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Advanced Fermentation Agitation with Methanotrophs and Other Organisms

By Gregory T. Benz Introduction Fermentation processes, both aerobic and anaerobic, have been successful on an industrial scale for quite a long time, producing a wide variety of products. In most of these processes, if any gas has been added, it has been either air or oxygen-enriched air. In the advanced bioeconomy, organisms are now […]

High Added Value Renewable Polymers

By:  Dr. Bernard Cooker, Chemical Processing Solutions, Consultant with Lee Enterprises Consulting Summary Biomass-based green polymer and monomer projects, as reported in Chemical and Engineering News and Chemical Engineering Progress in Q1, Q2 2017 are surveyed. The focus here is on combinations of low raw material cost, commercial scale operation and high added product value, […]

Make Lenders Love Your Construction Contracts

By Charles Loos. By the time a developer seeks non-recourse financing for a biomass project, the contracts for construction and major equipment procurement have usually been pre-negotiated and are on hold awaiting notice to proceed.    Prospective lenders then scour these contracts for defects, paying particular attention to inconsistencies between the various contracts.   Clean contracts attract […]

Celebrating Canada’s 150th: A Short History of the Biofuel Industry in Canada

  The 150th anniversary of Confederation on July 1st is a time to reflect upon the country’s achievements; this article covers the evolution of the Canadian biofuel industry – including gaseous, liquid and solid biofuels, and biomass power – from 1867 to 2017. The foundations of the biofuel industry in Canada are found in the […]

Biomass Pyrolysis Comes of Age

After many years of development biomass pyrolysis is finally maturing as a commercial technology.  Pyrolysis is not incineration.  The goal is to use heat in the absence of oxygen to convert the biomass to a more useful form while preserving as much of the carbon as possible.  The water and oxygen associated with the carbon […]

Hydrofoil Impellers vs. Pitched Blade Turbines in Lignocellulosic Slurries

In a previous article (ref 1), it was stated that both pitched blade turbines and hydrofoils could be successfully used to agitate high-solids lignocellulosic materials, but that the hydrofoil could do the job with less power and torque. This article expands on that comment. A little history When I did my first tests on such […]

The King of Biofuels – A Guide to Pyrolysis’ Progress and Prospects

Biofuels Digest recently invited two of our noted biofuels experts, Dr. Lorenz Bauer and Dr. Terry Mazanec, to lead webinars on the field of pyrolysis and to discuss its progress and future prospects.  Dr. Bauer presented Part 1 and Dr. Mazanec presented part two. For Lee Enterprises Consulting, Dr. Bauer handles bio oil upgrading, catalytic […]

Opportunities to Transition Ethanol Facilities to Biochemical Refineries

The US commercial petroleum industry started with the drilling by retired railroad conductor Edwin Drake of a well near Titusville, PA in 1859. Drake’s well sparked an oil boom and over the next couple of years, and US petroleum production grew rapidly. By 1865, the first successful oil pipeline was built, from Titusville to a […]

Lignocellulosic Biomass Deconstruction

Cheap, plentiful lignocellulosic biomass (LCB), consisting of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, is deconstructed to release useful chemical intermediates in the bioeconomy. These include glucose from cellulose, glucose and other sugars from hemicellulose, and oxygenated benzene derivatives (OBTX) from lignin. Reviewed here are recent published developments of note in LCB deconstruction, emphasizing process simplicity, efficiency, and […]

Sustainable Polyurethanes and the Bio Economy

Sustainability has become a key concern in polyurethane industry.   Reducing the environmental impact of polymers by replacing fossil derived carbon, using more environmental friendly processes and reducing and recycling the carbon used either directly or indirectly is a corporate goal of many producers. The use of biomass to produce value added chemicals for polymer synthesis […]