Special Issue "Effective Biorefineries through the Co-production of Chemicals and Biofuels"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Applied Biosciences and Bioengineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Christopher J. Chuck
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK
Interests: Bioprocessing; Biorefineries; Yeast; Algae; Thermochemical conversion

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainable liquid biofuels remain a key component of all future energy scenarios aimed at reducing anthropogenic climate change; however, the overall cost of these second and third generation biofuels remains prohibitively high. The poor economics, coupled with uncertainty over government support and extended payback periods for biomass facilities, has limited industrial development in this area. Seemingly, the only realisable production method is to incorporate biofuel production with other higher value chemicals in an integrated biorefinery concept. These alternative products can take the form of natural polymers, animal, or human foodstuffs, fertilisers, monomers for bioplastics, value chemicals or advanced bio-materials. To this end, we invite submissions of novel research across the chemical, engineering, and biological sciences demonstrating the co-production of liquid fuels with alternative products from a range of terrestrial or marine biomass. For example, topics covering the chemical or biological processing of biomass, either as a pre-treatment stage or to produce a range of products would be of interest as would the downstream separations and purification steps necessary to this field. Submissions detailing extended systems analysis such as supply chain modelling, technoeconomic analysis, or lifecycle assessment would be especially welcome.

Dr. Christopher J. Chuck
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Biorefineries
  • Biodiesel
  • Bioplastics
  • Bioprocessing
  • Advanced biofuels
  • Hydrothermal liquefaction
  • Pyrolysis
  • Thermochemical
  • Technoeconomic

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Life Cycle Assessment on a Biorefinery Approach to Pyrolysis Oil for Wood Modification Treatment
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(20), 4233; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9204233 - 10 Oct 2019
Abstract
The use of pyrolysis-based wood conservation is a good alternative for the use of fossil-based creosotes. In this life cycle assessment (LCA) the environmental impact of a biorefinery approach of pyrolysis oil from forestry residues or maize digestate and its application as wood [...] Read more.
The use of pyrolysis-based wood conservation is a good alternative for the use of fossil-based creosotes. In this life cycle assessment (LCA) the environmental impact of a biorefinery approach of pyrolysis oil from forestry residues or maize digestate and its application as wood modification treatment is determined. The damage to ecosystems, damage to human health and the increased resource scarcity is studied using an attributional LCA and a sensitivity and uncertainty analysis. Based on data from an existing pyrolysis plant, it is shown that pyrolysis oil from maize digestate has a significantly higher environmental impact than pyrolysis oil from forestry residues. This is due to a lower energetic yield and a higher ash content in the feedstock. The biorefinery approach of using pyrolytic sugars as wood modification treatment shows significantly lower environmental impacts than the fossil-based creosotes, regardless of the selected end of life scenario, due to a lower toxicity and by a reduction of 82% of greenhouse gases. This shows that in addition to energy production, pyrolysis oil can be applied as biobased chemicals and materials, developing a sustainable platform based on pyrolysis oil. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Elemental Composition of Biochar Obtained from Agricultural Waste for Soil Amendment and Carbon Sequestration
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(19), 3980; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9193980 - 23 Sep 2019
Abstract
For an agricultural country such as Thailand, converting agricultural waste into biochar offers a potential solution to manage massive quantities of crop residues following harvest. This research studied the structure and chemical composition of biochar obtained from cassava rhizomes, cassava stems and corncobs, [...] Read more.
For an agricultural country such as Thailand, converting agricultural waste into biochar offers a potential solution to manage massive quantities of crop residues following harvest. This research studied the structure and chemical composition of biochar obtained from cassava rhizomes, cassava stems and corncobs, produced using a patented locally-manufactured biochar kiln using low-cost appropriate technology designed to be fabricated locally by farmers. The research found that cassava stems yielded the highest number of Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area in the biochar product, while chemical analysis indicated that corncobs yielded the highest amount of C (81.35%). The amount of H in the corncob biochar was also the highest (2.42%). The study also showed biochar produced by slow pyrolysis was of a high quality, with stable C and low H/C ratio. Biochar’s high BET surface area and total pore volume makes it suitable for soil amendment, contributing to reduced soil density, higher soil moisture and aeration and reduced leaching of plant nutrients from the rhizosphere. Biochar also provides a conducive habitat for beneficial soil microorganisms. The findings indicate that soil incorporation of biochar produced from agricultural crop residues can enhance food security and mitigate the contribution of the agricultural sector to climate change impacts. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Optimized Production of 5-(Hydroxymethyl)furfural and Related Products from Spent Coffee Grounds
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(16), 3369; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9163369 - 15 Aug 2019
Abstract
The increasing consumption of coffee worldwide has led to higher amounts of spent coffee grounds (SCG) being produced which are generally disposed of in landfill or used as compost. However, the wide range of molecules present in SCG such as saccharides, lignin, lipids [...] Read more.
The increasing consumption of coffee worldwide has led to higher amounts of spent coffee grounds (SCG) being produced which are generally disposed of in landfill or used as compost. However, the wide range of molecules present in SCG such as saccharides, lignin, lipids and proteins give this biomass source a large chemical functionality. In this work, SCG were fractionated to separate the components into three separate portions for further valorization; these were hemicellulose-enriched fractions (HEF), lignin-enriched fraction (LEF) and cellulose-enriched fraction (CEF). HEF was effectively used in the growth of the oleaginous yeast Metschnikowia pulcherrima, additionally, the C6 sugars present in this fraction suggests that it can be used in the production of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF). The LEF had a considerable high heating value (HHV) and would be suitable as a biofuel component for combustion. CEF was efficiently used in the production of HMF as 0.35 g of this product were obtained from 10 g of SCG. Such results demonstrate that SCG can be effectively used in the production of HMF within a biorefinery concept. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Impregnation with Maltodextrin and 1,3-Dimethylol-4,5-Dihydroxyethyleneurea on the Conventional Drying Characteristics of Poplar Wood
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(3), 473; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9030473 - 30 Jan 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The drying characteristics of poplar wood (Populus adenopoda Maxim) under three treatments were investigated with the aim of improving the drying quality of the impregnated wood. Untreated materials, impregnated materials with 10% initial moisture content (MC), and impregnated materials with 20% initial [...] Read more.
The drying characteristics of poplar wood (Populus adenopoda Maxim) under three treatments were investigated with the aim of improving the drying quality of the impregnated wood. Untreated materials, impregnated materials with 10% initial moisture content (MC), and impregnated materials with 20% initial MC—denoted as T1, T2, and T3, respectively—were examined during conventional drying. Relative to that of T1, the average drying rate of T2 was reduced by 46%, and that of T3 was reduced by 37%. The anti-swelling efficiency of T2 sharply increased, whereas that of T3 only slightly increased in width and thickness. The drying defects of T2 were markedly less than those of T1 and T3, attributed to the reduced residual stress and fixation of the modifier. Scanning electron microscopy indicated that large amounts of modifiers were deposited inside the cell cavity of T2, whereas small amounts of modifiers were deposited in the cell cavity of T3. The impregnation treatment generally reduced the average drying rate and MC uniformity and delayed the decrease in residual stress; however, it reduced the number of defects in the wood and considerably improved the dimensional stability of the wood. Meanwhile, impregnation treatment with increased initial MC could potentially lead to more drying defects and increase production cost. Full article
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