Chitosan, an amino polysaccharide mostly derived from crustaceans, has been recently highlighted for its biological activities that depend on its molecular weight (MW), degree of deacetylation (DD), and acetylation pattern (AP). More importantly, for some advanced biomaterials, the homogeneity of the chitosan structure is an important factor in determining its biological activity. Here we review emerging enzymes and cell factories, respectively, for in vitro and in vivo preparation of chitosan oligosaccharides (COSs), focusing on advances in the analysis of the AP and structural modification of chitosan to tune its functions. By 'mapping' current knowledge on chitosan's in vitro and in vivo activity with its MW and AP, this work could pave the way for future studies in the field.
A diesel engine running on diesel/biodiesel mixtures containing ethylene glycol diacetate (EGDA) was investigated from the exergoeconomic and exergoenvironmental viewpoints. Biodiesel was mixed with petrodiesel at 5% and 20% volume ratios, and the resultant mixtures were then doped with EGDA at 1-3% volume ratios. The exergetic sustainability indicators of the engine operating on the prepared fuel formulations were determined at varying engine loads. The indicators were selected to support decision-making on fuel composition and engine load following thermodynamic, economic, and environmental considerations. The engine load markedly affected all the studied exergetic parameters. The highest engine exergetic efficiency (39.5%) was obtained for petrodiesel doped with 1 v/v% EGDA at the engine load of 50%. The minimum value of the unit cost of brake power exergy (49.6 US$/GJ) was found for straight petrodiesel at full-load conditions, while the minimum value of the unit environmental impact of brake power exergy (29.9 mPts/GJ) was observed for petrodiesel mixed with 5 v/v% biodiesel at the engine load of 75%. Overall, adding EGDA to fuel mixtures did not favorably influence the outcomes of both exergetic methods due to its energy-intensive and cost-prohibitive production process. In conclusion, although petrodiesel fuel improvers such EGDA used in the present study could properly mitigate pollutant emissions, the adverse effects of such additives on thermodynamic parameters of diesel engines, particularly on exergoeconomic and exergoenvironmental indices, need to be taken into account, and necessary optimizations should be made before their real-world application.
Rapid growth of aquatic weeds in treatment pond poses undesirable challenge to shellfish aquaculture, requiring the farmers to dispose these weeds on a regular basis. This article reviews the potential and application of various aquatic weeds for generation of biofuels using recent thermochemical technologies (torrefaction, hydrothermal carbonization/liquefaction, pyrolysis, gasification). The influence of key operational parameters for optimising the aquatic weed conversion efficiency was discussed, including the advantages, drawbacks and techno-economic aspects of the thermochemical technologies, and their viability for large-scale application. Via extensive study in small and large scale operation, and the economic benefits derived, pyrolysis is identified as a promising thermochemical technology for aquatic weed conversion. The perspectives, challenges and future directions in thermochemical conversion of aquatic weeds to biofuels were also reviewed. This review provides useful information to promote circular economy by integrating shellfish aquaculture with thermochemical biorefinery of aquatic weeds rather than disposing them in landfills.
Aquatic weeds pose hazards to aquatic ecosystems and particularly the aquatic environment in shellfish aquaculture due to its excessive growth covering entire freshwater bodies, leading to environmental pollution particularly eutrophication intensification, water quality depletion and aquatic organism fatality. In this study, pyrolysis of six aquatic weed types (wild and cultured species of Salvinia sp., Lemna sp. and Spirodella sp.) were investigated to evaluate its potential to reduce and convert the weeds into value-added chemicals. The aquatic weeds demonstrated high fixed carbon (8.7-47.3 wt%), volatile matter content (39.0-76.9 wt%), H/C ratio (1.5-2.0) and higher heating value (6.6-18.8 MJ/kg), representing desirable physicochemical properties for conversion into biofuels. Kinetic analysis via Coats-Redfern integral method obtained different orders for chemical reaction mechanisms (n = 1, 1.5, 2, 3), activation energy (55.94-209.41 kJ/mol) and pre-exponential factor (4.08 × 104-4.20 × 1017 s-1) at different reaction zones (zone 1: 150-268 °C, zone 2: 268-409 °C, zone 3: 409-600 °C). The results provide useful information for design and optimization of the pyrolysis reactor and establishment of the process condition to dispose this environmentally harmful species.