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New Trends in Biofuels and Bioenergy for Sustainable Development II

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "A4: Bio-Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 December 2024 | Viewed by 10006

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Engineering, Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa (ISEL), 1959-007 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: heterogeneous catalysis; biodiesel; clean energy; clean process; nanotechnologies; CO2 capture; air pollution abatement
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ICARE CNRS, Université d’Orléans, Avenue de la Recherche Scientifique, CEDEX 2, 45071 Orléans, France
Interests: turbulent combustion; swirling flames; oxy-fuel combustion; plasma-assisted combustion; biomass; CO2 capture
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to invite you to submit your article from Biofuels 2024 to this Special Issue, entitled “New Trends in Biofuels and Bioenergy for Sustainable Development II”, in the open-access journal Energies (IF 3.252).

The 5th International Conference on Biofuels and Bioenergy (Biofuels 2024) will be held on 21–22 October 2024 at ANA Crowne Plaza Narita, Tokyo, Japan. This fifth edition under the theme "Exploring New Trends in Biofuels and Bioenergy for Sustainable Development" includes different biofuels including biomass, biohydrogen, bioalcohols, bioethanol and biodiesel. Several sessions will be held, including Bioenergy, Biorefineries, Production of Biofuels, Bio-economy, Biomass Technology, Nanotechnology in Biofuels, Biofuel Cells, Environmental Impacts of Biofuels, Solar Energy, Biofuel Future and Market Scope, etc.

The topics of interest for this Special Issue include, but are not limited to, the following:

I look forward to receiving your articles with enhanced and extended versions.

Prof. Dr. João Fernando Pereira Gomes
Dr. Toufik Boushaki
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 2600 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.

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Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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15 pages, 1315 KiB  
Article
Environmental Assessment of a Waste-to-Energy Cascading System Integrating Forestry Residue Pyrolysis and Poultry Litter Anaerobic Digestion
by Maneesh Kumar Mediboyina and Fionnuala Murphy
Energies 2024, 17(7), 1511; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17071511 - 22 Mar 2024
Viewed by 375
Abstract
Poultry and forestry waste residues, despite their environmental concerns, offer nutrient-rich content and wider availability. Utilising them in cascading approaches can create high-value products and establish new value chains in bioeconomy. This study aims to evaluate the environmental consequences of coupling forestry residue [...] Read more.
Poultry and forestry waste residues, despite their environmental concerns, offer nutrient-rich content and wider availability. Utilising them in cascading approaches can create high-value products and establish new value chains in bioeconomy. This study aims to evaluate the environmental consequences of coupling forestry residue pyrolysis and poultry litter anaerobic digestion processes in a waste-to-energy cascading system. Moreover, a scenario analysis was conducted considering six scenarios with varying total solids loading with biochar (8%, 15%, and 28%) and final energy products (bioelectricity and upgraded biomethane). Life cycle assessment (LCA) results demonstrated a net reduction in selected potential impact categories across all scenarios, though with considerable variation in mitigation levels among them. Analysis revealed a major influence of selection of biogas utilisation pathway (electricity/biomethane) on overall impacts. The displaced processes such as natural gas contributed majorly towards the reduction in climate change and fossil depletion, whereas electricity grid mix contributed to terrestrial acidification and freshwater eutrophication. This study suggests that integrating pyrolysis and anaerobic digestion processes effectively valorises poultry and forestry residue waste, presenting a promising opportunity for promoting new value chains within Ireland’s bioeconomy. This approach enhances bioresource utilisation, resulting in the production of value-added products with reduced environmental costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Biofuels and Bioenergy for Sustainable Development II)
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17 pages, 7492 KiB  
Article
Improvement of Biogas Production Utilizing a Complex Anaerobic Digestion Model and Gradient-Based Optimization
by Tina Kegl, Breda Kegl and Marko Kegl
Energies 2024, 17(6), 1279; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17061279 - 07 Mar 2024
Viewed by 576
Abstract
Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a promising technology for renewable energy production from organic waste. In order to maximize the produced biogas quantity and quality, this paper deals with the optimization of the AD process in a CSTR bioreactor of a full-scale biogas plant. [...] Read more.
Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a promising technology for renewable energy production from organic waste. In order to maximize the produced biogas quantity and quality, this paper deals with the optimization of the AD process in a CSTR bioreactor of a full-scale biogas plant. For this purpose, a novel approach was adopted coupling, a highly complex BioModel for AD simulation, and a gradient-based optimization method. In order to improve AD performance, the dosages of various types of biological additives, the dosages of inorganic additives, and the temperature in the bioreactor were optimized in three different scenarios. The best biogas quality was obtained using multi-objective optimization, where the objective function involves the following two conflicting objectives: the maximization of biogas production and minimization of the needed heating energy. The obtained results show that, potentially, the content of CH4 can be increased by 11%, while the contents of H2, H2S, and NH3 can be reduced by 30%, 20%, and 81% when comparing the simulation results with the experimental data. The obtained results confirm the usefulness of the proposed approach, which can easily be adapted or upgraded for other bioreactor types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Biofuels and Bioenergy for Sustainable Development II)
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13 pages, 1071 KiB  
Article
Characteristics and Changes in the Properties of Cereal and Rapeseed Straw Used as Energy Feedstock
by Mariusz Jerzy Stolarski, Michał Welenc, Michał Krzyżaniak, Ewelina Olba-Zięty, Jakub Stolarski and Sławomir Wierzbicki
Energies 2024, 17(5), 1243; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17051243 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 407
Abstract
Solid biofuels, including straw as production residue, are still the largest energy feedstock in the structure of primary energy production from renewable energy sources. However, the properties of straw as a solid biofuel can vary depending on the species from which it was [...] Read more.
Solid biofuels, including straw as production residue, are still the largest energy feedstock in the structure of primary energy production from renewable energy sources. However, the properties of straw as a solid biofuel can vary depending on the species from which it was produced and the harvest period and year. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the thermophysical properties and elemental composition of six types of straw (rye, oat, triticale, wheat, corn, and rapeseed straw) obtained over three consecutive years (2020, 2021, 2022). Rye straw had the lowest moisture (mean: 10.55%), ash (mean: 2.71% DM), nitrogen (mean: 0.54% DM) and chlorine (mean: 0.046% DM) contents and the highest carbon content (mean: 47.93% DM), a higher heating value—HHV (mean: 19.03 GJ Mg−1 DM) and a lower heating value—LHV (mean: 15.71 GJ Mg−1). Triticale straw had similar properties, classifying it into the same cluster as rye straw. Corn straw had a remarkably high moisture content (mean: 48.91%), low LHV and high chlorine content. Rapeseed straw contained high levels of Cl, S, N and ash, and they were 643%, 481%, 104% and 169% higher, respectively, than those in rye straw. The sulfur, chlorine and moisture contents of the six straw types under study were highly variable during the three years of the study. Knowledge of the properties of different types of straw as energy feedstocks facilitates the logistics and organization of the supply of bioenergy installations. However, further research is needed, especially studies assessing the energy intensity and logistical costs of different types of straw used for energy purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Biofuels and Bioenergy for Sustainable Development II)
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21 pages, 2182 KiB  
Article
Physicochemical Characterization, Thermal Behavior, and Pyrolysis Kinetics of Sewage Sludge
by Hanane Messaoudi, Abdelghani Koukouch, Ilias Bakhattar, Mohamed Asbik, Sylvie Bonnamy, El Ghali Bennouna, Toufik Boushaki, Brahim Sarh and Abel Rouboa
Energies 2024, 17(3), 582; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17030582 - 25 Jan 2024
Viewed by 633
Abstract
Pyrolysis is an energy recovery technique with significant potential for managing wastewater treatment plant byproducts. This research aims to investigate the physicochemical and thermal properties of Moroccan sludge, as well as the behavior of its decomposition during pyrolysis at three different heating speeds [...] Read more.
Pyrolysis is an energy recovery technique with significant potential for managing wastewater treatment plant byproducts. This research aims to investigate the physicochemical and thermal properties of Moroccan sludge, as well as the behavior of its decomposition during pyrolysis at three different heating speeds (5, 10, and 20 K/min). Characterization of the sludge before pyrolysis through ultimate analysis, proximate analysis, FTIR spectroscopy, and XRD revealed that the sludge consists predominantly of organic matter, with a volatile matter rate of 48%, an ash rate of 37%, and a higher heating value (HHV) of 15 MJ/kg. The TGA-DTG curves identified four distinct stages in the sludge decomposition process: drying, decomposition of organic matter, degradation of calcium carbonate, and decomposition of inorganic matter. Using TG-MS analysis, the principal gases identified during pyrolysis were H2O, H2, CH4, CO2, CO, NO, and SO. The average activation energies (Ea) determined through kinetics models were found to be 413.4 kJ/mol for the Kissinger–Akahira–Sunose (KAS) model, 419.6 kJ/mol for the Flynn–Wall–Ozawa (FWO) model, and 416.3 kJ/mol for the Starink model. The values of Ea and the pre-exponential coefficient (A) obtained through the KAS, FWO, and Starink techniques are consistent with ΔG values ranging between 152 and 155 KJ/mol. The positive ΔS values range from 0.003 to 1.415 kJ/mol.K, indicating the complexity of the sludge response during pyrolysis and the spontaneity of the chemical reaction at high temperatures. The kinetic data obtained serves as a pillar for the development and improvement of sewage sludge pyrolysis systems, reinforcing their role in sustainable energy production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Biofuels and Bioenergy for Sustainable Development II)
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26 pages, 4715 KiB  
Article
Experimental Insights into the Fermentation of Pyro-Syngas to Ethanol in a Semi-Batch and Continuous Stirred Bioreactor with Mathematical Modelling and Optimization
by Dinabandhu Manna, Ranjana Chowdhury, Rajnish K. Calay and Mohamad Y. Mustafa
Energies 2024, 17(3), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17030562 - 24 Jan 2024
Viewed by 686
Abstract
Syngas fermentation can play an important role in implementing the concept of biorefinery as it can serve as a platform to convert high-lignin biomass to biofuels. For the utilization of this process in commercial scale, the generation of an experimental database supported by [...] Read more.
Syngas fermentation can play an important role in implementing the concept of biorefinery as it can serve as a platform to convert high-lignin biomass to biofuels. For the utilization of this process in commercial scale, the generation of an experimental database supported by a deterministic mathematical model and optimization is necessary. In this study, a locally isolated clostridial consortium, UACJUChE1, was used to convert pyro-syngas to ethanol and acetic acid. Mathematical models were developed and validated for a 3 L stirred and gas-sparged bioreactor operated in both semi-batch and continuous modes. The volumetric productivity of ethanol was correlated with the dilution rate and the gas residence time. The performance of the bioreactor, run in both semi-batch and continuous modes, was optimized using response surface methodology. For the semi-batch operation, a maximum ethanol concentration of 13.122 g/L after 30 h operation was achieved at optimum values of pyrolysis temperature, ratio of gas to liquid volume (VG/VL), and volumetric gas flow rate of 648 °C, 0.46, and 6.7 L/h respectively. For continuous operation, a maximum ethanol concentration of 29.450 g/L after 300 h is obtained at optimum values of VG/VL and ratio of gas to liquid volumetric flow rate of 0.28 and 335.148, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Biofuels and Bioenergy for Sustainable Development II)
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19 pages, 3111 KiB  
Article
Technoeconomic Analysis of Torrefaction and Steam Explosion Pretreatment Prior to Pelletization of Selected Biomass
by Chukwuka Onyenwoke, Lope G. Tabil, Tim Dumonceaux, Edmund Mupondwa, Duncan Cree, Xue Li and Onu Onu Olughu
Energies 2024, 17(1), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17010133 - 26 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1247
Abstract
Lignocellulosic biomass has demonstrated great potential as feedstock for pellet production, notwithstanding the fact that the industrial production of pellets is faced with some economic challenges. This study presents a technoeconomic analysis of six scenarios to develop a process model for pellet production [...] Read more.
Lignocellulosic biomass has demonstrated great potential as feedstock for pellet production, notwithstanding the fact that the industrial production of pellets is faced with some economic challenges. This study presents a technoeconomic analysis of six scenarios to develop a process model for pellet production from sawdust and oat straw that employs torrefaction and steam explosion pretreatment prior to pelletization. SuperPro Designer was used to carry out this evaluation. The pellet plants were designed to have a capacity of 9.09 t/h of sawdust and oat straw each. The pellet yield ranged from 59 kt to 72 kt/year. The scenarios analyzed included variations of steam explosion and torrefaction. In some scenarios, materials were lost in the form of liquid and gas due to the pretreatment process. The breakdown of equipment purchase cost showed that the torrefaction reactor is the most expensive unit with approximately 51% of the purchase cost. Facility-dependent and feedstock costs were the major significant contributors to the pellet production cost. The minimum selling prices of the pellets obtained from Scenarios 1–6 were $113.4/t, $118.7/t, $283.4/t, $298.7/t, $200.5/t, and $208.4/t, respectively. The profitability of pellet production as determined by the net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR), and payback period was found to be sensitive to variations in feedstock cost. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Biofuels and Bioenergy for Sustainable Development II)
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15 pages, 3221 KiB  
Article
Estimating Field-Level Perennial Bioenergy Grass Biomass Yields Using the Normalized Difference Red-Edge Index and Linear Regression Analysis for Central Virginia, USA
by Yuki Hamada, Colleen R. Zumpf, John J. Quinn and Maria Cristina Negri
Energies 2023, 16(21), 7397; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16217397 - 02 Nov 2023
Viewed by 674
Abstract
We investigated the indicative power of the normalized difference red-edge index (NDRE) for estimating field-level perennial bioenergy grass biomass yields utilizing Sentinel-2 imagery and a linear regression model as a rapid, cost-effective method for biomass yield estimations for bioenergy. We used 2019 data [...] Read more.
We investigated the indicative power of the normalized difference red-edge index (NDRE) for estimating field-level perennial bioenergy grass biomass yields utilizing Sentinel-2 imagery and a linear regression model as a rapid, cost-effective method for biomass yield estimations for bioenergy. We used 2019 data from three study sites containing mature perennial bioenergy grass stands in central Virginia, USA. Of the simulated daily NDRE values based on the temporally weighted averaging of two temporal neighbors, we found the strongest index–yield correlation on 11 August (R = 0.85). We estimated the perennial bioenergy grass biomass yields for (1) all sites using the data pooled from the three sites (all-site estimation) and (2) each site using the data pooled from the other two sites (cross-site estimation). The estimated field-level perennial bioenergy grass biomass yields strongly correlated with the recorded yields (average R2 = 0.76), with a root mean square error (RMSE) of 1.5 Mg/ha and a mean absolute error (MAE) of 1.2 Mg/ha for the all-site estimation. For the cross-site estimation, the site with diverse perennial grass types had the weakest correlation (R2 = 0.44) of the sites, indicating a difficulty in accounting for heterogeneous index–yield relationships in a single model. In addition to identifying a strong indicative power of the NDRE for estimating the overall perennial bioenergy grass biomass yields at a field level, the findings from this study call for an analysis across multiple perennial grasses and a comparison using multiple sites to understand (1) if the indicative power of the index shifts from the biomass of the specific perennial bioenergy grass type to the overall biomass during the growing season and (2) the level of perennial bioenergy grass heterogeneity that may hinder the remotely sensed biomass yield estimation using a single model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Biofuels and Bioenergy for Sustainable Development II)
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Review

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19 pages, 581 KiB  
Review
Reuse and Valorization of Solid Digestate Ashes from Biogas Production
by Daniel Mammarella, Andrea Di Giuliano and Katia Gallucci
Energies 2024, 17(3), 751; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17030751 - 05 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1186
Abstract
Digestate is produced in large quantities by the anaerobic digestion process, which is recognized to be a promising technology for producing bioenergy from biological waste. Digestate is a highly humid by-product containing organic and inorganic substances, including nutrients that make it suitable for [...] Read more.
Digestate is produced in large quantities by the anaerobic digestion process, which is recognized to be a promising technology for producing bioenergy from biological waste. Digestate is a highly humid by-product containing organic and inorganic substances, including nutrients that make it suitable for soil applications. However, it can be considered a high-risk environmental contaminant if it is not correctly treated. For these reasons, thermochemical treatment is one of the alternatives for valorizing the digestate, leading to a high ash quantity. This review aims to investigate the formation of ash derived from thermochemical valorization treatments of digestate. Furthermore, considering the compositions of the elements present in these ashes, an additional objective is to identify possible prospects for the reuse of these ashes following a circular economy approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Biofuels and Bioenergy for Sustainable Development II)
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27 pages, 1988 KiB  
Review
A Review on the Anaerobic Co-Digestion of Livestock Manures in the Context of Sustainable Waste Management
by Rahul Kadam, Sangyeol Jo, Jonghwa Lee, Kamonwan Khanthong, Heewon Jang and Jungyu Park
Energies 2024, 17(3), 546; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17030546 - 23 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1167
Abstract
As the worldwide demand for meat per person is continuously increasing, there is a corresponding rise in the number of livestock animals, leading to an increase in livestock manure. Selecting appropriate treatment technologies for livestock manures is still a complex task and considerable [...] Read more.
As the worldwide demand for meat per person is continuously increasing, there is a corresponding rise in the number of livestock animals, leading to an increase in livestock manure. Selecting appropriate treatment technologies for livestock manures is still a complex task and considerable debates over this issue persist. To develop a more comprehensive understanding of the manure treatment framework, this review was undertaken to assess the most utilized manure management technologies and underscore their respective challenges. Anaerobic digestion has become a commercial reality for treating livestock manures. However, the mono-digestion of single substrates comes with certain drawbacks associated with manure characteristics. Anaerobic co-digestion, involving the utilization of multiple feedstocks, holds the potential to overcome these limitations. Extensive research and development have underscored numerous intrinsic benefits of co-digestion. These include improved digestibility resulting from the synergistic effects of co-substrates and enhanced process stability. This review underscores the limitations associated with the mono-digestion of livestock manures and critically evaluates the advantages of their co-digestion with carbon-rich substrates. Additionally, this review delves into key livestock manure management practices globally, emphasizing the significance of co-digesting livestock manures while addressing the progress and challenges in this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Biofuels and Bioenergy for Sustainable Development II)
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20 pages, 910 KiB  
Review
An Overview of Anaerobic Digestion of Agricultural By-Products and Food Waste for Biomethane Production
by Alessandro Neri, Bruno Bernardi, Giuseppe Zimbalatti and Souraya Benalia
Energies 2023, 16(19), 6851; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16196851 - 27 Sep 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2094
Abstract
In a world facing increasing environmental and energy challenges, anaerobic digestion of agrifood by-products and food waste could contribute to the production of green energy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. Anaerobic digestion is a biological process capable of breaking down [...] Read more.
In a world facing increasing environmental and energy challenges, anaerobic digestion of agrifood by-products and food waste could contribute to the production of green energy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. Anaerobic digestion is a biological process capable of breaking down and stabilising organic matter in the absence of oxygen and converting it into a renewable source of energy, known as biogas. Biomethane production also enables the generation of electricity and produces digestate, a by-product of the digestion process that can be used as a soil conditioner or fertiliser. This review aims to highlight how substrate pretreatment, together with the optimisation of operating parameters, application of additives, recirculation of digestate and frequent feeding, can increase biogas production. An overview of the basics of the anaerobic digestion of agrifood by-products and food waste is provided, including feedstock characteristics (nutrient content, particle size and inhibitory compounds) and process parameters (process configuration, pH, temperature, total and volatile solids, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, ammonium, chemical oxygen demand, carbon/nitrogen ratio, retention time, organic loading rate, etc.). In addition, recent studies in the field of processes, equipment and pretreatments that can significantly improve the anaerobic digestion process of agricultural and food wastes were classified and discussed. Finally, the challenges and future perspectives of biogas production from the agrifood sector are addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Biofuels and Bioenergy for Sustainable Development II)
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