- Biochar from agricultural residues for soil conditioning: Technological status and life cycle assessment , CURRENT OPINION IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & HEALTH (2022)
- Succinic acid fermentation from agricultural wastes: The producing microorganisms and their engineering strategies , CURRENT OPINION IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & HEALTH (2022)
- Algal Lysis by Sagittula stellata for the Production of Intracellular Valuables , APPLIED BIOCHEMISTRY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY (2021)
- EFFICIENT PHOSPHATE REMOVAL IN SWINE WASTEWATEWATER USING Fe-Mn-MODIFIED PYRO/HYDROCHAR FROM SWINE MANURE , ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION ENGINEERING (2021)
- Algal biorefinery to value-added products by using combined processes based on thermochemical conversion: A review , ALGAL RESEARCH-BIOMASS BIOFUELS AND BIOPRODUCTS (2020)
- Algal cell lysis by bacteria: A review and comparison to conventional methods , ALGAL RESEARCH-BIOMASS BIOFUELS AND BIOPRODUCTS (2020)
- Biochar production and applications in agro and forestry systems: A review , SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT (2020)
- Composition and secondary structure of proteins isolated from six different quinoa varieties from China , JOURNAL OF CEREAL SCIENCE (2020)
- Desirability function approach for optimization of enzymatic transesterification catalyzed by lipase immobilized on mesoporous magnetic nanoparticles , RENEWABLE ENERGY (2020)
- Dynamics of microbial community and changes of metabolites during production of type I sourdough steamed bread made by retarded sponge-dough method , FOOD CHEMISTRY (2020)
Hydrogen gas (H2) has been considered as one of the most promising fuels because of its super clean and highly efficient conversion to energy. It is mainly used as a fuel for fuel cells, rockets and spaceships. It is also commonly used in hydrogenation where H2 is introduced into foods or chemicals. Currently, approximately 100 million m3 (or 3.5 billion ft3, at 1 atm) of H2 is sold in the United States each year, of which 48% is from natural gas reforming, 30% from refinery-gas/chemicals, 18% from coal gasification, and 4% from electrolysis of water. The major challenge with H2 fuel is its high production cost, which is strongly dependent on the energy source and technology used. In order to make H2 fuel more economically feasible and sustainable, cheaper and renewable energy source (e.g., biomass) and better technologies are necessary. The objective of this proposal is to develop H2 from a low value biomass, hemp hurd. Industrial hemp is a growing agricultural industry in North Carolina that offers an additional economic opportunity for existing farm operations. North Carolina continues to operate under the USDA Industrial Hemp Pilot Program authorized in 2014. Hemp is a promising crop due to its diversity in bioproduct applications, including the flower oil for health benefits, seeds for nutrition, and fiber for textiles. Currently, most of the industrial hemp production is for the cannabidiol (CBD) oil extracted from the floral buds and the smokable flower market. Hemp hurd is comprised of the residual components after flower, seeds, and fibers have been removed, and mainly consists of stalks and stems. Compared to corn stover, hemp hurd is of similar composition, albeit with higher lignin content and lower ash content. North Carolina planted over 9000 acres of hemp in 2019 with the majority dedicated to CBD oil production. Unfortunately, most hemp growers in 2019 did not achieve their anticipated revenues due to oversupply across the U.S., limited processing capacity and other factors, leading to a sharp decline in planted acres in 2020. This has resulted in an abundance of excess hemp being stored by growers around the state. In addition, there is currently very low demand for the hurd material due to a lack of high-value product applications. Thus, new, high-value products derived from hemp hurd would allow growers to utilize all components of the hemp plant and ultimately increase and stabilize revenue streams.
It is extremely important and urgent to develop fertilizers that can not only enhance crop yields, but also protect the environment by reducing nutrient losses! This project will develop a biochar-based organic fertilizer from an engineered biochar-manure co-aging (EBMCA) process. The resultant EBMCA fertilizer is expected to be superior to sole manure or biochar in that it enhances soil N retention capability and improves the synchrony between nutrient supply and nutrient need due to biocharÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s unique characteristics: 1) A high ion exchange capacity (IEC) and a modifiable nature of IEC via abiotic and biotic oxidation processes; 2) A large surface area and porosity for carrying abundant and diverse beneficial microbes; 3) A powerful adsorption for retaining, stabilizing and buffering N from manure and soil. This project aims to characterize a number of properties and processes during the production and application of the fertilizer, includes five objectives: 1) Correlate gasification conditions with the chemical and physical properties of reproducible biochars as a bioenergy co-product in low-temperature gasification; 2) Elucidate the effects of the biochar quality and quantity on nutrient retention and/or loss during manure co-aging process; 3) Examine the impacts of the biochar-based organic fertilizer on soil properties and processes underlying soil nutrient release patterns and greenhouse gas emissions; 4) Evaluate the performance of the biochar-based organic fertilizer in terms of crop nutrient use efficiency, performance/quality, and yield;
We propose an innovative bioprocess that will produce high value cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) and butanol fuel from sustainable biomass feedstocks. Specifically, we will assess two biomass feedstocks: 1) poplar-derived market pulp and 2) CRISPR edited whole poplar biomass, as shown in Figure 1. Tailored hemicellulase and cellulase enzymes will be provided by Novozymes to selectively hydrolyze the hemicellulose and amorphous cellulose to generate free sugars and cellulose nanocrystals. The free sugars, both 5- and 6-carbon, will be fermented to butanol fuel via Clostridium saccharoperbutylacetonicum. After fermentation, butanol will serve two beneficial purposes for downstream separation operations: 1) butanol will act as a dispersant inhibiting hydrogen bonding and reducing nanocellulose agglomeration1 and 2) butanol will partially solubilize lignin thereby enhancing liquid/solid separation.2,3
The long-term goal of the proposed research is develop a sustainable alternative to asphalt binder in pavements. For an alternative binder to be viable as a replacement to asphalt cement, it must (a) be derived from renewable sources that can be produced economically in mass quantities, (b) require less energy and produce fewer emissions than the production and construction of concrete using current asphalt binder technology, and (c) demonstrate equal or superior performance over asphalt binder. To best meet these objectives, bio-binders will be produced using thermo-chemical conversion of biomass. Biomass feedstock and thermo-chemical conversion operating parameters will be varied in order to link inputs to produce a viable paving binder. Rigorous analyses of bio-binder chemical composition and properties will be conducted to assess the viability of bio-binders produced for use in pavements. In addition, preliminary trials of producing bio-binder ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ aggregate mixtures will be conducted using conventional laboratory methods for producing asphalt mixtures. Performance testing of bio-binder ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ aggregate mixtures will be conducted to assess their performance and to link critical bio-binder properties to the resultant performance of mixtures. In addition, life cycle analysis will be conducted to assess the sustainability of bio-binders compared to petroleum-based asphalts.
The main objective of this research is to fabricate a highly efficient and durable, membrane-based artificial photosynthesis device using novel lipids and enzymes from thermoacidophiles. The system will be capable of converting sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water into carbohydrates for the production of biofuels such as ethanol. Microbe growth, protein and lipid purification and characterization, membrane biophysics, biochemical assays, various spectroscopic techniques such as fluorescence, circular dichroism, UV-visible and infrared, as well as Micro-Electro-Mechanical-System (MEMS) technology will be employed.
The long-term career goal of the PI is to enable economically viable energy manufacturing from renewable sources such as algae. The PI's vision is to produce algae, for biofuel manufacturing, on solid carriers (e.g., thin sheets of metals or polymers) that float in the ocean. The research objective of this CAREER proposal is to test the hypothesis that micro- and meso-scale structures of solid carriers enhance attachment of algae. Such structures (e.g., dimples or channels) will be fabricated on the surface of the carrier. Knowledge obtained from this research will foster design and manufacturing of solid carriers ? the major equipment proposed for manufacturing algae biofuels in the ocean. The approach includes (1) experimental study of cell attachment to structured carriers, (2) physics-based modeling of cell-carrier interactions, and (3) prediction of the effect of carrier structures on algae attachment using the surface element integration (SEI) technique. The education objective of this proposal is to impart a system-level integration of a manufacturing-education-enhancement based theme at high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels by (1) exposure of undergraduate and graduate students to interdisciplinary research through NSF-funded IGERT and REU programs and the Biomass Technologies Certificate Program at Kansas State University (KSU), (2) K-12 outreach through existing outreach programs at KSU, (3) course and curriculum development in energy manufacturing, and (4) involvement of women and minorities through KSU mentoring programs.
The main objective of this research is to fabricate an artificial photosynthesis device that is capable of converting sunlight, CO2 and water into sugars/glucose for the production of biofuels. Additive manufacturing (AM) enhanced by high-resolution heterogeneous material printing technology and multi-function nozzle array will be investigated to design and build the innovative device with multi-layer interconnected channels and micro-porous structures. This research will enable manufacturing and deployment of large-scale solar conversion systems that not only mimic the nature process of photosynthesis for the production of biofuels, but also make these reactions independent of the life of nature plants.
The goal of this project is to improve the economic and environmental sustainability of biomass gasification through value-added utilization of biochar byproduct and effective syngas cleanup and enhancement. The novelty of the proposed work lies in two aspects: (1) it develops an inexpensive catalyst for effective syngas cleanup and conditioning and (2) it provides a value-added use of gasification by-product.
Currently, over 90% of pavements worldwide are constructed with an asphaltic surface, which results in use of 30 million tons of asphalt annually in the US alone. Asphalt is a byproduct of refining petroleum, a non-renewable resource and thus, supplies are diminishing. There is a need for development of alternative binders from bio-renewable resources. This project will investigate the use of bio-binders produced via hydrothermal conversion of biomass as an alternative to asphalt. Both micro algae and corn cob will be evaluated as biomass feedstock for production of bio-binders. Experimental characterization of bio-binders will be conducted to assess their potential use as paving binders.
The main objective of this research is to fabricate an artificial photosynthesis device that is capable of converting sunlight, CO2 and water into sugars for the production of biofuels. Solid freeform fabrication (SFF) enhanced by high-resolution heterogeneous printing technology will be investigated to design and build the innovative device with multi-layer interconnected channels and micro-porous structures. This research will enable manufacturing and deployment of large-scale solar conversion systems that not only mimic the nature process of photosynthesis for the production of biofuels, but also make these reactions independent of the life of nature plants.