A blog from University of Borås

Friday, March 16, 2018

PhD Thesis on textile-based bioreactors

There are millions of bioreactors in the world for production of ethanol, biogas, antibiotics, lactic acid and other materials. These bioreactors are principally some tanks with some control equipment that should be tight, tolerate all the chemicals and microorganisms inside and the conditions and weather outside and also the pressure of the liquid. These bioreactors are normally made of stainless steel. However, the question is if we can make it of textile that could be cheaper and movable?

It is now many years that we are working with a company to develop such bioreactors. They look like a big bag, but actually not! Alex Osagie Osadolor has worked for 4 years to consider the design aspects of such textile-based bioreactors for production of biogas, ethanol and fungi. The questions are for example the pressure that the liquid and gas can put on the reactor material, or the mixing and movement of the materials inside it!

Alex has nailed his PhD thesis yesterday and will defend it on 6 April. We wish him good luck!

Here is the link to his thesis of "Design and Development of a Novel Textile-based Bioreactor: Ethanol and biogas production as case studies" that include these papers:

1- Introducing textiles as material of construction of ethanol bioreactors

2- Development of novel textile bioreactor for anaerobic utilization of flocculating yeast for ethanol production

3- Membrane stress analysis of collapsible tanks and bioreactors

4- Empirical and experimental determination of the kinetics of pellet growth in filamentous fungi: A case study using Neurospora intermedia

5- Cost effective dry anaerobic digestion in textile bioreactors

6- Effect of media rheology and bioreactor hydrodynamics on filamentous fungi fermentation of lignocellulosic and starch-based substrates under pseudoplastic flow conditions


Friday, November 10, 2017

PhD thesis on Dry Digesion

We have millions of biogas reactors in the world to take care of wastes (manures, food wastes, swage sludge, etc.) to produce biogas or biomethane. Circa 90% of the materials inside these digesters is water and the rest is the solid materials. It is a good technology, but contain a lot of water and produce a lot of wastewater. On the other hand, a more common and cheap method to take care of the wastes in the world is landfill. Landfills produce gas that contain ca 50% methane and is a source of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the world. Nobody likes landfill (probably except the owners who make money), but it is still common. So, the question is if we can use the advantages of landfills and biogas?

The answer is in the PhD thesis by Regina Patinvoh who worked on "Biological Pretreatment and Dry Digestion Processes for Biogas Production", so she developed a batch dry digestion (as a cost-effective method) and continuous dry digestion (as more advanced method). She also worked with materials that difficult to digest such as chicken feathers and citrus wastes by this method. She nailed her thesis today and will defend it now on 1 Dec. 2017. I wish her good luck!

Here is the scientific articles as part of her thesis:

1- Biological pretreatment of chicken feather and biogas production from total broth

2- Dry fermentation of manure with straw in continuous plug flow reactor: Reactor development and process stability at different loading rates

3- Innovative pretreatment strategies for biogas production

4- Cost effective dry anaerobic digestion in textile bioreactors: Experimental and economic evaluation

5- Biogas digesters: from plastics and bricks to textile bioreactor—A review

6- Dry anaerobic co-digestion of citrus wastes with keratin-rich and lignocellulosic solid organic wastes: Batch vs. Continuous Process


Thursday, September 14, 2017

PhD Thesis: Integration of first and second generation bioethanol processes

Ramkumar Nair has nailed his PhD thesis happily today. He worked four years on the concept of integrating lignocellulosic materials into the first generation ethanol using filamentous fungi. Considering 4 decades development of lignocellulosic ethanol (called 2nd generation ethanol), this process still has economical challenges to come into the market, particularly with current low oil price. On the other hand, we have many ethanol plants producing from sugar and grains, named 1st generation ethanol. So, our idea is to integrate these processes in order to make 1st generation ethanol plants to produce lignocellulosic ethanol. Ram has done great job in this line and we hope to see soon the results in large scales. But, first we wish him good luck for his PhD defense on 6 Oct. Here is his PhD thesis, including these articles:

1-  Dilute phosphoric acid pretreatment of wheat bran for enzymatichydrolysis and subsequent ethanol production by edible fungi Neurosporaintermedia

2- Optimizing dilute phosphoric acid pretreatment of wheat straw in thelaboratory and in a demonstration plant for ethanol and edible fungal biomassproduction using Neurospora intermedia

3- Integrated process for ethanol, biogas and edible filamentous fungi basedanimal feed production from dilute phosphoric acid pretreated wheat straw

4- Mild-temperature dilute-acid pretreatment of lignocelluloses for ethanolproduction using filamentous ascomycetes fungus, Neurospora intermedia

5- Mycelial pellet formation by edible ascomycete filamentous fungiNeurospora intermedia