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Sample records for algal biofuel production

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  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. Wastewater treatment high rate algal ponds for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Park, J B K; Craggs, R J; Shilton, A N

    2011-01-01

    While research and development of algal biofuels are currently receiving much interest and funding, they are still not commercially viable at today's fossil fuel prices. However, a niche opportunity may exist where algae are grown as a by-product of high rate algal ponds (HRAPs) operated for wastewater treatment. In addition to significantly better economics, algal biofuel production from wastewater treatment HRAPs has a much smaller environmental footprint compared to commercial algal production HRAPs which consume freshwater and fertilisers. In this paper the critical parameters that limit algal cultivation, production and harvest are reviewed and practical options that may enhance the net harvestable algal production from wastewater treatment HRAPs including CO(2) addition, species control, control of grazers and parasites and bioflocculation are discussed.

  5. Assessing the potential of polyculture to accelerate algal biofuel production

    SciTech Connect

    Newby, Deborah T.; Mathews, Teresa J.; Pate, Ron C.; Huesemann, Michael H.; Lane, Todd W.; Wahlen, Bradley D.; Mandal, Shovon; Engler, Robert K.; Feris, Kevin P.; Shurin, Jon B.

    2016-10-24

    To date, the algal biofuel industry has focused on the cultivation of monocultures of highly productive algal strains, but scaling up production remains challenging. However, algal monocultures are difficult to maintain because they are easily contaminated by wild algal strains, grazers, and pathogens. In contrast, theory suggests that polycultures (multispecies assemblages) can promote both ecosystem stability and productivity. A greater understanding of species interactions and how communities change with time will need to be developed before polycultures can be successfully applied to large-scale algal production efforts. Here in this paper we review the agricultural and ecological literature to explore opportunities for increased annual biomass production through the use of algal polycultures. We discuss case studies where algal polycultures have been successfully maintained for industries other than the biofuel industry, as well as the few studies that have compared biomass production of algal polycultures to that of monocultures. Assemblages that include species with complementary traits are of particular promise. These assemblages have the potential not only to increase crop productivity and stability, but they may also be capable of utilizing natural resources (e.g. light, nutrients, water) more efficiently via tighter niche packing. Therefore, algal polycultures show promise for enhancing biomass productivity, enabling sustainable production and reducing overall production costs.

  6. Assessing the potential of polyculture to accelerate algal biofuel production

    DOE PAGES

    Newby, Deborah T.; Mathews, Teresa J.; Pate, Ron C.; ...

    2016-10-24

    To date, the algal biofuel industry has focused on the cultivation of monocultures of highly productive algal strains, but scaling up production remains challenging. However, algal monocultures are difficult to maintain because they are easily contaminated by wild algal strains, grazers, and pathogens. In contrast, theory suggests that polycultures (multispecies assemblages) can promote both ecosystem stability and productivity. A greater understanding of species interactions and how communities change with time will need to be developed before polycultures can be successfully applied to large-scale algal production efforts. Here in this paper we review the agricultural and ecological literature to explore opportunitiesmore » for increased annual biomass production through the use of algal polycultures. We discuss case studies where algal polycultures have been successfully maintained for industries other than the biofuel industry, as well as the few studies that have compared biomass production of algal polycultures to that of monocultures. Assemblages that include species with complementary traits are of particular promise. These assemblages have the potential not only to increase crop productivity and stability, but they may also be capable of utilizing natural resources (e.g. light, nutrients, water) more efficiently via tighter niche packing. Therefore, algal polycultures show promise for enhancing biomass productivity, enabling sustainable production and reducing overall production costs.« less

  7. The potential of sustainable algal biofuel production using wastewater resources.

    PubMed

    Pittman, Jon K; Dean, Andrew P; Osundeko, Olumayowa

    2011-01-01

    The potential of microalgae as a source of renewable energy has received considerable interest, but if microalgal biofuel production is to be economically viable and sustainable, further optimization of mass culture conditions are needed. Wastewaters derived from municipal, agricultural and industrial activities potentially provide cost-effective and sustainable means of algal growth for biofuels. In addition, there is also potential for combining wastewater treatment by algae, such as nutrient removal, with biofuel production. Here we will review the current research on this topic and discuss the potential benefits and limitations of using wastewaters as resources for cost-effective microalgal biofuel production.

  8. Algal Biofuels Fact Sheet

    SciTech Connect

    2009-10-27

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

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2013-10-22

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Algal production in wastewater treatment high rate algal ponds for potential biofuel use.

    PubMed

    Park, J B K; Craggs, R J

    2011-01-01

    Wastewater treatment High Rate Algal Ponds with CO2 addition could provide cost-effective and efficient tertiary-level wastewater treatment with the co-benefit of algal biomass production for biofuel use. Wastewater grown algal biomass can have a lipid content of 10-30% of dry weight, which could be used to make biodiesel. This research investigated algal biomass and total lipid production by two pilot-scale wastewater treatment HRAP(S) (4-day HRT) with and without CO2 addition under New Zealand mid summer (Nov-Jan) conditions. The influence of CO2 addition on wastewater treatment performance was also determined. CO2 was added to one of the HRAPs (the HRAP(E)) by maintaining the maximum pH of the pond below 8. Measurements of HRAP influent and effluent water qualities, total lipid content and algal biomass production were made twice a week over the experimental period. Both HRAP(S) achieved high levels of organic compound and nutrient removal, with >85% SBOD5, >92 NH4(+)-N and >70% DRP removal. Algal/bacterial biomass production in the HRAP(E) (15.2 g/m2/d) was improved by CO2 addition by approximately 30% compared with that of the control HRAP(W) (10.6 g/m2/d). Total lipid content of the biomass grown on both HRAP(S) was slightly reduced (from 25% to 20%) with CO2 addition and the maximum total lipid content of approximately 40% was observed in the HRAP(W) when low NH4(+)-N concentration (<0.5 mg/L) and high maximum pH (>10.0) occurred. Total lipid content of the biomass increased by approximately 15% under nitrogen limiting conditions, however, overall algal/bacterial biomass production was reduced by half during the period of nitrogen limitation. More research is required to maintain algal production under near nitrogen-limiting conditions.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. NREL Algal Biofuels Projects and Partnerships

    SciTech Connect

    2016-10-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Algal biofuels: challenges and opportunities.

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Exploring the Utilization of Complex Algal Communities to Address Algal Pond Crash and Increase Annual Biomass Production for Algal Biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Hamilton, Cyd E.

    2014-03-25

    This white paper briefly reviews the research literature exploring complex algal communities as a means of increasing algal biomass production via increased tolerance, resilience, and resistance to a variety of abiotic and biotic perturbations occurring within harvesting timescales. This paper identifies what data are available and whether more research utilizing complex communities is needed to explore the potential of complex algal community stability (CACS) approach as a plausible means to increase biomass yields regardless of ecological context and resulting in decreased algal-based fuel prices by reducing operations costs. By reviewing the literature for what we do and do not know, in terms of CACS methodologies, this report will provide guidance for future research addressing pond crash phenomena.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2010-09-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Environmental performance of algal biofuel technology options.

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-21

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

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

    DOE PAGES

    Laurens, L. M. L.; Nagle, N.; Davis, R.; ...

    2014-11-12

    One of the major challenges associated with algal biofuels production in a biorefinery-type setting is improving biomass utilization in its entirety, increasing the process energetic yields and providing economically viable and scalable co-product concepts. We demonstrate the effectiveness of a novel, integrated technology based on moderate temperatures and low pH to convert the carbohydrates in wet algal biomass to soluble sugars for fermentation, while making lipids more accessible for downstream extraction and leaving a protein-enriched fraction behind. We studied the effect of harvest timing on the conversion yields, using two algal strains; Chlorella and Scenedesmus, generating biomass with distinctive compositionalmore » ratios of protein, carbohydrate, and lipids. We found that the late harvest Scenedesmus biomass had the maximum theoretical biofuel potential at 143 gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) combined fuel yield per dry ton biomass, followed by late harvest Chlorella at 128 GGE per ton. Our experimental data show a clear difference between the two strains, as Scenedesmus was more successfully converted in this process with a demonstrated 97 GGE per ton. Our measurements indicated a release of >90% of the available glucose in the hydrolysate liquors and an extraction and recovery of up to 97% of the fatty acids from wet biomass. Techno-economic analysis for the combined product yields indicates that this process exhibits the potential to improve per-gallon fuel costs by up to 33% compared to a lipids-only process for one strain, Scenedesmus, grown to the mid-point harvest condition.« less

  19. Rotating algal biofilm reactor and spool harvester for wastewater treatment with biofuels by-products.

    PubMed

    Christenson, Logan B; Sims, Ronald C

    2012-07-01

    Maximizing algae production in a wastewater treatment process can aid in the reduction of soluble nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations in the wastewater. If harvested, the algae-based biomass offers the added benefit as feedstock for the production of biofuels and bioproducts. However, difficulties in harvesting, concentrating, and dewatering the algae-based biomass have limited the development of an economically feasible treatment and production process. When algae-based biomass is grown as a surface attached biofilm as opposed to a suspended culture, the biomass is naturally concentrated and more easily harvested. This can lead to less expensive removal of the biomass from wastewater, and less expensive downstream processing in the production of biofuels and bioproducts. In this study, a novel rotating algal biofilm reactor (RABR) was designed, built, and tested at bench (8 L), medium (535 L), and pilot (8,000 L) scales. The RABR was designed to operate in the photoautotrophic conditions of open tertiary wastewater treatment, producing mixed culture biofilms made up of algae and bacteria. Growth substrata were evaluated for attachment and biofilm formation, and an effective substratum was discovered. The RABR achieved effective nutrient reduction, with average removal rates of 2.1 and 14.1 g m(-2) day(-1) for total dissolved phosphorus and total dissolved nitrogen, respectively. Biomass production ranged from 5.5 g m(-2) day(-1) at bench scale to as high as 31 g m(-2) day(-1) at pilot scale. An efficient spool harvesting technique was also developed at bench and medium scales to obtain a concentrated product (12-16% solids) suitable for further processing in the production of biofuels and bioproducts.

  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. Life cycle assessment and nutrient analysis of various processing pathways in algal biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Mu, Dongyan; Ruan, Roger; Addy, Min; Mack, Sarah; Chen, Paul; Zhou, Yong

    2017-04-01

    This study focuses on analyzing nutrient distributions and environmental impacts of nutrient recycling, reusing, and discharging in algal biofuels production. The three biomass conversion pathways compared in this study were: hydrothermal liquefaction technology (HTL), hydrothermal hydrolysis pretreatment +HTL (HTP), and wet lipid extraction (WLE). Carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous (C, N, P) flows were described in each pathway. A primary cost analysis was conducted to evaluate the economic performance. The LCA results show that the HTP reduced life cycle NOx emissions by 10% from HTL, but increased fossil fuel use, greenhouse gas emissions, and eutrophication potential by 14%, 5%, and 28% respectively. The cost of per gallon biodiesel produced in HTP was less than in HTL. To further reduce emissions, efforts should be focused on improving nutrient uptake rates in algae cultivation, increasing biomass carbon detention in hydrothermal hydrolysis, and/or enhancing biomass conversion rates in the biooil upgrading processes.

  2. Energetic potential of algal biomass from high-rate algal ponds for the production of solid biofuels.

    PubMed

    Costa, Taynan de Oliveira; Calijuri, Maria Lúcia; Avelar, Nayara Vilela; Carneiro, Angélica de Cássia de Oliveira; de Assis, Letícia Rodrigues

    2016-10-17

    In this investigation, chemical characteristics, higher, lower and net heating value, bulk and energy density, and thermogravimetric analysis were applied to study the thermal characteristics of three algal biomasses. These biomasses, grown as by-products of wastewater treatment in high-rate algal ponds (HRAPs), were: (i) biomass produced in domestic effluent and collected directly from an HRAP (PO); (ii) biomass produced in domestic effluent in a mixed pond-panel system and collected from the panels (PA); and (iii) biomass originating from the treatment effluent from the meat processing industry and collected directly from an HRAP (IN). The biomass IN was the best alternative for thermal power generation. Subsequently, a mixture of the algal biomasses and Jatropha epicarp was used to produce briquettes containing 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of algal biomass, and their properties were evaluated. In general, the addition of algal biomass to briquettes decreased both the hygroscopicity and fixed carbon content and increased the bulk density, ash content, and energy density. A 50% proportion of biomass IN was found to be the best raw material for producing briquettes. Therefore, the production of briquettes consisting of algal biomass and Jatropha epicarp at a laboratory scale was shown to be technically feasible.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-07

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2011-10-01

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

  6. Evaluating the relative impacts of operational and financial factors on the competitiveness of an algal biofuel production facility.

    PubMed

    Hise, Adam M; Characklis, Gregory W; Kern, Jordan; Gerlach, Robin; Viamajala, Sridhar; Gardner, Robert D; Vadlamani, Agasteswar

    2016-11-01

    Algal biofuels are becoming more economically competitive due to technological advances and government subsidies offering tax benefits and lower cost financing. These factors are linked, however, as the value of technical advances is affected by modeling assumptions regarding the growth conditions, process design, and financing of the production facility into which novel techniques are incorporated. Two such techniques, related to algal growth and dewatering, are evaluated in representative operating and financing scenarios using an integrated techno-economic model. Results suggest that these techniques can be valuable under specified conditions, but also that investment subsidies influence cost competitive facility design by incentivizing development of more capital intensive facilities (e.g., favoring hydrothermal liquefaction over transesterification-based facilities). Evaluating novel techniques under a variety of operational and financial scenarios highlights the set of site-specific conditions in which technical advances are most valuable, while also demonstrating the influence of subsidies linked to capital intensity.

  7. 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

  8. Characterization of Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum, an Algal Parasite New to the Cryptomycota Isolated from an Outdoor Algal Pond Used for the Production of Biofuel

    PubMed Central

    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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Nutrient removal and biofuel production in high rate algal pond using real municipal wastewater.

    PubMed

    Kim, Byung-Hyuk; Kang, Zion; Ramanan, Rishiram; Choi, Jong-Eun; Cho, Dae-Hyun; Oh, Hee-Mock; Kim, Hee-Sik

    2014-08-01

    This study evaluated the growth and nutrient removal ability of an indigenous algal consortium on real untreated municipal wastewater in a high rate algal pond (HRAP). The HRAP was operated semicontinuously under different hydraulic retention times (HRT: 2, 4, 6, and 8 days). The average removal efficiencies of chemical oxygen demand, and total nitrogen and phosphate of real municipal wastewater were maintained at 85.44 ± 5.10%, 92.74 ± 5.82%, and 82.85 ± 8.63%, respectively, in 2 day HRT. Algae dominated the consortium and showed high settling efficiency (99%), and biomass and lipid productivity of 0.500 ± 0.03 g/l/day and 0.103 ± 0.0083 g/l/day (2 day HRT), respectively. Fatty acid methyl ester analysis revealed a predominance of palmitate (C16:0), palmitoleate (C16:1), linoleate (C18:2), and linolenate (C18:3). Microalgal diversity analyses determined the presence of Chlorella, Scenedesmus, and Stigeoclonium as the dominant microalgae. The algal consortium provides significant value not only in terms of energy savings and nutrient removal but also because of its bioenergy potential as indicated by the lipid content (20-23%) and FAME profiling.

  12. Improving photosynthesis for algal biofuels: toward a green revolution.

    PubMed

    Stephenson, Patrick G; Moore, C Mark; Terry, Matthew J; Zubkov, Mikhail V; Bibby, Thomas S

    2011-12-01

    Biofuels derived from marine algae are a potential source of sustainable energy that can contribute to future global demands. The realisation of this potential will require manipulation of the fundamental biology of algal physiology to increase the efficiency with which solar energy is ultimately converted into usable biomass. This 'photosynthetic solar energy conversion efficiency' sets an upper limit on the potential of algal-derived biofuels. In this review, we outline photosynthetic molecular targets that could be manipulated to increase the efficiency and yield of algal biofuel production. We also highlight modern 'omic' and high-throughput technologies that might enable identification, selection and improvement of algal cell lines on timescales relevant for achieving significant contributions to future energy solutions.

  13. 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).

  14. Algal Biofuels Factsheet: Long-Term Energy Benefits Drive U.S. Research

    SciTech Connect

    2013-03-04

    Algal biofuels are generating considerable interest around the world. In the United States, they represent promising pathways for helping to meet the biofuel production targets set by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

  15. Process Design and Economics for the Conversion of Algal Biomass to Biofuels: Algal Biomass Fractionation to Lipid- and Carbohydrate-Derived Fuel Products

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, R.; Kinchin, C.; Markham, J.; Tan, E.; Laurens, L.; Sexton, D.; Knorr, D.; Schoen, P.; Lukas, J.

    2014-09-01

    Beginning in 2013, NREL began transitioning from the singular focus on ethanol to a broad slate of products and conversion pathways, ultimately to establish similar benchmarking and targeting efforts. One of these pathways is the conversion of algal biomass to fuels via extraction of lipids (and potentially other components), termed the 'algal lipid upgrading' or ALU pathway. This report describes in detail one potential ALU approach based on a biochemical processing strategy to selectively recover and convert select algal biomass components to fuels, namely carbohydrates to ethanol and lipids to a renewable diesel blendstock (RDB) product. The overarching process design converts algal biomass delivered from upstream cultivation and dewatering (outside the present scope) to ethanol, RDB, and minor coproducts, using dilute-acid pretreatment, fermentation, lipid extraction, and hydrotreating.

  16. 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.

  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. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Process Design and Economics for the Conversion of Algal Biomass to Biofuels: Algal Biomass Fractionation to Lipid-and Carbohydrate-Derived Fuel Products

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, R.; Kinchin, C.; Markham, J.; Tan, E. C. D.; Laurens, L. M. L.; Sexton, D.; Knorr, D.; Schoen, P.; Lukas, J.

    2014-09-11

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) promotes the production of a range of liquid fuels and fuel blendstocks from biomass feedstocks by funding fundamental and applied research that advances the state of technology in biomass production, conversion, and sustainability. As part of its involvement in this program, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) investigates the conceptual production economics of these fuels. This includes fuel pathways from lignocellulosic (terrestrial) biomass, as well as from algal (aquatic) biomass systems.

  1. 2016 National Algal Biofuels Technology Review Fact Sheet

    SciTech Connect

    2016-06-01

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

  2. 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

    2013-05-07

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    2015-05-15

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

  4. Algal biodiesel economy and competition among bio-fuels.

    PubMed

    Lee, D H

    2011-01-01

    This investigation examines the possible results of policy support in developed and developing economies for developing algal biodiesel through to 2040. This investigation adopts the Taiwan General Equilibrium Model-Energy for Bio-fuels (TAIGEM-EB) to predict competition among the development of algal biodiesel, bioethanol and conventional crop-based biodiesel. Analytical results show that algal biodiesel will not be the major energy source in 2040 without strong support in developed economies. In contrast, bioethanol enjoys a development advantage relative to both forms of biodiesel. Finally, algal biodiesel will almost completely replace conventional biodiesel. CO(2) reduction benefits the development of the bio-fuels industry.

  5. 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.

  6. Algal Biofuels R&D at NREL (Brochure)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2012-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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%).

  10. 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

  11. Using life cycle assessment and techno-economic analysis in a real options framework to inform the design of algal biofuel production facilities.

    PubMed

    Kern, Jordan D; Hise, Adam M; Characklis, Greg W; Gerlach, Robin; Viamajala, Sridhar; Gardner, Robert D

    2017-02-01

    This study investigates the use of "real options analysis" (ROA) to quantify the value of greater product flexibility at algal biofuel production facilities. A deterministic optimization framework is integrated with a combined life cycle assessment/techno-economic analysis model and subjected to an ensemble of 30-year commodity price trajectories. Profits are maximized for two competing plant configurations: 1) one that sells lipid-extracted algae as animal feed only; and 2) one that can sell lipid-extracted algae as feed or use it to recover nutrients and energy, due to an up-front investment in anaerobic digestion/combined heat and power. Results show that added investment in plant flexibility does not result in an improvement in net present value, because current feed meal prices discourage use of lipid-extracted algae for nutrient and energy recovery. However, this study demonstrates that ROA provides many useful insights regarding plant design that cannot be captured via traditional techno-economic modeling.

  12. Direct conversion of algal biomass to biofuel

    DOEpatents

    Deng, Shuguang; Patil, Prafulla D; Gude, Veera Gnaneswar

    2014-10-14

    A method and system for providing direct conversion of algal biomass. Optionally, the method and system can be used to directly convert dry algal biomass to biodiesels under microwave irradiation by combining the reaction and combining steps. Alternatively, wet algae can be directly processed and converted to fatty acid methyl esters, which have the major components of biodiesels, by reacting with methanol at predetermined pressure and temperature ranges.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Mayfield, Stephen P.

    2015-12-04

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

  14. The ecology of algal biodiesel production.

    PubMed

    Smith, Val H; Sturm, Belinda S M; Denoyelles, Frank J; Billings, Sharon A

    2010-05-01

    Sustainable energy production represents one of the most formidable problems of the 21st century, and plant-based biofuels offer significant promise. We summarize the potential advantages of using pond-grown microalgae as feedstocks relative to conventional terrestrial biofuel crop production. We show how pond-based algal biofuel production, which requires significantly less land area than agricultural crop-based biofuel systems, can offer additional ecological benefits by reducing anthropogenic pollutant releases to the environment and by requiring much lower water subsidies. We also demonstrate how key principles drawn from the science of ecology can be used to design efficient pond-based microalgal systems for the production of biodiesel fuels.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2016-06-21

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-06-21

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-12-01

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

  19. 2016 National Algal Biofuels Technology Review

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-06-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Akita, Tetsuya; Kamo, Masashi

    2015-09-07

    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.

  2. Recycling produced water for algal cultivation for biofuels

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-08-09

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

  3. 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.

  4. Algal Biofuels Strategy. Proceedings from the March 26-27, 2014, Workshop, Charleston, South Carolina

    SciTech Connect

    None, None

    2014-06-01

    This report is based on the proceedings of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office’s Algal Biofuel Strategy Workshop on March 26-27, 2014, in Charleston, South Carolina. The workshop objective was to convene stakeholders to engage in discussion on strategies over the next 5 to 10 years to achieve affordable, scalable, and sustainable algal biofuels.

  5. Advanced biofuel production in microbes.

    PubMed

    Peralta-Yahya, Pamela P; Keasling, Jay D

    2010-02-01

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

  6. Integrated green algal technology for bioremediation and biofuel.

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

  7. Alternative Crops and Biofuel Production

    SciTech Connect

    Kenkel, Philip; Holcomb, Rodney B.

    2013-03-01

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

  8. Algal cell disruption using microbubbles to localize ultrasonic energy for biofuel extraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krehbiel, Joel; Sch, Lance; King, Daniel; Freund, Jonathan

    2014-11-01

    Cell disruption is a critical step in the production of algal-based biofuels, but current mechanical disruption methods require significant energy, typically more than actually available in the cell's oil. We propose and investigate an ultrasound disruption process using ultrasound contrast agents to localize the delivered energy. Experiments in a flow cell with focused ultrasound show a significant benefit. The degree of disruption increases with increasing peak rarefactional ultrasound pressure for pressures between 1.90 and 3.07 MPa and increasing microbubble concentration up to 12 . 5 ×107 bubbles/ml. Estimates suggest the energy of this method is less than one fourth of the energy of other industrial mechanical disruption techniques and comparable with theoretical disruption estimates. The increase in efficiency would make this technique viable for bioenergy applications.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-06-16

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

  10. 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.

  11. Full-scale validation of a model of algal productivity.

    PubMed

    Béchet, Quentin; Shilton, Andy; Guieysse, Benoit

    2014-12-02

    While modeling algal productivity outdoors is crucial to assess the economic and environmental performance of full-scale cultivation, most of the models hitherto developed for this purpose have not been validated under fully relevant conditions, especially with regard to temperature variations. The objective of this study was to independently validate a model of algal biomass productivity accounting for both light and temperature and constructed using parameters experimentally derived using short-term indoor experiments. To do this, the accuracy of a model developed for Chlorella vulgaris was assessed against data collected from photobioreactors operated outdoor (New Zealand) over different seasons, years, and operating conditions (temperature-control/no temperature-control, batch, and fed-batch regimes). The model accurately predicted experimental productivities under all conditions tested, yielding an overall accuracy of ±8.4% over 148 days of cultivation. For the purpose of assessing the feasibility of full-scale algal cultivation, the use of the productivity model was therefore shown to markedly reduce uncertainty in cost of biofuel production while also eliminating uncertainties in water demand, a critical element of environmental impact assessments. Simulations at five climatic locations demonstrated that temperature-control in outdoor photobioreactors would require tremendous amounts of energy without considerable increase of algal biomass. Prior assessments neglecting the impact of temperature variations on algal productivity in photobioreactors may therefore be erroneous.

  12. 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.

  13. Air pollutant production by algal cell cultures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fong, F.; Funkhouser, E. A.

    1982-01-01

    The production of phytotoxic air pollutants by cultures of Chlorella vulgaris and Euglena gracilis is considered. Algal and plant culture systems, a fumigation system, and ethylene, ethane, cyanide, and nitrogen oxides assays are discussed. Bean, tobacco, mustard green, cantaloupe and wheat plants all showed injury when fumigated with algal gases for 4 hours. Only coleus plants showed any resistance to the gases. It is found that a closed or recycled air effluent system does not produce plant injury from algal air pollutants.

  14. Integrated evaluation of cost, emissions, and resource potential for algal biofuels at the national scale.

    PubMed

    Davis, Ryan E; Fishman, Daniel B; Frank, Edward D; Johnson, Michael C; Jones, Susanne B; Kinchin, Christopher M; Skaggs, Richard L; Venteris, Erik R; Wigmosta, Mark S

    2014-05-20

    Costs, emissions, and resource availability were modeled for the production of 5 billion gallons yr(-1) (5 BGY) of renewable diesel in the United States from Chlorella biomass by hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL). The HTL model utilized data from a continuous 1-L reactor including catalytic hydrothermal gasification of the aqueous phase, and catalytic hydrotreatment of the HTL oil. A biophysical algae growth model coupled with weather and pond simulations predicted biomass productivity from experimental growth parameters, allowing site-by-site and temporal prediction of biomass production. The 5 BGY scale required geographically and climatically distributed sites. Even though screening down to 5 BGY significantly reduced spatial and temporal variability, site-to-site, season-to-season, and interannual variations in productivity affected economic and environmental performance. Performance metrics based on annual average or peak productivity were inadequate; temporally and spatially explicit computations allowed more rigorous analysis of these dynamic systems. For example, 3-season operation with a winter shutdown was favored to avoid high greenhouse gas emissions, but economic performance was harmed by underutilized equipment during slow-growth periods. Thus, analysis of algal biofuel pathways must combine spatiotemporal resource assessment, economic analysis, and environmental analysis integrated over many sites when assessing national scale performance.

  15. Integrated Evaluation of Cost, Emissions, and Resource Potential for Algal Biofuels at the National Scale

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, Ryan; Fishman, Daniel; Frank, Edward D.; Johnson, Michael C.; Jones, Susanne B.; Kinchin, Christopher; Skaggs, Richard; Venteris, Erik R.; Wigmosta, Mark S.

    2014-04-21

    Costs, emissions, and resource availability were modeled for the production of 5 billion gallons yr-1 (5 BGY) of renewable diesel in the United States from Chlorella biomass by hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL). The HTL model utilized data from a continuous 1-L reactor including catalytic hydrothermal gasification of the aqueous phase, and catalytic hydrotreatment of the HTL oil. A biophysical algae growth model coupled with weather and pond simulations predicted biomass productivity from experimental growth parameters, allowing site-by-site and temporal prediction of biomass production. The 5 BGY scale required geographically and climatically distributed sites. Even though screening down to 5 BGY significantly reduced spatial and temporal variability, site-to-site, season-to-season, and inter-annual variations in productivity affected economic and environmental performance. Performance metrics based on annual average or peak productivity were inadequate; temporally and spatially explicit computations allowed more rigorous analysis of these dynamic systems. For example, 3-season operation with a winter shutdown was favored to avoid high greenhouse gas emissions, and economic performance was harmed by underutilized equipment during slow-growth periods. Thus, analysis of algal biofuel pathways must combine spatiotemporal resource assessment, economic analysis, and environmental analysis integrated over many sites when assessing national scale performance.

  16. Harvesting algal biomass for biofuels using ultrafiltration membranes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xuezhi; Hu, Qiang; Sommerfeld, Milton; Puruhito, Emil; Chen, Yongsheng

    2010-07-01

    The objective of this paper is to develop efficient technologies for harvesting of algal biomass using membrane filtration. Foulants were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Anti-fouling strategies were established, such as using air-assisted backwash with air scouring, and optimizing operational conditions. A model was also developed to predict the flux decline and final concentration based on a resistance-in-series analysis and a cake development calculation. The results showed that the buildup of the algal cake layer and adsorption of algogenic organic matter (AOM) (mainly protein, polysaccharides or polysaccharide-like substances) on the membrane caused membrane fouling. The cake layer buildup was removed by conducting an air-assisted backwash every 15 min. The adsorbed AOM could be removed by soaking the membrane in 400mg/L NaClO for 1h. In our experiment the algal suspension was concentrated 150 times, to give a final cell concentration of 154.85g/L. The harvesting efficiency and average flux were 46.01 g/(m(2)h) and 45.50 L/(m(2)h), respectively. No algae were found in the permeate, which had an average turbidity of 0.018 Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU). The flux decline predicted by the model under different conditions was consistent with the experimental results.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Optimization of Biofuel Production From Transgenic Microalgae

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-02-27

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

  2. 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.

  3. Sustainable Algal Energy Production and Environmental Remediation

    SciTech Connect

    Cooke, William E.

    2012-07-14

    Overall, our results confirm that wild algal species sequester a wide range of organic and metal contaminants and excess nutrients (PAHs, trace metals, and nutrients) from natural waters, and suggest parameters that could be useful in predicting uptake rates for algae growing on an algal floway or other algal growth systems in the environment or in industrial processes. The implication for various fuel production processes differ with the detailed unit operations involved, and these results will be of use in the developing of scaling experiments for various types of engineering process designs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, Griffin William

    significant portion of algae biomass total weight; wastewater treatment using nitrification requires significant daily additions of buffers, most commonly lime or calcium hydroxide. Accumulation of these ions and metals in wastewater-cultivated algae results in a biomass with substantial amount of inorganic ash content. The cultivated biomass was converted to a carbon-rich biocrude, similar to petroleum crude oil, through a process called hydrothermal liquefaction (abbreviated as HTL), which uses subcritical water (water just below its supercritical point) as the chemical driving force for conversion. Biomass HTL produces four product fractions; liquid biocrude, solids (referred to as biochar), an aqueous product (referred to as aqueous co-product; abbreviated as ACP), and gasses. Many factors contribute to the overall viability of using algae HTL biocrude as a petroleum displacement, particularly yield and quality are important for overall economics and ability to utilize existing refining infrastructure, respectively. The HTL product distribution and quality of wastewater-cultivated algae has been found to be extremely unique with significant advantageous over controlled fertilized growth strategies. Biocrude yields of were typically lower but substantially higher quality with lower oxygen content and higher amounts of direct fuel distillate fractions. This phenomenon is contributed to the fact that large amounts of pure-phase substituted hydroxyapatite (a calcium orthophosphate material) are synthesized in-situ, providing catalytically active sites. Hydroxyapatite (abbreviated HA) is a widely studied material for bone (and dental) tissue regeneration purposes and its acid-base catalytic properties. The specific HA produced during HTL of wastewater-cultivated algae presents unique characteristics for performance and tunability in each respective application, providing novel economic value streams for the production of algal biofuels. The overall work of this dissertation

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-09-30

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

  6. 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

  7. Advanced Algal Systems Fact Sheet

    SciTech Connect

    2016-06-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Process Design and Economics for the Production of Algal Biomass: Algal Biomass Production in Open Pond Systems and Processing Through Dewatering for Downstream Conversion

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, Ryan; Markham, Jennifer; Kinchin, Christopher; Grundl, Nicholas; Tan, Eric C.D.; Humbird, David

    2016-02-17

    This report describes in detail a set of aspirational design and process targets to better understand the realistic economic potential for the production of algal biomass for subsequent conversion to biofuels and/or coproducts, based on the use of open pond cultivation systems and a series of dewatering operations to concentrate the biomass up to 20 wt% solids (ash-free dry weight basis).

  10. First-principles flocculation as the key to low energy algal biofuels processing.

    SciTech Connect

    Hewson, John C.; Wyatt, Nicholas B.; Pierce, Flint; Brady, Patrick Vane; Dwyer, Brian P.; Grillet, Anne; Hankins, Matthew G; Hughes, Lindsey Gloe; Lechman, Jeremy B.; Mondy, Lisa Ann; Murton, Jaclyn K.; O'Hern, Timothy J; Parchert, Kylea Joy; Pohl, Phillip Isabio; Williams, Cecelia Victoria; Zhang, Xuezhi; Hu, Qiang; Amendola, Pasquale; Reynoso, Monica; Sommerfeld, Milton

    2012-09-01

    This document summarizes a three year Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program effort to improve our understanding of algal flocculation with a key to overcoming harvesting as a techno-economic barrier to algal biofuels. Flocculation is limited by the concentrations of deprotonated functional groups on the algal cell surface. Favorable charged groups on the surfaces of precipitates that form in solution and the interaction of both with ions in the water can favor flocculation. Measurements of algae cell-surface functional groups are reported and related to the quantity of flocculant required. Deprotonation of surface groups and complexation of surface groups with ions from the growth media are predicted in the context of PHREEQC. The understanding of surface chemistry is linked to boundaries of effective flocculation. We show that the phase-space of effective flocculation can be expanded by more frequent alga-alga or floc-floc collisions. The collision frequency is dependent on the floc structure, described in the fractal sense. The fractal floc structure is shown to depend on the rate of shear mixing. We present both experimental measurements of the floc structure variation and simulations using LAMMPS (Large-scale Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel Simulator). Both show a densification of the flocs with increasing shear. The LAMMPS results show a combined change in the fractal dimension and a change in the coordination number leading to stronger flocs.

  11. 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.

  12. Homology modeling and docking studies of FabH (β-ketoacyl-ACP synthase III) enzyme involved in type II fatty acid biosynthesis of Chlorella variabilis: a potential algal feedstock for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Misra, Namrata; Patra, Mahesh Chandra; Panda, Prasanna Kumar; Sukla, Lala Bihari; Mishra, Barada Kanta

    2013-03-01

    engineered high oil-yielding microalgal strains for biofuel production.

  13. Probing green algal hydrogen production.

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Liping; Melis, Anastasios

    2002-01-01

    The recently developed two-stage photosynthesis and H(2)-production protocol with green algae is further investigated in this work. The method employs S deprivation as a tool for the metabolic regulation of photosynthesis. In the presence of S, green algae perform normal photosynthesis, carbohydrate accumulation and oxygen production. In the absence of S, normal photosynthesis stops and the algae slip into the H(2)-production mode. For the first time, to our knowledge, significant amounts of H(2) gas were generated, essentially from sunlight and water. Rates of H(2) production could be sustained continuously for ca. 80 h in the light, but gradually declined thereafter. This work examines biochemical and physiological aspects of this process in the absence or presence of limiting amounts of S nutrients. Moreover, the effects of salinity and of uncouplers of phosphorylation are investigated. It is shown that limiting levels of S can sustain intermediate levels of oxygenic photosynthesis, in essence raising the prospect of a calibration of the rate of photosynthesis by the S content in the growth medium of the algae. It is concluded that careful titration of the supply of S nutrients in the green alga medium might permit the development of a continuous H(2)-production process. PMID:12437889

  14. Algal biofuels from urban wastewaters: maximizing biomass yield using nutrients recycled from hydrothermal processing of biomass.

    PubMed

    Selvaratnam, T; Pegallapati, A K; Reddy, H; Kanapathipillai, N; Nirmalakhandan, N; Deng, S; Lammers, P J

    2015-04-01

    Recent studies have proposed algal cultivation in urban wastewaters for the dual purpose of waste treatment and bioenergy production from the resulting biomass. This study proposes an enhancement to this approach that integrates cultivation of an acidophilic strain, Galdieria sulphuraria 5587.1, in a closed photobioreactor (PBR); hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of the wet algal biomass; and recirculation of the nutrient-rich aqueous product (AP) of HTL to the PBR to achieve higher biomass productivity than that could be achieved with raw wastewater. The premise is that recycling nutrients in the AP can maintain optimal C, N and P levels in the PBR to maximize biomass growth to increase energy returns. Growth studies on the test species validated growth on AP derived from HTL at temperatures from 180 to 300°C. Doubling N and P concentrations over normal levels in wastewater resulted in biomass productivity gains of 20-25% while N and P removal rates also doubled.

  15. 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.

  16. Potential of biofilm-based biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhi-Wu; Chen, Shulin

    2009-05-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Menetrez, Marc Y

    2012-07-03

    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.

  4. Microalgae biofuel potentials (review).

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Getting to low-cost algal biofuels: A monograph on conventional and cutting-edge harvesting and extraction technologies

    SciTech Connect

    Coons, James E.; Kalb, Daniel M.; Dale, Taraka; Marrone, Babetta L.

    2014-08-31

    Among the most formidable challenges to algal biofuels is the ability to harvest algae and extract intracellular lipids at low cost and with a positive energy balance. Here, we construct two paradigms that contrast energy requirements and costs of conventional and cutting-edge Harvesting and Extraction (H&E) technologies. By application of the parity criterion and the moderate condition reference state, an energy–cost paradigm is created that allows 1st stage harvesting technologies to be compared with easy reference to the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB) target of $0.013/gallon of gasoline equivalent (GGE) and to the U.S. DOE's Bioenergy Technologies Office 2022 cost metrics. Drawing from the moderate condition reference state, a concentration-dependency paradigm is developed for extraction technologies, making easier comparison to the National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap (NABTR) target of less than 10% total energy. This monograph identifies cost-bearing factors for a variety of H&E technologies, describes a design basis for ultrasonic harvesters, and provides a framework to measure future technological advancements toward reducing H&E costs. Finally, we show that ultrasonic harvesters and extractors are uniquely capable of meeting both NAABB and NABTR targets. Ultrasonic technologies require further development and scale-up before they can achieve low-cost performance at industrially relevant scales. But, the advancement of this technology would greatly reduce H&E costs and accelerate the commercial viability of algae-based biofuels.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. In vivo Reconstitution of Algal Triacylglycerol Production in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    PubMed Central

    Hung, Chun-Hsien; Kanehara, Kazue; Nakamura, Yuki

    2016-01-01

    The current fascination with algal biofuel production stems from a high lipid biosynthetic capacity and little conflict with land plant cultivation. However, the mechanisms which enable algae to accumulate massive oil remain elusive. An enzyme for triacylglycerol (TAG) biosynthesis in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, CrDGTT2, can produce a large amount of TAG when expressed in yeast or higher plants, suggesting a unique ability of CrDGTT2 to enhance oil production in a heterologous system. Here, we performed metabolic engineering in Saccharomyces cerevisiae by taking advantage of CrDGTT2. We suppressed membrane phospholipid biosynthesis at the log phase by mutating OPI3, enhanced TAG biosynthetic pathway at the stationary phase by overexpressing PAH1 and CrDGTT2, and suppressed TAG hydrolysis on growth resumption from the stationary phase by knocking out DGK1. The resulting engineered yeast cells accumulated about 70-fold of TAG compared with wild type cells. Moreover, TAG production was sustainable. Our results demonstrated the enhanced and sustainable TAG production in the yeast synthetic platform. PMID:26913021

  10. Metabolic and cellular organization in evolutionarily diverse microalgae as related to biofuels production.

    PubMed

    Hildebrand, Mark; Abbriano, Raffaela M; Polle, Juergen E W; Traller, Jesse C; Trentacoste, Emily M; Smith, Sarah R; Davis, Aubrey K

    2013-06-01

    Microalgae are among the most diverse organisms on the planet, and as a result of symbioses and evolutionary selection, the configuration of core metabolic networks is highly varied across distinct algal classes. The differences in photosynthesis, carbon fixation and processing, carbon storage, and the compartmentation of cellular and metabolic processes are substantial and likely to transcend into the efficiency of various steps involved in biofuel molecule production. By highlighting these differences, we hope to provide a framework for comparative analyses to determine the efficiency of the different arrangements or processes. This sets the stage for optimization on the based on information derived from evolutionary selection to diverse algal classes and to synthetic systems.

  11. Algal recycling enhances algal productivity and settleability in Pediastrum boryanum pure cultures.

    PubMed

    Park, Jason B K; Craggs, Rupert J; Shilton, Andy N

    2015-12-15

    Recycling a portion of gravity harvested algae (i.e. algae and associated bacteria biomass) has been shown to improve both algal biomass productivity and harvest efficiency by maintaining the dominance of a rapidly-settleable colonial alga, Pediastrum boryanum in both pilot-scale wastewater treatment High Rate Algal Ponds (HRAP) and outdoor mesocosms. While algal recycling did not change the relative proportions of algae and bacteria in the HRAP culture, the contribution of the wastewater bacteria to the improved algal biomass productivity and settleability with the recycling was not certain and still required investigation. P. boryanum was therefore isolated from the HRAP and grown in pure culture on synthetic wastewater growth media under laboratory conditions. The influence of recycling on the productivity and settleability of the pure P. boryanum culture was then determined without wastewater bacteria present. Six 1 L P. boryanum cultures were grown over 30 days in a laboratory growth chamber simulating New Zealand summer conditions either with (Pr) or without (Pc) recycling of 10% of gravity harvested algae. The cultures with recycling (Pr) had higher algal productivity than the controls (Pc) when the cultures were operated at both 4 and 3 d hydraulic retention times by 11% and 38% respectively. Furthermore, algal recycling also improved 1 h settleability from ∼60% to ∼85% by increasing the average P. boryanum colony size due to the extended mean cell residence time and promoted formation of large algal bio-flocs (>500 μm diameter). These results demonstrate that the presence of wastewater bacteria was not necessary to improve algal productivity and settleability with algal recycling.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-11

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

  13. 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.

  14. Multi-omics Frontiers in Algal Research: Techniques and Progress to Explore Biofuels in the Postgenomics World.

    PubMed

    Rai, Vineeta; Karthikaichamy, Anbarasu; Das, Debasish; Noronha, Santosh; Wangikar, Pramod P; Srivastava, Sanjeeva

    2016-07-01

    Current momentum of microalgal research rests extensively in tapping the potential of multi-omics methodologies in regard to sustainable biofuels. Microalgal biomass is fermented to bioethanol; while lipids, particularly triacylglycerides (TAGs), are transesterified to biodiesels. Biodiesel has emerged as an ideal biofuel candidate; hence, its commercialization and use are increasingly being emphasized. Abiotic stresses exaggerate TAG accumulation, but the precise mechanisms are yet to be known. More recently, comprehensive multi-omics studies in microalgae have emerged from the biofuel perspective. Genomics and transcriptomics of microalgae have provided crucial leads and basic understanding toward lipid biosynthesis. Proteomics and metabolomics are now complementing "algal omics" and offer precise functional insights into the attendant static and dynamic physiological contexts. Indeed, the field has progressed from shotgun to targeted approaches. Notably, targeted proteomics studies in microalga are not yet reported. Several multi-omics tools and technologies that may be used to dig deeper into the microalgal physiology are examined and highlighted in this review. The article therefore aims to both introduce various available high-throughput biotechnologies and applications of "omics" in microalgae, and enlists a compendium of the emerging cutting edge literature. We suggest that a strategic and thoughtful combination of data streams from different omics platforms can provide a system-wide overview. The algal omics warrants closer attention in the future, with a view to technical, economic, and societal impacts that are anticipated in the current postgenomics era.

  15. Engineering algae for biohydrogen and biofuel production.

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-01

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

  16. Challenges in engineering microbes for biofuels production.

    PubMed

    Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    2007-02-09

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

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

    PubMed

    Martien, Julia I; Amador-Noguez, Daniel

    2017-02-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. A Survey of Biofuel Production potentials in Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lykova, Natalya; Gustafsson, Jan-Erik

    2010-01-01

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

  1. Getting to low-cost algal biofuels: A monograph on conventional and cutting-edge harvesting and extraction technologies

    DOE PAGES

    Coons, James E.; Kalb, Daniel M.; Dale, Taraka; ...

    2014-08-31

    Among the most formidable challenges to algal biofuels is the ability to harvest algae and extract intracellular lipids at low cost and with a positive energy balance. Here, we construct two paradigms that contrast energy requirements and costs of conventional and cutting-edge Harvesting and Extraction (H&E) technologies. By application of the parity criterion and the moderate condition reference state, an energy–cost paradigm is created that allows 1st stage harvesting technologies to be compared with easy reference to the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB) target of $0.013/gallon of gasoline equivalent (GGE) and to the U.S. DOE's Bioenergy Technologiesmore » Office 2022 cost metrics. Drawing from the moderate condition reference state, a concentration-dependency paradigm is developed for extraction technologies, making easier comparison to the National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap (NABTR) target of less than 10% total energy. This monograph identifies cost-bearing factors for a variety of H&E technologies, describes a design basis for ultrasonic harvesters, and provides a framework to measure future technological advancements toward reducing H&E costs. Finally, we show that ultrasonic harvesters and extractors are uniquely capable of meeting both NAABB and NABTR targets. Ultrasonic technologies require further development and scale-up before they can achieve low-cost performance at industrially relevant scales. But, the advancement of this technology would greatly reduce H&E costs and accelerate the commercial viability of algae-based biofuels.« less

  2. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kevin L Kenney

    2011-09-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Integrated Biorefinery for Biofuels Production

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, Gabriel

    2011-09-02

    This project has focused on very low grade fats, oil and greases found in municipal, commercial and industrial facilities around the country. These wastes are often disposed in landfills, wastewater treatment plants or farm fields or are blended illegally into animal feeds. Using any of these waste fatty materials that are unfit for human or animal nutrition as a clean alternative fuel makes good sense. This project defines the aforementioned wastes in terms of quality and prevalence in the US, then builds on specific promising pathways for utilizing these carbon neutral wastes. These pathways are discussed and researched at bench-scale, and in one instance, at pilot-scale. The three primary pathways are as follows: The production of Renewable Diesel Oil (RDO) as a stand-alone fuel or blended with standard distillate or residual hydrocarbons; The production of RDO as a platform for the further manufacture of Biodiesel utilizing acid esterification; The production of RDO as a platform for the manufacture of an ASTM Diesel Fuel using one or more catalysts to effect a decarboxylation of the carboxylics present in RDO This study shows that Biodiesel and ASTM Diesel produced at bench-scale (utilizing RDO made from grease trap waste as an input) could not meet industry specifications utilizing the technologies that were selected by the investigators. Details of these investigations are discussed in this report and will hopefully provide a starting point for other researchers interested in these pathways in future studies. Although results were inconclusive in finding ways to utilize RDO technology, in effect, as a pretreatment for commonly discussed technologies such as Biodiesel and ASTM Diesel, this study does shed light on the properties, performance and cost of utilizing waste greases directly as a retail liquid fuel (RDO). The utilization as a retail RDO as a boiler fuel, or for other such applications, is the most important finding of the study.

  7. Cyanobacteria as a Platform for Biofuel Production

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Experimental Protocol for Biodiesel Production with Isolation of Alkenones as Coproducts from Commercial Isochrysis Algal Biomass

    PubMed Central

    O'Neil, Gregory W.; Williams, John R.; Wilson-Peltier, Julia; Knothe, Gerhard; Reddy, Christopher M.

    2016-01-01

    The need to replace petroleum fuels with alternatives from renewable and more environmentally sustainable sources is of growing importance. Biomass-derived biofuels have gained considerable attention in this regard, however first generation biofuels from edible crops like corn ethanol or soybean biodiesel have generally fallen out of favor. There is thus great interest in the development of methods for the production of liquid fuels from domestic and superior non-edible sources. Here we describe a detailed procedure for the production of a purified biodiesel from the marine microalgae Isochrysis. Additionally, a unique suite of lipids known as polyunsaturated long-chain alkenones are isolated in parallel as potentially valuable coproducts to offset the cost of biodiesel production. Multi-kilogram quantities of Isochrysis are purchased from two commercial sources, one as a wet paste (80% water) that is first dried prior to processing, and the other a dry milled powder (95% dry). Lipids are extracted with hexanes in a Soxhlet apparatus to produce an algal oil ("hexane algal oil") containing both traditional fats (i.e., triglycerides, 46-60% w/w) and alkenones (16-25% w/w). Saponification of the triglycerides in the algal oil allows for separation of the resulting free fatty acids (FFAs) from alkenone-containing neutral lipids. FFAs are then converted to biodiesel (i.e., fatty acid methyl esters, FAMEs) by acid-catalyzed esterification while alkenones are isolated and purified from the neutral lipids by crystallization. We demonstrate that biodiesel from both commercial Isochrysis biomasses have similar but not identical FAME profiles, characterized by elevated polyunsaturated fatty acid contents (approximately 40% w/w). Yields of biodiesel were consistently higher when starting from the Isochrysis wet paste (12% w/w vs. 7% w/w), which can be traced to lower amounts of hexane algal oil obtained from the powdered Isochrysis product. PMID:27404113

  9. 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.

  10. From photons to biomass and biofuels: evaluation of different strategies for the improvement of algal biotechnology based on comparative energy balances.

    PubMed

    Wilhelm, Christian; Jakob, Torsten

    2011-12-01

    Microalgal based biofuels are discussed as future sustainable energy source because of their higher photosynthetic and water use efficiency to produce biomass. In the context of climate CO2 mitigation strategies, algal mass production is discussed as a potential CO2 sequestration technology which uses CO2 emissions to produce biomass with high-oil content independent on arable land. In this short review, it is presented how complete energy balances from photon to harvestable biomass can help to identify the limiting processes on the cellular level. The results show that high productivity is always correlated with high metabolic costs. The overall efficiency of biomass formation can be improved by a photobioreactor design which is kinetically adapted to the rate-limiting steps in cell physiology. However, taking into account the real photon demand per assimilated carbon and the energy input for biorefinement, it becomes obvious that alternative strategies must be developed to reach the goal of a real CO2 sequestration.

  11. Production and harvesting of microalgae for wastewater treatment, biofuels, and bioproducts.

    PubMed

    Christenson, Logan; Sims, Ronald

    2011-01-01

    The integration of microalgae-based biofuel and bioproducts production with wastewater treatment has major advantages for both industries. However, major challenges to the implementation of an integrated system include the large-scale production of algae and the harvesting of microalgae in a way that allows for downstream processing to produce biofuels and other bioproducts of value. Although the majority of algal production systems use suspended cultures in either open ponds or closed reactors, the use of attached cultures may offer several advantages. With regard to harvesting methods, better understanding and control of autoflocculation and bioflocculation could improve performance and reduce chemical addition requirements for conventional mechanical methods that include centrifugation, tangential filtration, gravity sedimentation, and dissolved air flotation. There are many approaches currently used by companies and industries using clean water at laboratory, bench, and pilot scale; however, large-scale systems for controlled algae production and/or harvesting for wastewater treatment and subsequent processing for bioproducts are lacking. Further investigation and development of large-scale production and harvesting methods for biofuels and bioproducts are necessary, particularly with less studied but promising approaches such as those involving attached algal biofilm cultures.

  12. Algal Cell Response to Pulsed Waved Stimulation and Its Application to Increase Algal Lipid Production

    PubMed Central

    Savchenko, Oleksandra; Xing, Jida; Yang, Xiaoyan; Gu, Quanrong; Shaheen, Mohamed; Huang, Min; Yu, Xiaojian; Burrell, Robert; Patra, Prabir; Chen, Jie

    2017-01-01

    Generating renewable energy while sequestering CO2 using algae has recently attracted significant research attention, mostly directing towards biological methods such as systems biology, genetic engineering and bio-refining for optimizing algae strains. Other approaches focus on chemical screening to adjust culture conditions or culture media. We report for the first time the physiological changes of algal cells in response to a novel form of mechanical stimulation, or a pulsed wave at the frequency of 1.5 MHz and the duty cycle of 20%. We studied how the pulsed wave can further increase algal lipid production on top of existing biological and chemical methods. Two commonly used algal strains, fresh-water Chlorella vulgaris and seawater Tetraselmis chuii, were selected. We have performed the tests in shake flasks and 1 L spinner-flask bioreactors. Conventional Gravimetric measurements show that up to 20% increase for algal lipid could be achieved after 8 days of stimulation. The total electricity cost needed for the stimulations in a one-liter bioreactor is only one-tenth of a US penny. Gas liquid chromatography shows that the fatty acid composition remains unchanged after pulsed-wave stimulation. Scanning electron microscope results also suggest that pulsed wave stimulation induces shear stress and thus increases algal lipid production. PMID:28186124

  13. Algal Cell Response to Pulsed Waved Stimulation and Its Application to Increase Algal Lipid Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savchenko, Oleksandra; Xing, Jida; Yang, Xiaoyan; Gu, Quanrong; Shaheen, Mohamed; Huang, Min; Yu, Xiaojian; Burrell, Robert; Patra, Prabir; Chen, Jie

    2017-02-01

    Generating renewable energy while sequestering CO2 using algae has recently attracted significant research attention, mostly directing towards biological methods such as systems biology, genetic engineering and bio-refining for optimizing algae strains. Other approaches focus on chemical screening to adjust culture conditions or culture media. We report for the first time the physiological changes of algal cells in response to a novel form of mechanical stimulation, or a pulsed wave at the frequency of 1.5 MHz and the duty cycle of 20%. We studied how the pulsed wave can further increase algal lipid production on top of existing biological and chemical methods. Two commonly used algal strains, fresh-water Chlorella vulgaris and seawater Tetraselmis chuii, were selected. We have performed the tests in shake flasks and 1 L spinner-flask bioreactors. Conventional Gravimetric measurements show that up to 20% increase for algal lipid could be achieved after 8 days of stimulation. The total electricity cost needed for the stimulations in a one-liter bioreactor is only one-tenth of a US penny. Gas liquid chromatography shows that the fatty acid composition remains unchanged after pulsed-wave stimulation. Scanning electron microscope results also suggest that pulsed wave stimulation induces shear stress and thus increases algal lipid production.

  14. Algal Cell Response to Pulsed Waved Stimulation and Its Application to Increase Algal Lipid Production.

    PubMed

    Savchenko, Oleksandra; Xing, Jida; Yang, Xiaoyan; Gu, Quanrong; Shaheen, Mohamed; Huang, Min; Yu, Xiaojian; Burrell, Robert; Patra, Prabir; Chen, Jie

    2017-02-10

    Generating renewable energy while sequestering CO2 using algae has recently attracted significant research attention, mostly directing towards biological methods such as systems biology, genetic engineering and bio-refining for optimizing algae strains. Other approaches focus on chemical screening to adjust culture conditions or culture media. We report for the first time the physiological changes of algal cells in response to a novel form of mechanical stimulation, or a pulsed wave at the frequency of 1.5 MHz and the duty cycle of 20%. We studied how the pulsed wave can further increase algal lipid production on top of existing biological and chemical methods. Two commonly used algal strains, fresh-water Chlorella vulgaris and seawater Tetraselmis chuii, were selected. We have performed the tests in shake flasks and 1 L spinner-flask bioreactors. Conventional Gravimetric measurements show that up to 20% increase for algal lipid could be achieved after 8 days of stimulation. The total electricity cost needed for the stimulations in a one-liter bioreactor is only one-tenth of a US penny. Gas liquid chromatography shows that the fatty acid composition remains unchanged after pulsed-wave stimulation. Scanning electron microscope results also suggest that pulsed wave stimulation induces shear stress and thus increases algal lipid production.

  15. 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.

  16. Biodiesel from wastewater: lipid production in high rate algal pond receiving disinfected effluent.

    PubMed

    Assemany, Paula Peixoto; Calijuri, Maria Lucia; do Couto, Eduardo de Aguiar; Santiago, Aníbal Fonseca; Dos Reis, Alberto José Delgado

    2015-01-01

    The production of different species of microalgae in consortium with other micro-organisms from wastewaters may represent an alternative process, to reduce the costs, for obtaining biofuels. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of pre-ultraviolet disinfection (UV) in the production of lipids from biomass produced in high rate ponds. Two high rate algal ponds were evaluated: a pond that received domestic sewage without disinfection and the other receiving domestic sewage previously disinfected by UV radiation (uvHRAP). The UV disinfection did not lead to significant differences in fatty acid profile and total lipid productivities, although it increased algal biomass concentration and productivity as well as lipid content. Moreover, the overall biomass concentrations and productivities decreased with the UV disinfection, mostly as a consequence of a loss in bacterial load. We thus conclude that uvHRAP disinfection may represent a potential strategy to promote the cleaner and safer growth of algal biomass when cultivated in consortium with other micro-organisms. Mainly regarding the use of wastewater as culture medium, together with a cheaper production of lipids for biodiesel, pre-disinfection may represent an advance since extraction costs could be significantly trimmed due to the increase in lipid content.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Misra, Namrata; Parida, Bikram Kumar

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. Biogas production from anaerobic digestion of Spirulina maxima algal biomass

    SciTech Connect

    Samson, R.; LeDuy, A.

    1982-08-01

    The photosynthetic spectrum of solar energy could be exploited for the production of chemical energy of methane through the combined algal-bacterial process. In this process, the algae are mass produced from light and from carbon in the first step. The algal biomass is then used as a nutrient for feeding the anaerobic digester, in the second step, for the production of methane by anaerobic bacteria. The carbon source for the production of algal biomass could be either organic carbon from wastewaters (for eucaryotic algae), or carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or from the combustion exhaust gases (for both prokaryotic and eukaryotic algae). The technical feasibility data on the anaerobic digestion of algal biomass have been reported for many species of algae including macroscopic algae and microscopic algae. Research being conducted in the authors' laboratory consists of using the semimicroscopic blue-green alga Spirulina maxima as the sole substrate for this combined algal-bacterial process. This species of alga is very attractive for the process because of its capability of using the atmospheric carbon dioxide as carbon source and its simple harvesting methods. Furthermore, it appeared that the fermentability of S. maxima is significantly higher than other microscopic algae. This communication presents the results on the anaerobic inoculum development by the adaptation technique. This inoculum was then used for the semicontinuous anaerobic digestion of S. maxima algal biomass. The evolutions of biogas production and composition, biogas yield, total volatile fatty acids, alkalinity, ammonia nitrogen, pH, and electrode potential were followed.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Algal productivity modeling: a step toward accurate assessments of full-scale algal cultivation.

    PubMed

    Béchet, Quentin; Chambonnière, Paul; Shilton, Andy; Guizard, Guillaume; Guieysse, Benoit

    2015-05-01

    A new biomass productivity model was parameterized for Chlorella vulgaris using short-term (<30 min) oxygen productivities from algal microcosms exposed to 6 light intensities (20-420 W/m(2)) and 6 temperatures (5-42 °C). The model was then validated against experimental biomass productivities recorded in bench-scale photobioreactors operated under 4 light intensities (30.6-74.3 W/m(2)) and 4 temperatures (10-30 °C), yielding an accuracy of ± 15% over 163 days of cultivation. This modeling approach addresses major challenges associated with the accurate prediction of algal productivity at full-scale. Firstly, while most prior modeling approaches have only considered the impact of light intensity on algal productivity, the model herein validated also accounts for the critical impact of temperature. Secondly, this study validates a theoretical approach to convert short-term oxygen productivities into long-term biomass productivities. Thirdly, the experimental methodology used has the practical advantage of only requiring one day of experimental work for complete model parameterization. The validation of this new modeling approach is therefore an important step for refining feasibility assessments of algae biotechnologies.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Huesemann, Michael H.; Benemann, John R.

    2009-12-31

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

  8. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-07-01

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

  10. An efficient and scalable extraction and quantification method for algal derived biofuel.

    PubMed

    Lohman, Egan J; Gardner, Robert D; Halverson, Luke; Macur, Richard E; Peyton, Brent M; Gerlach, Robin

    2013-09-01

    Microalgae are capable of synthesizing a multitude of compounds including biofuel precursors and other high value products such as omega-3-fatty acids. However, accurate analysis of the specific compounds produced by microalgae is important since slight variations in saturation and carbon chain length can affect the quality, and thus the value, of the end product. We present a method that allows for fast and reliable extraction of lipids and similar compounds from a range of algae, followed by their characterization using gas chromatographic analysis with a focus on biodiesel-relevant compounds. This method determines which range of biologically synthesized compounds is likely responsible for each fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) produced; information that is fundamental for identifying preferred microalgae candidates as a biodiesel source. Traditional methods of analyzing these precursor molecules are time intensive and prone to high degrees of variation between species and experimental conditions. Here we detail a new method which uses microwave energy as a reliable, single-step cell disruption technique to extract lipids from live cultures of microalgae. After extractable lipid characterization (including lipid type (free fatty acids, mono-, di- or tri-acylglycerides) and carbon chain length determination) by GC-FID, the same lipid extracts are transesterified into FAMEs and directly compared to total biodiesel potential by GC-MS. This approach provides insight into the fraction of total FAMEs derived from extractable lipids compared to FAMEs derived from the residual fraction (i.e. membrane bound phospholipids, sterols, etc.). This approach can also indicate which extractable lipid compound, based on chain length and relative abundance, is responsible for each FAME. This method was tested on three species of microalgae; the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum, the model Chlorophyte Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and the freshwater green alga Chlorella vulgaris

  11. 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.)...

  12. 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.

  13. 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

    2013-02-06

    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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. The impact of elevated CO2 concentration on the quality of algal starch as a potential biofuel feedstock.

    PubMed

    Tanadul, Orn-U-Ma; VanderGheynst, Jean S; Beckles, Diane M; Powell, Ann L T; Labavitch, John M

    2014-07-01

    Cultured microalgae are viewed as important producers of lipids and polysaccharides, both of which are precursor molecules for the production of biofuels. This study addressed the impact of elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) on Chlorella sorokiniana production of starch and on several properties of the starch produced. The production of C. sorokiniana biomass, lipid and starch were enhanced when cultures were supplied with 2% CO2. Starch granules from algae grown in ambient air and 2% CO2 were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The granules from algae grown in 2% CO2 were disk-shaped and contained mainly stromal starch; granules from cultures grown in ambient air were cup-shaped with primarily pyrenoid starch. The granules from cells grown in 2% CO2 had a higher proportion of the accumulated starch as the highly branched, amylopectin glucan than did granules from cells grown in air. The rate of hydrolysis of starch from 2% CO2-grown cells was 1.25 times greater than that from air-grown cells and 2-11 times higher than the rates of hydrolysis of starches from cereal grains. These data indicate that culturing C. sorokiniana in elevated CO2 not only increases biomass yield but also improves the structure and composition of starch granules for use in biofuel generation. These modifications in culture conditions increase the hydrolysis efficiency of the starch hydrolysis, thus providing potentially important gains for biofuel production.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Enzymatic deconstruction of xylan for biofuel production

    PubMed Central

    DODD, DYLAN; CANN, ISAAC K. O.

    2010-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Ultrasound pretreatment of filamentous algal biomass for enhanced biogas production.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kwanyong; Chantrasakdakul, Phrompol; Kim, Daegi; Kong, Mingeun; Park, Ki Young

    2014-06-01

    The filamentous alga Hydrodictyon reticulatum harvested from a bench-scale wastewater treatment pond was used to evaluate biogas production after ultrasound pretreatment. The effects of ultrasound pretreatment at a range of 10-5000 J/mL were tested with harvested H. reticulatum. Cell disruption by ultrasound was successful and showed a higher degree of disintegration at a higher applied energy. The range of 10-5000 J/mL ultrasound was able to disintegrated H. reticulatum and the soluble COD was increased from 250 mg/L to 1000 mg/L at 2500 J/mL. The disintegrated algal biomass was digested for biogas production in batch experiments. Both cumulative gas generation and volatile solids reduction data were obtained during the digestion. Cell disintegration due to ultrasound pretreatment increased the specific biogas production and degradation rates. Using the ultrasound approach, the specific methane production at a dose of 40 J/mL increased up to 384 mL/g-VS fed that was 2.3 times higher than the untreated sample. For disintegrated samples, the volatile solids reduction was greater with increased energy input, and the degradation increased slightly to 67% at a dose of 50 J/mL. The results also indicate that disintegration of the algal cells is the essential step for efficient anaerobic digestion of algal biomass.

  5. Metabolic systems analysis to advance algal biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Brian J; Lin-Schmidt, Xiefan; Chamberlin, Austin; Salehi-Ashtiani, Kourosh; Papin, Jason A

    2010-07-01

    Algal fuel sources promise unsurpassed yields in a carbon neutral manner that minimizes resource competition between agriculture and fuel crops. Many challenges must be addressed before algal biofuels can be accepted as a component of the fossil fuel replacement strategy. One significant challenge is that the cost of algal fuel production must become competitive with existing fuel alternatives. Algal biofuel production presents the opportunity to fine-tune microbial metabolic machinery for an optimal blend of biomass constituents and desired fuel molecules. Genome-scale model-driven algal metabolic design promises to facilitate both goals by directing the utilization of metabolites in the complex, interconnected metabolic networks to optimize production of the compounds of interest. Network analysis can direct microbial development efforts towards successful strategies and enable quantitative fine-tuning of the network for optimal product yields while maintaining the robustness of the production microbe. Metabolic modeling yields insights into microbial function, guides experiments by generating testable hypotheses, and enables the refinement of knowledge on the specific organism. While the application of such analytical approaches to algal systems is limited to date, metabolic network analysis can improve understanding of algal metabolic systems and play an important role in expediting the adoption of new biofuel technologies.

  6. Immobilized algal cells used for hydrogen production

    SciTech Connect

    Hahn, John J.; Ghirardi, Maria L.; Jacoby, William A.

    2007-10-01

    This paper explores the use of the photosynthetic green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii bound to solid support particles to produce hydrogen in a two-step cycle. Bound cells are more easily cycled between growth mode and hydrogen production mode. The data indicate that the presence of silica particles does not inhibit the growth of the algae in the sulfur rich growth media. Filtration experiments reveal that the algae effectively bind to the silica particles, as high removal efficiencies are observed. The silica particles appear to approach saturation algae at a mass-loading ratio of about 0.035. In hydrogen production mode, the bound algae perform about as well as free-floating algae in terms of cumulative hydrogen production. A full-factorial experiment is described in which algae concentration was deemed to have a significant effect on cumulative hydrogen production.

  7. 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

  8. Fermentation of de-oiled algal biomass by Lactobacillus casei for production of lactic acid.

    PubMed

    Overbeck, Tom; Steele, James L; Broadbent, Jeff R

    2016-12-01

    De-oiled algal biomass (algal cake) generated as waste byproduct during algal biodiesel production is a promising fermentable substrate for co-production of value-added chemicals in biorefinery systems. We explored the ability of Lactobacillus casei 12A to ferment algal cake for co-production of lactic acid. Carbohydrate and amino acid availability were determined to be limiting nutritional requirements for growth and lactic acid production by L. casei. These nutritional requirements were effectively addressed through enzymatic hydrolysis of the algal cake material using α-amylase, cellulase (endo-1,4-β-D-glucanase), and pepsin. Results confirm fermentation of algal cake for production of value-added chemicals is a promising avenue for increasing the overall cost competiveness of the algal biodiesel production process.

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

    DOEpatents

    Wohlbach, Dana J.; Gasch, Audrey P.

    2014-08-05

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

  10. 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.

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

    DOEpatents

    Wohlbach, Dana J.; Gasch, Audrey P.

    2016-11-29

    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. Theoretical Calculations on the Feasibility of Microalgal Biofuels: Utilization of Marine Resources Could Help Realizing the Potential of Microalgae

    PubMed Central

    Park, Hanwool

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Microalgae have long been considered as one of most promising feedstocks with better characteristics for biofuels production over conventional energy crops. There have been a wide range of estimations on the feasibility of microalgal biofuels based on various productivity assumptions and data from different scales. The theoretical maximum algal biofuel productivity, however, can be calculated by the amount of solar irradiance and photosynthetic efficiency (PE), assuming other conditions are within the optimal range. Using the actual surface solar irradiance data around the world and PE of algal culture systems, maximum algal biomass and biofuel productivities were calculated, and feasibility of algal biofuel were assessed with the estimation. The results revealed that biofuel production would not easily meet the economic break‐even point and may not be sustainable at a large‐scale with the current algal biotechnology. Substantial reductions in the production cost, improvements in lipid productivity, recycling of resources, and utilization of non‐conventional resources will be necessary for feasible mass production of algal biofuel. Among the emerging technologies, cultivation of microalgae in the ocean shows great potentials to meet the resource requirements and economic feasibility in algal biofuel production by utilizing various marine resources. PMID:27782372

  13. Theoretical Calculations on the Feasibility of Microalgal Biofuels: Utilization of Marine Resources Could Help Realizing the Potential of Microalgae.

    PubMed

    Park, Hanwool; Lee, Choul-Gyun

    2016-11-01

    Microalgae have long been considered as one of most promising feedstocks with better characteristics for biofuels production over conventional energy crops. There have been a wide range of estimations on the feasibility of microalgal biofuels based on various productivity assumptions and data from different scales. The theoretical maximum algal biofuel productivity, however, can be calculated by the amount of solar irradiance and photosynthetic efficiency (PE), assuming other conditions are within the optimal range. Using the actual surface solar irradiance data around the world and PE of algal culture systems, maximum algal biomass and biofuel productivities were calculated, and feasibility of algal biofuel were assessed with the estimation. The results revealed that biofuel production would not easily meet the economic break-even point and may not be sustainable at a large-scale with the current algal biotechnology. Substantial reductions in the production cost, improvements in lipid productivity, recycling of resources, and utilization of non-conventional resources will be necessary for feasible mass production of algal biofuel. Among the emerging technologies, cultivation of microalgae in the ocean shows great potentials to meet the resource requirements and economic feasibility in algal biofuel production by utilizing various marine resources.

  14. Turbulence and nutrient interactions that control benthic algal production in an engineered cultivation raceway

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Flow turbulence can be a controlling factor to the growth of benthic algae, but few studies have quantified this relationship in engineered cultivation systems. Experiments were performed to understand the limiting role of turbulence to algal productivity in an algal turf scrubber for benthic algal...

  15. Utilization of biofuel production residuals for food applications

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  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. 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 ...

  18. Value Added Products from Renewable Biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Blum, Paul

    2014-07-31

    Cellulosic ethanol is an emerging biofuel that will make strong contributions to American domestic energy needs. In the US midwest the standard method for pretreatment of biomass uses hot acid to deconstruct lignocellulose. While other methods work, they are not in common use. Therefore it is necessary to work within this context to achieve process improvements and reductions in biofuel cost. Technology underlying this process could supplement and even replace commodity enzymes with engineered microbes to convert biomass-derived lignocellulose feedstocks into biofuels and valueadded chemicals. The approach that was used here was based on consolidated bioprocessing. Thermoacidophilic microbes belonging to the Domain Archaea were evaluated and modfied to promote deconvolution and saccharification of lignocellulose. Biomass pretreatment (hot acid) was combined with fermentation using an extremely thermoacidophilic microbial platform. The identity and fate of released sugars was controlled using metabolic blocks combined with added biochemical traits where needed. LC/MS analysis supported through the newly established Nebraska Bioenergy Facility provided general support for bioenergy researchers at the University of Nebraska. The primary project strategy was to use microbes that naturally flourish in hot acid (thermoacidophiles) with conventional biomass pretreatment that uses hot acid. The specific objectives were: to screen thermoacidophilic taxa for the ability to deconvolute lignocellulose and depolymerize associated carbohydrates; evaluate and respond to formation of “inhibitors” that arose during incubation of lignocellulose under heated acidic conditions; identify and engineer “sugar flux channeling and catabolic blocks” that redirect metabolic pathways to maximize sugar concentrations; expand the hydrolytic capacity of extremely thermoacidophilic microbes through the addition of deconvolution traits; and establish the Nebraska Bioenergy Facility (NBF

  19. 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.

  20. Biogas production from anaerobic digestion of Spirulina maxima algal biomass

    SciTech Connect

    Rejean Samson; Anh LeDuy

    1982-08-01

    Spirulina maxima algal biomass could be used as the sole nutrient for the production of biogas by anaerobic digestion process. It is relatively simple to adapt the municipal sewage sludge to this new substrate. The adapted sludge is very stable. Under nonoptimal conditions, the methane yield and productivity obtained were 0.26 m/sup 3//(kg VS added day) and 0.26 m/sup 3//(kg VS added day), respectively, with the semicontinuous, daily fed, anaerobic digestion having loading rate of 0.97 kg VS/(m/sup 3/ day), retention time of 33 days and temperature of 30/sup 0/C.

  1. 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

  2. Design of algal film photobioreactors: material surface energy effects on algal film productivity, colonization and lipid content.

    PubMed

    Genin, Scott N; Stewart Aitchison, J; Grant Allen, D

    2014-03-01

    A parallel plate air lift reactor was used to examine the growth kinetics of mixed culture algal biofilms grown on various materials (acrylic, glass, polycarbonate, polystyrene and cellulose acetate). The growth kinetics of the algal biofilms were non-linear overall and their overall productivities ranged from 1.10-2.08g/m(2)day, with those grown on cellulose acetate having the highest productivity. Overall algal biofilm productivity was largely explained by differences in the colonization time which in turn was strongly correlated to the polar surface energy of the material, but weakly correlated to water-material contact angle. When colonization time was taken into account, the productivity for all materials except acrylic was not significantly different at approximately 2g/m(2)/day. Lipid content of the algal biofilms ranged from 6% to 8% (w/w) and was not correlated to water-material contact angle or polar surface energy. The results have potential application for selecting appropriate materials for algal film photobioreactors.

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

    PubMed

    Lee, David; Chen, Alice; Nair, Ramesh

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  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. Fueling Future with Algal Genomics

    SciTech Connect

    Grigoriev, Igor

    2012-07-05

    Algae constitute a major component of fundamental eukaryotic diversity, play profound roles in the carbon cycle, and are prominent candidates for biofuel production. The US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (JGI) is leading the world in algal genome sequencing (http://jgi.doe.gov/Algae) and contributes of the algal genome projects worldwide (GOLD database, 2012). The sequenced algal genomes offer catalogs of genes, networks, and pathways. The sequenced first of its kind genomes of a haptophyte E.huxleyii, chlorarachniophyte B.natans, and cryptophyte G.theta fill the gaps in the eukaryotic tree of life and carry unique genes and pathways as well as molecular fossils of secondary endosymbiosis. Natural adaptation to conditions critical for industrial production is encoded in algal genomes, for example, growth of A.anophagefferens at very high cell densities during the harmful algae blooms or a global distribution across diverse environments of E.huxleyii, able to live on sparse nutrients due to its expanded pan-genome. Communications and signaling pathways can be derived from simple symbiotic systems like lichens or complex marine algae metagenomes. Collectively these datasets derived from algal genomics contribute to building a comprehensive parts list essential for algal biofuel development.

  7. Small scale production of biofuels: a feasibility assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Geyler, J.

    1980-01-01

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

  8. Small scale production of biofuels: a feasibility assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Geyler, J.

    1980-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  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. Algal photosynthesis as the primary driver for a sustainable development in energy, feed, and food production.

    PubMed

    Anemaet, Ida G; Bekker, Martijn; Hellingwerf, Klaas J

    2010-11-01

    High oil prices and global warming that accompany the use of fossil fuels are an incentive to find alternative forms of energy supply. Photosynthetic biofuel production represents one of these since for this, one uses renewable resources. Sunlight is used for the conversion of water and CO₂ into biomass. Two strategies are used in parallel: plant-based production via sugar fermentation into ethanol and biodiesel production through transesterification. Both, however, exacerbate other problems, including regional nutrient balancing and the world's food supply, and suffer from the modest efficiency of photosynthesis. Maximizing the efficiency of natural and engineered photosynthesis is therefore of utmost importance. Algal photosynthesis is the system of choice for this particularly for energy applications. Complete conversion of CO₂ into biomass is not necessary for this. Innovative methods of synthetic biology allow one to combine photosynthetic and fermentative metabolism via the so-called Photanol approach to form biofuel directly from Calvin cycle intermediates through use of the naturally transformable cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Beyond providing transport energy and chemical feedstocks, photosynthesis will continue to be used for food and feed applications. Also for this application, arguments of efficiency will become more and more important as the size of the world population continues to increase. Photosynthetic cells can be used for food applications in various innovative forms, e.g., as a substitute for the fish proteins in the diet supplied to carnivorous fish or perhaps--after acid hydrolysis--as a complex, animal-free serum for growth of mammalian cells in vitro.

  12. Algal Photosynthesis as the Primary Driver for a Sustainable Development in Energy, Feed, and Food Production

    PubMed Central

    Anemaet, Ida G.; Bekker, Martijn

    2010-01-01

    High oil prices and global warming that accompany the use of fossil fuels are an incentive to find alternative forms of energy supply. Photosynthetic biofuel production represents one of these since for this, one uses renewable resources. Sunlight is used for the conversion of water and CO2 into biomass. Two strategies are used in parallel: plant-based production via sugar fermentation into ethanol and biodiesel production through transesterification. Both, however, exacerbate other problems, including regional nutrient balancing and the world's food supply, and suffer from the modest efficiency of photosynthesis. Maximizing the efficiency of natural and engineered photosynthesis is therefore of utmost importance. Algal photosynthesis is the system of choice for this particularly for energy applications. Complete conversion of CO2 into biomass is not necessary for this. Innovative methods of synthetic biology allow one to combine photosynthetic and fermentative metabolism via the so-called Photanol approach to form biofuel directly from Calvin cycle intermediates through use of the naturally transformable cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Beyond providing transport energy and chemical feedstocks, photosynthesis will continue to be used for food and feed applications. Also for this application, arguments of efficiency will become more and more important as the size of the world population continues to increase. Photosynthetic cells can be used for food applications in various innovative forms, e.g., as a substitute for the fish proteins in the diet supplied to carnivorous fish or perhaps—after acid hydrolysis—as a complex, animal-free serum for growth of mammalian cells in vitro. PMID:20640935

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

    DOEpatents

    Schoeniger, Joseph S; Hadi, Masood Zia

    2015-05-05

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Genetic engineering of algae for enhanced biofuel production.

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

    There are currently intensive global research efforts aimed at increasing and modifying the accumulation of lipids, alcohols, hydrocarbons, polysaccharides, and other energy storage compounds in photosynthetic organisms, yeast, and bacteria through genetic engineering. Many improvements have been realized, including increased lipid and carbohydrate production, improved H(2) yields, and the diversion of central metabolic intermediates into fungible biofuels. Photosynthetic microorganisms are attracting considerable interest within these efforts due to their relatively high photosynthetic conversion efficiencies, diverse metabolic capabilities, superior growth rates, and ability to store or secrete energy-rich hydrocarbons. Relative to cyanobacteria, eukaryotic microalgae possess several unique metabolic attributes of relevance to biofuel production, including the accumulation of significant quantities of triacylglycerol; the synthesis of storage starch (amylopectin and amylose), which is similar to that found in higher plants; and the ability to efficiently couple photosynthetic electron transport to H(2) production. Although the application of genetic engineering to improve energy production phenotypes in eukaryotic microalgae is in its infancy, significant advances in the development of genetic manipulation tools have recently been achieved with microalgal model systems and are being used to manipulate central carbon metabolism in these organisms. It is likely that many of these advances can be extended to industrially relevant organisms. This review is focused on potential avenues of genetic engineering that may be undertaken in order to improve microalgae as a biofuel platform for the production of biohydrogen, starch-derived alcohols, diesel fuel surrogates, and/or alkanes.

  3. Genetic Engineering of Algae for Enhanced Biofuel Production

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Energy-efficient photobioreactor configuration for algal biomass production.

    PubMed

    Pegallapati, Ambica Koushik; Arudchelvam, Yalini; Nirmalakhandan, Nagamany

    2012-12-01

    An internally illuminated photobioreactor (IIPBR) design is proposed for energy-efficient biomass production. Theoretical rationale of the IIPBR design and its advantages over the traditional bubble column photobioreactors (PBRs) are presented, followed by experimental results from prototype scale cultivation of freshwater and marine algal strains in an 18L IIPBR. Based on theoretical considerations, the proposed IIPBR design has the potential to support 160% higher biomass density and higher biomass productivity per unit energy input, B/E, than a bubble column PBR of equal incident area per unit culture volume. Experimental B/E values recorded in this study with fresh water algae and marine algae (1.42 and 0.37 gW(-1)d(-1), respectively) are at least twice as those reported in the literature for comparable species cultivated in bubble column and airlift PBRs.

  5. Oxygen sensitivity of algal H{sub 2}-production

    SciTech Connect

    Ghirardi, M.L.; Seibert, M.; Togasaki, R.K.

    1997-12-31

    Photoproduction of H{sub 2} by green algae utilizes electrons originating from the photosynthetic oxidation of water and does not require metabolic intermediates. However, algal hydrogenases are extremely sensitive to O{sub 2}, which limits their usefulness in future commercial H{sub 2}-production systems. We designed an experimental technique for the selection of O{sub 2}tolerant, H{sub 2}-producing variants of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii based on the ability of wild-type cells to survive a short (20 min) exposure to metronidazole in the presence of controlled concentrations of O{sub 2}. The number of survivors depends on the metronidazole concentration, light intensity, preinduction of the hydrogenase, and the presence or absence of O{sub 2}. Finally, we demonstrate that some of the selected survivors in fact exhibit H{sub 2}-production capacity that is less sensitive to O{sub 2} than the original wild-type population. 17 refs., 1 tab.

  6. Biofuels from algae: challenges and potential.

    PubMed

    Hannon, Michael; Gimpel, Javier; Tran, Miller; Rasala, Beth; Mayfield, Stephen

    2010-09-01

    Algae biofuels may provide a viable alternative to fossil fuels; however, this technology must overcome a number of hurdles before it can compete in the fuel market and be broadly deployed. These challenges include strain identification and improvement, both in terms of oil productivity and crop protection, nutrient and resource allocation and use, and the production of co-products to improve the economics of the entire system. Although there is much excitement about the potential of algae biofuels, much work is still required in the field. In this article, we attempt to elucidate the major challenges to economic algal biofuels at scale, and improve the focus of the scientific community to address these challenges and move algal biofuels from promise to reality.

  7. 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

  8. Hawaii Algal Biofuel

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-03-01

    considering the ease with which the method accomplished and the lack of a frothing agent . Furthermore, froth flotation is effective in large scale operations...those pollutants, or combinations of pollutants, including disease-causing agents which after discharge and upon exposure, ingestion, inhalation or...Department of Land and Natural Resources DME Dimethyl Ether DoD Department of Defense DOH Department of Health DOTMLPF Doctrine, Organization, Training

  9. Swine manure-based pilot-scale algal biomass production system for fuel production and wastewater treatment--a case study.

    PubMed

    Min, Min; Hu, Bing; Mohr, Michael J; Shi, Aimin; Ding, Jinfeng; Sun, Yong; Jiang, Yongcheng; Fu, Zongqiang; Griffith, Richard; Hussain, Fida; Mu, Dongyan; Nie, Yong; Chen, Paul; Zhou, Wenguang; Ruan, Roger

    2014-02-01

    Integration of wastewater treatment with algae cultivation is one of the promising ways to achieve an economically viable and environmentally sustainable algal biofuel production on a commercial scale. This study focused on pilot-scale algal biomass production system development, cultivation process optimization, and integration with swine manure wastewater treatment. The areal algal biomass productivity for the cultivation system that we developed ranged from 8.08 to 14.59 and 19.15-23.19 g/m(2) × day, based on ash-free dry weight and total suspended solid (TSS), respectively, which were higher than or comparable with those in literature. The harvested algal biomass had lipid content about 1.77-3.55%, which was relatively low, but could be converted to bio-oil via fast microwave-assisted pyrolysis system developed in our lab. The lipids in the harvested algal biomass had a significantly higher percentage of total unsaturated fatty acids than those grown in lab conditions, which may be attributed to the observed temperature and light fluctuations. The nutrient removal rate was highly correlated to the biomass productivity. The NH₃-N, TN, COD, and PO₄-P reduction rates for the north-located photo-bioreactor (PBR-N) in July were 2.65, 3.19, 7.21, and 0.067 g/m(2) × day, respectively, which were higher than those in other studies. The cultivation system had advantages of high mixotrophic growth rate, low operating cost, as well as reduced land footprint due to the stacked-tray bioreactor design used in the study.

  10. Strategies for optimizing algal biology for enhanced biomass production

    SciTech Connect

    Barry, Amanda N.; Starkenburg, Shawn R.; Sayre, Richard T.

    2015-02-02

    One of the most environmentally sustainable ways to produce high-energy density (oils) feed stocks for the production of liquid transportation fuels is from biomass. Photosynthetic carbon capture combined with biomass combustion (point source) and subsequent carbon capture and sequestration has also been proposed in the intergovernmental panel on climate change report as one of the most effective and economical strategies to remediate atmospheric greenhouse gases. To maximize photosynthetic carbon capture efficiency and energy-return-on-investment, we must develop biomass production systems that achieve the greatest yields with the lowest inputs. Numerous studies have demonstrated that microalgae have among the greatest potentials for biomass production. This is in part due to the fact that all alga cells are photoautotrophic, they have active carbon concentrating mechanisms to increase photosynthetic productivity, and all the biomass is harvestable unlike plants. All photosynthetic organisms, however, convert only a fraction of the solar energy they capture into chemical energy (reduced carbon or biomass). To increase aerial carbon capture rates and biomass productivity, it will be necessary to identify the most robust algal strains and increase their biomass production efficiency often by genetic manipulation. We review recent large-scale efforts to identify the best biomass producing strains and metabolic engineering strategies to improve aerial productivity. In addition, these strategies include optimization of photosynthetic light-harvesting antenna size to increase energy capture and conversion efficiency and the potential development of advanced molecular breeding techniques. To date, these strategies have resulted in up to twofold increases in biomass productivity.

  11. Coupling a simple irradiance description to a mechanistic growth model to predict algal production in industrial-scale solar-powered photobioreactors.

    PubMed

    Kenny, Philip; Flynn, Kevin J

    2016-01-01

    Various innovative photobioreactor designs have been proposed to increase production of algae-derived biomass. Computer models are often employed to test these designs prior to construction. In the drive to optimise conversion of light energy to biomass, efforts to model the profile of irradiance levels within a microalgal culture can lead to highly complex descriptions which are computationally demanding. However, there is a risk that this effort is wasted if such optic models are coupled to overly simplified descriptions of algal physiology. Here we demonstrate that a suitable description of microalgal physiology is of primary significance for modelling algal production in photobioreactors. For the first time, we combine a new and computationally inexpensive model of irradiance to a mechanistic description of algal growth and test its applicability to modelling biofuel production in an advanced photobioreactor system. We confirm the adequacy of our approach by comparing the predictions of the model against published experimental data collected over a 2 ½-year period and demonstrate the effectiveness of the mechanistic model in predicting long-term production rates of bulk biomass and biofuel feedstock components at a commercially relevant scale. Our results suggest that much of the detail captured in more complicated irradiance models is indeed wasted as the critical limiting procedure is the physiological description of the conversion of light energy to biomass.

  12. Alternative biofuel production in non-natural hosts.

    PubMed

    McEwen, Jordan T; Atsumi, Shota

    2012-10-01

    Global energy and environmental concerns have stimulated increased efforts in synthesizing petroleum-derived products from renewable resources. Biological production of metabolites for fuel is increasingly becoming a feasible, renewable, environmentally sound alternative. However, many of these chemicals are not highly produced in any known native organism. Here we review the current progress of modifying microorganisms with heterogeneous elements for the production of biofuels. This strategy has been extensively employed in a variety of hosts for the development of production of various alcohols, fatty acids, alkenes and alkanes.

  13. The Navy Biofuel Initiative Under the Defense Production Act

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-06-22

    Market for Biomass -Based Diesel Fuel in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), by Brent D. Yacobucci, The Market for Biomass -Based Diesel Fuel in the...defense.17 During the 1970s, DOE directed a synthetic fuels program toward commercializing coal liquefaction, coal gasification , and oil shale... Biomass : Background and Policy, by Anthony Andrews and Jeffrey Logan. The Navy Biofuel Initiative Under the Defense Production Act Congressional

  14. Developments and perspectives of photobioreactors for biofuel production.

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

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

  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. 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...

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 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...

  18. 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...

  19. Fatty acid alkyl esters: perspectives for production of alternative biofuels.

    PubMed

    Röttig, Annika; Wenning, Leonie; Bröker, Daniel; Steinbüchel, Alexander

    2010-02-01

    The global economy heads for a severe energy crisis: whereas the energy demand is going to rise, easily accessible sources of crude oil are expected to be depleted in only 10-20 years. Since a serious decline of oil supply and an associated collapse of the economy might be reality very soon, alternative energies and also biofuels that replace fossil fuels must be established. In addition, these alternatives should not further impair the environment and climate. About 90% of the biofuel market is currently captured by bioethanol and biodiesel. Biodiesel is composed of fatty acid alkyl esters (FAAE) and can be synthesized by chemical, enzymatic, or in vivo catalysis mainly from renewable resources. Biodiesel is already established as it is compatible with the existing fuel infrastructure, non-toxic, and has superior combustion characteristics than fossil diesel; and in 2008, the global production was 12.2 million tons. The biotechnological production of FAAE from low cost and abundant feedstocks like biomass will enable an appreciable substitution of petroleum diesel. To overcome high costs for immobilized enzymes, the in vivo synthesis of FAAE using bacteria represents a promising approach. This article points to the potential of different FAAE as alternative biofuels, e.g., by comparing their fuel properties. In addition to conventional production processes, this review presents natural and genetically engineered biological systems capable of in vivo FAAE synthesis.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Production of biofuels via bio-oil upgrading & refining

    SciTech Connect

    Elliott, Douglas C.

    2016-03-18

    This chapter provides cursory reviews of biomass liquefaction, relevant petroleum processing technology, and relevant model compound studies. More detail is provided for upgrading of biomass liquefaction products, including an overview of potential fractionation and catalytic processing methods, hydroprocessing as the primary means of interest, scale of operation, operating conditions and catalysts, and product properties. Batch results are included where needed to provide a more complete narrative, but continuous-flow operations are emphasized as being more informative. Liquid fuel products from biomass through direct liquefaction and hydroprocessing are discussed, such as fuel properties based on chemical analysis and comparison of petroleum fuels and biofuels.

  3. Tailoring lignin biosynthesis for efficient and sustainable biofuel production.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-03-07

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

  6. 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-...

  7. 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.; ...

    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

  8. 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

  9. Strategies for optimizing algal biology for enhanced biomass production

    DOE PAGES

    Barry, Amanda N.; Starkenburg, Shawn R.; Sayre, Richard T.

    2015-02-02

    One of the most environmentally sustainable ways to produce high-energy density (oils) feed stocks for the production of liquid transportation fuels is from biomass. Photosynthetic carbon capture combined with biomass combustion (point source) and subsequent carbon capture and sequestration has also been proposed in the intergovernmental panel on climate change report as one of the most effective and economical strategies to remediate atmospheric greenhouse gases. To maximize photosynthetic carbon capture efficiency and energy-return-on-investment, we must develop biomass production systems that achieve the greatest yields with the lowest inputs. Numerous studies have demonstrated that microalgae have among the greatest potentials formore » biomass production. This is in part due to the fact that all alga cells are photoautotrophic, they have active carbon concentrating mechanisms to increase photosynthetic productivity, and all the biomass is harvestable unlike plants. All photosynthetic organisms, however, convert only a fraction of the solar energy they capture into chemical energy (reduced carbon or biomass). To increase aerial carbon capture rates and biomass productivity, it will be necessary to identify the most robust algal strains and increase their biomass production efficiency often by genetic manipulation. We review recent large-scale efforts to identify the best biomass producing strains and metabolic engineering strategies to improve aerial productivity. In addition, these strategies include optimization of photosynthetic light-harvesting antenna size to increase energy capture and conversion efficiency and the potential development of advanced molecular breeding techniques. To date, these strategies have resulted in up to twofold increases in biomass productivity.« less

  10. 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.

  11. Algal swimming velocities signal fatty acid accumulation.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Travis J; Hondzo, Miki; Mashek, Mara T; Mashek, Douglas G; Lefebvre, Paul A

    2013-01-01

    The use of microalgae for biofuel production will be beneficial to society if we can produce biofuels at large scales with minimal mechanical energy input in the production process. Understanding micro-algal physiological responses under variable environmental conditions in bioreactors is essential for the optimization of biofuel production. We demonstrate that measuring micro-algal swimming speed provides information on culture health and total fatty acid accumulation. Three strains of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii were grown heterotrophically on acetate and subjected to various levels of nitrogen starvation. Other nutrient levels were explored to determine their effect on micro-algal kinetics. Swimming velocities were measured with two-dimensional micro-particle tracking velocimetry. The results show an inverse linear relationship between normalized total fatty acid mass versus swimming speed of micro-algal cells. Analysis of RNA sequencing data confirms these results by demonstrating that the biological processes of cell motion and the generation of energy precursors are significantly down-regulated. Experiments demonstrate that changes in nutrient concentration in the surrounding media also affect swimming speed. The findings have the potential for the in situ and indirect assessment of lipid content by measuring micro-algal swimming kinetics.

  12. Releasing Stored Solar Energy within Pond Scum: Biodiesel from Algal Lipids

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blatti, Jillian L.; Burkart, Michael D.

    2012-01-01

    Microalgae have emerged as an attractive feedstock for the mass production of renewable transportation fuels due to their fast growth rate, flexible habitat preferences, and substantial oil yields. As an educational tool, a laboratory was developed that mimics emerging algal biofuel technology, including the extraction of algal lipids and…

  13. [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.

  14. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Dunlop, Mary; Keasling, Jay; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila

    2011-07-14

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

  16. 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.

  17. Mass cultivation of various algal species and their evaluation as a potential candidate for lipid production.

    PubMed

    Sharif, Nadia; Munir, Neelma; Saleem, Faiza; Aslam, Farheen; Naz, Shagufta

    2015-01-01

    Microalgae have been proposed as a promising source for biodiesel production. Focusing on algal strains for biodiesel production, efforts should be made to search new strains. Experiments were carried out to investigate the effects of growth parameters (nutrients, pH, light, aeration and temperature) and the oil percentage of eight algal strains (Chlorella sp., Cladophora sp., Hydrodictylium sp., Oedogonium sp., Oscillatoria sp., Spirogyra sp., Stigeocolonium sp., Ulothrix sp.). Results show that 6.5-7.5 is the optimum pH for the growth of all algal species. Temperature showed a greater variation (25°40°C). Ulothrix sp. gave more biomass productivity and is the most suitable strain for biodiesel production due to higher oil percentage (62%). Least biomass production was observed for Stigeocolonium sp. and least oil content was obtained from Hydrodictylium sp. It was observed that among these eight algal strains for biodiesel production, Ulothrix and Chlorella are the most promising algae species.

  18. Enhancement of algal growth and productivity by grazing zooplankton.

    PubMed

    Porter, K G

    1976-06-25

    Colonies of the common planktonic green alga, Sphaerocystis schroeteri, are only partially disrupted and assimilated by Daphnia magna, a natural predator. The Daphnia break up the outer protective gelatinous sheath that surrounds Sphaerocystis colonies, but most of the algal cells emerge from Daphnia guts intact and in viable condition. During gut passage, these viable cells take up nutrients, such as phosphorus, both from algal remains and from Daphnia metabolites. This nutrient supply stimulates algal carbon fixation and cell division. Enhanced algal growth, observed after gut passage, can compensate for the minor losses to the population caused by grazing. Nutrients regenerated by grazers may produce the summer bloom of gelatinous green algae during the seasonal succession of lake phytoplankton.

  19. 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

  20. Impact of Microalgae-Bacteria Interactions on the Production of Algal Biomass and Associated Compounds

    PubMed Central

    Fuentes, Juan Luis; Garbayo, Inés; Cuaresma, María; Montero, Zaida; González-del-Valle, Manuel; Vílchez, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    A greater insight on the control of the interactions between microalgae and other microorganisms, particularly bacteria, should be useful for enhancing the efficiency of microalgal biomass production and associated valuable compounds. Little attention has been paid to the controlled utilization of microalgae-bacteria consortia. However, the studies of microalgal-bacterial interactions have revealed a significant impact of the mutualistic or parasitic relationships on algal growth. The algal growth, for instance, has been shown to be enhanced by growth promoting factors produced by bacteria, such as indole-3-acetic acid. Vitamin B12 produced by bacteria in algal cultures and bacterial siderophores are also known to be involved in promoting faster microalgal growth. More interestingly, enhancement in the intracellular levels of carbohydrates, lipids and pigments of microalgae coupled with algal growth stimulation has also been reported. In this sense, massive algal production might occur in the presence of bacteria, and microalgae-bacteria interactions can be beneficial to the massive production of microalgae and algal products. This manuscript reviews the recent knowledge on the impact of the microalgae-bacteria interactions on the production of microalgae and accumulation of valuable compounds, with an emphasis on algal species having application in aquaculture. PMID:27213407

  1. Impact of Microalgae-Bacteria Interactions on the Production of Algal Biomass and Associated Compounds.

    PubMed

    Fuentes, Juan Luis; Garbayo, Inés; Cuaresma, María; Montero, Zaida; González-Del-Valle, Manuel; Vílchez, Carlos

    2016-05-19

    A greater insight on the control of the interactions between microalgae and other microorganisms, particularly bacteria, should be useful for enhancing the efficiency of microalgal biomass production and associated valuable compounds. Little attention has been paid to the controlled utilization of microalgae-bacteria consortia. However, the studies of microalgal-bacterial interactions have revealed a significant impact of the mutualistic or parasitic relationships on algal growth. The algal growth, for instance, has been shown to be enhanced by growth promoting factors produced by bacteria, such as indole-3-acetic acid. Vitamin B12 produced by bacteria in algal cultures and bacterial siderophores are also known to be involved in promoting faster microalgal growth. More interestingly, enhancement in the intracellular levels of carbohydrates, lipids and pigments of microalgae coupled with algal growth stimulation has also been reported. In this sense, massive algal production might occur in the presence of bacteria, and microalgae-bacteria interactions can be beneficial to the massive production of microalgae and algal products. This manuscript reviews the recent knowledge on the impact of the microalgae-bacteria interactions on the production of microalgae and accumulation of valuable compounds, with an emphasis on algal species having application in aquaculture.

  2. Bioreactor technology for production of valuable algal products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Guo-Cai; Cao, Ying

    1998-03-01

    Bioreactor technology has long been employed for the production of various (mostly cheap) food and pharmaceutical products. More recently, research has been mainly focused on the development of novel bioreactor technology for the production of high—value products. This paper reports the employment of novel bioreactor technology for the production of high-value biomass and metabolites by microalgae. These high-value products include microalgal biomass as health foods, pigments including phycocyanin and carotenoids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. The processes involved include heterotrophic and mixotrophic cultures using organic substrates as the carbon source. We have demonstrated that these bioreactor cultivation systems are particularly suitable for the production of high-value products from various microalgae. These cultivation systems can be further modified to improve cell densities and productivities by using high cell density techniques such as fed-batch and membrane cell recycle systems. For most of the microalgae investigated, the maximum cell concentrations obtained using these bioreactor systems in our laboratories are much higher than any so far reported in the literature.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. A perspective: photosynthetic production of fatty acid-based biofuels in genetically engineered cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xuefeng

    2010-01-01

    Biofuels are expected to play a key role in the development of a sustainable, economical and environmentally safe source of energy. Microbes offer great potential for applications in technology based biofuel production. Three fundamental questions need to be addressed in order for the development of microbial synthesis of biofuels to be successful. Firstly, what energy resource platform could be used to make biofuels. Secondly, what type of biofuel is the ideal fuel molecule that should be targeted. Finally, what microbial system could be used to transform energy resources into the targeted biofuel molecules. In this perspective, the potential of using photosynthetic microbes (cyanobacteria in particular) in the solar energy driven conversion of carbon dioxide to fatty acid-based biofuels is explored.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demissie, Y. K.; Yan, E.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillon, Sean Thomas

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yun, Jin-Ho

    Extensive efforts have been made to evaluate the potential of microalgae as a biofuel feedstock during the past 4-5 decades. However, filamentous freshwater macroalgae have numerous characteristics that favor their potential use as an alternative algal feedstock for biofuels production. Freshwater macroalgae exhibit high rates of areal productivity, and their tendency to form dense floating mats on the water surface imply significant reductions in harvesting and dewater costs compared to microalgae. In Chapter 1, I reviewed the published literature on the elemental composition and energy content of five genera of freshwater macroalgae. This review suggested that freshwater macroalgae compare favorably with traditional bio-based energy sources, including terrestrial residues, wood, and coal. In addition, I performed a semi-continuous culture experiment using the common Chlorophyte genus Oedogonium to investigate whether nutrient availability can influence its higher heating value (HHV), productivity, and proximate analysis. The experimental study suggested that the most nutrient-limited growth conditions resulted in a significant increase in the HHV of the Oedogonium biomass (14.4 MJ/kg to 16.1 MJ/kg). Although there was no significant difference in productivity between the treatments, the average dry weight productivity of Oedogonium (3.37 g/m2/day) was found to be much higher than is achievable with common terrestrial plant crops. Although filamentous freshwater macroalgae, therefore, have significant potential as a renewable source of bioenergy, the ultimate success of freshwater macroalgae as a biofuel feedstock will depend upon the ability to produce biomass at the commercial-scale in a cost-effective and sustainable manner. Aquatic ecology can play an important role to achieve the scale-up of algal crop production by informing the supply rates of nutrients to the cultivation systems, and by helping to create adaptive production systems that are resilient to

  14. Bioprocessing for biofuels.

    PubMed

    Blanch, Harvey W

    2012-06-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Cyanobacterial metabolic engineering for biofuel and chemical production.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Neal J; Rabinovitch-Deere, Christine A; Carroll, Austin L; Nozzi, Nicole E; Case, Anna E; Atsumi, Shota

    2016-12-01

    Rising levels of atmospheric CO2 are contributing to the global greenhouse effect. Large scale use of atmospheric CO2 may be a sustainable and renewable means of chemical and liquid fuel production to mitigate global climate change. Photosynthetic organisms are an ideal platform for efficient, natural CO2 conversion to a broad range of chemicals. Cyanobacteria are especially attractive for these purposes, due to their genetic malleability and relatively fast growth rate. Recent years have yielded a range of work in the metabolic engineering of cyanobacteria and have led to greater knowledge of the host metabolism. Understanding of endogenous and heterologous carbon regulation mechanisms leads to the expansion of productive capacity and chemical variety. This review discusses the recent progress in metabolic engineering of cyanobacteria for biofuel and bulk chemical production since 2014.

  18. Promise and Challenges of Microalgal-Derived Biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Pienkos, P. T.; Darzins, A.

    2009-01-01

    Microalgae offer great promise to contribute a significant portion of the renewable fuels that will be required by the Renewable Fuels Standard described in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act of the United States. Algal biofuels would be based mainly on the high lipid content of the algal cell and thus would be an ideal feedstock for high energy density transportation fuels, such as biodiesel as well as green diesel, green jet fuel and green gasoline. A comprehensive research and development program for the development of algal biofuels was initiated by the US Department of Energy (DoE) more than 30 years ago, and although great progress was made, the program was discontinued in 1996, because of decreasing federal budgets and low petroleum costs. Interest in algal biofuels has been growing recently due to increased concern over peak oil, energy security, greenhouse gas emissions, and the potential for other biofuel feedstocks to compete for limited agricultural resources. The high productivity of algae suggests that much of the US transportation fuel needs can be met by algal biofuels at a production cost competitive with the cost of petroleum seen during the early part of 2008. Development of algal biomass production technology, however, remains in its infancy. This perspective provides a brief overview of past algal research sponsored by the DoE, the potential of microalgal biofuels and a discussion of the technical and economic barriers that need to be overcome before production of microalgal-derived diesel-fuel substitutes can become a large-scale commercial reality.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-29

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

  20. Enhanced Production of Green Tide Algal Biomass through Additional Carbon Supply

    PubMed Central

    de Paula Silva, Pedro H.; Paul, Nicholas A.; de Nys, Rocky; Mata, Leonardo

    2013-01-01

    Intensive algal cultivation usually requires a high flux of dissolved inorganic carbon (Ci) to support productivity, particularly for high density algal cultures. Carbon dioxide (CO2) enrichment can be used to overcome Ci limitation and enhance productivity of algae in intensive culture, however, it is unclear whether algal species with the ability to utilise bicarbonate (HCO3−) as a carbon source for photosynthesis will benefit from CO2 enrichment. This study quantified the HCO3− affinity of three green tide algal species, Cladophora coelothrix, Cladophora patentiramea and Chaetomorpha linum, targeted for biomass and bioenergy production. Subsequently, we quantified productivity and carbon, nitrogen and ash content in response to CO2 enrichment. All three species had similar high pH compensation points (9.7–9.9), and grew at similar rates up to pH 9, demonstrating HCO3− utilization. Algal cultures enriched with CO2 as a carbon source had 30% more total Ci available, supplying twenty five times more CO2 than the control. This higher Ci significantly enhanced the productivity of Cladophora coelothrix (26%), Chaetomorpha linum (24%) and to a lesser extent for Cladophora patentiramea (11%), compared to controls. We demonstrated that supplying carbon as CO2 can enhance the productivity of targeted green tide algal species under intensive culture, despite their clear ability to utilise HCO3−. PMID:24324672

  1. Enhanced production of green tide algal biomass through additional carbon supply.

    PubMed

    de Paula Silva, Pedro H; Paul, Nicholas A; de Nys, Rocky; Mata, Leonardo

    2013-01-01

    Intensive algal cultivation usually requires a high flux of dissolved inorganic carbon (Ci) to support productivity, particularly for high density algal cultures. Carbon dioxide (CO2) enrichment can be used to overcome Ci limitation and enhance productivity of algae in intensive culture, however, it is unclear whether algal species with the ability to utilise bicarbonate (HCO3 (-)) as a carbon source for photosynthesis will benefit from CO2 enrichment. This study quantified the HCO3 (-) affinity of three green tide algal species, Cladophora coelothrix, Cladophora patentiramea and Chaetomorpha linum, targeted for biomass and bioenergy production. Subsequently, we quantified productivity and carbon, nitrogen and ash content in response to CO2 enrichment. All three species had similar high pH compensation points (9.7-9.9), and grew at similar rates up to pH 9, demonstrating HCO3 (-) utilization. Algal cultures enriched with CO2 as a carbon source had 30% more total Ci available, supplying twenty five times more CO2 than the control. This higher Ci significantly enhanced the productivity of Cladophora coelothrix (26%), Chaetomorpha linum (24%) and to a lesser extent for Cladophora patentiramea (11%), compared to controls. We demonstrated that supplying carbon as CO2 can enhance the productivity of targeted green tide algal species under intensive culture, despite their clear ability to utilise HCO3 (-).

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    2015-09-21

    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 LC50 for B. calyciflorus in spring water was 0.198 mg Cl/L while the 24-hr LC50 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. Water Environ. Res., 87 (2015).

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Toward glycerol biorefinery: metabolic engineering for the production of biofuels and chemicals from glycerol.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zhen; Liu, Dehua

    2016-01-01

    As an inevitable by-product of the biofuel industry, glycerol is becoming an attractive feedstock for biorefinery due to its abundance, low price and high degree of reduction. Converting crude glycerol into value-added products is important to increase the economic viability of the biofuel industry. Metabolic engineering of industrial strains to improve its performance and to enlarge the product spectrum of glycerol biotransformation process is highly important toward glycerol biorefinery. This review focuses on recent metabolic engineering efforts as well as challenges involved in the utilization of glycerol as feedstock for the production of fuels and chemicals, especially for the production of diols, organic acids and biofuels.

  11. 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.

  12. Investigating why recycling gravity harvested algae increases harvestability and productivity in high rate algal ponds.

    PubMed

    Park, J B K; Craggs, R J; Shilton, A N

    2013-09-15

    It has previously been shown that recycling gravity harvested algae promotes Pediastrum boryanum dominance and improves harvestability and biomass production in pilot-scale High Rate Algal Ponds (HRAPs) treating domestic wastewater. In order to confirm the reproducibility of these findings and investigate the mechanisms responsible, this study utilized twelve 20 L outdoor HRAP mesocosms operated with and without algal recycling. It then compared the recycling of separated solid and liquid components of the harvested biomass against un-separated biomass. The work confirmed that algal recycling promoted P. boryanum dominance, improved 1 h-settleability by >20% and increased biomass productivity by >25% compared with controls that had no recycling. With regard to the improved harvestability, of particular interest was that recycling the liquid fraction alone caused a similar improvement in settleability as recycling the solid fraction. This may be due to the presence of extracellular polymeric substances in the liquid fraction. While there are many possible mechanisms that could account for the increased productivity with algal recycling, all but two were systematically eliminated: (i) the mean cell residence time was extended thereby increasing the algal concentration and more fully utilizing the incident sunlight and, (ii) the relative proportions of algal growth stages (which have different specific growth rates) was changed, resulting in a net increase in the overall growth rate of the culture.

  13. Recent Advances in Algal Genetic Tool Development

    SciTech Connect

    R. Dahlin, Lukas; T. Guarnieri, Michael

    2016-06-24

    The goal of achieving cost-effective biofuels and bioproducts derived from algal biomass will require improvements along the entire value chain, including identification of robust, high-productivity strains and development of advanced genetic tools. Though there have been modest advances in development of genetic systems for the model alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, progress in development of algal genetic tools, especially as applied to non-model algae, has generally lagged behind that of more commonly utilized laboratory and industrial microbes. This is in part due to the complex organellar structure of algae, including robust cell walls and intricate compartmentalization of target loci, as well as prevalent gene silencing mechanisms, which hinder facile utilization of conventional genetic engineering tools and methodologies. However, recent progress in global tool development has opened the door for implementation of strain-engineering strategies in industrially-relevant algal strains. Here, we review recent advances in algal genetic tool development and applications in eukaryotic microalgae.

  14. In situ ethyl ester production from wet algal biomass under microwave-mediated supercritical ethanol conditions.

    PubMed

    Patil, Prafulla D; Reddy, Harvind; Muppaneni, Tapaswy; Schaub, Tanner; Holguin, F Omar; Cooke, Peter; Lammers, Peter; Nirmalakhandan, Nagamany; Li, Yin; Lu, Xiuyang; Deng, Shuguang

    2013-07-01

    An in situ transesterification approach was demonstrated for converting lipid-rich wet algae (Nannochloropsis salina) into fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE) under microwave-mediated supercritical ethanol conditions, while preserving the nutrients and other valuable components in the algae. This single-step process can simultaneously and effectively extract the lipids from wet algae and transesterify them into crude biodiesel. Experimental runs were designed to optimize the process parameters and to evaluate their effects on algal biodiesel yield. The algal biomass characterization and algal biodiesel analysis were carried out by using various analytical instruments such as FTIR, SEM-EDS, TLC, GC-MS and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) under nitrogen and oxygen environments was also performed to examine the thermal and oxidative stability of ethyl esters produced from wet algae. This simple in situ transesterification process using a green solvent and catalyst-free approach can be a potentially efficient route for algal biodiesel production.

  15. Geographic analysis of the feasibility of collocating algal biomass production with wastewater treatment plants.

    PubMed

    Fortier, Marie-Odile P; Sturm, Belinda S M

    2012-10-16

    Resource demand analyses indicate that algal biodiesel production would require unsustainable amounts of freshwater and fertilizer supplies. Alternatively, municipal wastewater effluent can be used, but this restricts production of algae to areas near wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), and to date, there has been no geospatial analysis of the feasibility of collocating large algal ponds with WWTPs. The goals of this analysis were to determine the available areas by land cover type within radial extents (REs) up to 1.5 miles from WWTPs; to determine the limiting factor for algal production using wastewater; and to investigate the potential algal biomass production at urban, near-urban, and rural WWTPs in Kansas. Over 50% and 87% of the land around urban and rural WWTPs, respectively, was found to be potentially available for algal production. The analysis highlights a trade-off between urban WWTPs, which are generally land-limited but have excess wastewater effluent, and rural WWTPs, which are generally water-limited but have 96% of the total available land. Overall, commercial-scale algae production collocated with WWTPs is feasible; 29% of the Kansas liquid fuel demand could be met with implementation of ponds within 1 mile of all WWTPs and supplementation of water and nutrients when these are limited.

  16. Research, development, and demonstration of algal production raceway (APR) systems for the production of hydrocarbon resources

    SciTech Connect

    Laws, E.A.

    1984-02-01

    A fractional factorial experimental design was used to determine the maximum production and photosynthetic efficiency that could be achieved in shallow algal mass culture systems (SAMCS) of the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. Dilution rate and CO/sub 2/ supply were found to be the most important system parameters. Maximum production was found to be about 25 g dry wt m/sup -2/d/sup -1/. This production corresponded to a photosynthetic efficiency of 5.6%. These figures are 50 to 100% better than the production rates achieved in earlier P. tricornutum cultures using conventional culture techniques. The results are consistent with a theoretical model of the impact of the flashing light effect on algal mass culture production. This model predicts that at the typical irradiances in Hawaii, full utilization of the flashing light effect should enhance production by 70% to over 200%. It was concluded that the use of foil arrays in the experimental flume creates systematic vertical mixing on a time scale suitable for utilizing the flashing light effect. Production of P. tricornutum culture is probably limited by temperature. P. tricornutum cannot survive at temperatures in excess of 25/sup 0/C in outdoor mass cultures. Growth of mesophilic species in the temperature range 30 to 35/sup 0/C may well result in even higher production than that achieved with P. tricornutum.

  17. 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.

  18. Biofuel Production: Considerations for USACE Civil Works Business Lines

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-12-01

    impact, namely in terms of soil resources, water quality and water use, biodiversity , and ecosystem services (Gollany et al. 2011). It is important to...John Wiens, and Joseph Fargione. 2010. Biofuels: Implications for Land Use and Biodiversity . Biofuels and Sustainability Reports series. Washington

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  2. Phycoremediation coupled production of algal biomass, harvesting and anaerobic digestion: possibilities and challenges.

    PubMed

    Prajapati, Sanjeev Kumar; Kaushik, Prachi; Malik, Anushree; Vijay, Virendra Kumar

    2013-12-01

    Biogas produced from anaerobic digestion is a versatile and environment friendly fuel which traditionally utilizes cattle dung as the substrate. In the recent years, owing to its high content of biodegradable compounds, algal biomass has emerged as a potential feedstock for biogas production. Moreover, the ability of algae to treat wastewater and fix CO2 from waste gas streams makes it an environmental friendly and economically feasible feedstock. The present review focuses on the possibility of utilizing wastewater as the nutrient and waste gases as the CO2 source for algal biomass production and subsequent biogas generation. Studies describing the various harvesting methods of algal biomass as well as its anaerobic digestion have been compiled and discussed. Studies targeting the most recent advancements on biogas enrichment by algae have been discussed. Apart from highlighting the various advantages of utilizing algal biomass for biogas production, limitations of the process such as cell wall resistivity towards digestion and inhibitions caused due to ammonia toxicity and the possible strategies for overcoming the same have been reviewed. The studies compiled in the present review indicate that if the challenges posed in translating the lab scale studies on phycoremediation and biogas production to pilot scale are overcome, algal biogas could become the sustainable and economically feasible source of renewable energy.

  3. "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

  4. 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

  5. Virus infection of Chlorella variabilis and enzymatic saccharification of algal biomass for bioethanol production.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Yu-Shen; Zheng, Yi; Labavitch, John M; VanderGheynst, Jean S

    2013-06-01

    Experiments were conducted to investigate the application of virus infection and amylolytic enzyme treatment on sugar release from Chlorella variabilis NC64A and bioethanol production from released sugars via Escherichia coli KO11 fermentation. Chlorella variabilis NC64A accumulated starch when it was cultured in a nitrogen-limited medium. The accumulated starch was not consumed during viral infection based on analysis of sugars released during infection. Both amylolytic enzyme addition and virus infection increased the hydrolysis of carbohydrates. Addition of amylolytic enzymes increased the release of glucose from algal biomass while virus addition increased the release of non-glucose neutral sugars. The combination of enzyme addition and virus infection also resulted in the highest ethanol production after fermentation. Acetic acid was generated as a co-product during fermentation in all sets of experiments. This study demonstrated that infection of microalgae with an algal virus resulted in disruption and hydrolysis of algal biomass to generate fermentable sugars.

  6. Slab waveguide photobioreactors for microalgae based biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Jung, Erica Eunjung; Kalontarov, Michael; Doud, Devin F R; Ooms, Matthew D; Angenent, Largus T; Sinton, David; Erickson, David

    2012-10-07

    Microalgae are a promising feedstock for sustainable biofuel production. At present, however, there are a number of challenges that limit the economic viability of the process. Two of the major challenges are the non-uniform distribution of light in photobioreactors and the inefficiencies associated with traditional biomass processing. To address the latter limitation, a number of studies have demonstrated organisms that directly secrete fuels without requiring organism harvesting. In this paper, we demonstrate a novel optofluidic photobioreactor that can help address the light distribution challenge while being compatible with these chemical secreting organisms. Our approach is based on light delivery to surface bound photosynthetic organisms through the evanescent field of an optically excited slab waveguide. In addition to characterizing organism growth-rates in the system, we also show here, for the first time, that the photon usage efficiency of evanescent field illumination is comparable to the direct illumination used in traditional photobioreactors. We also show that the stackable nature of the slab waveguide approach could yield a 12-fold improvement in the volumetric productivity.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-10

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Comparison of screening methods for high-throughput determination of oil yields in micro-algal biofuel strains.

    PubMed

    Slocombe, Stephen P; Zhang, Qianyi; Black, Kenneth D; Day, John G; Stanley, Michele S

    2013-08-01

    The phenotypic and phylogenetic diversity of micro-algae capable of accumulating triacylglycerols provides a challenge for the accurate determination of biotechnological potential. High-yielding strains are needed to improve economic viability and their compositional information is required for optimizing biodiesel properties. To facilitate a high-throughput screening programme, a very rapid direct-derivatization procedure capable of extracting lyophilized material for GC analysis was compared with a scaled-down Folch-based method. This was carried out on ten micro-algal strains from 6 phyla where the more rapid direct-derivatization approach was found to provide a more reliable measure of yield. The modified Folch-based procedure was found to substantially underestimate oil yield in one Chlorella species (P < 0.01). In terms of fatty acid composition however, the Folch procedure proved to be slightly better in recovering polyunsaturated fatty acids, in six out of the ten strains. Therefore, direct-derivatization is recommended for rapid determination of yields in screening approaches but can provide slightly less compositional accuracy than solvent-based extraction methods.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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)...

  15. Sapphire Energy - Integrated Algal Biorefinery

    SciTech Connect

    White, Rebecca L.; Tyler, Mike

    2015-07-22

    demonstrated significant year over year yield improvements (2013 to 2014), and reduction in the cost of biomass production. Therefore, the IABR fulfills a number of critical functions in SEI’s integrated development pipeline. These functions are critical in general for the commercialization of algal biomass production and production of biofuels from algal biomass.

  16. Microwave-assisted pyrolysis of microalgae for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Du, Zhenyi; Li, Yecong; Wang, Xiaoquan; Wan, Yiqin; Chen, Qin; Wang, Chenguang; Lin, Xiangyang; Liu, Yuhuan; Chen, Paul; Ruan, Roger

    2011-04-01

    The pyrolysis of Chlorella sp. was carried out in a microwave oven with char as microwave reception enhancer. The results indicated that the maximum bio-oil yield of 28.6% was achieved under the microwave power of 750 W. The bio-oil properties were characterized with elemental, GC-MS, GPC, FTIR, and thermogravimetric analysis. The algal bio-oil had a density of 0.98 kg/L, a viscosity of 61.2 cSt, and a higher heating value (HHV) of 30.7 MJ/kg. The GC-MS results showed that the bio-oils were mainly composed of aliphatic hydrocarbons, aromatic hydrocarbons, phenols, long chain fatty acids and nitrogenated compounds, among which aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons (account for 22.18% of the total GC-MS spectrum area) are highly desirable compounds as those in crude oil, gasoline and diesel. The results in this study indicate that fast growing algae are a promising source of feedstock for advanced renewable fuel production via microwave-assisted pyrolysis (MAP).

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Use of proteomic tools in microbial engineering for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Mao, Shaoming; Jia, Kaizhi; Zhang, Yanping; Li, Yin

    2012-01-01

    The production of biofuels from renewable sources by microbial engineering has gained increased attention due to energy and environmental concerns. Butanol is one of the important gasoline-substitute fuels and can be produced by native microorganism Clostridium acetobutylicum. To develop a fundamental tool to understand C. acetobutylicum, a high resolution proteome reference map for this species has been established. To better understand the relationship between butanol tolerance and butanol yield, we performed a comparative proteomic analysis between the wild-type strain DSM 1731 and its mutant Rh8 at acidogenic and solventogenic phases, respectively. The 102 differentially expressed proteins that are mainly involved in protein folding, solvent formation, amino acid metabolism, protein synthesis, nucleotide metabolism, transport, and others were detected. Hierarchical clustering analysis revealed that over 70% of the 102 differentially expressed proteins in mutant Rh8 were either upregulated (e.g., chaperones and solvent formation related) or downregulated (e.g., amino acid metabolism and protein synthesis related) in both acidogenic and solventogenic phase, which, respectively, are only upregulated or downregulated in solventogenic phase in the wild-type strain.

  20. 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.

  1. Membranes with artificial free-volume for biofuel production

    DOE PAGES

    Petzetakis, Nikos; Doherty, Cara M.; Thornton, Aaron W.; ...

    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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-03-07

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

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2016-03-07

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  9. Simultaneous nutrient removal, optimised CO2 mitigation and biofuel feedstock production by Chlorogonium sp. grown in secondary treated non-sterile saline sewage effluent.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kwan Yin; Ng, Tsz Wai; Li, Guiying; An, Taicheng; Kwan, Ka Ki; Chan, King Ming; Huang, Guocheng; Yip, Ho Yin; Wong, Po Keung

    2015-10-30

    The phycoremediation process has great potential for effectively addressing environmental pollution. To explore the capabilities of simultaneous algal nutrient removal, CO2 mitigation and biofuel feedstock production from spent water resources, a Chlorogonium sp. isolated from a tilapia pond in Hong Kong was grown in non-sterile saline sewage effluent for a bioremediation study. With high removal efficiencies of NH3-N (88.35±14.39%), NO3(-)-N (85.39±14.96%), TN (93.34±6.47%) and PO4(3-)-P (91.80±17.44%), Chlorogonium sp. achieved a CO2 consumption rate of 58.96 mg L(-1) d(-1), which was optimised by the response surface methodology. Under optimised conditions, the lipid content of the algal biomass reached 24.26±2.67%. Overall, the isolated Chlorogonium sp. showed promising potential in the simultaneous purification of saline sewage effluent in terms of tertiary treatment and CO2 sequestration while delivering feedstock for potential biofuel production in a waste-recycling manner.

  10. 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

  11. Primary production of edaphic algal communities in a Mississippi salt marsh

    SciTech Connect

    Sullivan, M.J.; Moncreiff, C.A.

    1988-03-01

    Primary production rates of edaphic algae associated with the sediments beneath four monospecific canopies of vascular plants were determined over an annual cycle in a Mississippi salt marsh. The edaphic algal flora was dominated by small, motile pennate diatoms. Algal production (as measured by /sup 14/C uptake) was generally highest in spring-early summer and lowest in fall. Hourly rates ranged from a low of 1.4 mg C/m/sup 2/ in Juncus roemerianus Scheele to a high of 163 mg C/m/sup 2/ beneath the Scirpus olneyi Gray canopy. Stepwise multiple regressions identified a soil moisture index and chlorophyll a as the best environmental predictors of hourly production; light energy reaching the marsh surface and sediment and air temperature proved of little value. Adding the relative abundances of 33 diatom taxa to the set of independent variables only slightly increased R/sup 2/; however, virtually all variables selected were diatom taxa. R/sup 2/ was only 0.38 for the Spartina alterniflora Loisel. habitat but ranged from 0.70 to 0.87 for the remaining three vascular plant zones. Annual rates of algal production (g C/m/sup 2/) were estimated as follows: Juncus (28), Spartina (57), Distichlis spicata (L.) Greene (88), and Scirpus (151). The ratio of annual edaphic algal production to vascular plant net aerial production (EAP/VPP) was 10-12% for the first three habitats and 61% for Scirpus. Chlorophyll a concentrations, annual algal production rates, and EAP/VPP values were comparable to those determined in Texas, Delaware, and Massachusetts salt marshes but lower than those reported for Georgia and particularly California marshes.

  12. 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.

  13. Progress on lipid extraction from wet algal biomass for biodiesel production.

    PubMed

    Ghasemi Naghdi, Forough; González González, Lina M; Chan, William; Schenk, Peer M

    2016-11-01

    Lipid recovery and purification from microalgal cells continues to be a significant bottleneck in biodiesel production due to high costs involved and a high energy demand. Therefore, there is a considerable necessity to develop an extraction method which meets the essential requirements of being safe, cost-effective, robust, efficient, selective, environmentally friendly, feasible for large-scale production and free of product contamination. The use of wet concentrated algal biomass as a feedstock for oil extraction is especially desirable as it would avoid the requirement for further concentration and/or drying. This would save considerable costs and circumvent at least two lengthy processes during algae-based oil production. This article provides an overview on recent progress that has been made on the extraction of lipids from wet algal biomass. The biggest contributing factors appear to be the composition of algal cell walls, pre-treatments of biomass and the use of solvents (e.g. a solvent mixture or solvent-free lipid extraction). We compare recently developed wet extraction processes for oleaginous microalgae and make recommendations towards future research to improve lipid extraction from wet algal biomass.

  14. Complete Genome Sequence of Enterococcus faecalis Strain W11 Isolated from an Algal Food Product

    PubMed Central

    Takizawa, Noboru

    2016-01-01

    Here, we report the complete genome sequence of Enterococcus faecalis strain W11 isolated from an algal food product in Japan. This study should facilitate the identification of a novel mechanism of glycerol metabolic control in lactic acid bacteria. PMID:27688337

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Algal biomass and primary production within a temperate zone sandstone

    SciTech Connect

    Bell, R.A.; Sommerfeld, M.R. )

    1987-02-01

    The use of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) to extract chlorophyll a and {sup 14}C-labelled photosynthate from endolithic algae of sparsely vegetated, cold temperate grasslands on the Colorado Plateau in Arizona has yielded the first estimates of biomass and photosynthesis for this unusual community. These subsurface microorganisms are found widespread in exposed Coconino Sandstone, a predominant formation in this cold temperate region. The endolithic community in Coconino Sandstone, composed primarily of coccoid blue-green and coccoid/sarcinoid green algae, yielded a biomass value (as chlorophyll a content) of 87 mg m{sup {minus}2} rock surface area and a photosynthetic rate of 0.37 mg CO{sub 2} dm{sup {minus}2} hr{sup {minus}1} or 0.48 mg CO{sub 2} mg{sup {minus}1} chl a hr{sup {minus}1}. The endolithic algal community contributes moderate biomass (5-10%) and substantial photosynthesis (20-80%) to the sparse grassland ecosystem.

  18. Hydrogen production from algal biomass via steam gasification.

    PubMed

    Duman, Gozde; Uddin, Md Azhar; Yanik, Jale

    2014-08-01

    Algal biomasses were tested as feedstock for steam gasification in a dual-bed microreactor in a two-stage process. Gasification experiments were carried out in absence and presence of catalyst. The catalysts used were 10% Fe₂O₃-90% CeO₂ and red mud (activated and natural forms). Effects of catalysts on tar formation and gasification efficiencies were comparatively investigated. It was observed that the characteristic of algae gasification was dependent on its components and the catalysts used. The main role of the catalyst was reforming of the tar derived from algae pyrolysis, besides enhancing water gas shift reaction. The tar reduction levels were in the range of 80-100% for seaweeds and of 53-70% for microalgae. Fe₂O₃-CeO₂ was found to be the most effective catalyst. The maximum hydrogen yields obtained were 1036 cc/g algae for Fucus serratus, 937 cc/g algae for Laminaria digitata and 413 cc/g algae for Nannochloropsis oculata.

  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. 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 ...

  1. 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…

  2. Present and potential future oilseed production systems for biofuels

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. Algal Supply System Design - Harmonized Version

    SciTech Connect

    Abodeely, Jared; Stevens, Daniel; Ray, Allison; Newby, Deborah; Schaller, Kastli

    2013-03-01

    The objective of this design report is to provide an assessment of current technologies used for production, dewatering, and converting microalgae cultivated in open-pond systems to biofuel. The original draft design was created in 2011 and has subsequently been brought into agreement with the DOE harmonized model. The design report extends beyond this harmonized model to discuss some of the challenges with assessing algal production systems, including the ability to (1) quickly assess alternative algal production system designs, (2) assess spatial and temporal variability, and (3) perform large-scale assessments considering multiple scenarios for thousands of potential sites. The Algae Logistics Model (ALM) was developed to address each of these limitations of current modeling efforts to enable assessment of the economic feasibility of algal production systems across the United States. The (ALM) enables (1) dynamic assessments using spatiotemporal conditions, (2) exploration of algal production system design configurations, (3) investigation of algal production system operating assumptions, and (4) trade-off assessments with technology decisions and operating assumptions. The report discusses results from the ALM, which is used to assess the baseline design determined by harmonization efforts between U.S. DOE national laboratories. Productivity and resource assessment data is provided by coupling the ALM with the Biomass Assessment Tool developed at PNNL. This high-fidelity data is dynamically passed to the ALM and used to help better understand the impacts of spatial and temporal constraints on algal production systems by providing a cost for producing extracted algal lipids annually for each potential site.

  4. The effect of biofuel production on swine farm methane and ammonia emissions.

    PubMed

    Harper, Lowry A; Flesch, Thomas K; Weaver, Kim H; Wilson, John D

    2010-01-01

    Methane (CH) and ammonia (NH3) are emitted to the atmosphere during anaerobic processing of organic matter, and both gases have detrimental environmental effects. Methane conversion to biofuel production has been suggested to reduce CH4 emissions from animal manure processing systems. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the change in CH4 and NH3 emissions in an animal feeding operation due to biofuel production from the animal manure. Gas emissions were measured from swine farms differing only in their manure-management treatment systems (conventional vs. biofuel). By removing organic matter (i.e., carbon) from the biofuel farms' manure-processing lagoons, average annual CH4 emissions were decreased by 47% compared with the conventional farm. This represents a net 44% decrease in global warming potential (CO2 equivalent) by gases emitted from the biofuel farms compared with conventional farms. However, because of the reduction of methanogenesis and its reduced effect on the chemical conversion of ammonium (NH4+) to dinitrogen (N2) gas, NH3 emissions in the biofuel farms increased by 46% over the conventional farms. These studies show that what is considered an environmentally friendly technology had mixed results and that all components of a system should be studied when making changes to existing systems.

  5. A Techno-Economic Analysis of Emission Controls on Hydrocarbon Biofuel Production

    SciTech Connect

    Bhatt, Arpit; Zhang, Yimin; Davis, Ryan; Eberle, Annika; Heath, Garvin

    2016-06-23

    Biofuels have the potential to reduce our dependency on petroleum-derived transportation fuels and decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Although the overall GHG emissions from biofuels are expected to be lower when compared to those of petroleum fuels, the process of converting biomass feedstocks into biofuels emits various air pollutants, which may be subject to federal air quality regulation or emission limits. While prior research has evaluated the technical and economic feasibility of biofuel technologies, gaps still exist in understanding the regulatory issues associated with the biorefineries and their economic implications on biofuel production costs (referred to as minimum fuel selling price (MFSP) in this study). The aim of our research is to evaluate the economic impact of implementing emission reduction technologies at biorefineries and estimate the cost effectiveness of two primary control technologies that may be required for air permitting purposes. We analyze a lignocellulosic sugars-to-hydrocarbon biofuel production pathway developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and implement air emission controls in Aspen Plus to evaluate how they affect the MFSP. Results from this analysis can help inform decisions about biorefinery siting and sizing, as well as mitigate the risks associated with air permitting.

  6. Interactions of Woody Biofuel Feedstock Production Systems with Water Resources: Considerations for Sustainability

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-04-15

    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. Finally, 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Production of algal biomass (Chlorella vulgaris) using sediment microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Hyeon Jin; Seo, Kyu-won; Lee, Sang Hyun; Yang, Yung-Hun; Kumaran, Rangarajulu Senthil; Kim, Sunghyun; Hong, Seok Won; Choi, Yong Su; Kim, Hyung Joo

    2012-04-01

    In this study, a novel algal biomass production method using a sediment microbial fuel cell (SMFC) system was assessed. Under the experimental conditions, CO(2) generation from the SMFC and its rate of increase were found to be dependent on the current generated from the SMFC. However, the CH(4) production rate from the SMFC was inhibited by the generation of current. When Chlorella vulgaris was inoculated into the cathode compartment of the SMFC and current was generated under 10 Ω resistance, biomass production from the anode compartment was observed to be closely associated with the rate of current generation from the SMFC. The experimental results demonstrate that 420 mg/L of algae (dry cell weight) was produced when the current from the SMFC reached 48.5 mA/m(2). Therefore, SMFC could provide a means for producing algal biomass via CO(2) generated by the oxidation of organics upon current generation.

  9. 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.

  10. Carbonaceous and nitrogenous disinfection by-product formation from algal organic matter.

    PubMed

    Goslan, Emma H; Seigle, Céline; Purcell, Diane; Henderson, Rita; Parsons, Simon A; Jefferson, Bruce; Judd, Simon J

    2017-03-01

    Seasonal algal blooms in drinking water sources release intracellular and extracellular algal organic matter (AOM) in significant concentrations into the water. This organic matter provides precursors for disinfection by-products (DBPs) formed when the water is subsequently chlorinated at the final disinfection stage of the potable water treatment process. This paper presents results of AOM characterisation from five algal species (three cyanobacteria, one diatom and one green) alongside the measurement of the DBP formation potential from the AOM of six algal species (an additional diatom). The character was explored in terms of hydrophilicity, charge and protein and carbohydrate content. 18 DBPs were measured following chlorination of the AOM samples: the four trihalomethanes (THMs), nine haloacetic acids (HAAs), four haloacetonitriles (HANs) and one halonitromethane (HNM). The AOM was found to be mainly hydrophilic (52 and 81%) in nature. Yields of up to 92.4 μg mg(-1) C carbonaceous DBPs were measured, with few consistent trends between DBP formation propensity and either the specific ultraviolet absorbance (SUVA) or the chemical characteristics. The AOM from diatomaceous algae formed significant amounts of nitrogenous DBPs (up to 1.7 μg mg(-1) C). The weak trends in DBPFP may be attributable to the hydrophilic nature of AOM, which also makes it more challenging to remove by conventional water treatment processes.

  11. Effects of different media composition, light intensity and photoperiod on morphology and physiology of freshwater microalgae Ankistrodesmus falcatus--a potential strain for bio-fuel production.

    PubMed

    George, Basil; Pancha, Imran; Desai, Chahana; Chokshi, Kaumeel; Paliwal, Chetan; Ghosh, Tonmoy; Mishra, Sandhya

    2014-11-01

    Media composition, light intensity and photoperiod significantly affect the algal growth and productivity and their optimization is important for the commercialization of microalgae based biofuels. In the present study, effects of different culture medium, light intensity and photoperiod were studied on growth, biomass productivity, and biochemical composition of a fresh water microalgae Ankistrodesmus falcatus in batch culture. The results revealed that A. falcatus could yield more than 35% of total lipid (containing around 65.74% neutral lipid) along with optimal growth (0.20 μ) and biomass productivity (7.9 mg/L/day) in the BG-11 medium under a light intensity of 60 μmol m(-2) s(-1) and 12:12 (Light: Dark) cycle. The highest total lipid yield of 67.2% (containing 72.68% of neutral lipid) was observed in Zarrouk's medium grown culture but with altered cell morphology and ultra-structural changes.

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

    SciTech Connect

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Transformation of Swine Manure and Algal Consortia to Value-added Products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharara, Mahmoud A.

    The swine production sector is projected to grow globally. In the past, this growth manifested itself in increased herd sizes and geographically concentrated production. Although economically sound, these trends had negative consequences on surrounding ecosystems. Over-application of manure resulted in water quality degradation, while long-term storage of manure slurries was found to promote release of potent GHG emissions. There is a need for innovative approaches for swine manure management that are compatible with current scales of production, and increasingly strict environmental regulations. This study aims to investigate the potential for incorporating gasification as part of a novel swine manure management system which utilizes liquid-solid separation and periphytic algal consortia as a phycoremediation vector for the liquid slurry. The gasification of swine manure solids, and algal biomass solids generate both a gaseous fuel product (producer gas) in addition to a biochar co-product. First, the decomposition kinetics for both feedstock, i.e., swine manure solids, and algal solids, were quantified using thermogravimetry at different heating rates (1 ~ 40°C min-1) under different atmospheres (nitrogen, and air). Pyrolysis kinetics were determined for manure solids from two farms with different manure management systems. Similarly, the pyrolysis kinetics were determined for phycoremediation algae grown on swine manure slurries. Modeling algal solids pyrolysis as first-order independent parallel reactions was sufficient to describe sample devolatilization. Combustion of swine manure solids blended with algal solids, at different ratios, showed no synergistic effects. Gasification of phycoremediation algal biomass was studied using a bench-scale auger gasification system at temperatures between 760 and 960°C. The temperature profile suggested a stratification of reaction zones common to fixed-bed reactors. The producer gas heating value ranged between 2.2 MJ m

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Ma, Ruoshui; Xu, Yan; Zhang, Xiao

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Algal pigments record shifts in dominant primary productivity through the Holocene in an arctic lake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Florian, C.; Miller, G. H.; Fogel, M. L.

    2011-12-01

    The character and magnitude of primary productivity in arctic lakes is largely controlled by climate. Organic compounds derived from pigments and preserved in lake sediments allow reconstruction of past abundances of algae that do not leave silicious microfossils. Fossil algal pigments are abundant in lake sediment and can be accurately quantified using High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Several groups of algae produce unique pigments that can be used to reconstruct their past abundance. In Qivitu Highlands Lake, eastern central Baffin Island, the ratio of pigments diatoxantin and lutein exhibits coherent changes through the Holocene. Diatoxanthin is produced by diatoms and chrysophytes, whereas lutein is produced by green algae and higher plants. Because these pigments are the dominant carotenoids in the sediment, they serve as proxies for the dominant group of primary producers. During the Holocene Thermal Maximum and the past century, lutein is much more abundant than diatoxanthin. During Neoglacial cooling and into the Little Ice Age, diatoxanthin becomes the dominant carotenoid. This shift reveals that there was a change in not only the magnitude of algal production, but also the most abundant type. The adaptation of aquatic algal assemblages to changing climate suggests that gross changes in primary productivity may not be suitable to track the abundance of one type of algal microfossil (such as diatoms) without considering the other algal groups. Higher plants also produce lutein, and its abundance is additionally influenced by the presence of terrestrial organic matter as well as aquatic macrophyte plants. We hypothesize that the prevalence of lutein during warm summers is due to a longer ice-free season, allowing the development of a greater biomass of green algae and macrophyte plants as well as possible increases of terrestrial higher plant communities. This is part of a larger study where the lutein to diatoxanthin ratio is compared to organic

  18. Relationships between primary production and irradiance in coral reef algal communities

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-07-01

    Shallow water algal turf communities are the major primary producers on coral reefs. High rates of primary production are maintained despite extremely high light intensities and exposure to ultraviolet wavelengths. The relationships between the light intensity and primary production in these assemblages are typical of algae adapted to a high light environment (low ..cap alpha.. (initial slope), high I/sub k/ (saturating light intensity), and high I/sub c/ (compensation point light intensity)). Seasonal variations in algal standing crop due to herbivory and daylength result in some characteristic photoadaptive changes in ..cap alpha.. I/sub k/, and I/sub c/ and changes in Pnet/sub max/ rates (maximum net photosynthetic rate achieved at light saturation) on both a chlorophyll ..cap alpha.. and an areal basis. Exposure to UV wavelength results in significantly higher respiration rates but no changes in ..cap alpha.., Pnet/sub max/, or I/sub k/, when compared with these parameters for the same algal communities incubated at the same light intensities without UV wavelengths. The apparent lack of photoinhibition in these algae allows calculation of the daily integrated production from the P vs. I parameters. This integrated production is highest in July (3.1 +/- 0.2 g C m/sup -2/d/sup -1/) and is reduced by 30% from this maximum in December (2.1 +/- 0.1 g C m/sup -2/d/sup -1/).

  19. An analysis of the productivity of a CELSS continuous algal culture system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Radmer, R.; Behrens, P.; Fernandez, E.; Arnett, K.

    1986-01-01

    One of the most attractive aspects of using algal cultures as plant components for a Closed Ecological Life Support Systems (CELSS) is the efficiency with which they can be grown. Although algae are not necessarily intrinsically more efficient than higher plants, the ease which they can be handled and manipulated (more like chemical reagents than plants), and the culturing techniques available, result in much higher growth rates than are usually attainable with higher plants. Furthermore, preliminary experiments have demonstrated that algal growth and physiology is not detectable altered in a microgravity environment, (1) whereas the response of higher plants to zero gravity is unknown. In order to rationally design and operate culture systems, it is necessary to understand how the macroparameters of a culture system, e.g., productivity, are related to the physiological aspects of the algal culture. A first principles analysis of culture system is discussed, and a mathematical model that describes the relationship of culture productivity to the cell concentration of light-limited culture is derived. The predicted productivity vs cell concentration curve agrees well with the experimental data obtained to test this model, indicating that this model permits an accurate prediction of culture productivity given the growth parameters of the system.

  20. Hydraulic retention time effects on wastewater nutrient removal and bioproduct production via rotating algal biofilm reactor.

    PubMed

    Iman Shayan, Sahand; Agblevor, Foster A; Bertin, Lorenzo; Sims, Ronald C

    2016-07-01

    Rotating algal biofilm reactor (RABR) technology was successfully employed in an effective strategy to couple the removal of wastewater nutrients with accumulation of valuable bioproducts by grown algae. A secondary stage municipal wastewater was fed to the developed system and the effects of the hydraulic retention time (HRT) parameter on both nutrient removal and bioproduct production were evaluated under fed-batch operation mode. Two sets of bench scale RABRs were designed and operated with HRTs of 2 and 6days in order to provide competitive environment for algal growth. The HRT significantly affected nitrogen and phosphorus uptakes along with lipid and starch accumulations by microalgae in harvested biofilms. Domination of nitrogen removal in 2-day HRT with higher lipid accumulation (20% on dried weight basis) and phosphorus removal in 6-day HRT with higher starch production (27% on dried weight basis) was observed by comparing the performances of the RABRs in duplicate runs.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  4. Microalgae as a feedstock for biofuel precursors and value-added products: Green fuels and golden opportunities

    DOE PAGES

    Tang, Yuting; Rosenberg, Julian N.; Bohutskyi, Pavlo; ...

    2015-11-16

    In this study, the prospects of biofuel production from microalgal carbohydrates and lipids coupled with greenhouse gas mitigation due to photosynthetic assimilation of CO2 have ushered in a renewed interest in algal feedstock. Furthermore, microalgae (including cyanobacteria) have become established as commercial sources of value-added biochemicals such as polyunsaturated fatty acids and carotenoid pigments used as antioxidants in nutritional supplements and cosmetics. This article presents a comprehensive synopsis of the metabolic basis for accumulating lipids as well as applicable methods of lipid and cellulose bioconversion and final applications of these natural or refined products from microalgal biomass. For lipids, one-stepmore » in situ transesterification offers a new and more accurate approach to quantify oil content. As a complement to microalgal oil fractions, the utilization of cellulosic biomass from microalgae to produce bioethanol by fermentation, biogas by anaerobic digestion, and bio-oil by hydrothermal liquefaction are discussed. Collectively, a compendium of information spanning green renewable fuels and value-added nutritional compounds is provided.« less

  5. Microalgae as a feedstock for biofuel precursors and value-added products: Green fuels and golden opportunities

    SciTech Connect

    Tang, Yuting; Rosenberg, Julian N.; Bohutskyi, Pavlo; Yu, Geng; Betenbaugh, Michael J.; Wang, Fei

    2015-11-16

    In this study, the prospects of biofuel production from microalgal carbohydrates and lipids coupled with greenhouse gas mitigation due to photosynthetic assimilation of CO2 have ushered in a renewed interest in algal feedstock. Furthermore, microalgae (including cyanobacteria) have become established as commercial sources of value-added biochemicals such as polyunsaturated fatty acids and carotenoid pigments used as antioxidants in nutritional supplements and cosmetics. This article presents a comprehensive synopsis of the metabolic basis for accumulating lipids as well as applicable methods of lipid and cellulose bioconversion and final applications of these natural or refined products from microalgal biomass. For lipids, one-step in situ transesterification offers a new and more accurate approach to quantify oil content. As a complement to microalgal oil fractions, the utilization of cellulosic biomass from microalgae to produce bioethanol by fermentation, biogas by anaerobic digestion, and bio-oil by hydrothermal liquefaction are discussed. Collectively, a compendium of information spanning green renewable fuels and value-added nutritional compounds is provided.

  6. 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.

  7. Mechanism of Algal Aggregation by Bacillus sp. Strain RP1137

    PubMed Central

    Powell, Ryan J.

    2014-01-01

    Alga-derived biofuels are one of the best alternatives for economically replacing liquid fossil fuels with a fungible renewable energy source. Production of fuel from algae is technically feasible but not yet economically viable. Harvest of dilute algal biomass from the surrounding water remains one of the largest barriers to economic production of algal biofuel. We identified Bacillus sp. strain RP1137 in a previous study and showed that this strain can rapidly aggregate several biofuel-producing algae in a pH- and divalent-cation-dependent manner. In this study, we further characterized the mechanism of algal aggregation by RP1137. We show that aggregation of both algae and bacteria is optimal in the exponential phase of growth and that the density of ionizable residues on the RP1137 cell surface changes with growth stage. Aggregation likely occurs via charge neutralization with calcium ions at the cell surface of both algae and bacteria. We show that charge neutralization occurs at least in part through binding of calcium to negatively charged teichoic acid residues. The addition of calcium also renders both algae and bacteria more able to bind to hydrophobic beads, suggesting that aggregation may occur through hydrophobic interactions. Knowledge of the aggregation mechanism may enable engineering of RP1137 to obtain more efficient algal harvesting. PMID:24771029

  8. Mechanism of algal aggregation by Bacillus sp. strain RP1137.

    PubMed

    Powell, Ryan J; Hill, Russell T

    2014-07-01

    Alga-derived biofuels are one of the best alternatives for economically replacing liquid fossil fuels with a fungible renewable energy source. Production of fuel from algae is technically feasible but not yet economically viable. Harvest of dilute algal biomass from the surrounding water remains one of the largest barriers to economic production of algal biofuel. We identified Bacillus sp. strain RP1137 in a previous study and showed that this strain can rapidly aggregate several biofuel-producing algae in a pH- and divalent-cation-dependent manner. In this study, we further characterized the mechanism of algal aggregation by RP1137. We show that aggregation of both algae and bacteria is optimal in the exponential phase of growth and that the density of ionizable residues on the RP1137 cell surface changes with growth stage. Aggregation likely occurs via charge neutralization with calcium ions at the cell surface of both algae and bacteria. We show that charge neutralization occurs at least in part through binding of calcium to negatively charged teichoic acid residues. The addition of calcium also renders both algae and bacteria more able to bind to hydrophobic beads, suggesting that aggregation may occur through hydrophobic interactions. Knowledge of the aggregation mechanism may enable engineering of RP1137 to obtain more efficient algal harvesting.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    This review highlights the potential of the pyrolysis-based biofuels production, bio-ethanol in particular, and lipid in general as an alternative and sustainable solution for the rising environmental concerns and rapidly depleting natural fuel resources. Levoglucosan (1,6-anhydrous-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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-02-11

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

  18. Algal Hydrogen Production -- Stand Alone or Integrated System?

    SciTech Connect

    Ghirardi, Maria L.; Maness, Pin Ching; Kosourovo, Sergey

    2016-01-01

    Photosynthetic bacteria and green algae photoproduce H2. but do so utilizing different catalysts and substrates. Green algae use reductant generate mostly by water oxidation to catalyze the reduction of protons to H2 gas, while photosynthetic bacteria catalyze H2 production from organic acids using the nitrogenase enzyme. Moreover, these two organisms utilize different regions of the solar spectrum to perform photosynthesis: green algae's light harvesting antenna is comprised of chlorophyll molecules that absorb mostly blue and red light; photosynthetic bacteria harvest blue and far-red light through their light-harvesting pigments to run its non-oxygenic photosynthetic reactions. There is thus an opportunity to increase the range of solar spectrum used to photoproduce H2 by combining the light-harvesting and catalytic properties of these two organisms in a single process. In the current manuscript, we describe an experimental system that validates this hypothesis and demonstrates quantitatively the advantages of a two organism process for production of higher amounts of H2 and thus achieving solar light conversion efficiencies.

  19. Treatment of dairy manure effluent using freshwater algae: algal productivity and recovery of manure nutrients using pilot-scale algal turf scrubbers.

    PubMed

    Mulbry, Walter; Kondrad, Shannon; Pizarro, Carolina; Kebede-Westhead, Elizabeth

    2008-11-01

    Cultivating algae on nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in animal manure effluents presents an alternative to the current practice of land application. The objective of this study was to determine values for productivity, nutrient content, and nutrient recovery using filamentous green algae grown in outdoor raceways at different loading rates of raw and anaerobically digested dairy manure effluent. Algal turf scrubber raceways (30m2 each) were operated in central Maryland for approximately 270 days each year (roughly April 1-December 31) from 2003 to 2006. Algal biomass was harvested every 4-12 days from the raceways after daily additions of manure effluent corresponding to loading rates of 0.3 to 2.5g total N (TN) and 0.08 to 0.42g total P (TP) m(-2)d(-1). Mean algal productivity values increased from approximately 2.5g DW m(-2)d(-1) at the lowest loading rate (0.3g TN m(-2)d(-1)) to 25g DW m(-2)d(-1) at the highest loading rate (2.5g TN m(-2)d(-1)). Mean N and P contents in the dried biomass increased 1.5-2.0-fold with increasing loading rate up to maximums of 7% N and 1% P (dry weight basis). Although variable, algal N and P accounted for roughly 70-90% of input N and P at loading rates below 1g TN, 0.15g TP m(-2)d(-1). N and P recovery rates decreased to 50-80% at higher loading rates. There were no significant differences in algal productivity, algal N and P content, or N and P recovery values from raceways with carbon dioxide supplementation compared to values from raceways without added carbon dioxide. Projected annual operational costs are very high on a per animal basis ($780 per cow). However, within the context of reducing nutrient inputs in sensitive watersheds such as the Chesapeake Bay, projected operational costs of $11 per kgN are well below the costs cited for upgrading existing water treatment plants.

  20. Biogas production from anaerobic digestion of Spirulina maxima algal biomass

    SciTech Connect

    Samson, R.; LeDuy, A.

    1982-08-01

    The semimicroscopic blue-green alga Spirulina maxima makes an ideal substrate for anaerobic digestion because it is easy to harvest, it can use carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as its carbon source, and its fermentability is higher than that of other small algae. Digestion experiments demonstrated that S. maxima can serve as the sole nutrient for biogas production and that municipal sewage sludge, when adapted to this new substrate, is very stable. During semicontinuous daily-fed trials under non-optimal conditions at an 0.06 lb volatile solids (VS)/ft/sup 3/ (0.97 kg VS/m/sup 3/) loading rate, 33-day retention time, and 86/sup 0/F (30/sup 0/C) digestion temperature, the daily methane yield was 4.2 CF/lb (0.26 m/sup 3//kg) VS added, which represents 47% of the maximum theoretical yield. Studies on optimizing the process are underway.

  1. A Thermophilic Ionic Liquid-Tolerant Cellulase Cocktail for the Production of Cellulosic Biofuels

    PubMed Central

    Park, Joshua I.; Steen, Eric J.; Burd, Helcio; Evans, Sophia S.; Redding-Johnson, Alyssa M.; Batth, Tanveer; Benke, Peter I.; D'haeseleer, Patrik; Sun, Ning; Sale, Kenneth L.; Keasling, Jay D.; Lee, Taek Soon; Petzold, Christopher J.; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila; Singer, Steven W.; Simmons, Blake A.; Gladden, John M.

    2012-01-01

    Generation of biofuels from sugars in lignocellulosic biomass is a promising alternative to liquid fossil fuels, but efficient and inexpensive bioprocessing configurations must be developed to make this technology commercially viable. One of the major barriers to commercialization is the recalcitrance of plant cell wall polysaccharides to enzymatic hydrolysis. Biomass pretreatment with ionic liquids (ILs) enables efficient saccharification of biomass, but residual ILs inhibit both saccharification and microbial fuel production, requiring extensive washing after IL pretreatment. Pretreatment itself can also produce biomass-derived inhibitory compounds that reduce microbial fuel production. Therefore, there are multiple points in the process from biomass to biofuel production that must be interrogated and optimized to maximize fuel production. Here, we report the development of an IL-tolerant cellulase cocktail by combining thermophilic bacterial glycoside hydrolases produced by a mixed consortia with recombinant glycoside hydrolases. This enzymatic cocktail saccharifies IL-pretreated biomass at higher temperatures and in the presence of much higher IL concentrations than commercial fungal cocktails. Sugars obtained from saccharification of IL-pretreated switchgrass using this cocktail can be converted into biodiesel (fatty acid ethyl-esters or FAEEs) by a metabolically engineered strain of E. coli. During these studies, we found that this biodiesel-producing E. coli strain was sensitive to ILs and inhibitors released by saccharification. This cocktail will enable the development of novel biomass to biofuel bioprocessing configurations that may overcome some of the barriers to production of inexpensive cellulosic biofuels. PMID:22649505

  2. A thermophilic ionic liquid-tolerant cellulase cocktail for the production of cellulosic biofuels.

    PubMed

    Park, Joshua I; Steen, Eric J; Burd, Helcio; Evans, Sophia S; Redding-Johnson, Alyssa M; Batth, Tanveer; Benke, Peter I; D'haeseleer, Patrik; Sun, Ning; Sale, Kenneth L; Keasling, Jay D; Lee, Taek Soon; Petzold, Christopher J; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila; Singer, Steven W; Simmons, Blake A; Gladden, John M

    2012-01-01

    Generation of biofuels from sugars in lignocellulosic biomass is a promising alternative to liquid fossil fuels, but efficient and inexpensive bioprocessing configurations must be developed to make this technology commercially viable. One of the major barriers to commercialization is the recalcitrance of plant cell wall polysaccharides to enzymatic hydrolysis. Biomass pretreatment with ionic liquids (ILs) enables efficient saccharification of biomass, but residual ILs inhibit both saccharification and microbial fuel production, requiring extensive washing after IL pretreatment. Pretreatment itself can also produce biomass-derived inhibitory compounds that reduce microbial fuel production. Therefore, there are multiple points in the process from biomass to biofuel production that must be interrogated and optimized to maximize fuel production. Here, we report the development of an IL-tolerant cellulase cocktail by combining thermophilic bacterial glycoside hydrolases produced by a mixed consortia with recombinant glycoside hydrolases. This enzymatic cocktail saccharifies IL-pretreated biomass at higher temperatures and in the presence of much higher IL concentrations than commercial fungal cocktails. Sugars obtained from saccharification of IL-pretreated switchgrass using this cocktail can be converted into biodiesel (fatty acid ethyl-esters or FAEEs) by a metabolically engineered strain of E. coli. During these studies, we found that this biodiesel-producing E. coli strain was sensitive to ILs and inhibitors released by saccharification. This cocktail will enable the development of novel biomass to biofuel bioprocessing configurations that may overcome some of the barriers to production of inexpensive cellulosic biofuels.

  3. 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

  4. Phylogenomic study of lipid genes involved in microalgal biofuel production-candidate gene mining and metabolic pathway analyses.

    PubMed

    Misra, Namrata; Panda, Prasanna Kumar; Parida, Bikram Kumar; Mishra, Barada Kanta

    2012-01-01

    Optimizing microalgal biofuel production using metabolic engineering tools requires an in-depth understanding of the structure-function relationship of genes involved in lipid biosynthetic pathway. In the present study, genome-wide identification and characterization of 398 putative genes involved in lipid biosynthesis in Arabidopsis thaliana Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Volvox carteri, Ostreococcus lucimarinus, Ostreococcus tauri and Cyanidioschyzon merolae was undertaken on the basis of their conserved motif/domain organization and phylogenetic profile. The results indicated that the core lipid metabolic pathways in all the species are carried out by a comparable number of orthologous proteins. Although the fundamental gene organizations were observed to be invariantly conserved between microalgae and Arabidopsis genome, with increased order of genome complexity there seems to be an association with more number of genes involved in triacylglycerol (TAG) biosynthesis and catabolism. Further, phylogenomic analysis of the genes provided insights into the molecular evolution of lipid biosynthetic pathway in microalgae and confirm the close evolutionary proximity between the Streptophyte and Chlorophyte lineages. Together, these studies will improve our understanding of the global lipid metabolic pathway and contribute to the engineering of regulatory networks of algal strains for higher accumulation of oil.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Duncan

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  11. 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....

  12. Algal Biomass Analysis by Laser-Based Analytical Techniques—A Review

    PubMed Central

    Pořízka, Pavel; Prochazková, Petra; Prochazka, David; Sládková, Lucia; Novotný, Jan; Petrilak, Michal; Brada, Michal; Samek, Ota; Pilát, Zdeněk; Zemánek, Pavel; Adam, Vojtěch; Kizek, René; Novotný, Karel; Kaiser, Jozef

    2014-01-01

    Algal biomass that is represented mainly by commercially grown algal strains has recently found many potential applications in various fields of interest. Its utilization has been found advantageous in the fields of bioremediation, biofuel production and the food industry. This paper reviews recent developments in the analysis of algal biomass with the main focus on the Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and partly Laser-Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma techniques. The advantages of the selected laser-based analytical techniques are revealed and their fields of use are discussed in detail. PMID:25251409

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Lipid metabolism and potentials of biofuel and high added-value oil production in red algae.

    PubMed

    Sato, Naoki; Moriyama, Takashi; Mori, Natsumi; Toyoshima, Masakazu

    2017-04-01

    Biomass production is currently explored in microalgae, macroalgae and land plants. Microalgal biofuel development has been performed mostly in green algae. In the Japanese tradition, macrophytic red algae such as Pyropia yezoensis and Gelidium crinale have been utilized as food and industrial materials. Researches on the utilization of unicellular red microalgae such as Cyanidioschyzon merolae and Porphyridium purpureum started only quite recently. Red algae have relatively large plastid genomes harboring more than 200 protein-coding genes that support the biosynthetic capacity of the plastid. Engineering the plastid genome is a unique potential of red microalgae. In addition, large-scale growth facilities of P. purpureum have been developed for industrial production of biofuels. C. merolae has been studied as a model alga for cell and molecular biological analyses with its completely determined genomes and transformation techniques. Its acidic and warm habitat makes it easy to grow this alga axenically in large scales. Its potential as a biofuel producer is recently documented under nitrogen-limited conditions. Metabolic pathways of the accumulation of starch and triacylglycerol and the enzymes involved therein are being elucidated. Engineering these regulatory mechanisms will open a possibility of exploiting the full capability of production of biofuel and high added-value oil. In the present review, we will describe the characteristics and potential of these algae as biotechnological seeds.

  16. 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.

  17. Effect of ozone on algal organic matters as precursors for disinfection by-products production.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qiang; Liu, Bin; Liu, Yan

    2014-08-01

    The effect of ozone dose on algae (Microcystic aeruginosa), algal extracellular organic matters (EOM), humic acids (HA) and four model compounds: bovine serum albumin (BSA), starch, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and fish oil as precursors for disinfection by-products (DBPs) production was investigated. Algae showed the highest DBPs formation (71.8 microg mg-1 total organic carbon (TOC)) than other samples. Only BSA showed lower chloroform yield (5.9 microg mg-1 TOC) than haloacetic acids, HAAs (11.2 microg mg-1 TOC). Algae, EOM, starch, DNA, fish oil and HA all showed higher chloroform yields (46.1, 23.8, 8.9, 37.1, 44.0 and 33.7 microg mg-1 TOC, respectively) than HAAs (25.7, 20.2, 6.3, 10.0, 13.1 and 18.4 microg mg-1 TOC, respectively). Pre-ozonation increased DBPs, especially chloroform, formation from algae and DNA significantly. With the increase in ozone doses, DBPs yields of algae and DNA increased 19.0 and 34.5 microg mg-1 TOC, chloroform yields of algae and DNA increased 15.3 and 30.4 microg mg-1 TOC, respectively. However, pre-ozonation decreased DBPs formation from starch, fish oil and HA, and the corresponding decrease amount was 2.4, 26.9 and 9.5 microg mg-1 TOC, respectively. There are no regular change trends of DBPs formation from EOM and BSA with the increase in ozone doses.

  18. 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

  19. Combinatorial life cycle assessment to inform process design of industrial production of algal biodiesel.

    PubMed

    Brentner, Laura B; Eckelman, Matthew J; Zimmerman, Julie B

    2011-08-15

    The use of algae as a feedstock for biodiesel production is a rapidly growing industry, in the United States and globally. A life cycle assessment (LCA) is presented that compares various methods, either proposed or under development, for algal biodiesel to inform the most promising pathways for sustainable full-scale production. For this analysis, the system is divided into five distinct process steps: (1) microalgae cultivation, (2) harvesting and/or dewatering, (3) lipid extraction, (4) conversion (transesterification) into biodiesel, and (5) byproduct management. A number of technology options are considered for each process step and various technology combinations are assessed for their life cycle environmental impacts. The optimal option for each process step is selected yielding a best case scenario, comprised of a flat panel enclosed photobioreactor and direct transesterification of algal cells with supercritical methanol. For a functional unit of 10 GJ biodiesel, the best case production system yields a cumulative energy demand savings of more than 65 GJ, reduces water consumption by 585 m(3) and decreases greenhouse gas emissions by 86% compared to a base case scenario typical of early industrial practices, highlighting the importance of technological innovation in algae processing and providing guidance on promising production pathways.

  20. Algal productivity and nitrate assimilation in an effluent dominated concrete lined stream

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kent, R.; Belitz, K.; Burton, C.A.

    2005-01-01

    This study examined algal productivity and nitrate assimilation in a 2.85 km reach of Cucamonga Creek, California, a concrete lined channel receiving treated municipal wastewater. Stream nitrate concentrations observed at two stations indicated nearly continuous loss throughout the diel study. Nitrate loss in the reach was approximately 11 mg/L/d or 1.0 g/m2/d as N, most of which occurred during daylight. The peak rate of nitrate loss (1.13 mg/l/hr) occurred just prior to an afternoon total CO2 depletion. Gross primary productivity, as estimated by a model using the observed differences in dissolved oxygen between the two stations, was 228 mg/L/d, or 21 g/m2/d as O2. The observed diel variations in productivity, nitrate loss, pH, dissolved oxygen, and CO2 indicate that nitrate loss was primarily due to algal assimilation. The observed levels of productivity and nitrate assimilation were exceptionally high on a mass per volume basis compared to studies on other streams; these rates occurred because of the shallow stream depth. This study suggests that concrete-lined channels can provide an important environmental service: lowering of nitrate concentrations similar to rates observed in biological treatment systems.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Wind-driven interannual variability of sea ice algal production in the western Arctic Chukchi Borderland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watanabe, E.; Onodera, J.; Harada, N.; Aita, M. N.; Ishida, A.; Kishi, M. J.

    2015-10-01

    Seasonal and interannual variability in the biogenic particle sinking flux was recorded using multi-year bottom-tethered sediment trap mooring systems in the Northwind Abyssal Plain (Station NAP: 75° N, 162° W, 1975 m water depth) of the western Arctic Chukchi Borderland. Trapped particle flux at a median depth of 184 m had an obvious peak and dominance of sea ice-related diatom assemblages in August 2011. The observed particle flux was considerably suppressed throughout summer 2012. In the present study, the response of ice algal production and biomass to wind-driven changes in the physical environment was addressed using a pan-Arctic sea ice-ocean modeling approach. A sea ice ecosystem with ice algae was newly incorporated into the lower-trophic marine ecosystem model, which was previously coupled with a high-resolution (i.e., 5 km horizontal grid size) sea ice-ocean general circulation model. Seasonal model experiments covering 2-year mooring periods indicated that primary productivity of ice algae around the Chukchi Borderland depended on basin-scale wind patterns via various processes. Easterly winds in the southern part of a distinct Beaufort High supplied nutrient-rich water for euphotic zones of the NAP region via both surface Ekman transport of Chukchi shelf water and vertical turbulent mixing with underlying nutricline water in 2011. In contrast, northwesterly winds flowing in the northern part of an extended Siberian High transported oligotrophic water within the Beaufort Gyre circulation toward the NAP region in 2012. The modeled ice algal biomass during summer reflected the differences in nutrient distribution. The modeled sinking flux of particulate organic nitrogen (PON) was comparable with the time series obtained from sediment trap data in summer 2011. In contrast, lateral advection of ice algal patches of shelf origin during a great cyclone event may have caused a modeled PON flux bias in 2012. Sensitivity experiments revealed several

  4. 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.

  5. Hybrid-renewable processes for biofuels production: concentrated solar pyrolysis of biomass residues

    SciTech Connect

    George, Anthe; Geier, Manfred; Dedrick, Daniel E.

    2014-10-01

    The viability of thermochemically-derived biofuels can be greatly enhanced by reducing the process parasitic energy loads. Integrating renewable power into biofuels production is one method by which these efficiency drains can be eliminated. There are a variety of such potentially viable "hybrid-renewable" approaches; one is to integrate concentrated solar power (CSP) to power biomass-to-liquid fuels (BTL) processes. Barriers to CSP integration into BTL processes are predominantly the lack of fundamental kinetic and mass transport data to enable appropriate systems analysis and reactor design. A novel design for the reactor has been created that can allow biomass particles to be suspended in a flow gas, and be irradiated with a simulated solar flux. Pyrolysis conditions were investigated and a comparison between solar and non-solar biomass pyrolysis was conducted in terms of product distributions and pyrolysis oil quality. A novel method was developed to analyse pyrolysis products, and investigate their stability.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

  9. Development of an efficient algal H{sub 2}-production system

    SciTech Connect

    Ghirardi, M.L.; Flynn, T.; Forestier, M.; Seibert, M.

    1998-08-01

    Two major problems facing the development of a commercial photobiological algal H{sub 2}-producing system are the low rates of H{sub 2} evolution and the sensitivity of the H{sub 2}-evolving enzyme system to O{sub 2}, a by-product of the photosynthetic water-splitting process. The objective of this project is to generate O{sub 2}-tolerant mutants from the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii that are high producers of H{sub 2} for use in a photobiological water-splitting, H{sub 2}-producing system that is cost effective, renewable, scalable, and non-polluting. The authors are currently employing a dual approach to address the O{sub 2}-sensitivity problem. The first approach, based on classical mutagenesis and selection procedures, depends on the ability of a mutagenized population of algal cells to survive under conditions that require them to either produce (H{sub 2}-production selection) or consume (photoreductive selection) H{sub 2} in the presence of controlled amounts of O{sub 2}. The second approach, based on molecular genetic strategies, involves the cloning of the hydrogenase gene from C. reinhardtii and identification of expression factors required for optimal H{sub 2}-evolution activity. The latter approach will complement the first in the future goal of generating a commercial organism suitable for use in the private sector.

  10. Wastewater treatment high rate algal pond biomass for bio-crude oil production.

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

    This study investigates the production potential of bio-crude from wastewater treatment high rate algal pond (WWT HRAP) biomass in terms of yield, elemental/chemical composition and higher heating value (HHV). Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of the biomass slurry (2.2wt% solid content, 19.7kJ/g HHV) was conducted at a range of temperatures (150-300°C) for one hour. The bio-crude yield and HHV varied in range of 3.1-24.9wt% and 37.5-38.9kJ/g, respectively. The bio-crudes were comprised of 71-72.4wt% carbon, 0.9-4.8wt% nitrogen, 8.7-9.8wt% hydrogen and 12-15.7wt% oxygen. GC-MS analysis indicated that pyrroles, indoles, amides and fatty acids were the most abundant bio-crude compounds. HTL of WWT HRAP biomass resulted, also, in production of 10.5-26wt% water-soluble compounds (containing up to 293mg/L ammonia), 1.0-9.3wt% gas and 44.8-85.5wt% solid residue (12.2-18.1kJ/g). The aqueous phase has a great potential to be used as an ammonia source for further algal cultivation and the solid residue could be used as a process fuel source.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kutchan, Toni M.

    2015-12-02

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

  13. Marine algal natural products with anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    For their various bioactivities, biomaterials derived from marine algae are important ingredients in many products, such as cosmetics and drugs for treating cancer and other diseases. This mini-review comprehensively compares the bioactivities and biological functions of biomaterials from red, green, brown, and blue-green algae. The anti-oxidative effects and bioactivities of several different crude extracts of algae have been evaluated both in vitro and in vivo. Natural products derived from marine algae protect cells by modulating the effects of oxidative stress. Because oxidative stress plays important roles in inflammatory reactions and in carcinogenesis, marine algal natural products have potential for use in anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory drugs. PMID:23724847

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2014-10-10

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

  19. 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.

  20. Life cycle assessment of biodiesel production from algal bio-crude oils extracted under subcritical water conditions.

    PubMed

    Ponnusamy, Sundaravadivelnathan; Reddy, Harvind Kumar; Muppaneni, Tapaswy; Downes, Cara Meghan; Deng, Shuguang

    2014-10-01

    A life cycle assessment study is performed for the energy requirements and greenhouse gas emissions in an algal biodiesel production system. Subcritical water (SCW) extraction was applied for extracting bio-crude oil from algae, and conventional transesterification method was used for converting the algal oil to biodiesel. 58MJ of energy is required to produce 1kg of biodiesel without any co-products management, of which 36% was spent on cultivation and 56% on lipid extraction. SCW extraction with thermal energy recovery reduces the energy consumption by 3-5 folds when compared to the traditional solvent extraction. It is estimated that 1kg of algal biodiesel fixes about 0.6kg of CO2. An optimized case considering the energy credits from co-products could further reduce the total energy demand. The energy demand for producing 1kg of biodiesel in the optimized case is 28.23MJ.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  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. Energy Security Requires Diversity: An Argument for The Defense Production Act Title III Biofuel Initiative

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-06-19

    the United States . 125 The President is further authorized to ensure that critical components, critical technology items, essential materials , and...plant mass that is not part of human diet and is not cultivated or is a byproduct of cultivated (for example forest woody biomass , corn stover...security. The United States Navy has taken the lead in this charge by proposing the Defense Production Act (DPA) Title III Biofuel Initiative to

  7. Algal biorefinery-based industry: an approach to address fuel and food insecurity for a carbon-smart world.

    PubMed

    Subhadra, Bobban

    2011-01-15

    Food and fuel production are intricately interconnected. In a carbon-smart society, it is imperative to produce both food and fuel sustainably. Integration of the emerging biorefinery concept with other industries can bring many environmental deliverables while mitigating several sustainability-related issues with respect to greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel usage, land use change for fuel production and future food insufficiency. A new biorefinery-based integrated industrial ecology encompasses the different value chain of products, coproducts, and services from the biorefinery industries. This paper discusses a framework to integrate the algal biofuel-based biorefinery, a booming biofuel sector, with other industries such as livestock, lignocellulosic and aquaculture. Using the USA as an example, this paper also illustrates the benefits associated with sustainable production of fuel and food. Policy and regulatory initiatives for synergistic development of the algal biofuel sector with other industries can bring many sustainable solutions for the future existence of mankind.

  8. 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.

  9. Pretreated algal bloom as a substantial nutrient source for microalgae cultivation for biodiesel production.

    PubMed

    Jain, Priyanka; Arora, Neha; Mehtani, Juhi; Pruthi, Vikas; Majumder, C B

    2017-03-28

    In the present investigation, toxic algal bloom, a copious and low-cost nutrient source was deployed for cultivating Chlorella pyrenoidosa. Various pre-treatment methods using combinations of acid/alkali and autoclave/microwave were tested for preparing hydrolysates and compared with minimal media (BG-11). Acid autoclave treatment resulted in maximum carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous content which substantially boosted the growth of the microalgal cells (4.36g/L) as compared to rest of the media. The microalga grown in this media also showed enhanced lipid content (43.2%) and lipid productivity (188mg/L/d) as compared to BG-11 (19.42mg/L/d). The biochemical composition showed 1.6-fold declines in protein while 1.27 folds in carbohydrate content as compared to BG-11. The fatty acid profile revealed the presence of C14-C22 with increased amount of monounsaturated fatty acids as compared to BG-11. The results obtained showed that algal bloom can be used as a potential nutrient source for microalgae.

  10. Effects on carbon and nitrogen emissions due to swine manure removal for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Weaver, Kim H; Harper, Lowry A; Brown, Sarah M

    2012-01-01

    Methane (CH) and ammonia (NH) are emitted from swine-manure processing lagoons, contributing to global climate change and reducing air quality. Manure diverted to biofuel production is proposed as a means to reduce CH emissions. At a swine confined animal feeding operation in the U.S. Central Great Basin, animal manure was diverted from 12 farms to a biofuel facility and converted to methanol. Ammonia emissions were determined using the De Visscher Model from measured data of dissolved lagoon ammoniacal N concentrations, pH, temperature, and wind speed at the lagoon sites. Other lagoon gas emissions were measured with subsurface gas collection devices and gas chromatography analysis. During 2 yr of study, CO and CH emissions from the primary lagoons decreased 11 and 12%, respectfully, as a result of the biofuel process, compared with concurrently measured control lagoon emissions. Ammonia emissions increased 47% compared with control lagoons. The reduction of CH and increase in NH emissions agrees with a short-term study measured at this location by Lagrangian inverse dispersion analysis. The increase in NH emissions was primarily due to an increase in lagoon solution pH attributable to decreased methanogenesis. Also observed due to biofuel production was a 20% decrease in conversion of total ammoniacal N to N, a secondary process for the removal of N in anaerobic waste lagoons. The increase in NH emissions can be partially attributed to the decrease in N production by a proposed NH conversion to N mechanism. This mechanism predicts that a decrease in NH conversion to N increases ammoniacal N pH. Both effects increase NH emissions. It is unknown whether the decrease in NH conversion to N is a direct or physical result of the decrease in methanogenesis. Procedures and practices intended to reduce emissions of one pollutant can have an unintended consequence on the emissions of another pollutant.

  11. Fish Sound Production in the Presence of Harmful Algal Blooms in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Wall, Carrie C.; Lembke, Chad; Hu, Chuanmin; Mann, David A.

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents the first known research to examine sound production by fishes during harmful algal blooms (HABs). Most fish sound production is species-specific and repetitive, enabling passive acoustic monitoring to identify the distribution and behavior of soniferous species. Autonomous gliders that collect passive acoustic data and environmental data concurrently can be used to establish the oceanographic conditions surrounding sound-producing organisms. Three passive acoustic glider missions were conducted off west-central Florida in October 2011, and September and October 2012. The deployment period for two missions was dictated by the presence of red tide events with the glider path specifically set to encounter toxic Karenia brevis blooms (a.k.a red tides). Oceanographic conditions measured by the glider were significantly correlated to the variation in sounds from six known or suspected species of fish across the three missions with depth consistently being the most significant factor. At the time and space scales of this study, there was no detectable effect of red tide on sound production. Sounds were still recorded within red tide-affected waters from species with overlapping depth ranges. These results suggest that the fishes studied here did not alter their sound production nor migrate out of red tide-affected areas. Although these results are preliminary because of the limited measurements, the data and methods presented here provide a proof of principle and could serve as protocol for future studies on the effects of algal blooms on the behavior of soniferous fishes. To fully capture the effects of episodic events, we suggest that stationary or vertically profiling acoustic recorders and environmental sampling be used as a complement to glider measurements. PMID:25551564

  12. Fish sound production in the presence of harmful algal blooms in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Wall, Carrie C; Lembke, Chad; Hu, Chuanmin; Mann, David A

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents the first known research to examine sound production by fishes during harmful algal blooms (HABs). Most fish sound production is species-specific and repetitive, enabling passive acoustic monitoring to identify the distribution and behavior of soniferous species. Autonomous gliders that collect passive acoustic data and environmental data concurrently can be used to establish the oceanographic conditions surrounding sound-producing organisms. Three passive acoustic glider missions were conducted off west-central Florida in October 2011, and September and October 2012. The deployment period for two missions was dictated by the presence of red tide events with the glider path specifically set to encounter toxic Karenia brevis blooms (a.k.a red tides). Oceanographic conditions measured by the glider were significantly correlated to the variation in sounds from six known or suspected species of fish across the three missions with depth consistently being the most significant factor. At the time and space scales of this study, there was no detectable effect of red tide on sound production. Sounds were still recorded within red tide-affected waters from species with overlapping depth ranges. These results suggest that the fishes studied here did not alter their sound production nor migrate out of red tide-affected areas. Although these results are preliminary because of the limited measurements, the data and methods presented here provide a proof of principle and could serve as protocol for future studies on the effects of algal blooms on the behavior of soniferous fishes. To fully capture the effects of episodic events, we suggest that stationary or vertically profiling acoustic recorders and environmental sampling be used as a complement to glider measurements.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Recent Advances in Algal Genetic Tool Development

    DOE PAGES

    R. Dahlin, Lukas; T. Guarnieri, Michael

    2016-06-24

    The goal of achieving cost-effective biofuels and bioproducts derived from algal biomass will require improvements along the entire value chain, including identification of robust, high-productivity strains and development of advanced genetic tools. Though there have been modest advances in development of genetic systems for the model alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, progress in development of algal genetic tools, especially as applied to non-model algae, has generally lagged behind that of more commonly utilized laboratory and industrial microbes. This is in part due to the complex organellar structure of algae, including robust cell walls and intricate compartmentalization of target loci, as well asmore » prevalent gene silencing mechanisms, which hinder facile utilization of conventional genetic engineering tools and methodologies. However, recent progress in global tool development has opened the door for implementation of strain-engineering strategies in industrially-relevant algal strains. Here, we review recent advances in algal genetic tool development and applications in eukaryotic microalgae.« less

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

    2016-04-15

    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.

  19. Algal cell disruption using microbubbles to localize ultrasonic energy.

    PubMed

    Krehbiel, Joel D; Schideman, Lance C; King, Daniel A; Freund, Jonathan B

    2014-12-01

    Microbubbles were added to an algal solution with the goal of improving cell disruption efficiency and the net energy balance for algal biofuel production. Experimental results showed that disruption increases with increasing peak rarefaction ultrasound pressure over the range studied: 1.90 to 3.07 MPa. Additionally, ultrasound cell disruption increased by up to 58% by adding microbubbles, with peak disruption occurring in the range of 10(8)microbubbles/ml. The localization of energy in space and time provided by the bubbles improve efficiency: energy requirements for such a process were estimated to be one-fourth of the available heat of combustion of algal biomass and one-fifth of currently used cell disruption methods. This increase in energy efficiency could make microbubble enhanced ultrasound viable for bioenergy applications and is expected to integrate well with current cell harvesting methods based upon dissolved air flotation.

  20. Regulation of the pigment optical density of an algal cell: filling the gap between photosynthetic productivity in the laboratory and in mass culture.

    PubMed

    Formighieri, Cinzia; Franck, Fabrice; Bassi, Roberto

    2012-11-30

    An increasing number of investors is looking at algae as a viable source of biofuels, beside cultivation for human/animal feeding or to extract high-value chemicals and pharmaceuticals. However, present biomass productivities are far below theoretical estimations implying that a large part of the available photosynthetically active radiation is not used in photosynthesis. Light utilisation inefficiency and rapid light attenuation within a mass culture due to high pigment optical density of wild type strains have been proposed as major limiting factors reducing solar-to-biomass conversion efficiency. Analysis of growth yields of mutants with reduced light-harvesting antennae and/or reduced overall pigment concentration per cell, generated by either mutagenesis or genetic engineering, could help understanding limiting factors for biomass accumulation in photobioreactor. Meanwhile, studies on photo-acclimation can provide additional information on the average status of algal cells in a photobioreactor to be used in modelling-based predictions. Identifying limiting factors in solar-to-biomass conversion efficiency is the first step for planning strategies of genetic improvement and domestication of algae to finally fill the gap between theoretical and industrial photosynthetic productivity.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    DOE PAGES

    Tang, Xiaoyu; da Costa Sousa, Leonardo; Jin, Mingjie; ...

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Outdoor Cultivation of Marine Diatoms for Year-Round Production of Biofuels.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Mitsufumi; Nojima, Daisuke; Nonoyama, Tomomi; Ikeda, Kiichi; Maeda, Yoshiaki; Yoshino, Tomoko; Tanaka, Tsuyoshi

    2017-03-25

    Biofuel production using microalgae is believed to have the advantage of continuous year-round production over crop plants, which have strong seasonality. However, actual year-round production of microalgal lipids using outdoor mass cultivation has rarely been demonstrated. In our previous study, it was demonstrated that the oleaginous diatom, Fistulifera solaris, was culturable in outdoor bioreactors from spring to autumn, whereas biomass and lipid production in winter failed because F. solaris did not grow below 15 °C. Therefore, another candidate strain that is culturable in winter is required. In this study, a cold-tolerant diatom, Mayamaea sp. JPCC CTDA0820, was selected as a promising candidate for biofuel production in winter. Laboratory-scale characterization revealed that this diatom was culturable at temperatures as low as 10 °C. Subsequently, F. solaris (April-October) and Mayamaea sp. JPCC CTDA0820 (November-March) were cultured in outdoor open-pond bioreactors, wherein year-round production of diatom lipids was successfully demonstrated. The maximal values of areal productivities of biomass and lipids reached to 9.79 and 1.80 g/(m² day) for F. solaris, and 8.62 and 0.92 g/(m² day) for Mayamaea sp. JPCC CTDA0820, respectively. With the combined use of these two diatom species, stable year-round production of microalgal lipids became possible.

  6. 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...

  7. Organic carbon, influent microbial diversity and temperature strongly influence algal diversity and biomass in raceway ponds treating raw municipal wastewater.

    PubMed

    Cho, Dae-Hyun; Ramanan, Rishiram; Heo, Jina; Kang, Zion; Kim, Byung-Hyuk; Ahn, Chi-Yong; Oh, Hee-Mock; Kim, Hee-Sik

    2015-09-01

    Algae based wastewater treatment coupled to biofuel production has financial benefits and practical difficulties. This study evaluated the factors influencing diversity and growth of indigenous algal consortium cultivated on untreated municipal wastewater in a high rate algal pond (HRAP) for a period of 1 year using multivariate statistics. Diversity analyses revealed the presence of Chlorophyta, Cyanophyta and Bacillariophyta. Dominant microalgal genera by biovolume in various seasons were Scenedesmus sp., Microcystis sp., and Chlorella sp. Scenedesmus sp., persisted throughout the year but none of three strains co-dominated with the other. The most significant factors affecting genus dominance were temperature, inflow cyanophyta and organic carbon concentration. Cyanophyta concentration affected microalgal biomass and diversity, whereas temperature impacted biomass. Preferred diversity of microalgae is not sustained in wastewater systems but is obligatory for biofuel production. This study serves as a guideline to sustain desired microalgal consortium in wastewater treatment plants for biofuel production.

  8. Stimulation of commercial algal biomass production by the use of geothermal water for temperature control

    SciTech Connect

    Bedell, G.W.

    1985-01-01

    The first pilot algal biomass production project to use geothermal water for the maintenance of optimal culture temperatures in Nevada is described. The project was initiated during the fall of 1982 by TAD's Enterprises, Inc., Wabuska (near Yerington), Nevada. The facility was designed to produce Spirulina under conditions that would more than meet the requirements of the United States Food and Drug Administration for sale to the health food market. As a result, the algae were grown in large plastic bags in order to prevent contamination by extraneous organisms. Although this system has not been tuned to its optimum potential, preliminary yields obtained over most of a year indicate not only the feasibility of the project but also a stimulation of daily output yields when compared to the daily growth yields for Spirulina reported by Israel.

  9. Microalgae from domestic wastewater facility's high rate algal pond: Lipids extraction, characterization and biodiesel production.

    PubMed

    Drira, Neila; Piras, Alessandra; Rosa, Antonella; Porcedda, Silvia; Dhaouadi, Hatem

    2016-04-01

    In this study, the harvesting of a biomass from a high rate algal pond (HRAP) of a real-scale domestic wastewater treatment facility and its potential as a biomaterial for the production of biodiesel were investigated. Increasing the medium pH to 12 induced high flocculation efficiency of up to 96% of the biomass through both sweep flocculation and charge neutralization. Lipids extracted by ultrasounds from this biomass contained around 70% of fatty acids, with palmitic and stearic acids being the most abundant. The extract obtained by supercritical CO2 contained 86% of fatty acids. Both conventional solvents extracts contained only around 10% of unsaturated fats, whereas supercritical CO2 extract contained more than 40% of unsaturated fatty acids. This same biomass was also subject to direct extractive-transesterification in a microwave reactor to produce fatty acid methyl esters, also known as, raw biodiesel.

  10. 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.

  11. Microalgae-based biorefinery--from biofuels to natural products.

    PubMed

    Yen, Hong-Wei; Hu, I-Chen; Chen, Chun-Yen; Ho, Shih-Hsin; Lee, Duu-Jong; Chang, Jo-Shu

    2013-05-01

    The potential for biodiesel production from microalgal lipids and for CO2 mitigation due to photoautotrophic growth of microalgae have recently been recognized. Microalgae biomass also has other valuable components, including carbohydrates, long chain fatty acids, pigments and proteins. The microalgae-based carbohydrates consist mainly of cellulose and starch without lignin; thus they can be ready carbon source for the fermentation industry. Some microalgae can produce long chain fatty acids (such as DHA and EPA) as valuable health food supplements. In addition, microalgal pigments and proteins have considerable potential for many medical applications. This review article presents comprehensive information on the current state of these commercial applications, as well as the utilization and characteristics of the microalgal components, in addition to the key factors and challenges that should be addressed during the production of these materials, and thus provides a useful report that can aid the development of an efficient microalgae-based biorefinery process.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Power of Plankton: Effects of Algal Biodiversity on Biocrude Production and Stability.

    PubMed

    Narwani, Anita; Lashaway, Aubrey R; Hietala, David C; Savage, Phillip E; Cardinale, Bradley J

    2016-12-06

    Algae-derived biocrude oil is a possible renewable energy alternative to fossil fuel based crude oil. Outdoor cultivation in raceway ponds is estimated to provide a better return on energy invested than closed photobioreactor systems. However, in these open systems, algal crops are subjected to environmental variation in temperature and irradiance, as well as biotic invasions which can cause costly crop instabilities. In this paper, we used an experimental approach to investigate the ability of species richness to maximize and stabilize biocrude production in the face of weekly temperature fluctuations between 17 and 27 °C, relative to a constant-temperature control. We hypothesized that species richness would lead to higher mean biocrude production and greater stability of biocrude production over time in the variable temperature environment. Counter to our hypothesis, species richness tended to cause a decline in mean biocrude production, regardless of environmental temperature variation. However, biodiversity did have stabilizing effects on biocrude production over time in the variable temperature environment and not in the constant temperature environment. Altogether, our results suggest that when the most productive and stable monoculture is unknown, inoculating raceway ponds with a diverse mixture of algae will tend to ensure stable harvests over time.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-07-01

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

  2. Plant triacylglycerols as feedstocks for the production of biofuels.

    PubMed

    Durrett, Timothy P; Benning, Christoph; Ohlrogge, John

    2008-05-01

    Triacylglycerols produced by plants are one of the most energy-rich and abundant forms of reduced carbon available from nature. Given their chemical similarities, plant oils represent a logical substitute for conventional diesel, a non-renewable energy source. However, as plant oils are too viscous for use in modern diesel engines, they are converted to fatty acid esters. The resulting fuel is commonly referred to as biodiesel, and offers many advantages over conventional diesel. Chief among these is that biodiesel is derived from renewable sources. In addition, the production and subsequent consumption of biodiesel results in less greenhouse gas emission compared to conventional diesel. However, the widespread adoption of biodiesel faces a number of challenges. The biggest of these is a limited supply of biodiesel feedstocks. Thus, plant oil production needs to be greatly increased for biodiesel to replace a major proportion of the current and future fuel needs of the world. An increased understanding of how plants synthesize fatty acids and triacylglycerols will ultimately allow the development of novel energy crops. For example, knowledge of the regulation of oil synthesis has suggested ways to produce triacylglycerols in abundant non-seed tissues. Additionally, biodiesel has poor cold-temperature performance and low oxidative stability. Improving the fuel characteristics of biodiesel can be achieved by altering the fatty acid composition. In this regard, the generation of transgenic soybean lines with high oleic acid content represents one way in which plant biotechnology has already contributed to the improvement of biodiesel.

  3. Biofuel feedstocks

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1983-09-01

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

  6. Sea-ice algal primary production and nitrogen uptake rates off East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roukaerts, Arnout; Cavagna, Anne-Julie; Fripiat, François; Lannuzel, Delphine; Meiners, Klaus M.; Dehairs, Frank

    2016-09-01

    Antarctic pack ice comprises about 90% of the sea ice in the southern hemisphere and plays an important structuring role in Antarctic marine ecosystems, yet measurements of ice algal primary production and nitrogen uptake rates remain scarce. During the early austral spring of 2012, measurements for primary production rates and uptake of two nitrogen substrates (nitrate and ammonium) were conducted at 5 stations in the East Antarctic pack ice (63-66°S, 115-125°E). Carbon uptake was low (3.52 mg C m-2 d-1) but a trend of increased production was observed towards the end of the voyage suggesting pre-bloom conditions. Significant snow covers reaching, up to 0.8 m, induced strong light limitation. Two different regimes were observed in the ice with primarily nitrate based 'new' production (f-ratio: 0.80-0.95) at the bottom of the ice cover, due to nutrient-replete conditions at the ice-water interface, and common for pre-bloom conditions. In the sea-ice interior, POC:PN ratios (20-70) and higher POC:Chl a ratios suggested the presence of large amounts of detrital material trapped in the ice and here ammonium was the prevailing nitrogen substrate. This suggests that most primary production in the sea-ice interior was regenerated and supported by a microbial food web, recycling detritus.

  7. Engineering cyanobacteria for direct biofuel production from CO2.

    PubMed

    Savakis, Philipp; Hellingwerf, Klaas J

    2015-06-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Effects of two different nutrient loads on microalgal production, nutrient removal and photosynthetic efficiency in pilot-scale wastewater high rate algal ponds.

    PubMed

    Sutherland, Donna L; Turnbull, Matthew H; Broady, Paul A; Craggs, Rupert J

    2014-12-01

    When wastewater treatment high rate algal ponds (HRAP) are coupled with resource recovery processes, such as biofuel production, short hydraulic retention times (HRTs) are often favoured to increase the microalgal biomass productivity. However, short HRT can result in increased nutrient load to the HRAP which may negatively impact on the performance of the microalgae. This paper investigate the effects of high (NH4-N mean concentration 39.7 ± 17.9 g m(-3)) and moderate ((NH4-N mean concentration 19.9 ± 8.9 g m(-3)) nutrient loads and short HRT on the performance of microalgae with respect to light absorption, photosynthesis, biomass production and nutrient removal in pilot-scale (total volume 8 m(3)) wastewater treatment HRAPs. Microalgal biomass productivity was significantly higher under high nutrient loads, with a 133% and 126% increase in the chlorophyll-a and VSS areal productivities, respectively. Microalgae were more efficient at assimilating NH4-N from the wastewater under higher nutrient loads compared to moderate loads. Higher microalgal biomass with increased nutrient load resulted in increased light attenuation in the HRAP and lower light absorption efficiency by the microalgae. High nutrient loads also resulted in improved photosynthetic performance with significantly higher maximum rates of electron transport, oxygen production and quantum yield. This experiment demonstrated that microalgal productivity and nutrient removal efficiency were not inhibited by high nutrient loads, however, higher loads resulted in lower water quality in effluent discharge.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Algal Biology Toolbox Workshop Summary Report

    SciTech Connect

    None, None

    2016-08-01

    DOE-EERE's Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) works to accelerate the development of a sustainable, cost-competitive, advanced biofuel industry that can strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality, through research, development, and demonstration projects in partnership with industry, academia, and national laboratory partners. BETO’s Advanced Algal Systems Program (also called the Algae Program) has a long-term applied research and development (R&D) strategy to increase the yields and lower the costs of algal biofuels. The team works with partners to develop new technologies, to integrate technologies at commercially relevant scales, and to conduct crosscutting analyses to better understand the potential and challenges of the algal biofuels industry. Research has indicated that this industry is capable of producing billions of gallons of renewable diesel, gasoline, and jet fuels annually. R&D activities are integrated with BETO’s longstanding effort to accelerate the commercialization of lignocellulosic biofuels.

  14. Simplifying biodiesel production: the direct or 'in situ' transesterification of algal biomass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The ‘in situ’ esterification/transesterification of algal biomass lipids to produce fatty acid methyl esters (FAME), for potential use as biodiesel, was investigated. Commercial algal biomass was employed, containing 20.9 wt percent hexane extractable oil. This consisted of 35.1 wt percent free fa...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Renewable sustainable biocatalyzed electricity production in a photosynthetic algal microbial fuel cell (PAMFC).

    PubMed

    Strik, David P B T B; Terlouw, Hilde; Hamelers, Hubertus V M; Buisman, Cees J N

    2008-12-01

    Electricity production via solar energy capturing by living higher plants and microalgae in combination with microbial fuel cells are attractive because these systems promise to generate useful energy in a renewable, sustainable, and efficient manner. This study describes the proof of principle of a photosynthetic algal microbial fuel cell (PAMFC) based on naturally selected algae and electrochemically active microorganisms in an open system and without addition of instable or toxic mediators. The developed solar-powered PAMFC produced continuously over 100 days renewable biocatalyzed electricity. The sustainable performance of the PAMFC resulted in a maximum current density of 539 mA/m2 projected anode surface area and a maximum power production of 110 mW/m2 surface area photobioreactor. The energy recovery of the PAMFC can be increased by optimization of the photobioreactor, by reducing the competition from non-electrochemically active microorganisms, by increasing the electrode surface and establishment of a further-enriched biofilm. Since the objective is to produce net renewable energy with algae, future research should also focus on the development of low energy input PAMFCs. This is because current algae production systems have energy inputs similar to the energy present in the outcoming valuable products.

  19. Experimental protocol for biodiesel production with isolation of alkenones as coproducts from commercial Isochrysis algal biomass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The need to replace petroleum fuels with alternatives from renewable and more environmentally sustainable sources is of growing importance. Biomass-derived biofuels have gained considerable attention in this regard, however first generation biofuels from edible crops like corn ethanol or soybean bio...

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

    PubMed

    Reijnders, L

    2013-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-03-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

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