An air-cathode MFC-adsorption hybrid system, made from earthen pot was designed and tested for simultaneous wastewater treatment and energy recovery. Such design had demonstrated superior characteristics of low internal resistance (29.3Ω) and favor to low-cost, efficient wastewater treatment and power generation (55mW/m(3)) with average current of 2.13±0.4mA. The performance between MFC-adsorption hybrid system was compared to the standalone adsorption system and results had demonstrated great pollutants removals of the integrated system especially for chemical oxygen demand (COD), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD3), total organic carbon (TOC), total volatile solids (TVS), ammoniacal nitrogen (NH3-N) and total nitrogen (TN) because such system combines the advantages of each individual unit. Besides the typical biological and electrochemical processes that happened in an MFC system, an additional physicochemical process from the activated carbon took place simultaneously in the MFC-adsorption hybrid system which would further improved on the wastewater quality.
The synthesis of fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) from the high- and low-acid-content feedstock of crude palm oil (CPO) and karanj oil (KO) was conducted over CaO-La2O3-Al2O3 mixed-oxide catalyst. Various reaction parameters were investigated using a batch reactor to identify the best reaction condition that results in the highest FAME yield for each type of oil. The transesterification of CPO resulted in a 97.81% FAME yield with the process conditions of 170°C reaction temperature, 15:1 DMC-to-CPO molar ratio, 180min reaction time, and 10wt.% catalyst loading. The transesterification of KO resulted in a 96.77% FAME yield with the conditions of 150°C reaction temperature, 9:1 DMC-to-KO molar ratio, 180min reaction time, and 5wt.% catalyst loading. The properties of both products met the ASTM D6751 and EN 14214 standard requirements. The above results showed that the CaO-La2O3-Al2O3 mixed-oxide catalyst was suitable for high- and low-acid-content vegetable oil.
Greenhouse gas emissions have several adverse environmental effects, like pollution and climate change. Currently applied carbon capture and storage (CCS) methods are not cost effective and have not been proven safe for long term sequestration. Another attractive approach is CO2 valorization, whereby CO2 can be captured in the form of biomass via photosynthesis and is subsequently converted into various form of bioenergy. This article summarizes the current carbon sequestration and utilization technologies, while emphasizing the value of bioconversion of CO2. In particular, CO2 sequestration by terrestrial plants, microalgae and other microorganisms are discussed. Prospects and challenges for CO2 conversion are addressed. The aim of this review is to provide comprehensive knowledge and updated information on the current advances in biological CO2 sequestration and valorization, which are essential if this approach is to achieve environmental sustainability and economic feasibility.
This paper critically reviews the impacts of supplementing trace elements on the anaerobic digestion performance. The in-depth knowledge of trace elements as micronutrients and metalloenzyme components justifies trace element supplementation into the anaerobic digestion system. Most of the earlier studies reported that trace elements addition at (sub)optimum dosages had positive impacts mainly longer term on digester stability with greater organic matter degradation, low volatile fatty acids (VFA) concentration and higher biogas production. However, these positive impacts and element requirements are not fully understood, they are explained on a case to case basis because of the great variance of the anaerobic digestion operation. Iron (Fe), nickel (Ni) and cobalt (Co) are the most studied and desirable elements. The right combination of multi-elements supplementation can have greater positive impact. This measure is highly recommended, especially for the mono-digestion of micronutrient-deficient substrates. The future research should consider the aspect of trace element bioavailability.
In this work, hydrolysis of cellulose and hemicellulose content of palm kernel cake (PKC) by different types of hydrolytic enzymes was studied to evaluate monomeric sugars released for production of biobutanol by Clostridium saccharoperbutylacetonicum N1-4 (ATCC 13564) in acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation. Experimental results revealed that when PKC was hydrolyzed by mixed β-glucosidase, cellulase and mannanase, a total simple sugars of 87.81±4.78 g/L were produced, which resulted in 3.75±0.18 g/L butanol and 6.44±0.43 g/L ABE at 168 h fermentation. In order to increase saccharolytic efficiency of enzymatic treatment, PKC was pretreated by liquid hot water before performing enzymatic hydrolysis. Test results showed that total reducing sugars were enhanced to 97.81±1.29 g/L with elevated production of butanol and ABE up to 4.15±1.18 and 7.12±2.06 g/L, respectively which represented an A:B:E ratio of 7:11:1.
This study demonstrated a successful operation of up-flow constructed wetland-microbial fuel cell (UFCW-MFC) in wastewater treatment and energy recovery. The goals of this study were to investigate the effect of circuit connection, organic loading rates, and electrode spacing on the performance of wastewater treatment and bioelectricity generation. The average influent of COD, NO3(-) and NH4(+) were 624 mg/L, 142 mg/L, 40 mg/L, respectively and their removal efficiencies (1 day HRT) were 99%, 46%, and 96%, respectively. NO3(-) removal was relatively higher in the closed circuit system due to lower dissolved oxygen in the system. Despite larger electrode spacing, the voltage outputs from Anode 2 (A2) (30 cm) and Anode 3 (A3) (45 cm) were higher than from Anode 1 (A1) (15 cm) as a result of insufficient fuel supply to A1. The maximum power density and Coulombic efficiency were obtained at A2, which were 93 mW/m(3) and 1.42%, respectively.
Recently, a great attention has been paid to advanced microwave technology that can be used to markedly enhance the biodiesel production process. Ceiba pentandra Seed Oil containing high free fatty acids (FFA) was utilized as a non-edible feedstock for biodiesel production. Microwave-assisted esterification pretreatment was conducted to reduce the FFA content for promoting a high-quality product in the next step. At optimum condition, the conversion was achieved 94.43% using 2wt% of sulfuric acid as catalyst where as 20.83% conversion was attained without catalyst. The kinetics of this esterification reaction was also studied to determine the influence of factors on the rate of reaction and reaction mechanisms. The results indicated that microwave-assisted esterification was of endothermic second-order reaction with the activation energy of 53.717kJ/mol.
Oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB) fibre is widely available in Southeast Asian countries and found to have 60% (w/w) sugar components. OPEFB was pretreated using the ammonia fibre expansion (AFEX) method and characterised physically by the Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. The results show that there were significant structural changes in OPEFB after the pretreatment step, and the sugar yield after enzymatic hydrolysis using a cocktail of Cellic Ctec2® and Cellic Htec2® increased from 0.15gg(-1) of OPEFB in the raw untreated OPEFB sample to 0.53gg(-1) of OPEFB in AFEX-pretreated OPEFB (i.e. almost a fourfold increase in sugar conversion), which enhances the economic value of OPEFB. A biohydrogen fermentability test of this hydrolysate was carried out using a locally isolated bacterium, Enterobacter sp. KBH6958. The biohydrogen yield after 72h of fermentation was 1.68mol H2 per mol sugar. Butyrate, ethanol, and acetate were the major metabolites.
The wet biomass microalgae of Nannochloropsis sp. was converted to biodiesel using direct transesterification (DT) by microwave technique and ionic liquid (IL) as the green solvent. Three different ionic liquids; 1-butyl-3-metyhlimidazolium chloride ([BMIM][Cl], 1-ethyl-3-methylimmidazolium methyl sulphate [EMIM][MeSO4] and 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium trifluoromethane sulfonate [BMIM][CF3SO3]) and organic solvents (hexane and methanol) were used as co-solvents under microwave irradiation and their performances in terms of percentage disruption, cell walls ruptured and biodiesel yields were compared at different reaction times (5, 10 and 15 min). [EMIM][MeSO4] showed highest percentage cell disruption (99.73%) and biodiesel yield (36.79% per dried biomass) after 15 min of simultaneous reaction. The results demonstrated that simultaneous extraction-transesterification using ILs and microwave irradiation is a potential alternative method for biodiesel production.
The objective of this study is to extract and characterize lignin from oil palm biomass (OPB) by dissolution in 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride ([bmim][Cl]), followed by the lignin extraction through the CO2 gas purging prior to addition of aluminum potassium sulfate dodecahydrate (AlK(SO4)2 · 12H2O). The lignin yield, Y(L) (%wt.) was found to be dependent of the types of OPB observed for all precipitation methods used. The lignin recovery, RL (%wt.) obtained from CO2-AlK(SO4)2 · 12H2O precipitation was, however dependent on the types of OPB, which contradicted to that of the acidified H2SO4 and HCl solutions of pH 0.7 and 2 precipitations. Only about 54% of lignin was recovered from the OPB. The FTIR results indicate that the monodispersed lignin was successfully extracted from the OPT, OPF and OPEFB having a molecular weight (MW) of 1331, 1263 and 1473 g/mol, and degradation temperature of 215, 207.5 and 272 °C, respectively.
Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) recovery from aerobic granules was investigated using four cell digestion agents, namely, sodium hypochlorite, sodium hydroxide, acetone and sodium chloride. Simultaneously, the removal of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) and its effect on PHA yield were investigated. The highest PHA recovery yield was obtained using sodium hypochlorite, accounting for 89% cell dry weight (CDW). The highest PHA was recovered after the sodium hypochlorite completely removed the EPS from the aerobic granules. The average molecular weight (Mw) of the PHA recovered using sodium hypochlorite was 5.31 × 10(5)g/mol with only 1.8% molecular weight degradation. The energy and duration analysis for PHA recovery revealed that the sodium hypochlorite method required the least amount of energy and time at 0.0561 MJ/g PHA and 26 h, respectively. The PHA that was recovered was a P3(HB-co-HV) co-polymer.
This study examined the combustion profile and kinetics of hydrochar produced from hydrothermal carbonisation (HTC) of Karanj fruit hulls (KFH). The HTC-KFH hydrochar combustion kinetics was investigated at 5, 10, and 20°C/min by thermogravimetric analysis. The kinetics model, Kissinger-Akahira-Sunose revealed the combustion kinetics parameters for the extent of conversion from 0.1 to 0.8; the activation energy varies from 114 to 67 kJ/mol respectively. The hydrochar combustion followed multi-steps kinetics; the Coats-Redfern models predicted the activation energies and pre-exponential constants for the hydrochar combustion zones. The diffusion models are the effective mechanism in the second and third zone.
Microbial electrochemical technologies (METs) are emerging green processes producing useful products from renewable sources without causing environmental pollution and treating wastes. The separator, an important part of METs that greatly affects the latter's performance, is commonly made of Nafion proton exchange membrane (PEM). However, many problems have been identified associated with the Nafion PEM such as high cost of membrane, significant oxygen and substrate crossovers, and transport of cations other than protons protons and biofouling. A variety of materials have been offered as alternative separators such as ion-exchange membranes, salt bridges, glass fibers, composite membranes and porous materials. It has been claimed that low cost porous materials perform better than PEM. These include J-cloth, nylon filter, glass fiber mat, non-woven cloth, earthen pot and ceramics that enable non-ion selective charge transfer. This paper provides an up-to-date review on porous separators and plots directions for future studies.
The effect of two different anode-embedding orientations, lengthwise- and widthwise-embedded anodes was explored, on the performance of sediment microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) using a chessboard anode. The maximum current densities and power densities in SMFCs having lengthwise-embedded anodes (SLA1-SLA10) varied from 38.2mA/m(2) to 121mA/m(2) and from 5.5mW/m(2) to 20mW/m(2). In comparison, the maximum current densities and maximum power densities in SMFCs having anodes widthwise-embedded between 0cm to 8cm (SWA2-SWA5) increased from 82mA/m(2) to 140mA/m(2) and from 14.7mW/m(2) to 31.1mW/m(2) as the anode depth became deeper. Although there was a difference in the performance among SWA5-SWA10, it was considered negligible. Hence, it is concluded that it is important to embed anodes widthwise at the specific anode depths, in order to improve of SMFC performance. Chessboard anode used in this work could be a good option for the determination of optimal anode depths.
PEDOT was synthesized by chemical polymerisation and characterised for its electrochemical insights. Three different anode configuration, namely graphite plate (GP), carbon cloth (CC) and graphite felt (GF) were then loaded with a fixed amount of PEDOT (2.5 mg/m(2)) denoted as GP-P, CC-P and GF-P respectively. The PEDOT coating improved the electrochemical characteristics and electron transfer capabilities of the anodes. They also contributed for enhanced MFC performances with maximum energy generation along with coulombic efficiency than the unmodified anodes. The morphological characteristics like higher surface area and open structure of felt material promoted both microbial formation and electrochemical active area. A maximum current density of 3.5A/m(2) was achieved for GF-P with CE and COD of 51% and 86% respectively. Thus, the GF-P anode excelled among the studied anodes with synergetic effect of PEDOT coating and structural configuration, making it as a potential optimum anode for MFC application.
Combined pretreatment with hot compressed water and wet disk milling was performed with the aim to reduce the natural recalcitrance of oil palm biomass by opening its structure and provide maximal access to cellulase attack. Oil palm empty fruit bunch and oil palm frond fiber were first hydrothermally pretreated at 150-190° C and 10-240 min. Further treatment with wet disk milling resulted in nanofibrillation of fiber which caused the loosening of the tight biomass structure, thus increasing the subsequent enzymatic conversion of cellulose to glucose. The effectiveness of the combined pretreatments was evaluated by chemical composition changes, power consumption, morphological alterations by SEM and the enzymatic digestibility of treated samples. At optimal pretreatment process, approximately 88.5% and 100.0% of total sugar yields were obtained from oil palm empty fruit bunch and oil palm frond fiber samples, which only consumed about 15.1 and 23.5 MJ/kg of biomass, respectively.
The aim of this work was to study the potential of biofuel and biomass processing industry side-products as acid catalyst. The synthesis of carbon cryogel from lignin-furfural mixture, prepared via sol-gel polycondensation at 90°C for 0.5h, has been investigated for biodiesel production. The effect of lignin to furfural (L/F) ratios, lignin to water (L/W) ratios and acid concentration on carbon cryogel synthesis was studied. The carbon cryogels were characterized and tested for oleic acid conversion. The thermally stable amorphous spherical carbon cryogel has a large total surface area with high acidity. Experimental results revealed the optimum FAME yield and oleic acid conversion of 91.3wt.% and 98.1wt.%, respectively were attained at 65°C for 5h with 5wt.% catalyst loading and 20:1 methanol to oleic acid molar ratio. Therefore, carbon cryogel is highly potential for heterogeneous esterification of free fatty acid to biodiesel.
The cathode reaction is one of the most important limiting factors in bioelectrochemical systems even with precious metal catalysts. Since aerobic bacteria have a much higher affinity for oxygen than any known abiotic cathode catalysts, the performance of a microbial fuel cell can be improved through the use of electrochemically-active oxygen-reducing bacteria acting as the cathode catalyst. These consume electrons available from the electrode to reduce the electron acceptors present, probably conserving energy for growth. Anaerobic bacteria reduce protons to hydrogen in microbial electrolysis cells (MECs). These aerobic and anaerobic bacterial activities resemble those catalyzing microbially-influenced corrosion (MIC). Sulfate-reducing bacteria and homoacetogens have been identified in MEC biocathodes. For sustainable operation, microbes in a biocathode should conserve energy during such electron-consuming reactions probably by similar mechanisms as those occurring in MIC. A novel hypothesis is proposed here which explains how energy can be conserved by microbes in MEC biocathodes.