Special Issue "Sustainability of Biorenewable Systems and Processes"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Kurt A. Rosentrater
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
Interests: industrial fermentation; industrial microbiology; biofuels; beverage alcohols; distilled spirits; beer
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, we have witnessed tremendous growth in the research, development, and commercial investment in biorenewable resources. Starch, lipids, proteins, and fibers can be utilized to produce a variety of bio-based energy, fuels, products, chemicals, and other biorenewable materials. Over the last few decades, many countries have experienced exponential growth in biofuels, such as maize and sugarcane-based ethanol, as well as soy, canola, palm, and other oilseed-based biodiesel. Biochemicals such as succinic acid, muconic acid, triacetic acid lactone, bioplastics such as polylactic acid, glycerol-based bioadhesives, and other bio-based products are either currently, or will soon be, commercialized. Although the science, engineering, and technology of conversion and utilization are progressing, there is a critical need for more detailed studies on the environmental impacts of these new products and processes. This Special Issue is particularly interested in studies which focus on environmental impact analysis, life cycle assessment, and other mechanisms of determining the environmental effects of biorenewable systems, including chemical fluxes to water, soil, and air, and emissions of greenhouse gases, volatile organic compounds, and toxic compounds. A more complete understanding of environmental impacts can help guide the biorenewables industry as it moves forward to more widespread deployment and adoption.

Prof. Kurt A. Rosentrater
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • environmental impacts
  • sustainability assessments
  • bioenergy
  • biofuels
  • bioproducts
  • biochemicals
  • biorenewables

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Techno-Economic Evaluation of Food Waste Fermentation for Value-Added Products
Energies 2020, 13(2), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13020436 - 16 Jan 2020
Abstract
Food waste (FW) is one of the most critical problems in the world. Most FW will be sent to landfills, generally accompanying some significant disadvantages to the surrounding environment. Fermentation is considered as another disposal method to deal with FW. In this study, [...] Read more.
Food waste (FW) is one of the most critical problems in the world. Most FW will be sent to landfills, generally accompanying some significant disadvantages to the surrounding environment. Fermentation is considered as another disposal method to deal with FW. In this study, using a techno-economic analysis (TEA) method, an evaluation of the economic impact of three different scenarios of FW fermentation is carried out. A SuperPro Designer V9.0 simulation was used to model a commercial scale processing plant for each scenario, namely, a FW fermentation process producing hydrolysis enzymes and featuring a 2-step distillation system, a FW fermentation process without enzymes, using a 2-step distillation system, and a FW fermentation process without enzymes, using a 1-step distillation system. Discounted cash flow analysis is used to estimate the minimum ethanol selling price (MESP), where the lowest MESP result of $2.41/gal ($0.64/L) of ethanol is found for the second aforementioned scenario, showing that, even without enzymes in FW fermentation, the product cost can be competitive when compared to the other scenarios considered in this study. This project thus reflects a significant positive economic impact while minimizing the environmental footprint of a commercial production facility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Biorenewable Systems and Processes)
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Open AccessArticle
Techno-Economic Analysis (TEA) of Different Pretreatment and Product Separation Technologies for Cellulosic Butanol Production from Oil Palm Frond
Energies 2020, 13(1), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13010181 - 01 Jan 2020
Abstract
Among the driving factors for the high production cost of cellulosic butanol lies the pretreatment and product separation sections, which often demand high amounts of energy, chemicals, and water. In this study, techno-economic analysis of several pretreatments and product separation technologies were conducted [...] Read more.
Among the driving factors for the high production cost of cellulosic butanol lies the pretreatment and product separation sections, which often demand high amounts of energy, chemicals, and water. In this study, techno-economic analysis of several pretreatments and product separation technologies were conducted and compared. Among the pretreatment technologies evaluated, low-moisture anhydrous ammonia (LMAA) pretreatment has shown notable potential with a pretreatment cost of $0.16/L butanol. Other pretreatment technologies evaluated were autohydrolysis, soaking in aqueous ammonia (SAA), and soaking in sodium hydroxide solution (NaOH) with pretreatment costs of $1.98/L, $3.77/L, and $0.61/L, respectively. Evaluation of different product separation technologies for acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation process have shown that in situ stripping has the lowest separation cost, which was $0.21/L. Other product separation technologies tested were dual extraction, adsorption, and membrane pervaporation, with the separation costs of $0.38/L, $2.25/L, and $0.45/L, respectively. The evaluations have shown that production of cellulosic butanol using combined LMAA pretreatment and in situ stripping or with dual extraction recorded among the lowest butanol production cost. However, dual extraction model has a total solvent productivity of approximately 6% higher than those of in situ stripping model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Biorenewable Systems and Processes)
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Open AccessArticle
Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Different Pretreatment and Product Separation Technologies for Butanol Bioprocessing from Oil Palm Frond
Energies 2020, 13(1), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13010155 - 28 Dec 2019
Abstract
Environmental impact assessment is a crucial aspect of biofuels production to ensure that the process generates emissions within the designated limits. In typical cellulosic biofuel production process, the pretreatment and downstream processing stages were reported to require a high amount of chemicals and [...] Read more.
Environmental impact assessment is a crucial aspect of biofuels production to ensure that the process generates emissions within the designated limits. In typical cellulosic biofuel production process, the pretreatment and downstream processing stages were reported to require a high amount of chemicals and energy, thus generating high emissions. Cellulosic butanol production while using low moisture anhydrous ammonia (LMAA) pretreatment was expected to have a low chemical, water, and energy footprint, especially when the process was combined with more efficient downstream processing technologies. In this study, the quantification of environmental impact potentials from cellulosic butanol production plants was conducted with modeled different pretreatment and product separation approaches. The results have shown that LMAA pretreatment possessed a potential for commercialization by having low energy requirements when compared to the other modeled pretreatments. With high safety measures that reduce the possibility of anhydrous ammonia leaking to the air, LMAA pretreatment resulted in GWP of 5.72 kg CO2 eq./L butanol, ecotoxicity potential of 2.84 × 10−6 CTU eco/L butanol, and eutrophication potential of 0.011 kg N eq./L butanol. The lowest energy requirement in biobutanol production (19.43 MJ/L), as well as better life-cycle energy metrics performances (NEV of 24.69 MJ/L and NER of 2.27) and environmental impacts potentials (GWP of 3.92 kg N eq./L butanol and ecotoxicity potential of 2.14 × 10−4 CTU eco/L butanol), were recorded when the LMAA pretreatment was combined with the membrane pervaporation process in the product separation stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Biorenewable Systems and Processes)
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Open AccessArticle
Life Cycle Assessment and Techno-Economic Analysis of Pressure Sensitive Bio-Adhesive Production
Energies 2019, 12(23), 4502; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12234502 - 27 Nov 2019
Abstract
Bioproducts have attracted much attention in recent years due to the increasing environmental concerns about petroleum products. In this study, we aimed to explore potential environmental impacts and economic feasibility of pressure sensitive bio-adhesive (PSA) produced from the reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization [...] Read more.
Bioproducts have attracted much attention in recent years due to the increasing environmental concerns about petroleum products. In this study, we aimed to explore potential environmental impacts and economic feasibility of pressure sensitive bio-adhesive (PSA) produced from the reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization process. A detail process model of pressure sensitive bio-adhesive was developed in order to thoroughly understand both economic and environmental impacts of this production process. Life cycle assessment results showed that the overall environmental impacts of bio-adhesive was ~30% lower compared to the petro-adhesive’s production process. The minimum selling price for this pressure sensitive bio-adhesive was calculated as $3.48/kg. Sensitivity analysis results indicated that raw materials costs had the most significant impact on pressure sensitive bio-adhesive’s selling price, followed by total capital investment. Electricity sources had larger environmental impacts to the overall bio-adhesive production process compared to transportation distance and product yield. These results highlight the environmental advantage and potential economic competency of this pressure sensitive bio-based adhesive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Biorenewable Systems and Processes)
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