Lignocellulosic biomass has gained increasing recognition in the past decades for the production of value-added products (VAPs). Biomass feedstocks obtained from various sources, their composition, and pretreatment techniques employed for delignification into bioenergy production are discussed. The conversion processes of biomass into VAPs involve various methods. Notable among them are biochemical conversions; namely, anaerobic digestion and ethanol fermentation, and thermo-chemical conversions; namely, pyrolysis and gasification which are considered in this chapter. Microalgae can adapt to changes in the environment, producing biomass that serves as a precursor for a variety of biomolecules, such as proteins, which find their application in pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and biofuel industries. Suitable strains of freshwater microalgae biomass contain high levels of lipid which can be harnessed for bioenergy production. Hence, the advancement in the conversion of biomass into VAPs could help scientists and environmentalists for sustainable use of biomass in future developments.
Part of the book: Biotechnological Applications of Biomass
The quality of freshwater and its supply, particularly for domestic and industrial purposes are waning due to urbanization and inefficient conventional wastewater treatment (WWT) processes. For decades, conventional WWT processes have succeeded to some extent in treating effluents to meet standard discharge requirements. However, improvements in WWT are necessary to render treated wastewater for re-use in the industrial, agricultural, and domestic sectors. Three emerging technologies including membrane technology, microbial fuel cells and microalgae, as well as WWT strategies are discussed in this chapter. These applications are a promising alternative for manifold WWT processes and distribution systems in mitigating contaminants to meet acceptable limitations. The basic principles, types and applications, merits, and demerits of the aforementioned technologies are addressed in relation to their current limitations and future research needs. The development in WWT blueprints will augment the application of these emerging technologies for sustainable management and water conservation, with re-use strategies.
During the last three decades, environmental challenges related to the chemical and biological pollution of water have become significant as a subject of major concern for society, public agencies, and the industrial sector. Most home and industrial operations generate wastewater that contains harmful and undesirable pollutants. In this context, it is necessary to make continuous efforts to protect water supplies to ensure the availability of potable water. To eliminate insoluble particles and soluble pollutants from wastewaters, treatment technologies can be employed including physical, chemical, biological (bioremediation and anaerobic digestion), and membrane technologies. This chapter focuses on current and emerging technologies that demonstrate outstanding efficacy in removing contaminants from wastewater. The challenges of strengthening treatment procedures for effective wastewater treatment are identified, and future perspectives are presented.
Part of the book: Wastewater Treatment
Biochar, or carbon obtained from biomass, is a particularly rich source of carbon created by thermal burning of biomass. There is a rise of interest in using biochar made from waste biomass in a variety of disciplines to address the most pressing environmental challenges. This chapter will provide an overview on the methods employed for the production of biochar. Biochar has been considered by a number of analysts as a means of improving their ability to remediate pollutants. Process factors with regards to biochar properties are mostly responsible for determining biomass production which is discussed in this present chapter. Several characterization techniques which have been employed in previous studies have received increasing recognition. These includes the use of the Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and the Scanning electron microscope which duly presented in this chapter. This chapter also discusses the knowledge gaps and future perspectives in adopting biochar to remediate harmful contaminants, which can inform governmental bodies and law-makers to make informed decisions on adopting this residue.
Part of the book: Biochar
Biochar is a carbon-rich pyrogenic material that is made from carbon-neutral sources (i.e., biomass). It offers key strategies for carbon capture and storage (CCS) as well as being an environmentally friendly means of soil amendment. The recent recognition of biochar as a versatile media for catalytic applications has prompted preliminary research into biochar’s catalytic capacity and mechanistic practices via various routes. This chapter provides a review of biochar production technologies, biochar’s catalyst development, and its application in various catalytic processes as well as descriptions of the benefits and drawbacks of the various applications currently available. The characteristics of biochar-based catalysts, challenges of effective application of this catalyst system, emerging application, prospects, and future work consideration for effective utilization of biochar-based catalysts were presented.
Part of the book: Biochar