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Special Issue "Biomass and Biofuels"

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A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2011)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Thomas E. Amidon

Department of Paper and Bioprocess Engineering, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York, 1 Forestry Drive, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: biorefineries; biofuels; bioenergy; bio-based materials and chemicals; nanocellulose; pulp and paper; pellets; forest and biomass resources; process development; novel bio-based products; cell wall deconstruction; hot water extraction; cellulosic bioproducts; improved fiber based products; biomass productivity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to see articles in the intellectual space from raw materials (any form of biomass), to extraction and separation into components, to conversion of intermediates into final products.  The products do not have to be biofuels if the products are renewable in origin and substitute for fossil fuel derived products.  Engineering work applicable to any of the component operations are also appreciated.   We would also be interested in articles showing that more sophistication in product development could lead to greater returns.  An example here might be furfural production from xylose as a more valuable product than fermentation of xylose to ethanol as well as showing that this might be an energetically preferable way to produce furfural.

Prof. Dr. Tom E. Amidon
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • biomass
  • biofuels
  • biorefinery
  • extraction
  • component separation
  • conversion
  • novel biobased products
  • biorefinery engineering
  • biomass and biorefinery policy
  • fossil fuel substitution

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Experimental Research on Heterogeneous N2O Decomposition with Ash and Biomass Gasification Gas
Energies 2011, 4(11), 2027-2037; doi:10.3390/en4112027
Received: 1 July 2011 / Revised: 7 November 2011 / Accepted: 15 November 2011 / Published: 21 November 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (258 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, the promoting effects of ash and biomass gas reburning on N2O decomposition were investigated based on a fluidized bed reactor, with the assessment of the influence of O2 on N2O decomposition with circulating ashes. Experimental
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In this paper, the promoting effects of ash and biomass gas reburning on N2O decomposition were investigated based on a fluidized bed reactor, with the assessment of the influence of O2 on N2O decomposition with circulating ashes. Experimental results show that different metal oxides contained in ash play distinct roles in the process of N2O decomposition with biomass gas reburning. Compared with other components in ash, CaO is proven to be very active and has the greatest promoting impact on N2O decomposition. It is also found that O2, even in small amounts, can weaken the promoting effect of ash on N2O decomposition by using biomass gas reburning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass and Biofuels)
Open AccessArticle Outdoor Storage Characteristics of Single-Pass Large Square Corn Stover Bales in Iowa
Energies 2011, 4(10), 1687-1695; doi:10.3390/en4101687
Received: 30 August 2011 / Revised: 27 September 2011 / Accepted: 17 October 2011 / Published: 21 October 2011
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (181 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Year-round operation of biorefineries can be possible only if the continuous flow of cellulosic biomass is guaranteed. If corn (Zea mays) stover is the primary cellulosic biomass, it is essential to recognize that this feedstock has a short annual harvest window
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Year-round operation of biorefineries can be possible only if the continuous flow of cellulosic biomass is guaranteed. If corn (Zea mays) stover is the primary cellulosic biomass, it is essential to recognize that this feedstock has a short annual harvest window (≤1–2 months) and therefore cost effective storage techniques that preserve feedstock quality must be identified. This study evaluated two outdoor and one indoor storage strategies for corn stover bales in Iowa. High- and low-moisture stover bales were prepared in the fall of 2009, and stored either outdoors with two different types of cover (tarp and breathable film) or within a building for 3 or 9 months. Dry matter loss (DML), changes in moisture and biomass compositions (fiber and ultimate analyses) were determined. DML for bales stored outdoor with tarp and breathable film covers were in the ranges of 5–11 and 14–17%, respectively. More than half of the total DML occurred early during the storage. There were measurable differences in carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, oxygen, cellulose, hemi-cellulose and acid detergent lignin for the different storage treatments, but the changes were small and within a narrow range. For the bale storage treatments investigated, cellulose content increased by as much as 4%s from an initial level of ~41%, hemicellulose content changed by −2 to 1% from ~34%, and acid detergent lignin contents increased by as much as 3% from an initial value of ~5%. Tarp covered bales stored the best in this study, but other methods, such as tube-wrapping, and economics need further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass and Biofuels)
Open AccessArticle Removal and Conversion of Tar in Syngas from Woody Biomass Gasification for Power Utilization Using Catalytic Hydrocracking
Energies 2011, 4(8), 1163-1177; doi:10.3390/en4081163
Received: 27 June 2011 / Revised: 4 August 2011 / Accepted: 4 August 2011 / Published: 12 August 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (892 KB) | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biomass gasification has yet to obtain industrial acceptance. The high residual tar concentrations in syngas prevent any ambitious utilization. In this paper a novel gas purification technology based on catalytic hydrocracking is introduced, whereby most of the tarry components can be converted and
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Biomass gasification has yet to obtain industrial acceptance. The high residual tar concentrations in syngas prevent any ambitious utilization. In this paper a novel gas purification technology based on catalytic hydrocracking is introduced, whereby most of the tarry components can be converted and removed. Pilot scale experiments were carried out with an updraft gasifier. The hydrocracking catalyst was palladium (Pd). The results show the dominant role of temperature and flow rate. At a constant flow rate of 20 Nm3/h and temperatures of 500 °C, 600 °C and 700 °C the tar conversion rates reached 44.9%, 78.1% and 92.3%, respectively. These results could be increased up to 98.6% and 99.3% by using an operating temperature of 700 °C and lower flow rates of 15 Nm3/h and 10 Nm3/h. The syngas quality after the purification process at 700 °C/10 Nm3/h is acceptable for inner combustion (IC) gas engine utilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass and Biofuels)
Open AccessArticle Combustion of Corn Stover Bales in a Small 146-kW Boiler
Energies 2011, 4(7), 1102-1111; doi:10.3390/en4071102
Received: 1 June 2011 / Revised: 18 July 2011 / Accepted: 19 July 2011 / Published: 22 July 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (286 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Spring harvested corn stover was used for direct combustion in a 146 kW dual chamber boiler designed for wood logs. Stover had a very low moisture content (6.83 ± 0.17%), a gross calorific value (GCV) of 18.57 MJ/kg of dry matter (±0.32 MJ/kg
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Spring harvested corn stover was used for direct combustion in a 146 kW dual chamber boiler designed for wood logs. Stover had a very low moisture content (6.83 ± 0.17%), a gross calorific value (GCV) of 18.57 MJ/kg of dry matter (±0.32 MJ/kg DM) and an ash content of 5.88% (±1.15%). Small stover bales (8.83 ± 0.90 kg) were placed manually in the upper combustion chamber at a rate of 10.5 to 12.8 kg/h over a 24-h period, with three replications, and compared to a control wood combustion trial (12.1 kg/h during 24 h). The overall heat transfer efficiency for stover was lower than for wood (57% vs. 77%). Stover bales produced on average 7.5% ash which included about 2% of unburned residues while wood produced 1.7% ash. CO gas emissions averaged 1324 mg/m³ for stover (118 mg/m³ for wood). The corn stover showed a good calorific potential, but it would have to be densified and the boiler should be modified to improve airflow, completeness of combustion and handling of the large amount of ash formed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass and Biofuels)
Open AccessCommunication Time to Substitute Wood Bioenergy for Nuclear Power in Japan
Energies 2011, 4(7), 1051-1057; doi:10.3390/en4071051
Received: 29 April 2011 / Revised: 17 June 2011 / Accepted: 4 July 2011 / Published: 6 July 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (312 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Damage to the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant by the recent earthquake and tsunami that hit northern Japan should stimulate consideration of alternative sources of energy. In particular, if managed appropriately, the 25.1 million ha of Japanese forests could be an important source of
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Damage to the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant by the recent earthquake and tsunami that hit northern Japan should stimulate consideration of alternative sources of energy. In particular, if managed appropriately, the 25.1 million ha of Japanese forests could be an important source of wood biomass for bioenergy production. Here, we discuss policy incentives for substituting wood bioenergy for nuclear power, thereby creating a safer society while better managing the forest resources in Japan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass and Biofuels)
Open AccessArticle Selective Preparation of Furfural from Xylose over Sulfonic Acid Functionalized Mesoporous Sba-15 Materials
Energies 2011, 4(4), 669-684; doi:10.3390/en4040669
Received: 25 March 2011 / Revised: 11 April 2011 / Accepted: 18 April 2011 / Published: 20 April 2011
Cited by 54 | PDF Full-text (276 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sulfonic acid functionalized mesoporous SBA-15 materials were prepared using the co-condensation and grafting methods, respectively, and their catalytic performance in the dehydration of xylose to furfural was examined. SBA-15-SO3H(C) prepared by the co-condensation method showed 92–95% xylose conversion and 74% furfural
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Sulfonic acid functionalized mesoporous SBA-15 materials were prepared using the co-condensation and grafting methods, respectively, and their catalytic performance in the dehydration of xylose to furfural was examined. SBA-15-SO3H(C) prepared by the co-condensation method showed 92–95% xylose conversion and 74% furfural selectivity, and 68–70% furfural yield under the given reaction conditions. The deactivation and regeneration of the SBA-15-SO3H(C) catalyst for the dehydration of xylose was also investigated. The results indicate that the used and regeneration catalysts retained the SBA-15 mesoporous structure, and the S content of SBA-15-SO3H(C) almost did not change. The deactivation of the catalysts is proposed to be associated with the accumulation of byproducts, which is caused by the loss reaction of furfural. After regeneration by H2O2, the catalytic activity of the catalyst almost recovered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass and Biofuels)

Review

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Open AccessReview Available Resources for Algal Biofuel Development in China
Energies 2011, 4(9), 1321-1335; doi:10.3390/en4091321
Received: 27 June 2011 / Revised: 17 August 2011 / Accepted: 23 August 2011 / Published: 31 August 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (386 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Microalgal biofuel research in China has made noticeable progress, and algae cultivation for biofuel production is considered to be an important contribution to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) mitigation and energy security. In this paper, the algal biofuel potentiality in China was reviewed from the
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Microalgal biofuel research in China has made noticeable progress, and algae cultivation for biofuel production is considered to be an important contribution to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) mitigation and energy security. In this paper, the algal biofuel potentiality in China was reviewed from the points of view of algal biodiversity, algal culture collection, GHGs (especially CO2) mitigation, and the availability of the required sunlight, wastewater and land resources. The cultivation of microalgae utilizing power plants gas with large amounts of CO2 and wastewaters from urban households, industry and animal husbandry are suitable for large scale production in China. Land is hardly a limitation for algae cultivation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass and Biofuels)
Open AccessReview Environmental Impacts and Costs of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oils, Transesterified Lipids and Woody BTL—A Review
Energies 2011, 4(6), 845-877; doi:10.3390/en4060845
Received: 1 February 2011 / Revised: 30 March 2011 / Accepted: 19 May 2011 / Published: 25 May 2011
Cited by 32 | PDF Full-text (559 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article reviews and compares assessments of three biodiesel fuels: (1) transesterified lipids, (2) hydrotreated vegetable oils (HVO), and (3) woody biomass-to-liquid (BTL) Fischer-Tropsch diesel and selected feedstock options. The article attempts to rank the environmental performance and costs of fuel and feedstock
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This article reviews and compares assessments of three biodiesel fuels: (1) transesterified lipids, (2) hydrotreated vegetable oils (HVO), and (3) woody biomass-to-liquid (BTL) Fischer-Tropsch diesel and selected feedstock options. The article attempts to rank the environmental performance and costs of fuel and feedstock combinations. Due to inter-study differences in goal and study assumptions, the ranking was mostly qualitative and intra-study results are emphasized. Results indicate that HVO made from wastes or by-products such as tall oil, tallow or used cooking oil outperform transesterified lipids and BTL from woody material, both with respect to environmental life cycle impacts and costs. These feedstock options are, however, of limited availability, and to produce larger volumes of biofuels other raw materials must also be used. BTL from woody biomass seems promising with good environmental performance and the ability not to compete with food production. Production of biofuels from agricultural feedstock sources requires much energy and leads to considerable emissions due to agrochemical inputs. Thus, such biodiesel fuels are ranked lowest in this comparison. Production of feedstock is the most important life cycle stage. Avoiding detrimental land use changes and maintaining good agricultural or forestry management practices are the main challenges to ensure that biofuels can be a sustainable option for the future transport sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass and Biofuels)

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