Enzymatic Esterification of Carboxylic Acids and Higher Alcohols in Organic Medium

The studying of enzymatic esterification of carboxylic acids and higher alcohols was performed by esterase Saccharomyces cerevisiae in water-organic medium. Investigation of the enzyme specificity to acetic substrates showed the best result with acetic acid in esterification reactions with ethanol whereas within other carboxylic acids the esterification decreased with acids: hexanoic > pentanoic > butyric > decanoic. In relation to higher alcohols C3-C5, esterification increased with alcohols propanol < butanol < amylol. Also it was determined that esterase was more specific to alcohols with branched chain such as isobutyl alcohol and isoamyl alcohol. Data obtained may have important practical implications, for example, for application of yeast esterase in producing various volatile esters as well as in enzymatic transformation of volatile acids and toxic fusel alcohols into volatile esters by providing the production of the high quality alcoholic beverages with redused content of higher alcohols as well as with improved degustational and hygienic properties.

Physicochemical Properties of Microemulsions and their uses in Enhanced Oil Recovery

Use of microemulsion in enhanced oil recovery has become more attractive in recent years because of its high level of extraction efficiency. Experimental investigations have been made on characterization of microemulsions of oil-brinesurfactant/ cosurfactant system for its use in enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Sodium dodecyl sulfate, propan-1-ol and heptane were selected as surfactant, cosurfactant and oil respectively for preparation of microemulsion. The effects of salinity on the relative phase volumes and solubilization parameters have also been studied. As salinity changes from low to high value, phase transition takes place from Winsor I to Winsor II via Winsor III. Suitable microemulsion composition has been selected based on its stability and ability to reduce interfacial tension. A series of flooding experiments have been performed using the selected microemulsion. The flooding experiments were performed in a core flooding apparatus using uniform sand pack. The core holder was tightly packed with uniform sands (60-100 mesh) and saturated with brines of different salinities. It was flooded with the brine at 25 psig and the absolute permeability was calculated from the flow rate of the through sand pack. The sand pack was then flooded with the crude oil at 800 psig to irreducible water saturation. The initial water saturation was determined on the basis of mass balance. Waterflooding was conducted by placing the coreholder horizontally at a constant injection pressure at 200 pisg. After water flooding, when water-cut reached above 95%, around 0.5 pore volume (PV) of the above microemulsion slug was injected followed by chasing water. The experiments were repeated using different composition of microemulsion slug. The additional recoveries were calculated by material balance. Encouraging results with additional recovery more than 20% of original oil in place above the conventional water flooding have been observed.

Deflocculation and Gelation of Porcelain Ceramics

Deflocculation and gel characterization were investigated for three different composition of porcelain slips at specific gravity 1.8. The suspensions were dispersed with sodium silicate (Na2SiO3) in under-deflocculated slips and fully deflocculated slips. The rheology characterization of slips was conducted by the deflocculation curves and the gel curves. The results showed that decreasing the amount of the ball clay composition in the slips consumed less dosages of the dispersants. The under-deflocculated slips tended to have a gelation rate faster than the fully deflocculated slips.

Waste Oils pre-Esterification for Biodiesel Synthesis: Effect of Feed Moisture Contents

A process flowsheet was developed in ChemCad 6.4 to study the effect of feed moisture contents on the pre-esterification of waste oils. Waste oils were modelled as a mixture of triolein (90%), oleic acid (5%) and water (5%). The process mainly consisted of feed drying, pre-esterification reaction and methanol recovery. The results showed that the process energy requirements would be minimized when higher degrees of feed drying and higher preesterification reaction temperatures are used.

Effect of COD Loading Rate on Hydrogen Production from Alcohol Wastewater

The objective of this study was to investigate hydrogen production from alcohol wastewater by anaerobic sequencing batch reactor (ASBR) under thermophillic operation. The ASBR unit used in this study had a liquid holding volume of 4 L and was operated at 6 cycles per day. The seed sludge taken from an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket unit treating the same wastewater was boiled at 95 °C for 15 min before being fed to the ASBR unit. The ASBR system was operated at different COD loading rates at a thermophillic temperature (55 °C), and controlled pH of 5.5. When the system was operated under optimum conditions (providing maximum hydrogen production performance) at a feed COD of 60 000 mg/l, and a COD loading rate of 68 kg/m3 d, the produced gas contained 43 % H2 content in the produced gas. Moreover, the hydrogen yield and the specific hydrogen production rate (SHPR) were 130 ml H2/g COD removed and 2100 ml H2/l d, respectively.

Study of Flow Behavior of Aqueous Solution of Rhodamine B in Annular Reactor Using Computational Fluid Dynamics

The present study deals with the modeling and simulation of flow through an annular reactor at different hydrodynamic conditions using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to investigate the flow behavior. CFD modeling was utilized to predict velocity distribution and average velocity in the annular geometry. The results of CFD simulations were compared with the mathematically derived equations and already developed correlations for validation purposes. CFD modeling was found suitable for predicting the flow characteristics in annular geometry under laminar flow conditions. It was observed that CFD also provides local values of the parameters of interest in addition to the average values for the simulated geometry.

Biodiesel Production over nano-MgO Supported on Titania

Nano-MgO was successfully deposited on titania using deposition-precipitation method. The catalyst produced was characterised using FTIR, XRD, BET and XRF and its activity was tested on the transesterification reaction of soybean oil to biodiesel. The catalyst activity improved when the reaction temperature was increasedfrom 150 and 225 OC. It was also observed that increasing the reaction time above 1h had no significant benefit on conversion. The stability fixed MgO on TiO2 was investigated using XRF and ICP-OES. It was observed that MgO loss during the reaction was between 0.5-2.3 percent and that there was no correlation between the reaction temperature and the MgO loss.

Effects of TiO2 and Nb2O5 on Hydrogen Desorption of Mg(BH4)2

In this work, effects of catalysts (TiO2, and Nb2O5) were investigated on the hydrogen desorption of Mg(BH4)2. LiBH4 and MgCl2 with 2:1 molar ratio were mixed by using ball milling to prepare Mg(BH4)2. The desorption behaviors were measured by thermo-volumetric apparatus. The hydrogen desorption capacity of the mixed sample milled for 2 h was 4.78 wt% with a 2-step released. The first step occurred at 214 °C and the second step appeared at 374 °C. The addition of 16 wt% Nb2O5 decreased the desorption temperature in the second step about 66 °C and increased the hydrogen desorption capacity to 4.86 wt% hydrogen. The addition of TiO2 also improved the desorption temperature in the second step and the hydrogen desorption capacity. It decreased the desorption temperature about 71°C and showed a high amount of hydrogen, 5.27 wt%, released from the mixed sample. The hydrogen absorption after desorption of Mg(BH4)2 was also studied under 9.5 MPa and 350 °C for 12 h.

Lightweight Materials Obtained by Utilization of Agricultural Waste

Lightweight ceramic materials in the form of bricks and blocks are widely used in modern construction. They may be obtained by adding of rice husk, rye straw, etc, as porous forming materials. Rice husk is a major by-product of the rice milling industry. Its utilization as a valuable product has always been a problem. Various technologies for utilization of rice husk through biological and thermochemical conversion are being developed. The purpose of this work is to develop lightweight ceramic materials with clay matrix and filler of rice husk and examine their main physicomechanical properties. The results obtained allow to suppose that the materials synthesized on the basis of waste materials can be used as lightweight materials for construction purpose.

Investigation of Nickel as a Metal Substitute of Palladium Supported on HBeta Zeolite for Waste Tire Pyrolysis

Pyrolysis of waste tire is one of alternative technique to produce petrochemicals, such as light olefins, mixed C4, and monoaromatics. Noble metals supported on acid zeolite catalysts were reported as potential catalysts to produce the high valuable products from waste tire pyrolysis. Especially, Pd supported on HBeta gave a high yield of olefins, mixed C4, and mono-aromatics. Due to the high prices of noble metals, the objective of this work was to investigate whether or not a non-noble Ni metal can be used as a substitute of a noble metal, Pd, supported on HBeta as a catalyst for waste tire pyrolysis. Ni metal was selected in this work because Ni has high activity in cracking, isomerization, hydrogenation and the ring opening of hydrocarbons Moreover, Ni is an element in the same group as Pd noble metal, which is VIIIB group, aiming to produce high valuable products similarly obtained from Pd. The amount of Ni was varied as 5, 10, and 20% by weight, for comparison with a fixed 1 wt% Pd, using incipient wetness impregnation. The results showed that as a petrochemical-producing catalyst, 10%Ni/HBeta performed better than 1%Pd/HBeta because it did not only produce the highest yield of olefins and cooking gases, but the yields were also higher than 1%Pd/HBeta. 5%Ni/HBeta can be used as a substitute of 1%Pd/HBeta for similar crude production because its crude contains the similar amounts of naphtha and saturated HCs, although it gave no concentration of light mono-aromatics (C6-C11) in the oil. Additionally, 10%Ni/HBeta that gave high olefins and cooking gases was found to give a fairly high concentration of the light mono-aromatics in the oil.

Effect of Calcination Temperature and MgO Crystallite Size on MgO/TiO2 Catalyst System for Soybean Transesterification

The effect of calcination temperature and MgO crystallite sizes on the structure and catalytic performance of TiO2 supported nano-MgO catalyst for the trans-esterification of soybean oil has been studied. The catalyst has been prepared by deposition precipitation method, characterised by XRD and FTIR and tested in an autoclave at 225oC. The soybean oil conversion after 15 minutes of the trans-esterification reaction increased when the calcination temperature was increased from 500 to 600oC and decreased with further increase in calcination temperature. Some glycerolysis activity was also detected on catalysts calcined at 600 and 700oC after 45 minutes of reaction. The trans-esterification reaction rate increased with the decrease in MgO crystallite size for the first 30 min.

Hydrogen Production from Alcohol Wastewater by Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket Reactors under Mesophilic Temperature

In this work, biohydrogen production via dark fermentation from alcohol wastewater using upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactors (UASB) with a working volume of 4 L was investigated to find the optimum conditions for a maximum hydrogen yield. The system was operated at different COD loading rates (23, 31, 46 and 62 kg/m3d) at mesophilic temperature (37 ºC) and pH 5.5. The seed sludge was pretreated before being fed to the UASB system by boiling at 95 ºC for 15 min. When the system was operated under the optimum COD loading rate of 46 kg/m3d, it provided the hydrogen content of 27%, hydrogen yield of 125.1 ml H2/g COD removed and 95.1 ml H2/g COD applied, hydrogen production rate of 18 l/d, specific hydrogen production rate of 1080 ml H2/g MLVSS d and 1430 ml H2/ L d, and COD removal of 24%.

Effect of Gold Loading on CeO2–Fe2O3 for Oxidative Steam Reforming of Methanol

In this study, oxidative steam reforming of methanol (OSRM) over a Au/CeO2–Fe2O3 catalyst prepared by a depositionprecipitation (DP) method was studied to produce hydrogen in order to feed a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC). The support (CeO2, Fe2O3, and CeO2–Fe2O3) were prepared by precipitation and co-precipitation methods. The impact of the support composition on the catalytic performance was studied by varying the Ce/(Ce+Fe) atomic ratio, it was found that the 1%Au/CF(0.25) calcined at 300 °C exhibited the highest catalytic activity in the whole temperature studied. In addition, the effect of Au content was investigated and 3%Au/CF(0.25) exhibited the highest activity under the optimum condition in the temperature range of 200 °C to 400 °C. The catalysts were characterized by various techniques: XRD, TPR, XRF, and UV-vis.

Successful Straw Combustion Technology in Zluticka Heating Plant

We successfully developed and tested a new separation layer solving problems with unmanageable deposits inside the boilers of Zluticka Heating Plant. The deposits are mainly created by glass-forming melts. We plotted straw ash compositions in K2OCaO- SiO2 phase diagram and illustrated that they are in the area of low-melting eutectic points. To prevent the melting of ash and the formation of deposits, we modified ash compositions by injecting additives into biomass fuel, and thus effectively suppressed deposits in a burner.

Biodiesel Production from Palm Oil using Heterogeneous Base Catalyst

In this study, the transesterification of palm oil with methanol for biodiesel production was studied by using CaO–ZnO as a heterogeneous base catalyst prepared by incipient-wetness impregnation (IWI) and co-precipitation (CP) methods. The reaction parameters considered were molar ratio of methanol to oil, amount of catalyst, reaction temperature, and reaction time. The optimum conditions–15:1 molar ratio of methanol to oil, a catalyst amount of 6 wt%, reaction temperature of 60 °C, and reaction time of 8 h–were observed. The effects of Ca loading, calcination temperature, and catalyst preparation on the catalytic performance were studied. The fresh and spent catalysts were characterized by several techniques, including XRD, TPR, and XRF.

Effect of Temperature and Time on Dilute Acid Pretreatment of Corn Cobs

Lignocellulosic materials are new targeted source to produce second generation biofuels like biobutanol. However, this process is significantly resisted by the native structure of biomass. Therefore, pretreatment process is always essential to remove hemicelluloses and lignin prior to the enzymatic hydrolysis. The goals of pretreatment are removing hemicelluloses and lignin, increasing biomass porosity, and increasing the enzyme accessibility. The main goal of this research is to study the important variables such as pretreatment temperature and time, which can give the highest total sugar yield in pretreatment step by using dilute phosphoric acid. After pretreatment, the highest total sugar yield of 13.61 g/L was obtained under an optimal condition at 140°C for 10 min of pretreatment time by using 1.75% (w/w) H3PO4 and at 15:1 liquid to solid ratio. The total sugar yield of two-stage process (pretreatment+enzymatic hydrolysis) of 27.38 g/L was obtained.

Dielectric Studies on Nano Zirconium Dioxide Synthesized through Co-Precipitation Process

Nano sized zirconium dioxide in monoclinic phase (m-ZrO2) has been synthesized in pure form through co-precipitation processing at different calcination temperatures and has been characterized by several techniques such as XRD, FT-IR, UV-Vis Spectroscopy and SEM. The dielectric and capacitance values of the pelletized samples have been examined at room temperature as the functions of frequency. The higher dielectric constant value of the sample having larger grain size proves the strong influence of grain size on the dielectric constant.

Dehydroxylation of Glycerol to Propylene Glycol over Cu-ZnO/Al2O3 Catalyst: Effect of Feed Purity

The catalytic dehydroxylation of glycerol to propylene glycol was investigated over Cu-ZnO/Al2O3 prepared by incipient wetness impregnation (IWI) method with different purity feedstocks - refined glycerol and technical grade glycerol. The main purpose is to investigate the effects of feed impurities that cause the catalyst deactivation. The prepared catalyst were tested for its catalytic activity and selectivity in a continuous flow fixed bed reactor at 523 K, 500 psig, H2/feed molar ratio of 4 and WHSV of 3 h-1. The results showed that conversion of refined glycerol and technical grade glycerol at time on stream 6 hour are 99% and 71% and selectivity to propylene glycol are 87% and 56% respectively. The ICP-EOS and TPO results indicated that the cause of catalyst deactivation was the amount of impurities in the feedstock. The higher amount of impurities (especially Na and K) the lower catalytic activity.

Carbon Dioxide Removal from Flue Gas Using Amine-Based Hybrid Solvent Absorption

This study was to investigate the performance of hybrid solvents blended between primary, secondary, or tertiary amines and piperazine (PZ) for CO2 removal from flue gas in terms of CO2 absorption capacity and regeneration efficiency at 90 oC. Alkanolamines used in this work were monoethanolamine (MEA), diethanolamine (DEA), and triethanolamine (TEA). The CO2 absorption was experimentally examined under atmospheric pressure and room temperature. The results show that MEA blend with PZ provided the maximum CO2 absorption capacity of 0.50 mol CO2/mol amine while TEA provided the minimum CO2 absorption capacity of 0.30 mol CO2/mol amine. TEA was easier to regenerate for both first cycle and second cycle with less loss of absorption capacity. The regeneration efficiency of TEA was 95.09 and 92.89 %, for the first and second generation cycles, respectively.

Effect of Biomass Feedstocks on the Production of Hydrogenated Biodiesel

Hydrogenated biodiesel is one of the most promising renewable fuels. It has many advantages over conventional biodiesel, including higher cetane number, higher heating value, lower viscosity, and lower corrosiveness due to its absence of oxygen. From previous work, Pd/TiO2 gave high conversion and selectivity in hydrogenated biodiesel. In this work, the effect of biomass feedstocks (i.e. beef fat, chicken fat, pork fat, and jatropha oil) on the production of hydrogenated biodiesel over Pd/TiO2 has been studied. Biomass feedstocks were analyzed by ICP-OES (inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry) to identify the content of impurities (i.e. P, K, Ca, Na, and Mg). The deoxygenation catalyst, Pd/TiO2, was prepared by incipient wetness impregnation (IWI) and tested in a continuous flow packed-bed reactor at 500 psig, 325°C, H2/feed molar ratio of 30, and LHSV of 4 h-1 for its catalytic activity and selectivity in hydrodeoxygenation. All feedstocks gave high selectivity in diesel specification range hydrocarbons and the main hydrocarbons were n-pentadecane (n-C15) and n-heptadecane (n- C17), resulting from the decarbonylation/decarboxylation reaction. Intermediates such as oleic acid, stearic acid, palmitic acid, and esters were also detected in minor amount. The conversion of triglycerides in jatropha oil is higher than those of chicken fat, pork fat, and beef fat, respectively. The higher concentration of metal impurities in feedstock, the lower conversion of feedstock.