Characterization of novel adsorbents for recovery of biofuels

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Due to depletion of oil resources, increasing fuel prices and environmental issues associated with burning of fossil fuels, extensive research has been performed in biofuel production and dramatic progress has

Due to depletion of oil resources, increasing fuel prices and environmental issues associated with burning of fossil fuels, extensive research has been performed in biofuel production and dramatic progress has been made. But still problems exist in economically production of biofuels. One major problem is recovery of biofuels from fermentation broth with the relatively low product titer achieved. A lot of in situ product recovery techniques including liquid-liquid extraction, membrane extraction, pervaporation, gas stripping and adsorption have been developed and adsorption is shown to be the most promising one compared to other methods. Yet adsorption is not perfect due to defect in adsorbents and operation method used. So laurate adsorption using polymer resins was first investigated by doing adsorption isotherm, kinetic, breakthrough curve experiment and column adsorption of laurate from culture. The results indicate that polymer resins have good capacity for laurate with the highest capacity of 430 g/kg achieved by IRA-402 and can successfully recover laurate from culture without causing problem to Synechocystis sp.. Another research of this paper focused on a novel adsorbent: magnetic particles by doing adsorption equilibrium, kinetic and toxicity experiment. Preliminary results showed excellent performance on both adsorption capacity and kinetics. But further experiment revealed that magnetic particles were toxicity and inhibited growth of all kinds of cell tested severely, toxicity probably comes from Co (III) in magnetic particles. This problem might be solved by either using biocompatible coatings or immobilization of cells, which needs more investigation.