Matching Items (4)

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Optimum co-product utilization from hydrothermal liquefaction of microalgae

Description

The project aims at utilization of hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) byproducts like biochar to grow microalgae. HTL is a promising method to convert wet algal biomasses into biofuels. The initial microalgae

The project aims at utilization of hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) byproducts like biochar to grow microalgae. HTL is a promising method to convert wet algal biomasses into biofuels. The initial microalgae liquefaction at a temperature of 300 °C for 30 minute, converted 31.22 % of the Galdieria sulphuraria and 41.00 % of the Kirchneriella cornutum into biocrude. Upon changing the reactor from a 100 ml to a 250 ml reactor, the yield in biocrude increased to 31.48 % for G. sulphuraria and dropped to 38.05 % for K. cornutum. Further, energy recoveries based on calorific values of HTL products were seen to drop by about 5 % of the 100 ml calculated values in the larger reactor.

Biochar from HTL of G. sulphuraria at 300 °C showed 15.98 and 5.27 % of phosphorous and nitrogen, respectively. HTL products from the biomass were analyzed for major elements through ICP-OES and CHNS/O. N and P are macronutrients that can be utilized in growing microalgae. This could reduce the operational demands in growing algae like, phosphorous mined to meet annual national demand for aviation fuel. Acidic leaching of these elements as phosphates and ammoniacal nitrogen was studied. Improved leaching of 49.49 % phosphorous and 95.71 % nitrogen was observed at 40 °C and pH 2.5 over a period of 7 days into the growth media. These conditions being ideal for growth of G. sulphuraria, leaching can be done in-situ to reduce overhead cost.

Growth potential of G. sulphuraria in leached media was compared to a standard cyanidium media produced from inorganic chemicals. Initial inhibition studies were done in the leached media at 40 °C and 2-3 vol. % CO2 to observe a positive growth rate of 0.273 g L-1 day-1. Further, growth was compared to standard media with similar composition in a 96 well plate 50 μL microplate assay for 5 days. The growth rates in both media were comparable. Additionally, growth was confirmed in a 240 times larger tubular reactor in a Tissue Culture Roller drum apparatus. A better growth was observed in the leached cyanidium media as compared to the standard variant.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Improving yields and productivity of microbe-catalyzed production of targeted bio-molecules using in-situ adsorption

Description

With the aid of metabolic pathways engineering, microbes are finding increased use as biocatalysts to convert renewable biomass resources into fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals and other valuable compounds. These alternative,

With the aid of metabolic pathways engineering, microbes are finding increased use as biocatalysts to convert renewable biomass resources into fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals and other valuable compounds. These alternative, bio-based production routes offer distinct advantages over traditional synthesis methods, including lower energy requirements, rendering them as more "green" and "eco-friendly". Escherichia coli has recently been engineered to produce the aromatic chemicals (S)-styrene oxide and phenol directly from renewable glucose. Several factors, however, limit the viability of this approach, including low titers caused by product inhibition and/or low metabolic flux through the engineered pathways. This thesis focuses on addressing these concerns using magnetic mesoporous carbon powders as adsorbents for continuous, in-situ product removal as a means to alleviate such limitations. Using process engineering as a means to troubleshoot metabolic pathways by continuously removing products, increased yields are achieved from both pathways. By performing case studies in product toxicity and reaction equilibrium it was concluded that each step of a metabolic pathway can be optimized by the strategic use of in-situ adsorption as a process engineering tool.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Downstream processing of Synechocystis for biofuel production

Description

Lipids and free fatty acids (FFA) from cyanobacterium Synechocystis can be used for biofuel (e.g. biodiesel or renewable diesel) production. In order to utilize and scale up this technique, downstream

Lipids and free fatty acids (FFA) from cyanobacterium Synechocystis can be used for biofuel (e.g. biodiesel or renewable diesel) production. In order to utilize and scale up this technique, downstream processes including culturing and harvest, cell disruption, and extraction were studied. Several solvents/solvent systems were screened for lipid extraction from Synechocystis. Chloroform + methanol-based Folch and Bligh & Dyer methods were proved to be "gold standard" for small-scale analysis due to their highest lipid recoveries that were confirmed by their penetration of the cell membranes, higher polarity, and stronger interaction with hydrogen bonds. Less toxic solvents, such as methanol and MTBE, or direct transesterification of biomass (without pre-extraction step) gave only slightly lower lipid-extraction yields and can be considered for large-scale application. Sustained exposure to high and low temperature extremes severely lowered the biomass and lipid productivity. Temperature stress also triggered changes of lipid quality such as the degree of unsaturation; thus, it affected the productivities and quality of Synechocystis-derived biofuel. Pulsed electric field (PEF) was evaluated for cell disruption prior to lipid extraction. A treatment intensity > 35 kWh/m3 caused significant damage to the plasma membrane, cell wall, and thylakoid membrane, and it even led to complete disruption of some cells into fragments. Treatment by PEF enhanced the potential for the low-toxicity solvent isopropanol to access lipid molecules during subsequent solvent extraction, leading to lower usage of isopropanol for the same extraction efficiency. Other cell-disruption methods also were tested. Distinct disruption effects to the cell envelope, plasma membrane, and thylakoid membranes were observed that were related to extraction efficiency. Microwave and ultrasound had significant enhancement of lipid extraction. Autoclaving, ultrasound, and French press caused significant release of lipid into the medium, which may increase solvent usage and make medium recycling difficult. Production of excreted FFA by mutant Synechocystis has the potential of reducing the complexity of downstream processing. Major problems, such as FFA precipitation and biodegradation by scavengers, account for FFA loss in operation. Even a low concentration of FFA scavengers could consume FFA at a high rate that outpaced FFA production rate. Potential strategies to overcome FFA loss include high pH, adsorptive resin, and sterilization techniques.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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An analysis of biochar's appropriateness and strategic action plan for its adoption and diffusion in a high poverty context: the case of central haiti

Description

Haiti has witnessed high deforestation rates in recent decades, caused largely by the fuel needs of a growing population. The resulting soil loss is estimated to have contributed towards a

Haiti has witnessed high deforestation rates in recent decades, caused largely by the fuel needs of a growing population. The resulting soil loss is estimated to have contributed towards a decline in agricultural productivity of 0.5% -1.2% per year since 1997. Recent studies show the potential of biochar use through pyrolysis technology to increase crop yields and improve soil health. However, the appropriateness of this technology in the context of Haiti remains unexplored. The three objectives of this research were to identify agricultural- and fuel-use-related needs and gaps in rural Haitian communities; determine the appropriateness of biochar pyrolyzer technology, used to convert agricultural biomass into a carbon-rich charcoal; and develop an action-oriented plan for use by development organizations, communities, and governmental institutions to increase the likelihood of adoption. Data were collected using participatory rural appraisal techniques involving 30 individual interviews and three focus-group discussions in the villages of Cinquantin and La Boule in the La Coupe region of central Haiti. Topics discussed include agricultural practices and assets, fuel use and needs, technology use and adoption, and social management practices. The Sustainable Livelihoods framework was used to examine the assets of households and the livelihood strategies being employed. Individual and focus group interviews were analyzed to identify specific needs and gaps. E.M. Rogers' Diffusion of Innovations theory was used to develop potential strategies for the introduction of pyrolysis technology. Preliminary results indicate biochar pyrolysis has potential to address agricultural and fuel needs in rural Haiti. Probable early adopters of biochar technology include households that have adopted new agricultural techniques in the past, and those with livestock. Education about biochar, and a variety of pyrolysis technology options from which villagers may select, are important factors in successful adoption of biochar use. A grain mill as an example in one of the study villages provides a model of ownership and use of pyrolysis technology that may increase its likelihood of successful adoption. Additionally, women represent a group that may be well suited to control a new local biochar enterprise, potentially benefiting the community.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011