Special Issue "Advances in Bio-Fuels Production"

A special issue of ChemEngineering (ISSN 2305-7084).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (23 July 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Yu-Hong Wei
Website
Guest Editor
Graduate School of Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Yuan Ze University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
Interests: lignin degradation; biorefinery; lignin valorization; bio-fuel production; enzyme and microbial technology; bio-based products development; feedstocks and processes development; fermentation technology; bioreactor design
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Continued industrialization and population growth have increased annual energy consumption. Increasing fossil fuel prices and greenhouse gases have motivated the research and development of renewable resources in many countries. Biofuel is a type of energy derived from renewable plant and animal materials. In general, biofuels are most useful in liquid or gas form because they are easier to transport, deliver and burn cleanly. Examples of biofuels include bio-alcohols (such as bioethanol, biobutanol), biodiesel and biogas (such as biomethane, biohydrogen). In this Special Issue of Chemengineering, we want to offer a platform for high-quality publications on these various aspects of bio-fuels production. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles, as well as short communications are invited.

Prof. Yu-Hong Wei
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. ChemEngineering is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Bio-fuels production
  • Bioreactor design for the production of bio-fuels
  • Pretreatment of lignocellulosic feedstocks
  • Cellulose biosynthesis
  • Lignin biosynthesis
  • Alteration of lignin composition New biofuel crops

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
CFD Design of Hydrogenation Reactor for Transformation of Levulinic Acid to γ-Valerolactone (GVL) by using High Boiling Point Organic Fluids
ChemEngineering 2019, 3(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering3020032 - 27 Mar 2019
Abstract
Levulinic acid (LA) has been ranked as one of the “Top 10” building blocks for future bio-refineries as proposed by the US Department of Energy. It is considered one of the most important platform molecules for the production of fine chemicals and fuels [...] Read more.
Levulinic acid (LA) has been ranked as one of the “Top 10” building blocks for future bio-refineries as proposed by the US Department of Energy. It is considered one of the most important platform molecules for the production of fine chemicals and fuels based on its compatibility with existing processes, market economics, and industrial ability to serve as a platform for the synthesis of important derivatives. Hydrogenation of LA to produce γ-valerolactone (GVL) is an active area of research due to the potential of GVL to be used as a biofuel in its own right and for its subsequent transformation into hydrocarbon fuels. This paper contains a new design for a simple, cost effective, and safe hydrogenation reactor for the transformation of levulinic acid to γ-valerolactone (GVL) by utilizing high boiling point organic fluid. The hydrogenation reactor is composed of a heating source—organic fluid (called “DOWTHERM A” or “thermex”) and the catalytic reactor. The advantages of high boiling temperature fluids, along with advances in hydrocracking and reforming technologies driven by the oil and gas industries, make the organic concept more suitable and safer (water coming in contact with liquid metal is well understood in the metallurgical industry to be a steam explosion hazard) for heating the hydrogenation reactor. COMSOL multi-physics software version 4.3b was applied in this work and simultaneously solves the continuity, Navier-Stokes (fluid flow), energy (heat transfer), and diffusion with chemical reaction kinetics equations. It was shown that the heat flux supplied by the DOWTHERM A organic fluid could provide the necessary heat flux required for maintaining the hydrogenation process. It was found that the mass fractions of hydrogen and levulinic acid decreased along the reactor axis. The GVL mass fraction increased along the reactor axis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Bio-Fuels Production)
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Open AccessArticle
Quality Characteristics of Biodiesel Produced from Used Cooking Oil in Southern Europe
ChemEngineering 2019, 3(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering3010019 - 16 Feb 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
The potential of households’ used cooking oil (UCO) recycling for biodiesel production is massive. This study aims to promote the shift from UCO inappropriate disposal to sustainable recycling. UCO is classified as municipal waste under the code 20 01 25 (edible oils and [...] Read more.
The potential of households’ used cooking oil (UCO) recycling for biodiesel production is massive. This study aims to promote the shift from UCO inappropriate disposal to sustainable recycling. UCO is classified as municipal waste under the code 20 01 25 (edible oils and fats), according to the European Waste Catalogue. Inappropriate UCO disposal increases the operating cost of wastewater treatment, the risk of groundwater contamination, as well as the greenhouse gas emissions that are associated with its biodegradation. Recycling UCO-to-biodiesel offers a sustainable solution in the exploitation of a problematic waste and its transformation into an energy resource, thus contributing to the reduction of environmental pollution and fossil fuel dependence. This paper includes critical recommendations in order to overcome bottlenecks to successfully promote the UCO-to-biodiesel chain. Quality control of the biodiesel—produced exclusively from UCO—was performed according to the European Standard EN 14214 and the results are presented in the paper. The analysis studies the outcomes from four Southern European countries (Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece), which hold the top four places in annual per capita olive oil consumption in the European Union (EU). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Bio-Fuels Production)
Open AccessArticle
A Comparative Study of Ultrasound Biodiesel Production Using Different Homogeneous Catalysts
ChemEngineering 2019, 3(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering3010018 - 11 Feb 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Biodiesel (BD) is a liquid fuel that consists of mono alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oil or fat. Recently, biodiesel has received additional attention and intense research has been performed in this field due to its favorable atmospheric [...] Read more.
Biodiesel (BD) is a liquid fuel that consists of mono alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oil or fat. Recently, biodiesel has received additional attention and intense research has been performed in this field due to its favorable atmospheric CO2 balance compared with conventional fossil fuels (net energy balance of 3.0–4.0 MJ/MJ). In this work, a comparison of transesterification of Canola oil with methanol under ultrasound and under mechanical stirring is reported. The general aspects of the ultrasound transesterification process and a comparative study of different types of homogeneous catalysts (NaOH, KOH, CH3ONa, tetramethyl ammonium hydroxide and four guanidines) are described. Special attention is given to ultrasound transesterification reaction using guanidines as catalysts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Bio-Fuels Production)
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Open AccessArticle
UV-Vis Spectroscopy and Chemometrics for the Monitoring of Organosolv Pretreatments
ChemEngineering 2018, 2(4), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering2040045 - 21 Sep 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Lignocellulosic agricultural side products like wheat straw are widely seen as an important contribution to a sustainable future economy. However, the optimization of biorefinery processes, especially the pretreatment step, is crucial for an economically viable biorefinery. The monitoring of this pretreatment process in [...] Read more.
Lignocellulosic agricultural side products like wheat straw are widely seen as an important contribution to a sustainable future economy. However, the optimization of biorefinery processes, especially the pretreatment step, is crucial for an economically viable biorefinery. The monitoring of this pretreatment process in terms of delignification and the generation of the fermentation inhibitors acetic acid, furfural, and hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) is essential in order to adapt the process parameters for a desired outcome and an economical operation. However, traditional wet chemistry methods are time-consuming and not suitable for on-line process monitoring. Therefore, UV-Vis spectroscopy in combination with partial least-squares regression was used for the determination of the concentrations of lignin, acetic acid, furfural, and HMF. Five different data blocks with increasing amounts of impurities were investigated to evaluate the influence of the inevitable impurities on the calibration models. Lignin showed a good prediction accuracy with 95% tolerance intervals between ±0.46 to ±1.6 mg/L for concentrations up to 30 mg/L. Also, the other components could be predicted with a sufficient accuracy for on-line process monitoring. A satisfactory calibration can be obtained with 10 to 20 reference samples valid at process temperatures between 160 °C and 180 °C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Bio-Fuels Production)
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Open AccessArticle
Alternative of Biogas Injection into the Danish Gas Grid System—A Study from Demand Perspective
ChemEngineering 2018, 2(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering2030043 - 05 Sep 2018
Cited by 13
Abstract
The Danish government has set an ambitious target to achieve 100% fossil independence across all energy sectors, which demands optimum utilization of renewable energy sources, such as wind and biogas, by 2050. Biogas production has increased, and the upgrading of biogas offers a [...] Read more.
The Danish government has set an ambitious target to achieve 100% fossil independence across all energy sectors, which demands optimum utilization of renewable energy sources, such as wind and biogas, by 2050. Biogas production has increased, and the upgrading of biogas offers a broad range of applications, such as transportation, and gas grid injection for downstream utilization. The biogas has to meet natural gas quality prior to injection into the gas grid system. The investment costs of the gas grid, upgrading cost, and gas compression costs are the major challenges for integrating the biogas into the existing gas infrastructure. In this investigation, the Wobbe index (WI) for raw biogas and upgraded biogas was measured to evaluate the scenario for biogas injection into the gas grid system. It was found that raw biogas has to improve its WI from 28.3 MJ/m3(n) to a minimum of 50.76 MJ/m3(n) via upgrading, and compressed to 40 bar system, to supply the gas grid system for trading. Then, yearly gas consumption by larger gas consumers was studied to evaluate the alternative approach of biogas utilization to save upgrading and compression costs for gas grid injection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Bio-Fuels Production)
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