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Special Issue "Biofuels R&D: Securing the Planet's Future Energy Needs"

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A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Green Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2008)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Clifford Louime

College of Natural Sciences, University of a Puerto Rico, Ave. Ponce de Leon, San Juan, PR, USA
E-Mail
Phone: 787-764-0000 Ext. 4718
Interests: Applications of Genomics Sciences to Bioenergy and the Environment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The value of biomass as a sustainable source of energy and carbon has been heralded for years. Despite the information available on enzyme systems and plant cell walls structure, application of this knowledge to biomass conversion into biofuels and useful chemicals has met with limited success. The goal of this special issue is to examine the stand of the latest available technologies to ensure a sustainable commercial use of biomass wastes.

Papers can also be submitted to a new MDPI journal: Energies.

Clifford Louime, Ph.D.
Guest Editor

Keywords

  1. Biomass Characterization & Analysis
    • Characterization of biomass feedstock and products
    • Process design
    • Development of new methods and tools
  2. Biochemical Conversion Technologies
    • Development of pretreatment technologies
    • Cellulase Enzyme Development: e.g. basic science underlying enzymatic hydrolysis
    • Strain Development: metabolic engineering techniques
  3. Thermochemical Conversion Technologies
    • Gasification R&D
    • Pyrolysis processes
  4. Biobased Product & Development
    • Discovery, improvement, and development of conversion technologies
    • Novel separation technologies
    • Quantifying the quality and performance of biobased products

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Fuels for Thought!
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(7), 3235-3236; doi:10.3390/ijms10073235
Received: 15 June 2009 / Revised: 10 July 2009 / Accepted: 14 July 2009 / Published: 15 July 2009
PDF Full-text (26 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
When it comes to the marketing of the bioenergy brand, one of the catchiest slogans out these days is “25 by ‘25”. Adopted and supported by industries, academia and government agencies alike, this organization simply aims to supply 25 percent of our energy
[...] Read more.
When it comes to the marketing of the bioenergy brand, one of the catchiest slogans out these days is “25 by ‘25”. Adopted and supported by industries, academia and government agencies alike, this organization simply aims to supply 25 percent of our energy from renewable resources by the year 2025. By focusing its future efforts on wind, solar and biomass resources, the “25 by 25” initiative is expected to create new jobs, develop novel technologies, help mitigate the effects of global warming and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofuels R&D: Securing the Planet's Future Energy Needs)
Open AccessEditorial Cellulosic Ethanol: Securing the Planet Future Energy Needs
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2008, 9(5), 838-841; doi:10.3390/ijms9050838
Received: 7 April 2008 / Revised: 16 May 2008 / Accepted: 16 May 2008 / Published: 17 May 2008
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (892 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bioenergy is fairly recognized as not only a necessity, but an inevitable path to secure the planet future energy needs. There is however a global consensus that the overall feasibility of bioenergy will require an integrated approach based on diversified feedstocks and conversion
[...] Read more.
Bioenergy is fairly recognized as not only a necessity, but an inevitable path to secure the planet future energy needs. There is however a global consensus that the overall feasibility of bioenergy will require an integrated approach based on diversified feedstocks and conversion processes. As illustrated in the Brazilian experience, the thrust of any bioenergy program should be centered on the principles and criteria of sustainable production. In general the trends are towards exploiting low value cellulosic materials to obtain high-end value energy products. To this end, it is expected that scientific or technical innovation will come to play a critical role on the future prospects and potential of any bioenergy initiative. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofuels R&D: Securing the Planet's Future Energy Needs)
Open AccessEditorial Expression, Characterization and Synergistic Interactions of Myxobacter Sp. AL-1 Cel9 and Cel48 Glycosyl Hydrolases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2008, 9(3), 247-257; doi:10.3390/ijms9030247
Received: 2 December 2007 / Revised: 24 January 2008 / Accepted: 1 February 2008 / Published: 29 February 2008
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (328 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The soil microorganism Myxobacter Sp. AL-1 regulates in a differential manner the production of five extracellular cellulases during its life cycle. The nucleotide sequence of a cel9-cel48 cluster from the genome of this microorganism was recently obtained. Cel48 was expressed in Escherichia coli
[...] Read more.
The soil microorganism Myxobacter Sp. AL-1 regulates in a differential manner the production of five extracellular cellulases during its life cycle. The nucleotide sequence of a cel9-cel48 cluster from the genome of this microorganism was recently obtained. Cel48 was expressed in Escherichia coli to generate a His6-Cel48 protein and the biochemical properties of the pure protein were determined. Cel48 was more efficient in degrading acid-swollen avicel (ASC) than carboxymethylcellulose (CMC). On the other hand, cel9 was expressed in Bacillus subtilis from an IPTG-inducible promoter. Zymogram analysis showed that after IPTG-induction, Cel9 existed in both the cell fraction and the culture medium of B. subtilis and the secreted protein was purified to homogeneity by FPLC-ionic exchange chromatography. The exocellobiohydrolase Cel48 showed a synergism of 1.68 times with the endocellulase Cel9 during ASC degradation using an 8.1- fold excess of Cel48 over Cel9. Western blot analysis revealed that both proteins were synthesized and secreted to the culture medium of Myxobacter Sp. AL-1. These results show that the cel9-cel48 cluster encodes functional endo- and exo-acting cellulases that allows Myobacter Sp. AL-1 to hydrolyse cellulose. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofuels R&D: Securing the Planet's Future Energy Needs)

Research

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Open AccessArticle Pyrolysis of Softwood Carbohydrates in a Fluidized Bed Reactor
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2008, 9(9), 1665-1675; doi:10.3390/ijms9091665
Received: 6 May 2008 / Revised: 24 July 2008 / Accepted: 15 August 2008 / Published: 2 September 2008
Cited by 32 | PDF Full-text (133 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the present work pyrolysis of pure pine wood and softwood carbohydrates, namely cellulose and galactoglucomannan (the major hemicellulose in coniferous wood), was conducted in a batch mode operated fluidized bed reactor. Temperature ramping (5°C/min) was applied to the heating until a reactor
[...] Read more.
In the present work pyrolysis of pure pine wood and softwood carbohydrates, namely cellulose and galactoglucomannan (the major hemicellulose in coniferous wood), was conducted in a batch mode operated fluidized bed reactor. Temperature ramping (5°C/min) was applied to the heating until a reactor temperature of 460 °C was reached. Thereafter the temperature was kept until the release of non-condensable gases stopped. The different raw materials gave significantly different bio-oils. Levoglucosan was the dominant product in the cellulose pyrolysis oil. Acetic acid was found in the highest concentrations in both the galactoglucomannan and in the pine wood pyrolysis oils. Acetic acid is most likely formed by removal of O-acetyl groups from mannose units present in GGM structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofuels R&D: Securing the Planet's Future Energy Needs)
Open AccessArticle Measurement of Electrical Conductivity for a Biomass Fire
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2008, 9(8), 1416-1423; doi:10.3390/ijms9081416
Received: 7 April 2008 / Revised: 22 July 2008 / Accepted: 23 July 2008 / Published: 13 August 2008
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (349 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A controlled fire burner was constructed where various natural vegetation species could be used as fuel. The burner was equipped with thermocouples to measure fuel surface temperature and used as a cavity for microwaves with a laboratory quality 2- port vector network analyzer
[...] Read more.
A controlled fire burner was constructed where various natural vegetation species could be used as fuel. The burner was equipped with thermocouples to measure fuel surface temperature and used as a cavity for microwaves with a laboratory quality 2- port vector network analyzer to determine electrical conductivity from S-parameters. Electrical conductivity for vegetation material flames is important for numerical prediction of flashover in high voltage power transmission faults research. Vegetation fires that burn under high voltage transmission lines reduce flashover voltage by increasing air electrical conductivity and temperature. Analyzer determined electrical conductivity ranged from 0.0058 - 0.0079 mho/m for a fire with a maximum temperature of 1240 K. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofuels R&D: Securing the Planet's Future Energy Needs)
Open AccessArticle Energy Product Options for Eucalyptus Species Grown as Short Rotation Woody Crops
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2008, 9(8), 1361-1378; doi:10.3390/ijms9081361
Received: 4 June 2008 / Revised: 16 July 2008 / Accepted: 17 July 2008 / Published: 30 July 2008
Cited by 48 | PDF Full-text (365 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Eucalyptus species are native to Australia but grown extensively worldwide as short rotation hardwoods for a variety of products and as ornamentals. We describe their general importance with specific emphasis on existing and emerging markets as energy products and the potential to maximize
[...] Read more.
Eucalyptus species are native to Australia but grown extensively worldwide as short rotation hardwoods for a variety of products and as ornamentals. We describe their general importance with specific emphasis on existing and emerging markets as energy products and the potential to maximize their productivity as short rotation woody crops. Using experience in Florida USA and similar locations, we document their current energy applications and assess their productivity as short-term and likely long-term energy and related products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofuels R&D: Securing the Planet's Future Energy Needs)
Open AccessArticle Cultivation and Characterization of Cynara Cardunculus for Solid Biofuels Production in the Mediterranean Region
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2008, 9(7), 1241-1258; doi:10.3390/ijms9071241
Received: 22 May 2008 / Revised: 7 July 2008 / Accepted: 10 July 2008 / Published: 15 July 2008
Cited by 36 | PDF Full-text (546 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Technical specifications of solid biofuels are continuously improved towards the development and promotion of their market. Efforts in the Greek market are limited, mainly due to the climate particularity of the region, which hinders the growth of suitable biofuels. Taking also into account
[...] Read more.
Technical specifications of solid biofuels are continuously improved towards the development and promotion of their market. Efforts in the Greek market are limited, mainly due to the climate particularity of the region, which hinders the growth of suitable biofuels. Taking also into account the increased oil prices and the high inputs required to grow most annual crops in Greece, cardoon (Cynara cardunculus L.) is now considered the most important and promising sources for solid biofuel production in Greece in the immediate future. The reason is that cardoon is a perennial crop of Mediterranean origin, well adapted to the xerothermic conditions of southern Europe, which can be utilized particularly for solid biofuel production. This is due to its minimum production cost, as this perennial weed may perform high biomass productivity on most soils with modest or without any inputs of irrigation and agrochemicals. Within this framework, the present research work is focused on the planning and analysis of different land use scenarios involving this specific energy crop and the combustion behaviour characterization for the solid products. Such land use scenarios are based on quantitative estimates of the crop’s production potential under specific soil-climatic conditions as well as the inputs required for its realization in comparison to existing conventional crops. Concerning its decomposition behaviour, devolatilisation and char combustion tests were performed in a non-isothermal thermogravimetric analyser (TA Q600). A kinetic analysis was applied and accrued results were compared with data already available for other lignocellulosic materials. The thermogravimetric analysis showed that the decomposition process of cardoon follows the degradation of other lignocellulosic fuels, meeting high burnout rates. This research work concludes that Cynara cardunculus, under certain circumstances, can be used as a solid biofuel of acceptable quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofuels R&D: Securing the Planet's Future Energy Needs)
Open AccessArticle Combustion Analysis of Different Olive Residues
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2008, 9(4), 512-525; doi:10.3390/ijms9040512
Received: 22 January 2008 / Revised: 5 March 2008 / Accepted: 31 March 2008 / Published: 4 April 2008
Cited by 32 | PDF Full-text (601 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) techniques and concretely the study of the burning profile provide information that can be used to estimate the behaviour of the combustion of carbonous materials. Commonly, these techniques have been used for the study of carbons, but are also
[...] Read more.
The Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) techniques and concretely the study of the burning profile provide information that can be used to estimate the behaviour of the combustion of carbonous materials. Commonly, these techniques have been used for the study of carbons, but are also interesting for the analysis of biomass wastes, due to the different species present on the wastes affect directly to its thermal properties. In this work, techniques of thermal analysis have been applied to compare the behaviour of different wastes coming from olive oil mills. From these results, it is remarkable that the Concentrated Olive Mill Waste Water (COMWW) presents more unfavourable conditions for its combustion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofuels R&D: Securing the Planet's Future Energy Needs)
Open AccessArticle Non-Edible Plant Oils as New Sources for Biodiesel Production
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2008, 9(2), 169-180; doi:10.3390/ijms9020169
Received: 5 December 2007 / Accepted: 28 January 2008 / Published: 8 February 2008
Cited by 111 | PDF Full-text (339 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Due to the concern on the availability of recoverable fossil fuel reserves and the environmental problems caused by the use those fossil fuels, considerable attention has been given to biodiesel production as an alternative to petrodiesel. However, as the biodiesel is produced from
[...] Read more.
Due to the concern on the availability of recoverable fossil fuel reserves and the environmental problems caused by the use those fossil fuels, considerable attention has been given to biodiesel production as an alternative to petrodiesel. However, as the biodiesel is produced from vegetable oils and animal fats, there are concerns that biodiesel feedstock may compete with food supply in the long-term. Hence, the recent focus is to find oil bearing plants that produce non-edible oils as the feedstock for biodiesel production. In this paper, two plant species, soapnut (Sapindus mukorossi) and jatropha (jatropha curcas, L.) are discussed as newer sources of oil for biodiesel production. Experimental analysis showed that both oils have great potential to be used as feedstock for biodiesel production. Fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) from cold pressed soapnut seed oil was envisaged as biodiesel source for the first time. Soapnut oil was found to have average of 9.1% free FA, 84.43% triglycerides, 4.88% sterol and 1.59% others. Jatropha oil contains approximately 14% free FA, approximately 5% higher than soapnut oil. Soapnut oil biodiesel contains approximately 85% unsaturated FA while jatropha oil biodiesel was found to have approximately 80% unsaturated FA. Oleic acid was found to be the dominant FA in both soapnut and jatropha biodiesel. Over 97% conversion to FAME was achieved for both soapnut and jatropha oil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofuels R&D: Securing the Planet's Future Energy Needs)
Open AccessArticle A Possible Industrial Solution to Ferment Lignocellulosic Hydrolyzate to Ethanol: Continuous Cultivation with Flocculating Yeast
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2007, 8(9), 920-932; doi:10.3390/i8090920
Received: 2 July 2007 / Revised: 9 August 2007 / Accepted: 28 August 2007 / Published: 3 September 2007
Cited by 34 | PDF Full-text (803 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The cultivation of toxic lignocellulosic hydrolyzates has become a challengingresearch topic in recent decades. Although several cultivation methods have been proposed,numerous questions have arisen regarding their industrial applications. The current workdeals with a solution to this problem which has a good potential application
[...] Read more.
The cultivation of toxic lignocellulosic hydrolyzates has become a challengingresearch topic in recent decades. Although several cultivation methods have been proposed,numerous questions have arisen regarding their industrial applications. The current workdeals with a solution to this problem which has a good potential application on anindustrial scale. A toxic dilute-acid hydrolyzate was continuously cultivated using a high-cell-density flocculating yeast in a single and serial bioreactor which was equipped with asettler to recycle the cells back to the bioreactors. No prior detoxification was necessary tocultivate the hydrolyzates, as the flocks were able to detoxify it in situ. The experimentswere successfully carried out at dilution rates up to 0.52 h-1. The cell concentration insidethe bioreactors was between 23 and 35 g-DW/L, while the concentration in the effluent ofthe settlers was 0.32 ± 0.05 g-DW/L. An ethanol yield of 0.42-0.46 g/g-consumed sugarwas achieved, and the residual sugar concentration was less than 6% of the initialfermentable sugar (glucose, galactose and mannose) of 35.2 g/L. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofuels R&D: Securing the Planet's Future Energy Needs)
Open AccessArticle Protective Effect of Encapsulation in Fermentation of Limonene-contained Media and Orange Peel Hydrolyzate
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2007, 8(8), 777-787; doi:10.3390/i8080777
Received: 21 June 2007 / Revised: 19 July 2007 / Accepted: 26 July 2007 / Published: 7 August 2007
Cited by 34 | PDF Full-text (177 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work deals with the application of encapsulation technology to eliminateinhibition by D-limonene in fermentation of orange wastes to ethanol. Orange peel wasenzymatically hydrolyzed with cellulase and pectinase. However, fermentation of thereleased sugars in this hydrolyzate by freely suspended S. cerevisiae failed due
[...] Read more.
This work deals with the application of encapsulation technology to eliminateinhibition by D-limonene in fermentation of orange wastes to ethanol. Orange peel wasenzymatically hydrolyzed with cellulase and pectinase. However, fermentation of thereleased sugars in this hydrolyzate by freely suspended S. cerevisiae failed due to inhibitionby limonene. On the other hand, encapsulation of S. cerevisiae in alginate membranes wasa powerful tool to overcome the negative effects of limonene. The encapsulated cells wereable to ferment the orange peel hydrolyzate in 7 h, and produce ethanol with a yield of 0.44g/g fermentable sugars. Cultivation of the encapsulated yeast in defined medium wassuccessful, even in the presence of 1.5% (v/v) limonene. The capsules’ membranes wereselectively permeable to the sugars and the other nutrients, but not limonene. While1% (v/v) limonene was present in the culture, its concentration inside the capsules was notmore than 0.054% (v/v). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofuels R&D: Securing the Planet's Future Energy Needs)

Review

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Open AccessReview Pretreatment of Lignocellulosic Wastes to Improve Ethanol and Biogas Production: A Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2008, 9(9), 1621-1651; doi:10.3390/ijms9091621
Received: 5 March 2008 / Revised: 27 August 2008 / Accepted: 1 September 2008 / Published: 1 September 2008
Cited by 876 | PDF Full-text (200 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Lignocelluloses are often a major or sometimes the sole components of different waste streams from various industries, forestry, agriculture and municipalities. Hydrolysis of these materials is the first step for either digestion to biogas (methane) or fermentation to ethanol. However, enzymatic hydrolysis of
[...] Read more.
Lignocelluloses are often a major or sometimes the sole components of different waste streams from various industries, forestry, agriculture and municipalities. Hydrolysis of these materials is the first step for either digestion to biogas (methane) or fermentation to ethanol. However, enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocelluloses with no pretreatment is usually not so effective because of high stability of the materials to enzymatic or bacterial attacks. The present work is dedicated to reviewing the methods that have been studied for pretreatment of lignocellulosic wastes for conversion to ethanol or biogas. Effective parameters in pretreatment of lignocelluloses, such as crystallinity, accessible surface area, and protection by lignin and hemicellulose are described first. Then, several pretreatment methods are discussed and their effects on improvement in ethanol and/or biogas production are described. They include milling, irradiation, microwave, steam explosion, ammonia fiber explosion (AFEX), supercritical CO2 and its explosion, alkaline hydrolysis, liquid hot-water pretreatment, organosolv processes, wet oxidation, ozonolysis, dilute- and concentrated-acid hydrolyses, and biological pretreatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofuels R&D: Securing the Planet's Future Energy Needs)
Open AccessReview Third Generation Biofuels via Direct Cellulose Fermentation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2008, 9(7), 1342-1360; doi:10.3390/ijms9071342
Received: 23 April 2008 / Revised: 11 June 2008 / Accepted: 12 June 2008 / Published: 22 July 2008
Cited by 117 | PDF Full-text (239 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) is a system in which cellulase production, substrate hydrolysis, and fermentation are accomplished in a single process step by cellulolytic microorganisms. CBP offers the potential for lower biofuel production costs due to simpler feedstock processing, lower energy inputs, and higher
[...] Read more.
Consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) is a system in which cellulase production, substrate hydrolysis, and fermentation are accomplished in a single process step by cellulolytic microorganisms. CBP offers the potential for lower biofuel production costs due to simpler feedstock processing, lower energy inputs, and higher conversion efficiencies than separate hydrolysis and fermentation processes, and is an economically attractive near-term goal for “third generation” biofuel production. In this review article, production of third generation biofuels from cellulosic feedstocks will be addressed in respect to the metabolism of cellulolytic bacteria and the development of strategies to increase biofuel yields through metabolic engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofuels R&D: Securing the Planet's Future Energy Needs)
Open AccessReview Towards Sustainable Production of Biofuels from Microalgae
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2008, 9(7), 1188-1195; doi:10.3390/ijms9071188
Received: 20 March 2008 / Revised: 12 May 2008 / Accepted: 10 June 2008 / Published: 9 July 2008
Cited by 183 | PDF Full-text (184 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Renewable and carbon neutral biofuels are necessary for environmental and economic sustainability. The viability of the first generation biofuels production is however questionable because of the conflict with food supply. Microalgal biofuels are a viable alternative. The oil productivity of many microalgae exceeds
[...] Read more.
Renewable and carbon neutral biofuels are necessary for environmental and economic sustainability. The viability of the first generation biofuels production is however questionable because of the conflict with food supply. Microalgal biofuels are a viable alternative. The oil productivity of many microalgae exceeds the best producing oil crops. This paper aims to analyze and promote integration approaches for sustainable microalgal biofuel production to meet the energy and environmental needs of the society. The emphasis is on hydrothermal liquefaction technology for direct conversion of algal biomass to liquid fuel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofuels R&D: Securing the Planet's Future Energy Needs)
Open AccessReview CFD Studies on Biomass Thermochemical Conversion
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2008, 9(6), 1108-1130; doi:10.3390/ijms9061108
Received: 2 April 2008 / Revised: 3 June 2008 / Accepted: 3 June 2008 / Published: 27 June 2008
Cited by 46 | PDF Full-text (1842 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Thermochemical conversion of biomass offers an efficient and economically process to provide gaseous, liquid and solid fuels and prepare chemicals derived from biomass. Computational fluid dynamic (CFD) modeling applications on biomass thermochemical processes help to optimize the design and operation of thermochemical reactors.
[...] Read more.
Thermochemical conversion of biomass offers an efficient and economically process to provide gaseous, liquid and solid fuels and prepare chemicals derived from biomass. Computational fluid dynamic (CFD) modeling applications on biomass thermochemical processes help to optimize the design and operation of thermochemical reactors. Recent progression in numerical techniques and computing efficacy has advanced CFD as a widely used approach to provide efficient design solutions in industry. This paper introduces the fundamentals involved in developing a CFD solution. Mathematical equations governing the fluid flow, heat and mass transfer and chemical reactions in thermochemical systems are described and sub-models for individual processes are presented. It provides a review of various applications of CFD in the biomass thermochemical process field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofuels R&D: Securing the Planet's Future Energy Needs)
Open AccessReview Perennial Forages as Second Generation Bioenergy Crops
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2008, 9(5), 768-788; doi:10.3390/ijms9050768
Received: 7 April 2008 / Revised: 9 May 2008 / Accepted: 12 May 2008 / Published: 20 May 2008
Cited by 110 | PDF Full-text (301 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The lignocellulose in forage crops represents a second generation of biomass feedstock for conversion into energy-related end products. Some of the most extensively studied species for cellulosic feedstock production include forages such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), reed canarygrass (Phalaris
[...] Read more.
The lignocellulose in forage crops represents a second generation of biomass feedstock for conversion into energy-related end products. Some of the most extensively studied species for cellulosic feedstock production include forages such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea L.), and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). An advantage of using forages as bioenergy crops is that farmers are familiar with their management and already have the capacity to grow, harvest, store, and transport them. Forage crops offer additional flexibility in management because they can be used for biomass or forage and the land can be returned to other uses or put into crop rotation. Estimates indicate about 22.3 million ha of cropland, idle cropland, and cropland pasture will be needed for biomass production in 2030. Converting these lands to large scale cellulosic energy farming could push the traditional forage-livestock industry to ever more marginal lands. Furthermore, encouraging bioenergy production from marginal lands could directly compete with forage-livestock production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofuels R&D: Securing the Planet's Future Energy Needs)

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