Olivier Dubois

Biography

Olivier Dubois is senior natural resources officer and coordinator of the energy programme of FAO. An Agronomist, land use and natural resource management specialist, he has a Masters in Agronomy, Certificates in Tropical Agriculture, Rural Economics and Sociology from the Faculty of Agronomy of Gembloux, Belgium, and a Masters in Environmental Management from the European Community Environment Programme. Mr Dubois has worked on land use intensification, forest management and institutional aspects of rural development in more than 40 countries in Africa, Asia-South Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East and CIS countries, through both long term assignments, and several short term missions.

Abstract

A few myth exist regarding biofuel development, i.e. that (i) food crop feedstock are always bad / Energy crops and residues are always good, (ii) simple solutions to reconcile food and fuels are available and (iii) indirect land use change (ILUC) risk is new, always very strong concerning biodiesel and, always low or does not exist with second generation biofuels.

The reality is quite different. Sustainable biofuel development is complex, multi-facetted and context-specific. Therefore no sweeping statement is valid, and we should embrace this complexity rather than oversimplify it. The good news is that there is currently enough knowledge and tools to move from (i) food versus fuel towards food and fuel and (ii) model-based ILUC policies and actions towards low-ILUC risk practices and policies.   

What is needed is to (i) move away from myths and sweeping statements; (ii) embrace the complexities of sustainable biofuels; and (iii)  be constructive and rigorous by using available tools to get things right through an integrated, contextualized and evidence-based approach

FAO’s key messages on biofuel development are:

·         The sustainability of biofuels is context specific. Therefore its assessment must be based on reality not models and global studies;

·         Tools and knowledge are now available to help governments and operators reduce risks and enhance opportunities of biofuel development;

·         Per se biofuels are neither good nor bad. What matters is the way they are managed;

·         Biofuels should be seen as another opportunity for responsible investment in sustainable agriculture, rural development and bio economy.

Koji Hashimoto

Biography

Koji Hashimoto is a Professor Emeritus of Tohoku University (Institute for Materials Research) and Professor Emeritus of Tohoku Institute of Technology, Japan. He has been working for 30 years for the supply of renewable energy in the form of methane to the world by electrolytic hydrogen production and subsequent methane formation by the reaction of carbon dioxide with hydrogen. He has published more than 560 papers and received various international awards mostly from Electrochemical Society and NACE International.

Abstract

The atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration increased with industrial development.  After 1970 it increased with incrasing rate and now exceeded 400 ppm corresponding to the level in 3.5 million years ago, in spite of the fact that our Homo Sapiens appeared only 200,000 years ago.  The world average temperature increased 0.26°C for 10 years since 2007.  There is no solution to avoid global warming as far as we burn fossil fuel.   Extrapolation of recent increase in the world primary energy consumption indicates that all reserves of fossil fuels and uranium will be completely exhausted until the middle of this century.  In order to avoid the crisis of intolerable global warming and no fuels for combustion we have to establish and spread the technologies by which the whole world can keep sustainable development only using renewable energy. 

We are studying for about 30 years to supply renewable energy to the world in the form of synthesized natural gas methane by electrolytic hydrogen generation and subsequent methane formation from hydrogen and captured carbon dioxide.  We created necessary key materials.  Those are anodes and cathodes for water electrolysis and catalysts for carbon dioxide methanation.  We constructed a prototype plant consisting of solar cell, water electrolyzer, carbon dioxide methanation unit, methane combustor with oxygen and piping connecting methane production and combustion units in 1995.   Industrial plants are available.

         There are superabundant renewable energy sources on our planet, and we have a variety of power generation systems.  The major sources are solar and wind powers characterized by intermittent and fluctuating nature.  For the use of only renewable energy we need to store the surplus electricity by which we make up for a deficiency of intermittent power.  The most convenient and easily applicable technology to store the surplus electricity is the formation of methane.  If we regenerate steady electricity from methane the whole world can keep the sustainable development only by renewable energy.

Keynote Speaker

Wolfgang Bauer

Title: Biogas Power Plants

Time: 10:20 - 11:00

Wolfgang Bauer

Biography

Wolfgang Bauer obtained his Ph.D. in Physics in 1987. He joined the faculty at Michigan State University in 1988, with a dual appointment at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory. In 2007 he was named University Distinguished Professor. He has served the university in various administrative roles: Chairperson of the Department of Physics and Astronomy 2001-2013, Founding Director of the Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research 2009-2013, Senior Consultant 2013-2018, and Associate Vice President for Administrative Services since 2018. For the last decade his primary research interests have been in renewable energies and mitigation of global warming. He is one of the authors of the MSU Energy Transition Plan. Dr. Bauer serves on various Boards in the USA and Europe. His numerous awards include the 1992 US Presidential Faculty Award, the 1999 Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation Distinguished Senior U.S. Scientist Award, and Fellowship in the American Physical Society in 2003.

Abstract

Biogas power plants are a renewable power source, which is not intermittent, if deployed properly in concert with appropriately sized storage tanks. Therefore, biogas power plants have the ability to firm intermittent renewable power sources (wind farms, solar arrays) without the need for fossil fuel backup generation or large-scale battery storage solutions. These renewable power plants can convert organic waste into electricity, heat, and high-quality organic fertilizer.  This organic waste can be of a wide variety, such as food scraps, food preparation waste, discarded produce, cooking oil, grease, restaurant waste, and even animal excrements. Alternatively, the feedstock for biogas power plants can also be dedicated energy crops, most frequently maize/corn, but also other cereals, sweet sorghum, grasses, and any other energy crop with a high yield.  The efficiency of harvesting solar radiation energy through growing energy crops and converting them into energy for transportation is up to a factor of 3.8 higher than converting the same energy crops to transportation fuel via the bioethanol distillation process.

Roger Ruan

Biography

Dr. Ruan is the Director of Center for Biorefining and Professor of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering Department at the University of Minnesota, and Fellow of ASABE. He has published over 450 papers in refereed journals, books, and book chapters, and holds 18 US patents. He is also a top cited author in the area of agricultural and biological sciences with h-index of 52 and over 10,000 citations. He has supervised over 80 graduate students, 110 post-doctors, research fellows, and other engineers and scientists, and many of his Ph.D. students and post-doctors hold university faculty positions. He has received over 170 grants totaling over $40 million in various funding for research, including major grants from USDA, DOE, DOT, DOD, and industries. He has served as editorial board member of Bioresource Technology, Renewable Energy, Engineering, etc. Professor Ruan has given over 290 keynote lectures, invited symposium presentations, company seminars, and short courses.

Abstract

Microwave-assisted pyrolysis (MAP) is an alternative conversion method to extract the energy and produce value-added products from solid wastes. Microwave-assisted technology has many advantages comparing with conventional conversion methods, such as more uniform heating at molecular level, process flexibility and equipment portability, lower thermal inertia and faster response, low capital cost and more energy efficient. In this presentation, a continuous fast microwave-assisted pyrolysis and gasification process and system will be introduced. The process and system is designed, fabricated, and tested for various solid wastes such as lignocellulosic biomass and recycled plastics. The system is equipped with continuous waste raw material feeding, mixing of feedstock and microwave absorbent, and a separated catalytic upgrading step. For microwave gasification of lignocellulosic biomass, extremely high temperature (>1200 °C) can be obtained efficiently when combining with microwave absorbents, making the gas product much cleaner than in lower temperature and the energy consumption much lower than that of traditional fluidized bed gasifier. With this process, it is possible to obtain a H2-rich gas with low tar content, and can be usable in cogeneration systems, F-T synthesis, or fuel cells. For microwave pyrolysis of waste plastics for hydrocarbon fuel production, the two-step microwave catalytic pyrolysis improved the bio-oil quality; help produced the liquid product with high heating value (HHV). There are clear potentials for commercializing the microwave-assisted catalytic pyrolysis and gasification process and system for complete solid waste utilization.

Nevenka R Elezovic

Biography

Nevenka R. Elezovic completed her PhD in 2005, from University of Belgrade. She is currently research professor at the Institute for Multidisciplinary Research. Since 2013 she is served as representative of Serbia and member of the European board in European Academy of Surface Technology- http://www.east-site.net. She has published more than 40 papers in reputed journals and has been serving as an reviewer for: Energy and Environmental Science, Applied Materials and Interfaces, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, Electrochimica Acta, Applied CatalysisB:Environmental, RSC Advances, PCCP, Chemical Communications, Journal of the Electrochemical Society, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. 

Abstract

Statement of the Problem: The main contemporary industrial processes are based on fossil fuels usage. Intensive fossil fuel application leads to the growing environment pollution, causing the "greenhouse effect". During the 20th century the CO2 concentration increased about 20%, being the main reason for average temperature increase on Earth. This fact has already caused undesirable climate changes, connected to animal and plants biodiversity disorder. United Nations has recognized environment pollution effects and global actions to prevent it have already been taken. From Stockholm conference held in 1972 and Kyoto in 1997, United Nations announced several declarations to stabilize gas emission and decrease greenhouse effect. European Union has established main targets until 2020, in the frame of Climate and Energy Package, to increase alternative power sources usage and save environment. Thus, the further development of water electrolysis and fuel cells catalysts (the subject of this work), as environmental friendly, green technologies are extremely desirable, to contribute to the environment protection and sustainable development. Hydrogen – high efficiency and environmental friendly fuel, produced by water electrolysis is used in low temperature fuel cells, while oxidative agent is oxygen from air. In this work novel nanostructured materials with noble metal nanoparticles deposited onto ceramics based supports have been investigated as the catalysts for fuel cells, promising alternative power sources. Several ceramic supports were prepared - Ti, Sn and W based oxides, doped by Ru or Nb to improve conductivity. Physical chemical and electrochemical characterization of these novel materials confirmed higher efficiency and long term stability to decrease the costs and increase life time of fuel cells acceptable for commercial application.

Ruud A Weusthuis

Biography

After studying Biology in Groningen (1984-1989) R. A. Weusthuis obtained his PhD in Microbial Biotechnology at the Delft University of Technology (1989-1994). Then he joined the WUR and headed the Bioconversion group (2004-2008). In 2007 he started working at the Wageningen University, and is active as Associate Professor Microbial Biotechnology

Abstract

1. Background. This abstract will show our efforts to develop a process for the production of ethyl acetate. Ethyl acetate is produced from fossil resources at 3.5 million tonnes at a total value of $3.7 billion in 2014. To reduce CO2 emissions a biobased process is desired. Yeasts are able to produce high amounts of ethyl acetate from sugars and ethanol. The development of an efficient fermentation process was hampered because the key enzyme was unknown.

2. Methods. The Eat1 enzyme was identified by comparing the transcriptome of Wickerhamomyces anomalus under producing and non-producing conditions. A fusion protein of Eat1 and Gfp was made to show by light microscopy in which organelle Eat1 was expressed. The mitochondrial targeting sequence was identified using bioinformatics techniques. Eat1 was expressed in E. coli. Ethyl acetate production was optimized by knocking out byproduct formation, optimizing the expression level, removal of the targeting sequence, and in-situ product removal.

3. Results and discussion. We have identified this elusive enzyme. Eat1 is present in all yeasts known to produce ethyl acetate (figure 1, left). It has three activities: alcohol acetyl transferase converting ethanol and acetyl-CoA into ethyl acetate, esterase and thioesterase activity. The latter two activities have a negative effect on ethyl acetate production but were strongly suppressed when ethanol was present (Figure 1, middle)1. We have shown that the enzyme is located in the mitochondria, and we have identified the leader sequence responsible for mitochondrial targeting2Expression of Eat1 in E. coli resulted in ethyl acetate production (figure 1, right)1. We have optimized anaerobic ethyl acetate production in E. coli by deleting LdhA and AckA, responsible for lactate and acetate production, respectively. This increased ethyl acetate production but also gave rise to the accumulation of pyruvate, indicating the Eat1 activity was insufficient. Eat1 activity was improved by optimizing the induction level and by removing the mitochondrial targeting sequence. This reduced production of pyruvate but enhanced the production of acetate and ethanol. This appeared to be caused by the esterase activity of Eat1, hydrolysing ethyl acetate. By stripping the ethyl acetate from the broth, we decreased the time Eat1 could hydrolyse ethyl acetate, resulting in lower acetate and ethanol production. The final ethyl acetate yield obtained was 0.7 mol/mol, or 70% of the maximum pathway yield3.


4. Conclusions. By multilevel engineering – bioprospecting the key enzyme, optimizing its expressing, increasing its activity by protein engineering, knocking out byproduct formation and by applying in situ product recovery - we were able to efficiently produce ethyl acetate in E. coli. On paper, the production costs of ethyl acetate are lower than those of bioethanol.

Jacek P Siry & Bob Izlar

Biography

Jacek Siry has significant international forestry experience, including forest finance and investment, business management, and policy; timber trade, availability, and costs; and natural and plantation forest management across the world’s major producing regions. His research is focused on the global competitiveness of forest industries, international forest investments, timber market modeling, and forest management efficiency.

Bob Izlar has been founding director of the UGA Harley Langdale, Jr. Center for Forest Business since 1998. He has 24 years of operational forestry experience in forest industry. Izlar is a retired United States Army Colonel with 36 years’ service.

Abstract

Background: While climate change concerns prompt the development of renewable energy sources, the majority of global energy consumption continues to be fulfilled by fossil fuels. The current consumption of renewable energy continues to be dominated by plant biomass, much of it sourced from forests. Given that the development of new biomass sources is expensive and time consuming, it is feasible that forest biomass will continue to grow in importance. The US South has emerged as a leading global supplier of industrial wood pellets destined primarily for Europe. The purpose of this presentation is to assess whether the US South can still increase the supply of forest biomass to global markets in a sustainable and competitive manner. Methods: We examine southern forest resource trends (inventory, growth, harvest), biomass availability from logging and manufacturing operations, and market conditions. This is accompanied by the assessment of the forest products industries and trends, as well as wood prices and wood cost competitiveness across leading world supply regions. The region’s renewable forest biofuels industry, including industrial wood pellets and advanced biofuels, is also evaluated.  Lessons Learned: The US South is the world’s largest industrial wood supply region that has a significant potential to substantially increase the supply of forest biomass to the global market. Forest growth substantially exceeding harvest and a third-party certification of industrial forests ensure sustainability. The supply will remain cost competitive because of the demand contraction following the financial crisis and industry restructuring. The biomass supply greatly benefits from the well-developed infrastructure and established collection system. Conclusions: There is an abundance of cost competitive and sustainably sourced forest biomass in the US South. The primary obstacles preventing increased utilization are biofuels technological and cost bottlenecks in the current regulatory and market environment.

Maliwan Haruthaithanasan

Biography

Dr Maliwan Haruthaithanasan is a director of Kasetsart Agricultural and Agro-industrial Product Improvement Institute (KAPI), research institute of Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand. She obtained bachelor and master degrees in forestry from Kasetsart University, and a PhD in agroforestry from Kochi University in Japan. Dr Maliwan’s specialization is fast growing tree species for energy plantation. She is active in international forestry research and development. She is currently a deputy coordinator of IUFRO working party, Impacts of Air Pollution and Climate Change on Forest Ecosystems, and Forest Biomass Network task force. 


Abstract

According to National Alternative Energy Development Plan (AEDP 2015-2036) was launched to increase the renewable energy utilization that would help to secure energy which is produced domestically. Biomass energy is one of the potential energy in Thailand. In order to manage biomass raw material continuously and sustainably, one possible strategy is to promote fast growing tree plantation without problem of food security by focus on degraded land which is about 20 % of the whole country. This study determined the study area as soil degradation area in severe and critical level of agricultural land reform area without irrigation system to avoid land competition with food cultivation area. The land suitability for fast growing tree was evaluated by GIS technique with weighted sum method.

It was found that the potential areas for fast growing tree plantation is Thailand is 4,406,414.27 Rai (705,026.3 ha). Most of the areas locate in the northern Thailand at 39.63 percent of the total potential areas. The land suitability of total potential area was classified into 4 categories, good, fair, low and not suitable, at 22.05%, 77.51%, 0.26% and 0.18%, respectively. This potential area can provide income for farmers who own the lands 352 – 586 USD/ha/year depends on productivity of each land suitability level. Besides, wood produced from this potential area can use as biofuel to generate electricity about 2,283.8 MW.

From the mathematic model under the hypothesis of productivity condition, cost and benefit analysis, among fast growing trees that normally plant in Thailand, Eucalyptus is the most suitable follow by Acacia, Leuceana and Casuarina, respectively. However to mitigate impacts which may occur from monoculture for examples pests and diseases, mix plantation should be recommended. Moreover, agroforestry system was also the good practice to reduce those impacts, and instantly implement to farmers in this potential areas. 


Ernestina Moreno Rodriguez

Biography

Ernestina Moreno has her expertise in biomass process, optimization and chemical process monitoring. She has participated in projects in the Mexican Petroleum Institute related to systems electrochemical corrosion and separation equipment. Furthermore, she is researching about the pretreatment of lignocellulosic wastes to improve biogas production. She has many years of experience in research and teaching in educational institutions. Nowadays she serves as full professor in the Department of Environmental Chemical Engineering, Food in the University of the Americas Puebla in Mexico.

Abstract

Statement of the Problem: In Mexico there is a problem related to the management of energy resources. Therefore, it´s important to identify local biomass resources to evaluate a biomass power installation. According to the EPA, specific information is needed like typical moisture content (including the effects of storage options), typical yield, seasonality of the resource, proximity to the power generation site, issues that could affect future availability, fuel quality, and weather are all factors to consider when selecting a biomass fuel and determining the feasibility of a project. Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: A complete review of the local biomass resources available in the country was carried out to evaluate a biomass energy installation. For background and availability of biomass feedstocks in a biomass power project, this article provides an overview of typical characteristics of the most common biomass fuels available in Mexico. Findings: In this article, feedstocks are classified into two general categories: rural resources and urban resources where a description of these biomass feedstocks available in Mexico is shown, including information about the resource base and current employment. Conclusion & Significance: Forest residues and wood wastes represent a large potential resource for energy production and include forest residues, forest thinnings, and primary mill residues. In Mexico forestry residues include timber forest production by main species of 5 million and 998,436 m3 in roll, pine species stood out with 75% of the whole production and the oak tree with 10% and the rest are preserved by oyamel species, other conifers, others broad-leaved, precious and common tropical. According to the most recent INEGI Census (2015), the most frequently agricultural crops (in terms of average total acres planted) are cotton, rice, safflower, barley, beans, maize, sorghum, soybeans, wheat and others. A segment of these residues could potentially be collected and combusted to produce energy. Only slightly more than one-fifth of the more than 100 million tons of agricultural waste generated in the Mexico is currently used each year.


Henrik Barth

Biography

Henrik Barth is an Assistant Professor in Industrial Management at Centre for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Learning (CIEL), Halmstad University, Sweden. He is conducting research on business model innovation in small and medium-sized firms, addressing challenges to growth and digitalization in different industries. 

Abstract

Swedish farmers have begun to use Lean principles and tools in an effort to transform their businesses. However, differences exist in how Lean is used in the agricultural sector compared to how it is used in the manufacturing sector. It is still not clear how Lean principles and tools adapt to farm operations. In this study, we conduct a follow up on the participating farmers and evaluate the barriers and effects, based on a structured interview guide. Data collection was carried out by telephone interviews. The interview guide includes fifteen aspects of barriers that has been identified in a recent strategic literature review, which have been validated in consultation with industry and academic experts. In total, 15 farmers participated in the follow up study. Preliminary findings confirm that challenges such as commitment of management, training of managers and employees, a firm leadership, and the role of change agents were important to lean implementation success. The resistance among employees proved to be an important factor for the lean implementation.

Mihris Ibnu Saleem Naduthodi

Biography

After completing his bachelor degree in Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering from Sree Chitra Thirunal College of Engineering, Kerala University, India, Mihris moved to Wageningen for pursuing his MSc degree in Cellular and Molecular Biotechnology. During the course of his MSc degree he developed a fascination on potential of genetically modified microbes and the techniques used for developing mutants. This led to his MSc thesis in the Bacterial genetics lab in Microbiology department where he worked on Metabolic engineering of thermophilic bacteria Bacillus smithii and his work was awarded the UFW-KLV thesis award from the Wageningen University. Later, on completion of his masters, he works as a PhD candidate in the same department under the supervision of Prof. John van der Oost and Dr. Maria Barbosa where his research focus on developing CRISPR-Cas based genome editing tools for microalgae.

Abstract

Microalgae Nannochloropsis spp gained scientific attention due to their increased capabilities for producing Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and Triacylglycerol (TAG). The high production cost of these microalgae is a major bottleneck in commercializing them. However, this could be solved through metabolic engineering which requires reliable genome-editing techniques. CRISPR-Cas system has been implemented for successful genome editing in Nannochloropsis spp. Alternative to the previous reports, we use Cas9/Cas12a ribonucleoprotein (RNP) for Homology Directed Repair (HDR) based genome editing in N. oceanica.

Initially, we attempted to obtain Nitrate reductase (NR) mutants by homologous recombination (HR) and antibiotic selection in N. oceanica IMET1. As DSB induction was reported to enhance HR by HDR, a Cas9 RNP targeting NR gene was co-transformed with the same editing template to enhance the frequency of mutants among the transformants. Subsequently, the potential of other Cas12a RNPs was tested to find the best Cas protein to be applied in N. oceanica.

The approach based on HR and antibiotic selection did not yield any NR mutants. DSB induction by Cas9 RNP in combination with HDR resulted in approximately 70% mutants among the transformants. In a similar approach with Cas12a variants, FnCas12a produced up to 92% mutants. LbCas12a showed efficiencies similar to Cas9 while AsCas12a yielded the least number of mutants.

We report for the first time in Nannochloropsis spp, a Cas ribonucleoproteins (RNP) based HDR as a genome editing strategy in N. oceanica to successfully knockout the NR gene. Upon comparing multiple Cas12a variants, we found that Cas12a from Francisella novicida (FnCas12a) is the best Cas variant for HDR based gene editing in N. oceanica IMET1 and AsCas12a is the least effective. Attempts to obtain multiplexed DNA free markerless gene editing in N. oceanica are ongoing.

Antonio Brito & Luís Miguel Ferreira Neves da Costa

Biography

António Brito is an eletrical engineer with potgraduations in European Law and another in European Economics. He attended a Business Management Program (AESE/IESE). He has a degree in Public Regulation and Competition from the Faculty of Law of Coimbra University. He submitted 20 publications in Conferences.

Luis Neves is the Director of Purchase of Energy - EDP Universal Service.

Abstract

Over-equipping in wind farms while maintaining grid connection power is a new sustainable procedure that allowed the increasing of energy producing in wind farms.

In Portugal, one of the fundamental lines for the structural modernization of the country is the pursuit of an energy strategy focused on increasing electricity production through renewable energy.

In a wind farm the likelihood of all wind turbines running at full power and at the same time is very low. However, it is necessary to respect the maximum power of connection to the grid, which is established in the Production License issued by the General Directorate of Energy and Geology. In this way a wind farm can be upgraded to 20% of its installed capacity, considering that not all wind turbines will be running at full power and at the same time. In this way, an additional power of 20% of the installed capacity can be used, increasing the profitability of the wind farm and the production of renewable energy. This energy produced by over-equipment is paid at 60 € / MWh. There is a measurement system do determine that energy. The percentage of 20% has implicit statistical studies, which have been developed by the Portuguese Association of Renewable Energies.

The Portuguese legal regime applicable to the exercise of the activities of production, transportation, distribution and commercialization of electricity, namely with respect to the concepts of production in ordinary regime and production in special regime, is established in Decree-Law number 215-B/2012, of October the 8th, which can be consulted through the internet. This decree-law reinforced the legal regime applicable to the production of electricity under a special regime, namely through renewable energy sources.

Under these circumstances the power emitted by wind farms is monitored through dispatch centers and compared with the maximum power connected to the grid. If the power exceeds the connection power, the power emitted by the wind farms will be reduced to that limit.

In this way, the production of renewable energy became more profitable, because there is a surplus of energy that can be produced without exceeding the limit of maximum connection power to the network.

Azhan HASAN

Biography

Azhan Hasan is a lecturer with more than 17 years of teaching experience in the field of Economy and Business Management. I am perceptive man with talent, dedication, spirit of teamwork, flexibility, passionate, resourceful and abilities. I am committed to capitalizing on the opportunity given. I seek truth in each and every area of my life, whether in learning, discussing philosophy, or relating to my fellow colleagues and students. I am also well-organized and always offer my opinions and ideas on the research project. I was selected   as   a   team   member of   a   collaboration   project   between   UTP   and   UNITEN on renewable energy as well as   been appointed as a task force for PETRONAS Knowledge Management-Institutional Capabilities (KM-IC) and EU Fellow-Sustainability in the European Union-Marie Curie 7th Framework Research program.  I am currently completing my PhD dissertation on Eco-Innovation policy in promoting sustainable electronics industry in Japan at Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany.

Abstract

The Malaysian government has made a strong commitment to utilizing the huge amount of biomass available for the generation of energy and other high-value products. Due to that reason, we have witnessed a number of favorable policies and actions undertaken by the Malaysia government to promote biomass industry in Malaysia in the last decade.  Together, these are known as the environment energy-food-environment-water (EFEW) Nexus and all of the benefits associated with biomass to meet our requirements for energy and other products along with potential damage of Nexus as a whole.

This paper will examine a various policy that has been introduced by the Malaysian government in order to promote the biomass industry and its potential in Malaysia. The policies such as National Biotechnology Policy, National Green Technology Policy, National Renewable Energy Policy, and Action Plan, Biomass Industry Strategic Action Plan and National Biomass Strategy 2020 will be analyzed by using the SWOT Analysis and AFI Framework in order to understand the relationship and the contribution of all policies. The analysis will assess the objective - to identify challenges and opportunities in establishing biomass value chains in Malaysia; the significance - to support Malaysia's aspiration to capitalize on its rich biomass resources to satisfy a significant part of its demands for energy, chemicals and other materials needed for improving the quality of life of its population, in a sustainable manner; as well as the expected finding - to highlight the enablers and disablers in establishing biomass value chains in Malaysia which can give insights to policy makers in capitalizing the rich biomass resource potential.

This paper also will suggest the priority that every policy should be addressed in the attempt to promote the sustainability of Malaysia's biomass industry as well as to strengthen the competitive advantage of Malaysia position in the global biomass industry.

Figure 1 Overview of policies and actions related to biomass industry in Malaysia (Kok Mun 2015)

Vinay Sharma

Biography

Dr. Vinay Sharma, currently Director, Amity Institute of Biotechnology and Dean Academics at Amity University Rajasthan has over 35 years experience of teaching and research in Plant Sciences/ Biotechnlology at I.I.T. Roorkee and later at Banasthali Vidyapith. He has delivered over 100 invited/ keynote lectures and has chaired sessions at many national and international forums in India and abroad. He had extensive international research experience as Postdoc/ Visiting Professor at many institutions including Max Planck Institute, Koeln, Technical University, Darmstadt, Germany, University of Central Florida, USA and others. He has published over 300 research papers, has authored 6 books and has mentored 55 doctoral students. He has been honoured with several prestigious fellowships and awards in India and abroad including Fellow of National Academy of Sciences. He has keen interest in Plant Biology (Plant Stress/ Plant Informatics)/ Biotechnology and his current major research focus is on Biofuels (lignocellulosic bioethanol/ biodiesel).

Abstract

Lignocellulosic bioethanol production now-a-days is gaining increasing interest due to global warming, hike in oil price etc. But there are several technological and other challenges associated with bioethanol production. Technological challenges are development of efficient pretreatment step which can significantly degrade lignin without altering carbohydrates, efficient hydrolysis step and development of fermentation step which can utilize both pentose and hexose sugars. The present study has focused on bioprocess development for bioethanol production from a mixture of food wastes (spinach, cabbage, peels of onion and orange). First liquid hot water (LHW) pretreatment of food waste was optimized by varying different parameters (temperature, incubation time and substrate concentration). Maximum reducing sugar yield (525.60 mg/gram dry substrate) was found at substrate concentration 10% (w/v), temperature 160 oC and incubation time 30 min. After optimization, LHW pretreated biomass was characterized using Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and biochemical composition analysis. Further, pretreated biomass was hydrolysed using whole cells of Fusarium incarnatum KU377454 (locally isolated strain) without addition of any enzymes. It showed maximum reducing sugar yield of 580.95 mg/gram dry substrate) within 3 days of incubation at 30 oC. The produced sugar hydrolysate was further fermented using co-cultures of hexose fermenting strain (Sacchromyces cerevisiae) and pentose fermenting strain (F. oxysporum). Maximum ethanol production (3.25%, v/v) was observed after 48 h of incubation at 35 oC. The present study, reports development of efficient thermal pretreatment without addition of any chemicals. Further carbohydrates, part of pretreated biomass were converted into reducing sugars by whole fungal strain without the use of any costly chemicals. Lastly, fermentation process was optimized using co-culture strategy which yielded maximum ethanol from both pentose and hexose sugars. This study can be useful for commercial bioethanol production from food waste.


Giuseppe Spazzafumo

Biography

Graduated (Mechanical Engineering, 1984), University of Pisa. PhD (Energetics, 1988), University of Pisa. Associate Professor at University of Cassino and Southern Lazio (Italy) in the field of Systems for energy and environment. Author of more than 80 scientific papers. Co-author with Prof. Bent Sørensen of “Hydrogen and Fuel Cells - Emerging Technologies and Applications” (Third Edition). Owner of 4 Italian patents. Invited speaker at several international conferences and round tables related to the hydrogen energy sector. Guest editor of some Special Issues of the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. Member of Scientific Committees of several Italian and international conferences and chairman of technical sessions.  Coordinator of HYPOTHESIS (HYdrogen POwer THeoretical and Engineering Solution International Symposium) series and chairman of its Scientific Committee. Member of the Board of Directors of the International Association for Hydrogen Energy since 1999. President of IAHE Hydrogen Energy Systems Division. IAHE Rudolph A. Erren Award.

Abstract

Energy storage from renewable sources is maybe the main issues for the energy sector. Hydrogen seems to be the more compact, flexible and clean solution. However a complete replacement of fossil fuels with hydrogen will probably require some decades. Therefore a bridge solution which concentrates investments on renewable hydrogen production is desirable.

A first solution could be the direct injection of hydrogen into the existing natural gas pipeline. A further way to increase the need for renewable hydrogen bypassing the problem of its distribution is the production of a substitute of natural gas.

If the power excess is due to lack of demand, biomass could be gasified with electrolytic hydrogen to generate directly a gas rich in methane. After water condensation such a gas could be fed to a methanation process to convert almost completely carbon in methane. Hydrogasification and methanation are exothermic processes: the heat recoverable could be used for thermal application or to supply extra power to the electrolyser.

If the power excess is due to problems of grid stability, biomass could be gasified with electrolytic oxygen and the syngas could be fed, together with other electrolytic oxygen, to a power unit. The power units considered are steam and gas turbines, internal combustion engines and high temperature fuel cells. The exhaust gas is composed almost exclusively by CO2 and H2O. After water condensation, CO2 could be fed together electrolytic hydrogen to a methanation process to obtain the substitute of natural gas. Heat from exhaust gas cooling and from methanation process could be recovered to generate power suitable for imput into the grid.

In all cases the input is low value energy (biomass and electric power which cannot be absorbed by the grid) and the output is high value energy (substitute of natural gas and eventually stable electric power).

Keynote Speaker

Alex Michine

Title: Modern Biorefineries

Time: 9:40 - 10:20

Alex Michine

Biography

Alex Michine is a founder and CEO of MetGen since 2008. As a serial entrepreneur, Alex has over 25 years of international experience in biotechnology and cleantech industries. MetGen’s mission is to empower industries to get more value out of lignocellulosic biomass.

Abstract

Biofuels, chemicals, and materials derived from lignocellulosic biomass have been the focus of the international R&D community and technology developers for the last decades. However, despite intense efforts, a real breakthrough has not been achieved yet. This has been mainly due to a biased view, focusing solely on a certain end product–for example, cellulose pulp or ethanol–and considering by-products as low-value waste streams for energy applications. With the new wave of lignocellulosic biomass fractionation technologies being demonstrated at a pilot scale, success stories are closer than they have ever been. Biomass fractionation to high purity intermediate building blocks of cellulose to C6 sugars and hemicellulose to C5/C6 sugars and lignin, instead of just one main product, provides a way to produce a diversity of products and establish novel bio-based value chains. Especially important is the availability of higher purity lignin for different direct drop-in or after processing (depolymerization etc.) applications, which–compared to the conventional lignins derived from pulp mills or ethanol refineries–provides totally new applications and perspectives to enable the increased use of biobased raw materials in various industries. Technological advancements in the field are to be demonstrated at European Commission co-funded H2020/BBI JU Flagship project SWEETWOODS (Grant Number: 792061). The project is a large, 43 M€ joint pilot project, that aims at establishing a completely unique wood fractionation Flagship plant in Estonia and demonstration of novel value-chains based on sustainable hardwood resource. During the project MetGen completes an industrial demonstration of it’s four novel biorefinery solutions: Tailored hydrolysis solution, Enzymatic lignin depolymerization, Lignocellulosic glucose isomerization, and Glucose conversion to glucosone.

Figure 1. SWEETWOODS project process flow. Project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement 792061

Xu Fei (Philip) Wu

Biography

Xu Fei Wu is founder and Chief Scientist of W&Y Environmental International Inc. (W&Y), a Canadian environmental and sustainable energy technology company with patented landfill processes and proprietary waste to energy technologies. He has worked in environmental and sustainable energy fields over the last 25 years. Before W&Y, he worked for Conestoga-Rovers & Associates Limited, Microbe Environmental Science and Technology Inc. of Canada and The Ministry of Nuclear Industry and Ministry of Space Flight Industry of China.  Xu Fei Wu holds a Master of Engineering Science degree from The University of Western Ontario.

Abstract

WXF-New Energy (WXF) is a technology platform consisting three major unit operations: Wastes preparation, Multi-Layer, Multi cavities Successive Bioreactor and Gas to liquid process. Up to 50% of CO2 and 50% Methane can be catalytically converted to methanol. This process can convert industrial, agriculture, municipal biodegradable ­­­­wastes; greenhouse gas; coal bed methane, coal mining gas etc. to green fuels.   Comparing biogas to electricity, WXF produces 6-8 times more revenue.  This process is especially valuable for the places of electricity abundance or waste treatment facilities located in remote areas where, building up a power line and transformer can be costly and the treatment facilities only have 20-25 years life cycle.  

This process can turn organic wastes into biogas then green methanol. Organic wastes can be converted to biogas through landfill or anaerobic digester. The biogas then be flared or be utilized in thermal or electricity generation process.  Injecting landfill gas into the city gas line or utilizing it to produce methanol also are options.  However due to costly carbon wash and unstable quantity and quality of the biogas production, none of above processes has become viable industrial practice

W H Katie Zhong

Biography

Dr. Zhong currently is an endowed chair professor, Westinghouse Distinguished Professor, in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Washington State University in the US. Her research interests include polymers, nanocomposites for energy and environment applications. Dr. Zhong received numerous awards/honors including the Dow Chemical Composites Educator of the Year by SPE and an honored Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dr. Zhong has had over 300 publications in polymer composites and energy materials, including 213 peer-reviewed papers, 2 books and 5 book chapters, more than 90 conference papers, and a number of US patents.

Abstract

Ever-increasing energy needs demand for sustainable energy from natural materials. An abundant natural material, protein possesses significant functional groups and great potential for various energy storage applications. Firstly, the complex compositions and structures of protein enabling the interaction with ions, along with the excellent mechanical properties make it promising for fabricating solid electrolytes. Via manipulating protein configuration, we fabricated an advanced protein-based solid electrolyte showing good performances in ionic conductivity, modulus and transference number (0.94). Secondly, unique protein-coated ceramic nanofillers were created to enable faster ion-conduction to enhance the poly(ethylene oxide)-based solid electrolyte. The resulting composite electrolyte shows further improvement in ionic conductivity and mechanical properties. Additionally, eco-efficient electrodes for advanced batteries, such as Li-S battery, were studied. Simulation results prove that the rich functional groups and unique spatial configuration of protein offer strong polysulfide-trapping capability. Based on this, we developed a robust and multifunctional protein-based binder for high-loading sulfur cathodes, which deliver high areal capacity and stable cycling performance. Moreover, a protein-functionalized conductive interlayer with assembled porous structure was fabricated to effectively alleviate the shuttle effect and promote the ion-transport. Consequently, the electrochemical performances of the Li-S battery are notably improved.