Day 1 :
U.S. Department of Agriculture(USDA-ARS), USA
Time : 10:00-10:40
James Kiniry is a Research Agronomist with over 38 years’ experience in basic and applied research related to simulation modeling. He is responsible for having developed the ALMANAC plant model which has been applied extensively to simulate plant growth and development. He quantified the key crop model input parameters for maize, sorghum, rice, wheat, potato, sunflower, canola, switchgrass, and several other warm-season and cool-season grasses.
Sustainable fuel sources for biofuel plants benefit from science-based simulation of candidate crops as well as simulation of environmental costs and impacts of these crops production. A calibrated and validated simulation model for biofuel crop production can be used to optimize crop type, assess best areas for production, calculate needed water and fertilizer for production, and assess environmental impacts. The ALMANAC model has been developed and applied for all of these aspects. This talk will: 1. Describe the simulation model, 2. Describe the various crops, grasses, and woody plants that can be simulated by this model, 3. Demonstrate its application for environmental assessment, and 4. Give examples of its applications. Producing feedstock for biofuels is a process that also depends on finite resources. Land space and water are limited, and intensive farming for biofuel could have devastating effects on water quality and the fertility of agricultural land. The ALMANAC simulation model is an effective tool to determine the feasibility of biofuel production and environmental sustainability. This simulation model allows for the optimization of crop yield and for assessments of negative environmental impacts. It is responsive to soil, weather and crop management data, and allows for accurate, cost-effective and long-term crop planning. The model and associated practices are applicable to many regions of the world. A recent ALMANAC project provided the US Navy in Hawaii with a ready source of biofuel while bringing a number of benefits to Hawaii, allowing it to sustainably diversify its economy and achieve future energy security.
Stockholm University, Sweden
Time : 11:00-11:40
Joseph S M Samec received his PhD from Stockholm University in 2005 with Prof. Bäckvall as supervisor. He did a short research for Prof. C P Casey at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. After a Postdoctoral training with Prof. R H Grubbs at California Institute of Technology during 2006-2007, he was appointed as Assistant Professor at University of Uppsala in Sweden. He is currently Associate Prof. at Stockholm University. His research interest focuses on green chemistry in organic synthesis and biomass processing and applications. In 2012, he founded RenFuel, a start-up company that is producing biofuels from Lignin.
Lignin in black liquor from the kraft process was converted to standardized diesel in only three steps. In a first step, lignin was precipitated from the black liquor by carbon dioxide to generate a solidified Lignoboost® lignin. This lignin was then esterified by tall oil fatty acid to generate an esterfied lignin named Renol® which was solubilized in a light gas oil to form a homogeneous mixture. This mixture can be processed in a convential hydroprocessing unit to yield a green diesel with EN590 specifications. The process is somewhat tunable so that both gasoline and diesel fractions can be generated. This innovation could structurally convert current pulp mills to become modern biorefineries to produce both paper pulp and the esterified lignin that can be transformed by an oil refinery to produce green fuels. As lignin is considered a waste stream from the pulp mill this fuel would not increase land use or compete with food production. In addtition, since all infrastructure and logistics are available, implementation of this technology should be smooth. The implementation of this technology in a pulp mill will be discussed.
The University of Texas at Austin, USA
Time : 11:40-12:20
Martin Poenie has a background in cell and molecular biology as well as synthetic organic chemistry and associated analytical techniques. He has brought this background to bear on the algal lipid extraction and analysis as well as the synthesis and application of resins for binding and processing algae to biofuel. He has collaborated with Frank Seifert, Robert Hebner and others at the University of Texas in developing patented processes for collecting oil from aqueous slurries and processing algae to biofuels.
Production of biodiesel from algae, despite its potential, has been limited due the expense incurred at several stages of the process. Sustained growth of pure strains of high-yield algae at large scales has been most successful in photobioreactors that require large initial investments. The density of algal growth is limited by light absorption such that harvesting algae typically requires processing large amounts of water to obtain relatively small amounts of biomass. Finally, efficient extraction of algal oil may further require drying the algae which requires energy and solvent recovery. We have explored the use of synthetic resins for processing algae that have the potential to eliminate many of these difficulties. Resins can concentrate algae from dilute solutions and thereby separate the biomass from the water. Subsequent treatment of resins with solutions of dilute sulfuric acid in alcohol then removes the algae from the resin allowing reuse of the resin while converting algal lipids to FAMEs (biodiesel). In our studies, we have obtained close to 50% by weight of FAME from algae that produce 15-20% by weight triacylglycerol. This biodiesel can be readily separated from the sulfuric acid -alcohol solution using a flow-through porous fiber extractor and the acid-alcohol solution can then be reused for subsequent cycles of resin elution. We propose that resin-based harvesting and processing of algae could make it possible to economically obtain reasonable yields of biofuel from less fastidious algae that commonly grow in the wild.