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Special Issue "Biorefineries for the Production of Fuel"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "Bio-Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 May 2019)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Paul Christakopoulos

Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden
Website | E-Mail
Interests: biomass fractionation; organosov pretreatment; bioethanol production; biogas production; microbial lipid production; heterotrophic growth of algae; lignin valorization; biomass degrading enzymes; enzymatic catalysis; biomass saccharification
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Mette Hedegaard Thomsen

Energy Technology, Aalborg Univeristy, 6700 Esbjerg, Denmark
Website | E-Mail
Interests: utilisation of agro-industrial by-products using biorefinery processing; characterisation of agricultural rawmaterials; pre-treatment of lignocellulosic rawmaterials; extraction of value-added secondary metabolites; applied microbiology; fermentation technology; modelling and simulation of chemical and biotechnological processes
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Ilona Sárvári Horváth

Swedish Centre for Resource Recovery, University of Borås, 501 90 Borås, Sweden
Website | E-Mail
Interests: bioprocess engineering; biofuel production; lignocellulosic biomass; innovative pretreatment technologies; anaerobic digestion; dry digestion; co-digestion; microbial aspects of anaerobic digestion; anaerobic fermentation; syngas fermentation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Valorization of lignocellulosic biomass from forestry, agricultural, or other industrial side streams for the production of fuels has been the subject of intensive research over the past decades. This interest is based on the fact that lignocellulose is an abundant, renewable, and sustainable resource that can be used as raw material in environmentally friendly and economically beneficial processes. With a composition of as high as 70% sugars in the form of cellulose and hemicellulose polymers, lignocellulose represents the feedstock of a glucocentric biorefinery process, which was focused initially on production of bioethanol via fermentation of the glucose fraction.  A more resource-efficient approach would be to utilize the entire biomass in a biorefinery concept, where the different process streams can be directed toward a wide range of products. In this view, all lignocellulose components are potential sources of value-added fuels.

This special issue will cover all aspects related to biological, thermo and catalytic routes for the conversion of biomass to fuels. Emphasis will be given to the use of underutilized fractions of the biomass (such as hemicellulose and lignin).

Prof. Dr. Paul Christakopoulos
Prof. Dr. Mette Hedegaard Thomsen
Prof. Dr. Ilona Sárvári Horváth
Guest Editors

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. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 1800 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

  • biorefinery development 
  • thermochemical conversion of biomass into fuels 
  • biological conversion of biomass into fuels 
  • lignin conversion into fuels 
  • hemicellulose conversion into fuels

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Aromatics from Beechwood Organosolv Lignin through Thermal and Catalytic Pyrolysis
Energies 2019, 12(9), 1606; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12091606
Received: 4 April 2019 / Revised: 18 April 2019 / Accepted: 25 April 2019 / Published: 27 April 2019
PDF Full-text (2222 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Biomass fractionation, as an alternative to biomass pretreatment, has gained increasing research attention over the past few years as it provides separate streams of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. These streams can be used separately and can provide a solution for improving the economics [...] Read more.
Biomass fractionation, as an alternative to biomass pretreatment, has gained increasing research attention over the past few years as it provides separate streams of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. These streams can be used separately and can provide a solution for improving the economics of emerging biorefinery technologies. The sugar streams are commonly used in microbial conversions, whereas during recent years lignin has been recognized as a valuable compound as it is the only renewable and abundant source of aromatic chemicals. Successfully converting lignin into valuable chemicals and products is key in achieving both environmental and economic sustainability of future biorefineries. In this work, lignin retrieved from beechwood sawdust delignification pretreatment via an organosolv process was depolymerized with thermal and catalytic pyrolysis. ZSM-5 commercial catalyst was used in situ to upgrade the lignin bio-oil vapors. Lignins retrieved from different modes of organosolv pretreatment were tested in order to evaluate the effect that upstream pretreatment has on the lignin fraction. Both thermal and catalytic pyrolysis yielded oils rich in phenols and aromatic hydrocarbons. Use of ZSM-5 catalyst assisted in overall deoxygenation of the bio-oils and enhanced aromatic hydrocarbons production. The oxygen content of the bio-oils was reduced at the expense of their yield. Organosolv lignins were successfully depolymerized towards phenols and aromatic hydrocarbons via thermal and catalytic pyrolysis. Hence, lignin pyrolysis can be an effective manner for lignin upgrading towards high added value products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biorefineries for the Production of Fuel)
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Open AccessArticle
Ethanol Production from Corn Fiber Separated after Liquefaction in the Dry Grind Process
Energies 2018, 11(11), 2921; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11112921
Received: 26 September 2018 / Revised: 20 October 2018 / Accepted: 23 October 2018 / Published: 26 October 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1321 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Conversion of corn fiber to ethanol in the dry grind process can increase ethanol yields, improve coproduct quality and contribute to process sustainability. This work investigates the use of two physio-chemical pretreatments on corn fiber and effect of cellulase enzyme dosage to improve [...] Read more.
Conversion of corn fiber to ethanol in the dry grind process can increase ethanol yields, improve coproduct quality and contribute to process sustainability. This work investigates the use of two physio-chemical pretreatments on corn fiber and effect of cellulase enzyme dosage to improve ethanol yields. Fiber separated after liquefaction of corn was pretreated using (I) hot water pretreatment (160 °C for 5, 10 or 20 min) and (II) wet disk milling and converted to ethanol. The conversion efficiencies of hot water pretreated fiber were higher than untreated fiber, with highest increase in conversion (10.4%) achieved for 5 min residence time at 160 °C. Disk milling was not effective in increasing conversion compared to other treatments. Hydrolysis and fermentation of untreated fiber with excess cellulase enzymes resulted in 33.3% higher conversion compared to untreated fiber. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biorefineries for the Production of Fuel)
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Open AccessArticle
Hydrothermal Carbonization of Peat Moss and Herbaceous Biomass (Miscanthus): A Potential Route for Bioenergy
Energies 2018, 11(10), 2794; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11102794
Received: 26 September 2018 / Revised: 4 October 2018 / Accepted: 15 October 2018 / Published: 17 October 2018
PDF Full-text (2551 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Peat moss and miscanthus were hydrothermally carbonized (HTC) either individually or co-processed in a different ratio to produce hydrochar. The hydrochar and pelletized hydrochar were then characterized to determine if hydrochar can be used as an alternative to coal to produce bioenergy from [...] Read more.
Peat moss and miscanthus were hydrothermally carbonized (HTC) either individually or co-processed in a different ratio to produce hydrochar. The hydrochar and pelletized hydrochar were then characterized to determine if hydrochar can be used as an alternative to coal to produce bioenergy from existing coal-fired power plants in Ontario that have already been shut down. The properties of carbonized biomass (either hydrochar or pellets) reveal that fuel grade hydrochar can be produced from peat moss or from the blend of peat moss and miscanthus (agricultural biomass/energy crops). Hydrochar either produced from peat moss or from the blend of peat moss and miscanthus was observed to be hydrophobic and porous compared to raw peat moss or raw miscanthus. The combustion indices of carbonized biomass confirmed that it can be combusted or co-combusted to produce bioenergy and can avoid slagging, fouling, and agglomeration problems of the bioenergy industry. The results of this study revealed that HTC is a promising option for producing solid biofuel from undervalued biomass, especially from high moisture biomass. Co-processing of peat moss with rural biomass, a relatively novel idea which can be a potential solution to heat and power for the rural communities/agri-industry that are not connected with national grids and alleviate their waste management problems. In addition, the hydrochar can also be used to run some of the existing coal-fired power plants that have already been shut down in Ontario without interrupting investment and employment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biorefineries for the Production of Fuel)
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