Special Issue "Renewable and Sustainable Biofuel Production: Technical, Economic and Environmental Aspects"

A special issue of Fuels (ISSN 2673-3994).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2023 | Viewed by 3095

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Kok Siew Ng
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Brunel University London, Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH, UK
2. Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PJ, UK
Interests: biorefinery; resource recovery; sustainable resource and waste management; biomass and waste valorization; techno-economic assessment; life cycle assessment; process integration; systems engineering; circular economy
Prof. Dr. Denny K. S. Ng
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University Malaysia, No 1, Jalan Venna P5/2, Precinct 5, Putrajaya 62200, Malaysia
Interests: process integration and optimisation; value chain optimisation; net zero; biorefinery and biomass processing; pinch analysis, circular economy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Anh N. Phan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
Interests: biorefinery; biofuel processing; bioenergy and biomass; waste valorisation; process intensification and integration; circular economy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There is an urgent need to limit the global temperature rise by 1.5°C and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. At present, transportation fuel production heavily relies on fossil fuels, with severe environmental impacts. Transitioning from a fossil-based economy to a more sustainable, renewable and circular economy is therefore a crucial step. However, this is not a straightforward process, as there are a number of challenges that must first be addressed, such as the availability of feedstock, robustness of the conversion and pollution mitigation technologies and sustainability performance of the integrated system. This Special Issue invites original research papers and review papers focusing on the valorisation of biomass and waste into biofuel that can then be used for road transportation and aviation fuels.

We are looking for contributions in the following areas:

  • Technologies: novel/emerging technologies including but not limited to thermochemical, biochemical and (photo)electrochemical conversion.
  • Tools/methods: multi-/interdisciplinary approaches are particularly welcome. Both computational modelling and experimental studies are welcome and should demonstrate a holistic assessment in terms of technical, economic and environmental dimensions. We also encourage research that demonstrates resource efficiency enhancement through process integration and intensification strategies. Studies based on purely experimental research without a holistic assessment are not within the scope of this Special Issue.
  • Sustainability analysis: techno-economic analysis, life cycle assessment (LCA) and any other assessments of the novel/emerging production technologies will be considered.
  • Case studies: local/regional/national/international case studies; small/large-scale systems; and policy recommendations are also welcome.

Dr. Kok Siew Ng
Prof. Dr. Denny K. S. Ng
Dr. Anh N. Phan
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. Fuels is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly 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 1000 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

  • renewable energy
  • waste valorization
  • biofuel
  • hydrogen production
  • biorefinery
  • resource recovery
  • sustainability assessments

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Process Simulation and Design Considerations for Biodiesel Production from Rubber Seed Oil
Fuels 2022, 3(4), 563-579; https://doi.org/10.3390/fuels3040034 - 27 Sep 2022
Viewed by 843
Abstract
Indonesia is one of the largest rubber producers worldwide. However, rubber seeds still garner less attention due to their low economic value. In fact, the rubber seeds contain 40–50% (w/w) of rubber seed oil (RSO), which is a potential candidate to [...] Read more.
Indonesia is one of the largest rubber producers worldwide. However, rubber seeds still garner less attention due to their low economic value. In fact, the rubber seeds contain 40–50% (w/w) of rubber seed oil (RSO), which is a potential candidate to be used as a feedstock in biodiesel production. In this regard, this study aims to model and simulate the production process of biodiesel from RSO via transesterification reaction, employing methanol and heterogeneous catalyst. The simulation was performed using ASPEN Hysys v11. Acid-based catalyzed esterification was implemented to eliminate soap formation, which may significantly lower biodiesel yield. The results showed that an RSO inlet rate of 1100 L/h with a methanol to oil molar ratio of 1:6 could generate around 1146 L/h biodiesel. Methanol recovery was conducted, an approximately 95% of excess methanol could be regenerated. Simulation results indicated that the properties of the biodiesel produced are compatible with modern diesel engines. Economic analysis also shows that this technology is promising, with excellent investment criteria. Full article
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Article
Modelling of an Anaerobic Digester: Identification of the Main Parameters Influencing the Production of Methane Using the Sobol Method
Fuels 2022, 3(3), 436-448; https://doi.org/10.3390/fuels3030027 - 16 Jul 2022
Viewed by 848
Abstract
Anaerobic digestion is a promising method of organic waste valorisation, particularly for fish farm waste, which has experienced a high growth rate in recent years. The literature contains predictive mathematical models that have been developed by various authors, allowing the prediction of the [...] Read more.
Anaerobic digestion is a promising method of organic waste valorisation, particularly for fish farm waste, which has experienced a high growth rate in recent years. The literature contains predictive mathematical models that have been developed by various authors, allowing the prediction of the composition of bio-gas production from organic waste. In general, Monod’s kinetic expression is the basis for describing the enzymatic reaction rates for anaerobic digestion. In this work, several parameters are taken into account, such as temperature, cell growth inhibition, and other operating parameters, and systems of differential equations coupling the kinetics and stoichiometry for bio-reactions are applied to better describe the dynamics. Because of the high number of initial parameters that need to be defined for the anaerobic digester, the use of this model requires significant resources and a long calculation time. For this reason, a global sensitivity analysis (GSA) is applied to this predictive model based on the Sobol index method, in order to identify the most influential key parameters and the interactions between them. For the digestion of fish waste, it is observed that the key parameters influencing methane production are the lipid concentration of the waste, temperature, and hydraulic retention time (HRT). Full article
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Article
Co-Solvent Assisted Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Algal Biomass and Biocrude Upgrading
Fuels 2022, 3(2), 326-341; https://doi.org/10.3390/fuels3020020 - 27 May 2022
Viewed by 986
Abstract
This study reports the hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of microalgae Spirulina platenesis in the presence of alcohol or formic acid co-solvents. HTL runs are performed in a 1.8-L batch reactor at 300 °C using an alcohol (methanol and ethanol) or formic acid co-solvent. Consequently, [...] Read more.
This study reports the hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of microalgae Spirulina platenesis in the presence of alcohol or formic acid co-solvents. HTL runs are performed in a 1.8-L batch reactor at 300 °C using an alcohol (methanol and ethanol) or formic acid co-solvent. Consequently, hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of resultant algal biocrude is performed at 350 °C for 2 h under high hydrogen pressure (~725 psi) using the Ru/C catalyst. The HTL results are compared with the control HTL run performed in water only. The results of the study show that the addition of co-solvents leads to a 30–63% increased biocrude yield over the control HTL run. Formic acid results in a 59.0% yield of biocrude, the highest amongst all co-solvents tested. Resultant biocrudes from formic acid-assisted and ethanol-assisted HTL runs have 21.6% and 3.8–11.0% higher energy content, respectively, than that of the control run. However, that of the methanol-assisted HTL results in biocrude with 4.2–9.0% lower energy density. Viscosity of biocrude from methanol- or ethanol-assisted HTL is higher than the control HTL but formic acid-assisted HTL results in a less viscous biocrude product. In addition, the HDO study leads to a 40.6% yield of upgraded oil, which is characterized by a higher net energy content and lower O/C and N/C ratios when compared to the initial HTL biocrude. Full article
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