Biodiesel with improved yield was produced from microalgae biomass under simultaneous cooling and microwave heating (SCMH). Nannochloropsis sp. and Tetraselmis sp. which were known to contain higher lipid species were used. The yield obtained using this novel technique was compared with the conventional heating (CH) and microwave heating (MWH) as the control method. The results revealed that the yields obtained using the novel SCMH were higher; Nannochloropsis sp. (83.33%) and Tetraselmis sp. (77.14%) than the control methods. Maximum yields were obtained using SCMH when the microwave was set at 50°C, 800W, 16h of reaction with simultaneous cooling at 15°C; and water content and lipid to methanol ratio in reaction mixture was kept to 0 and 1:12 respectively. GC analysis depicted that the biodiesel produced from this technique has lower carbon components (<19 C) and has both reasonable CN and IV reflecting good ignition and lubricating properties.
Various pretreatments on Ceiba pentandra (L.) Gaertn. (kapok) fiber prior to enzymatic hydrolysis for sugar production were optimized in this study. The optimum conditions for water, acid, and alkaline pretreatments were 170°C for 45 min, 120°C for 45 min in 1.0% (v/v) H2SO4 solution and 120°C for 60 min in 2.0% (v/v) NaOH solution, respectively. Among the three pretreatments, the alkaline pretreatment achieved the highest total glucose yield (glucose yield calculated based on the untreated fiber) (38.5%), followed by the water (35.0%) and acid (32.8%) pretreatments. As a result, the relative effectiveness of the pretreatment methods for kapok fiber was verified as alkali>water>acid at the condition stated.
The importance of bioethanol currently has increased tremendously as it can reduce the total dependency on fossil-fuels, especially gasoline, in the transportation sector. In this study, Ceiba pentandra (kapok fiber) was introduced as a new resource for bioethanol production. The results of chemical composition analysis showed that the cellulose (alpha- and beta-) contents were 50.7%. The glucose composition of the fiber was 59.8%. The high glucose content indicated that kapok fiber is a potential substrate for bioethanol production. However, without a pretreatment, the kapok fiber only yielded 0.8% of reducing sugar by enzymatic hydrolysis. Thus, it is necessary to pre-treat the kapok fiber prior to hydrolysis. Taking into account environmentally friendliness, only simple pretreatments with minimum chemical or energy consumption was considered. It was interesting to see that by adopting merely water, acid and alkaline pretreatments, the yield of reducing sugar was increased to 39.1%, 85.2% and >100%, respectively.
The performance of alkalis (NaOH and Ca(OH)2) and acids (H2SO4, HCl, H3PO4, CH3COOH, and HNO3) in the pretreatment of rice husk was screened, and a suitable reagent was assessed for subsequent optimization using response surface methodology. From the assessment, HCl that hydrolysed rice husk well was optimized with three parameters (HCl loading, pretreatment duration, and temperature) using Box-Behnken Design. The optimized condition (0.5% (w/v) HCl loading, 125 °C, 1.5 h) is relatively mild, and resulted in ~22.3mg TRS/ml hydrolysate. The reduced model developed has good predictability, where the predicted and experimental results differ by only 2%. The comprehensive structural characterization studies that involved FT-IR, XRD, SEM, and BET surface area determination showed that the pretreated rice husk consisted mainly of cellulose and lignin. Compared to untreated rice husk, pretreated rice husk possessed increased pore size and pore volume, which are expected to be beneficial for fungal growth during fermentation.
This study investigates the influence of alkali (Na, K), alkaline earth (Ca, Mg) and transition (Fe) metal nitrates on CO2 gasification reactivity of pistachio nut shell (PNS) char. The preliminary gasification experiments were performed in thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) and the results showed considerable improvement in carbon conversion; Na-char>Ca-char>Fe-char>K-char>Mg-char>raw char. Based on TGA studies, NaNO3 (with loadings of 3-7 wt%) was selected as the superior catalyst for further gasification studies in bench-scale reactor; the highest reactivity was devoted to 5 wt% Na loaded char. The data acquired for gasification rate of catalyzed char were fitted with several kinetic models, among which, random pore model was adopted as the best model. Based on obtained gasification rate constant and using the Arrhenius plot, activation energy of 5 wt% Na loaded char was calculated as 151.46 kJ/mol which was 53 kJ/mol lower than that of un-catalyzed char.