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Special Issue "Efficient Technology for the Pretreatment of Biomass II"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Green Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Ivet Ferrer

Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Group of Environmental Engineering and Microbiology, Barcelona, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: biodegradable waste; microalgae, sewage sludge, biogas; anaerobic digestion; co-digestion; biomass pretreatment; life cycle assessment (LCA); low-tech digesters
Guest Editor
Dr. Cigdem Eskicioglu

The University of British Columbia, UBC Bioreactor Technology Group, School of Engineering, Kelowna, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sludge pretreatment; advanced anaerobic digestion; nutrient removal/recovery from wastewater; odor minimization; fate of micropollutants
Guest Editor
Dr. Georgia Antonopoulou

Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences (ICE-HT/FORTH), Patra, Greece
Website | E-Mail
Interests: biofuels production via microbial processes (anaerobic digestion, fermentative hydrogen production, and bioethanol production); microbial fuel cells; pre-treatment of lignocellulosic biomass; modelling of microbial processes
Guest Editor
Dr. Audrey Battimelli

LBE, INRA Institut National de La Recherche Agronomique, Montpellier Université, Narbonne, France
Website | E-Mail
Interests: anaerobic digestion; physicochemical process; recalcitrant organic matter; digestate valorisation; fatty waste; sludge; manure; agricultural residues

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biomass can be used as feedstock for the production of biomaterials, chemicals, platform molecules, or biofuels. It is the most reliable alternative to reduce fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Within the framework of the circular economy, resource recovery from organic waste, including sewage sludge, municipal solid-waste, biowaste, manure, and slaughterhouse waste, is particularly useful, as it helps save resources while reducing environmental pollution. In contrast to energy crops, lignocellulosic biomass and algae do not compete for food production; hence, they represent an important source of biomass for bioenergy and bioproducts. However, biomass may require a pretreatment step in order to enhance its conversion into valuable products in terms of process yield and/or productivity. Furthermore, a pretreatment step may be mandatory for waste management (i.e., animal by-products).

Pretreatment technologies are applied upstream of various conversion processes of biomass into biofuels or biomaterials, including bioethanol, biohydrogen, biomethane, biomolecules, or bioproducts. Pretreatments may include mechanical, thermal, chemical, and biological techniques, which represent a crucial, cost-intensive step for the development of biorefineries. Thus, research is needed to help identify the most effective, economic, and environmentally friendly pretreatment options for each feedstock.

This Special Issue aims to gather research papers on recent developments of biomass pretreatments for bioproducts or biofuels production. Papers describing new insights on pretreatment mechanisms; the development of new, efficient pretreatment processes; and environmental, energy, or economic assessments and modeling of pretreatment processes are particularly expected. Review articles are also welcome.

Dr. Ivet Ferrer
Dr Cigdem Eskicioglu
Dr. Audrey Battimelli
Dr. Georgia Antonopoulou
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. Molecules 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

  • new pretreatment technologies
  • pretreatment mechanisms
  • biomass fractionation for biorefinery
  • pretreatment modelling
  • environmental assessment
  • energy assessment
  • economic assessment
  • life-cycle assessment

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Enhanced Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Pennisetum alopecuroides by Dilute Acid, Alkaline and Ferric Chloride Pretreatments
Molecules 2019, 24(9), 1715; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24091715
Received: 8 April 2019 / Revised: 27 April 2019 / Accepted: 30 April 2019 / Published: 2 May 2019
PDF Full-text (3293 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, effects of different pretreatment methods on the enzymatic digestibility of Pennisetum alopecuroides, a ubiquitous wild grass in China, were investigated to evaluate its potential as a feedstock for biofuel production. The stalk samples were separately pretreated with H2 [...] Read more.
In this study, effects of different pretreatment methods on the enzymatic digestibility of Pennisetum alopecuroides, a ubiquitous wild grass in China, were investigated to evaluate its potential as a feedstock for biofuel production. The stalk samples were separately pretreated with H2SO4, NaOH and FeCl3 solutions of different concentrations at 120 °C for 30 min, after which enzymatic hydrolysis was conducted to measure the digestibility of pretreated samples. Results demonstrated that different pretreatments were effective at removing hemicellulose, among which ferric chloride pretreatment (FCP) gave the highest soluble sugar recovery (200.2 mg/g raw stalk) from the pretreatment stage. In comparison with FCP and dilute acid pretreatment (DAP), dilute alkaline pretreatment (DALP) induced much higher delignification and stronger morphological changes of the biomass, making it more accessible to hydrolysis enzymes. As a result, DALP using 1.2% NaOH showed the highest total soluble sugar yield through the whole process from pretreatment to enzymatic hydrolysis (508.5 mg/g raw stalk). The present work indicates that DALP and FCP have the potential to enhance the effective bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass like P. alopecuroides, hence making this material a valuable and promising energy plant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Efficient Technology for the Pretreatment of Biomass II)
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Two Process Schemes Combining Hydrothermal Treatment and Acidogenic Fermentation of Source-Separated Organics
Molecules 2019, 24(8), 1466; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24081466
Received: 14 March 2019 / Revised: 5 April 2019 / Accepted: 6 April 2019 / Published: 13 April 2019
PDF Full-text (1563 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This study compares the effects of pre- and post-hydrothermal treatment of source- separated organics (SSO) on solubilization of particulate organics and acidogenic fermentation for volatile fatty acids (VFAs) production. The overall COD solubilization and solids removal efficiencies from both schemes were comparable. However, [...] Read more.
This study compares the effects of pre- and post-hydrothermal treatment of source- separated organics (SSO) on solubilization of particulate organics and acidogenic fermentation for volatile fatty acids (VFAs) production. The overall COD solubilization and solids removal efficiencies from both schemes were comparable. However, the pre-hydrolysis of SSO followed by acidogenic fermentation resulted in a relatively higher VFA yield of 433 mg/g VSS, which was 18% higher than that of a process scheme with a post-hydrolysis of dewatered solids from the fermentation process. Regarding the composition of VFA, the dominance of acetate and butyrate was comparable in both process schemes, while propionate concentration considerably increased in the process with pre-hydrolysis of SSO. The microbial community results showed that the relative abundance of Firmicutes increased substantially in the fermentation of pretreated SSO, indicating that there might be different metabolic pathways for production of VFAs in fermentation process operated with pre-treated SSO. The possible reason might be that the abundance of soluble organic matters due to pre-hydrolysis might stimulate the growth of more kinetically efficient fermentative bacteria as indicated by the increase in Firmicutes percentage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Efficient Technology for the Pretreatment of Biomass II)
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Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Effect of the Chemical Character of Ionic Liquids on Biomass Pre-Treatment and Posterior Enzymatic Hydrolysis
Molecules 2019, 24(4), 808; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24040808
Received: 3 February 2019 / Revised: 15 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 23 February 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2556 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Ionic liquids have been recognised as interesting solvents applicable in efficient lignocellulosic biomass valorisation, especially in biomass fractionation into individual polymeric components or direct hydrolysis of some biomass fractions. Considering the chemical character of ionic liquids, two different approaches paved the way for [...] Read more.
Ionic liquids have been recognised as interesting solvents applicable in efficient lignocellulosic biomass valorisation, especially in biomass fractionation into individual polymeric components or direct hydrolysis of some biomass fractions. Considering the chemical character of ionic liquids, two different approaches paved the way for the fractionation of biomass. The first strategy integrated a pre-treatment, hydrolysis and conversion of biomass through the employment of hydrogen-bond acidic 1-ethyl-3-methyimidazolim hydrogen sulphate ionic liquid. The second strategy relied on the use of a three-step fractionation process with hydrogen-bond basic 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate to produce high purity cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin fractions. The proposed approaches were scrutinised for wheat straw and eucalyptus residues. These different biomasses enabled an understanding that enzymatic hydrolysis yields are dependent on the crystallinity of the pre-treated biomass. The use of acetate based ionic liquid allowed crystalline cellulose I to change to cellulose II and consequently enhanced the glucan to glucose yield to 93.1 ± 4.1 mol% and 82.9 ± 1.2 mol% for wheat straw and eucalyptus, respectively. However, for hydrogen sulphate ionic liquid, the same enzymatic hydrolysis yields were 61.6 ± 0.2 mol% for wheat straw and only 7.9 ± 0.3 mol% for eucalyptus residues. These results demonstrate the importance of both ionic liquid character and biomass type for efficient biomass processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Efficient Technology for the Pretreatment of Biomass II)
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Figure 1

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of the paper: Research Paper
Tentative title: Enhancement of Volatile Fatty Acids production from Food Waste by mature compost addition
Authors: Cheah, Y.K., Vidal-Antich, C., Dosta, J., Mata-Álvarez, J. 
Affiliations: University of Barcelona
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