A blog from University of Borås

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Biogas from lignocellulosic materials: A PhD thesis

Lignocelluloses are the most important energy and materials source for human being, as they save the solar energy in form of carbohydrates, lignin etc. for us. We have used it for thousands of years as energy source, as it is still used by burning. However, the modern societies nowadays need the energy also in form of biofuels, as we use in e.g. cars. Biogas is one of the major biofuels that is used globally for heating, cooking, lightening, electricity and car fuel.

Now, the question is if we can convert lignocelluloses to biogas. For this purpose, there are two principal technologies under development, where biogas is produced fro lignocelluloses via gasification and fischer-tropsch process, or via bacterial fermentation (digestion). However, the biomass is hard to digest because of lignin and hard crystallinity. As we know, it took about 50 million years that the nature found a way to degrade lignin by the fungi. So, it is a hard work to do...

Our PhD student Anna Teghammar has worked several years to do a pretreatment and ferment the lignocelluloses to biogas. She will defend her thesis next week, so we wish her good luck!

Her thesis is about "Biogas Production from Lignocelluloses: Pretreatment, Substrate Characterization, Co-digestion and Economic Evaluation".

The published papers so far are:
1- Pretreatment of paper tube residuals for improved biogas production.
2- Enhanced biogas production from rice straw, triticale straw and softwood spruce by NMMO pretreatment.
3- Substrate characteristic analysis for anaerobic digestion: A study on rice and triticale straw.
4- Improved Anaerobic Digestion by the Addition of Paper Tube Residuals: Pretreatment, Stabilizing, and Synergetic Effects.


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