Special Issue "Environmental Catalysis Processes Based on Biomass"

A special issue of Processes (ISSN 2227-9717). This special issue belongs to the section "Chemical Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Juan Antonio Cecilia
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Departamento de Química Inorgánica, Cristalografía y Mineralogía, Campus de Teatinos, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, 29071 Málaga, Spain
Interests: Heterogeneous catalysis; mesoporous solids synthesis; acid – base catalysis; biomass valorization by means of catalytic processes
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Francisco Murilo Tavares de Luna
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Departamento de Enghenería Química, Universidade Federal do Ceará, Fortaleza, CE 60.455-900, Brazil
Interests: biomass valorization; biodiesel; biolubricants; homogeneous catalysis; esterification; epoxidation; modeling and simulation of processes
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the last decade, the decline of traditional fossil fuels has led to the search and development of alternative energy sources, which must be sustainable and respectful to the environment. Among them, biomass is the only carbon-based energy source, so it is the only source with the potential to obtain energy and the most noteworthy to synthesize valuable products, which are currently formed from fossil fuels. The transformation of biomass into value-added products takes place through thermophysical and thermochemical processes using heterogeneous catalysts.

Taking into account the need to obtain valuable organic products from biomass, the focus of this Special Issue is the use of catalysts to valorize biomass. The choice of the biomass source is a key factor to obtain a sustainable process, since lignocellulosic biomass should not interfere with the food chain. In this sense, lignocellulose has emerged as a sustainable source due to its abundance and low cost to obtain fuels and chemicals. More recently, the organic waste related to the harvest, manufacture, and disposal of food has also emerged as a sustainable biomass source to obtain high value-added products.

Based on this, we would like to invite authors to publish papers and short reviews related to the use of heterogeneous catalysts in different reactions in order to obtain a platform of fuel products from the valorization of biomass.

Dr. Juan A. Cecilia
Prof. Dr. Francisco Murilo Tavares de Luna
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. Processes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 2000 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

  • biomass
  • biorefinery
  • homogeneous catalyst
  • heterogeneous catalysis
  • valorization
  • biolubricants
  • valuable products

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Isomerization of Glucose to Fructose in Hydrolysates from Lignocellulosic Biomass Using Hydrotalcite
Processes 2020, 8(6), 644; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8060644 - 28 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 815
Abstract
The isomerization of glucose-containing hydrolysates to fructose is a key step in the process from lignocellulosic biomass to the platform chemical hydroxymethylfurfural. We investigated the isomerization reaction of glucose to fructose in water catalyzed by hydrotalcite. Catalyst characterization was performed via IR, XRD, [...] Read more.
The isomerization of glucose-containing hydrolysates to fructose is a key step in the process from lignocellulosic biomass to the platform chemical hydroxymethylfurfural. We investigated the isomerization reaction of glucose to fructose in water catalyzed by hydrotalcite. Catalyst characterization was performed via IR, XRD, and SEM. Firstly, glucose solutions at pH-neutral conditions were converted under variation of the temperature, residence time, and catalyst loading, whereby a maximum of 25 wt.% fructose yield was obtained at a 38 wt.% glucose conversion. Secondly, isomerization was performed at pH = 2 using glucose solutions as well as glucose-containing hydrolysates from lignocellulosic biomass. Under acidic conditions, the hydrotalcite loses its activity for isomerization. Consequently, it is unavoidable to neutralize the acidic hydrolysate before the isomerization step with an inexpensive base. As a neutralizing agent NaOH is preferred over Ba(OH)2, since higher fructose yields are achieved with NaOH. Lastly, a pH-neutral hydrolysate from lignocellulose was subjected to isomerization, yielding 16 wt.% fructose at a 32 wt.% glucose conversion. This work targets the application of catalytic systems on real biomass-derived samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Catalysis Processes Based on Biomass)
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Open AccessArticle
The Production of Gaseous Biofuels Using Biomass Waste from Construction Sites in Recife, Brazil
Processes 2020, 8(4), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8040457 - 13 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 727
Abstract
Due to climate change problems caused by greenhouse gas emissions generated by fossil fuels and from waste disposition, fuel alternatives for power generation are being extensively researched. Currently, in Brazil and in many countries, wood waste is disposed in landfills. However, due to [...] Read more.
Due to climate change problems caused by greenhouse gas emissions generated by fossil fuels and from waste disposition, fuel alternatives for power generation are being extensively researched. Currently, in Brazil and in many countries, wood waste is disposed in landfills. However, due to lignin, one of the major constituents of biomass, which prevents wood waste from suffering microbial degradation, there is no significant mass degradation, even over decades, when landfilled. Hence, landfilling is not a solution to discard wood waste. Hence, one of the solutions to get rid of the great amount of wood waste is to use it as feedstock in waste-to-electricity (WTE) projects. WTE projects are in high demand in the world, as they can replace fossil fuels and they reduce two major environmental problems (greenhouse gas emissions due to the use of fossil fuels and the accumulation of waste in landfills), while generating biofuels and/or electricity. One of the residues that can be used in WTE projects is biomass residue from construction sites (CCbiowaste). CCbiowaste could be converted into gaseous biofuels through pyrolysis or gasification. These gaseous biofuels can be used in Otto engines connected to an electricity generator (gensets) to produce electricity and/or heat (cogeneration applications). Hence, the objective of this research was to characterize (physically, chemically, and energetically) civil construction biomass wastes (CCbiowaste), produced in a residential building construction site in Recife, Brazil, and to use these wastes in a bench-scale gasifier to produce gaseous biofuels at the temperatures of 700 °C, 800 °C, and 900 °C. The gaseous fuels were collected in the gasifier and analyzed in a gas chromatograph equipped with a thermal conductivity detector (TCD) to determine their composition and heating values. The lower heating value (LHV) results varied from 8.07 MJ∙m−3 to 10.74 MJ∙m−3 for 700 °C to 900 °C gasification temperature. These gaseous fuels were tested in an adapted Otto cycle engine connected to an electricity generator to prove the feasibility of this application. The highest total energy per ton of biomass was obtained for mixed wood and Pinus at 900 °C, with approximately 13 GJ∙ton−1. Hence, the use of CCbiowaste can become an option for the reuse of wasted wood instead of simply dumping in a landfill. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Catalysis Processes Based on Biomass)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Lanthanum Effect on Ni/Al2O3 as a Catalyst Applied in Steam Reforming of Glycerol for Hydrogen Production
Processes 2019, 7(7), 449; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr7070449 - 15 Jul 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1169
Abstract
Nowadays, the massive production of biodiesel leads to a surplus of glycerol. Thus, new applications of this by-product are being developed. In this study, glycerol steam reforming was carried out with Ni catalysts supported on Al2O3 rings and La-modified Al [...] Read more.
Nowadays, the massive production of biodiesel leads to a surplus of glycerol. Thus, new applications of this by-product are being developed. In this study, glycerol steam reforming was carried out with Ni catalysts supported on Al2O3 rings and La-modified Al2O3. The catalysts were characterized by N2 physical adsorption, X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and thermogravimetry. Both catalysts were effective in glycerol steam reforming. However, Ni/Al2O3 activity decreased over reaction time. Ni/La2O3/Al2O3 showed the best stability during the reaction. In addition, the activity of the modified support, La2O3/Al2O3, was evaluated. The modification of the support lent catalytic properties to the solid. Some conditions such as catalyst arrangement (catalyst in the first or second reactor), space velocity, and reaction temperature were studied. The highest hydrogen production was obtained when half the amount of the catalyst was located in both reactors. Glycerol conversion into gases was similar, regardless the space velocity, although higher amounts of H2 were obtained when this variable decreased. Complete glycerol conversion into gases was obtained at 900 and 1000 °C, and hydrogen production reached a H2/glycerol molar ratio of 5.6. Finally, the presence of the catalyst and the optimization of these conditions increased the energy capacity of the produced stream. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Catalysis Processes Based on Biomass)
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Open AccessCommunication
Biological Pretreatment of Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch by Schizophyllum commune ENN1 without Washing and Nutrient Addition
Processes 2019, 7(7), 402; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr7070402 - 01 Jul 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1259
Abstract
Washing and drying are common steps for oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB) preparation prior to pretreatment. However, the mass balance of OPEFB preparation proved a major loss of OPEFB during the washing and drying steps. An indigenous fungus, Schizophyllum commune ENN1 was [...] Read more.
Washing and drying are common steps for oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB) preparation prior to pretreatment. However, the mass balance of OPEFB preparation proved a major loss of OPEFB during the washing and drying steps. An indigenous fungus, Schizophyllum commune ENN1 was used for delignification of unwashed OPEFB in biological pretreatment without nutrient addition. S. commune ENN1 achieved a maximum lignin removal of 53.8% after 14 days of biological pretreatment of unwashed OPEFB. S. commune ENN1 was able to grow on unwashed OPEFB during biological pretreatment at 55% of moisture content and 5% of oil residue. The highest amount of reducing sugars obtained from OPEFB pretreated by S. commune ENN1 was 230.4 ± 0.19 mg/g with 54% of hydrolysis yield at 96 h. In comparison, the sugar yield of OPEFB pretreated by Phanerochaete chrysosporium was 101.2 ± 0.04 mg/g. This study showed that S. commune ENN1 was feasible to remove lignin of OPEFB through biological pretreatment for enzymatic saccharification without washing and addition of nutrients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Catalysis Processes Based on Biomass)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
An Overview of the Biolubricant Production Process: Challenges and Future Perspectives
Processes 2020, 8(3), 257; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8030257 - 25 Feb 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1746
Abstract
The term biolubricant applies to all lubricants that are easily biodegradable and non-toxic to humans and the environment. The uses of biolubricant are still very limited when compared to those of mineral oils, although this trend is increasing and depends on investment in [...] Read more.
The term biolubricant applies to all lubricants that are easily biodegradable and non-toxic to humans and the environment. The uses of biolubricant are still very limited when compared to those of mineral oils, although this trend is increasing and depends on investment in research and development (R&D). The increase in demand for biodegradable lubricants is related to the evolution of environmental regulations, with more restrictive rules being implemented to minimize environmental impact caused by inappropriate disposal. This study provides an overview of the types, production routes, properties, and applications of biolubricants. Biolubricants are classified as either natural or synthetic oils according to chemical composition. Natural oils are of animal or vegetable origin and are rarely used because they are unstable at high temperatures and form compounds that are harmful to equipment and machines. Synthetic oils are obtained from chemical reactions and are the best lubricants for demanding applications. They are obtained by various routes, mainly by obtaining straight or branched-chain monoesters, diesters, triesters, and polyol esters from vegetable oils. The conversion of triglyceride to esters can be followed or preceded by one or more reactions to improve reactions such as epoxidation and hydrogenation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Catalysis Processes Based on Biomass)
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