This workshop focuses on bioenergy from natural biomass, such as woods, grasses and agriculture residuals. Two speakers will discuss topics: 1) converting sugars derived from lignocellulosic biomass to biojet fuel and 2) low temperature conversion of natural biomass to electricity and hydrogen.
Increased concerns over the effects of using fossil fuels on the environment and climate change and the depletion of petroleum, many countries have developed strategies for sustainable economic development. Much investment has been made in develop technologies for using renewable natural resources for the future biobased economy. The great portfolio of research and technology development in bioenergy and biofuel throughout the world in the last two decades was a result of these investment and efforts.
Dr. Zhu from USDA Forest Product Lab (FPL) will present their biorefining research work of producing biofuel, bioproducts, and chemicals through biorefining using lignocelluloses has been around for approximately a century. For the past several years, Dr. Zhu’s research group has developed and commercialized an advance biorefining engineering approach. In this presentation, Dr. Zhu will discuss biojet fuel production using two molecules from sugars derived from lignocellulosic biomass (forest harvest residue): (1) lipid and (2) iso-butanol from sugars through fermentation. He will outline the technological steps and processes and the economic difficulties of biojet fuel production from biomass. He will also report the successful commercial biojet-flight using jet fuel produced from forest residue preprocessed using the sugar production technology that we developed.
Professor Deng from Georgia Institute of Technology will discuss a novel fuel cell that can directly use native polymeric biomasses, such as starch, cellulose, lignin, and even switchgrass and wood powders will be discussed. This fuel cell combines some features of solar cells, fuel cells, and redox flow batteries. Specifically, an oxidation/reduction ion pair, such as Fe2+/Fe3+, or polyoxomatelate, are used as catalyst to oxidize biomass by either absorbing solar light or heat energy. The power density of the solar-induced hybrid fuel cell powered with raw biomass could reach ~50 mW/cm2. The fuel cell is completely noble metal free. The similar fuel cell system can also be converted to electrolysis cell for hydrogen production at low temperature using native biomass directly.
This workshop will be given by Dr. Yulin Deng and Dr. Junyong (J.Y.) Zhu