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Special Issue "Biofuel Value Chains: Innovations and Sustainability"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2022) | Viewed by 3684

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Athanasios Rentizelas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Assistant Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering, National Technical University Athens, 15780 Athens, Greece
Interests: sustainable supply chain management; supply chain network design optimization; circular economy-enabling supply chains; reverse logistics; zero-emission logistics; bio-based value chains
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Maria Founti
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
School of Mechanical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Lab. of Heterogeneous Mixtures & Combustion Systems, Heroon Polytechniou 9, 15780 Athens, Greece
Interests: combustion; fire engineering; energy efficiency in buildings; LCA; KPIs
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biofuels have been one of the key solutions for decarbonizing transport, and they are expected to play an even more important role in the near future. However, the sustainability of biofuel production has received criticism, especially regarding the indirect land-use change (iLUC) and carbon emissions in the value chain. For this reason, innovations within the value chain that enhance the sustainability of biofuels are of critical importance to achieving transport decarbonization, especially in the heavy transport and aviation sectors.

This Special Issue invites contributions in reporting innovative approaches in biofuel value chains, as well as in improving the sustainability of biofuels. This may also involve novel biofuel types. The contributions may cover the whole value chain or a part of it, whether this is the biomass cultivation/sourcing, processing to biofuels or biofuel precursors, or upgrading, as well as the end-use of biofuels. Any organizational, technological, or supply/value chain innovations that can improve either the efficiency or the sustainability of biofuels are also highly welcome.

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Innovative biofuel value chains;
  • Innovative uses of biofuels;
  • Innovative business models for biofuels;
  • Innovative technologies for biofuels or biofuel precursors;
  • Novel crops for biofuels;
  • Biofuel production from contaminated biomass;
  • Biofuel decontamination technologies;
  • Techno-economic analyses for biofuel production;
  • Value chain analysis;
  • Supply chain design optimization;
  • Innovative resource use for biomaterials;
  • Life cycle analysis/life cycle costing;
  • Environmental impact from biofuel production and use;
  • Water–energy–food nexus in biofuels;
  • Policies driving innovative value chains.

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in Fuels.

Dr. Athanasios Rentizelas
Prof. Dr. Maria Founti
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 2200 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

  • biofuels
  • value chain
  • supply chain
  • sustainability
  • environmental impact
  • life cycle analysis
  • conversion technologies
  • decontamination technologies
  • policy

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
Optimizing the Design of a Biomass-to-Biofuel Supply Chain Network Using a Decentralized Processing Approach
Energies 2022, 15(14), 5001; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15145001 - 08 Jul 2022
Viewed by 622
Abstract
When designing biomass-to-biofuel supply chains, the biomass uncertainty, seasonality and geographical dispersion that affect economic viability need to be considered. This work presents a novel methodology that can optimize the design of biofuel supply chains by adopting a decentralized network structure consisting of [...] Read more.
When designing biomass-to-biofuel supply chains, the biomass uncertainty, seasonality and geographical dispersion that affect economic viability need to be considered. This work presents a novel methodology that can optimize the design of biofuel supply chains by adopting a decentralized network structure consisting of a mix of fixed and mobile processing facilities. The model considers a variable biomass yield profile and the mobile fast pyrolysis technology. The mixed-integer linear programming model developed identifies the optimal biofuel production and biomass harvesting schedule schemes under the objective of profit maximization. It was applied in the case study of marginal lands in Scotland, which are assumed to be planted with Miscanthus. The trade-offs observed between economies of scale against the transportation costs, the effect of the relocation costs and the contribution of storage capacity were investigated. The results showed that, in most cases, harvesting is most concentrated during the month of the highest biomass yield, provided that storage facilities are available. Storage capacity plays an important role to widen the operational time window of processing facilities since scenarios with restricted or costly storage resulted in facilities of higher capacity operating within a narrower time window, leading to higher investment costs. Relocation costs proved to have a minor share in the total transportation costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofuel Value Chains: Innovations and Sustainability)
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Article
Techno-Economic Analysis of Intermediate Pyrolysis with Solar Drying: A Chilean Case Study
Energies 2022, 15(6), 2272; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15062272 - 21 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1225
Abstract
Intermediate pyrolysis can be used to obtain high-quality biofuels from low-value residues such as sewage sludge or digestate. A major obstacle is the high water content of sludgy biomass, which requires an energy-intensive and expensive drying step before pyrolysis. Solar greenhouse drying is [...] Read more.
Intermediate pyrolysis can be used to obtain high-quality biofuels from low-value residues such as sewage sludge or digestate. A major obstacle is the high water content of sludgy biomass, which requires an energy-intensive and expensive drying step before pyrolysis. Solar greenhouse drying is an efficient and sustainable alternative to a thermally heated belt dryer. In this study, a techno-economic assessment of intermediate pyrolysis with solar drying is carried out. Marketable products of the process are bio-oil, a substitute for diesel or heating oil, and bio-char with various possible applications. Chile is chosen as the setting of the study as its 4000 km long extension from north to south gives the opportunity to evaluate different locations and levels of solar irradiation. It is found that solar drying results in higher capital investment, but lower fuel costs. Depending on the location and solar irradiation, solar drying can reduce costs by 5–34% compared to belt drying. The break-even price of bio-char is estimated at 300–380 EUR/ton after accounting for the revenue from the liquid bio-oil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofuel Value Chains: Innovations and Sustainability)
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Review

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Review
Membrane and Electrochemical Based Technologies for the Decontamination of Exploitable Streams Produced by Thermochemical Processing of Contaminated Biomass
Energies 2022, 15(7), 2683; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15072683 - 06 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1168
Abstract
Phytoremediation is an emerging concept for contaminated soil restoration via the use of resilient plants that can absorb soil contaminants. The harvested contaminated biomass can be thermochemically converted to energy carriers/chemicals, linking soil decontamination with biomass-to-energy and aligning with circular economy principles. Two [...] Read more.
Phytoremediation is an emerging concept for contaminated soil restoration via the use of resilient plants that can absorb soil contaminants. The harvested contaminated biomass can be thermochemically converted to energy carriers/chemicals, linking soil decontamination with biomass-to-energy and aligning with circular economy principles. Two thermochemical conversion steps of contaminated biomass, both used for contaminated biomass treatment/exploitation, are considered: Supercritical Water Gasification and Fast Pyrolysis. For the former, the vast majority of contaminants are transferred into liquid and gaseous effluents, and thus the application of purification steps is necessary prior to further processing. In Fast Pyrolysis, contaminants are mainly retained in the solid phase, but a part appears in the liquid phase due to fine solids entrainment. Contaminants include heavy metals, particulate matter, and hydrogen sulfide. The purified streams allow the in-process re-use of water for the Super Critical Water Gasification, the sulfur-free catalytic conversion of the fuel-rich gaseous stream of the same process into liquid fuels and recovery of an exploitable bio-oil rich stream from the Fast Pyrolysis. Considering the fundamental importance of purification/decontamination to exploit the aforementioned streams in an integrated context, a review of available such technologies is conducted, and options are shortlisted. Technologies of choice include polymeric-based membrane gas absorption for desulfurization, electrooxidation/electrocoagulation for the liquid product of Supercritical Water Gasification and microfiltration via ceramic membranes for fine solids removal from the Fast Pyrolysis bio-oil. Challenges, risks, and suitable strategies to implement these options in the context of biomass-to-energy conversion are discussed and recommendations are made. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofuel Value Chains: Innovations and Sustainability)
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