Special Issue "Sustainable Biofuel Production"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2016).

Special Issue Editor

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Veera Gnaneswar Gude
Website
Guest Editor
Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA
Interests: N–E–W (nutrient–energy–water) nexus; biofuels; desalination and wastewater treatment
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Petroleum-based fuels are currently serving the modern world, and it has been the case over the past century. However, while they were once considered inexhaustible, these petroleum sources are diminishing at much faster rate than natural processes can replenish them due to rapid population growth and industrialization. This, combined with several interrelated impending global crises, namely, climate change, chemicals, energy, and environmental pollution, raises the need for alternative energy supplies, such as biofuels from renewable resources.  This Special Issue focuses on chemistry related to renewable fuels research. Biofuels can be broadly categorized as any fuels that are of biomass origin such as bioethanol, biodiesel, biogas, bio-oils and syngas. Understanding the fundamental chemistry of biofuels and developing appropriate technologies for their implementation will provide sustainable solutions for energy crises in the future.
For biofuels to substitute conventional gasoline or petroleum sources as an alternative transportation fuel, they should (i) have superior environmental benefits, (ii) be economically competitive, (iii) have meaningful supplies to meet energy demands, and (iv) have a positive net energy balance ratio (NER). Sustainable biofuel production needs to consider: (a) utilizing low cost feedstock; (b) utilizing energy-efficient, non-conventional heating and mixing technologies (process intensification); (c) increase net energy benefits of the process; and (d) utilize renewable raw material/energy sources where possible.
Efficient synthesis of biofuels remains a challenging and important field of research. Embracing the principles of green chemistry might result in a sustainable route for their production. Green chemistry combined with process intensification provides unique opportunities for innovation via product substitution, new feedstock generation, catalysis in aqueous media, utilization of microwaves or ultrasound, waste minimization and scope for alternative or natural solvents. The potential of utilizing waste as a new resource and the development of integrated processes producing multiple high value bio-products from biomass is highly desirable to improve the economics of the renewable fuels.
Sustainable biofuel production requires interdisciplinary approaches involving chemists and physicists from both scientific and engineering backgrounds. Therefore, the topics of interest will be the fundamental (biochemistry, electrochemistry, physical chemistry, and organic and inorganic chemistry) and applied (engineering and industrial) chemistries related to the following topics (but not limited to only these):

  • Biofuel feedstock- challenges and opportunities
  • Biodiesel, Bioethanol, Biogas, Biohydrogen, Bioelectrochemistry
  • Waste to energy, wastewater treatment for energy recovery, sludge to energy
  • Green chemistry, green catalysis and green engineering of biofuel production
  • Process intensification, Microwave and ultrasound applications
  • Single-pot conversions, Multiple and sequential recovery of bioproducts
  • Sustainable chemical processes, ionic liquids, organic catalysis
  • Energy, environmental and economic footprints

Dr. Veera Gnaneswar Gude
Guest Editor

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. 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 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

  • renewable fuels
  • biofuels
  • biodiesel
  • bioethanol
  • sustainability
  • green chemistry
  • green engineering
  • process intensification
  • bio-electrochemistry
  • microwave and ultrasound

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Biomass Power Generation Investment in China: A Real Options Evaluation
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 563; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8060563 - 17 Jun 2016
Cited by 8
Abstract
This paper proposes a real options model for evaluating the biomass power generation investment in China. The uncertainties in the market price of electricity, CO2 price and straw price are considered. Meanwhile the dynamic relationship between installed capacity and fuel cost, as [...] Read more.
This paper proposes a real options model for evaluating the biomass power generation investment in China. The uncertainties in the market price of electricity, CO2 price and straw price are considered. Meanwhile the dynamic relationship between installed capacity and fuel cost, as well as the long-term reduction of subsidy are described. Two scenarios, i.e., with the carbon emission trading scheme existent and non-existent, respectively, is built to empirically analyze the investment of a 25-MW straw-based power generation project. The results show that investors should undertake the investment in 2030 under two scenarios. Investment values are 14,869,254.8 and 37,608,727 Chinese Yuan (RMB), respectively. The implementation of the carbon emission trading scheme theoretically helps improve investment value and advance the most likely optimal investment time. However, the current CO2 price is not sufficient to advance the most likely optimal investment time. The impacts of several factors, including subsidy policy, CO2 price, straw price, installed capacity, correlation structure and the validity period of investment, on the optimal investment strategy are also examined. It is suggested that governments take some measures, including increasing subsidy, setting the growth pattern of subsidy and establishing and perfecting a nationwide carbon trading market, to improve the investment environment and attract more investments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Biofuel Production)
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Open AccessArticle
Heterotrophic Anodic Denitrification in Microbial Fuel Cells
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 561; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8060561 - 17 Jun 2016
Cited by 8
Abstract
Nowadays, pollution caused by energy production systems is a major environmental concern. Therefore, the development of sustainable energy sources is required. Amongst others, the microbial fuel cell (MFC) seems to be a possible solution because it can produce clean energy at the same [...] Read more.
Nowadays, pollution caused by energy production systems is a major environmental concern. Therefore, the development of sustainable energy sources is required. Amongst others, the microbial fuel cell (MFC) seems to be a possible solution because it can produce clean energy at the same time that waste is stabilized. Unfortunately, mainly due to industrial discharges, the wastes could contain nitrates, or nitrates precursors such ammonia, which could lead to lower performance in terms of electricity production. In this work, the feasibility of coupling anodic denitrification process with electricity production in MFC and the effect of the nitrates over the MFC performance were studied. During the experiments, it was observed that the culture developed in the anodic chamber of the MFC presented a significant amount of denitrificative microorganisms. The MFC developed was able to denitrify up to 4 ppm, without affecting the current density exerted, of about 1 mA/cm2. Regarding the denitrification process, it must be highlighted that the maximum denitrification rate achieved with the culture was about 60 mg·NO3·L−1·h−1. Based on these results, it can be stated that it is possible to remove nitrates and to produce energy, without negatively affecting the electrical performance, when the nitrate concentration is low. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Biofuel Production)
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