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Special Issue "Advances in Sustainable Bioenergy Production and Biomass Waste Reutilization"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2023 | Viewed by 6778

Special Issue Editors

Department of Chemical Engineering, Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science, Centre for Photonics and Advanced Materials Research, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Kajang 43000, Selangor, Malaysia
Interests: catalysis; bioenergy; biomass; kinetics and reactions; supercritical process
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Chemical Engineering, Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science, Centre for Photonics and Advanced Materials Research, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Kajang 43000, Selangor, Malaysia
Interests: catalysis; bioenergy; biomass; nanoparticles, membrane technology
Department of Chemical Engineering, Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science, Centre for Photonics and Advanced Materials Research, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Kajang 43000, Selangor, Malaysia
Interests: environmental catalysis; biomass; wastewater treatment
Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok, Bangkok 10800, Thailand
Interests: biomass pretreatment; biorefinery; bioethanol; bioprocess engineering; process development; techno-economic assessment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biomass has been an integral part of our civilization since prehistoric times. It has a broad range of applications covering energy, food, specialty chemicals, advanced materials, transportation, constructions and many more, which collectively represent most of our basic needs. Its role as a renewable bioenergy source is becoming increasingly critical lately, due to the impacts of fossil fuels to our environment and ecosystem. Bioenergy derived from biomass can offer several advantages to our current and future energy supply chain, including in being renewable, carbon neutral, widely available irrespective of the geographical location, easily accessible and in readily fitting into the current energy infrastructure. However, there are still technological challenges that need to be overcome with regard to the processing and conversion of biomass to bioenergy to ensure its viability in terms of being both economical and sustainable. Ample research works have attempted to develop numerous advancements in sustainable bioenergy production related to biofuels such as biodiesel, bioethanol, solid biofuel and green aviation fuel. In particular, biomass waste recycling has also been identified as one of the key enablers of sustainable bioenergy production, which ensures the concept of the circular economy is attained in a more holistic manner. Biomass waste recycling and reutilization not only helps to reduce the waste burden to the environment but, at the same time, allows converting the waste into higher value-added bioproducts such as biopolymers, lubricants and specialty chemicals via consolidated biorefinery.

As such, the aim of this Special Issue is to gather and publish the latest advancements in sustainable bioenergy production in various aspects including biomass waste recycling and reutilization. It is hoped that the publications within can fill some of the gaps in our existing knowledge on bioenergy production and biomass waste recycling while simultaneously spurring more in-depth research works in these areas.

The list of relevant topics includes but is not limited to:

  • Bioenergy
  • Biofuels
  • Biomass reutilization
  • Process intensification
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Circular economy
  • Biorefinery
  • Biomass pretreatment
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Energy storage
  • Energy saving
  • Biochar
  • Thermochemical conversion
  • Process design and optimization

This Special Issue welcomes both technical and review research papers involving fundamental, experimental, applied, numerical and theoretical works which reflect the latest developments and involve state-of-the-art emerging technologies.

Dr. Steven Lim
Dr. Shuit Siew Hoong
Dr. Pang Yean Ling
Dr. Santi Chuetor
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. Sustainability 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
  • biomass waste
  • sustainable production
  • waste reutilization
  • recycling
  • bioenergy
  • process intensification
  • life cycle assessment
  • circular economy
  • biorefinery
  • biomass pretreatment

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
Effect of Chemical Pre-Treatment on the Catalytic Performance of Oil Palm EFB Fibre Supported Magnetic Acid Catalyst
Sustainability 2023, 15(11), 8637; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15118637 - 26 May 2023
Viewed by 256
Abstract
The development of heterogenous catalysts using renewable materials has received wide attention. A heterogenous catalyst has been a preferred choice as it evades the disadvantages of homogeneous catalysts, nevertheless, heterogenous catalysts has limited activity and a longer separation process. The current study emphasises [...] Read more.
The development of heterogenous catalysts using renewable materials has received wide attention. A heterogenous catalyst has been a preferred choice as it evades the disadvantages of homogeneous catalysts, nevertheless, heterogenous catalysts has limited activity and a longer separation process. The current study emphasises the preparation of a new magnetic catalyst using oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) fibre as a carbon-based support material. The effect of different alkaline pre-treatments over the methyl ester conversion rate were investigated. The catalyst preparation parameters were studied by using the single factor optimisation approach, including the fibre loading, impregnation time, calcination temperature, and calcination time. Their effects in the esterification of oleic acid were investigated in this study. The optimisation study shows that the Na2CO3-treated(T)-EFBC magnetic catalyst had the highest esterification rate of 93.5% with 7 g EFB fibre loading, a 2 h impregnation time and a calcination temperature of 500 °C for 2 h. The catalyst possessed a good acidity of 3.5 mmol/g with excellent magnetism properties. This study showed that the catalysts are magnetically separable and exhibited good stability with 82.1% after five cycles. The oil palm EFB supported magnetic acid catalyst indicates it as a potential option to the existing solid catalysts that is economical and environmentally friendly for the esterification process. Full article
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Article
Review on Phytoremediation Potential of Floating Aquatic Plants for Heavy Metals: A Promising Approach
Sustainability 2023, 15(2), 1290; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15021290 - 10 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1535
Abstract
Water pollution due to heavy metals has become a serious environmental concern due to their hazardous properties. Since conventional water remediation techniques are generally ineffective and non-environmentally friendly, phytoremediation has gained increasing attention from worldwide researchers and scientists due to its cost-effectiveness and [...] Read more.
Water pollution due to heavy metals has become a serious environmental concern due to their hazardous properties. Since conventional water remediation techniques are generally ineffective and non-environmentally friendly, phytoremediation has gained increasing attention from worldwide researchers and scientists due to its cost-effectiveness and environmental friendliness. Hence, this review first discussed soil and water remediations. Phytoremediation can be divided into five techniques to remove heavy metals from the polluted environment, namely, phytostabilization (phytosequestration), phytodegradation (phytotransformation), phytofiltration (rhizofiltration), phytoextraction (phytoaccumulation), and phytovolatilization. Four common floating aquatic plants (accumulator plants), such as duckweed (Lemna minor), water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes), water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), and watermoss (Salvinia) were discussed in detail due to their great capability in absorbing the metal ions by their roots and further translocating the metal ions to the aerial parts. Furthermore, the parameter studies, such as optimum pH and temperature of the water, exposure duration, initial metal concentration, water salinity, and the addition of chelating agents, were evaluated. The absorption kinetics of the plants was discussed in detail. In short, phytoremediation is a promising green and sustainable water remediation approach. However, further research is necessary to enhance its practicability and performance at large-scale implementation. Full article
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Article
From Waste Biomass to Cellulosic Ethanol by Separate Hydrolysis and Fermentation (SHF) with Trichoderma viride
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010168 - 22 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1111
Abstract
Advanced biofuels can reduce fossil fuel use and the number of harmful compounds released during combustion, by reducing the use of fossil fuels. Lignocellulosic materials, especially waste biomass, are suitable substrates for the production of advanced biofuels. Among the most expensive steps in [...] Read more.
Advanced biofuels can reduce fossil fuel use and the number of harmful compounds released during combustion, by reducing the use of fossil fuels. Lignocellulosic materials, especially waste biomass, are suitable substrates for the production of advanced biofuels. Among the most expensive steps in the production of ethanol is enzyme-based hydrolysis. Using microorganisms can reduce these costs. This study investigated the effectiveness of hydrolyzing three waste lignocellulosic biomass materials (barley straw, oak shavings, spent grains) into ethanol, after biological pretreatment with Trichoderma viride fungi. The number of fermentable sugars obtained from each substrate was subjected to preliminary study, and the correlation between the temperature and fungal activity in the decomposition of lignocellulosic materials was determined. Ethanol was produced by the separate hydrolysis and fermentation (SHF) method. It was found that not all lignocellulosic biomass is suitable to decomposition and hydrolysis in the presence of T. viride. Regardless of the process temperature, the average enzymatic activity of fungi (activity index) ranged from 1.25 to 1.31. 94 mL of distillate, with a 65% (v/v) ethanol concentration produced by the hydrolysis and fermentation of the sugars released from the barley straw. Full article
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Article
Valorization of Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch for Cellulose Fibers: A Reinforcement Material in Polyvinyl Alcohol Biocomposites for Its Application as Detergent Capsules
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11446; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811446 - 13 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1038
Abstract
Cellulose fibers isolated from oil palm empty fruit bunches (OPEFB) have been studied as a potential reinforcement for polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) biocomposite. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that all three parameters—hydrolysis temperature, time and acid concentration, as well as their interactions—significantly affected the [...] Read more.
Cellulose fibers isolated from oil palm empty fruit bunches (OPEFB) have been studied as a potential reinforcement for polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) biocomposite. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that all three parameters—hydrolysis temperature, time and acid concentration, as well as their interactions—significantly affected the yield of cellulose. Moving Least Squares (MLS) and Multivariable Power Least Squares (MPLS) models demonstrated good fitness. The model also proved that acid concentration was the dominant parameter, supported by the Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis. Hydrolysis using 54% acid at 35 °C and 15 min achieved the highest cellulose yield of 80.72%. Cellulose-reinforced PVA biocomposite films demonstrated better mechanical strength, elongation at break, moisture barrier properties, thermal stability and poorer light transmission rate compared to neat PVA due to the high aspect ratio, crystallinity and good compatibility of cellulose fibers. These findings suggested the potential of cellulose fibers-reinforced PVA biocomposite film as water-soluble detergent capsules. Full article
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Article
Ganodiesel: A New Biodiesel Feedstock from Biomass of the Mushroom Ganoderma lucidum
Sustainability 2022, 14(17), 10764; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141710764 - 29 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1090
Abstract
There is a pressing demand for new sustainable eco-friendly approaches to producing green energy worldwide. This study represents the novel production of biodiesel feedstock from the medicinal mushroom Ganoderma lucidum QRS 5120 using state-of-the-art biotechnology tools. Response surface methodology (RSM) was used to [...] Read more.
There is a pressing demand for new sustainable eco-friendly approaches to producing green energy worldwide. This study represents the novel production of biodiesel feedstock from the medicinal mushroom Ganoderma lucidum QRS 5120 using state-of-the-art biotechnology tools. Response surface methodology (RSM) was used to enhance G. lucidum production in a repeated-batch fermentation strategy. By referring to the broth replacement ratio (BRR) and broth replacement time point (BRTP), RSM that was formulated using a central composite design (CCD) resulted in a significant model for all tested variables, which are exopolysaccharide (EPS), endopolysaccharide (ENS) and biomass, with BRR (%) of 60, 75 and 90, and BRTP (days) of 11, 13 and 15. The model was validated using the optimised conditions, and the results showed 4.21 g/L of EPS (BRR 77.46% and BRTP 12 days), 2.44 g/L of ENS (BRR 60% and BRTP 12.85 days), and 34.32 g/L of biomass (BRR 89.52% and BRTP 10.96 days) were produced. Biomass produced from the G. lucidum was subsequently used as feedstock for biodiesel production. Approximately 20.36% of lipid was successfully extracted from the dried G. lucidum biomass via a solvent extraction and subsequently converted to Ganodiesel through a transesterification process. The Ganodiesel produced fulfilled most of the international standards, i.e., US (ASTM D6751-08) and EU (EN 14214). Overall, this study demonstrates the optimised G. lucidum production and its lipid production as a new biodiesel feedstock. Full article
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Review

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Review
Black Soldier Fly Larvae (Hermetia illucens) for Biodiesel and/or Animal Feed as a Solution for Waste-Food-Energy Nexus: Bibliometric Analysis
Sustainability 2022, 14(21), 13993; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142113993 - 27 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1113
Abstract
In this research, an emerging study of the utilization of black soldier fly (BSF, Hermetia illucens) larvae for the preparation of biodiesel (and organic waste treatment) and the generation of alternative feed for improved food production was mapped bibliometrically from the Scopus [...] Read more.
In this research, an emerging study of the utilization of black soldier fly (BSF, Hermetia illucens) larvae for the preparation of biodiesel (and organic waste treatment) and the generation of alternative feed for improved food production was mapped bibliometrically from the Scopus database. BSF is a promising biological agent for tackling the waste-food-energy (WFE) nexus, which is a problematic vicious cycle that may threaten Earth’s sustainability, hence its emergence. With its short life cycle, ability to consume organic waste equal to its own weight on a daily basis, and ability for conversion to larvae with a high protein and lipid content, BSF larvae is the perfect choice as a one-step solution of the WFE nexus. To further perfect the research of BSF for the WFE nexus, this bibliometric analysis, and the citation evolution profile, were carried out with the objectives of characterizing the progress of publications in the last 10 years (2011–2022) in order to determine future research directions in this field, identify the top publications for wider reach to the public, and identify productive authors and leading countries to visualize opportunities for future collaborations. Full article
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