Skip to main content

About this book

This book covers topics related to bioenergy production from various biomass sources, including agricultural residues and waste biomass from both domestic and industrial use. It includes useful data, illustrations, and case studies of bioenergy production facilities. The contents of this book will be of interest to readers looking to scale up production and evaluate the selection and optimization of resources in order to overcome the current limitations of biomass to bioenergy conversions. The book will be of interest to researchers and industry professional alike.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Agro-Industrial Waste Valorization to Energy and Value Added Products for Environmental Sustainability

Agro-industries produce large amounts of various forms of waste, which come out from processing activities and waste management processes. The wastes generated may be multi-phase and may consist of multi-component. The amount, characterization and composition of this waste depend on the raw material sources, product types, and processes. Agro-industries, more specifically food industrial wastes, consist of great amount of organic matters which are rich in nutrient content, with higher values of BOD, COD and TSS. If agro-industrial wastes are not correctly treated, they may cause severe pollution problems. Besides, they represent a loss of valuable biomass and nutrients. The present book chapter reviews the various characteristics of pollution management problems of different agro-industries. In many agro-industries, water pollution is a serious threat as compared to solid wastes which have the possibilities for recovery of value added products. Various possible sources and impacts of different agro-industrial wastes on the environment are extensively reviewed. The possible ways of meting out of biomass and inhibition of micro-organism using Biorefinery principles and its challenges are also explored. The bio-refineries can reproduce an oil refinery by means of a bio-refinery using renewable biomass for the manufacturing different products. The possible future of technological developments in order to improve the quality of people’s life and sustaining our environment by using clean bioprocess technologies and its future aspects are also explained. The present book chapter elaborately describes about the key activity of clean technology ‘recycling’ of agro-industrial waste that is deliberately important as it utilizes the integrated approach of waste minimization which guides to biological industrial complex where a group of industries share possible resources and recycling of wastes. This book chapter review highlights the application of bio-refinery concept on wastes obtained from the agro-industries.
K. Senthilkumar, M. Naveen Kumar, V. Chitra Devi, K. Saravanan, S. Easwaramoorthi

Chapter 2. Role of Energy Crops to Meet the Rural Energy Needs: An Overview

The dwindling energy resources are essential for our daily activities and socio-economic development. The excessive use of energy resources at national and international levels creates a burning problem of energy crisis. In rural sectors, multiple constraints limit the generation and availability of energy. To remove the rural sector energy crisis, it is essential to reduce the burden on the use of conventional sources of energy and to find out new avenues for the generation of non-conventional, renewable sources of energy. The people of the rural area have a feeble economic condition and many of them are from the marginal sections of the society, lying below the poverty line. The generation of renewable sources of energy like biofuel using biomass of energy crops as feedstock is possibly a viable concept in this context. The perennial, non-edible plants having high cellulose contents and requiring least pre-treatment are possibly the best option to be selected as energy crops under rural energy generation system. The biofuels like bioethanol and biodiesel produced from the biomass of energy crops have the potential to provide environmental security as these are low emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs) like CO2. The low cost bioenergy produced from the energy crops could be affordable for the rural people to use it as a source of energy input. The most supportive measure in this context is the expansion of research and development activities on production and consumption of biofuels at the global level. The success of this rural energy generation programme depends upon the acceptance and interest developed among the rural people to consume this energy to meet their requirements. This could further help in stabilizing the economic conditions of the people residing in the rural sectors. The current chapter mainly deals with utilization of energy crops as an alternative renewable resource to fossil fuels. Energy production processes from energy crops have been discussed along with their role to meet energy needs at the rural level. Current global statistics on energy production from the energy crops have been extensively reviewed. Further work on this aspect is essential to improve the energy demanding scenario of the rural sector and to strengthen the global economy.
Pratyush Kumar Das, Bidyut Prava Das, Patitapaban Dash

Chapter 3. Coconut Shell as a Promising Resource for Future Biofuel Production

Production of biofuel is an upcoming and crucial field in environmental biotechnology, due to the rising energy crisis and increase in the cost of the commercially available fossil fuel across the world. This has attracted many researchers to take a series of steps to find a resolution and to develop economically feasible source to produce as an alternative fuel. Many local communities who own small scale industries are not aware of how potential the coconut shell is, used as a biofuel. As the cost of petroleum price is increasing, simultaneously with the increase in demand of the same with depleting energy sources and supply, there arises an urge to go for eco-friendly and sustainable process for the production of biofuel. Coconut shell is being used by farmers as organic fertilizer as it has the capacity to conserve the moisture in the farm land and also it helps in the reduction in the nutrient loss during farming. In the course of time, the coconut shell is modified into compost by which it exhibits the property of fertilizer. So, if the coconut shell is being taken up as a source to produce biofuel, with low cost, it reduces the pollution due to carbon dioxide emission and it’s by product can be used as fertilizer.
A. Archana, M. Vijay Pradhap Singh, S. Chozhavendhan, G. Gnanavel, S. Jeevitha, A. Muthu Kumara Pandian

Chapter 4. Thermochemical Conversion and Valorization of Woody Lignocellulosic Biomass in Hydrothermal Media

Biomass conversion can provide the sustainable and promising alternative solution for the future energy demands and fuel supply. It can also be a major contributor to the chemical demand by acting as primary source for biofuel and value added chemicals. Thermochemical conversion can be a faster solution for this problem. Lignocellulosic biomass is the more preferred to other biomasses as it has uniform composition and well established models for degradation of its constituents such as Cellulose, Hemicellulose and Lignin. This process of thermochemical conversion of biomass is usually performed in the presence of hydrothermal media like water or acetone at high temperature and high pressure. The woody lignocellulosic biomass has a complex sterochemical structure compared to agricultural residues and energy crops. It is depolymerised into small compounds in sub critical and supercritical conditions to form three distinct phases such as: bio-oil, bio-gas and bio-carbon, which has their own significant role in the biorefinery. Based on the process conditions (temperature, pressure, media) the yield of the phases varies accordingly. According to the physicochemical properties of media, the process can be classified as hydrothermal carbonization, hydrothermal liquefaction and hydrothermal gasification. For the past two decades, significant researches is being reported for thermochemical conversion of various lignocellulosic biomass (hardwood/softwood), agricultural residues, fruit shells, cellulose wastes, industrial co-products, etc. in both wet and dry conditions. Also it was found that the wet biomass conversion results in high yield of various chemicals like alkanes, alkenes ketones, aldehydes, acids, alcohols, phenols, esters, ethers and other aromatic compounds with some amount of polymeric impurities. In this chapter more emphasis is given on the thermochemical conversion of woody biomass, its pre-treatment, hydro processing and refining of the products synthesised. It also focuses on the valorization of the end products obtained from the hydrothermal processing into value added chemicals in the presence of homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts.
V. Chitra Devi, S. Mothil, R. Sathish Raam, K. Senthilkumar

Chapter 5. Prediction of Oil Yield from Oil Palm Mesocarp Using Thermally Assisted Mechanical Dewatering (TAMD)

Thermally assisted mechanical dewatering (TAMD) is a new technology for the separation of solid/liquid. When applied to “nature-wet” biomass, the TAMD process significantly enhances the separation yield. In the present study, TAMD was used to extract the crude palm oil (CPO) from mesocarp. The CPO yield of 70.77 wt% was achieved at optimum parameters of 73.0 °C, 6.7 bar and 60 min of extraction time. This CPO yield was comparable with previous works on the enzymatic extraction and hot compressed water extraction (HCWE) with CPO yield of 71.0 and 70.50 wt% respectively. Apart from that, this value was higher for about 13.80% compared to commercial CPO extracted using screw press which obtained the oil yield of 61.0 wt%. Based on the literatures, the highest CPO yield was obtained from supercritical CO2 extraction at 77.0 wt% whereas the lowest CPO yield was extracted using subcritical R134a which gave 66.0 wt% of oil yield. Nevertheless, the operational conditions of supercritical CO2 were 300 bar and 80 °C which were higher than that of TAMD. In conclusion, TAMD extraction has a potential to be an alternative method to extract CPO by producing higher oil yield.
Hasmiera Hashim, Suzana Yusup, Patricia Arlabosse

Chapter 6. Optimization of Bio-ethanol Production from Whey and the Characterization of Bio-edible Films from the Fermentation Residue

Dairy industries generate significant liquid waste, of which, cheese whey is the most abundant. Whey is the liquid resulting from the coagulation of milk and is generated from cheese manufacture. About 9 L of whey is generated for every kilogram of cheese manufactured. This study aims at optimizing the production of ethanol from whey. The fermentations were carried out using the yeast strain Kluyveromyces marxianus. A maximum of 6.4 ml ethanol per 250 ml whey was produced by the sole utilization of the inherent lactose concentration. Further the utilization of the fermentation residue to produce bio-edible films was done. Protein estimation of crude whey, crude casein and whey water was carried out which gave values of 45.6, 35.68 and 19.6 mg/ml respectively. The parameters that were checked and varied for the process of optimization were lactose concentration, urea concentration and time period of fermentation. The research analysis concluded that cheese whey which is currently being treated as a waste can be converted into highly beneficiary products.
Nayana U. Krishnan, Mathew T. Joseph, Shafna Shaiha, P. V. Vani, J. R. Anoop Raj

Chapter 7. Captivating Technology for Generation of Bioenergy from Industrial Waste: Microbial Fuel Cell

Due to the increasing human activities, the energy requirement gets increased which leads to the depletion of fossil fuel. Because of this precarious scenario, many research works are being carried out all over the globe to identify a source that is potentially cheap and renewable for energy production. This alternate fuel source should satisfy the energy requirement and also should be eco-friendly. The pollution is the major problem in developing countries which is caused by waste materials. Technically they are not waste because enormous amount of energy is hiding in those materials. A technology which taps out energy from waste materials can solve both problems. One of those promising technology is fuel from microbes. This is a method in which microbes are employed to both degrade the waste materials and synthesis energy from it in form of electricity. It is advantageous over other anaerobic digestion systems, because the end product is biogas which is mostly used for the production of electricity with some loss of energy. But by using Microbial Fuel System the problem can be eliminated. This is one of the emerging technologies for treating wastewater and generating electricity. In last few years, Microbial Fuel Cell has attained significance due to their ability to produce energy from renewable sources such as organic waste. This chapter reviews about the different aspects of MFC to treat industrial waste which has more organic waste in a batch and fed batch mode. Besides, the key components of the MFC are electrode materials and its performance is influenced by living biocatalyst and a electrochemically active biofilm developed at the anode. Carbon based electrodes derived from waste materials are commonly used as both anode and cathode and are employed in MFC’s due to their biocompatible nature, durability, conductivity and lower cost. The present book chapter describes elaborately about the possibilities of bioenergy from industrial waste, effects of industrial waste on environment, traditional treatment methods and its demerits, MFC concepts, prospects, confront, applications, its design and configuration, challenges and next generation point of view.
M. Naveen Kumar, K. Senthilkumar

Chapter 8. Production of Biodiesel from Municipal Sewage Sludge by Transesterification Process

In this work, the biodiesel was produced from municipal sewage sludge contains high free fatty acids (FFA) act as a feedstock. The main sources are primary sludge (P.S) and secondary sludge (S.S) was used as lipid source to compare high yield percentage for the transesterification reaction. Through the base transesterification process, the yield percentage of biodiesel 90.3% was obtained at the optimum conditions of 2% NaOH, chloroform–ethanol (2:1) ratio, 600 rpm and 60 °C temperature for 90 min. The produced biodiesel was analyzed and confirmed by GC-MS. The properties of biodiesel were analyzed and it was found on the inside of ASTM standard limits. Hence, municipal sewage sludge serves as a valuable renewable raw material for biodiesel production.
P. Bharathi, M. Pennarasi

Chapter 9. Enhancement of Feedstock Composition and Fuel Properties for Biogas Production

Biogas production has materialized as an auspicious technology for the conversion of renewable energy sources such as agricultural, animal, industrial and municipal wastes into a beneficial form of energy. Biogas production is a very attractive and changeling task because of its slower degradation and requires higher retention time via anaerobic digestion (AD) process. Additionally, there is a chance of toxic intermediates in some of these feedstock may result in the decline of the biogas production process. This Biogas technology can be integrated with various strategies to mitigate the environmental pollution. high availability and low cost of these feedstocks promote new strategies for the minimization of waste. Considerable efforts in chic research are undertaken in order to upgrade the composition of the feedstock, efficiency in terms of fuel property and flexibility of biogas production to enhance the economic viability of biogas plants. Along with the methane, biogas consists of various compounds like CO2, H2S, water vapor, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen which tend to pull down the calorific value when compared with natural gas. Absorption, adsorption, cryogenic method and membrane-based gas permeation are several technologies employed to increase the fuel property of biogas.
S. Chozhavendhan, G. Gnanavel, G. Karthiga Devi, R. Subbaiya, R. Praveen Kumar, B. Bharathiraja

Chapter 10. Impact of Bioenergy on Environmental Sustainability

Energy and environments are vital elements to our daily life and a way forward for our viable development. The fossil fuels are widely used as primary energy sources that threaten its depletion along with the formation of various harmful greenhouse gases. This necessitates for efficient utilization of energy and the access to the alternative energy resources like bioenergy. It is always being a major concerned for bioenergy deployment while referring to availability of the biomass, competition between the various uses of biomass and the sustainability issues. In spite of its wide applications, there is less study on the environmental effects of bioenergy. This enthuse the challenges that calls for multidisciplinary researches related to environmental sustainability. Production of bioenergy conveys significant prospects to provide a series of environmental, social, economic benefits in addition to the energy and climate goals. In order to open up better chances for agricultural souk and to endorse sustainable growth in rural community, bioenergy plays a vital role. Proper planning and management might yield multiple benefits using bioenergy synergies with the production of food, water, ecosystems and health. This chapter addresses a survey on pertinent literature related to the environmental sustainability arising from the production of bioenergy. In this context, the chapter also deals with the bioconversion technologies and its impact on environment and applications, greenhouse gases and biodiversity, etc.
Kankan Kishore Pathak, Sangeeta Das

Chapter 11. Process Simulations of Chemical Looping Combustion for Mixtures of Coal and Biomass Using an Iron Based Oxygen Carrier—Part I

Chemical-looping combustion (CLC) is a recent carbon capture technology that has shown great promise for almost pure CO2 separation and capture in combustion of fossil fuels in power generation plants. In this paper, several process simulations of chemical-looping combustion are conducted using ASPEN Plus. The entire CLC process is modeled and validated against the experimental data using a mixture of biomass and coal and pure biomass as fuels. The effect of fuel reactor temperature on gas concentrations (namely CO2, CO, CH4 and O2) in the fuel and air reactors, the conversion efficiency of carbonaceous gases, the char conversion efficiency, the carbon capture efficiency, and the energy output are investigated. It is found that increasing the fuel reactor temperature increases the CO2 concentration in the fuel reactor for the biomass/coal mixture and decreases the CO2 concentration for pure biomass in agreement with the experimental data. However, for the coal/biomass mixture and pure biomass, there is an increase in CO concentration in the fuel reactor. Poor oxygen transport capacity of the iron ore (Fe2O3) used as an oxygen carrier results in decrease in conversion efficiency for both types of fuels. However, both types of fuel showed an increase in carbon conversion efficiency since lesser amount of residual char made it past the fuel reactor as temperatures increased. Energy output for both fuels grew steadily with increase in fuel reactor temperature, but for pure biomass it stagnated between 760 and 800 °C and it peaked for biomass/coal mixture at 960 °C. Variations of gas concentrations in fuel and air reactors as well as energy output as a function of different mass fractions of coal and biomass are also obtained. The concentrations of CO2, CO, and CH4, and energy output all decrease with decreasing fraction of coal in the coal/biomass mixture.
Justin Lam, Ramesh K. Agarwal, Xiao Zhang

Chapter 12. Process Simulation of Chemical Looping Combustion for a Mixture of Biomass and Coal with Various Oxygen Carriers—Part II

Chemical Looping Combustion (CLC) is an emerging technology that has shown great promise for the capture of almost pure CO2 in combustion of fossil fuels in power plants. In this chapter, the CLC process is modeled in ASPEN Plus and then validated using experimental data from the combustion of three types of biomass as fuels, and Hematite (Fe2O3) as an oxygen carrier (OC). The three types of biomass used in the simulation are Pine Sawdust, Almond Shells, and Olive Stones. The effect of the fuel reactor temperature on gas concentrations (namely CO2, CO, H2, and CH4) in the fuel reactor, and the carbon capture efficiency are examined. It is found that all three biomass types have very high carbon capture efficiencies, with Pine Sawdust and Almond Shell reaching nearly 100% capture efficiency for temperatures equal to or greater than 950 °C, while Olive Stones reaches a capture efficiency of nearly 100% at temperatures greater than 980 °C. It is also found that fluctuations in CO2 concentrations in the fuel reactor vary across the three biomass types. The effect of using Mn2O3 as the OC in place of Fe2O3 was also investigated. It was found that switching the oxygen carrier to Mn2O3 caused the concentrations of CO and H2 in the fuel reactor to decrease slightly, while the concentration of CO2 increased slightly. Furthermore, changing the OC to Mn2O3 had no effect on the carbon capture efficiency. Additionally, a mixture of coal and biomass at 895 °C was used with each of the two oxygen carriers, and the results were compared. It was found that the system using Fe2O3 had a greater power output than the one using Mn2O3, and that power output increased as the fraction of coal in the coal-biomass mixture increased.
Kartik Deshpande, Ramesh K. Agarwal, Ling Zhou, Xiao Zhang

Chapter 13. Analytical Methods in Biodiesel Production

Biodiesel is a clean burning fuel that can be obtainable from renewable sources and utilized in diesel vehicles. The physical characteristics of biodiesel are indistinguishable from petroleum diesel, therefore, it is currently considered as a best alternative fuel. However, the quality of the biodiesel is very important in order to commercialize and get acceptance for marketing. There is a necessity to undertake a quality analysis of biodiesel to assess the chemical properties. Several existing analytical methods that are to evaluate the characteristics of biodiesel is mainly categorized into chromatographic and spectroscopic methods. Appropriate analytical techniques can be adopted to measure the impurities preciously even at lower concentrations. Hence, this chapter describes the developments in biodiesel analysis including chromatography methods such as gas chromatography (GC), gel permeation chromatography (GPC), liquid chromatography (LC), size exclusion chromatography (SEC), supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC), thin layer chromatography (TLC) and spectroscopic methods such as infra-red (IR) spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP–MS), ultra-violet (UV) spectroscopy and proton nuclear magnetic resonance (P–NMR). Other methods namely viscometry, refractive index, titration for determining free fatty acids, wet chemical methods, enzymatic methods, and methods used to test for oxidation stability and new low-cost and greener alternatives in the analytical field are also discussed. Further, this chapter contemplates the assessment of various available methods, accounting their merits and demerits, and provides some improvements and selection of suitable analytical methods for biodiesel production.
R. Vinoth Kumar, I. Ganesh Moorthy, Lalit Goswami, G. Pugazhenthi, Kannan Pakshirajan, Adrián M. T. Silva, Sergio Morales-Torres
Additional information