Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 72

A Functional Thermochemical Energy Storage System for Mobile Applications: Design and Performance Analysis

Thermochemical energy storage (TCES), as a long-term and lossless energy storage principle, provides a contribution for the reduction of greenhouse emissions of mobile applications, such as passenger vehicles with an internal combustion engine. A prototype of a TCES system, based on reversible sorption reactions of LiBr composite and methanol has been designed at Vienna University of Technology. In this paper, the selection of reactive and inert carrier materials as well as the design of heat exchangers (reactor vessel and evapo-condenser) was reviewed and the cycle stability under real operating conditions was investigated. The performance of the developed system strongly depends on the environmental temperatures, to which the reactor vessel and evapo-condenser are exposed during the phases of thermal conversion. For an integration of the system into mobile applications, the functionality of the designed prototype was proved in numerous conducted cycles whereby no adverse reactions were observed.

One Dimensional Reactor Modeling for Methanol Steam Reforming to Hydrogen

One dimensional pseudo-homogenous modeling has been performed for methanol steam reforming reactor. The results show that the models can well predict the industrial data. The reactor had minimum temperature along axial because of endothermic reaction. Hydrogen productions and temperature profiles along axial were investigated regarding operation conditions such as inlet mass flow rate and mass fraction of methanol, inlet temperature of external thermal oil. Low inlet mass flow rate of methanol, low inlet temperature, and high mass fraction of methanol decreased minimum temperature along axial. Low inlet mass flow rate of methanol, high mass fraction of methanol, and high inlet temperature of thermal oil made cold point forward. Low mass fraction, high mass flow rate, and high inlet temperature of thermal oil increased hydrogen production. One dimensional models can be a guide for industrial operation.

Catalytic Study of Methanol-to-Propylene Conversion over Nano-Sized HZSM-5

Methanol-to-propylene conversion was carried out in a continuous-flow fixed-bed reactor over nano-sized HZSM-5 zeolites. The HZSM-5 catalysts were synthesized with different Si/Al ratio and silicon sources, and treated with NaOH. The structural property, morphology, and acidity of catalysts were measured by XRD, N2 adsorption, FE-SEM, TEM, and NH3-TPD. The results indicate that the increment of Si/Al ratio decreased the acidity of catalysts and then improved propylene selectivity, while silicon sources had slight impact on the acidity but affected the product distribution. The desilication after alkali treatment could increase intracrystalline mesopores and enhance propylene selectivity.

Ethanol and Biomass Production from Spent Sulfite Liquor by Filamentous Fungi

Since filamentous fungi are capable of assimilating several types of sugars (hexoses and pentoses), they are potential candidates for bioconversion of spent sulfite liquor (SSL). Three filamentous fungi such as Aspergillus oryzae, Mucor indicus, and Rhizopus oryzae were investigated in this work. The SSL was diluted in order to obtain concentrations of 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90% and supplemented with two types of nutrients. The results from cultivations in shake flask showed that A. oryzae and M. indicus were not able to grow in pure SSL and SSL90% while R. oryzae could grow only in SSL50% and SSL60%. Cultivation with A. oryzae resulted in the highest yield of produced fungal biomass, while R. oryzae cultivation resulted in the lowest fungal biomass yield. Although, the mediums containing yeast extract, (NH4)2SO4, KH2PO4, CaCl2∙2H2O, and MgSO4∙7H2O as nutrients supplementations produced higher fungal biomass compared to the mediums containing NH4H2PO4 and ammonia, but there was no significant difference between two types of nutrients in terms of sugars and acetic acid consumption rate. The sugars consumption in M. indicus cultivation was faster than A. oryzae and R. oryzae cultivation. Acetic acid present in SSL was completely consumed during cultivation of all fungi. M. indicus was the best and fastest ethanol producer from SSL among the fungi examined, when yeast extract and salts were used as nutrients supplementations. Furthermore, no further improvement in ethanol concentration and rate of sugars consumption was obtained in medium supplemented with NH4H2PO4 and ammonia compared to medium containing yeast extract, (NH4)2SO4, KH2PO4, CaCl2∙2H2O, and MgSO4∙7H2O. On the other hand, the higher dilution of SSL resulted in a better fermentability, and better consumption of sugars and acetic acid.

Preparation and Characterization of Pectin Based Proton Exchange Membranes Derived by Solution Casting Method for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells
Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) are considered to be one of the most promising candidates for portable and stationary applications in the view of their advantages such as high energy density, easy manipulation, high efficiency and they operate with liquid fuel which could be used without requiring any fuel-processing units. Electrolyte membrane of DMFC plays a key role as a proton conductor as well as a separator between electrodes. Increasing concern over environmental protection, biopolymers gain tremendous interest owing to their eco-friendly bio-degradable nature. Pectin is a natural anionic polysaccharide which plays an essential part in regulating mechanical behavior of plant cell wall and it is extracted from outer cells of most of the plants. The aim of this study is to develop and demonstrate pectin based polymer composite membranes as methanol impermeable polymer electrolyte membranes for DMFCs. Pectin based nanocomposites membranes are prepared by solution-casting technique wherein pectin is blended with chitosan followed by the addition of optimal amount of sulphonic acid modified Titanium dioxide nanoparticle (S-TiO2). Nanocomposite membranes are characterized by Fourier Transform-Infra Red spectroscopy, Scanning electron microscopy, and Energy dispersive spectroscopy analyses. Proton conductivity and methanol permeability are determined into order to evaluate their suitability for DMFC application. Pectin-chitosan blends endow with a flexible polymeric network which is appropriate to disperse rigid S-TiO2 nanoparticles. Resulting nanocomposite membranes possess adequate thermo-mechanical stabilities as well as high charge-density per unit volume. Pectin-chitosan natural polymeric nanocomposite comprising optimal S-TiO2 exhibits good electrochemical selectivity and therefore desirable for DMFC application.
Gasification of Trans-4-Hydroxycinnamic Acid with Ethanol at Elevated Temperatures
Lignin is a major constituent of woody biomass, and exists abundantly in nature. It is the major byproducts from the paper industry and bioethanol production processes. The byproducts are mainly used for low-valued applications. Instead, lignin can be converted into higher-valued gaseous fuel, thereby helping to curtail the ever-growing price of oil and to slow down the trend of global warming. Although biochemical treatment is capable of converting cellulose into liquid ethanol fuel, it cannot be applied to the conversion of lignin. Alternatively, it is possible to convert lignin into gaseous fuel thermochemically. In the present work, trans-4-hydroxycinnamic acid, a model compound for lignin, which closely resembles the basic building blocks of lignin, is gasified in an autoclave with ethanol at elevated temperatures and pressures, that are above the critical point of ethanol. Ethanol, instead of water, is chosen, because ethanol dissolves trans-4-hydroxycinnamic acid easily and helps to convert it into lighter gaseous species relatively well. The major operating parameters for the gasification reaction include temperature (673-873 K), reaction pressure (5-25 MPa) and feed concentration (0.05-0.3 M). Generally, more than 80% of the reactant, including trans-4-hydroxycinnamic acid and ethanol, were converted into gaseous products at an operating condition of 873 K and 5 MPa.
Processing and Economic Analysis of Rain Tree (Samanea saman) Pods for Village Level Hydrous Bioethanol Production

Biofuel is one of the renewable energy sources adapted by the Philippine government in order to lessen the dependency on foreign fuel and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Rain tree pods were seen to be a promising source of bioethanol since it contains significant amount of fermentable sugars. The study was conducted to establish the complete procedure in processing rain tree pods for village level hydrous bioethanol production. Production processes were done for village level hydrous bioethanol production from collection, drying, storage, shredding, dilution, extraction, fermentation, and distillation. The feedstock was sundried, and moisture content was determined at a range of 20% to 26% prior to storage. Dilution ratio was 1:1.25 (1 kg of pods = 1.25 L of water) and after extraction process yielded a sugar concentration of 22 0Bx to 24 0Bx. The dilution period was three hours. After three hours of diluting the samples, the juice was extracted using extractor with a capacity of 64.10 L/hour. 150 L of rain tree pods juice was extracted and subjected to fermentation process using a village level anaerobic bioreactor. Fermentation with yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) can fasten up the process, thus producing more ethanol at a shorter period of time; however, without yeast fermentation, it also produces ethanol at lower volume with slower fermentation process. Distillation of 150 L of fermented broth was done for six hours at 85 °C to 95 °C temperature (feedstock) and 74 °C to 95 °C temperature of the column head (vapor state of ethanol). The highest volume of ethanol recovered was established at with yeast fermentation at five-day duration with a value of 14.89 L and lowest actual ethanol content was found at without yeast fermentation at three-day duration having a value of 11.63 L. In general, the results suggested that rain tree pods had a very good potential as feedstock for bioethanol production. Fermentation of rain tree pods juice can be done with yeast and without yeast.

Hydrogenation of CO2 to Methanol over Copper-Zinc Oxide-Based Catalyst

Carbon dioxide is highly thermochemical stable molecules where it is very difficult to activate the molecule and achieve higher catalytic conversion into alcohols or other hydrocarbon compounds. In this paper, series of the bimetallic Cu/ZnO-based catalyst supported by SBA-15 were systematically prepared via impregnation technique with different Cu: Zn ratio for hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol. The synthesized catalysts were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), temperature programmed desorption, reduction, oxidation and pulse chemisorption (TPDRO), and surface area determination was also performed. All catalysts were tested with respect to the hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol in microactivity fixed-bed reactor at 250oC, 2.25 MPa, and H2/CO2 ratio of 3. The results demonstrate that the catalytic structure, activity, and methanol selectivity was strongly affected by the ratio between Cu: Zn, Where higher catalytic activity of 14 % and methanol selectivity of 92 % was obtained over Cu/ZnO-SBA-15 catalyst with Cu:Zn ratio of 7:3 wt. %. Comparing with the single catalyst, the synergetic between Cu and Zn provides additional active sites to adsorb more H2 and CO2 and accelerate the CO2 conversion, resulting in higher methanol production under mild reaction conditions.

Preparation and Characterization of CuFe2O4/TiO2 Photocatalyst for the Conversion of CO2 into Methanol under Visible Light

A systematic study was conducted to explore the photocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) into methanol on TiO2 loaded copper ferrite (CuFe2O4) photocatalyst under visible light irradiation. The phases and crystallite size of the photocatalysts were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and it indicates CuFe2O4 as tetragonal phase incorporation with anatase TiO2 in CuFe2O4/TiO2 hetero-structure. The XRD results confirmed the formation of spinel type tetragonal CuFe2O4 phases along with predominantly anatase phase of TiO2 in the CuFe2O4/TiO2 hetero-structure. UV-Vis absorption spectrum suggested the formation of the hetero-junction with relatively lower band gap than that of TiO2. Photoluminescence (PL) technique was used to study the electron–hole (e−/h+) recombination process. PL spectra analysis confirmed the slow-down of the recombination of electron–hole (e−/h+) pairs in the CuFe2O4/TiO2 hetero-structure. The photocatalytic performance of CuFe2O4/TiO2 was evaluated based on the methanol yield with varying amount of TiO2 over CuFe2O4 (0.5:1, 1:1, and 2:1) and changing light intensity. The mechanism of the photocatalysis was proposed based on the fact that the predominant species of CO2 in aqueous phase were dissolved CO2 and HCO3- at pH ~5.9. It was evident that the CuFe2O4 could harvest the electrons under visible light irradiation, which could further be injected to the conduction band of TiO2 to increase the life time of the electron and facilitating the reactions of CO2 to methanol. The developed catalyst showed good recycle ability up to four cycles where the loss of activity was ~25%. Methanol was observed as the main product over CuFe2O4, but loading with TiO2 remarkably increased the methanol yield. Methanol yield over CuFe2O4/TiO2 was found to be about three times higher (651 μmol/gcat L) than that of CuFe2O4 photocatalyst. This occurs because the energy of the band excited electrons lies above the redox potentials of the reaction products CO2/CH3OH.

Production of Bioethanol through Hydrolysis of Agro-Industrial Banana Crop Residues

Nowadays, the main biofuels source production as bioethanol is food crops. This means a high competition between foods and energy production. For this reason, it is necessary to take into account the use of new raw materials friendly to the environment. The main objective of this paper is to evaluate the potential of the agro-industrial banana crop residues in the production of bioethanol. A factorial design of 24 was used, the design has variables such as pH, time and concentration of hydrolysis, another variable is the time of fermentation that is of 7 or 15 days. In the hydrolysis phase, the pH is acidic (H2SO4) or basic (NaOH), the time is 30 or 15 minutes and the concentration is 0.1 or 0.5 M. It was observed that basic media, low concentrations, fermentation, and higher pretreatment times produced better performance in terms of biofuel obtained.

The Performance of PtSn/Al₂O₃ with Cylindrical Particles for Acetic Acid Hydrogenation
Alumina supported PtSn catalysts with cylindrical particles were prepared and characterized by using low temperature N2 adsorption/desorption and X-ray diffraction. Low temperature N2 adsorption/desorption demonstrate that the tableting changed the texture properties of catalysts. XRD pattern indicate that the crystal structure of supports had no change after reaction. The performances over particles of PtSn/Al2O3 catalysts were investigated with regards to reaction temperature, pressure, and H2/AcOH mole ratio. After tableting, the conversion of acetic acid and selectivity of ethanol and acetyl acetate decreased. High reaction temperature and pressure can improve conversion of acetic acid. H2/AcOH mole ratio of 9.36 showed the best performance on acetic acid hydrogenation. High pressure had benefits for the selectivity of ethanol and other two parameters had no obvious effect on selectivity.  
Role of Inflammatory Markers in Arthritic Rats Treated with Ethanolic Bark Extract of Albizia procera

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, progressive, systemic inflammatory disorder affecting the synovial joints and typically producing symmetrical arthritis that leads to joint destruction, which is responsible for the deformity and disability. Despite improvements in the treatment of RA over the past decade, there still is a need for new therapeutic agents that are efficacious, less expensive, and free of severe adverse reactions. The present study aimed to investigate role of inflammatory markers in arthritic rats treated with ethanolic bark extract of Albizia procera. The protective effect of ethanolic bark extract of Albizia procera against complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA) induced arthritis in rats. Arthritis was induced by an intradermal injection of 0.1 ml FCA in the foot pad of left hind limb of rats. ETBE (100 and 200 mg/kg b.wt./p.o) and the reference drug diclofenac (25 mg/kg b.wt./p.o) were administered to arthritic rats. Paw volume was measured for all the animals before inducing arthritis and thereafter once in seven days by using plethysmometer for 42 days. Gene expression of inflammatory markers such as IL-1β and IL-10 were investigated in paw tissues. Up regulation of IL-1β and Down regulation IL-10 were observed in CFA injected rats when compared to normal rats. ETBE attenuated these alterations dose dependently when compared to the vehicle treated rats. These results provide insights into the mechanism of anti-arthritic activity, and unravel potential therapeutic use of Albizia procera in arthritis.

Degradation of Amitriptyline Hydrochloride, Methyl Salicylate and 2-Phenoxyethanol in Water Systems by the Combination UV/Cl2

Three emerging contaminants (amitriptyline hydrochloride, methyl salicylate and 2-phenoxyethanol) frequently found in waste-waters were selected to be individually degraded in ultra-pure water by the combined advanced oxidation process constituted by UV radiation and chlorine. The influence of pH, initial chlorine concentration and nature of the contaminants was firstly explored. The trend for the reactivity of the selected compounds was deduced: amitriptyline hydrochloride > methyl salicylate > 2-phenoxyethanol. A later kinetic study was carried out and focused on the specific evaluation of the first-order rate constants and the determination of the partial contribution to the global reaction of the direct photochemical pathway and the radical pathway. A comparison between the rate constant values among photochemical experiments without and with the presence of Cl2 reveals a clear increase in the oxidation efficiency of the combined process with respect to the photochemical reaction alone. In a second stage, the simultaneous oxidation of mixtures of the selected contaminants in several types of water (ultrapure water, surface water from a reservoir, and two secondary effluents) was also performed by the same combination UV/Cl2 under more realistic operating conditions. The efficiency of this combined system UV/Cl2 was compared to other oxidants such as the UV/S2O82- and UV/H2O2 AOPs. Results confirmed that the UV/Cl2 system provides higher elimination efficiencies among the AOPs tested.

Valorization of Waste Dates in South Algeria: Biofuel Production
In Algeria, the conditioning units of dates, generate significant quantities of waste arising from sorting deviations. This biomass, until then considered as a waste with high impact on the environment can be transformed into high value added product. It is possible to develop common dates of low commercial value, and put on the local and international market a new generation of products with high added values such as bio ethanol. Besides its use in chemical synthesis, bio ethanol can be blended with gasoline to produce a clean fuel while improving the octane.
Development of an Adhesive from Prosopis africana Seed Endosperm (Okpeyi)
This research work is an experimental study, through development of an adhesive from Prosopis africana endosperm. The prosopis seed for this work were obtained from Enugu State in the South East part of Nigeria. The seeds were prepared by separating the endosperm from the seed coat and cotyledon. Three methods were used to separate them, which are acidic method, roasting method and boiling method. 20g of seed were treated with different concentrations (25, 40, 55, 70, and 85% w/w) at 100°C and constant time (30 minutes), under continuous stirring with magnetic stirrer. Also 20g of seed were treated with sulphuric acid of concentrations 40% w/w at 100°C with different time (10, 15, 20, 25, 30 minutes), under continuous stirring with magnetic stirrer. Finally, 20g of seed were treated with sulphuric acid of concentrations 40% w/w at different temperature (20°C, 40°C, 60°C, 80°C, and 100°C) with constant time (30 minutes), under continuous stirring with magnetic stirrer. The whole endosperm extracted was adhesive. The physical properties of the adhesive were determined (appearance, odour, taste, solubility, pH, size, and binding strength). The percentage of the adhesive yield makes the commercialization of the seed in Nigeria possible and profitable. The very high viscosity attained at low concentrations makes prosopis adhesive an excellent thickener in the food industry.
Effect of Chemical Modifier on the Properties of Polypropylene (PP) / Coconut Fiber (CF) in Automotive Application

Chemical modifier (Acrylic Acid) is used as filler treatment to improve mechanical properties and swelling behavior of polypropylene/coconut fiber (PP/CF) composites by creating more adherent bonding between CF filler and PP Matrix. Treated (with chemical modifier) and untreated (without chemical modifier) composites were prepared in the formulation of 10 wt%, 20 wt%, 30 wt%, and 40 wt%. The mechanical testing indicates that composite with 10 wt% of untreated composite has the optimum value of tensile strength, and the composite with chemical modifier shows the tensile strength was increased. By increasing of filler loading, elastic modulus was increased while the elongation at brake was decreased. Meanwhile, the swelling test discerned that the increase of filler loading increased the water absorption of composites and the presence of chemical modifier reduced the equilibrium water absorption percentage.

Studying the Effect of Ethanol and Operating Temperature on Purification of Lactulose Syrup Containing Lactose

Lactulose is a synthetic disaccharide which has remarkable applications in food and pharmaceutical fields. Lactulose is not found in nature and it is produced by isomerization reaction of lactose in an alkaline environment. It should be noted that this reaction has a very low yield since significant amount of lactose stays un-reacted in the system. Basically, purification of lactulose is difficult and costly. Previous studies have revealed that solubility of lactose and lactulose are significantly different in ethanol. Considering the fact that solubility is also affected by temperature itself, we investigated the effect of ethanol and temperature on separation process of lactose from the syrup containing lactose and lactulose. For this purpose, a saturated solution containing lactulose and lactose was made at three different temperatures; 25⁰C (room temperature), 31⁰C, and 37⁰C first.  Five samples containing 2g saturated solution was taken and then 2g, 3g, 4g, 5g, and 6g ethanol separately was added to the sampling tubes. Sampling tubes were kept at respective temperatures afterward. The concentration of lactose and lactulose after separation process measured and analyzed by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Results showed that ethanol has such a greater impact than operating temperature on purification process. Also, it was observed that the maximum rate of separation occurred at initial amount of added ethanol.

Bioethanol: Indonesian Macro-Algae as a Renewable Feedstock for Liquid Fuel

This experimental study aims at studying the conversion of macro-algae into bioethanol under several steps of procedure: preparation, pre-treatment, fermentation, and distillation. The main objective of this work was to investigate the role of buffer’s type as a stabiliser of pH level and fermentation time on the yield of ethanol. For this purpose, experiments were carried out on biomass macro-algae to de-couple the pre-treatment and fermentation processes from those associated with distillation process. β- glucosidase was used as cellulose decomposer during hydrolysis step and yeast was used during fermentation process. The species of macro-algae utilised as energy feedstock was Ulva lactuca and it was harvested from southern coast of Central of Java Island – Indonesia. Experiments were conducted in a simple fermenter over a different buffer: citrate buffer and acetic buffer, and over a range of fermentation times between 5 to 20 days. The ethanol production was found to be significantly affected by both variables. The optimum time of fermentation was 10 days with citrate buffer; result in 0.88458% of ethanol, and the ethanol content after distillation process was shown 0.985015%.

Effect of Mineral Ion Addition on Yeast Performance during Very High Gravity Wort Fermentation

The effect of Zn2+, Mg2+, and Ba2+ on Saccharomyces pastorianus performance was evaluated in this study at independent and three variable combinations. After 96 h of fermentation, high wort fermentability (%F) = 29.53 was obtained in medium containing 900:4 ppm Mg2+ + Ba2+. Increased ethanol yield 7.35 %(v/v) and 7.13 %(v/v) were obtained in media containing 900:4 ppm Mg2+ + Ba2+ and 12:900 ppm Zn2+ + Mg2+. Decrease %F = 22.54 and ethanol yield 6.18 % (v/v) was obtained in medium containing 12:4 ppm Zn2+ + Ba2+. In media containing the individual ions, increased %F = 27.94 and 26.03 were recorded for media containing 700 ppm Mg2+ and 2 ppm Ba2+ , with ethanol yield of 7.88% (v/v) and 7.62% (v/v) respectively. Reduced %F and ethanol yield was observed for 10 ppm Zn2+ and 4 ppm Ba2+ media. The impact of Ba2+ at 1 and 2 ppm was significant.

Civil Protection in Mass Methanol Poisoning in the Czech Republic

The paper is focused on the methods to solutions of the crisis situation in the Czech Republic associated with the mass methanol poisoning. The emphasis is put on tasks of individual state bodies and of Integrated Rescue System during the handling of the crisis. The theoretical part describes poisonings, ways of intoxication, types of intoxicants and cases of mass poisoning by dangerous substances in the world. The practical part describes the development, causes and solutions of extraordinary event, mass methanol poisoning in the Czech Republic. The main emphasis was put on the crisis management of the Czech Republic in solving this situation.

Extractive Fermentation of Ethanol Using Vacuum Fractionation Technique

A vacuum fractionation technique was introduced to remove ethanol from fermentation broth. The effect of initial glucose and ethanol concentrations were investigated for specific productivity. The inhibitory ethanol concentration was observed at 100 g/L. In order to increase the fermentation performance, the ethanol product was removed as soon as it is produced. The broth was boiled at 35oC by reducing the pressure to 65 mBar. The ethanol/water vapor was fractionated for up to 90 wt% before leaving the column. Ethanol concentration in the broth was kept lower than 25 g/L, thus minimized the product inhibition effect to the yeast cells. For batch extractive fermentation, a high substrate utilization rate was obtained at 26.6 g/L.h and most of glucose was consumed within 21 h. For repeated-batch extractive fermentation, addition of glucose was carried out up to 9 times and ethanol was produced more than 8-fold higher than batch fermentation.

Efficient Use of Energy through Incorporation of a Gas Turbine in Methanol Plant

A techno-economic evaluation for efficient use of energy in a large scale industrial plant of methanol is carried out. This assessment is based on integration of a gas turbine with an existing plant of methanol in which the outlet gas products of exothermic reactor is expanded to power generation. Also, it is decided that methanol production rate is constant through addition of power generation system to the existing methanol plant. Having incorporated a gas turbine with the existing plant, the economic results showed total investment of MUSD 16.9, energy saving of 3.6 MUSD/yr with payback period of approximately 4.7 years.

Physicochemical Parameters and Economic Evaluation of Bio Ethanol Produced from Waste of Starting Dates in South Algeria

The fight against climate change and the replacement of fossil energies nearing exhaustion gradually emerge as major societal and economic challenges. It is possible to develop common dates of low commercial value, and put on the local and international market a new generation of products with high added values such as bio ethanol. Besides its use in chemical synthesis, bio ethanol can be blended with gasoline to produce a clean fuel while improving the octane.

Electrical Properties of Roystonea regia Fruit Extract as Dye Sensitized Solar Cells

Utilizing solar energy in producing electricity can minimize environmental pollution generated by fossil fuel in producing electricity. Our research was base on the extraction of dye from Roystonea regia fruit by using methanol as solvent. The dye extracts were used as sensitizers in Dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSCs). Study was done on the electrical properties from the extracts of Roystonea regia fruit as Dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSCs). The absorptions of the extracts and extracts with dye were determined at different wavelengths (350-1000nm). Absorption peak was observed at 1.339 at wavelength 400nm. The obtained values for methanol extract Roystonea regia extract are, Imp = 0.015mA, Vmp = 12.0mV, fill factor = 0.763, Isc= 0.018 mA and Voc = 13.1 mV and efficiency of 0.32%. .The phytochemical screening was taken and it was observed that Roystonea regia extract contained less of anthocyanin compared to flavonoids. The nanostructured dye sensitized solar cell (DSSC) will provide economically credible alternative to present day silicon p–n junction photovoltaic.

Life Cycle Assessment Comparison between Methanol and Ethanol Feedstock for the Biodiesel from Soybean Oil

As the limited availability of petroleum-based fuel has been a major concern, biodiesel is one of the most attractive alternative fuels because it is renewable and it also has advantages over the conventional petroleum-base diesel. At Present, productions of biodiesel generally perform by transesterification of vegetable oils with low molecular weight alcohol, mainly methanol, using chemical catalysts. Methanol is petrochemical product that makes biodiesel producing from methanol to be not pure renewable energy source. Therefore, ethanol as a product produced by fermentation processes. It appears as a potential feed stock that makes biodiesel to be pure renewable alternative fuel. The research is conducted based on two biodiesel production processes by reacting soybean oils with methanol and ethanol. Life cycle assessment was carried out in order to evaluate the environmental impacts and to identify the process alternative. Nine mid-point impact categories are investigated. The results indicate that better performance on abiotic depletion potential (ADP) and acidification potential (AP) are observed in biodiesel production from methanol when compared with biodiesel production from ethanol due to less energy consumption during the production processes. Except for ADP and AP, using methanol as feed stock does not show any advantages over biodiesel from ethanol. The single score method is also included in this study in order to identify the best option between two processes of biodiesel production. The global normalization and weighting factor based on ecotaxes are used and it shows that producing biodiesel form ethanol has less environmental load compare to biodiesel from methanol.

Hydrogen Production from Dehydrogenation of Ethanol over Ag-Based Catalysts

The development of alternative energy is interesting in the present especially, hydrogen production because it is an important energy resource in the future. This paper studied the hydrogen production from catalytic dehydrogenation of ethanol through via low temperature (<500°C) reaction. Copper (Cu) and silver (Ag) supported on fumed silica (SiO2) were selected in the present work; in addition, bimetallic material; Ag-Cu supported on SiO2 was also investigated. The catalysts were prepared by the incipient wetness impregnation method and characterized via X-ray diffraction (XRD), temperature-programmed reduction (TPR)and nitrogen adsorption measurements. The catalytic dehydrogenation of ethanol was carried out in a fixed bed continuous flow reactor at atmospheric pressure. The effect of reaction temperature between 300-375°C was studied in order to maximize the hydrogen yield. It was found that Ag-Cu/SiO2 exhibited the highest hydrogen yield compared to Ag/SiO2 and Cu/SiO2 at low reaction temperature (300°C) with full ethanol conversion. The highest hydrogen yield observed was 40% and will be further used as a reactant in fuel cells to generate electricity or feedstock of chemical production. 

A Brief Review on Recent Trends in Alternative Sources of Energy

Alternative energy is any energy source that is an alternative to fossil fuel. These alternatives are intended to address concerns about such fossil fuels. Today, because of the variety of energy choices and differing goals of their advocates, defining some energy types as "alternative" is highly controversial. Most of the recent and existing alternative sources of energy are discussed below

Ethanol Yield of Three Varieties of Cassava (Odongbo, Ofege, and TMS 30572) Using α-Amylase from Germinated Paddy Rice and Yeast from Palm Wine

A process of conversion of flour from three varieties of cassava, namely Odongbo, ofege and TMS30752 to ethanol using α-amylase locally sourced from germinated unhusked paddy rice and yeast isolated from palm wine was developed. It involves the germination of paddy rice for a period of 15days to produce α-amylase for starch hydrolysis and isolation of yeast from palm wine for fermentation. The results showed that optimum amylase yield of “ofada” rice paddy was at 6th day germination which was 576.9ml/g. Ethanol yield for TMS30572 (440.3%) was significantly higher than “Odongbo” (160.2%) and “Ofege’’ (115.1%), Sugar conversion efficiency were 311.0%v/v, 268.2%v/v and 186.84%v/v for TMS30572, “Odongbo” and “Ofege” respectively. The ethanol boiling points were 78oC, 76oC and 80oC for TMS30572, “Odongbo” and “Ofege” respectively. This study showed that cassava varieties affects quality of ethanol produced and germination of “ofada” rice for 6 days ensures optimum production of crude amylase enzyme.

Dimethyl Ether as an Ignition Improver for Hydrous Methanol Fuelled Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) Engine

Homogeneous Charge Compression (HCCI) Ignition technology has been around for a long time, but has recently received renewed attention and enthusiasm. This paper deals with experimental investigations of HCCI engine using hydrous methanol as a primary fuel and Dimethyl Ether (DME) as an ignition improver. A regular diesel engine has been modified to work as HCCI engine for this investigation. The hydrous methanol is inducted and DME is injected into a single cylinder engine. Hence, hydrous methanol is used with 15% water content in HCCI engine and its performance and emission behavior is documented. The auto-ignition of Methanol is enabled by DME. The quantity of DME varies with respect to the load. In this study, the experiments are conducted independently and the effect of the hydrous methanol on the engine operating limit, heat release rate and exhaust emissions at different load conditions are investigated. The investigation also proves that the Hydrous Methanol with DME operation reduces the oxides of Nitrogen and smoke to an extreme low level which is not possible by the direct injection CI engine. Therefore, it is beneficial to use hydrous methanol-DME HCCI mode while using hydrous methanol in internal Combustion Engines.

Fermentable Sugars from Palm Empty Fruit Bunch Biomass for Bioethanol Production

This study investigated the effect of a dilute acid, lime and ammonia aqueous pretreatment on the fermentable sugars conversion from empty fruit bunch (EFB) biomass. The dilute acid treatment was carried out in an autoclave, at 121ºC with 4% of sulfuric acid. In the lime pretreatment, 3 wt % of calcium hydroxide was used, whereas the third method was done by soaking EFB with 28% ammonia solution. The EFB biomass was then subjected to a two-stage-acid hydrolysis process. Subsequently, the hydrolysate was fermented by using instant baker’s yeast to produce bioethanol. The highest glucose yield was 890 mg/g of biomass, obtained from the sample which underwent lime pretreatment. The highest bioethanol yield of 6.1mg/g of glucose was achieved from acid pretreatment. This showed that the acid pretreatment gave the most fermentable sugars compared to the other two pretreatments.

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