21,002 research outputs found

    Enhancement of microalgae anaerobic digestion by thermo-alkaline pretreatment with lime (CaO)

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    The aim of this study was to evaluate for the first time the effect of a thermo-alkaline pretreatment with lime (CaO) on microalgae anaerobic digestion. The pretreatment was carried out by adding different CaO doses (4 and 10%) at different temperatures (room temperature (25 °C), 55 and 72 °C). The exposure time was 4 days for pretreatments at 25 °C, and 24 h for pretreatments at 55 and 72 °C. Following, a biochemical methane potential test was conducted with pretreated and untreated microalgae. According to the results, the pretreatment enhanced proteins solubilisation by 32.4% and carbohydrates solubilisation by 31.4% with the highest lime dose and temperature (10% CaO and 72 °C). Furthermore, anaerobic digestion kinetics were improved in all cases (from 0.08 to 0.14 day- 1 for untreated and pretreated microalgae, respectively). The maximum biochemical methane potential increase (25%) was achieved with 10% CaO at 72 °C, in accordance with the highest biomass solubilisation. Thus, lime pretreatment appears as a potential strategy to improve microalgae anaerobic digestion.Peer ReviewedPostprint (author's final draft

    Low temperature lignocellulose pretreatment: effects and interactions of pretreatment pH are critical for maximizing enzymatic monosaccharide yields from wheat straw

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    BACKGROUND: The recent development of improved enzymes and pentose-using yeast for cellulosic ethanol processes calls for new attention to the lignocellulose pretreatment step. This study assessed the influence of pretreatment pH, temperature, and time, and their interactions on the enzymatic glucose and xylose yields from mildly pretreated wheat straw in multivariate experimental designs of acid and alkaline pretreatments. RESULTS: The pretreatment pH was the most significant factor affecting both the enzymatic glucose and xylose yields after mild thermal pretreatments at maximum 140°C for 10 min. The maximal enzymatic glucose and xylose yields from the solid, pretreated wheat straw fraction were obtained after pretreatments at the most extreme pH values (pH 1 or pH 13) at the maximum pretreatment temperature of 140°C. Surface response models revealed significantly correlating interactions of the pretreatment pH and temperature on the enzymatic liberation of both glucose and xylose from pretreated, solid wheat straw. The influence of temperature was most pronounced with the acidic pretreatments, but the highest enzymatic monosaccharide yields were obtained after alkaline pretreatments. Alkaline pretreatments also solubilized most of the lignin. CONCLUSIONS: Pretreatment pH exerted significant effects and factor interactions on the enzymatic glucose and xylose releases. Quite extreme pH values were necessary with mild thermal pretreatment strategies (T ≀ 140°C, time ≀ 10 min). Alkaline pretreatments generally induced higher enzymatic glucose and xylose release and did so at lower pretreatment temperatures than required with acidic pretreatments

    Pretreatment Processes of Biomass for Biorefineries: Current Status and Prospects

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    ProducciĂłn CientĂ­ficaThis article seeks to be a handy document for the academy and the industry to get quickly up to speed on the current status and prospects of biomass pretreatment for biorefineries. It is divided into two biomass sources: vegetal and animal. Vegetal biomass is the material produced by plants on land or in water (algae), consuming sunlight, CO2, water, and soil nutrients. This includes residues or main products from, for example, intensive grass crops, forestry, and industrial and agricultural activities. Animal biomass is the residual biomass generated from the production of food from animals (e.g., manure and whey). This review does not mean to include every technology in the area, but it does evaluate physical pretreatments, microwave-assisted extraction, and water treatments for vegetal biomass. A general review is given for animal biomass based in physical, chemical, and biological pretreatments

    Photovoltaic panel recycling: from type-selective processes to flexible apparatus for simultaneous treatment of different types.

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    Photovoltaic (PV) technology for renewable energy utilization is constantly growing throughout the world. This widespread application is going to determine the disposal of large amounts of wastes (as end of life panels): only in Europe about 500,000 ton/year are expected in the next 20 years. European Union issued the Guideline 2012/19/EU in order to fix rules about end of life photovoltaic panel’s treatment establishing both collecting rates and minimum recovery targets. Currently the dominant PV technology uses crystalline silicon (monocrystalline and polycrystalline) as semiconductor, but the thin film photovoltaic modules using cadmium telluride (CdTe), amorphous silicon, Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) and Copper Indium Selenide (CIS) are recently getting much more importance. Wastes of PV installations are secondary raw materials which could be treated in order to recover glass and Al, but also other metals such as Cu, Ti, Ag, Te, In, Se, Ga, along with plastic and metallic components of electronic equipment. Many recent efforts were devoted to the treatment of end of life panels, but only two full scale processes were developed for crystalline silicon modules (Deutsche Solar) and CdTe panels (First Solar). Furthermore, recent developments concerned with new technologies designed for treating together more kinds of photovoltaic panels by automated processes. In this work a picture of the PV world in terms of market, typology, waste dynamics and recoverable materials will be given. A description of full scale processes will be reported evidencing products and yields of recovery. A case study of process development for the simultaneous treatment of different kinds of PV panels will be presented. In particular experimental results in lab and pilot scale will be described regarding the development and optimization of a process including both physical pre-treatment and hydrometallurgical recovery of target metal concentrates. The process will be validated in pilot scale within the activities of the Photolife project (LIFE13 ENV/IT/001033) financed by European Community in the LIFE+ program

    CO2 multicyclic capture of pretreated/doped CaO in the Ca-looping process. Theory and experiments

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    We study in this paper the conversion of CaO-based CO2 sorbents when subjected to repeated carbonation/calcination cycles with a focus on thermally pretreated/doped sorbents. Analytical equations are derived to describe the evolution of conversion with the cycle number from a unifying model based on the balance between surface area loss due to sintering in the loopingcalcination stage and surface area regeneration as a consequence of solid-state diffusion during the looping-carbonation stage. Multicyclic CaO conversion is governed by the evolution of surface area loss/regeneration that strongly depends on the initial state of the pore skeleton. In the case of thermally pretreated sorbents, the initial pore skeleton is highly sintered and regeneration is relevant whereas, for nonpretreated sorbents, the initial pore skeleton is soft and regeneration is negligible. Experimental results are obtained for sorbents subjected to a preheating controlled rate thermal analysis (CRTA) program. By applying this preheating program in a CO2 enriched atmosphere, CaO can be subjected to a rapid carbonation followed by a slow rate controlled decarbonation, which yields a highly sintered skeleton displaying a small conversion in the first cycle and self-reactivation in the next ones. Conversely, carbonation of the sorbent at a slow controlled rate enhances CO2 solid-state diffusion, which gives rise, after a quick decarbonation, to a highly porous skeleton. In this case, CaO conversion in the first cycle is very large but it decays abruptly in subsequent cycles. Data on CaO conversion retrieved from the literature and from further experimental measurements performed in our work are analyzed as influenced by a variety of experimental variables such as preheating temperature program, preheating exposition time, atmosphere composition, presence of additives, and carbonation/calcination conditions. Conversion data are well fitted by the proposed model equations, which are of help for a quantitative interpretation on the effect of experimental conditions on the multicyclic sorbent performance as a function of sintering/ regeneration parameters inferred from the fittings and allow foreseeing the critical conditions to promote reactivation. The peculiar behavior of some pretreated sorbents, showing a maximum of conversion at a small number of cycles, is explained in the light of the mode

    Isolation of high quality lignin as a by-product from ammonia percolation pretreatment of poplar wood

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    A two-step process combining percolation-mode ammonia pretreatment of poplar sawdust with mild organosolv purification of the extracted lignin produced high quality, high purity lignin in up to 31% yield and 50% recovery. The uncondensed fraction of the isolated lignin was up to 34%, close to that the native lignin (40%). Less lignin was recovered after pretreatment in batch mode, apparently due to condensation during the longer residence time of the solubilised lignin at elevated temperature. The lignin recovery was directly correlated with its molecular weight and its nitrogen content. Low nitrogen incorporation, observed at high ammonia concentration, may be explained by limited homolytic cleavage of -O-4 bonds. Ammonia concentrations from 15% to 25% (w/w) gave similar results in terms of lignin structure, yield and recovery

    Thermal behavior of native, washed and steam exploded lignocellulosic biomass samples

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    The aim of this study was to evaluate the chemical changes in the main components (cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin) of various lignocellulosic biomass samples during the steam explosion pretreatment. Pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS) and thermogravimetry/mass spectrometry (TG/MS) measurements have been performed on different native, washed and steam exploded woody (willow and spruce) and herbaceous (hemp, wheat straw and sweet sorghum bagasse) biomass samples. The main differences between the thermal decomposition of the samples are interpreted in terms of the altered structure of the biomass samples by the effective steam explosion treatment and the different alkali ion contents which have been determined using inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) method. In order to separate these two effects, the native biomass samples have been washed with hot water to remove the main parts of the potassium and sodium ions. The concentration of K+ and Na+ has been reduced in the treated biomass samples so the thermal decomposition mechanism has been altered due to the elimination of the catalytic effects. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) has been used to find statistical correlations between the data. The functional group compositions of the lignin molecules have been modified significantly as indicated by the pyrograms and the score plot of the PCA. The amount of hemicellulose has been reduced. On the other hand, the relative amount of the structurally modified cellulose has been increased in the samples by the steam explosion pretreatment step

    Effect of airborne particle abrasion on microtensile bond strength of total-etch adhesives to human dentin

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    Aim of this study was to investigate a specific airborne particle abrasion pretreatment on dentin and its effects on microtensile bond strengths of four commercial total-etch adhesives. Midcoronal occlusal dentin of extracted human molars was used. Teeth were randomly assigned to 4 groups according to the adhesive system used: OptiBond FL (FL), OptiBond Solo Plus (SO), Prime & Bond (PB), and Riva Bond LC (RB). Specimens from each group were further divided into two subgroups: control specimens were treated with adhesive procedures; abraded specimens were pretreated with airborne particle abrasion using 50 mu m Al2O3 before adhesion. After bonding procedures, composite crowns were incrementally built up. Specimens were sectioned perpendicular to adhesive interface to producemultiple beams, which were tested under tension until failure. Data were statistically analysed. Failure mode analysis was performed. Overall comparison showed significant increase in bond strength (p < 0.001) between abraded and no-abraded specimens, independently of brand. Intrabrand comparison showed statistical increase when abraded specimens were tested compared to no-abraded ones, with the exception of PB that did not show such difference. Distribution of failure mode was relatively uniform among all subgroups. Surface treatment by airborne particle abrasion with Al2O3 particles can increase the bond strength of total-etch adhesive