A blog from University of Borås

Monday, November 23, 2015

Analytical methods in pretreatment of lignocelluloses

It is now several decades that lingocelluloses are investigated to produce ethanol, methane, hydrogen, butanol, citric acid, lactic acid, etc. However, the structure of these materials are difficult to open by enzymes and microorganisms and therefore pretreatment is used. There are several analytical methods that used in this aspects. We have explained these analytical methods and critically reviewed them in two papers. The first half of this review is now presented in this publication that is open access in Bioresource Technology:

A critical review of analytical methods in pretreatment of lignocelluloses: Composition, imaging, and crystallinity

Monday, October 26, 2015

PhD thesis: Integration of filamentous fungi in ethanol dry-mill biorefinery

Today, Jorge Ferreira nailed his exciting thesis that paves the way to integrate cellulosic ethanol into first generation ethanol plants using edible filamentous fungi. In the traditional ethanol plants named dry mills, grains are milled to powders, cooked with water and enzymes to cut starch into smaller molecules and then sugars, and then serve it the baker's yeast to eat and produce spirit. However, the yeast cannot eat everything. Now, the leftover is served to fungi to take care of the rest and produce more ethanol and also animal/fish feed so everybody become happy, including Jorge.

This work will hopefully goes the whole way to become commercial soon.
Jorge will defend his thesis in three weeks on 13 Nov. I wish him good luck.

Here is the link to the thesis, that also include these papers:

- Fungal protein and ethanol from lignocelluloses by Rhizopus pellets under simultaneous saccharification, filtration and fermentation (SSFF)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

On the backyard of Palm Oil industries

If you fly nowadays in Indonesia or Malaysia, you will see frequent flight cancellation because of hazy weather. It is the end of dry season and forest burning is named as the main reason. As you might know, these countries produce more than 90% of palm oil in the world. Indonesia that dominates the market, has about 1,000 palm oil mills to produce CPO. However, it seems nobody cares about their environmental aspects. These industries benefit of forest fires. In addition, they produce millions tons of wastewater (POME) that is not treated properly and also the open fruit bunches (OPEFB) that is dumped to self composting and burning to terrible fog and smell and also the palm fibers that is burned improperly to create a black exhaust gas. I just put a photo that I took from one of these mills that is not the worst.

It is just not sustainable and this industry needs a better attention probably internationally to stop damaging the tropical forests, and environment for millions of people in this region.

Friday, October 16, 2015

PhD thesis: Industrial Bioprocess Developments for Biogas and Ethanol Production

Karthik Rajendran came to Borås from Chennai (India) in 2009 as MSc student and he nailed his PhD thesis today after several years hard work on experimental and modeling work for biogas and ethanol processes. In this period, he had a great contribution to new soft biogas reacFOV Biogas". In addition, he did great job in modeling of biogas process, particularly the digestion reactions and also integration of the first and second generation ethanol plants. He will defend his thesis on 6 Nov. I wish him good luck!
tors that is introducing to the market now with a trade name "

Here is the link to his thesis that includes these papers:

- Techno-economic analysis of integrating first and second generation ethanol production using filamentous fungi 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

PhD thesis: Fermentative Hydrogen and Methane Productions using Membrane Bioreactors

We have several PhD defenses this year, where Julius Akinbomi is the 2nd one this fall. He has worked on dark fermentation, where hydrogen and biogas are produced. It is a complicated task that he tried to improve the yields and also fight with the inhibition effects using membrane bioreactors. Julius nailed his thesis yesterday and will defend it on 28 October. I wish him good luck.

The thesis can be obtained here. In addition, he had several publications including: