Matching Items (21)

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Determination of Higher Heating Value for Algal Products

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Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Algae represents one of many pathways for the sustainable replacement of fossil fuels in transportation. When processing and researching algal biofuel, determination of the higher heating value

Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Algae represents one of many pathways for the sustainable replacement of fossil fuels in transportation. When processing and researching algal biofuel, determination of the higher heating value (HHV) is paramount. Bomb calorimetry represents to current method for direct determination of HHV. When determining HHV’s indirectly, the industry standard is using one of many linear correlations relating elemental composition to HHV. Most of these correlations were developed from coal industry data, meaning that they do not necessarily fit algal product data well. In this study bomb calorimetry data and CHNS/O elemental composition data were collected for Chlorella, Micract, GS 5587.1, Kirchnella, and Gal 87.1 MM8 algae species. This data was added to CHNS/O and HHV values for other algal products in literature, and utilized to test the accuracy of the Dulong, Gumz, Vandralek and Boie correlations for algae products. Several preliminary algae specific correlations were proposed through a linear regression model of the data. Of the 5 samples tested, Kirchnella exhibited the highest HHV (23.2405 ± 0.0216 MJ/kg) and Chlorella exhibited the lowest (20.2055 ± 0.0484 MJ/kg). For both the experimental, and literature CHNS/O vs HHV data, the Vandralek and Boie correlations provided the best approximations in this study. For the totality of the data collected and researched in this study, 6 of 8 proposed correlations outperformed the Vandralek equation for HHV approximation. The most promising proposed correlations incorporated multiple linear regressions for elemental fractions of CHS, CHSO and CHNSO. Being that only 20 distinct algal product samples were regressed to create the proposed correlations, more data should be incorporated before publication of a final correlation. This study should serve as a starting point for the compilation of an exhaustive database for algal product assay and HHV data.

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  • 2017-05

Process Design and Refinement for Bioproduction of Sustainable Butanol

Description

This document outlines the research work done by Shona Becwar in the process design and refinement for the production of sustainable butanol from Clostridium, along with the required background knowledge

This document outlines the research work done by Shona Becwar in the process design and refinement for the production of sustainable butanol from Clostridium, along with the required background knowledge on the subject. The process that the microbiological organisms go through to produce butanol must be an oxygen free environment for up to 21 days with multiple perforations made into the environment in this period. There was not previously a cost effective method to do this, even in small scale. It was determined that using a butyl rubber septa would allow for the environment to be sustained during the growth process. The pervaporation process was losing butanol product at a rate of approximately 60%, changing the tubing from silicon to stainless steel allowed for a mere 7% loss during the separation process, greatly increasing the prospective of upscaling this process. These improvements to the sustainable butanol production process will allow for a more efficient, therefore more economically competitive product which can be used as a drop in equivalent to the current butanol market.

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  • 2016-05

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Analysis of Acyl Carrier Protein in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803

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Acyl Carrier Protein (ACP) is a small, acidic protein that plays an essential role in fatty acid synthesis by elongating fatty acid chains. ACP was isolated from an extract of

Acyl Carrier Protein (ACP) is a small, acidic protein that plays an essential role in fatty acid synthesis by elongating fatty acid chains. ACP was isolated from an extract of a modified strain of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 that contains a thioesterase and from which the acyl-ACP synthetase has been deleted. Using ammonium sulfate precipitation to isolate a crude protein fraction containing ACP, immunoblot analysis was performed to determine relative amounts of free and acylated-ACP in the cell. The nature of fatty acids attached to ACP was determined by creating butylamide derivatives that were analyzed using GC/MS. Immunoblot analysis showed a roughly 1:1 ratio of acylated ACP to free ACP in the cell depending on the nutritional state of the cell. From GC/MS data it was determined that palmitic acid was the predominate component of acyl groups attached to ACP. The results indicate that there is a significant amount of acyl-ACP, a feedback inhibitor of early steps in the fatty acid biosynthesis pathway, in the cell. Moreover, the availability of free ACP may also limit fatty acid biosynthesis. Most likely it is necessary for ACP to be overexpressed or to have the palmitic acid cleaved off in order to synthesize optimal amounts of lauric acid to be used for cyanobacterial biofuel production.

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  • 2016-05

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Methyl Laurate Production in Synechocystis

Description

To efficiently produce biofuels and meet the planet’s rising energy demands, different biofuel production methods need to be developed and improved. One of the ways is to produce fatty acid

To efficiently produce biofuels and meet the planet’s rising energy demands, different biofuel production methods need to be developed and improved. One of the ways is to produce fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, a versatile strain of cyanobacteria. In this thesis, Synechocystis was engineered to produce and excrete methyl laurate. In this pathway, first, lauroyl-ACP from fatty acid biosynthesis is converted to laurate by a thioesterase (TE) from Umbellularia californica. Then, the laurate is methylated to methyl laurate by a juvenile hormone acid O-methyltransferase (DmJHAMT) from Drosophila melanogaster. The TE/∆slr1609 strain of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 contains the TE gene and lacks the slr1609 gene encoding an acyl–acyl carrier protein synthetase, which functions in free fatty acid reuptake. The DmJHAMT gene was introduced into this strain for FAME production.
The DmJHAMT gene was cloned into a vector that contains neutral sites from the Synechocystis genome, making it suitable for homologous recombination, and a kanamycin resistance gene, for selection. The obtained plasmid was verified using restriction digests and Sanger sequencing. The sequence analysis and comparison of the cDNA in the obtained plasmid and the mRNA transcript of the same gene revealed three amino acid differences. Subsequent comparison with homologous genes in other Drosophila species revealed the differences in the cDNA match those of the other species, and thus, the gene most likely is functional.
The plasmid was transformed into Synechocystis, and PCRs were used to confirm proper integration and segregation. The TE/∆slr1609/DmJHAMT strain produced 62 mg/L methyl laurate in 12 days under a light intensity of 150 µmol photons m-2 s-1, bubbled with 0.5% CO2 at a rate of 30 mL/min, and supplemented with 0.5 mM methionine. The laurate levels did not decrease over time, but instead, remained stagnant after day 3. When the strain was grown in the same conditions without methionine, the laurate concentrations continued to increase above 400 µM, suggesting minimal methyl laurate production and thus a strong need for methionine supplementation. This work provides further evidence of the viability and success of the introduced FAME production pathway, and improved efficiency may be gained in the future.

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  • 2020-05

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Synthesis and Characterization of Thin Supported PDMS/ZIF-71 Films for Pervaporative Biofuel Recovery

Description

The recovery of biofuels permits renewable alternatives to present day fossil fuels that cause devastating effects on the planet. Pervaporation is a separation process that shows promise for the separation

The recovery of biofuels permits renewable alternatives to present day fossil fuels that cause devastating effects on the planet. Pervaporation is a separation process that shows promise for the separation of ethanol from biologically fermentation broths. The performance of thin film composite membranes of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and zeolite imidazolate frameworks (ZIF-71) dip coated onto a porous substrate are analyzed. Pervaporation performance factors of flux, separation factor and selectivity are measured for varying ZIF-71 loadings of pure PDMS, 5 wt%, 12.5 wt% and 25 wt% at 60 oC with a 2 wt% ethanol/water feed. The increase in ZIF-71 loadings increased the performance of PDMS to produce higher flux, higher separation factor and high selectivity than pure polymeric films.

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  • 2014-05

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Exploring the consequences of permeate recycling in a photobioreactor using multi-component, community-level modelling

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While biodiesel production from photosynthesizing algae is a promising form of alternative energy, the process is water and nutrient intensive. I designed a mathematical model for a photobioreactor system that

While biodiesel production from photosynthesizing algae is a promising form of alternative energy, the process is water and nutrient intensive. I designed a mathematical model for a photobioreactor system that filters the reactor effluent and returns the permeate to the system so that unutilized nutrients are not wasted, addressing these problems. The model tracks soluble and biomass components that govern the rates of the processes within the photobioreactor (PBR). It considers light attenuation and inhibition, nutrient limitation, preference for ammonia consumption over nitrate, production of soluble microbial products (SMP) and extracellular polymeric substance (EPS), and competition with heterotrophic bacteria that predominately consume SMP. I model a continuous photobioreactor + microfiltration system under nine unique operation conditions - three dilution rates and three recycling rates. I also evaluate the health of a PBR under different dilution rates for two values of qpred. I evaluate the success of each run by calculating values such as biomass productivity and specific biomass yield. The model shows that for low dilution rates (D = <0.2 d-1) and high recycling rates (>66%), nutrient limitation can lead to a PBR crash. In balancing biomass productivity with water conservation, the most favorable runs were those in which the dilution rate and the recycling rate were highest. In a second part of my thesis, I developed a model that describes the interactions of phototrophs and their predators. The model also shows that dilution rates corresponding to realistic PBR operation can washout predators from the system, but the simulation outputs depend heavily on the accuracy of parameters that are not well defined.

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  • 2018-05

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Production of Biofuel from Algae and Salicornia using Hydrothermal Liquefaction (HTL) Technique

Description

Fossil fuels have been the primary source of energy in the world for many decades. However, they are among the top contributors of the greenhouse gas emissions in the

Fossil fuels have been the primary source of energy in the world for many decades. However, they are among the top contributors of the greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. The objective of this research was to produce a more environmentally friendly biofuel from Algae-Helix and Salicornia biomasses. Experiments were conducted using a hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) technique in the HTL reactor to produce biofuel that can potentially replace fossil fuel usage. Hydrothermal Liquefaction is a method used to convert the biomass into the biofuels. HTL experiments on Algae-Helix and Salicornia at 200°C-350°C and 430psi were performed to investigate the effect of temperature on the biocrude yield of the respective biomass used. The effect of the biomass mixture (co-liquefaction) of Salicornia and algae on the amount of biocrude produced was also explored. The biocrude and biochar (by-product) obtained from the hydrothermal liquefaction process were also analyzed using thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA). The maximum biocrude yield for the algae-helix biomass and for the Salicornia biomass were both obtained at 300°C which were 34.63% and 7.65% respectively. The co-liquefaction of the two biomasses by 50:50 provided a maximum yield of 17.26% at 250°C. The co-liquefaction of different ratios explored at 250°C and 300°C concluded that Salicornia to algae-helix ratio of 20:80 produced the highest yields of 22.70% and 31.97%. These results showed that co-liquefaction of biomass if paired well with the optimizing temperature can produce a high biocrude yield. The TGA profiles investigated have shown that salicornia has higher levels of ash content in comparison with the algae-helix. It was then recommended that for a mixture of algae and Salicornia, large-scale biofuel production should be conducted at 250℃ in a 20:80 salicornia to algae biocrude ratio, since it lowers energy needs. The high biochar content left can be recycled to optimize biomass, and prevent wastage.

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  • 2019-05

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Performance Metrics of US Renewable Energy Initiatives

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This study was conducted to better understand the making and measuring of renewable energy goals by the federal government. Three different energy types are studied: wind, solar, and biofuel, for

This study was conducted to better understand the making and measuring of renewable energy goals by the federal government. Three different energy types are studied: wind, solar, and biofuel, for two different federal departments: the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy. A statistical analysis and a meta-analysis of current literature will be the main pieces of information. These departments and energy types were chosen as they represent the highest potential for renewable energy production. It is important to understand any trends in goal setting by the federal government, as well as to understand what these trends represent in terms of predicting renewable energy production. The conclusion for this paper is that the federal government appears to set high goals for renewable energy initiatives. While the goals appear to be high, they are designed based on required characteristics described by the federal government. These characteristics are most often technological advancements, tax incentives, or increased production, with tax incentives having the highest priority. However, more often than not these characteristics are optimistic or simply not met. This leads to the resetting of goals before any goal can be evaluated, making it difficult to determine the goal-setting ability of the federal government.

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  • 2015-05

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Analysis of Free Standing Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework Inclusion Nano Composite (ZIFINC) Membranes on Ethanol/Water Separations

Description

Due to the environmental problems caused by global warming, it has become necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the planet. Biofuels, such as ethanol, have proven to release cleaner

Due to the environmental problems caused by global warming, it has become necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the planet. Biofuels, such as ethanol, have proven to release cleaner emissions when combusted. However, large scale production of these alcohols is uneconomical and inefficient due to limitations in standard separation processes, the most common being distillation. Pervaporation is a novel separation technique that utilizes a specialized membrane to separate multicomponent solutions. In this research project, pervaporation utilizing ZIF-71/PDMS mixed matrix membranes are investigated to see their ability to recover ethanol from an ethanol/aqueous separation. Membranes with varying nanoparticle concentrations were created and their performances were analyzed. While the final results indicate that no correlation exists between nanoparticle weight percentage and selectivity, this technology is still a promising avenue for biofuel production. Future work will be conducted to improve this existing process and enhance membrane selectivity.

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  • 2015-05

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Characterizing the activity of alcohol dehydrogenase from Lactobacillus brevis on primary and secondary alcohol biofuel precursors

Description

The R-specific alcohol dehydrogenase (RADH or LVIS_0347) from Lactobacillus brevis LB19 was found to possess activity on several short chain aldehydes and ketones. This broad substrate specificity was previously uncharacterized.

The R-specific alcohol dehydrogenase (RADH or LVIS_0347) from Lactobacillus brevis LB19 was found to possess activity on several short chain aldehydes and ketones. This broad substrate specificity was previously uncharacterized. To demonstrate its relevance to the biofuels industry as well as its broader utility for chiral reductions, a detailed characterization was performed to further investigate the activity and function of RADH.

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  • 2015-05