when using mobile facilities. Cost savings occur against woodchip delivery for annual forest residue harvests above 2.25 million m3 or when transport distances greater than 250 km are required. Important parameters that influence levelised delivered costs of feedstock are transport distances (forest residue spatial density), haul cost factors, thermal and electrical demands of mobile facilities, and initial moisture content of forest residues. Relocating mobile facilities can be optimised for lowest cost

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  10. Producing sorghum cellulosic feedstock for advanced biofuels production and its impact on soil physical properties

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    According Energy Policy Act of 2005, the U.S. must produce 21 billion gallons of advanced biofuels in 2022. Cellulosic material is considered a renewable and environmental improved alternative source for energy production. Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) is considered a high cellulosic biomass producti...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  12. Fluid Fertilizer's Role in Sustaining Soils Used for Bio-fuels Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-06-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. A novel process for enhancing oil production in algae biorefineries through bioconversion of solid by-products.

    PubMed

    Trzcinski, Antoine P; Hernandez, Ernesto; Webb, Colin

    2012-07-01

    This paper focuses on a novel process for adding value to algae residue. In current processes oleaginous microalgae are grown and harvested for lipid production leaving a lipid-free algae residue. The process described here includes conversion of the carbohydrate fraction into glucose prior to lipid extraction. This can be fermented to produce up to 15% additional lipids using another oleaginous microorganism. It was found that in situ enzymes can hydrolyze storage carbohydrates in the algae into glucose and that a temperature of 55 °C for about 20 h gave the best glucose yield. Up to 75% of available carbohydrates were converted to a generic fermentation feedstock containing 73 g/L glucose. The bioconversion step was found to increase the free water content by 60% and it was found that when the bioconversion was carried out prior to the extraction step, it improved the solvent extractability of lipids from the algae. PMID:22522020

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  4. Offshore Membrane Enclosure for Growing Algai (Omega) System for Biofuel Production, Wastewater Treatment, and CO2 Sequestration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trent, Jonathan; Embaye, Tsegereda; Buckwalter, Patrick; Richardson, Tra-My; Kagawa, Hiromi; Reinsch, Sigrid

    2010-01-01

    We are developing Offshore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae (OMEGA). OMEGAs are closed photo-bioreactors constructed of flexible, inexpensive, and durable plastic with small sections of semi-permeable membranes for gas exchange and forward osmosis (FO). Each OMEGA modules is filled with municipal wastewater and provided with CO2 from coastal CO2 sources. The OMEGA modules float just below the surface, and the surrounding seawater provides structural support, temperature control, and mixing for the freshwater algae cultures inside. The salinity gradient from inside to outside drives forward osmosis through the patches of FO membranes. This concentrates nutrients in the wastewater, which enhances algal growth, and slowly dewaters the algae, which facilitates harvesting. The concentrated algal biomass is harvested for producing biofuels and fertilizer. OMEGA system cleans the wastewater released into the surrounding coastal waters and functions as a carbon sequestration system.

  5. Efficiency of the biodiesel production from microalgae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chernova, N. I.; Kiseleva, S. V.; Popel', O. S.

    2014-06-01

    Biomass of the highly productive algae is a promising nontraditional raw material for biopower engineering, including production of energy and motor fuels from it. The paper presents an analysis of the efficiency of solar energy conversion to microalgae biofuel based both on the general theoretical approaches and on the experimental results obtained in various pilot projects. Some data on the economic efficiency of biofuel production from algae are also discussed. The possible ways to enhance the efficiency of microalgae energy use are formulated.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-25

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

  12. The place of algae in agriculture: policies for algal biomass production.

    PubMed

    Trentacoste, Emily M; Martinez, Alice M; Zenk, Tim

    2015-03-01

    Algae have been used for food and nutraceuticals for thousands of years, and the large-scale cultivation of algae, or algaculture, has existed for over half a century. More recently algae have been identified and developed as renewable fuel sources, and the cultivation of algal biomass for various products is transitioning to commercial-scale systems. It is crucial during this period that institutional frameworks (i.e., policies) support and promote development and commercialization and anticipate and stimulate the evolution of the algal biomass industry as a source of renewable fuels, high value protein and carbohydrates and low-cost drugs. Large-scale cultivation of algae merges the fundamental aspects of traditional agricultural farming and aquaculture. Despite this overlap, algaculture has not yet been afforded a position within agriculture or the benefits associated with it. Various federal and state agricultural support and assistance programs are currently appropriated for crops, but their extension to algal biomass is uncertain. These programs are essential for nascent industries to encourage investment, build infrastructure, disseminate technical experience and information, and create markets. This review describes the potential agricultural policies and programs that could support algal biomass cultivation, and the barriers to the expansion of these programs to algae. PMID:24599393

  13. Hydrogen Production by the Thermophilic Alga Mastigocladus laminosus: Effects of Nitrogen, Temperature, and Inhibition of Photosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Miyamoto, Kazuhisa; Hallenbeck, Patrick C.; Benemann, John R.

    1979-01-01

    Hydrogen production by nitrogen-limited cultures of a thermophilic blue-green alga (cyanobacterium), Mastigocladus laminosus, was studied to develop the concept of a high-temperature biophotolysis system. Biophotolytic production of hydrogen by solar radiation was also demonstrated. Hydrogen consumption activity in these cultures was relatively high and is the present limiting factor on both the net rate and duration of hydrogen production. PMID:16345432

  14. High productivity cultivation of a heat-resistant microalga Chlorella sorokiniana for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Li, Tingting; Zheng, Yubin; Yu, Liang; Chen, Shulin

    2013-03-01

    To augment biomass and lipid productivities of heterotrophic cultured microalgae Chlorella sorokiniana, the influence of environmental temperature and medium factors, such as carbon source, nitrogen source, and their initial concentrations was investigated in this study. The microalga C. sorokiniana could tolerate up to 42°C and showed the highest growth rate of 1.60d(-1) at 37°C. The maximum dry cell weight (DCW) and corresponding lipid concentration was obtained with 80gL(-1) of initial glucose and 4gL(-1) of initial KNO3 at 37°C. In 5-L batch fermentation, the DCW increased dramatically from 0.9gL(-1) to 37.6gL(-1) in the first 72h cultivation, with the DCW productivity of 12.2gL(-1)d(-1). The maximum lipid content of 31.5% was achieved in 96h and the lipid productivity was 2.9gL(-1)d(-1). The results showed C. sorokiniana could be a promising strain for biofuel production. PMID:23340103

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-07-01

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

  16. Biofuel, dairy production and beef in Brazil: competing claims on land use in São Paulo state.

    PubMed

    Novo, André Luiz Monteiro; Jansen, Kees; Slingerland, Maja; Giller, Ken

    2010-01-01

    This paper examines the competing claims on land use resulting from the expansion of biofuel production. Sugarcane for biofuel drives agrarian change in So Paulo state, which has become the major ethanol-producing region in Brazil. We analyse how the expansion of sugarcane-based ethanol in So Paulo state has impacted dairy and beef production. Historical changes in land use, production technologies, and product and land prices are described, as well as how these are linked to changing policies in Brazil. We argue that sugarcane/biofuel expansion should be understood in the context of the dynamics of other agricultural sectors and the long-term national political economy rather than as solely due to recent global demand for biofuel. This argument is based on a meticulous analysis of changes in three important sectors - sugarcane, dairy farming, and beef production - and the mutual interactions between these sectors. PMID:21125724

  17. Reconstruction of the lipid metabolism for the microalga Monoraphidium neglectum from its genome sequence reveals characteristics suitable for biofuel production

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Microalgae are gaining importance as sustainable production hosts in the fields of biotechnology and bioenergy. A robust biomass accumulating strain of the genus Monoraphidium (SAG 48.87) was investigated in this work as a potential feedstock for biofuel production. The genome was sequenced, annotated, and key enzymes for triacylglycerol formation were elucidated. Results Monoraphidium neglectum was identified as an oleaginous species with favourable growth characteristics as well as a high potential for crude oil production, based on neutral lipid contents of approximately 21% (dry weight) under nitrogen starvation, composed of predominantly C18:1 and C16:0 fatty acids. Further characterization revealed growth in a relatively wide pH range and salt concentrations of up to 1.0% NaCl, in which the cells exhibited larger structures. This first full genome sequencing of a member of the Selenastraceae revealed a diploid, approximately 68 Mbp genome with a G + C content of 64.7%. The circular chloroplast genome was assembled to a 135,362 bp single contig, containing 67 protein-coding genes. The assembly of the mitochondrial genome resulted in two contigs with an approximate total size of 94 kb, the largest known mitochondrial genome within algae. 16,761 protein-coding genes were assigned to the nuclear genome. Comparison of gene sets with respect to functional categories revealed a higher gene number assigned to the category “carbohydrate metabolic process” and in “fatty acid biosynthetic process” in M. neglectum when compared to Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Nannochloropsis gaditana, indicating a higher metabolic diversity for applications in carbohydrate conversions of biotechnological relevance. Conclusions The genome of M. neglectum, as well as the metabolic reconstruction of crucial lipid pathways, provides new insights into the diversity of the lipid metabolism in microalgae. The results of this work provide a platform to encourage the

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2014-10-10

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  1. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-12-02

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Lipid recovery from wet oleaginous microbial biomass for biofuel production: A critical review

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Dong, Tao; Knoshaug, Eric P.; Pienkos, Philip T.; Laurens, Lieve M. L.

    2016-06-15

    Biological lipids derived from oleaginous microorganisms are promising precursors for renewable biofuel productions. Direct lipid extraction from wet cell-biomass is favored because it eliminates the need for costly dehydration. However, the development of a practical and scalable process for extracting lipids from wet cell-biomass is far from ready to be commercialized, instead, requiring intensive research and development to understand the lipid accessibility, mechanisms in mass transfer and establish robust lipid extraction approaches that are practical for industrial applications. Furthermore, this paper aims to present a critical review on lipid recovery in the context of biofuel productions with special attention tomore » cell disruption and lipid mass transfer to support extraction from wet biomass.« less

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Environmental and economic assessment of integrated systems for dairy manure treatment coupled with algae bioenergy production.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yongli; White, Mark A; Colosi, Lisa M

    2013-02-01

    Life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle costing (LCC) are used to investigate integrated algae bioenergy production and nutrient management on small dairy farms. Four cases are considered: a reference land-application scenario (REF), anaerobic digestion with land-application of liquid digestate (AD), and anaerobic digestion with recycling of liquid digestate to either an open-pond algae cultivation system (OPS) or an algae turf scrubber (ATS). LCA indicates that all three "improved" scenarios (AD, OPS, and ATS) are environmentally favorable compared to REF, exhibiting increases in net energy output up to 854GJ/yr, reductions in net eutrophication potential up to 2700kg PO(4)-eq/yr, and reductions in global warming potential up to 196Mg CO(2)-eq/yr. LCC reveals that the integrated algae systems are much more financially attractive than either AD or REF, whereby net present values (NPV) are as follows: $853,250 for OPS, $790,280 for ATS, -$62,279 for REF, and -$211,126 for AD. However, these results are highly dependent on the sale price for nutrient credits. Comparison of LCA and LCC results indicates that robust nutrient credit markets or other policy tools are required to align financial and environmental preferability of energy production systems and foster widespread adoption of sustainable nutrient management systems. PMID:23313697

  9. Treatment of Dairy Manure Effluent Using Freshwater Algae in Outdoor Pilot-Scale Raceways: Algal Production and Nutrient Recovery

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An alternative practice to land spreading of manure effluents is to grow crops of algae on the nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) present in these liquid slurries. The objective of this study was to determine how algal productivity, nutrient removal efficiency, and elemental composition of turf algae ...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  11. Flotation: A promising microalgae harvesting and dewatering technology for biofuels production.

    PubMed

    Ndikubwimana, Theoneste; Chang, Jingyu; Xiao, Zongyuan; Shao, Wenyao; Zeng, Xianhai; Ng, I-Son; Lu, Yinghua

    2016-03-01

    Microalgal biomass as renewable energy source is believed to be of great potential for reliable and sustainable biofuels production. However, microalgal biomass production is pinned by harvesting and dewatering stage thus hindering the developing and growing microalgae biotechnology industries. Flotation technology applied in mineral industry could be potentially applied in microalgae harvesting and dewatering, however substantial knowledge on different flotation units is essential. This paper presents an overview on different flotation units as promising cost-effective technologies for microalgae harvesting thus bestowing for further research in development and commercialization of microalgae based biofuels. Dispersed air flotation was found to be less energy consuming. Moreover, Jameson cell flotation and dispersed ozone flotation are believed to be energy efficient microalgae flotation approaches. Microalgae harvesting and dewatering by flotation is still at embryonic stage, therefore extended studies with the focus on life cycle assessment, sustainability of the flotation unit, optimization of the operating parameters using different algal species is imperative. Though there are a number of challenges in microalgae harvesting and dewatering, with well designed and developed cultivation, harvesting/dewatering, extraction and conversion technologies, progressively, microalgae technology will be of great potential for biological carbon sequestration, biofuels and biochemicals production. PMID:26928758

  12. Biofuel production from catalytic cracking of woody oils.

    PubMed

    Xu, Junming; Jiang, Jianchun; Chen, Jie; Sun, Yunjuan

    2010-07-01

    The catalytic cracking reactions of several kinds of woody oils have been studied. The products were analyzed by GC-MS and FTIR and show the formation of olefins, paraffins and carboxylic acids. Several kinds of catalysts were compared. It was found that the fraction distribution of product was modified by using base catalysts such as CaO. The products from woody oils showed good cold flow properties compared with diesel used in China. The results presented in this work have shown that the catalytic cracking of woody oils generates fuels that have physical and chemical properties comparable to those specified for petroleum based fuels. PMID:20206508

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaichenko, Victor

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

  14. Photosynthetic biomass and H2 production by green algae: from bioengineering to bioreactor scale-up.

    PubMed

    Hankamer, Ben; Lehr, Florian; Rupprecht, Jens; Mussgnug, Jan H; Posten, Clemens; Kruse, Olaf

    2007-09-01

    The development of clean borderless fuels is of vital importance to human and environmental health and global prosperity. Currently, fuels make up approximately 67% of the global energy market (total market = 15 TW year(-1)) (Hoffert et al. 1998). In contrast, global electricity demand accounts for only 33% (Hoffert et al. 1998). Yet, despite the importance of fuels, almost all CO(2) free energy production systems under development are designed to drive electricity generation (e.g. clean-coal technology, nuclear, photovoltaic, wind, geothermal, wave and hydroelectric). In contrast, and indeed almost uniquely, biofuels also target the much larger fuel market and so in the future will play an increasingly important role in maintaining energy security (Lal 2005). Currently, the main biofuels that are at varying stages of development include bio-ethanol, liquid carbohydrates [e.g. biodiesel or biomass to liquid (BTL) products], biomethane and bio-H(2). This review is focused on placing bio-H(2) production processes into the context of the current biofuels market and summarizing advances made both at the level of bioengineering and bioreactor design. PMID:18251920

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  16. Induced production of brominated aromatic compounds in the alga Ceramium tenuicorne.

    PubMed

    Dahlgren, Elin; Enhus, Carolina; Lindqvist, Dennis; Eklund, Britta; Asplund, Lillemor

    2015-11-01

    In the Baltic Sea, high concentrations of toxic brominated aromatic compounds have been detected in all compartments of the marine food web. A growing body of evidence points towards filamentous algae as a natural producer of these chemicals. However, little is known about the effects of environmental factors and life history on algal production of brominated compounds. In this study, several congeners of methoxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (MeO-PBDEs), hydroxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (OH-PBDEs) and brominated phenols (BPs) were identified in a naturally growing filamentous red algal species (Ceramium tenuicorne) in the Baltic Sea. The identified substances displayed large seasonal variations in the alga with a concentration peak in July. Production of MeO-/OH-PBDEs and BPs by C. tenuicorne was also established in isolated clonal material grown in a controlled laboratory setting. Based on three replicates, herbivory, as well as elevated levels of light and salinity in the culture medium, significantly increased the production of 2,4,6-tribromophenol (2,4,6-TBP). Investigation of differences in production between the isomorphic female, male and diploid clonal life stages of the alga grown in the laboratory revealed a significantly higher production of 2,4,6-TBP in the brackish water female gametophytes, compared to the corresponding marine gametophytes. Even higher concentrations of 2,4,6-TBP were produced by marine male gametophytes and sporophytes. PMID:26178826

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  18. Lactobacillus casei as a biocatalyst for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Vinay-Lara, Elena; Wang, Song; Bai, Lina; Phrommao, Ekkarat; Broadbent, Jeff R; Steele, James L

    2016-09-01

    Microbial fermentation of sugars from plant biomass to alcohols represents an alternative to petroleum-based fuels. The optimal biocatalyst for such fermentations needs to overcome hurdles such as high concentrations of alcohols and toxic compounds. Lactic acid bacteria, especially lactobacilli, have high innate alcohol tolerance and are remarkably adaptive to harsh environments. This study assessed the potential of five Lactobacillus casei strains as biocatalysts for alcohol production. L. casei 12A was selected based upon its innate alcohol tolerance, high transformation efficiency and ability to utilize plant-derived carbohydrates. A 12A derivative engineered to produce ethanol (L. casei E1) was compared to two other bacterial biocatalysts. Maximal growth rate, maximal optical density and ethanol production were determined under conditions similar to those present during alcohol production from lignocellulosic feedstocks. L. casei E1 exhibited higher innate alcohol tolerance, better growth in the presence of corn stover hydrolysate stressors, and resulted in higher ethanol yields. PMID:27312380

  19. Evaluation of the nutritional quality of co-products from the nut industry, algae and an invertebrate meal for rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The static supply and increasing demand for fish meal has created a need to evaluate a variety of alternate proteins. Many species of algae are being grown for as a potential source of bio-fuels, and mussel meal is thought to increase feed intake. The tree nut industry is based primarily on whole nu...

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-01-01

    Background: The fermentation inhibition of yeast or bacteria by lignocellulose-derived degradation products, during hexose/pentose co-fermentation, is a major bottleneck for cost-effective lignocellulosic biorefineries. To engineer microbial strains for improved performance, it is critical to understand the mechanisms of inhibition that affect fermentative organisms in the presence of major components of a lignocellulosic hydrolysate. The development of a synthetic lignocellulosic hydrolysate (SH) media with a composition similar to the actual biomass hydrolysate will be an important advancement to facilitate these studies. In this work, we characterized the nutrients and plant-derived decomposition products present in AFEX™ pretreated corn stover hydrolysate (ACH). The SH was formulated based on the ACH composition and was further used to evaluate the inhibitory effects of various families of decomposition products during Saccharomyces cerevisiae 424A (LNH-ST) fermentation. Results: The ACH contained high levels of nitrogenous compounds, notably amides, pyrazines, and imidazoles. In contrast, a relatively low content of furans and aromatic and aliphatic acids were found in the ACH. Though most of the families of decomposition products were inhibitory to xylose fermentation, due to their abundance, the nitrogenous compounds showed the most inhibition. From these compounds, amides (products of the ammonolysis reaction) contributed the most to the reduction of the fermentation performance. However, this result is associated to a concentration effect, as the corresponding carboxylic acids (products of hydrolysis) promoted greater inhibition when present at the same molar concentration as the amides. Due to its complexity, the formulated SH did not perfectly match the fermentation profile of the actual hydrolysate, especially the growth curve. However, the SH formulation was effective for studying the inhibitory effect of various compounds on yeast fermentation

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2015-01-01

    Background: The fermentation inhibition of yeast or bacteria by lignocellulose-derived degradation products, during hexose/pentose co-fermentation, is a major bottleneck for cost-effective lignocellulosic biorefineries. To engineer microbial strains for improved performance, it is critical to understand the mechanisms of inhibition that affect fermentative organisms in the presence of major components of a lignocellulosic hydrolysate. The development of a synthetic lignocellulosic hydrolysate (SH) media with a composition similar to the actual biomass hydrolysate will be an important advancement to facilitate these studies. In this work, we characterized the nutrients and plant-derived decomposition products present in AFEX™ pretreated corn stover hydrolysate (ACH). Themore » SH was formulated based on the ACH composition and was further used to evaluate the inhibitory effects of various families of decomposition products during Saccharomyces cerevisiae 424A (LNH-ST) fermentation. Results: The ACH contained high levels of nitrogenous compounds, notably amides, pyrazines, and imidazoles. In contrast, a relatively low content of furans and aromatic and aliphatic acids were found in the ACH. Though most of the families of decomposition products were inhibitory to xylose fermentation, due to their abundance, the nitrogenous compounds showed the most inhibition. From these compounds, amides (products of the ammonolysis reaction) contributed the most to the reduction of the fermentation performance. However, this result is associated to a concentration effect, as the corresponding carboxylic acids (products of hydrolysis) promoted greater inhibition when present at the same molar concentration as the amides. Due to its complexity, the formulated SH did not perfectly match the fermentation profile of the actual hydrolysate, especially the growth curve. However, the SH formulation was effective for studying the inhibitory effect of various compounds on yeast

  2. Engineering of a novel cellulose-adherent cellulolytic Saccharomyces cerevisiae for cellulosic biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhuo; Ho, Shih-Hsin; Sasaki, Kengo; den Haan, Riaan; Inokuma, Kentaro; Ogino, Chiaki; van Zyl, Willem H; Hasunuma, Tomohisa; Kondo, Akihiko

    2016-01-01

    Cellulosic biofuel is the subject of increasing attention. The main obstacle toward its economic feasibility is the recalcitrance of lignocellulose requiring large amount of enzyme to break. Several engineered yeast strains have been developed with cellulolytic activities to reduce the need for enzyme addition, but exhibiting limited effect. Here, we report the successful engineering of a cellulose-adherent Saccharomyces cerevisiae displaying four different synergistic cellulases on the cell surface. The cellulase-displaying yeast strain exhibited clear cell-to-cellulose adhesion and a "tearing" cellulose degradation pattern; the adhesion ability correlated with enhanced surface area and roughness of the target cellulose fibers, resulting in higher hydrolysis efficiency. The engineered yeast directly produced ethanol from rice straw despite a more than 40% decrease in the required enzyme dosage for high-density fermentation. Thus, improved cell-to-cellulose interactions provided a novel strategy for increasing cellulose hydrolysis, suggesting a mechanism for promoting the feasibility of cellulosic biofuel production. PMID:27079382

  3. Can Sweet Sorghum be used for Biofuel Production?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  4. Processing of Brassica seeds for feedstock in biofuels production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Several Brassica species are currently being evaluated to develop regionalized production systems based on their suitability to the environment and with the prevailing practices of growing commodity food crops like wheat, corn, and soybeans. This integrated approach to farming will provide high qual...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  6. De novo transcriptomic analysis of hydrogen production in the green alga Chlamydomonas moewusii through RNA-Seq

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Microalgae can make a significant contribution towards meeting global renewable energy needs in both carbon-based and hydrogen (H2) biofuel. The development of energy-related products from algae could be accelerated with improvements in systems biology tools, and recent advances in sequencing technology provide a platform for enhanced transcriptomic analyses. However, these techniques are still heavily reliant upon available genomic sequence data. Chlamydomonas moewusii is a unicellular green alga capable of evolving molecular H2 under both dark and light anaerobic conditions, and has high hydrogenase activity that can be rapidly induced. However, to date, there is no systematic investigation of transcriptomic profiling during induction of H2 photoproduction in this organism. Results In this work, RNA-Seq was applied to investigate transcriptomic profiles during the dark anaerobic induction of H2 photoproduction. 156 million reads generated from 7 samples were then used for de novo assembly after data trimming. BlastX results against NCBI database and Blast2GO results were used to interpret the functions of the assembled 34,136 contigs, which were then used as the reference contigs for RNA-Seq analysis. Our results indicated that more contigs were differentially expressed during the period of early and higher H2 photoproduction, and fewer contigs were differentially expressed when H2-photoproduction rates decreased. In addition, C. moewusii and C. reinhardtii share core functional pathways, and transcripts for H2 photoproduction and anaerobic metabolite production were identified in both organisms. C. moewusii also possesses similar metabolic flexibility as C. reinhardtii, and the difference between C. moewusii and C. reinhardtii on hydrogenase expression and anaerobic fermentative pathways involved in redox balancing may explain their different profiles of hydrogenase activity and secreted anaerobic metabolites. Conclusions Herein, we have described a

  7. Soil carbon sequestration and land use change associated with biofuel production: Empirical evidence

    SciTech Connect

    Qin, Zhangcai; Dunn, Jennifer B.; Kwon, Hoyoung; Mueller, Steffen; Wander, Michelle M.

    2016-01-01

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) change can be a major impact of land use change (LUC) associated with biofuel feedstock production. By collecting and analyzing data from worldwide field observations with major LUCs from cropland, grassland and forest to lands producing biofuel crops (i.e., corn, switchgrass, Miscanthus, poplar and willow), we were able to estimate SOC response ratios and sequestration rates and evaluate the effects of soil depth and time scale on SOC change. Both the amount and rate of SOC change were highly dependent on the specific land transition. Irrespective of soil depth or time horizon, cropland conversions resulted in an overall SOC gain of 6-14% relative to initial SOC level, while conversion from grassland or forest to corn (without residue removal) or poplar caused significant carbon loss (9-35%). No significant SOC changes were observed in land converted from grasslands or forests to switchgrass, Miscanthus or willow. The SOC response ratios were similar in both 0-30 and 0-100 cm soil depths in most cases, suggesting SOC changes in deep soil and that use of top soil only for SOC accounting in biofuel life cycle analysis (LCA) might underestimate total SOC changes. Soil carbon sequestration rates varied greatly among studies and land transition types. Generally, the rates of SOC change tended to be the greatest during the 10 years following land conversion, and had declined to approach 0 within about 20 years for most LUCs. Observed trends in SOC change were generally consistent with previous reports. Soil depth and duration of study significantly influence SOC change rates and so should be considered in carbon emission accounting in biofuel LCA. High uncertainty remains for many perennial systems, field trials and modeling efforts are needed to determine the site- and system-specific rates and direction of change associated with their production.

  8. Effects of artemisinin sustained-release granules on mixed alga growth and microcystins production and release.

    PubMed

    Ni, Lixiao; Li, Danye; Hu, Shuzhen; Wang, Peifang; Li, Shiyin; Li, Yiping; Li, Yong; Acharya, Kumud

    2015-12-01

    To safely and effectively apply artemisinin sustained-release granules to control and prevent algal water-blooms, the effects of artemisinin and its sustained-release granules on freshwater alga (Scenedesmus obliquus (S. obliquus) and Microcystis aeruginosa (M. aeruginosa)), as well as the production and release of microcystins (MCs) were studied. The results showed that artemisinin sustained-release granules inhibited the growth of M. aeruginosa (above 95% IR) and S. obliquus (about 90% IR), with M. aeruginosa more sensitive. The artemisinin sustained-release granules had a longer inhibition effect on growth of pure algae and algal coexistence than direct artemisinin dosing. The artemisinin sustained-release granules could decrease the production and release of algal toxins due to the continued stress of artemisinin released from artemisinin sustained-release granules. There was no increase in the total amount of MC-LR in the algal cell culture medium. PMID:26432265

  9. Production of biofuels and biochemicals: in need of an ORACLE.

    PubMed

    Miskovic, Ljubisa; Hatzimanikatis, Vassily

    2010-08-01

    The engineering of cells for the production of fuels and chemicals involves simultaneous optimization of multiple objectives, such as specific productivity, extended substrate range and improved tolerance - all under a great degree of uncertainty. The achievement of these objectives under physiological and process constraints will be impossible without the use of mathematical modeling. However, the limited information and the uncertainty in the available information require new methods for modeling and simulation that will characterize the uncertainty and will quantify, in a statistical sense, the expectations of success of alternative metabolic engineering strategies. We discuss these considerations toward developing a framework for the Optimization and Risk Analysis of Complex Living Entities (ORACLE) - a computational method that integrates available information into a mathematical structure to calculate control coefficients. PMID:20646768

  10. PRODUCTION OF BIODIESEL FROM ALGAE APPLIED TO AGRICULTURAL WASTEWATER TREATMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    With increasing dependence on foreign oil, escalating energy prices, and persistent air and water pollution associated with energy production, the U.S. is in need of a clean-burning renewable energy sources. Biodiesel is a rapidly expanding alternative fuel that has the po...

  11. CO{sub 2} capture and biofuels production with microalgae

    SciTech Connect

    Benemann, J.R.

    1995-11-01

    Microalgae cultivation in large open ponds is the only biological process capable of directly utilizing power plant flue gas CO{sub 2} for production of renewable fuels, such as biodiesel, thus mitigating the potential for global warming. Past and recent systems studies have concluded that in principle this concept could be economically feasible, but that this technology still requires both fundamental and applied long-term R&D.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-11-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Grant Hawkes; James O'Brien; Michael McKellar

    2012-06-01

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

  14. Production of Recombinant Proteins in the Chloroplast of the Green Alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

    PubMed

    Guzmán-Zapata, Daniel; Macedo-Osorio, Karla Soledad; Almaraz-Delgado, Alma Lorena; Durán-Figueroa, Noé; Badillo-Corona, Jesus Agustín

    2016-01-01

    Chloroplast transformation in the green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii can be used for the production of valuable recombinant proteins. Here, we describe chloroplast transformation of C. reinhardtii followed by protein detection. Genes of interest integrate stably by homologous recombination into the chloroplast genome following introduction by particle bombardment. Genes are inherited and expressed in lines recovered after selection in the presence of an antibiotic. Recombinant proteins can be detected by conventional techniques like immunoblotting and purified from liquid cultures. PMID:26614282

  15. 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.

  16. Synergistic temperature and ethanol effect on Saccharomyces cerevisiae dynamic behaviour in ethanol bio-fuel production.

    PubMed

    Aldiguier, A S; Alfenore, S; Cameleyre, X; Goma, G; Uribelarrea, J L; Guillouet, S E; Molina-Jouve, C

    2004-07-01

    The impact of ethanol and temperature on the dynamic behaviour of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in ethanol biofuel production was studied using an isothermal fed-batch process at five different temperatures. Fermentation parameters and kinetics were quantified. The best performances were found at 30 and 33 degrees C around 120 g l(-1) ethanol produced in 30 h with a slight benefit for growth at 30 degrees C and for ethanol production at 33 degrees C. Glycerol formation, enhanced with increasing temperatures, was coupled with growth for all fermentations; whereas, a decoupling phenomenon occurred at 36 and 39 degrees C pointing out a possible role of glycerol in yeast thermal protection. PMID:15098119

  17. Dissecting and engineering metabolic and regulatory networks of thermophilic bacteria for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Lin, Lu; Xu, Jian

    2013-11-01

    Interest in thermophilic bacteria as live-cell catalysts in biofuel and biochemical industry has surged in recent years, due to their tolerance of high temperature and wide spectrum of carbon-sources that include cellulose. However their direct employment as microbial cellular factories in the highly demanding industrial conditions has been hindered by uncompetitive biofuel productivity, relatively low tolerance to solvent and osmic stresses, and limitation in genome engineering tools. In this work we review recent advances in dissecting and engineering the metabolic and regulatory networks of thermophilic bacteria for improving the traits of key interest in biofuel industry: cellulose degradation, pentose-hexose co-utilization, and tolerance of thermal, osmotic, and solvent stresses. Moreover, new technologies enabling more efficient genetic engineering of thermophiles were discussed, such as improved electroporation, ultrasound-mediated DNA delivery, as well as thermo-stable plasmids and functional selection systems. Expanded applications of such technological advancements in thermophilic microbes promise to substantiate a synthetic biology perspective, where functional parts, module, chassis, cells and consortia were modularly designed and rationally assembled for the many missions at industry and nature that demand the extraordinary talents of these extremophiles. PMID:23510903

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    DOE Data Explorer

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

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Primary productivity and the prospects for biofuels in the United Kingdom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawson, G. J.; Callaghan, T. V.

    1983-09-01

    Estimates of land use and plant productivity are combined to predict total annual primary production in the UK as 252 million tonnes dry matter (10.5 t ha-1yr-1). Annual above ground production is predicted to be 165 Mt (6.9 t ha-1yr-1). Within these totals, intensive agriculture contributes 60%, productive woodland 8%, natural vegetation 26% and urban vegetation 5%. However, only 25% of total plant production is cropped by man and animals, and most of this is subsequently discarded as wastes and residues. 2112 PJ of organic material is available for fuel without reducing food or fibre production, but since much of this could not be economically collected, 859 PJ is calculated as a more realistic biofuel contribution by the year 2000. After deducting 50% conversion losses, this could save P1 billion (1979 prices) in oil imports. Short rotation energy plantations, forest residues, coppice woodlands, animal and crop wastes, industrial and domestic wastes, catch crops, natural vegetation and urban vegetation all have immediate or short term potential as biofuel sources. Sensitive planning is required to reduce environmental impact, but in some cases more diverse wildlife habitats may be created.

  2. Ultrasonic waste activated sludge disintegration for recovering multiple nutrients for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Xie, Guo-Jun; Liu, Bing-Feng; Wang, Qilin; Ding, Jie; Ren, Nan-Qi

    2016-04-15

    Waste activated sludge is a valuable resource containing multiple nutrients, but is currently treated and disposed of as an important source of pollution. In this work, waste activated sludge after ultrasound pretreatment was reused as multiple nutrients for biofuel production. The nutrients trapped in sludge floc were transferred into liquid medium by ultrasonic disintegration during first 30 min, while further increase of pretreatment time only resulted in slight increase of nutrients release. Hydrogen production by Ethanoligenens harbinense B49 from glucose significantly increased with the concentration of ultrasonic sludge, and reached maximum yield of 1.97 mol H2/mol glucose at sludge concentration of 7.75 g volatile suspended solids/l. Without addition of any other chemicals, waste molasses rich in carbohydrate was efficiently turned into hydrogen with yield of 189.34 ml H2/g total sugar by E. harbinense B49 using ultrasonic sludge as nutrients. The results also showed that hydrogen production using pretreated sludge as multiple nutrients was higher than those using standard nutrients. Acetic acid produced by E. harbinense B49 together with the residual nutrients in the liquid medium were further converted into hydrogen (271.36 ml H2/g total sugar) by Rhodopseudomonas faecalis RLD-53 through photo fermentation, while ethanol was the sole end product with yield of 220.26 mg/g total sugar. Thus, pretreated sludge was an efficient nutrients source for biofuel production, which could replace the standard nutrients. This research provided a novel strategy to achieve environmental friendly sludge disposal and simultaneous efficient biofuel recovery from organic waste. PMID:26896823

  3. Perennial grass production for biofuels: Soil conservation considerations

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-12-31

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

  4. Understanding and engineering enzymes for enhanced biofuel production.

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. Perennial grass production for biofuels: Soil conversion considerations

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-10-01

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

  6. Increased biomass productivity in green algae by tuning non-photochemical quenching.

    PubMed

    Berteotti, Silvia; Ballottari, Matteo; Bassi, Roberto

    2016-01-01

    Photosynthetic microalgae have a high potential for the production of biofuels and highly valued metabolites. However, their current industrial exploitation is limited by a productivity in photobioreactors that is low compared to potential productivity. The high cell density and pigment content of the surface layers of photosynthetic microalgae result in absorption of excess photons and energy dissipation through non-photochemical quenching (NPQ). NPQ prevents photoinhibition, but its activation reduces the efficiency of photosynthetic energy conversion. In Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, NPQ is catalyzed by protein subunits encoded by three lhcsr (light harvesting complex stress related) genes. Here, we show that heat dissipation and biomass productivity depends on LHCSR protein accumulation. Indeed, algal strains lacking two lhcsr genes can grow in a wide range of light growth conditions without suffering from photoinhibition and are more productive than wild-type. Thus, the down-regulation of NPQ appears to be a suitable strategy for improving light use efficiency for biomass and biofuel production in microalgae. PMID:26888481

  7. Increased biomass productivity in green algae by tuning non-photochemical quenching

    PubMed Central

    Berteotti, Silvia; Ballottari, Matteo; Bassi, Roberto

    2016-01-01

    Photosynthetic microalgae have a high potential for the production of biofuels and highly valued metabolites. However, their current industrial exploitation is limited by a productivity in photobioreactors that is low compared to potential productivity. The high cell density and pigment content of the surface layers of photosynthetic microalgae result in absorption of excess photons and energy dissipation through non-photochemical quenching (NPQ). NPQ prevents photoinhibition, but its activation reduces the efficiency of photosynthetic energy conversion. In Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, NPQ is catalyzed by protein subunits encoded by three lhcsr (light harvesting complex stress related) genes. Here, we show that heat dissipation and biomass productivity depends on LHCSR protein accumulation. Indeed, algal strains lacking two lhcsr genes can grow in a wide range of light growth conditions without suffering from photoinhibition and are more productive than wild-type. Thus, the down-regulation of NPQ appears to be a suitable strategy for improving light use efficiency for biomass and biofuel production in microalgae. PMID:26888481

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wu, Y.; Liu, S.

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Theoretical lessons for increasing algal biofuel: Evolution of oil accumulation to avert carbon starvation in microalgae.

    PubMed

    Akita, Tetsuya; Kamo, Masashi

    2015-09-01

    Microalgae-derived oil is considered as a feasible alternative to fossil-derived oil. To produce more algal biomass, both algal population size and oil accumulation in algae must be maximized. Most of the previous studies have concentrated on only one of these issues, and relatively little attention has been devoted to considering the tradeoff between them. In this paper, we first theoretically investigated evolutionary reasons for oil accumulation and then by coupling population and evolutionary dynamics, we searched for conditions that may provide better yields. Using our model, we assume that algae allocate assimilated carbon to growth, maintenance, and carbon accumulation as biofuel and that the amount of essential materials (carbon and nitrate) are strongly linked in fixed proportions. Such stoichiometrically explicit models showed that (i) algae with more oil show slower population growth; therefore, the use of such algae results in lower total yields of biofuel and (ii) oil accumulation in algae is caused by carbon and not nitrate starvation. The latter can be interpreted as a strategy for avoiding the risk of increased death rate by carbon starvation. Our model also showed that both strong carbon starvation and moderately limited nitrate will promote total biofuel production. Our results highlight considering the life-history traits for a higher total yields of biofuel, which leads to insight into both establishing a prolonged culture and collection of desired strains from a natural environment. PMID:26047852

  14. Vermont Biofuels Initiative: Local Production for Local Use to Supply a Portion of Vermont's Energy Needs

    SciTech Connect

    Sawyer, Scott; Kahler, Ellen

    2009-05-31

    The Vermont Biofuels initiative (VBI) is the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund's (VSJF) biomass-to-biofuels market development program. Vermont is a small state with a large petroleum dependency for transportation (18th in per capita petroleum consumption) and home heating (55% of all households use petroleum for heating). The VBI marks the first strategic effort to reduce Vermont's dependency on petroleum through the development of homegrown alternatives. As such, it supports the four key priorities of the U.S. Department of Energy's Multi-year Biomass Plan: 1.) Dramatically reduce dependence on foreign oil; 2.) Promote the use of diverse, domestic and sustainable energy resources; 3.) Reduce carbon emissions from energy production and consumption; 4.) Establish a domestic bioindustry. In 2005 VSJF was awarded with a $496,000 Congressionally directed award from U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy. This award was administered through the U.S. Department of Energy (DE-FG36- 05GO85017, hereafter referred to as DOE FY05) with $396,000 to be used by VSJF for biodiesel development and $100,000 to be used by the Vermont Department of Public Service for methane biodigester projects. The intent and strategic focus of the VBI is similar to another DOE funded organization-the Biofuels Center of North Carolina-in that it is a nonprofit driven, statewide biofuels market development effort. DOE FY05 funds were expensed from 2006 through 2008 for seven projects: 1) a feedstock production, logistics, and biomass conversion research project conducted by the University of Vermont Extension; 2) technical assistance in the form of a safety review and engineering study of State Line Biofuels existing biodiesel production facility; 3) technical assistance in the form of a safety review and engineering study of Borderview Farm's proposed biodiesel production facility; 4) technology and infrastructure purchases for capacity expansion at Green Technologies, LLC, a waste vegetable biodiesel producer; 5

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-12-01

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

  16. Design of a Nutrient Reclamation System for the Cultivation of Microalgae for Biofuel Production and Other Industrial Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandefur, Heather Nicole

    Microalgal biomass has been identified as a promising feedstock for a number of industrial applications, including the synthesis of new pharmaceutical and biofuel products. However, there are several economic limitations associated with the scale up of existing algal production processes. Critical economic studies of algae-based industrial processes highlight the high cost of supplying essential nutrients to microalgae cultures. With microalgae cells having relatively high nitrogen contents (4 to 8%), the N fertilizer cost in industrial-scale production is significant. In addition, the disposal of the large volumes of cell residuals that are generated during product extraction stages can pose other economic challenges. While waste streams can provide a concentrated source of nutrients, concerns about the presence of biological contaminants and the expense of heat treatment pose challenges to processes that use wastewater as a nutrient source in microalgae cultures. The goal of this study was to evaluate the potential application of ultrafiltration technology to aid in the utilization of agricultural wastewater in the cultivation of a high-value microalgae strain. An ultrafiltration system was used to remove inorganic solids and biological contaminants from wastewater taken from a swine farm in Savoy, Arkansas. The permeate from the system was then used as the nutrient source for the cultivation of the marine microalgae Porphyridium cruentum. During the ultrafiltration system operation, little membrane fouling was observed, and permeate fluxes remained relatively constant during both short-term and long-term tests. The complete rejection of E. coli and coliforms from the wastewater was also observed, in addition to a 75% reduction in total solids, including inorganic materials. The processed permeate was shown to have very high concentrations of total nitrogen (695.6 mg L-1) and total phosphorus (69.1 mg L-1 ). In addition, the growth of P. cruentum was analyzed in

  17. 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...

  18. Biofuel production from crude palm oil with supercritical alcohols: comparative LCA studies.

    PubMed

    Sawangkeaw, Ruengwit; Teeravitud, Sunsanee; Piumsomboon, Pornpote; Ngamprasertsith, Somkiat

    2012-09-01

    A recent life cycle assessment (LCA) reported that biodiesel production in supercritical alcohols (SCA) produces a higher environmental load than the homogeneous catalytic process because an enormous amount of energy is required to recover excess alcohol. However, the excess alcohol could be dramatically reduced by increasing the operating temperature to 400°C; although the product would have to be considered as an alternative biofuel instead of biodiesel. A comparative LCA of the biodiesel production in two SCA at 300°C (C-SCA) and novel biofuel production in the same two SCA at 400°C (N-SCA) is presented. It was clear that the N-SCA process produces a dramatically reduced environmental load over that of the C-SCA process due to a lower amount of excess alcohol being used. The N-SCA process could be improved in terms of its environmental impact by changing from fossil fuel to biomass-based fuels for the steam generation. PMID:22776259

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Chew, Thiam Leng; Bhatia, Subhash

    2008-11-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    2010-07-16

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

  3. Highly Efficient Process for Production of Biofuel from Ethanol Catalyzed by Ruthenium Pincer Complexes.

    PubMed

    Xie, Yinjun; Ben-David, Yehoshoa; Shimon, Linda J W; Milstein, David

    2016-07-27

    A highly efficient ruthenium pincer-catalyzed Guerbet-type process for the production of biofuel from ethanol has been developed. It produces the highest conversion of ethanol (73.4%, 0.02 mol% catalyst) for a Guerbet-type reaction, including significant amounts of C4 (35.8% yield), C6 (28.2% yield), and C8 (9.4% yield) alcohols. Catalyst loadings as low as 0.001 mol% can be used, leading to a record turnover number of 18 209. Mechanistic studies reveal the likely active ruthenium species and the main deactivation process. PMID:27399841

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-02-14

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

  5. A review on factors affecting microcystins production by algae in aquatic environments.

    PubMed

    Dai, Ruihua; Wang, Pinfei; Jia, Peili; Zhang, Yi; Chu, Xincheng; Wang, Yifei

    2016-03-01

    Microcystins, a toxin produced by Microcystis aeruginosa have become a global environmental issue in recent years. As a consequence of eutrophication, microcystins have become widely disseminated in drinking water sources, seriously impairing drinking water quality. This review focuses on the relationship between microcystins synthesis and physical, chemical, and biological environmental factors that are significant in controlling their production. Light intensity and temperature are the more important physical factors, and in many cases, an optimum level for these two factors has been observed. Nitrogen and phosphorus are the key chemical factors causing frequent occurrence of harmful algal blooms and microcystins production. The absorption of nutrients and metabolic activities of algae are affected by different concentrations and forms of nitrogen and phosphorus, leading to variations in microcystins production Metal ions and emerging pollutants are other significant chemical factors, whose comprehensive impact is still being studied. Algae can also interact with biological agents like predators and competitors in aquatic environments, and such interactions are suggested to promote MCs production and release. This review further highlights areas that require further research in order to gain a better understanding of microcystins production. It provides a theoretical basis for the control of microcystins production and releasing into aquatic environments. PMID:26874538

  6. Resource Evaluation and Site Selection for Microalgae Production in India

    SciTech Connect

    Milbrandt, A.; Jarvis, E.

    2010-09-01

    The study evaluates climate conditions, availability of CO2 and other nutrients, water resources, and land characteristics to identify areas in India suitable for algae production. The purpose is to provide an understanding of the resource potential in India for algae biofuels production and to assist policymakers, investors, and industry developers in their future strategic decisions.

  7. 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. PMID:24227704

  8. 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.

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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

  10. Integration of microalgae cultivation with industrial waste remediation for biofuel and bioenergy production: opportunities and limitations.

    PubMed

    McGinn, Patrick J; Dickinson, Kathryn E; Bhatti, Shabana; Frigon, Jean-Claude; Guiot, Serge R; O'Leary, Stephen J B

    2011-09-01

    There is currently a renewed interest in developing microalgae as a source of renewable energy and fuel. Microalgae hold great potential as a source of biomass for the production of energy and fungible liquid transportation fuels. However, the technologies required for large-scale cultivation, processing, and conversion of microalgal biomass to energy products are underdeveloped. Microalgae offer several advantages over traditional 'first-generation' biofuels crops like corn: these include superior biomass productivity, the ability to grow on poor-quality land unsuitable for agriculture, and the potential for sustainable growth by extracting macro- and micronutrients from wastewater and industrial flue-stack emissions. Integrating microalgal cultivation with municipal wastewater treatment and industrial CO(2) emissions from coal-fired power plants is a potential strategy to produce large quantities of biomass, and represents an opportunity to develop, test, and optimize the necessary technologies to make microalgal biofuels more cost-effective and efficient. However, many constraints on the eventual deployment of this technology must be taken into consideration and mitigating strategies developed before large scale microalgal cultivation can become a reality. As a strategy for CO(2) biomitigation from industrial point source emitters, microalgal cultivation can be limited by the availability of land, light, and other nutrients like N and P. Effective removal of N and P from municipal wastewater is limited by the processing capacity of available microalgal cultivation systems. Strategies to mitigate against the constraints are discussed. PMID:21461850

  11. Acid-Catalyzed Algal Biomass Pretreatment for Integrated Lipid and Carbohydrate-Based Biofuels Production

    SciTech Connect

    Laurens, L. M. L.; Nagle, N.; Davis, R.; Sweeney, N.; Van Wychen, S.; Lowell, A.; Pienkos, P. T.

    2014-11-12

    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. We studied the effect of harvest timing on the conversion yields, using two algal strains; Chlorella and Scenedesmus, generating biomass with distinctive compositional ratios of protein, carbohydrate, and lipids. We found that the late harvest Scenedesmus biomass had the maximum theoretical biofuel potential at 143 gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) combined fuel yield per dry ton biomass, followed by late harvest Chlorella at 128 GGE per ton. Our experimental data show a clear difference between the two strains, as Scenedesmus was more successfully converted in this process with a demonstrated 97 GGE per ton. Our measurements indicated a release of >90% of the available glucose in the hydrolysate liquors and an extraction and recovery of up to 97% of the fatty acids from wet biomass. Techno-economic analysis for the combined product yields indicates that this process exhibits the potential to improve per-gallon fuel costs by up to 33% compared to a lipids-only process for one strain, Scenedesmus, grown to the mid-point harvest condition.

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

    PubMed Central

    Higgins, Brendan T.; VanderGheynst, Jean S.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Effects of Escherichia coli on mixotrophic growth of Chlorella minutissima and production of biofuel precursors.

    PubMed

    Higgins, Brendan T; VanderGheynst, Jean S

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Parasites in algae mass culture

    PubMed Central

    Carney, Laura T.; Lane, Todd W.

    2014-01-01

    Parasites are now known to be ubiquitous across biological systems and can play an important role in modulating algal populations. However, there is a lack of extensive information on their role in artificial ecosystems such as algal production ponds and photobioreactors. Parasites have been implicated in the demise of algal blooms. Because individual mass culture systems often tend to be unialgal and a select few algal species are in wide scale application, there is an increased potential for parasites to have a devastating effect on commercial scale monoculture. As commercial algal production continues to expand with a widening variety of applications, including biofuel, food and pharmaceuticals, the parasites associated with algae will become of greater interest and potential economic impact. A number of important algal parasites have been identified in algal mass culture systems in the last few years and this number is sure to grow as the number of commercial algae ventures increases. Here, we review the research that has identified and characterized parasites infecting mass cultivated algae, the techniques being proposed and or developed to control them, and the potential impact of parasites on the future of the algal biomass industry. PMID:24936200

  16. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Sun, Amy Cha-Tien; Reno, Marissa Devan

    2007-09-01

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

  18. Effect of algae pigmentation on photobioreactor productivity and scale-up: A light transfer perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, Thomas E.; Berberoğlu, Halil

    2011-12-01

    This paper reports a numerical study coupling light transfer with photosynthetic rate models to determine the size and microorganism concentration of photobioreactors based on the pigmentation of algae to achieve maximum productivity. The wild strain Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and its transformant tla1 with 63% lower pigmentation are used as exemplary algae. First, empirical models of the specific photosynthetic rates were obtained from experimental data as a function of local irradiance using inverse methods. Then, these models were coupled with the radiative transfer equation (RTE) to predict both the local and total photosynthetic rates in a planar photobioreactor (PBR). The optical thickness was identified as the proper scaling parameter. The results indicated that under full sunlight corresponding to about 400 W/m2 photosynthetically active irradiation, enhancement of PBR productivity up to 30% was possible with tla1. Moreover, under similar irradiation, optical thicknesses above 169 and 275 for the wild strain and tla1, respectively, did not further enhance PBR productivity. Based on these results guidelines are provided for maximizing PBR productivity from a light transport perspective.

  19. Optimization of Biofuel and Biochar Production from the Slow Pyrolysis of Biomass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, J.; Gao, B.; Nsf Reu in Water Resources

    2010-12-01

    Slow pyrolysis was performed on biomass samples (i.e., energy cane and air potato) to determine the most energy efficient conditions for producing biofuel and biochar. The potential of air potato as a source of fuel and char was also investigated. Dry biomass samples of 10, 15 and 20 g were heated in a reactor at a final temperatures of 300, 450, or 600 °C, and the minimum amount of time required to complete pyrolysis was recorded. Maximum biochar yield was obtained at 300°C for both energy cane and air potato at all masses, and maximum bio-oil yield was obtained at 450°C for all samples. Pyrolysis required the least amount of time at 450°C. Bio-oil yields for air potato were slightly lower than that of energy cane, while biochar yield was slightly higher. Since air potato showed similar product yields to energy cane, this indicates it has potential to be a good feedstock for biofuel and biochar productions.

  20. Simulated moving bed separation of agarose-hydrolyzate components for biofuel production from marine biomass.

    PubMed

    Kim, Pung-Ho; Nam, Hee-Geun; Park, Chanhun; Wang, Nien-Hwa Linda; Chang, Yong Keun; Mun, Sungyong

    2015-08-01

    The economically-efficient separation of galactose, levulinic acid (LA), and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF) in acid hydrolyzate of agarose has been a key issue in the area of biofuel production from marine biomass. To address this issue, an optimal simulated moving bed (SMB) process for continuous separation of the three agarose-hydrolyzate components with high purities, high yields, and high throughput was developed in this study. As a first step for this task, the adsorption isotherm and mass-transfer parameters of each component on the qualified adsorbent were determined through a series of multiple frontal experiments. The determined parameters were then used in optimizing the SMB process for the considered separation. Finally, the optimized SMB process was tested experimentally using a self-assembled SMB unit with four zones. The SMB experimental results and the relevant computer simulations verified that the developed process in this study was quite successful in the economically-efficient separation of galactose, LA, and 5-HMF in a continuous mode with high purities and high yields. It is thus expected that the developed SMB process in this study will be able to serve as one of the trustworthy ways of improving the economic feasibility of biofuel production from marine biomass. PMID:26141276

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-02-24

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

  2. Comparative Proteomics Analysis of Engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae with Enhanced Biofuel Precursor Production

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Xiaoling; Feng, Huixing; Zhang, Jianhua; Chen, Wei Ning

    2013-01-01

    The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae was metabolically modified for enhanced biofuel precursor production by knocking out genes encoding mitochondrial isocitrate dehydrogenase and over-expression of a heterologous ATP-citrate lyase. A comparative iTRAQ-coupled 2D LC-MS/MS analysis was performed to obtain a global overview of ubiquitous protein expression changes in S. cerevisiae engineered strains. More than 300 proteins were identified. Among these proteins, 37 were found differentially expressed in engineered strains and they were classified into specific categories based on their enzyme functions. Most of the proteins involved in glycolytic and pyruvate branch-point pathways were found to be up-regulated and the proteins involved in respiration and glyoxylate pathway were however found to be down-regulated in engineered strains. Moreover, the metabolic modification of S. cerevisiae cells resulted in a number of up-regulated proteins involved in stress response and differentially expressed proteins involved in amino acid metabolism and protein biosynthesis pathways. These LC-MS/MS based proteomics analysis results not only offered extensive information in identifying potential protein-protein interactions, signal pathways and ubiquitous cellular changes elicited by the engineered pathways, but also provided a meaningful biological information platform serving further modification of yeast cells for enhanced biofuel production. PMID:24376832

  3. Microalgae Recovery from Water for Biofuel Production Using CO2-Switchable Crystalline Nanocellulose.

    PubMed

    Ge, Shijian; Champagne, Pascale; Wang, Haidong; Jessop, Philip G; Cunningham, Michael F

    2016-07-19

    There is a pressing need to develop efficient and sustainable approaches to harvesting microalgae for biofuel production and water treatment. CO2-switchable crystalline nanocellulose (CNC) modified with 1-(3-aminopropyl)imidazole (APIm) is proposed as a reversible coagulant for harvesting microalgae. Compared to native CNC, the positively charged APIm-modified CNC, which dispersed well in carbonated water, showed appreciable electrostatic interaction with negatively charged Chlorella vulgaris upon CO2-treatment. The gelation between the modified CNC, triggered by subsequent air sparging, can also enmesh adjacent microalgae and/or microalgae-modified CNC aggregates, thereby further enhancing harvesting efficiencies. Moreover, the surface charges and dispersion/gelation of APIm-modified CNC could be reversibly adjusted by alternatively sparging CO2/air. This CO2-switchability would make the reusability of redispersed CNC for further harvesting possible. After harvesting, the supernatant following sedimentation can be reused for microalgal cultivation without detrimental effects on cell growth. The use of this approach for harvesting microalgae presents an advantage to other current methods available because all materials involved, including the cellulose, CO2, and air, are natural and biocompatible without adverse effects on the downstream processing for biofuel production. PMID:27314988

  4. Biomass production of multipopulation microalgae in open air pond for biofuel potential.

    PubMed

    Selvakumar, P; Umadevi, K

    2016-04-01

    Biodiesel gains attention as it is made from renewable resources and has considerable environmental benefits. The present investigation has focused on large scale cultivation of multipopulation microalgae in open air pond using natural sea water without any additional nutritive supplements for low cost biomass production as a possible source of biofuel in large scale. Open air algal pond attained average chlorophyll concentration of 11.01 µg/L with the maximum of 43.65 µg/L as well as a higher lipid concentration of 18% (w/w) with lipid content 9.3 mg/L on the 10th day of the culture; and maximum biomass of 0.36 g/L on the 7th day of the culture. Composition analysis of fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) was performed by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GCMS). Multipopulation of algal biomass had 18% of total lipid content with 55% of total saturated fatty acids (SFA), 35.3% of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and 9.7% of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), revealing a potential source of biofuel production at low cost. PMID:27295924

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

    PubMed

    Sohel, M Imroz; Jack, Michael W

    2011-02-01

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

  6. Multiple facets of anoxic metabolism and hydrogen production in the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

    PubMed

    Grossman, Arthur R; Catalanotti, Claudia; Yang, Wenqiang; Dubini, Alexandra; Magneschi, Leonardo; Subramanian, Venkataramanan; Posewitz, Matthew C; Seibert, Michael

    2011-04-01

    Many microbes in the soil environment experience micro-oxic or anoxic conditions for much of the late afternoon and night, which inhibit or prevent respiratory metabolism. To sustain the production of energy and maintain vital cellular processes during the night, organisms have developed numerous pathways for fermentative metabolism. This review discusses fermentation pathways identified for the soil-dwelling model alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, its ability to produce molecular hydrogen under anoxic conditions through the activity of hydrogenases, and the molecular flexibility associated with fermentative metabolism that has only recently been revealed through the analysis of specific mutant strains. PMID:21563367

  7. Production of ω-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids From Cull Potato Using an Algae Culture Process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chi, Zhanyou; Hu, Bo; Liu, Yan; Frear, Craig; Wen, Zhiyou; Chen, Shulin

    Algal cultivation for converting cull potato to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was studied. Schizochytrium limacinum SR21 was selected as the better producing strain, compared with Thraustochytrium aureum because of higher cell density and DHA content. Used as both carbon and nitrogen source, an optimal ratio of hydrolyzed potato broth in the culture medium was determined as 50%, with which the highest production of 21.7 g/L dry algae biomass and 5.35 g/L DHA was obtained, with extra glucose supplemented. Repeat culture further improved the cell density but not fed batch culture, suggesting limited growth was most likely caused by metabolites inhibition.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Growth and photosynthetic response of a freshwater alga, Selenastrum capricornutum, to an oil shale by-product water

    SciTech Connect

    Delistraty, D.

    1986-01-01

    Several recent studies have focused on toxic effects of various oil shale waters to freshwater algae (e.g., Cleave et al. 1980; McKnight et al. 1983). Algal bioassays are ecologically significant, since algae are the dominant primary producers in most freshwater environments. Furthermore, algae have been shown to be more sensitive to complex wastes than fish or invertebrates. Using a standard algal species provides a systematic approach to toxicant evaluation. One such species is Selenastrum capricornutum Printz, a freshwater unicellular green alga. A strategy to assess the hazards of complex effluents should include a battery of rapid, easily conducted, predictive tests within the larger framework of tier testing. This approach is used in this study to compare the growth and photosynthetic response of S. capricornutum to an oil shale by-product water and its organophilic and hydrophilic subfractions.

  10. Bicarbonate-based Integrated Carbon Capture and Algae Production System with alkalihalophilic cyanobacterium.

    PubMed

    Chi, Zhanyou; Xie, Yuxiao; Elloy, Farah; Zheng, Yubin; Hu, Yucai; Chen, Shulin

    2013-04-01

    An extremely alkalihalophilic cyanobacteria Euhalothece ZM001 was tested in the Bicarbonate-based Integrated Carbon Capture and Algae Production System (BICCAPS), which utilize bicarbonate as carbon source for algae culture and use the regenerated carbonate to absorb CO2. Culture conditions including temperature, inoculation rate, medium composition, pH, and light intensity were investigated. A final biomass concentration of 4.79 g/L was reached in tissue flask culture with 1.0 M NaHCO3/Na2CO3. The biomass productivity of 1.21 g/L/day was achieved under optimal conditions. When pH increased from 9.55 to 10.51, 0.256 M of inorganic carbon was consumed during the culture process. This indicated sufficient carbon can be supplied as bicarbonate to the culture. This study proved that a high biomass production rate can be achieved in a BICCAPS. This strategy can also lead to new design of photobioreactors that provides an alternative supply of CO2 to sparging. PMID:23455223

  11. Biological research survey for the efficient conversion of biomass to biofuels.

    SciTech Connect

    Kent, Michael Stuart; Andrews, Katherine M.

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this four-week late start LDRD was to assess the current status of science and technology with regard to the production of biofuels. The main focus was on production of biodiesel from nonpetroleum sources, mainly vegetable oils and algae, and production of bioethanol from lignocellulosic biomass. One goal was to assess the major technological hurdles for economic production of biofuels for these two approaches. Another goal was to compare the challenges and potential benefits of the two approaches. A third goal was to determine areas of research where Sandia's unique technical capabilities can have a particularly strong impact in these technologies.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-17

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    Recent increases in oil prices, a strong national interest in greater energy independence, and a concern for the role of fossil fuels in global climate change, have led to a dramatic expansion in use of alternative renewable energy sources in the U.S. The U.S. government has mandated production of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022, of which 16 billion gallons are required to be cellulosic biofuels. Production of cellulosic biomass offers a promising alternative to corn-based systems because large-scale production of corn-based ethanol often requires irrigation and is associated with increased erosion, excess sediment export, and enhanced leaching of nitrogen and phosphorus. Although cultivation of switchgrass using standard agricultural practices is one option being considered for production of cellulosic biomass, intercropping cellulosic biofuel crops within managed forests could provide feedstock without primary land use change or the water quality impacts associated with annual crops. Catchlight Energy LLC is examining the feasibility and sustainability of intercropping switchgrass in loblolly pine plantations in the southeastern U.S. Ongoing research is determining efficient operational techniques and information needed to evaluate effects of these practices on water resources in small watershed-scale (~25 ha) studies. Three sets of four to five sub-watersheds are fully instrumented and currently collecting calibration data in North Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi. These watershed studies will provide detailed information to understand processes and guide management decisions. However, environmental implications of cellulosic systems need to be examined at a regional scale. We used the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), a physically-based hydrologic model, to examine water quantity effects of various land use change scenarios ranging from switchgrass intercropping a small percentage of managed pine forest land to conversion of all managed

  14. Estimating sugarcane water requirements for biofuel feedstock production in Maui, Hawaii using satellite imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, H.; Anderson, R. G.; Wang, D.

    2011-12-01

    Water availability is one of the limiting factors for sustainable production of biofuel crops. A common method for determining crop water requirement is to multiply daily potential evapotranspiration (ETo) calculated from meteorological parameters by a crop coefficient (Kc) to obtain actual crop evapotranspiration (ETc). Generic Kc values are available for many crop types but not for sugarcane in Maui, Hawaii, which grows on a relatively unstudied biennial cycle. In this study, an algorithm is being developed to estimate sugarcane Kc using normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) derived from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) imagery. A series of ASTER NDVI maps were used to depict canopy development over time or fractional canopy cover (fc) which was measured with a handheld multispectral camera in the fields during satellite overpass days. Canopy cover was correlated with NDVI values. Then the NDVI based canopy cover was used to estimate Kc curves for sugarcane plants. The remotely estimated Kc and ETc values were compared and validated with ground-truth ETc measurements. The approach is a promising tool for large scale estimation of evapotranspiration of sugarcane or other biofuel crops.

  15. Engineering of a novel cellulose-adherent cellulolytic Saccharomyces cerevisiae for cellulosic biofuel production

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zhuo; Ho, Shih-Hsin; Sasaki, Kengo; den Haan, Riaan; Inokuma, Kentaro; Ogino, Chiaki; van Zyl, Willem H.; Hasunuma, Tomohisa; Kondo, Akihiko

    2016-01-01

    Cellulosic biofuel is the subject of increasing attention. The main obstacle toward its economic feasibility is the recalcitrance of lignocellulose requiring large amount of enzyme to break. Several engineered yeast strains have been developed with cellulolytic activities to reduce the need for enzyme addition, but exhibiting limited effect. Here, we report the successful engineering of a cellulose-adherent Saccharomyces cerevisiae displaying four different synergistic cellulases on the cell surface. The cellulase-displaying yeast strain exhibited clear cell-to-cellulose adhesion and a “tearing” cellulose degradation pattern; the adhesion ability correlated with enhanced surface area and roughness of the target cellulose fibers, resulting in higher hydrolysis efficiency. The engineered yeast directly produced ethanol from rice straw despite a more than 40% decrease in the required enzyme dosage for high-density fermentation. Thus, improved cell-to-cellulose interactions provided a novel strategy for increasing cellulose hydrolysis, suggesting a mechanism for promoting the feasibility of cellulosic biofuel production. PMID:27079382

  16. Comparison of various microalgae liquid biofuel production pathways based on energetic, economic and environmental criteria.

    PubMed

    Delrue, F; Li-Beisson, Y; Setier, P-A; Sahut, C; Roubaud, A; Froment, A-K; Peltier, G

    2013-05-01

    In view of the increasing demand for bioenergy, in this study, the techno-economic viabilities for three emerging pathways to microalgal biofuel production have been evaluated. The three processes evaluated are the hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL), oil secretion and alkane secretion. These three routes differ in their lipid extraction procedure and the end-products produced. This analysis showed that these three processes showed various advantages: possibility to convert the defatted microalgae into bio-crude via HTL thus increasing the total biodiesel yield; better energetic and environmental performance for oil secretion and an even increased net energy ratio (NER) for alkane secretion. However, great technological breakthroughs are needed before planning any scale-up strategy such as continuous wet biomass processing and heat exchange optimization for the HTL pathway and effective and sustainable excretion for both secretion pathways. PMID:23567683

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takano, Maki; Hoshino, Kazuhiro

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

  20. Structure of a three-domain sesquiterpene synthase: a prospective target for advanced biofuels production.

    PubMed

    McAndrew, Ryan P; Peralta-Yahya, Pamela P; DeGiovanni, Andy; Pereira, Jose H; Hadi, Masood Z; Keasling, Jay D; Adams, Paul D

    2011-12-01

    The sesquiterpene bisabolene was recently identified as a biosynthetic precursor to bisabolane, an advanced biofuel with physicochemical properties similar to those of D2 diesel. High-titer microbial bisabolene production was achieved using Abies grandis α-bisabolene synthase (AgBIS). Here, we report the structure of AgBIS, a three-domain plant sesquiterpene synthase, crystallized in its apo form and bound to five different inhibitors. Structural and biochemical characterization of the AgBIS terpene synthase Class I active site leads us to propose a catalytic mechanism for the cyclization of farnesyl diphosphate into bisabolene via a bisabolyl cation intermediate. Further, we describe the nonfunctional AgBIS Class II active site whose high similarity to bifunctional diterpene synthases makes it an important link in understanding terpene synthase evolution. Practically, the AgBIS crystal structure is important in future protein engineering efforts to increase the microbial production of bisabolene. PMID:22153510

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  2. Novel approaches to microalgal and cyanobacterial cultivation for bioenergy and biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Heimann, Kirsten

    2016-04-01

    Growing demand for energy and food by the global population mandates finding water-efficient renewable resources. Microalgae/cyanobacteria have shown demonstrated capacity to contribute to global energy and food security. Yet, despite proven process technology and established net energy-effectiveness and cost-effectiveness through co-product generation, microalgal biofuels are not a reality. This review outlines novel biofilm cultivation strategies that are water-smart, the opportunity for direct energy conversion via anaerobic digestion of N2-fixing cyanobacterial biomass and integrative strategies for microalgal biodiesel and/or biocrude production via supercritical methanol-direct transesterification and hydrothermal liquefaction, respectively. Additionally, fermentation of cyanobacterial biofilms could supply bioethanol to feed wet transesterification to biodiesel conversion for on-site use in remote locations. PMID:26953746

  3. Plant cell wall engineering: applications in biofuel production and improved human health.

    PubMed

    Burton, Rachel A; Fincher, Geoffrey B

    2014-04-01

    Plant cell walls consist largely of cellulose, non-cellulosic polysaccharides and lignin. Concerted attempts are underway to convert wall polysaccharides from crop plant residues into renewable transport fuels and other valuable products, and to exploit the dietary benefits of cereal grain wall polysaccharides in human health. Attempts to improve plant performance for these applications have involved the manipulation of the levels and structures of wall components. Some successes in altering non-cellulosic polysaccharides has been achieved, but it would appear that drastic changes in cellulose are more difficult to engineer. Nevertheless, future prospects for both genetically modified (GM) and non-GM technologies to modify plant cell wall composition and structure remain bright, and will undoubtedly find applications beyond the current focus on human health and biofuel production. PMID:24679262

  4. Optimal production of 4-deoxy-L-erythro-5-hexoseulose uronic acid from alginate for brown macro algae saccharification by combining endo- and exo-type alginate lyases.

    PubMed

    Wang, Da Mao; Kim, Hee Taek; Yun, Eun Ju; Kim, Do Hyoung; Park, Yong-Cheol; Woo, Hee Chul; Kim, Kyoung Heon

    2014-10-01

    Algae are considered as third-generation biomass, and alginate is the main component of brown macroalgae. Alginate can be enzymatically depolymerized by alginate lyases into uronate monomers, such as mannuronic acid and guluronic acid, which are further nonenzymatically converted to 4-deoxy-L-erythro-5-hexoseulose uronic acid (DEH). We have optimized an enzymatic saccharification process using two recombinant alginate lyases, endo-type Alg7D and exo-type Alg17C, for the efficient production of DEH from alginate. When comparing the sequential and simultaneous additions of Alg7D and Alg17C, it was found that the final yield of DEH was significantly higher when the enzymes were added sequentially. The progress of saccharification reactions and production of DEH were verified by thin layer chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, respectively. Our results showed that the two recombinant enzymes could be exploited for the efficient production of DEH that is the key substrate for producing biofuels from brown macro algal biomass. PMID:24794171

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

    PubMed

    Janßen, Helge Jans; Steinbüchel, Alexander

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  7. A Biophysical Modeling Framework for Assessing the Environmental Impact of Biofuel Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, X.; Izaurradle, C.; Manowitz, D.; West, T. O.; Post, W. M.; Thomson, A. M.; Nichols, J.; Bandaru, V.; Williams, J. R.

    2009-12-01

    Long-term sustainability of a biofuel economy necessitates environmentally friendly biofuel production systems. We describe a biophysical modeling framework developed to understand and quantify the environmental value and impact (e.g. water balance, nutrients balance, carbon balance, and soil quality) of different biomass cropping systems. This modeling framework consists of three major components: 1) a Geographic Information System (GIS) based data processing system, 2) a spatially-explicit biophysical modeling approach, and 3) a user friendly information distribution system. First, we developed a GIS to manage the large amount of geospatial data (e.g. climate, land use, soil, and hydrograhy) and extract input information for the biophysical model. Second, the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) biophysical model is used to predict the impact of various cropping systems and management intensities on productivity, water balance, and biogeochemical variables. Finally, a geo-database is developed to distribute the results of ecosystem service variables (e.g. net primary productivity, soil carbon balance, soil erosion, nitrogen and phosphorus losses, and N2O fluxes) simulated by EPIC for each spatial modeling unit online using PostgreSQL. We applied this framework in a Regional Intensive Management Area (RIMA) of 9 counties in Michigan. A total of 4,833 spatial units with relatively homogeneous biophysical properties were derived using SSURGO, Crop Data Layer, County, and 10-digit watershed boundaries. For each unit, EPIC was executed from 1980 to 2003 under 54 cropping scenarios (eg. corn, switchgrass, and hybrid poplar). The simulation results were compared with historical crop yields from USDA NASS. Spatial mapping of the results show high variability among different cropping scenarios in terms of the simulated ecosystem services variables. Overall, the framework developed in this study enables the incorporation of environmental factors into economic and

  8. Energy balance of biofuel production from biological conversion of crude glycerol.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiaolei; Yan, Song; Tyagi, Rajeshwar D; Surampalli, Rao Y; Valéro, Jose R

    2016-04-01

    Crude glycerol, a by-product of biodiesel production, has gained significant attention as a carbon source for biofuel production. This study evaluated the energy balance of biodiesel, hydrogen, biogas, and ethanol production from 3.48 million L of crude glycerol (80% w/v). The conversion efficiency (energy output divided by energy invested) was 1.16, 0.22, 0.27, and 0.40 for the production of biodiesel, hydrogen, biogas, and ethanol respectively. It was found that the use of crude glycerol for biodiesel production was an energy gain process, with a positive energy balance and conversion efficiency of greater than 1. The energy balance revealed a net energy gain of 5226 GJ per 1 million kg biodiesel produced. Production of hydrogen, biogas and ethanol from crude glycerol were energy loss processes. Therefore, the conversion of crude glycerol to lipids and subsequently to biodiesel is suggested to be a better option compared to hydrogen, biogas, or ethanol production with respect to energy balance. PMID:26829450

  9. The influence of nitrogen on heterocyst production in blue-green algae

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ogawa, Roann E.; Carr, John F.

    1969-01-01

    A series of experiments on heterocyst production in Anabaena variabilis provides some strong indirect evidence for the role of heterocysts in nitrogen fixation. Of the algae tested (Anabaena variabilis, A. inaequalis, A. cylindrica, A. flos-aquae, Tolypothrix distorta, Gloeotrichia echinulata, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, Oscillatoria sp., and Microcystis aeruginosa), only those with heterocysts grew in a nitrate-free medium. Growth in the nitrate-free medium was accompanied by an increase in heterocysts. Heterocyst formation in A. variabilis was evident 24 hr after transfer from a nitrate-containing to a nitrate-free medium. The number of heterocysts was altered by changes in the nitrogen source. Numbers were lowest when NH4-N was used as a nitrogen source and highest when nitrogen (N2-N) was derived from the atmosphere. Heterocyst numbers could also be regulated by controlling the concentration of NO3-N in the medium. Heterocyst production depended on the absence of combined nitrogen and the presence of phosphate. Data are presented on the occurrence of blue-green algae (with heterocysts) in Lake Erie and the environmental conditions apparently necessary for them to become dominant.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aramrueang, Natthiporn

    The increase in demand for fuels, along with the concerns over the depletion of fossil fuels and the environmental problems associated with the use of the petroleum-based fuels, has driven the exploitation of clean and renewable energy. Through a collaboration project with Mendota Bioenergy LLC to produce advanced biofuel from sugar beet and other locally grown crops in the Central Valley of California through demonstration and commercial-scale biorefineries, the present study focused on the investigation of selected potential biomass as biofuel feedstock and development of bioconversion systems for sustainable biofuel production. For an efficient biomass-to-biofuel conversion process, three important steps, which are central to this research, must be considered: feedstock characterization, enzymatic hydrolysis of the feedstock, and the bioconversion process. The first part of the research focused on the characterization of various lignocellulosic biomass as feedstocks and investigated their potential ethanol yields. Physical characteristics and chemical composition were analyzed for four sugar beet varieties, three melon varieties, tomato, Jose tall wheatgrass, wheat hay, and wheat straw. Melons and tomato are those products discarded by the growers or processors due to poor quality. The mass-based ethanol potential of each feedstock was determined based on the composition. The high sugar-containing feedstocks are sugar beet roots, melons, and tomato, containing 72%, 63%, and 42% average soluble sugars on a dry basis, respectively. Thus, for these crops, the soluble sugars are the main substrate for ethanol production. The potential ethanol yields, on average, for sugar beet roots, melons, and tomato are 591, 526, and 448 L ethanol/metric ton dry basis (d.b.), respectively. Lignocellulosic biomass, including Jose Tall wheatgrass and wheat straw, are composed primarily of cellulose (27-39% d.b.) and hemicellulose (26-30% d.b.). The ethanol yields from these

  11. A systems biology approach to reconcile metabolic network models with application to Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Mohammadi, Reza; Fallah-Mehrabadi, Jalil; Bidkhori, Gholamreza; Zahiri, Javad; Javad Niroomand, Mohammad; Masoudi-Nejad, Ali

    2016-07-19

    Production of biofuels has been one of the promising efforts in biotechnology in the past few decades. The perspective of these efforts can be reduction of increasing demands for fossil fuels and consequently reducing environmental pollution. Nonetheless, most previous approaches did not succeed in obviating many big challenges in this way. In recent years systems biology with the help of microorganisms has been trying to overcome these challenges. Unicellular cyanobacteria are widespread phototrophic microorganisms that have capabilities such as consuming solar energy and atmospheric carbon dioxide for growth and thus can be a suitable chassis for the production of valuable organic materials such as biofuels. For the ultimate use of metabolic potential of cyanobacteria, it is necessary to understand the reactions that are taking place inside the metabolic network of these microorganisms. In this study, we developed a Java tool to reconstruct an integrated metabolic network of a cyanobacterium (Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803). We merged three existing reconstructed metabolic networks of this microorganism. Then, after modeling for biofuel production, the results from flux balance analysis (FBA) disclosed an increased yield in biofuel production for ethanol, isobutanol, 3-methyl-1-butanol, 2-methyl-1-butanol, and propanol. The numbers of blocked reactions were also decreased for 2-methyl-1-butanol production. In addition, coverage of the metabolic network in terms of the number of metabolites and reactions was increased in the new obtained model. PMID:27265370

  12. Designing the perfect plant feedstock for biofuel production: using the whole buffalo to diversify fuels and products.

    PubMed

    Joyce, B L; Stewart, C N

    2012-01-01

    Petroleum-derived liquid fuels and commodities play a part in nearly every aspect of modern daily life. However, dependence on this one natural resource to maintain modern amenities has caused negative environmental and geopolitical ramifications. In an effort to replace petroleum, technologies to synthesize liquid fuels and other commodities from renewable biomass are being developed. Current technologies, however, only use a portion of plant biomass feedstocks for fuel and useful products. "Using the whole feedstock buffalo" or optimally using all portions and biochemicals present in renewable biomass will enhance the economic and environmental feasibility of biofuels and coproducts. To accomplish this optimization, greater understanding of the relationship between liquid fuel and bioproduct properties and plant chemistries is needed. Liquid fuel properties and how they relate to biochemistry and petrochemistry are discussed. Enhanced biofuel yields and high-value commodities from biomass are needed to sustainably replace petroleum-based products. Several metabolic engineering strategies are discussed. We will describe paths of possible fuel and product diversification using dedicated lignocellulosic biomass (e.g., switchgrass). PMID:21856404

  13. Acid-Catalyzed Algal Biomass Pretreatment for Integrated Lipid and Carbohydrate-Based Biofuels Production

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Laurens, L. M. L.; Nagle, N.; Davis, R.; Sweeney, N.; Van Wychen, S.; Lowell, A.; Pienkos, P. T.

    2014-11-12

    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. We studied the effect of harvest timing on the conversion yields, using two algal strains; Chlorella and Scenedesmus, generating biomass with distinctive compositionalmore » ratios of protein, carbohydrate, and lipids. We found that the late harvest Scenedesmus biomass had the maximum theoretical biofuel potential at 143 gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) combined fuel yield per dry ton biomass, followed by late harvest Chlorella at 128 GGE per ton. Our experimental data show a clear difference between the two strains, as Scenedesmus was more successfully converted in this process with a demonstrated 97 GGE per ton. Our measurements indicated a release of >90% of the available glucose in the hydrolysate liquors and an extraction and recovery of up to 97% of the fatty acids from wet biomass. Techno-economic analysis for the combined product yields indicates that this process exhibits the potential to improve per-gallon fuel costs by up to 33% compared to a lipids-only process for one strain, Scenedesmus, grown to the mid-point harvest condition.« less

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aramrueang, Natthiporn

    The increase in demand for fuels, along with the concerns over the depletion of fossil fuels and the environmental problems associated with the use of the petroleum-based fuels, has driven the exploitation of clean and renewable energy. Through a collaboration project with Mendota Bioenergy LLC to produce advanced biofuel from sugar beet and other locally grown crops in the Central Valley of California through demonstration and commercial-scale biorefineries, the present study focused on the investigation of selected potential biomass as biofuel feedstock and development of bioconversion systems for sustainable biofuel production. For an efficient biomass-to-biofuel conversion process, three important steps, which are central to this research, must be considered: feedstock characterization, enzymatic hydrolysis of the feedstock, and the bioconversion process. The first part of the research focused on the characterization of various lignocellulosic biomass as feedstocks and investigated their potential ethanol yields. Physical characteristics and chemical composition were analyzed for four sugar beet varieties, three melon varieties, tomato, Jose tall wheatgrass, wheat hay, and wheat straw. Melons and tomato are those products discarded by the growers or processors due to poor quality. The mass-based ethanol potential of each feedstock was determined based on the composition. The high sugar-containing feedstocks are sugar beet roots, melons, and tomato, containing 72%, 63%, and 42% average soluble sugars on a dry basis, respectively. Thus, for these crops, the soluble sugars are the main substrate for ethanol production. The potential ethanol yields, on average, for sugar beet roots, melons, and tomato are 591, 526, and 448 L ethanol/metric ton dry basis (d.b.), respectively. Lignocellulosic biomass, including Jose Tall wheatgrass and wheat straw, are composed primarily of cellulose (27-39% d.b.) and hemicellulose (26-30% d.b.). The ethanol yields from these

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

    SciTech Connect

    Oladosu, Gbadebo A; Kline, Keith L

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanzel, Philipp; Kling, Harald; Nicholson, Kit

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    Land-use change (LUC) resulting from biofuel feedstock production and the associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are a hotly-debated aspect of biofuels. Certainly, LUC GHG emissions are one of the most uncertain elements in life cycle analyses (LCA) of biofuels. To estimate LUC GHG emissions, two sets of data are necessary. First, information on the amount and type of land that is converted to biofuel feedstock production is required. These data are typically generated through application of computable general equilibrium (CGE) models such as Purdue University's Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) model. Second, soil carbon content data for the affected land types is essential. Recently, Argonne National Laboratory's Carbon Calculator for Land Use Change from Biofuels Production (CCLUB) has been updated with CGE modeling results that estimate the amount and type of LUC world-wide from production of ethanol from corn, corn stover, miscanthus, and switchgrass (Mueller et al. 2012). Moreover, we have developed state-specific carbon content data, determined through modeling with CENTURY, for the two most dominant soil types in the conterminous 48 U.S. states (Kwon et al. 2012) to enable finer-resolution results for domestic LUC GHG emissions for these ethanol production scenarios. Of the feedstocks examined, CCLUB estimates that LUC GHG emissions are highest for corn ethanol (9.1 g CO2e/MJ ethanol) and lowest for miscanthus (-12 g CO2e/MJ ethanol). We will present key observations from CCLUB results incorporated into Argonne National Laboratory's Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation (GREET) model, which is a LCA tool for transportation fuels and advanced vehicle technologies. We will discuss selected issues in this modeling, including the sensitivity of domestic soil carbon emission factors to modeling parameters and assumptions about the fate of harvested wood products. Further, we will discuss efforts to update CCLUB with county

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  1. Hydrogen production from salt water by Marine blue green algae and solar radiation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mitsui, A.; Rosner, D.; Kumazawa, S.; Barciela, S.; Phlips, E.

    1985-01-01

    Two marine bluegreen algae, Oscillatoria sp. Miami BG 7 and Synechococcus sp Miami 041511 have been selected as the result of over 10 years continuous and intensive effort of isolation, growth examination, and the screening of hydrogen photoproduction capability in this laboratory. Both strains photoproduced hydrogen for several days at high rates and a quantity of hydrogen was accumulated in a closed vessel. Overall hydrogen donor substance of the hydrogen photoproduction was found to be salt water. Using strain Miami BG 7, a two step method of hydrogen photoproduction from salt water was successfully developed and this was recycled several times over a one month period using both free cells and immobilized cells in both indoor and outdoor under natural sunlight. According to these experiments, a prototype floating hydrogen production system was designed for further development of the biosolar hydrogen production system.

  2. Production of algae-based biodiesel using the continuous catalytic Mcgyan process.

    PubMed

    Krohn, Brian J; McNeff, Clayton V; Yan, Bingwen; Nowlan, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    This study demonstrates the production of algal biodiesel from Dunaliella tertiolecta, Nannochloropsis oculata, wild freshwater microalgae, and macroalgae lipids using a highly efficient continuous catalytic process. The heterogeneous catalytic process uses supercritical methanol and porous titania microspheres in a fixed bed reactor to catalyze the simultaneous transesterification and esterification of triacylglycerides and free fatty acids, respectively, to fatty acid methyl esters (biodiesel). Triacylglycerides and free fatty acids were converted to alkyl esters with up to 85% efficiency as measured by 300 MHz (1)H NMR spectroscopy. The lipid composition of the different algae was studied gravimetrically and by gas chromatography. The analysis showed that even though total lipids comprised upwards of 19% of algal dry weight the saponifiable lipids, and resulting biodiesel, comprised only 1% of dry weight. Thus highlighting the need to determine the triacylglyceride and free fatty acid content when considering microalgae for biodiesel production. PMID:20561783

  3. 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...

  4. The role of symbiotic nitrogen fixation in sustainable production of biofuels.

    PubMed

    Biswas, Bandana; Gresshoff, Peter M

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Catalytic cracking of palm oil for the production of biofuels: optimization studies.

    PubMed

    Tamunaidu, Pramila; Bhatia, Subhash

    2007-12-01

    Oil palm is widely grown in Malaysia. Palm oil has attracted the attention of researchers to develop an 'environmentally friendly' and high quality fuel, free of nitrogen and sulfur. In the present study, the catalytic cracking of palm oil to biofuel was studied over REY catalyst in a transport riser reactor at atmospheric pressure. The effect of reaction temperature (400-500 degrees C), catalyst/palm oil ratio (5-10) and residence time (10-30s) was studied over the yield of bio-gasoline and gas as fuel. Design of experiments was used to study the effect of operating variables over conversion of palm oil and yield of hydrocarbon fuel. The response surface methodology was used to determine the optimum value of the operating variables for maximum yield of bio-gasoline fraction in the liquid product obtained. PMID:17208441

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

    PubMed Central

    Biswas, Bandana; Gresshoff, Peter M.

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Trash to treasure: production of biofuels and commodity chemicals via syngas fermenting microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Latif, Haythem; Zeidan, Ahmad A; Nielsen, Alex T; Zengler, Karsten

    2014-06-01

    Fermentation of syngas is a means through which unutilized organic waste streams can be converted biologically into biofuels and commodity chemicals. Despite recent advances, several issues remain which limit implementation of industrial-scale syngas fermentation processes. At the cellular level, the energy conservation mechanism of syngas fermenting microorganisms has not yet been entirely elucidated. Furthermore, there was a lack of genetic tools to study and ultimately enhance their metabolic capabilities. Recently, substantial progress has been made in understanding the intricate energy conservation mechanisms of these microorganisms. Given the complex relationship between energy conservation and metabolism, strain design greatly benefits from systems-level approaches. Numerous genetic manipulation tools have also been developed, paving the way for the use of metabolic engineering and systems biology approaches. Rational strain designs can now be deployed resulting in desirable phenotypic traits for large-scale production. PMID:24863900

  8. Phenotypic Diversity of Hydrogen Production in Chlorophycean Algae Reflects Distinct Anaerobic Metabolisms

    SciTech Connect

    Meuser, J. E.; Ananyev, G.; Wittig, L. E.; Kosourov, S.; Ghirardi, M. L.; Seibert, M.; Dismukes, G. C.; Posewitz, M. C.

    2009-01-01

    Several species of green algae use [FeFe]-hydrogenases to oxidize and/or produce H{sub 2} during anoxia. To further define unique aspects of algal hydrogenase activity, the well-studied anaerobic metabolisms of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii were compared with four strains of Chlamydomonas moewusii and a Lobochlamys culleus strain. In vivo and in vitro hydrogenase activity, starch accumulation/degradation, and anaerobic end product secretion were analyzed. The C. moewusii strains showed the most rapid induction of hydrogenase activity, congruent with high rates of starch catabolism, and anoxic metabolite accumulation. Intriguingly, we observed significant differences in morphology and hydrogenase activity in the C. moewusii strains examined, likely the result of long-term adaptation and/or genetic drift during culture maintenance. Of the C. moewusii strains examined, SAG 24.91 showed the highest in vitro hydrogenase activity. However, SAG 24.91 produced little H{sub 2} under conditions of sulfur limitation, which is likely a consequence of its inability to utilize exogenous acetate. In L. culleus, hydrogenase activity was minimal unless pulsed light was used to induce significant H2 photoproduction. Overall, our results demonstrate that unique anaerobic acclimation strategies have evolved in distinct green algae, resulting in differential levels of hydrogenase activity and species-specific patterns of NADH reoxidation during anoxia.

  9. Production of new cellulose nanomaterial from red algae marine biomass Gelidium elegans.

    PubMed

    Chen, You Wei; Lee, Hwei Voon; Juan, Joon Ching; Phang, Siew-Moi

    2016-10-20

    Nanocellulose was successfully isolated from Gelidium elegans red algae marine biomass. The red algae fiber was treated in three stages namely alkalization, bleaching treatment and acid hydrolysis treatment. Morphological analysis was performed by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). TEM results revealed that the isolated nanocellulose had the average diameter and length of 21.8±11.1nm and of 547.3±23.7nm, respectively. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy proved that the non-cellulosic polysaccharides components were progressively removed during the chemically treatment, and the final derived materials composed of cellulose parent molecular structure. X-ray diffraction (XRD) study showed that the crystallinity of yielded product had been improved after each successive treatments subjected to the treated fiber. The prepared nano-dimensional cellulose demonstrated a network-like structure with higher crystallinity (73%) than that of untreated fiber (33%), and possessed of good thermal stability which is suitable for nanocomposite material. PMID:27474672

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Thermophysical characterization of the seeds of invasive Chinese tallow tree: importance for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Picou, Laura; Boldor, Doran

    2012-10-16

    The limited supply of traditional fossil based fuels, and increased concern about their environmental impact has driven the interest in the utilization of biomass based energy sources, including those that are underutilized or otherwise nuisance species such as Chinese tallow trees (Triadica sebifera [L.]). This species is a prolific seeds producer, and this paper shows that they contain more than 50% lipids by mass that are suitable for conversion into biodiesel. We present here, for the first time, the seeds' thermophysical properties important for biofuel production. The seeds were characterized using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and ultimate analysis; their thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, and specific heat were determined. The characterization results were correlated to fatty acid composition and lipid content for whole seeds and individual layers, as well as to the protein, hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin content. The TGA analysis indicated the presence, in addition to lipids, of hemicellulose, cellulose, lignin, and proteins, depending on the layer analyzed. Thermal conductivity and specific heat were, respectively 0.14 ± 0.007 W/mK and 3843.5 ± 171.16 J/kgK for wax, 0.20 ± 0.002 W/mK and 2018.7 ± 5.18 J/kgK for shells, 0.13 ± 0.0 W/mK and 1237 ± 3.15 J/kgK for internal kernel, and 0.13 ± 0.000 W/mK and 2833.9 ± 104.11 J/kgK for whole seeds. These properties and characterization method can be further used in engineering analysis used to determine the most optimum processing method for production of biofuels from this feedstock. PMID:23013244

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

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yi-Heng Percival

    2015-11-15

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marra, Michael A.

    The high cost and environmental risks associated with non-renewable energy sources has caused an increased interest in, and development of renewable biofuels. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), a warm season perennial grass, has been investigated as a source of biofuel feedstock due to its high biomass production on marginal soils, its tolerance of harsh growing conditions, and its ability to provide habitat for wildlife and soil conservation cover. West Virginia contains vast expanses of reclaimed surface mine lands and could potentially benefit from the production of switchgrass as a biofuel feedstock. Furthermore, switchgrass production could satisfy Surface Mining Reclamation and Control Act of 1977 (SMCRA) requirements for reclamation bond release to mine operators. Three separate studies will be discussed in this thesis to determine if switchgrass grown on reclaimed surface mines can produce yields similar to yields from stands grown under normal agronomic conditions and what common surface mining reclamation practices may be most appropriate for growing switchgrass. The first study examined yield production of three commercially-available, upland switchgrass varieties grown on two reclaimed surface mines in production years two, three and four. The Hampshire Hill mine site, which was reclaimed in the late 1990s using top soil and treated municipal sludge, averaged 5,800 kg (ha-yr)-1 of switchgrass compared to 803 kg (ha-yr)-1 at the Hobet 21 site which was reclaimed with crushed, unweathered rock over compacted overburden. Site and variety interacted with Cave-in-Rock as the top performer at the more fertile Hampshire Hill site and Shawnee produced the highest yields at Hobet 21 (7,853 kg ha-1 and 1,086 kg ha-1 averaged across years, respectively). Switchgrass yields increased from 2009 to 2010, but declined from 2010 to 2011. Switchgrass yields from farmlands in this region averaged about 15000 kg (ha-yr)-1 in the research literature, so switchgrass grown

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Metabolic engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae for production of fatty acid-derived biofuels and chemicals.

    PubMed

    Runguphan, Weerawat; Keasling, Jay D

    2014-01-01

    As the serious effects of global climate change become apparent and access to fossil fuels becomes more limited, metabolic engineers and synthetic biologists are looking towards greener sources for transportation fuels. In recent years, microbial production of high-energy fuels by economically efficient bioprocesses has emerged as an attractive alternative to the traditional production of transportation fuels. Here, we engineered the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to produce fatty acid-derived biofuels and chemicals from simple sugars. Specifically, we overexpressed all three fatty acid biosynthesis genes, namely acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC1), fatty acid synthase 1 (FAS1) and fatty acid synthase 2 (FAS2), in S. cerevisiae. When coupled to triacylglycerol (TAG) production, the engineered strain accumulated lipid to more than 17% of its dry cell weight, a four-fold improvement over the control strain. Understanding that TAG cannot be used directly as fuels, we also engineered S. cerevisiae to produce drop-in fuels and chemicals. Altering the terminal "converting enzyme" in the engineered strain led to the production of free fatty acids at a titer of approximately 400 mg/L, fatty alcohols at approximately 100mg/L and fatty acid ethyl esters (biodiesel) at approximately 5 mg/L directly from simple sugars. We envision that our approach will provide a scalable, controllable and economic route to this important class of chemicals. PMID:23899824

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tan, Zhengxi; Liu, Shuguang

    2015-01-01

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

  20. %22Trojan Horse%22 strategy for deconstruction of biomass for biofuels production.

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-02-01

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

  1. Red Algae (Rhodophyta) from the Coast of Madagascar: Preliminary Bioactivity Studies and Isolation of Natural Products.

    PubMed

    Rahelivao, Marie Pascaline; Gruner, Margit; Andriamanantoanina, Hanta; Andriamihaja, Bakolinirina; Bauer, Ingmar; Knölker, Hans-Joachim

    2015-07-01

    Several species of red algae (Rhodophyta) from the coastal regions of Madagascar have been investigated for their natural products. The most abundant compound was cholesterol (5) in combination with a series of oxidized congeners. The brominated indoles 1-3 along with the sesquiterpene debilone (4) have been isolated from Laurencia complanata. For the first time, debilone (4) has been obtained from a marine plant. From the methanol extract of Calloseris sp., we have achieved the second isolation of the unusual A-ring contracted steroids (-)-2-ethoxycarbonyl-2β-hydroxy-A-nor-cholest-5-en-4-one (9) and phorbasterone B (10). The crude extracts of Laurencia complanata exhibited antimicrobial activity against Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Candida albicans. PMID:26198236

  2. Red Algae (Rhodophyta) from the Coast of Madagascar: Preliminary Bioactivity Studies and Isolation of Natural Products

    PubMed Central

    Rahelivao, Marie Pascaline; Gruner, Margit; Andriamanantoanina, Hanta; Andriamihaja, Bakolinirina; Bauer, Ingmar; Knölker, Hans-Joachim

    2015-01-01

    Several species of red algae (Rhodophyta) from the coastal regions of Madagascar have been investigated for their natural products. The most abundant compound was cholesterol (5) in combination with a series of oxidized congeners. The brominated indoles 1–3 along with the sesquiterpene debilone (4) have been isolated from Laurencia complanata. For the first time, debilone (4) has been obtained from a marine plant. From the methanol extract of Calloseris sp., we have achieved the second isolation of the unusual A-ring contracted steroids (−)-2-ethoxycarbonyl-2β-hydroxy-A-nor-cholest-5-en-4-one (9) and phorbasterone B (10). The crude extracts of Laurencia complanata exhibited antimicrobial activity against Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Candida albicans. PMID:26198236

  3. Sustainable Use Of Macro-Algae For Biogas Production In Latvian Conditions: A Preliminary Study Through An Integrated Mca And Lca Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pastare, Laura; Romagnoli, Francesco; Lauka, Dace; Dzene, Ilze; Kuznecova, Tatjana

    2014-12-01

    The study focuses on sustainability evaluation of an algae-based energy system in Latvia with a holistic and integrated approach of multi-criteria analysis combined with life cycle assessment (including a practical side - biogas yield experiments of locally available algae). The study shows potential for sustainable use of algae in Latvian conditions and thus that algal biomass can be utilized for the production of biogas. The most sustainable and feasible scenario of using algae for biogas energy production foresees the collection of algae biomass from natural water bodies. Important beneficial effects through the use of algae are related to avoiding global warming potential (GWP) and eutrophication impacts. Biogas batch experiments carried out with the local macrophyte C.demersum have shown a methane yield of 554 l CH4/kg VS.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-10

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

  6. Overcoming biological constraints to enable the exploitation of microalgae for biofuels.

    PubMed

    Day, John G; Slocombe, Stephen P; Stanley, Michele S

    2012-04-01

    Microalgae have significant potential to form the basis of the next biofuel revolution. They have high growth and solar energy conversion rates. Furthermore, their osmotolerance, metabolic diversity and capacity to produce large amounts of lipids have attracted considerable interest. Although there are a handful of commercially successful examples of the photoautotrophic mass-culture of algae, these have focused on the production of higher value products (pigments, health-foods etc.). The technical and commercial challenges to develop an economically viable process for biofuels are considerable and it will require much further R&D. In this paper the biological constraints, with a particular focus on strain selection are discussed. PMID:21680178

  7. Biofuel production and climate mitigation potential from marginal lands in US North Central region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gelfand, I.; Sahajpal, R.; Zhang, X.; Izaurralde, R. C.; Robertson, G. P.

    2010-12-01

    An ever-increasing demand for liquid fuels, amidst concerns of anthropogenic impacts on the environment and fossil fuels availability, has spurred a strong interest in the development of agriculturally-based renewable energy sources. However, increasing demand for food as well as direct and indirect effects on land use, have raised concerns about reliance on grain-based ethanol and shifted research towards the direction of cellulosic feedstocks. In order to understand the future possibility for using agricultural systems for bio-fuel production, we present here a full greenhouse gas (GHG) balance of six potential sources of cellulosic feedstocks production. From 1991 to 2008, we measured GHGs sinks and sources in cropped and nearby unmanaged ecosystems in SW Michigan. The measurements included soil fluxes of GHGs (N2O and CH4), soil organic carbon concentration change, agronomic practices data, and biomass yields. We analyzed two types of intensively managed annual cropping systems under corn-soybean-wheat rotation (conventional tillage and no till), two perennial systems (alfalfa and poplar plantation), and one successional system. The use of agricultural residues for biofuel feedstock from conventionally-tilled crops had the lowest climate stabilization potential (-9 ±13 gCO2e m-2 y-1). In contrast, biomass collected from a successional system fertilized with N at123 kg ha-1y-1 showed the highest climate stabilization potential (-749 ±30 gCO2e m-2 y-1). We used our results to parameterize the EPIC model, which, together with GIS analysis was used to scale up the biomass productivity of the best environmentally performing systems to the marginal lands of the 10-state U.S. North Central region. Assuming 80 km as the maximum distance for road haulage to the biorefinery from the field, we identified 32 potential biorefinery placements each capable of supplying sufficient feedstock to produce at least 133 × 106 L y-1. In total, ethanol production from marginal

  8. Review and evaluation of immobilized algae systems for the production of fuels from microalgae. Final subcontract report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-11-01

    The purpose of this paper is to review and evaluate the use of immobilized algae systems. It was the finding that commercial immobilized algae systems are not in operation at this time but, with research, could certainly become so. The use of immobilized algae will depend on, as in all commercial systems, the economic value of the product. This paper reviews the technical feasibility of immobilization as it applies to algae. Finally, the economics of possible immobilized algal systems that would produce liquid fuels were investigated. It was calculated that an immobilized system would have 8.5 times the capital costs of a conventional microalgae culture system. Operational costs would be about equal, although there would be substantial savings of water with the immobilized system. A major problem with immobilizing algae is the fact that sunlight drives the system. At present, an immobilized algal system to mass produce lipids for use as a liquid fuel does not appear to be economically feasible. The major drawback is developing a low-cost system that obtains the same amount of solar energy as provided to a shallow 3 square mile pond while increasing the culture density by an order of magnitude. R and D to increase light availability and to develop low cost transparent tanks could increase the competitiveness of immobilized algal systems. 44 refs., 2 figs., 7 tabs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Engineering the push and pull of lipid biosynthesis in oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Tai, Mitchell; Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    2013-01-01

    Microbial oil production by heterotrophic organisms is a promising path for the cost-effective production of biofuels from renewable resources provided high conversion yields can be achieved. To this end, we have engineered the oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica. We first established an expression platform for high expression using an intron-containing translation elongation factor-1α (TEF) promoter and showed that this expression system is capable of increasing gene expression 17-fold over the intronless TEF promoter. We then used this platform for the overexpression of diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGA1), the final step of the triglyceride (TAG) synthesis pathway, which yielded a 4-fold increase in lipid production over control, to a lipid content of 33.8% of dry cell weight (DCW). We also show that the overexpression of acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC1), the first committed step of fatty acid synthesis, increased lipid content 2-fold over control, or 17.9% lipid content. Next we combined the two genes in a tandem gene construct for the simultaneous coexpression of ACC1 and DGA1, which further increased lipid content to 41.4%, demonstrating synergistic effects of ACC1+DGA1 coexpression. The lipid production characteristics of the ACC1+DGA1 transformant were explored in a 2-L bioreactor fermentation, achieving 61.7% lipid content after 120h. The overall yield and productivity were 0.195g/g and 0.143g/L/h, respectively, while the maximum yield and productivity were 0.270g/g and 0.253g/L/h during the lipid accumulation phase of the fermentation. This work demonstrates the excellent capacity for lipid production by the oleaginous yeast Y. lipolytica and the effects of metabolic engineering of two important steps of the lipid synthesis pathway, which acts to divert flux towards the lipid synthesis and creates driving force for TAG synthesis. PMID:23026119

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ha, Miae; Wu, May

    2015-09-08

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

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Ha, Miae; Wu, May

    2015-09-08

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

  15. 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

  16. The significance of nitrous oxide emission due to cropping of grain for biofuel production: a Swedish perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasimir Klemedtsson, Å.; Smith, K. A.

    2011-12-01

    The current regulations governing production of biofuels in the European Union require that they have to mitigate climate change, by producing >35% less greenhouse gases (GHG) than fossil fuels. There is a risk that this may not be achievable, since land use for crop production inevitably emits the potent GHG nitrous oxide (N2O), due to nitrogen fertilisation and cycling in the environment. We analyse first-generation biofuel production on agricultural land and conclude that efficient agricultural crop production resulting in a good harvest and low N2O emission can fulfil the EU standard, and is possible under certain conditions for the Swedish agricultural and bioethanol production systems. However, in years having low crop yields, and where cropping is on organic soils, total GHG emissions per unit of fuel produced can be even higher than those released by burning of fossil fuels. In general, the N2O emission size in Sweden and elsewhere in northern Europe is such that there is a >50% chance that the 35% saving requirement will not be met. Thus ecosystem N2O emissions have to be convincingly assessed. Here we compare Swedish emission data with values estimated by means of statistical models and by a global, top-down, approach; the measurements and the predictions often show higher values that would fail to meet the EU standard and thus prevent biofuel production development.

  17. 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.

  18. Algal production in wastewater treatment high rate algal ponds for potential biofuel use.

    PubMed

    Park, J B K; Craggs, R J

    2011-01-01

    Wastewater treatment High Rate Algal Ponds with CO2 addition could provide cost-effective and efficient tertiary-level wastewater treatment with the co-benefit of algal biomass production for biofuel use. Wastewater grown algal biomass can have a lipid content of 10-30% of dry weight, which could be used to make biodiesel. This research investigated algal biomass and total lipid production by two pilot-scale wastewater treatment HRAP(S) (4-day HRT) with and without CO2 addition under New Zealand mid summer (Nov-Jan) conditions. The influence of CO2 addition on wastewater treatment performance was also determined. CO2 was added to one of the HRAPs (the HRAP(E)) by maintaining the maximum pH of the pond below 8. Measurements of HRAP influent and effluent water qualities, total lipid content and algal biomass production were made twice a week over the experimental period. Both HRAP(S) achieved high levels of organic compound and nutrient removal, with >85% SBOD5, >92 NH4(+)-N and >70% DRP removal. Algal/bacterial biomass production in the HRAP(E) (15.2 g/m2/d) was improved by CO2 addition by approximately 30% compared with that of the control HRAP(W) (10.6 g/m2/d). Total lipid content of the biomass grown on both HRAP(S) was slightly reduced (from 25% to 20%) with CO2 addition and the maximum total lipid content of approximately 40% was observed in the HRAP(W) when low NH4(+)-N concentration (<0.5 mg/L) and high maximum pH (>10.0) occurred. Total lipid content of the biomass increased by approximately 15% under nitrogen limiting conditions, however, overall algal/bacterial biomass production was reduced by half during the period of nitrogen limitation. More research is required to maintain algal production under near nitrogen-limiting conditions. PMID:21977667

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

    PubMed

    Takara, Devin; Khanal, Samir Kumar

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  1. Production of Calcite by the Green Alga Halimeda in Artificial Cretaceous Seawater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanley, S. M.; Ries, J. B.

    2006-12-01

    degree of biological control over its calcium carbonate production, but that the control is incomplete. Our growth experiments showed that there is a correlation between rate of production of carbonate and rate of production of organic matter by Halimeda, apparently because, as has been previously demonstrated, this alga's photosynthesis is enhanced by the carbon dioxide produced by its calcification. Productivity was highest in seawater of modern composition. Experiments in which either the ambient Mg/Ca ratio or the absolute concentration of Ca was held constant while the other was varied showed that an increase in either one led to a higher rate of production of both organic matter and calcium carbonate. Nonetheless, rates of production were higher in imputed Cretaceous seawater (Mg/Ca molar ratio = 1.5) than in imputed Oligocene seawater (Mg/Ca molar ratio = 2.5), presumably because in the Oligocene treatment, both of the minerals produced (high-Mg calcite and aragonite) were favored by the ambient Mg/Ca ratio, whereas in the Cretaceous treatment, 56% of the calcium carbonate was aragonite, which was not favored by the ambient Mg/Ca ratio.

  2. Assessing regional hydrology and water quality implications of large-scale biofuel feedstock production in the Upper Mississippi River Basin.

    PubMed

    Demissie, Yonas; Yan, Eugene; Wu, May

    2012-08-21

    A recent U.S. Department of Energy study estimated that more than one billion tons of biofuel feedstock could be produced by 2030 in the United States from increased corn yield, and changes in agricultural and forest residue management and land uses. To understand the implications of such increased production on water resources and stream quality at regional and local scales, we have applied a watershed model for the Upper Mississippi River Basin, where most of the current and future crop/residue-based biofuel production is expected. The model simulates changes in water quality (soil erosion, nitrogen and phosphorus loadings in streams) and resources (soil-water content, evapotranspiration, and runoff) under projected biofuel production versus the 2006 baseline year and a business-as-usual scenario. The basin average results suggest that the projected feedstock production could change the rate of evapotranspiration in the UMRB by approximately +2%, soil-water content by about -2%, and discharge to streams by -5% from the baseline scenario. However, unlike the impacts on regional water availability, the projected feedstock production has a mixed effect on water quality, resulting in 12% and 45% increases in annual suspended sediment and total phosphorus loadings, respectively, but a 3% decrease in total nitrogen loading. These differences in water quantity and quality are statistically significant (p < 0.05). The basin responses are further analyzed at monthly time steps and finer spatial scales to evaluate underlying physical processes, which would be essential for future optimization of environmentally sustainable biofuel productions. PMID:22827327

  3. Sources of biomass feedstock variability and the potential impact on biofuels production

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, C. Luke; Westover, Tyler L.; Emerson, Rachel M.; Tumuluru, Jaya Shankar; Li, Chenlin

    2015-11-23

    In this study, terrestrial lignocellulosic biomass has the potential to be a carbon neutral and domestic source of fuels and chemicals. However, the innate variability of biomass resources, such as herbaceous and woody materials, and the inconsistency within a single resource due to disparate growth and harvesting conditions, presents challenges for downstream processes which often require materials that are physically and chemically consistent. Intrinsic biomass characteristics, including moisture content, carbohydrate and ash compositions, bulk density, and particle size/shape distributions are highly variable and can impact the economics of transforming biomass into value-added products. For instance, ash content increases by an order of magnitude between woody and herbaceous feedstocks (from ~0.5 to 5 %, respectively) while lignin content drops by a factor of two (from ~30 to 15 %, respectively). This increase in ash and reduction in lignin leads to biofuel conversion consequences, such as reduced pyrolysis oil yields for herbaceous products as compared to woody material. In this review, the sources of variability for key biomass characteristics are presented for multiple types of biomass. Additionally, this review investigates the major impacts of the variability in biomass composition on four conversion processes: fermentation, hydrothermal liquefaction, pyrolysis, and direct combustion. Finally, future research processes aimed at reducing the detrimental impacts of biomass variability on conversion to fuels and chemicals are proposed.

  4. Sources of biomass feedstock variability and the potential impact on biofuels production

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Williams, C. Luke; Westover, Tyler L.; Emerson, Rachel M.; Tumuluru, Jaya Shankar; Li, Chenlin

    2015-11-23

    In this study, terrestrial lignocellulosic biomass has the potential to be a carbon neutral and domestic source of fuels and chemicals. However, the innate variability of biomass resources, such as herbaceous and woody materials, and the inconsistency within a single resource due to disparate growth and harvesting conditions, presents challenges for downstream processes which often require materials that are physically and chemically consistent. Intrinsic biomass characteristics, including moisture content, carbohydrate and ash compositions, bulk density, and particle size/shape distributions are highly variable and can impact the economics of transforming biomass into value-added products. For instance, ash content increases by anmore » order of magnitude between woody and herbaceous feedstocks (from ~0.5 to 5 %, respectively) while lignin content drops by a factor of two (from ~30 to 15 %, respectively). This increase in ash and reduction in lignin leads to biofuel conversion consequences, such as reduced pyrolysis oil yields for herbaceous products as compared to woody material. In this review, the sources of variability for key biomass characteristics are presented for multiple types of biomass. Additionally, this review investigates the major impacts of the variability in biomass composition on four conversion processes: fermentation, hydrothermal liquefaction, pyrolysis, and direct combustion. Finally, future research processes aimed at reducing the detrimental impacts of biomass variability on conversion to fuels and chemicals are proposed.« less

  5. Characterization of Nizimuddinia zanardini macroalgae biomass composition and its potential for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Yazdani, Parviz; Zamani, Akram; Karimi, Keikhosro; Taherzadeh, Mohammad J

    2015-01-01

    Nizimuddinia zanardini macroalgae, harvested from Persian Gulf, was chemically characterized and employed for the production of ethanol, seaweed extract, alginic acid, and biogas. In order to improve the products yields, the biomass was pretreated with dilute sulfuric acid and hot water. The pretreated and untreated biomasses were subjected to enzymatic hydrolysis by cellulase (15FPU/g) and β-glucosidase (30IU/g). Hydrolysis yield of glucan was 29.8, 82.5, and 72.7g/kg for the untreated, hot-water pretreated, and acid pretreated biomass, respectively. Anaerobic fermentation of hydrolysates by Saccharomycescerevisiae resulted in the maximum ethanol yield of 34.6g/kg of the dried biomass. A seaweed extract containing mannitol and a solid residue containing alginic acid were recovered as the main byproducts of the ethanol production. On the other hand, the biogas yield from the biomass was increased from 170 to 200m(3) per ton of dried algae biomass by hot water pretreatment. PMID:25461003

  6. Closed and continuous algae cultivation system for food production and gas exchange in CELSS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oguchi, Mitsuo; Otsubo, Koji; Nitta, Keiji; Shimada, Atsuhiro; Fujii, Shigeo; Koyano, Takashi; Miki, Keizaburo

    In CELSS (Controlled Ecological Life Support System), utilization of photosynthetic algae is an effective means for obtaining food and oxygen at the same time. We have chosen Spirulina, a blue-green alga, and have studied possibilities of algae utilization. We have developed an advanced algae cultivation system, which is able to produce algae continuously in a closed condition. Major features of the new system are as follows. o (1)In order to maintain homogeneous culture conditions, the cultivator was designed so as to cause a swirl on medium circulation. (2)Oxygen gas separation and carbon dioxide supply are conducted by a newly designed membrane module. (3)Algae mass and medium are separated by a specially designed harvester. (4)Cultivation conditions, such as pH, temperature, algae growth rate, light intensity and quanlity of generated oxygen gas are controlled by a computer system and the data are automatically recorded. This equipment is a primary model for ground experiments in order to obtain some design data for space use. A feasibility of algae cultivation in a closed condition is discussed on the basis of data obtained by use of this new system.

  7. Investigating why recycling gravity harvested algae increases harvestability and productivity in high rate algal ponds.

    PubMed

    Park, J B K; Craggs, R J; Shilton, A N

    2013-09-15

    It has previously been shown that recycling gravity harvested algae promotes Pediastrum boryanum dominance and improves harvestability and biomass production in pilot-scale High Rate Algal Ponds (HRAPs) treating domestic wastewater. In order to confirm the reproducibility of these findings and investigate the mechanisms responsible, this study utilized twelve 20 L outdoor HRAP mesocosms operated with and without algal recycling. It then compared the recycling of separated solid and liquid components of the harvested biomass against un-separated biomass. The work confirmed that algal recycling promoted P. boryanum dominance, improved 1 h-settleability by >20% and increased biomass productivity by >25% compared with controls that had no recycling. With regard to the improved harvestability, of particular interest was that recycling the liquid fraction alone caused a similar improvement in settleability as recycling the solid fraction. This may be due to the presence of extracellular polymeric substances in the liquid fraction. While there are many possible mechanisms that could account for the increased productivity with algal recycling, all but two were systematically eliminated: (i) the mean cell residence time was extended thereby increasing the algal concentration and more fully utilizing the incident sunlight and, (ii) the relative proportions of algal growth stages (which have different specific growth rates) was changed, resulting in a net increase in the overall growth rate of the culture. PMID:23866138

  8. Biofuels and sustainability.

    PubMed

    Solomon, Barry D

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Good policy follows good science: using criteria and indicators for assessing sustainable biofuel production

    SciTech Connect

    Hecht, Alan D; Shaw, Denice; Bruins, Randy; Dale, Virginia H; Kline, Keith L; Chen, Alice

    2009-01-01

    Developing scientific criteria and indicators should play a critical role in charting a sustainable path for the rapidly developing biofuel industry. The challenge ahead in developing such criteria and indicators is to address the limitations on data and modeling.

  12. Simultaneous utilization of cellobiose, xylose, and acetic acid from lignocellulosic biomass for biofuel production by an engineered yeast platform.

    PubMed

    Wei, Na; Oh, Eun Joong; Million, Gyver; Cate, Jamie H D; Jin, Yong-Su

    2015-06-19

    The inability of fermenting microorganisms to use mixed carbon components derived from lignocellulosic biomass is a major technical barrier that hinders the development of economically viable cellulosic biofuel production. In this study, we integrated the fermentation pathways of both hexose and pentose sugars and an acetic acid reduction pathway into one Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain for the first time using synthetic biology and metabolic engineering approaches. The engineered strain coutilized cellobiose, xylose, and acetic acid to produce ethanol with a substantially higher yield and productivity than the control strains, and the results showed the unique synergistic effects of pathway coexpression. The mixed substrate coutilization strategy is important for making complete and efficient use of cellulosic carbon and will contribute to the development of consolidated bioprocessing for cellulosic biofuel. The study also presents an innovative metabolic engineering approach whereby multiple substrate consumption pathways can be integrated in a synergistic way for enhanced bioconversion. PMID:25587748

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

    SciTech Connect

    Guess, Adam

    2013-03-01

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

  14. Factors Affecting the Contribution by Epiphytic Algae to the Primary Productivity of an Oligotrophic Freshwater Lake1

    PubMed Central

    Sheldon, Richard B.; Boylen, Charles W.

    1975-01-01

    A diatom-dominated population of epiphytic algae was studied in an oligotrophic lake to determine the factors which limit epiphyte growth and to measure their contribution to primary productivity. Algae were collected from plants growing at four sites in Lake George, N.Y., during the spring, summer, and fall of 1974. Samples were taken from 3 m, corresponding to the depth at which macrophytes were most productive. Algae exhibited an optimum temperature for H14CO3- uptake at 30 C, although the summer littoral lake temperature ranged from 18 to 25 C. Light saturation occurred at an intensity of 8,608 lux, approximating the environmental intensity at the depth from which algae were taken. Epiphytes exhibited their maximum photosynthetic capacity of 0.6 mg of carbon fixed/m2 of macrophyte surface area per h in the early afternoon in mid-August. They assimilated approximately 5% as much inorganic carbon as the macrophytes from which they were taken. Epiphyte population densities followed the seasonal growth patterns of the macrophytes, with maximal leaf colonization remaining essentially constant relative to the leaf position on the plant. There was little change in density between sampling sites at any given time. Productivities of epiphytes from bottom leaves were 10-fold greater than those of epiphytes from top leaves. Addition of PO4-3, NO3-, NH3, Si, and SO4-2 had no stimulatory effect on photosynthesis. Addition of HCO3- stimulated photosynthesis greater than 30%, suggesting that carbon may be a limiting nutrient for epiphytic algae in Lake George. PMID:16350036

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fingerman, Kevin Robert

    Energy systems and water resources are inextricably linked, especially in the case of bioenergy, which can require up to three orders of magnitude more water than other energy carriers. Water scarcity already affects about 1 in 5 people globally, and stands to be exacerbated in many locales by current biofuel expansion plans. This dissertation engages with several of the analytical and governance challenges raised by this connection between bioenergy expansion and global water resources. My examination begins with an overview of important concepts in water resource analysis, followed by a review of current literature on the water impacts of most major energy pathways. I then report on a case study of ethanol fuel in California. This work employed a coupled agro-climatic and life cycle assessment (LCA) model to estimate the water resource impacts of several bioenergy expansion scenarios at a county-level resolution. It shows that ethanol production in California regularly consumes more than 1000 gallons of water per gallon of fuel produced, and that 99% of life-cycle water consumption occurs in the feedstock cultivation phase. This analysis then delves into the complexity of life cycle impact assessment for water resources. Despite improvements in water accounting methods, impact assessment must contend with the fact that different water sources are not necessarily commensurable, and that impacts depend on the state of the resource base that is drawn upon. I adapt water footprinting and LCA techniques to the bioenergy context, describing comprehensive inventory approaches and developing a process for characterizing (weighting) consumption values to enable comparison across resource bases. This process draws on metrics of water stress, accounting for environmental flow requirements, climatic variability, and non-linearity of water stress effects. My assessment framework was developed in hopes that it would be useful in managing the risks and impacts it describes. The

  16. Strategies for the production of cell wall-deconstructing enzymes in lignocellulosic biomass and their utilization for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Park, Sang-Hyuck; Ong, Rebecca Garlock; Sticklen, Mariam

    2016-06-01

    Microbial cell wall-deconstructing enzymes are widely used in the food, wine, pulp and paper, textile, and detergent industries and will be heavily utilized by cellulosic biorefineries in the production of fuels and chemicals. Due to their ability to use freely available solar energy, genetically engineered bioenergy crops provide an attractive alternative to microbial bioreactors for the production of cell wall-deconstructing enzymes. This review article summarizes the efforts made within the last decade on the production of cell wall-deconstructing enzymes in planta for use in the deconstruction of lignocellulosic biomass. A number of strategies have been employed to increase enzyme yields and limit negative impacts on plant growth and development including targeting heterologous enzymes into specific subcellular compartments using signal peptides, using tissue-specific or inducible promoters to limit the expression of enzymes to certain portions of the plant or certain times, and fusion of amplification sequences upstream of the coding region to enhance expression. We also summarize methods that have been used to access and maintain activity of plant-generated enzymes when used in conjunction with thermochemical pretreatments for the production of lignocellulosic biofuels. PMID:26627868

  17. High Yields of Hydrogen Production Induced by Meta-Substituted Dichlorophenols Biodegradation from the Green Alga Scenedesmus obliquus

    PubMed Central

    Papazi, Aikaterini; Andronis, Efthimios; Ioannidis, Nikolaos E.; Chaniotakis, Nikolaos; Kotzabasis, Kiriakos

    2012-01-01

    Hydrogen is a highly promising energy source with important social and economic implications. The ability of green algae to produce photosynthetic hydrogen under anaerobic conditions has been known for years. However, until today the yield of production has been very low, limiting an industrial scale use. In the present paper, 73 years after the first report on H2-production from green algae, we present a combinational biological system where the biodegradation procedure of one meta-substituted dichlorophenol (m-dcp) is the key element for maintaining continuous and high rate H2-production (>100 times higher than previously reported) in chloroplasts and mitochondria of the green alga Scenedesmus obliquus. In particular, we report that reduced m-dcps (biodegradation intermediates) mimic endogenous electron and proton carriers in chloroplasts and mitochondria, inhibit Photosystem II (PSII) activity (and therefore O2 production) and enhance Photosystem I (PSI) and hydrogenase activity. In addition, we show that there are some indications for hydrogen production from sources other than chloroplasts in Scenedesmus obliquus. The regulation of these multistage and highly evolved redox pathways leads to high yields of hydrogen production and paves the way for an efficient application to industrial scale use, utilizing simple energy sources and one meta-substituted dichlorophenol as regulating elements. PMID:23145057

  18. Reverse membrane bioreactor: Introduction to a new technology for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Mahboubi, Amir; Ylitervo, Päivi; Doyen, Wim; De Wever, Heleen; Taherzadeh, Mohammad J

    2016-01-01

    The novel concept of reverse membrane bioreactors (rMBR) introduced in this review is a new membrane-assisted cell retention technique benefiting from the advantageous properties of both conventional MBRs and cell encapsulation techniques to tackle issues in bioconversion and fermentation of complex feeds. The rMBR applies high local cell density and membrane separation of cell/feed to the conventional immersed membrane bioreactor (iMBR) set up. Moreover, this new membrane configuration functions on basis of concentration-driven diffusion rather than pressure-driven convection previously used in conventional MBRs. These new features bring along the exceptional ability of rMBRs in aiding complex bioconversion and fermentation feeds containing high concentrations of inhibitory compounds, a variety of sugar sources and high suspended solid content. In the current review, the similarities and differences between the rMBR and conventional MBRs and cell encapsulation regarding advantages, disadvantages, principles and applications for biofuel production are presented and compared. Moreover, the potential of rMBRs in bioconversion of specific complex substrates of interest such as lignocellulosic hydrolysate is thoroughly studied. PMID:27238291

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

    SciTech Connect

    Donald D. Brown; David Savage

    2012-06-30

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

  20. Assessing methanotrophy and carbon fixation for biofuel production by Methanosarcina acetivorans

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Nazem-Bokaee, Hadi; Gopalakrishnan, Saratram; Ferry, James G.; Wood, Thomas K.; Maranas, Costas D.

    2016-01-17

    Methanosarcina acetivorans is a model archaeon with renewed interest due to its unique reversible methane production pathways. However, the mechanism and relevant pathways implicated in (co)utilizing novel carbon substrates in this organism are still not fully understood. This paper provides a comprehensive inventory of thermodynamically feasible routes for anaerobic methane oxidation, co-reactant utilization, and maximum carbon yields of major biofuel candidates by M. acetivorans. Here, an updated genome-scale metabolic model of M. acetivorans is introduced (iMAC868 containing 868 genes, 845 reactions, and 718 metabolites) by integrating information from two previously reconstructed metabolic models (i.e., iVS941 and iMB745), modifying 17 reactions,more » adding 24 new reactions, and revising 64 gene-proteinreaction associations based on newly available information. The new model establishes improved predictions of growth yields on native substrates and is capable of correctly predicting the knockout outcomes for 27 out of 28 gene deletion mutants. By tracing a bifurcated electron flow mechanism, the iMAC868 model predicts thermodynamically feasible (co)utilization pathway of methane and bicarbonate using various terminal electron acceptors through the reversal of the aceticlastic pathway. In conclusion, this effort paves the way in informing the search for thermodynamically feasible ways of (co)utilizing novel carbon substrates in the domain Archaea.« less

  1. Production of biofuel from waste cooking palm oil using nanocrystalline zeolite as catalyst: process optimization studies.

    PubMed

    Taufiqurrahmi, Niken; Mohamed, Abdul Rahman; Bhatia, Subhash

    2011-11-01

    The catalytic cracking of waste cooking palm oil to biofuel was studied over different types of nano-crystalline zeolite catalysts in a fixed bed reactor. The effect of reaction temperature (400-500 °C), catalyst-to-oil ratio (6-14) and catalyst pore size of different nanocrystalline zeolites (0.54-0.80 nm) were studied over the conversion of waste cooking palm oil, yields of Organic Liquid Product (OLP) and gasoline fraction in the OLP following central composite design (CCD). The response surface methodology was used to determine the optimum value of the operating variables for maximum conversion as well as maximum yield of OLP and gasoline fraction, respectively. The optimum reaction temperature of 458 °C with oil/catalyst ratio=6 over the nanocrystalline zeolite Y with pore size of 0.67 nm gave 86.4 wt% oil conversion, 46.5 wt% OLP yield and 33.5 wt% gasoline fraction yield, respectively. The experimental results were in agreement with the simulated values within an experimental error of less than 5%. PMID:21924606

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Effect of pre-treatments on the production of biofuels from Phaeodactylum tricornutum.

    PubMed

    Caporgno, M P; Olkiewicz, M; Torras, C; Salvadó, J; Clavero, E; Bengoa, C

    2016-07-15

    Several characteristics make Phaeodactylum tricornutum potential candidate for biofuels production such as methane and biodiesel. For this reason, some alternatives are evaluated in this manuscript to improve the conversion of this microalgae into methane. One of these alternatives is the addition of sewage sludge to Phaeodactylum tricornutum for anaerobic co-digestion. Although the co-digestion resulted in lack of synergy, the absence of inhibition indicated that both substrates could be co-digested under certain circumstances, for example if microalgae are cultivated for wastewater treatment purposes. The extraction of lipids using organic solvents has been evaluated for biodiesel production but also as a pre-treatment for anaerobic digestion. The results revealed that the type of solvent influences lipid and biodiesel yields. The high polarity of the mixture methanol/hexane increased the lipid and the biodiesel yields from 10 ± 1 to 53 ± 2 gLipids/100 gVS and from 7 ± 1 to 11 ± 1 gBiodiesel/100 gVS compared with hexane. However, none of these solvents affected the composition of biodiesel. Regarding the methane production after the extraction, it yielded 257 ± 8 and 180 ± 6 mLCH4/gVS from lipid-extracted P. tricornutum using hexane and methanol/hexane respectively. The methane production from the raw microalga was 258 ± 5 mLCH4/gVS in the same experiment. The difference in methane production, mainly after the extraction with methanol/hexane, was a consequence of the changes in the composition of the microalgae after extraction. The extraction did not influence the biodegradability. The ultrasonic pre-treatment prior anaerobic digestion completely disrupted the microalgae cells, but the solubilisation of the organic fraction was scarce (<9.5%). The methane production from pre-treated samples was barely 10-11% higher than the obtained from non pre-treated samples, indicating that the refractory nature of the organic fraction in P

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Effects of lead on growth, photosynthetic characteristics and production of reactive oxygen species of two freshwater green algae.

    PubMed

    Dao, Ly H T; Beardall, John

    2016-03-01

    In the natural environment, heavy metal contamination can occur as long-term pollution of sites or as pulses of pollutants from wastewater disposal. In this study two freshwater green algae, Chlorella sp. FleB1 and Scenedesmus YaA6, were isolated from lead-polluted water samples and the effects of 24 h vs 4 and 8 d exposure of cultures to lead on growth, photosynthetic physiology and production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) of these algae were investigated. In Chlorella sp. FleB1, there was agreement between lead impacts on chlorophyll content, photosynthesis and growth in most case. However, in Scenedesmus acutus YaA6 growth was inhibited at lower lead concentrations (0.03-0.87 × 10(-9) M), under which ROS, measured by 2',7' dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate fluorescence, were 4.5 fold higher than in controls but photosynthesis was not affected, implying that ROS had played a role in the growth inhibition that did not involve direct effects on photosynthesis. Effects of short-term (5 h, 24 h) vs long-term (4 d and 8 d) exposure to lead were also compared between the two algae. The results contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms of lead toxicity to algae. PMID:26774308

  6. CONTRIBUTION OF MARINE ALGAE TO TRIHALOMETHANE PRODUCTION IN CHLORINATED ESTUARINE WATER

    EPA Science Inventory

    Three species of marine algae representing major taxonomic groups of phytoplankton, Isochrysis galbana (Chrysophyceae), Carteria sp. (Chlorophyceae), and Thalassiosira pseudonana (Bacillariphyceae), were utilized to investigate the potential of natural occurring chlorophyll a of ...

  7. Predicting Potential Global Distributions of Two Miscanthus Grasses: Implications for Horticulture, Biofuel Production, and Biological Invasions

    PubMed Central

    Hager, Heather A.; Sinasac, Sarah E.; Gedalof, Ze’ev; Newman, Jonathan A.

    2014-01-01

    In many regions, large proportions of the naturalized and invasive non-native floras were originally introduced deliberately by humans. Pest risk assessments are now used in many jurisdictions to regulate the importation of species and usually include an estimation of the potential distribution in the import area. Two species of Asian grass (Miscanthus sacchariflorus and M. sinensis) that were originally introduced to North America as ornamental plants have since escaped cultivation. These species and their hybrid offspring are now receiving attention for large-scale production as biofuel crops in North America and elsewhere. We evaluated their potential global climate suitability for cultivation and potential invasion using the niche model CLIMEX and evaluated the models’ sensitivity to the parameter values. We then compared the sensitivity of projections of future climatically suitable area under two climate models and two emissions scenarios. The models indicate that the species have been introduced to most of the potential global climatically suitable areas in the northern but not the southern hemisphere. The more narrowly distributed species (M. sacchariflorus) is more sensitive to changes in model parameters, which could have implications for modelling species of conservation concern. Climate projections indicate likely contractions in potential range in the south, but expansions in the north, particularly in introduced areas where biomass production trials are under way. Climate sensitivity analysis shows that projections differ more between the selected climate change models than between the selected emissions scenarios. Local-scale assessments are required to overlay suitable habitat with climate projections to estimate areas of cultivation potential and invasion risk. PMID:24945154

  8. Predicting potential global distributions of two Miscanthus grasses: implications for horticulture, biofuel production, and biological invasions.

    PubMed

    Hager, Heather A; Sinasac, Sarah E; Gedalof, Ze'ev; Newman, Jonathan A

    2014-01-01

    In many regions, large proportions of the naturalized and invasive non-native floras were originally introduced deliberately by humans. Pest risk assessments are now used in many jurisdictions to regulate the importation of species and usually include an estimation of the potential distribution in the import area. Two species of Asian grass (Miscanthus sacchariflorus and M. sinensis) that were originally introduced to North America as ornamental plants have since escaped cultivation. These species and their hybrid offspring are now receiving attention for large-scale production as biofuel crops in North America and elsewhere. We evaluated their potential global climate suitability for cultivation and potential invasion using the niche model CLIMEX and evaluated the models' sensitivity to the parameter values. We then compared the sensitivity of projections of future climatically suitable area under two climate models and two emissions scenarios. The models indicate that the species have been introduced to most of the potential global climatically suitable areas in the northern but not the southern hemisphere. The more narrowly distributed species (M. sacchariflorus) is more sensitive to changes in model parameters, which could have implications for modelling species of conservation concern. Climate projections indicate likely contractions in potential range in the south, but expansions in the north, particularly in introduced areas where biomass production trials are under way. Climate sensitivity analysis shows that projections differ more between the selected climate change models than between the selected emissions scenarios. Local-scale assessments are required to overlay suitable habitat with climate projections to estimate areas of cultivation potential and invasion risk. PMID:24945154

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

    SciTech Connect

    Mueller, S; Dunn, JB; Wang, M

    2012-06-07

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

    Biofuel is considered to be a viable alternative to meet the increasing fuel demand, and therefore many countries are promoting agricultural activities that help increase production of raw material for biofuel production. Mostly, the biofuel is produced from grain based crops such as Corn, and it apparently create a shortage in food grains. Consequently, there have been regulations to limit the ethanol production from grains, and to use cellulosic crops as raw material for biofuel production. However, cultivation of such cellulosic crops may have different effects on water quality in the watershed. Corn stover, one of the potential cellulosic materials, when removed from the agricultural field for biofuel production, causes a decrease in the organic nutrients in the field. This results in increased use of pesticides and fertilizers which in turn affect the downstream water quality due to leaching of the chemicals. On the contrary, planting less fertilizer-intensive cellulosic crops, like Switch Grass and Miscanthus, is expected to reduce the pollutant loadings from the watershed. Therefore, an ecologically viable land use scenario would be a mixed cropping of grain crops and cellulosic crops, that meet the demand for food and biofuel without compromising on the downstream water quality. Such cropping pattern can be arrived through a simulation-optimization framework. Mathematical models can be employed to evaluate various management scenarios related to crop production and to assess its impact on water quality. Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model is one of the most widely used models in this context. SWAT can simulate the water and nutrient cycles, and also quantify the long-term impacts of land management practices, in a watershed. This model can therefore help take decisions regarding the type of cropping and management practices to be adopted in the watershed such that the water quality in the rivers is maintained at acceptable level. In this study, it

  11. Kinetics of methane production from the codigestion of switchgrass and Spirulina platensis algae.

    PubMed

    El-Mashad, Hamed M

    2013-03-01

    Anaerobic batch digestion of four feedstocks was conducted at 35 and 50 °C: switchgrass; Spirulina platensis algae; and two mixtures of both switchgrass and S. platensis. Mixture 1 was composed of 87% switchgrass (based on volatile solids) and 13% S. platensis. Mixture 2 was composed of 67% switchgrass and 33% S. platensis. The kinetics of methane production from these feedstocks was studied using four first order models: exponential, Gompertz, Fitzhugh, and Cone. The methane yields after 40days of digestion at 35 °C were 355, 127, 143 and 198 ml/g VS, respectively for S. platensis, switchgrass, and Mixtures 1 and 2, while the yields at 50 °C were 358, 167, 198, and 236 ml/g VS, respectively. Based on Akaike's information criterion, the Cone model best described the experimental data. The Cone model was validated with experimental data collected from the digestion of a third mixture that was composed of 83% switchgrass and 17% S. platensis. PMID:23416617

  12. 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...

  13. Production of the blood pressure lowing peptides from brown alga ( Undaria pinnatifida)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minoru, Sato; Takashi, Oba; Takao, Hosokawa; Toshiyasu, Yamaguchi; Toshiki, Nakano; Tadao, Saito; Koji, Muramoto; Takashi, Kahara; Katsura, Funayama; Akio, Kobayashi; Takahisa, Nakano

    2005-07-01

    Brown alga ( Undaria pinnatifida) was treated with alginate lyase and hydrolyzed using 17 kinds of proteases and the inhibitory activity of the hydrolysates for the angiotensin-I-converting enzyme (ACE) was measured. Four hydrolysates with potent ACE-inhibitory activity were administered singly and orally to spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). The systolic blood pressure of SHRs decreases significantly after single oral administration of the brown alga hydrolysates by protease S ‘Amano’ (from Bacillus stearothermophilus) at the concentration of 10 (mg protein) (kg body weight)-1. In the 17 weeks of feeding experiment, 7-week-old SHRs were fed standard diet supplemented with the brown alga hydrolysates for 10 weeks. In SHRs fed 1.0 and 0.1% brown alga hydrolysates, elevating of systolic bloodpressure was significantly suppressed for 7 weeks. To elucidate the active components, the brown alga hydrolysates were fractionated by 1-butanol extraction and HPLC on a reverse-phase column. Seven kinds of ACE-inhibitory peptides were isolated and identified by amino acid composition analysis, sequence analysis, and LC-MS with the results Val-Tyr, Ile-Tyr, Ala-Trp, Phe-Tyr, Val-Trp, Ile-Trp, and Leu-Trp. Each peptide was determined to have an antihypertensive effect after a single oral administration in SHRs. The brown alga hydrolysates were also confirmed to decrease the blood pressure in humans.

  14. Combined effect of oil, oil products and dispersants on the blue-green algae Synechocystis aquatilis and Anabaena variabilis

    SciTech Connect

    Gapochka, L.D.; Brodskii, L.I.; Kravchenko, M.E.; Fedorov, V.D.

    1980-01-01

    The study of the combined effect of oil, oil products and dispersants on the growth of the blue-green algae Synechocystis aquatilis and Anabaena variabilis has shown that out of 12 studied oil-dispersant pairs 6 revealed a positive relationship, which provides evidence for a decrease in oil and oil products toxic effect in the presence of a dispersant. The positive interaction between oil and oil products was found. The negative oil and oil products effect on all studied indices of A. variabilis culture increases with time.

  15. Large-scale production of diesel-like biofuels - process design as an inherent part of microorganism development.

    PubMed

    Cuellar, Maria C; Heijnen, Joseph J; van der Wielen, Luuk A M

    2013-06-01

    Industrial biotechnology is playing an important role in the transition to a bio-based economy. Currently, however, industrial implementation is still modest, despite the advances made in microorganism development. Given that the fuels and commodity chemicals sectors are characterized by tight economic margins, we propose to address overall process design and efficiency at the start of bioprocess development. While current microorganism development is targeted at product formation and product yield, addressing process design at the start of bioprocess development means that microorganism selection can also be extended to other critical targets for process technology and process scale implementation, such as enhancing cell separation or increasing cell robustness at operating conditions that favor the overall process. In this paper we follow this approach for the microbial production of diesel-like biofuels. We review current microbial routes with both oleaginous and engineered microorganisms. For the routes leading to extracellular production, we identify the process conditions for large scale operation. The process conditions identified are finally translated to microorganism development targets. We show that microorganism development should be directed at anaerobic production, increasing robustness at extreme process conditions and tailoring cell surface properties. All the same time, novel process configurations integrating fermentation and product recovery, cell reuse and low-cost technologies for product separation are mandatory. This review provides a state-of-the-art summary of the latest challenges in large-scale production of diesel-like biofuels. PMID:23650260

  16. Promise and Challenges of Microalgal-Derived Biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Pienkos, P. T.; Darzins, A.

    2009-01-01

    Microalgae offer great promise to contribute a significant portion of the renewable fuels that will be required by the Renewable Fuels Standard described in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act of the United States. Algal biofuels would be based mainly on the high lipid content of the algal cell and thus would be an ideal feedstock for high energy density transportation fuels, such as biodiesel as well as green diesel, green jet fuel and green gasoline. A comprehensive research and development program for the development of algal biofuels was initiated by the US Department of Energy (DoE) more than 30 years ago, and although great progress was made, the program was discontinued in 1996, because of decreasing federal budgets and low petroleum costs. Interest in algal biofuels has been growing recently due to increased concern over peak oil, energy security, greenhouse gas emissions, and the potential for other biofuel feedstocks to compete for limited agricultural resources. The high productivity of algae suggests that much of the US transportation fuel needs can be met by algal biofuels at a production cost competitive with the cost of petroleum seen during the early part of 2008. Development of algal biomass production technology, however, remains in its infancy. This perspective provides a brief overview of past algal research sponsored by the DoE, the potential of microalgal biofuels and a discussion of the technical and economic barriers that need to be overcome before production of microalgal-derived diesel-fuel substitutes can become a large-scale commercial reality.

  17. 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.

  18. Biofuels combustion*

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.