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Sample records for algae biofuels 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.

    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.

  3. 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)...

  4. 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.

  5. Research and development for algae-based technologies in Korea: a review of algae biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Hong, Ji Won; Jo, Seung-Woo; Yoon, Ho-Sung

    2015-03-01

    This review covers recent research and development (R&D) activities in the field of algae-based biofuels in Korea. As South Korea's energy policy paradigm has focused on the development of green energies, the government has funded several algae biofuel R&D consortia and pilot projects. Three major programs have been launched since 2009, and significant efforts are now being made to ensure a sustainable supply of algae-based biofuels. If these R&D projects are executed as planned for the next 10 years, they will enable us to overcome many technical barriers in algae biofuel technologies and help Korea to become one of the leading countries in green energy by 2020.

  6. Evaluation of filamentous green algae as feedstocks for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wei; Zhao, Yonggang; Cui, Binjie; Wang, Hui; Liu, Tianzhong

    2016-11-01

    Compared with unicellular microalgae, filamentous algae have high resistance to grazer-predation and low-cost recovery in large-scale production. Green algae, as the most diverse group of algae, included numerous filamentous genera and species. In this study, records of filamentous genera and species in green algae were firstly censused and classified. Then, seven filamentous strains subordinated in different genera were cultivated in bubbled-column to investigate their growth rate and energy molecular (lipid and starch) capacity. Four strains including Stigeoclonium sp., Oedogonium nodulosum, Hormidium sp. and Zygnema extenue were screened out due to their robust growth. And they all could accumulate triacylglycerols and starch in their biomass, but with different capacity. After nitrogen starvation, Hormidium sp. and Oedogonium nodulosum respectively exhibited high capacity of lipid (45.38% in dry weight) and starch (46.19% in dry weight) accumulation, which could be of high potential as feedstocks for biodiesel and bioethanol production. PMID:27598569

  7. Evaluation of filamentous green algae as feedstocks for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wei; Zhao, Yonggang; Cui, Binjie; Wang, Hui; Liu, Tianzhong

    2016-11-01

    Compared with unicellular microalgae, filamentous algae have high resistance to grazer-predation and low-cost recovery in large-scale production. Green algae, as the most diverse group of algae, included numerous filamentous genera and species. In this study, records of filamentous genera and species in green algae were firstly censused and classified. Then, seven filamentous strains subordinated in different genera were cultivated in bubbled-column to investigate their growth rate and energy molecular (lipid and starch) capacity. Four strains including Stigeoclonium sp., Oedogonium nodulosum, Hormidium sp. and Zygnema extenue were screened out due to their robust growth. And they all could accumulate triacylglycerols and starch in their biomass, but with different capacity. After nitrogen starvation, Hormidium sp. and Oedogonium nodulosum respectively exhibited high capacity of lipid (45.38% in dry weight) and starch (46.19% in dry weight) accumulation, which could be of high potential as feedstocks for biodiesel and bioethanol production.

  8. Genetic Engineering of Algae for Enhanced Biofuel Production

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Algae harvesting for biofuel production: influences of UV irradiation and polyethylenimine (PEI) coating on bacterial biocoagulation.

    PubMed

    Agbakpe, Michael; Ge, Shijian; Zhang, Wen; Zhang, Xuezhi; Kobylarz, Patricia

    2014-08-01

    There is a pressing need to develop efficient and sustainable separation technologies to harvest algae for biofuel production. In this work, two bacterial species (Escherichia coli and Rhodococus sp.) were used as biocoagulants to harvest Chlorella zofingiensis and Scenedesmus dimorphus. The influences of UV irradiation and polyethylenimine (PEI)-coating on the algal harvesting efficiency were investigated. Results showed that the UV irradiation could slightly enhance bacteria-algae biocoagulation and algal harvesting efficiency. In contrast, the PEI-coated E. coli cells noticeably increased the harvesting efficiencies from 23% to 83% for S. dimorphus when compared to uncoated E. coli cells. Based on the soft-particle Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (DLVO) theory, an energy barrier existed between uncoated E. coli cells and algal cells, whereas the PEI coating on E. coli cells eliminated the energy barrier, thereby the biocoagulation was significantly improved. Overall, this work presented groundwork toward the potential use of bacterial biomass for algal harvesting from water.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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).

  17. 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.

  18. Methane production from glycolate excreting algae as a new concept in the production of biofuels.

    PubMed

    Günther, Anja; Jakob, Torsten; Goss, Reimund; König, Swetlana; Spindler, Daniel; Räbiger, Norbert; John, Saskia; Heithoff, Susanne; Fresewinkel, Mark; Posten, Clemens; Wilhelm, Christian

    2012-10-01

    It is the aim of the present work to introduce a new concept for methane production by the interaction of a glycolate-excreting alga (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii) and methanogenic microbes operating in separate compartments within one photobioreactor. This approach requires a minimum number of metabolic steps to convert light energy to methane thereby reducing the energetic and financial costs of biomass formation, harvest and refinement. In this feasibility study it is shown that the physiological limitations for sustained glycolate production can be circumvented by the use of C. reinhardtii mutants whose carbon concentrating mechanisms or glycolate dehydrogenase are suppressed. The results also demonstrate that methanogenic microbes are able to thrive on glycolate as single carbon source for a long time period, delivering biogas composed of CO(2)/methane with only very minor contamination.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Cultivation of a native alga for biomass and biofuel accumulation in coal bed methane production water

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hodgskiss, Logan H.; Nagy, Justin; Barnhart, Elliott P.; Cunningham, Alfred B.; Fields, Matthew W.

    2016-01-01

    Coal bed methane (CBM) production has resulted in thousands of ponds in the Powder River Basin of low-quality water in a water-challenged region. A green alga isolate, PW95, was isolated from a CBM production pond, and analysis of a partial ribosomal gene sequence indicated the isolate belongs to the Chlorococcaceae family. Different combinations of macro- and micronutrients were evaluated for PW95 growth in CBM water compared to a defined medium. A small level of growth was observed in unamended CBM water (0.15 g/l), and biomass increased (2-fold) in amended CBM water or defined growth medium. The highest growth rate was observed in CBM water amended with both N and P, and the unamended CBM water displayed the lowest growth rate. The highest lipid content (27%) was observed in CBM water with nitrate, and a significant level of lipid accumulation was not observed in the defined growth medium. Growth analysis indicated that nitrate deprivation coincided with lipid accumulation in CBM production water, and lipid accumulation did not increase with additional phosphorus limitation. The presented results show that CBM production wastewater can be minimally amended and used for the cultivation of a native, lipid-accumulating alga.

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Treatment with algae extracts promotes flocculation, and enhances growth and neutral lipid content in Nannochloropsis oculata--a candidate for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Rebecca L; Rand, Jonathan D; Caldwell, Gary S

    2012-12-01

    Marine microalgae represent a potentially valuable feedstock for biofuel production; however, large-scale production is not yet economically viable. Optimisation of productivity and lipid yields is required and the cost of biomass harvesting and dewatering must be significantly reduced. Microalgae produce a wide variety of biologically active metabolites, many of which are involved in inter- and intra-specific interactions (the so-called infochemicals). The majority of infochemicals remain unidentified or uncharacterised. Here, we apply known and candidate (undefined extracts) infochemicals as a potential means to manipulate the growth and lipid content of Nannochloropsis oculata-a prospective species for biofuel production. Five known infochemicals (β-cyclocitral, trans,trans-2,4-decadienal, hydrogen peroxide, norharman and tryptamine) and crude extracts prepared from Skeletonema marinoi and Dunaliella salina cultures at different growth stages were assayed for impacts on N. oculata over 24 h. The neutral lipid content of N. oculata increased significantly with exposure to three infochemicals (β-cyclocitral, decadienal and norharman); however the effective concentrations affected a significant decrease in growth. Exposure to particular crude extracts significantly increased both growth and neutral lipid levels. In addition, water-soluble extracts of senescent S. marinoi cultures induced a degree of flocculation in the N. oculata. These preliminary results indicate that artificial manipulation of N. oculata cultures by application of algae infochemicals could provide a valuable tool towards achieving economically viable large-scale algae biofuel production.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Singh, A K; Singh, M P

    2014-12-24

    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.

  15. 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

  16. Influence of extracellular polysaccharides (EPS) produced by two different green unicellular algae on membrane filtration in an algae-based biofuel production process.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Takaki; Yamamura, Hiroshi; Hayakawa, Jyunpei; Watanabe, Yoshimasa; Harayama, Shigeaki

    2014-01-01

    In the present study, two strains of green algae named S1 and S2, categorized as the same species of Pseudo-coccomyxa ellipsoidea but showing 99% homology, were cultivated under the same conditions and filtrated with a microfiltration membrane. On the basis of the results of the extracellular polysaccharides (EPS) characteristics of these two green algae and the degree of fouling, the influence of these characteristics on the performance of membrane filtration was investigated. There was no difference in the specific growth rate between the S1 and S2 strains; however, large differences were seen in the amount and quality of EPS between S1 and S2. When the S1 and S2 strains were filtered with a membrane, the trend in the increase in transmembrane pressure (TMP) was quite different. The filtration of the S1 strain showed a rapid increase in TMP, whereas the TMP of the filtration of the S2 strain did not increase at all during the operation. This clearly demonstrated that the characteristics of each strain affect the development of membrane fouling. On the basis of the detailed characterization of solved-EPS (s-EPS) and bound-EPS (b-EPS), it was clarified that s-EPS mainly contributed to irreversible fouling for both operations and the biopolymer-like organic matter contained in b-EPS mainly contributed to reversible fouling. PMID:24804668

  17. Influence of extracellular polysaccharides (EPS) produced by two different green unicellular algae on membrane filtration in an algae-based biofuel production process.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Takaki; Yamamura, Hiroshi; Hayakawa, Jyunpei; Watanabe, Yoshimasa; Harayama, Shigeaki

    2014-01-01

    In the present study, two strains of green algae named S1 and S2, categorized as the same species of Pseudo-coccomyxa ellipsoidea but showing 99% homology, were cultivated under the same conditions and filtrated with a microfiltration membrane. On the basis of the results of the extracellular polysaccharides (EPS) characteristics of these two green algae and the degree of fouling, the influence of these characteristics on the performance of membrane filtration was investigated. There was no difference in the specific growth rate between the S1 and S2 strains; however, large differences were seen in the amount and quality of EPS between S1 and S2. When the S1 and S2 strains were filtered with a membrane, the trend in the increase in transmembrane pressure (TMP) was quite different. The filtration of the S1 strain showed a rapid increase in TMP, whereas the TMP of the filtration of the S2 strain did not increase at all during the operation. This clearly demonstrated that the characteristics of each strain affect the development of membrane fouling. On the basis of the detailed characterization of solved-EPS (s-EPS) and bound-EPS (b-EPS), it was clarified that s-EPS mainly contributed to irreversible fouling for both operations and the biopolymer-like organic matter contained in b-EPS mainly contributed to reversible fouling.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Jones, Carla S; Mayfield, Stephen P

    2012-06-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Algae for biofuel: will the evolution of weeds limit the enterprise?

    PubMed

    Bull, James J; Collins, Sinéad

    2012-09-01

    Algae hold promise as a source of biofuel. Yet, the manner in which algae are most efficiently propagated and harvested is different from that used in traditional agriculture. In theory, algae can be grown in continuous culture and harvested frequently to maintain high yields with a short turnaround time. However, the maintenance of the population in a state of continuous growth will likely impose selection for fast growth, possibly opposing the maintenance of lipid stores desirable for fuel. Any harvesting that removes a subset of the population and leaves the survivors to establish the next generation may quickly select traits that escape harvesting. An understanding of these problems should help identify methods for retarding the evolution and enhancing biofuel production.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.)...

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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).

  8. 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

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

    DOE PAGES

    Davis, Ryan Wesley; Wu, Weihua

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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).

  11. Advanced biofuel production in microbes.

    PubMed

    Peralta-Yahya, Pamela P; Keasling, Jay D

    2010-02-01

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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Powell, Ryan J; Hill, Russell T

    2013-10-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Land availability for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Cai, Ximing; Zhang, Xiao; Wang, Dingbao

    2011-01-01

    Marginal agricultural land is estimated for biofuel production in Africa, China, Europe, India, South America, and the continental United States, which have major agricultural production capacities. These countries/regions can have 320-702 million hectares of land available if only abandoned and degraded cropland and mixed crop and vegetation land, which are usually of low quality, are accounted. If grassland, savanna, and shrubland with marginal productivity are considered for planting low-input high-diversity (LIHD) mixtures of native perennials as energy crops, the total land availability can increase from 1107-1411 million hectares, depending on if the pasture land is discounted. Planting the second generation of biofuel feedstocks on abandoned and degraded cropland and LIHD perennials on grassland with marginal productivity may fulfill 26-55% of the current world liquid fuel consumption, without affecting the use of land with regular productivity for conventional crops and without affecting the current pasture land. Under the various land use scenarios, Africa may have more than one-third, and Africa and Brazil, together, may have more than half of the total land available for biofuel production. These estimations are based on physical conditions such as soil productivity, land slope, and climate.

  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.

  3. Synthetic Biology Guides Biofuel Production

    PubMed Central

    Connor, Michael R.; Atsumi, Shota

    2010-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Environmental indicators for sustainable production of algal biofuels

    DOE PAGES

    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

  13. 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

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

    DOEpatents

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Coupling of algal biofuel production with wastewater.

    PubMed

    Bhatt, Neha Chamoli; Panwar, Amit; Bisht, Tara Singh; Tamta, Sushma

    2014-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Modifying plants for biofuel and biomaterial production.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    French, R. J.

    2012-04-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Health impact assessment of liquid biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Fink, Rok; Medved, Sašo

    2013-01-01

    Bioethanol and biodiesel as potential substitutes for fossil fuels in the transportation sector have been analyzed for environmental suitability. However, there could be impacts on human health during the production, therefore adverse health effects have to be analyzed. The aim of this study is to analyze to what health risk factors humans are exposed to in the production of biofuels and what the size of the health effects is. A health impact assessment expressed as disability adjusted life years (DALYs) was conducted in SimaPro 7.1 software. The results show a statistically significant lower carcinogenic impact of biofuels (p < 0.05) than fossil fuels. Meanwhile, the impact of organic respirable compounds is smaller for fossil fuels (p < 0.05) than for biofuels. Analysis of inorganic compounds like PM₁₀,₂.₅, SO₂ or NO(x) shows some advantages of sugar beet bioethanol and soybean biodiesel production (p < 0.05), although production of sugarcane bioethanol shows larger impacts of respirable inorganic compounds than for fossil fuels (p < 0.001). Although liquid biofuels are made of renewable energy sources, this does not necessary mean that they do not represent any health hazards. PMID:22774773

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. Algal biofuels.

    PubMed

    Razeghifard, Reza

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-06-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  9. 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

    2015-08-31

    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.

  10. Challenges in engineering microbes for biofuels production.

    PubMed

    Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    2007-02-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Recent progress and future challenges in algal biofuel production

    PubMed Central

    Shurin, Jonathan B.; Burkart, Michael D.; Mayfield, Stephen P.

    2016-01-01

    Modern society is fueled by fossil energy produced millions of years ago by photosynthetic organisms. Cultivating contemporary photosynthetic producers to generate energy and capture carbon from the atmosphere is one potential approach to sustaining society without disrupting the climate. Algae, photosynthetic aquatic microorganisms, are the fastest growing primary producers in the world and can therefore produce more energy with less land, water, and nutrients than terrestrial plant crops. We review recent progress and challenges in developing bioenergy technology based on algae. A variety of high-value products in addition to biofuels can be harvested from algal biomass, and these may be key to developing algal biotechnology and realizing the commercial potential of these organisms. Aspects of algal biology that differentiate them from plants demand an integrative approach based on genetics, cell biology, ecology, and evolution. We call for a systems approach to research on algal biotechnology rooted in understanding their biology, from the level of genes to ecosystems, and integrating perspectives from physical, chemical, and social sciences to solve one of the most critical outstanding technological problems. PMID:27781084

  16. 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).

  17. 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)

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Metabolic engineering of microbial pathways for advanced biofuels production.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Fuzhong; Rodriguez, Sarah; Keasling, Jay D

    2011-12-01

    Production of biofuels from renewable resources such as cellulosic biomass provides a source of liquid transportation fuel to replace petroleum-based fuels. This endeavor requires the conversion of cellulosic biomass into simple sugars, and the conversion of simple sugars into biofuels. Recently, microorganisms have been engineered to convert simple sugars into several types of biofuels, such as alcohols, fatty acid alkyl esters, alkanes, and terpenes, with high titers and yields. Here, we review recently engineered biosynthetic pathways from the well-characterized microorganisms Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae for the production of several advanced biofuels.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. 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

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

    DOE PAGES

    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

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2013-10-22

    Algal biofuels are increasingly important as a source of renewable energy. The absence of reliable thermodynamic and other property data, and the large amount of kinetic data that would normally be required have created a major barrier to simulation. Additionally, the absence of a generally accepted flowsheet for biofuel production means that detailed simulation of the wrong approach is a real possibility. This model of algal biofuel production estimates the necessary data and places it into a heuristic model using a commercial simulator that back-calculates the process structure required. Furthermore, complex kinetics can be obviated for now by putting 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-10-22

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

  16. A High-Resolution National Microalgae Biofuel Production and Resource Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wigmosta, M.; Coleman, A.; Skaggs, R.; Venteris, E.

    2012-12-01

    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 available resources. We present a high-resolution national-scale spatiotemporal assessment that begins to answer fundamental questions of where sustainable production can occur, what types and quantities of water, land, and nutrients are required, and how much energy is produced. A series of coupled model components were developed at a high spatiotemporal scale on the basis of the dominant biophysical processes affecting algal growth. Land suitable for open pond microalgae production consisting of 1200 acres per unit farm is identified using a multi-criteria land suitability model. Physics-based biomass growth and pond temperature models are then are used with location-specific meteorological and topographic data at 89,756 suitable unit farms to estimate 30-years of hourly biofuel production, nutrient requirements, and multi-source consumptive water demand. These resource requirements are compared with available resource supply and transport constraints to prioritize potential locations for sustainable microalgae feedstock production and evaluate the associated tradeoffs between production, resources, and economics.

  17. Feasibilities of consolidated bioprocessing microbes: from pretreatment to biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Parisutham, Vinuselvi; Kim, Tae Hyun; Lee, Sung Kuk

    2014-06-01

    Lignocelluloses are rich sugar treasures, which can be converted to useful commodities such as biofuel with the help of efficient combination of enzymes and microbes. Although several bioprocessing approaches have been proposed, biofuel production from lignocelluloses is limited because of economically infeasible technologies for pretreatment, saccharification and fermentation. Use of consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) microbes is the most promising method for the cost-effective production of biofuels. However, lignocelluloses are obtained from highly diverse environment and hence are heterogeneous in nature. Therefore, it is necessary to develop and integrate tailor-designed pretreatment processes and efficient microbes that can thrive on many different kinds of biomass. In this review, the progress towards the construction of consolidated bioprocessing microbes, which can efficiently convert heterogeneous lignocellulosic biomass to bioenergy, has been discussed; in addition, the potential and constraints of current bioprocessing technologies for cellulosic biofuel production have been discussed.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-05-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-05-15

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

  2. Microbial engineering for the production of advanced biofuels.

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-16

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  6. 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.

  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. 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

  9. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Wohlbach, Dana J.; Gasch, Audrey P.

    2014-08-05

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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…

  17. 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...

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

    PubMed

    Kircher, Manfred

    2015-12-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Misra, Namrata; Parida, Bikram Kumar

    2013-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  4. 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

    2013-01-05

    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

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Kudanga, Tukayi; Le Roes-Hill, Marilize

    2014-08-01

    The desire to reduce dependence on the ever diminishing fossil fuel reserves coupled with the impetus towards green energy has seen increased research in biofuels as alternative sources of energy. Lignocellulose materials are one of the most promising feedstocks for advanced biofuels production. However, their utilisation is dependent on the efficient hydrolysis of polysaccharides, which in part is dependent on cost-effective and benign pretreatment of biomass to remove or modify lignin and release or expose sugars to hydrolytic enzymes. Laccase is one of the enzymes that are being investigated not only for potential use as pretreatment agents in biofuel production, mainly as a delignifying enzyme, but also as a biotechnological tool for removal of inhibitors (mainly phenolic) of subsequent enzymatic processes. The current review discusses the major advances in the application of laccase as a potential pretreatment strategy, the underlying principles as well as directions for future research in the search for better enzyme-based technologies for biofuel production. Future perspectives could include synergy between enzymes that may be required for optimal results and the adoption of the biorefinery concept in line with the move towards the global implementation of the bioeconomy strategy. PMID:24841120

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

    PubMed

    Kudanga, Tukayi; Le Roes-Hill, Marilize

    2014-08-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Microalgal cultivation with biogas slurry for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Liandong; Yan, Cheng; Li, Zhaohua

    2016-11-01

    Microalgal growth requires a substantial amount of chemical fertilizers. An alternative to the utilization of fertilizer is to apply biogas slurry produced through anaerobic digestion to cultivate microalgae for the production of biofuels. Plenty of studies have suggested that anaerobic digestate containing high nutrient contents is a potentially feasible nutrient source to culture microalgae. However, current literature indicates a lack of review available regarding microalgal cultivation with biogas slurry for the production of biofuels. To help fill this gap, this review highlights the integration of digestate nutrient management with microalgal production. It first unveils the current status of microalgal production, providing basic background to the topic. Subsequently, microalgal cultivation technologies using biogas slurry are discussed in detail. A scale-up scheme for simultaneous biogas upgrade and digestate application through microalgal cultivation is then proposed. Afterwards, several uncertainties that might affect this practice are explored. Finally, concluding remarks are put forward. PMID:27599623

  16. 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.

  17. Microalgal cultivation with biogas slurry for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Liandong; Yan, Cheng; Li, Zhaohua

    2016-11-01

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

  18. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    2010-08-01

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

  20. Exploiting diversity and synthetic biology for the production of algal biofuels.

    PubMed

    Georgianna, D Ryan; Mayfield, Stephen P

    2012-08-16

    Modern life is intimately linked to the availability of fossil fuels, which continue to meet the world's growing energy needs even though their use drives climate change, exhausts finite reserves and contributes to global political strife. Biofuels made from renewable resources could be a more sustainable alternative, particularly if sourced from organisms, such as algae, that can be farmed without using valuable arable land. Strain development and process engineering are needed to make algal biofuels practical and economically viable.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Joseph, Brian

    2014-03-31

    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

  2. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Schoeniger, Joseph S; Hadi, Masood Zia

    2015-05-05

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

  4. 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

  5. Molecular breeding of advanced microorganisms for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Sakuragi, Hiroshi; Kuroda, Kouichi; Ueda, Mitsuyoshi

    2011-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-25

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Alternatives to Trichoderma reesei in biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Gusakov, Alexander V

    2011-09-01

    Mutant strains of Trichoderma reesei are considered indisputable champions in cellulase production among biomass-degrading fungi. So, it is not surprising that most R&D projects on bioethanol production from lignocellulosics have been based on using T. reesei cellulases. The present review focuses on whether any serious alternatives to T. reesei enzymes in cellulose hydrolysis exist. Although not widely accepted, more and more data have been accumulated that demonstrate that fungi belonging to the genera Penicillium, Acremonium and Chrysosporium might represent such alternatives because they are competitive to T. reesei on some important parameters, such as protein production level, cellulase hydrolytic performance per unit of activity or milligram of protein.

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  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. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  20. 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-...

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    DOE PAGES

    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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. [Application of systems biology and synthetic biology in strain improvement for biofuel production].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xinqing; Bai, Fengwu; Li, Yin

    2010-07-01

    Biofuels are renewable and environmentally friendly, but high production cost makes them economically not competitive, and the development of robust strains is thus one of the prerequisites. In this article, strain improvement studies based on the information from systems biology studies are reviewed, with a focus on their applications on stress tolerance improvement. Furthermore, the contribution of systems biology, synthetic biology and metabolic engineering in strain development for biofuel production is discussed, with an expectation for developing more robust strains for biofuel production.

  9. Transporter-mediated biofuel secretion.

    PubMed

    Doshi, Rupak; Nguyen, Tuan; Chang, Geoffrey

    2013-05-01

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

  10. 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

  11. FERMENTATIVE AND PHOTOCHEMICAL PRODUCTION OF HYDROGEN IN ALGAE

    PubMed Central

    Gaffron, Hans; Rubin, Jack

    1942-01-01

    1.. After 2 hours of fermentation in nitrogen the metabolism of those algae which were found capable of photoreduction with hydrogen changes in such a way that molecular hydrogen is released from the cell in addition to carbon dioxide. 2. The amount of hydrogen formed anaerobically in the dark depends on the amount of some unknown reserve substance in the cell. More hydrogen is formed in presence of added glucose, but no proportionality has been found between the amount of substrate added and that of hydrogen formed. This is probably due to the fact that two types of fermentation reactions exist, with little or no connection between them. Whereas mainly unknown organic acids are formed during the autofermentation, the addition of glucose causes a considerable increase in the production of lactic acid. 3. Algae which have been fermenting for several hours in the dark produce upon illumination free hydrogen at several times the rate observed in the dark, provided carbon dioxide is absent. 4. Certain concentrations of dinitrophenol strongly inhibit the evolution of hydrogen in the dark. Fermentation then continues mainly as a reaction leading to lactic acid. In such poisoned algae the photochemical liberation of hydrogen still continues. 5. If the algae are poisoned with dinitrophenol the presence of carbon dioxide will not interfere with the photochemical evolution of hydrogen. 6. The amount of hydrogen released in this new photochemical reaction depends on the presence of an unknown hydrogen donor in the cell; it can be increased by the addition of glucose but not in proportion to the amount added. 7. The results obtained allow for a more correct explanation of the anaerobic induction period previously described for Scenedesmus and similar algae. The possibility of a photochemical evolution of hydrogen had not been taken into account in the earlier experiments. 8. The origin of the hydrogen released under the influence of light is discussed. PMID:19873339

  12. Microwave-assisted pyrolysis of biomass for liquid biofuels production.

    PubMed

    Yin, Chungen

    2012-09-01

    Production of 2nd-generation biofuels from biomass residues and waste feedstock is gaining great concerns worldwide. Pyrolysis, a thermochemical conversion process involving rapid heating of feedstock under oxygen-absent condition to moderate temperature and rapid quenching of intermediate products, is an attractive way for bio-oil production. Various efforts have been made to improve pyrolysis process towards higher yield and quality of liquid biofuels and better energy efficiency. Microwave-assisted pyrolysis is one of the promising attempts, mainly due to efficient heating of feedstock by "microwave dielectric heating" effects. This paper presents a state-of-the-art review of microwave-assisted pyrolysis of biomass. First, conventional fast pyrolysis and microwave dielectric heating is briefly introduced. Then microwave-assisted pyrolysis process is thoroughly discussed stepwise from biomass pretreatment to bio-oil collection. The existing efforts are summarized in a table, providing a handy overview of the activities (e.g., feedstock and pretreatment, reactor/pyrolysis conditions) and findings (e.g., pyrolysis products) of various investigations.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Costa, Jorge Alberto Vieira; de Morais, Michele Greque

    2011-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillon, Sean Thomas

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Engineering of plant cell walls for enhanced biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Loqué, Dominique; Scheller, Henrik V; Pauly, Markus

    2015-06-01

    The biomass of plants consists predominately of cell walls, a sophisticated composite material composed of various polymer networks including numerous polysaccharides and the polyphenol lignin. In order to utilize this renewable, highly abundant resource for the production of commodity chemicals such as biofuels, major hurdles have to be surpassed to reach economical viability. Recently, major advances in the basic understanding of the synthesis of the various wall polymers and its regulation has enabled strategies to alter the qualitative composition of wall materials. Such emerging strategies include a reduction/alteration of the lignin network to enhance polysaccharide accessibility, reduction of polymer derived processing inhibitors, and increases in polysaccharides with a high hexose/pentose ratio.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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....

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  2. Optical microplates for photonic high throughput screening of algal photosynthesis and biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Mertiri, Taulant; Chen, Meng; Holland, Thomas; Basu, Amar S

    2011-01-01

    Biological systems respond not only to chemical stimuli (drugs, proteins) but also to physical stimuli (light, heat, stress). Though there are many high throughput tools for screening chemical stimuli, no such tool exists for screening of physical stimuli. This paper presents a novel instrument for photonic high throughput screening of photosynthesis, a light-driven bioprocess. The optical microplate has a footprint identical to a standard 96 well plate, and it provides temporal and intensity control of light in each individual well. Intensity control provides 128 dimming levels (7-bit resolution), with maximum intensity 120 mE/cm(2). Temporal modulation, used for studying dynamics and regulation of photosynthesis, can be as low as 10 μs. We used photonic screening for high throughput studies of algal growth rates and photosynthetic efficiency, using the model organism Dunaliella tertiolecta, a lipid producing algae of interest in biofuel production. Due to the ability to conduct 96 studies in parallel, experiments that would require 2 years using conventional tools can be completed in 1 week. This instrument opens up novel high throughput protocols for photobiology and the growing field of phenomics.

  3. 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

  4. "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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-12-02

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-12-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-01

    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 performance 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.

  15. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

    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

  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. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Membranes with artificial free-volume for biofuel production

    DOE PAGES

    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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Review of Water Consumption and Water Conservation Technologies in the Algal Biofuel Process.

    PubMed

    Tu, Qingshi; Lu, Mingming; Thiansathit, Worrarat; Keener, Tim C

    2016-01-01

    Although water is one of the most critical factors affecting the sustainable development of algal biofuels, it is much less studied as compared to the extensive research on algal biofuel production technologies. This paper provides a review of the recent studies on water consumption of the algae biofuel process and presents the water conservation technologies applicable at different stages of the algal biofuel process. Open ponds tend to have much higher water consumption (216 to 2000 gal/gal) than photobioreactors (25 to 72 gal/gal). Algae growth accounts for the highest water consumption (165 to 2000 gal/gal) in the open pond system. Water consumption during harvesting, oil extraction, and biofuel conversion are much less compared with the growth stage. Potential water conservation opportunities include technology innovations and better management practices at different stages of algal biofuel production.

  6. Review of Water Consumption and Water Conservation Technologies in the Algal Biofuel Process.

    PubMed

    Tu, Qingshi; Lu, Mingming; Thiansathit, Worrarat; Keener, Tim C

    2016-01-01

    Although water is one of the most critical factors affecting the sustainable development of algal biofuels, it is much less studied as compared to the extensive research on algal biofuel production technologies. This paper provides a review of the recent studies on water consumption of the algae biofuel process and presents the water conservation technologies applicable at different stages of the algal biofuel process. Open ponds tend to have much higher water consumption (216 to 2000 gal/gal) than photobioreactors (25 to 72 gal/gal). Algae growth accounts for the highest water consumption (165 to 2000 gal/gal) in the open pond system. Water consumption during harvesting, oil extraction, and biofuel conversion are much less compared with the growth stage. Potential water conservation opportunities include technology innovations and better management practices at different stages of algal biofuel production. PMID:26803023

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Method and apparatus for processing algae

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Intentions of UK farmers toward biofuel crop production: implications for policy targets and land use change.

    PubMed

    Mattison, Elizabeth H A; Norris, Ken

    2007-08-15

    The United States and the European Union have set targets for biofuel production to decrease reliance on fossil fuels and to reduce fossil carbon emissions. Attainment of biofuel targets depends upon policy and infrastructure development but also on production of suitable raw materials. Production of relevant crops relies on the decisions that farmers make in their economic and political environment. We need to identify any farmer-related barriers to biofuel production and to determine whether novel policy and technology are required to meet targets. These aspects of the emerging biofuel industry are relevant across international barriers and have not yet been addressed quantitatively. We describe a case study from the UK of farmers' intentions toward producing two biofuel crops for which refining capacity either exists or is under construction. Given farmers' intentions, current land use, and conversion efficiency, we estimate potential biofuel production. These estimates indicate that EU targets are not achievable using domestically grown raw materials without policy intervention, use of alternative feedstocks, and either significant improvements in processing efficiency or large-scale changes in land use.

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

    PubMed

    To, Jennifer Pc; Zhu, Jinming; Benfey, Philip N; Elich, Tedd

    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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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 ...

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

    DOEpatents

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Techno-economic and Monte Carlo probabilistic analysis of microalgae biofuel production system.

    PubMed

    Batan, Liaw Y; Graff, Gregory D; Bradley, Thomas H

    2016-11-01

    This study focuses on the characterization of the technical and economic feasibility of an enclosed photobioreactor microalgae system with annual production of 37.85 million liters (10 million gallons) of biofuel. The analysis characterizes and breaks down the capital investment and operating costs and the production cost of unit of algal diesel. The economic modelling shows total cost of production of algal raw oil and diesel of $3.46 and $3.69 per liter, respectively. Additionally, the effects of co-products' credit and their impact in the economic performance of algal-to-biofuel system are discussed. The Monte Carlo methodology is used to address price and cost projections and to simulate scenarios with probabilities of financial performance and profits of the analyzed model. Different markets for allocation of co-products have shown significant shifts for economic viability of algal biofuel system.

  10. Techno-economic and Monte Carlo probabilistic analysis of microalgae biofuel production system.

    PubMed

    Batan, Liaw Y; Graff, Gregory D; Bradley, Thomas H

    2016-11-01

    This study focuses on the characterization of the technical and economic feasibility of an enclosed photobioreactor microalgae system with annual production of 37.85 million liters (10 million gallons) of biofuel. The analysis characterizes and breaks down the capital investment and operating costs and the production cost of unit of algal diesel. The economic modelling shows total cost of production of algal raw oil and diesel of $3.46 and $3.69 per liter, respectively. Additionally, the effects of co-products' credit and their impact in the economic performance of algal-to-biofuel system are discussed. The Monte Carlo methodology is used to address price and cost projections and to simulate scenarios with probabilities of financial performance and profits of the analyzed model. Different markets for allocation of co-products have shown significant shifts for economic viability of algal biofuel system. PMID:27475330

  11. 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.

  12. Biofuel production from palm oil with supercritical alcohols: effects of the alcohol to oil molar ratios on the biofuel chemical composition and properties.

    PubMed

    Sawangkeaw, Ruengwit; Teeravitud, Sunsanee; Bunyakiat, Kunchana; Ngamprasertsith, Somkiat

    2011-11-01

    Biofuel production from palm oil with supercritical methanol (SCM) and supercritical ethanol (SCE) at 400 °C and 15 MPa were evaluated. At the optimal alcohol to oil molar ratios of 12:1 and 18:1 for the SCM and SCE processes, respectively, the biofuel samples were synthesized in a 1.2-L reactor and the resulting biofuel was analyzed for the key properties including those for the diesel and biodiesel standard specifications. Biofuel samples derived from both the SCM and SCE processes could be used as an alternative fuel after slight improvement in their acid value and free glycerol content. The remarkable advantages of this novel process were: the additional fuel yield of approximately of 5% and 10% for SCM and SCE, respectively; the lower energy consumption for alcohol preheating, pumping and recovering than the biodiesel production with supercritical alcohols that use a high alcohol to oil molar ratio of 42:1.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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%).

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

    SciTech Connect

    Gharagozloo, Patricia E.; Drewry, Jessica Louise.

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Larvicidal algae.

    PubMed

    Marten, Gerald G

    2007-01-01

    Although most algae are nutritious food for mosquito larvae, some species kill the larvae when ingested in large quantities. Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that kill larvae do so by virtue of toxicity. While blue-green algae toxins may offer possibilities for delivery as larvicides, the toxicity of live blue-green algae does not seem consistent enough for live algae to be useful for mosquito control. Certain species of green algae in the order Chlorococcales kill larvae primarily because they are indigestible. Where these algae are abundant in nature, larvae consume them to the exclusion of other food and then starve. Under the right circumstances, it is possible to introduce indigestible algae into a breeding habitat so they become abundant enough to render it unsuitable for mosquito production. The algae can persist for years, even if the habitat dries periodically. The main limitation of indigestible algae lies in the fact that, under certain conditions, they may not replace all the nutritious algae in the habitat. More research on techniques to ensure complete replacement will be necessary before indigestible algae can go into operational use for mosquito control.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Biofuels from microalgae: lipid extraction and methane production from the residual biomass in a biorefinery approach.

    PubMed

    Hernández, D; Solana, M; Riaño, B; García-González, M C; Bertucco, A

    2014-10-01

    Renewable fuels and energy are of major concern worldwide and new raw materials and processes for its generation are being investigated. Among these raw materials, algae are a promising source of lipids and energy. Thus, in this work four different algae have been used for lipid extraction and biogas generation. Lipids were obtained by supercritical CO2 extraction (SCCO2), while anaerobic digestion of the lipid-exhausted algae biomass was used for biogas production. The extracted oil composition was analyzed (saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids) and quantified. The highest lipid yields were obtained from Tetraselmis sp. (11%) and Scenedesmus almeriensis (10%), while the highest methane production from the lipid-exhausted algae biomass corresponded to Tetraselmis sp. (236mLCH4/gVSadded).

  5. Characterization of Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum, an algal parasite new to the cryptomycota isolated from an outdoor algal pond used for the production of biofuel.

    PubMed

    Letcher, Peter M; Lopez, Salvador; Schmieder, Robert; Lee, Philip A; Behnke, Craig; Powell, Martha J; McBride, Robert C

    2013-01-01

    Mass culture of algae for the production of biofuels is a developing technology designed to offset the depletion of fossil fuel reserves. However, large scale culture of algae in open ponds can be challenging because of incidences of infestation with algal parasites. Without knowledge of the identity of the specific parasite and how to control these pests, algal-based biofuel production will be limited. We have characterized a eukaryotic parasite of Scenedesmus dimorphus growing in outdoor ponds used for biofuel production. We demonstrated that as the genomic DNA of parasite FD01 increases, the concentration of S. dimorphus cells decreases; consequently, this is a highly destructive pathogen. Techniques for culture of the parasite and host were developed, and the endoparasite was identified as the Aphelidea, Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum. Phylogenetic analysis of ribosomal sequences revealed that parasite FD01 placed within the recently described Cryptomycota, a poorly known phylum based on two species of Rozella and environmental samples. Transmission electron microscopy demonstrated that aplanospores of the parasite produced filose pseudopodia, which contained fine fibers the diameter of actin microfilaments. Multiple lipid globules clustered and were associated with microbodies, mitochondria and a membrane cisternae, an arrangement characteristic of the microbody-lipid globule complex of chytrid zoospores. After encystment and attachment to the host cells, the parasite injected its protoplast into the host between the host cell wall and plasma membrane. At maturity the unwalled parasite occupied the entire host cell. After cleavage of the protoplast into aplanospores, a vacuole and lipids remained in the host cell. Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum isolate FD01 is characteristic of the original description of this species and is different from strain X-5 recently characterized. Our results help put a face on the Cryptomycota, revealing that the phylum is more

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  13. Salinity induced oxidative stress enhanced biofuel production potential of microalgae Scenedesmus sp. CCNM 1077.

    PubMed

    Pancha, Imran; Chokshi, Kaumeel; Maurya, Rahulkumar; Trivedi, Khanjan; Patidar, Shailesh Kumar; Ghosh, Arup; Mishra, Sandhya

    2015-01-01

    Microalgal biomass is considered as potential feedstock for biofuel production. Enhancement of biomass, lipid and carbohydrate contents in microalgae is important for the commercialization of microalgal biofuels. In the present study, salinity stress induced physiological and biochemical changes in microalgae Scenedesmus sp. CCNM 1077 were studied. During single stage cultivation, 33.13% lipid and 35.91% carbohydrate content was found in 400 mM NaCl grown culture. During two stage cultivation, salinity stress of 400 mM for 3 days resulted in 24.77% lipid (containing 74.87% neutral lipid) along with higher biomass compared to single stage, making it an efficient strategy to enhance biofuel production potential of Scenedesmus sp. CCNM 1077. Apart from biochemical content, stress biomarkers like hydrogen peroxide, lipid peroxidation, ascorbate peroxidase, proline and mineral contents were also studied to understand the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) mediated lipid accumulation in microalgae Scenedesmus sp. CCNM 1077.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Tree legumes as feedstock for sustainable biofuel production: Opportunities and challenges.

    PubMed

    Biswas, Bandana; Scott, Paul T; Gresshoff, Peter M

    2011-11-01

    Concerns about future fossil fuel supplies and the environmental effects of their consumption have prompted the search for alternative sources of liquid fuels, specifically biofuels. However, it is important that the sources of such biofuel have minimal impact on global food supplies, land use, and commodity prices. Many legume trees can be grown on so-called marginal land with beneficial effects to the environment through their symbiotic interaction with "Rhizobia" and the associated process of root nodule development and biological nitrogen fixation. Once established legume trees can live for many years and some produce an annual yield of oil-rich seeds. For example, the tropical and sub-tropical legume tree Pongamia pinnata produces large seeds (∼1.5-2g) that contain about 40% oil, the quality and composition of which is regarded as highly desirable for sustainable biofuel production. Here we consider the benefits of legume trees as future energy crops, particularly in relation to their impact on nitrogen inputs and the net energy balance for biofuel production, and also ways in which these as yet fully domesticated species may be further improved for optimal use as biofuel feedstock. PMID:21715045

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

    2015-11-17

    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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

    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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Applications and perspectives of multi-parameter flow cytometry to microbial biofuels production processes.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Teresa Lopes; Roseiro, José Carlos; Reis, Alberto

    2012-04-01

    Conventional microbiology methods used to monitor microbial biofuels production are based on off-line analyses. The analyses are, unfortunately, insufficient for bioprocess optimization. Real time process control strategies, such as flow cytometry (FC), can be used to monitor bioprocess development (at-line) by providing single cell information that improves process model formulation and validation. This paper reviews the current uses and potential applications of FC in biodiesel, bioethanol, biomethane, biohydrogen and fuel cell processes. By highlighting the inherent accuracy and robustness of the technique for a range of biofuel processing parameters, more robust monitoring and control may be implemented to enhance process efficiency.

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

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-22

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

  14. 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...

  15. Soil water infiltration affected by biofuel and grain crop production systems in claypan landscape

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The effect of soil management systems on water infiltration is very crucial within claypan landscapes to maximize production as well as minimize environmental risks. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of topsoil thickness on water infiltration in claypan soils for grain and biofuel...

  16. 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....

  17. The potentials and challenges of algae based biofuels: a review of the techno-economic, life cycle, and resource assessment modeling.

    PubMed

    Quinn, Jason C; Davis, Ryan

    2015-05-01

    Microalgae biofuel production has been extensively evaluated through resource, economic and life cycle assessments. Resource assessments consistently identify land as non-limiting and highlight the need to consider siting based on combined geographical constraints of land and other critical resources such as water and carbon dioxide. Economic assessments report a selling cost of fuel that ranges between $1.64 and over $30 gal(-1) consistent with large variability reported in the life cycle literature, -75 to 534 gCO2-eq MJ(-1). Large drivers behind such variability stem from differences in productivity assumptions, pathway technologies, and system boundaries. Productivity represents foundational units in these assessments with current assumed yields in various assessments varying by a factor of 60. A review of the literature in these areas highlights the need for harmonized assessments such that direct comparisons of alternative processing technologies can be made on the metrics of resource requirements, economic feasibility, and environmental impact.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-06-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Final technical report [Molecular genetic analysis of biophotolytic hydrogen production in green algae

    SciTech Connect

    Mets, Laurens

    2000-12-31

    The principal objective of this project was to identify genes necessary for biophotolytic hydrogen production in green algae, using Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as an experimental organism. The main strategy was to isolate mutants that are selectively deficient in hydrogen production and to genetically map, physically isolate, and ultimately sequence the affected genes.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Accumulation characteristics of soluble algal products (SAP) by a freshwater microalga Scenedesmus sp. LX1 during batch cultivation for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yin; Hu, Hong-Ying; Li, Xin; Wu, Yin-Hu; Zhang, Xue; Jia, Sheng-Lan

    2012-04-01

    Algae cultivation is the essential basis for microalgal biofuel production. Soluble algal products (SAP) are significant obstacle to large-scale, high-cell-density cultivation processes. SAP accumulation during batch cultivation of Scenedesmus sp. LX1 (a unique strain accumulating lipid substantially while growing fast under low-nutrient conditions) with different initial nitrogen concentrations (7.4-34.0mgNL(-1)) was investigated. The SAP content varied in the range of 3.4-17.4mgDOCL(-1) at stationary phase, with average yield per cell of 0.5-2.5pgDOCcell(-1). High SAP accumulation up to 15.2-17.4mgDOCL(-1) were observed with initial nitrogen above 20.2mgNL(-1). The maximum SAP production rate per unit culture volume (r(SAP)) was 2.6mgDOC(Ld)(-1) and that per cell (ν(SAP)) was 1.5pgDOC(celld)(-1). The r(SAP) increased with cell growth rate and decreased with cell density linearly. The SAP accumulation was majorly due to the release of growth-associated products.

  12. Zymomonas mobilis as a model system for production of biofuels and biochemicals

    DOE PAGES

    Yang, Shihui; Fei, Qiang; Zhang, Yaoping; Contreras, Lydia M.; Utturkar, Sagar M.; Brown, Steven D.; Himmel, Michael E.; Zhang, Min

    2016-09-15

    Zymomonas mobilis is a natural ethanologen with many desirable industrial biocatalyst characteristics. In this review, we will discuss work to develop Z. mobilis as a model system for biofuel production from the perspectives of substrate utilization, development for industrial robustness, potential product spectrum, strain evaluation and fermentation strategies. Lastly, this review also encompasses perspectives related to classical genetic tools and emerging technologies in this context.

  13. Free radical production by the red tide alga, Chattonella antiqua.

    PubMed

    Shimada, M; Akagi, N; Nakai, Y; Goto, H; Watanabe, M; Watanabe, H; Nakanishi, M; Yoshimatsu, S; Ono, C

    1991-08-01

    The red tide alga, Chattonella antiqua, was found to show a strong chemiluminescence, using luminol as the reagent, when exposed to ultraviolet irradiation. This luminescence was completely inhibited by ascorbate or catalase, suggesting that hydrogen peroxide was generated by the plankton. Red tide cells exposed to fish gill mucus from young yellowtail resulted in the release of a large number of mucocysts and a weak luminosity, and showed a strong reduction of cytochrome c in the medium. Therefore, the discharge of mucocysts from the red tide, induced by the presence of gill mucus, may be accompanied by the release of active oxygen species. The active oxygen may be involved in depolymerization of mucus glycoproteins from the gill lamellae.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Sequencing of Multiple Clostridial Genomes Related to Biomass Conversion and Biofuel Production

    PubMed Central

    Hemme, Christopher L.; Mouttaki, Housna; Lee, Yong-Jin; Zhang, Gengxin; Goodwin, Lynne; Lucas, Susan; Copeland, Alex; Lapidus, Alla; Glavina del Rio, Tijana; Tice, Hope; Saunders, Elizabeth; Brettin, Thomas; Detter, John C.; Han, Cliff S.; Pitluck, Sam; Land, Miriam L.; Hauser, Loren J.; Kyrpides, Nikos; Mikhailova, Natalia; He, Zhili; Wu, Liyou; Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Henrissat, Bernard; He, Qiang; Lawson, Paul A.; Tanner, Ralph S.; Lynd, Lee R.; Wiegel, Juergen; Fields, Matthew W.; Arkin, Adam P.; Schadt, Christopher W.; Stevenson, Bradley S.; McInerney, Michael J.; Yang, Yunfeng; Dong, Hailiang; Xing, Defeng; Ren, Nanqi; Wang, Aijie; Huhnke, Raymond L.; Mielenz, Jonathan R.; Ding, Shi-You; Himmel, Michael E.; Taghavi, Safiyh; van der Lelie, Daniël; Rubin, Edward M.; Zhou, Jizhong

    2010-01-01

    Modern methods to develop microbe-based biomass conversion processes require a system-level understanding of the microbes involved. Clostridium species have long been recognized as ideal candidates for processes involving biomass conversion and production of various biofuels and other industrial products. To expand the knowledge base for clostridial species relevant to current biofuel production efforts, we have sequenced the genomes of 20 species spanning multiple genera. The majority of species sequenced fall within the class III cellulosome-encoding Clostridium and the class V saccharolytic Thermoanaerobacteraceae. Species were chosen based on representation in the experimental literature as model organisms, ability to degrade cellulosic biomass either by free enzymes or by cellulosomes, ability to rapidly ferment hexose and pentose sugars to ethanol, and ability to ferment synthesis gas to ethanol. The sequenced strains significantly increase the number of noncommensal/nonpathogenic clostridial species and provide a key foundation for future studies of biomass conversion, cellulosome composition, and clostridial systems biology. PMID:20889752

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    DOE PAGES

    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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    Kondaveeti, Sanath; Min, Booki

    2015-12-15

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

  10. 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.

  11. Bioethanol production from Gracilaria verrucosa, a red alga, in a biorefinery approach.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Savindra; Gupta, Rishi; Kumar, Gaurav; Sahoo, Dinabandhu; Kuhad, Ramesh Chander

    2013-05-01

    In this study, Gracilaria verrucosa, red seaweed has been used for production of agar and bioethanol. The algae harvested at various time durations resulted in extraction of ~27-33% agar. The leftover pulp was found to contain ~62-68% holocellulose, which on enzymatic hydrolysis yielded 0.87 g sugars/g cellulose. The enzymatic hydrolysate on fermentation with Saccharomyces cerevisiae produced ethanol with an ethanol yield of 0.43 g/g sugars. The mass balance evaluation of the complete process demonstrates that developing biorefinery approach for exploiting Gracilaria verrucosa, a red alga, could be commercially viable.

  12. Nutritional and toxicological importance of macro, trace, and ultra-trace elements in algae food products.

    PubMed

    Dawczynski, Christine; Schäfer, Ulrich; Leiterer, Matthias; Jahreis, Gerhard

    2007-12-12

    The content of 5 macro elements (Na, K, Ca, Mg, and P), 6 trace elements (Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Se, and I), and 4 ultra-trace elements (As, Pb, Cd, and Hg) in 34 edible dried seaweed products of brown algae (Laminaria sp., Undaria pinnatifida, and Hizikia fusiforme) and red algae (Porphyra sp.) originated from China, Japan, and Korea and bought by retail in Germany was determined. The content of these elements was analyzed by spectrometric methods (ICP-AES, ICP-MS, HGAAS, and CVAAS). Assuming a daily intake with 5 g FM of algae, the contribution of the essential elements to the diet is low, with the exception of I. Brown algae contained as much as 1316 +/- 1669 mg of I/kg FM. More than 4000 mg of I/kg FM were found in several Laminaria sp. Moreover, some brown algae, such as Hizikia fusiforme, had high contents of total As (87.7 +/- 8.2 mg/kg FM).

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-16

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

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

    DOE PAGES

    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

  16. Fatty Aldehydes in Cyanobacteria Are a Metabolically Flexible Precursor for a Diversity of Biofuel Products

    PubMed Central

    Kaiser, Brett K.; Carleton, Michael; Hickman, Jason W.; Miller, Cameron; Lawson, David; Budde, Mark; Warrener, Paul; Paredes, Angel; Mullapudi, Srinivas; Navarro, Patricia; Cross, Fred; Roberts, James M.

    2013-01-01

    We describe how pathway engineering can be used to convert a single intermediate derived from lipid biosynthesis, fatty aldehydes, into a variety of biofuel precursors including alkanes, free fatty acids and wax esters. In cyanobacteria, long-chain acyl-ACPs can be reduced to fatty aldehydes, and then decarbonylated to alkanes. We discovered a cyanobacteria class-3 aldehyde-dehydrogenase, AldE, that was necessary and sufficient to instead oxidize fatty aldehyde precursors into fatty acids. Overexpression of enzymes in this pathway resulted in production of 50 to 100 fold more fatty acids than alkanes, and the fatty acids were secreted from the cell. Co-expression of acyl-ACP reductase, an alcohol-dehydrogenase and a wax-ester-synthase resulted in a third fate for fatty aldehydes: conversion to wax esters, which accumulated as intracellular lipid bodies. Conversion of acyl-ACP to fatty acids using endogenous cyanobacterial enzymes may allow biofuel production without transgenesis. PMID:23505484

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  18. The challenge of enzyme cost in the production of lignocellulosic biofuels.

    PubMed

    Klein-Marcuschamer, Daniel; Oleskowicz-Popiel, Piotr; Simmons, Blake A; Blanch, Harvey W

    2012-04-01

    With the aim of understanding the contribution of enzymes to the cost of lignocellulosic biofuels, we constructed a techno-economic model for the production of fungal cellulases. We found that the cost of producing enzymes was much higher than that commonly assumed in the literature. For example, the cost contribution of enzymes to ethanol produced by the conversion of corn stover was found to be $0.68/gal if the sugars in the biomass could be converted at maximum theoretical yields, and $1.47/gal if the yields were based on saccharification and fermentation yields that have been previously reported in the scientific literature. We performed a sensitivity analysis to study the effect of feedstock prices and fermentation times on the cost contribution of enzymes to ethanol price. We conclude that a significant effort is still required to lower the contribution of enzymes to biofuel production costs.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. In search of actionable targets for agrigenomics and microalgal biofuel production: sequence-structural diversity studies on algal and higher plants with a focus on GPAT protein.

    PubMed

    Misra, Namrata; Panda, Prasanna Kumar

    2013-04-01

    The triacylglycerol (TAG) pathway provides several targets for genetic engineering to optimize microalgal lipid productivity. GPAT (glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase) is a crucial enzyme that catalyzes the initial step of TAG biosynthesis. Despite many recent biochemical studies, a comprehensive sequence-structure analysis of GPAT across diverse lipid-yielding organisms is lacking. Hence, we performed a comparative genomic analysis of plastid-located GPAT proteins from 7 microalgae and 3 higher plants species. The close evolutionary relationship observed between red algae/diatoms and green algae/plant lineages in the phylogenetic tree were further corroborated by motif and gene structure analysis. The predicted molecular weight, amino acid composition, Instability Index, and hydropathicity profile gave an overall representation of the biochemical features of GPAT protein across the species under study. Furthermore, homology models of GPAT from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Arabidopsis thaliana, and Glycine max provided deep insights into the protein architecture and substrate binding sites. Despite low sequence identity found between algal and plant GPATs, the developed models exhibited strikingly conserved topology consisting of 14α helices and 9β sheets arranged in two domains. However, subtle variations in amino acids of fatty acyl binding site were identified that might influence the substrate selectivity of GPAT. Together, the results will provide useful resources to understand the functional and evolutionary relationship of GPAT and potentially benefit in development of engineered enzyme for augmenting algal biofuel production.

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    DOE PAGES

    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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Production of biofuels from pretreated microalgae biomass by anaerobic fermentation with immobilized Clostridium acetobutylicum cells.

    PubMed

    Efremenko, E N; Nikolskaya, A B; Lyagin, I V; Senko, O V; Makhlis, T A; Stepanov, N A; Maslova, O V; Mamedova, F; Varfolomeev, S D

    2012-06-01

    The purpose of this work was to study the possible use of pretreated biomass of various microalgae and cyanobacteria as substrates for acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation by Clostridium acetobutylicum cells immobilized into poly(vinyl alcohol) cryogel. To this end, the biochemical composition of photosynthetic microorganisms cultivated under various conditions was studied. The most efficient technique for pretreating microalgal biomass for its subsequent conversion into biofuels appeared to be thermal decomposition at 108 °C. For the first time the maximum productivity of the ABE fermentation in terms of hydrogen (8.5 mmol/L medium/day) was obtained using pretreated biomass of Nannochloropsis sp. Maximum yields of butanol and ethanol were observed with Arthrospira platensis biomass used as the substrate. Immobilized Clostridium cells were demonstrated to be suitable for multiple reuses (for a minimum of five cycles) in ABE fermentation for producing biofuels from pretreated microalgal biomass.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  12. 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...

  13. Assessing the potential for algae and macrophytes to degrade crop protection products in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Kevin A; Hand, Laurence H

    2011-03-01

    Rates of pesticide degradation in aquatic ecosystems often differ between those observed within laboratory studies and field trials. Under field conditions, a number of additional processes may well have a significant role, yet are excluded from standard laboratory studies, for example, metabolism by aquatic plants, phytoplankton, and periphyton. These constituents of natural aquatic ecosystems have been shown to be capable of metabolizing a range of crop protection products. Here we report the rate of degradation of six crop protection products assessed in parallel in three systems, under reproducible, defined laboratory conditions, designed to compare aquatic sediment systems which exclude macrophytes and algae against those in which macrophytes and/or algae are included. All three systems remained as close as possible to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 308 guidelines, assessing degradation of parent compound in the total system in mass balanced studies using ((14) C) labeled compounds. We observed, in all cases where estimated, significant increases in the rate of degradation in both the algae and macrophyte systems when compared to the standard systems. By assessing total system degradation within closed, mass balanced studies, we have shown that rates of degradation are enhanced in water/sediment systems that include macrophytes and algae. The contribution of these communities should therefore be considered if the aquatic fate of pesticides is to be fully understood. PMID:21298708

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Micro-algae come of age as a platform for recombinant protein production

    PubMed Central

    Specht, Elizabeth; Miyake-Stoner, Shigeki

    2010-01-01

    A complete set of genetic tools is still being developed for the micro-alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Yet even with this incomplete set, this photosynthetic single-celled plant has demonstrated significant promise as a platform for recombinant protein expression. In recent years, techniques have been developed that allow for robust expression of genes from both the nuclear and plastid genome. With these advances, many research groups have examined the pliability of this and other micro-algae as biological machines capable of producing recombinant peptides and proteins. This review describes recent successes in recombinant protein production in Chlamydomonas, including production of complex mammalian therapeutic proteins and monoclonal antibodies at levels sufficient for production at economic parity with existing production platforms. These advances have also shed light on the details of algal protein production at the molecular level, and provide insight into the next steps for optimizing micro-algae as a useful platform for the production of therapeutic and industrially relevant recombinant proteins. PMID:20556634

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    Recent research has proposed integrating wastewater treatment with algae cultivation as a way of producing algal biofuels at a commercial scale more sustainably. This study evaluates the environmental performance of wastewater-based algal biofuels with a well-to-wheel life cycle assessment (LCA). Production pathways examined include different nutrient sources (municipal wastewater influent to the activated sludge process, centrate from the sludge drying process, swine manure, and freshwater with synthetic fertilizers) combined with emerging biomass conversion technologies (microwave pyrolysis, combustion, wet lipid extraction, and hydrothermal liquefaction). Results show that the environmental performance of wastewater-based algal biofuels is generally better than freshwater-based algal biofuels, but depends on the characteristics of the wastewater and the conversion technologies. Of 16 pathways compared, only the centrate cultivation with wet lipid extraction pathway and the centrate cultivation with combustion pathway have lower impacts than petroleum diesel in all environmental categories examined (fossil fuel use, greenhouse gas emissions, eutrophication potential, and consumptive water use). The potential for large-scale implementation of centrate-based algal biofuel, however, is limited by availability of centrate. Thus, it is unlikely that algal biofuels can provide a large-scale and environmentally preferable alternative to petroleum transportation fuels without considerable improvement in current production technologies. Additionally, the cobenefit of wastewater-based algal biofuel production as an alternate means of treating various wastewaters should be further explored. PMID:25220843

  3. Tolerance engineering in bacteria for the production of advanced biofuels and chemicals.

    PubMed

    Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila

    2015-08-01

    During microbial production of solvent-like compounds, such as advanced biofuels and bulk chemicals, accumulation of the final product can negatively impact the cultivation of the host microbe and limit the production levels. Consequently, improving solvent tolerance is becoming an essential aspect of engineering microbial production strains. Mechanisms ranging from chaperones to transcriptional factors have been used to obtain solvent-tolerant strains. However, alleviating growth inhibition does not invariably result in increased production. Transporters specifically have emerged as a powerful category of proteins that bestow tolerance and often improve production but are difficult targets for cellular expression. Here we review strain engineering, primarily as it pertains to bacterial solvent tolerance, and the benefits and challenges associated with the expression of membrane-localized transporters in improving solvent tolerance and production.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-23

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Production of biofuels, limonene and pectin from citrus wastes.

    PubMed

    Pourbafrani, Mohammad; Forgács, Gergely; Horváth, Ilona Sárvári; Niklasson, Claes; Taherzadeh, Mohammad J

    2010-06-01

    Production of ethanol, biogas, pectin and limonene from citrus wastes (CWs) by an integrated process was investigated. CWs were hydrolyzed by dilute-acid process in a pilot plant reactor equipped with an explosive drainage. Hydrolysis variables including temperature and residence time were optimized by applying a central composite rotatable experimental design (CCRD). The best sugar yield (0.41g/g of the total dry CWs) was obtained by dilute-acid hydrolysis at 150 degrees C and 6min residence time. At this condition, high solubilization of pectin present in the CWs was obtained, and 77.6% of total pectin content of CWs could be recovered by solvent recovery. Degree of esterification and ash content of produced pectin were 63.7% and 4.23%, respectively. In addition, the limonene of the CWs was effectively removed through flashing of the hydrolyzates into an expansion tank. The sugars present in the hydrolyzates were converted to ethanol using baker's yeast, while an ethanol yield of 0.43g/g of the fermentable sugars was obtained. Then, the stillage and the remaining solid materials of the hydrolyzed CWs were anaerobically digested to obtain biogas. In summary, one ton of CWs with 20% dry weight resulted in 39.64l ethanol, 45m(3) methane, 8.9l limonene, and 38.8kg pectin. PMID:20149643

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Microalgae for high-value compounds and biofuels production: a review with focus on cultivation under stress conditions.

    PubMed

    Markou, Giorgos; Nerantzis, Elias

    2013-12-01

    Microalgal biomass as feedstock for biofuel production is an attracting alternative to terrestrial plant utilization for biofuels production. However, today the microalgal cultivation systems for energy production purposes seem not yet to be economically feasible. Microalgae, though cultivated under stress conditions, such as nutrient starvation, high salinity, high temperature etc. accumulate considerable amounts (up to 60-65% of dry weight) of lipids or carbohydrates along with several secondary metabolites. Especially some of the latter are valuable compounds with an enormous range of industrial applications. The simultaneous production of lipids or carbohydrates for biofuel production and of secondary metabolites in a biorefinery concept might allow the microalgal production to be economically feasible. This paper aims to provide a review on the available literature about the cultivation of microalgae for the accumulation of high-value compounds along with lipids or carbohydrates focusing on stress cultivation conditions.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-24

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Polyhydroxyalkanoates production by a mixed photosynthetic consortium of bacteria and algae.

    PubMed

    Fradinho, J C; Domingos, J M B; Carvalho, G; Oehmen, A; Reis, M A M

    2013-03-01

    For the first time, a mixed photosynthetic culture (MPC) consisting of a consortium of bacteria and algae was investigated for its capacity to accumulate polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA). The culture was subjected to a feast and famine regime in an illuminated environment without supplying oxygen or any other electron acceptor. The MPC accumulated PHA during the feast phase and consumed it in the famine phase, where the PHA consumption was made possible due to oxygen production by algae. The internal cycling of carbohydrates was also observed, which was likely linked to bacterial glycogen being used as an additional source of energy for acetate uptake during the feast phase, and restored in the famine phase via PHA degradation. The MPC reached a PHA content of 20%, with a PHA storage yield per acetate similar to aerobic systems, opening up the possibility of a new sunlight-driven PHA production process without the need for aeration.

  3. Evaluation of marine sediments as microbial sources for methane production from brown algae under high salinity.

    PubMed

    Miura, Toyokazu; Kita, Akihisa; Okamura, Yoshiko; Aki, Tsunehiro; Matsumura, Yukihiko; Tajima, Takahisa; Kato, Junichi; Nakashimada, Yutaka

    2014-10-01

    Various marine sediments were evaluated as promising microbial sources for methane fermentation of Saccharina japonica, a brown alga, at seawater salinity. All marine sediments tested produced mainly acetate among volatile fatty acids. One marine sediment completely converted the produced volatile fatty acids to methane in a short period. Archaeal community analysis revealed that acetoclastic methanogens belonging to the Methanosarcina genus dominated after cultivation. Measurement of the specific conversion rate at each step of methane production under saline conditions demonstrated that the marine sediments had higher conversion rates of butyrate and acetate than mesophilic methanogenic granules. These results clearly show that marine sediments can be used as microbial sources for methane production from algae under high-salt conditions without dilution.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Anaerobic co-digestion of pig manure and algae: impact of intracellular algal products recovery on co-digestion performance.

    PubMed

    Astals, S; Musenze, R S; Bai, X; Tannock, S; Tait, S; Pratt, S; Jensen, P D

    2015-04-01

    This paper investigates anaerobic co-digestion of pig manure and algae (Scenedesmus sp.) with and without extraction of intracellular algal co-products, with views towards the development of a biorefinery concept for lipid, protein and/or biogas production. Protein and/or lipids were extracted from Scenedesmus sp. using free nitrous acid pre-treatments and solvent-based Soxhlet extraction, respectively. Processing increased algae methane yield between 29% and 37% compared to raw algae (VS basis), but reduced the amount of algae available for digestion. Co-digestion experiments showed a synergy between pig manure and raw algae that increased raw algae methane yield from 0.163 to 0.245 m(3) CH4 kg(-1)VS. No such synergy was observed when algal residues were co-digested with pig manure. Finally, experimental results were used to develop a high-level concept for an integrated biorefinery processing pig manure and onsite cultivated algae, evaluating methane production and co-product recovery per mass of pig manure entering the refinery.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Vuichard, Nicolas; Ciais, Philippe; Wolf, Adam

    2009-11-15

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Microalgal carbohydrates: an overview of the factors influencing carbohydrates production, and of main bioconversion technologies for production of biofuels.

    PubMed

    Markou, Giorgos; Angelidaki, Irini; Georgakakis, Dimitris

    2012-11-01

    Microalgal biomass seems to be a promising feedstock for biofuel generation. Microalgae have relative high photosynthetic efficiencies, high growth rates, and some species can thrive in brackish water or seawater and wastewater from the food- and agro-industrial sector. Today, the main interest in research is the cultivation of microalgae for lipids production to generate biodiesel. However, there are several other biological or thermochemical conversion technologies, in which microalgal biomass could be used as substrate. However, the high protein content or the low carbohydrate content of the majority of the microalgal species might be a constraint for their possible use in these technologies. Moreover, in the majority of biomass conversion technologies, carbohydrates are the main substrate for production of biofuels. Nevertheless, microalgae biomass composition could be manipulated by several cultivation techniques, such as nutrient starvation or other stressed environmental conditions, which cause the microalgae to accumulate carbohydrates. This paper attempts to give a general overview of techniques that can be used for increasing the microalgal biomass carbohydrate content. In addition, biomass conversion technologies, related to the conversion of carbohydrates into biofuels are discussed.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

    Powell, Joshua D.

    2015-09-25

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-17

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

  9. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Sun, Amy Cha-Tien; Reno, Marissa Devan

    2007-09-01

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

  11. Mechanism and challenges in commercialisation of algal biofuels.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Updated Cost Analysis of Photobiological Hydrogen Production from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Green Algae: Milestone Completion Report

    SciTech Connect

    Amos, W. A.

    2004-01-01

    This report updates the 1999 economic analysis of NREL's photobiological hydrogen production from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The previous study had looked mainly at incident light intensities, batch cycles and light adsorption without directly attempting to model the saturation effects seen in algal cultures. This study takes a more detailed look at the effects that cell density, light adsorption and light saturation have on algal hydrogen production. Performance estimates based on actual solar data are also included in this study. Based on this analysis, the estimated future selling price of hydrogen produced from algae ranges $0.57/kg to $13.53/kg.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2011-08-01

    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.

  1. Hydrocracking of vacuum gas oil-vegetable oil mixtures for biofuels production.

    PubMed

    Bezergianni, Stella; Kalogianni, Aggeliki; Vasalos, Iacovos A

    2009-06-01

    Hydrocracking of vacuum gas oil (VGO)--vegetable oil mixtures is a prominent process for the production of biofuels. In this work both pre-hydrotreated and non-hydrotreated VGO are assessed whether they are suitable fossil components in a VGO-vegetable oil mixture as feed-stocks to a hydrocracking process. This assessment indicates the necessity of a VGO pre-hydrotreated step prior to hydrocracking the VGO-vegetable oil mixture. Moreover, the comparison of two different mixing ratios suggests that higher vegetable oil content favors hydrocracking product yields and qualities. Three commercial catalysts of different activity are utilized in order to identify a range of products that can be produced via a hydrocracking route. Finally, the effect of temperature on hydrocracking VGO-vegetable oil mixtures is studied in terms of conversion and selectivity to diesel, jet/kerosene and naphtha.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Improving photosynthesis and metabolic networks for the competitive production of phototroph-derived biofuels.

    PubMed

    Work, Victoria H; D'Adamo, Sarah; Radakovits, Randor; Jinkerson, Robert E; Posewitz, Matthew C

    2012-06-01

    To improve bioenergy production from photosynthetic microorganisms it is necessary to optimize an extensive network of highly integrated biological processes. Systematic advances in pathway engineering and culture modification have resulted in strains with increased yields of biohydrogen, lipids, and carbohydrates, three bioenergy foci. However, additional improvements in photosynthetic efficiency are necessary to establish a viable system for biofuel production. Advances in optimizing light capture, energy transfer, and carbon fixation are essential, as the efficiencies of these processes are the principal determinants of productivity. However, owing to their regulatory, catalytic, and structural complexities, manipulating these pathways poses considerable challenges. This review covers novel developments in the optimization of photosynthesis, carbon fixation, and metabolic pathways for the synthesis of targeted bioenergy carriers.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. A state of the art of metabolic networks of unicellular microalgae and cyanobacteria for biofuel production.

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    The most promising and yet challenging application of microalgae and cyanobacteria is the production of renewable energy: biodiesel from microalgae triacylglycerols and bioethanol from cyanobacteria carbohydrates. A thorough understanding of microalgal and cyanobacterial metabolism is necessary to master and optimize biofuel production yields. To this end, systems biology and metabolic modeling have proven to be very efficient tools if supported by an accurate knowledge of the metabolic network. However, unlike heterotrophic microorganisms that utilize the same substrate for energy and as carbon source, microalgae and cyanobacteria require light for energy and inorganic carbon (CO2 or bicarbonate) as carbon source. This double specificity, together with the complex mechanisms of light capture, makes the representation of metabolic network nonstandard. Here, we review the existing metabolic networks of photoautotrophic microalgae and cyanobacteria. We highlight how these networks have been useful for gaining insight on photoautotrophic metabolism.

  2. 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

  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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. A Hydrologic Model to Quantify Large Scale Biofuel Production Impact on Upper Mississippi River Basin Water Quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    The projected increase in domestic ethanol production in the U.S. is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote rural community development, and strengthen the nation’s energy security. However, its potential effect on water resources at both regional and local scales is still uncertain. Especially, changes in a large scale land use and management to produce high yield energy crops raised serious concern on its unintended potential impact on water quality and availability. This work presents a watershed modeling effort to establish a baseline condition for the Upper Mississippi River Basin, based on which impacts of conventional and cellulosic biofuel feedstock production on the region water resources will be evaluated. The watershed model was adequately calibrated and validated using eighteen years of observed water quality and stream discharge data. The model’s ability to estimate spatially and temporally varying crop growth and biomass production, which is essential to develop future biofuel productions scenarios, was evaluated based on the observed corn and soybean yields. The result validates the model ability to effectively simulate biomass productions from different bioenergy feedstock. A sensitivity analysis was further conducted to evaluate the calibrated model response to change in soil, crop properties, and fertilizer application rates associated with the expected increase in biofuel production. The results demonstrate non-linear, spatially-varying relationship among nitrate application rate, crop yield and nutrient loads, as well as soil and crop properties that are affected by increases in biofuel feedstock.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Semi-continuous methane production from undiluted brown algae using a halophilic marine microbial community.

    PubMed

    Miura, Toyokazu; Kita, Akihisa; Okamura, Yoshiko; Aki, Tsunehiro; Matsumura, Yukihiko; Tajima, Takahisa; Kato, Junichi; Nakashimada, Yutaka

    2016-01-01

    Acclimated marine sediment-derived culture was used for semi-continuous methane production from materials equivalent to raw brown algae, without dilution of salinity and without nutrient supply, under 3 consecutive conditions of varying organic loading rates (OLRs) and hydraulic retention time (HRT). Methane production was stable at 2.0gVS/kg/day (39-day HRT); however, it became unstable at 2.9gVS/kg/day (28-day HRT) due to acetate and propionate accumulation. OLR subsequently decreased to 1.7gVS/kg/day (46-day HRT), stabilizing methane production beyond steady state. Methane yield was above 300mL/g VS at all OLRs. These results indicated that the acclimated marine sediment culture was able to produce methane semi-continuously from raw brown algae without dilution and nutrient supply under steady state. Microbial community analysis suggested that hydrogenotrophic methanogens predominated among archaea during unstable methane production, implying a partial shift of the methanogenic pathway from acetoclastic methanogenesis to acetate oxidation.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Improved methane production from brown algae under high salinity by fed-batch acclimation.

    PubMed

    Miura, Toyokazu; Kita, Akihisa; Okamura, Yoshiko; Aki, Tsunehiro; Matsumura, Yukihiko; Tajima, Takahisa; Kato, Junichi; Nakashimada, Yutaka

    2015-01-01

    Here, a methanogenic microbial community was developed from marine sediments to have improved methane productivity from brown algae under high salinity. Fed-batch cultivation was conducted by adding dry seaweed at 1wt% total solid (TS) based on the liquid weight of the NaCl-containing sediment per round of cultivation. The methane production rate and level of salinity increased 8-fold and 1.6-fold, respectively, at the 10th round of cultivation. Moreover, the rate of methane production remained high, even at the 10th round of cultivation, with accumulation of salts derived from 10wt% TS of seaweed. The salinity of the 10th-round culture was equivalent to 5% NaCl. The improved methane production was attributed to enhanced acetoclastic methanogenesis because acetate became rapidly converted to methane during cultivation. The family Fusobacteriaceae and the genus Methanosaeta, the acetoclastic methanogen, predominated in bacteria and archaea, respectively, after the cultivation.