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Journal: Bioresource technology


The fate of chlortetracycline (CTC), sulfadiazine (SDZ) and ciprofloxacin (CIP) during composting of swine manure and their effect on composting process were investigated. Swine manure was spiked with antibiotics, mixed with saw dust (1:1 on DW basis) and composted for 56d. Antibiotics were spiked to a final concentration of 50mg/kg CTC+10mg/kg SDZ+10mg/kg CIP (High-level) or 5mg/kg CTC+1mg/kg SDZ+1mg/kg CIP (Low-level), and a control without antibiotics. Antibiotics at high concentrations delayed the initial decomposition that also affected the nitrogen mineralization. CTC and SDZ were completely removed from the composting mass within 21 and 3d, respectively; whereas, 17-31% of the spiked CIP remained in the composting mass. Therefore, composting could effectively remove the CTC and SDZ spiked even at high concentrations, but the removal of ciprofloxacin (belonging to fluoroquinolone) needs to be improved, indicating this antibiotic may get into the ecosystem through land application of livestock compost.

Concepts: Agriculture, Fertilizer, Humus, Quinolone, Compost, Composting, Vermicompost, Mulch


In this paper a techno-economic analysis for a sugarcane biorefinery is presented for the Colombian case. It is shown two scenarios for different conversion pathways as function of feedstock distribution and technologies for sugar, fuel ethanol, PHB, anthocyanins and electricity production. These scenarios are compared with the Colombian base case which simultaneously produce sugar, fuel ethanol and electricity. A simulation procedure was used in order to evaluate biorefinery schemes for all the scenarios, using Aspen Plus software, that include productivity analysis, energy calculations and economic evaluation for each process configuration. The results showed that the configuration with the best economic, environmental and social performance is the one that considers fuel ethanol and PHB production from combined cane bagasse and molasses. This result served as the basis to draw recommendations on technological and economic feasibility as well as social aspects for the implementation of such type of biorefinery in Colombia.

Concepts: Ethanol, Sugar, Biofuel, Sucrose, Ethanol fuel, Sugarcane, Bagasse, Rum


The techno-economics of greenfield projects of a first-generation sugarcane biorefinery aimed to produce ethanol, sugar, power, and n-butanol was conducted taking into account different butanol fermentation technologies (regular microorganism and mutant strain with improved butanol yield) and market scenarios (chemicals and automotive fuel). The complete sugarcane biorefinery with the batch acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation process was simulated using Aspen Plus®. The biorefinery was designed to process 2million tonne sugarcane per year and utilize 25%, 50%, and 25% of the available sugarcane juice to produce sugar, ethanol, and butanol, respectively. The investment on a biorefinery with butanol production showed to be more attractive [14.8% IRR, P(IRR>12%)=0.99] than the conventional 50:50 (ethanol:sugar) annexed plant [13.3% IRR, P(IRR>12%)=0.80] only in the case butanol is produced by an improved microorganism and traded as a chemical.

Concepts: Alcohol, Metabolism, Water, Ethanol, Fermentation, Sugarcane, Butanol, Butanol fuel


Hythane (H2+CH4) has attracted growing attention due to its versatile advantages as, for instance vehicle fuel. Biohythane consisting of biohydrogen and biomethane via two-stage fermentation is a potential high-value solution for the valorization of waste biomass resources and probably an alternative to the fossil based hythane. However, the significance and application potential of biohythane have not yet been fully recognized. This review focuses on the progress of biohydrogen and subsequent biomethane fermentation in terms of substrate, microbial consortium, reactor configuration, as well as the H2/CH4 ratio from the perspective of the feasibility of biohythane production in the past ten years. The current paper also covers how controls of the microbial consortium and bioprocess, system integration influence the biohythane productivity. Challenges and perspectives on biohythane technology will finally be addressed. This review provides a state-of-the-art technological insight into biohythane production by two-stage dark fermentation from biomass.

Concepts: Petroleum, Anaerobic digestion, Technology, Biofuel, Fermentative hydrogen production, Dark fermentation, Biohydrogen, Photofermentation


One of the major challenges in the bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass into liquid biofuels includes the search for a glucose tolerant beta-gulucosidase. Beta-glucosidase is the key enzyme component present in cellulase and completes the final step during cellulose hydrolysis by converting the cellobiose to glucose. This reaction is always under control as it gets inhibited by its product glucose. It is a major bottleneck in the efficient biomass conversion by cellulase. To circumvent this problem several strategies have been adopted which we have discussed in the article along with its production strategies and general properties. It plays a very significant role in bioethanol production from biomass through enzymatic route. Hence several amendments took place in the commercial preparation of cellulase for biomass hydrolysis, which contains higher and improved beta-glucosidase for efficient biomass conversion. This article presents beta-glucosidase as the key component for bioethanol from biomass through enzymatic route.

Concepts: Enzyme, Glucose, Starch, Cellulose, Hydrolysis, Biofuel, Cellulosic ethanol, Ethanol fuel


Lignocellulose represents a sustainable source of carbon for transformation into biofuels. Effective biomass to sugar conversion strategies are needed to lower processing cost without degradation of polysaccharides. Since ionic liquids (ILs) are excellent solvents for pretreatment/dissolution of biomass, IL pretreatment was carried out on agave bagasse (AGB-byproduct of tequila industry) and digestibility and sugar yield was compared with that obtained with switchgrass (SWG). The IL pretreatment was conducted using ([C2mim][OAc]) at 120 and 160°C for 3h and 15% biomass loading. While pretreatment using [C2mim][OAc] was very effective in improving the digestibility of both feedstocks, IL pretreatment at 160°C resulted in higher delignification for AGB (45.5%) than for SWG (38.4%) when compared to 120°C (AGB-16.6%, SWG-8.2%), formation of a highly amorphous cellulose structure and a significant enhancement of enzyme kinetics. These results highlight the potential of AGB as a biofuel feedstock that can produce high sugar yields with IL pretreatment.

Concepts: Glucose, Ethanol, Starch, Solvent, Ionic liquid, Cellulose, Biofuel, Cellulosic ethanol


Food and yard wastes are available year round at low cost and have the potential to complement each other for SS-AD. The goal of this study was to determine optimal feedstock/effluent (F/E) and food waste/yard waste mixing ratios for optimal biogas production. Co-digestion of yard and food waste was carried out at F/E ratios of 1, 2, and 3. For each F/E ratio, food waste percentages of 0%, 10%, and 20%, based on dry volatile solids, were evaluated. Results showed increased methane yields and volumetric productivities as the percentage of food waste was increased to 10% and 20% of the substrate at F/E ratios of 2 and 1, respectively. This study showed that co-digestion of food waste with yard waste at specific ratios can improve digester operating characteristics and end performance metrics over SS-AD of yard waste alone.

Concepts: Anaerobic digestion, Waste management, Biogas, Sintex Digester, Methane, Waste, Biodegradable waste, Landfill


BODIPY 505/515, a lipophilic bright green fluorescent dye was tested for lipid detection in the microalga Tetraselmis subcordiformis. A concentration of 0.28μgml(-1) and staining for 6min was optimal. Lipid bodies stained with BODIPY505/515 had a characteristic green fluorescence. Their volumes were determined using the sphere volume formula. Lipid accumulation under different nitrogen concentrations was analyzed. With an increase in NaNO(3) concentration from 0 to 240mg L(-1), the maximum algal concentration increased from 8.23±0.62 (×10(5) cells ml(-1)) to 1.61±0.13 (×10(6) cellsml(-1)), while the maximum volume of intracellular neutral lipid decreased from 9.78±1.77 μm(3)cell(-1) to 6.00±0.59μm(3)cell(-1). A comparison of the lipid contents measured by BODIPY 505/515 staining and the gravimetric method showed a positive correlation coefficient of R(2)=0.93. BODIPY 505/515 staining is a promising method in lipid quantitation in T. subcordiformis.

Concepts: Oxygen, Volume, Spearman's rank correlation coefficient, Correlation and dependence, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, Dyes, Sphere, Formula


Anaerobic digestibility of the waste activated sludge (WAS) discharged from large-scale membrane bioreactors (MBRs) and conventional activated sludge processes (CASs) were compared using batch trials. Four wastewater treatment plants were sampled. Results showed that the sludge from MBRs had poor anaerobic digestibility as it had lower volatile solid (VS) reduction rate and lower maximum biogas production rate. The partial sludge stabilization during the long sludge retention time (SRT) typically applied in MBRs was the possible reason. On the other hand, the difference in wastewater composition had a great impact on the properties of activated sludge and the downstream sludge digestion. Inorganic matter accumulation in the WAS may hinder the access of microorganisms to substrate. The humic-like substances accumulating in the activated sludge was expected to contribute to the worse digestibility and these substances were observed to be released during anaerobic digestion through three-dimensional excitation-emission matrix (EEM) fluorescence spectra.

Concepts: Sewage treatment, Anaerobic digestion, Waste management, Biogas, Sewage, Activated sludge, Sewerage, Environmental engineering


This study sought to evaluate the efficacy of aerobic and anaerobic composting of inoculated banana peels, and assess the agronomic value of banana peel-based compost. Changes in the chemical composition under aerobic and anaerobic conditions were examined for four formulations of banana peel-based wastes over a period of 12weeks. The formulations i.e. plain banana peel (B), and a mixture with either cow dung (BC), poultry litter (BP) or earthworm (BE) were separately composted under aerobic and anaerobic conditions under laboratory conditions. Inoculation with either cow dung or poultry litter significantly facilitated mineralization in the order: BP>BC>B. The rate of decomposition was significantly faster under aerobic than in anaerobic composting conditions. The final composts contained high K (>100gkg(-1)) and TN (>2%), indicating high potential as a source of K and N fertilizer.

Concepts: Nitrogen, Waste management, Humus, Compost, Composting, Manure, Anaerobic exercise, Vermicompost