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      Photocatalytic Pretreatment of Commercial Lignin Using TiO2-ZnO Nanocomposite-Derived Advanced Oxidation Processes for Methane Production Synergy in Lab Scale Continuous Reactors

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          Abstract

          The photocatalytic pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass to oxidize lignin and increase biomass stability has gained attention during the last few years. Conventional pretreatment methods are limited by the fact that they are expensive, non-renewable and contaminate the anaerobic digestate later on. The present study was focused to develop a metal-derived photocatalyst that can work with visible electromagnetic spectra light and oxidize commercial lignin liquor. During this project the advanced photocatalytic oxidation of lignin was achieved by using a quartz cube tungsten T3 Halogen 100 W lamp with a laboratory manufactured TiO2-ZnO nanoparticle (nanocomposite) in a self-designed apparatus. The products of lignin oxidation were confirmed to be vanillic acid (9.71 ± 0.23 mg/L), ferrulic acid (7.34 ± 0.16 mg/L), benzoic acid (6.12 ± 0.17 mg/L) and p-coumaric acid (3.80 ± 0.13 mg/L). These all products corresponded to 85% of the lignin oxidation products that were detectable, which is significantly more than any previously reported lignin pretreatment with even more intensity. Furthermore, all the pretreatment samples were supplemented in the form of feedstock diluent in uniformly operating continuously stirred tank reactors (CSTRs). The results of pretreatment revealed 85% lignin oxidation and later on these products did not hinder the CSTR performance at any stage. Moreover, the synergistic effects of pretreated lignin diluent were seen that resulted in 39% significant increase in the methane yield of the CSTR with constant operation. Finally, the visible light and nanoparticles alone could not pretreat lignin and when used as diluent, halted and reduced the methane yield by 37% during 4th HRT.

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          Features of promising technologies for pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass.

          N. Mosier (2005)
          Cellulosic plant material represents an as-of-yet untapped source of fermentable sugars for significant industrial use. Many physio-chemical structural and compositional factors hinder the enzymatic digestibility of cellulose present in lignocellulosic biomass. The goal of any pretreatment technology is to alter or remove structural and compositional impediments to hydrolysis in order to improve the rate of enzyme hydrolysis and increase yields of fermentable sugars from cellulose or hemicellulose. These methods cause physical and/or chemical changes in the plant biomass in order to achieve this result. Experimental investigation of physical changes and chemical reactions that occur during pretreatment is required for the development of effective and mechanistic models that can be used for the rational design of pretreatment processes. Furthermore, pretreatment processing conditions must be tailored to the specific chemical and structural composition of the various, and variable, sources of lignocellulosic biomass. This paper reviews process parameters and their fundamental modes of action for promising pretreatment methods.
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            Review on modified TiO2 photocatalysis under UV/visible light: selected results and related mechanisms on interfacial charge carrier transfer dynamics.

            Titania is one of the most widely used benchmark standard photocatalysts in the field of environmental applications. However, the large band gap of titania and massive recombination of photogenerated charge carriers limit its overall photocatalytic efficiency. The former can be overcome by modifying the electronic band structure of titania including various strategies like coupling with a narrow band gap semiconductor, metal ion/nonmetal ion doping, codoping with two or more foreign ions, surface sensitization by organic dyes or metal complexes, and noble metal deposition. The latter can be corrected by changing the surface properties of titania by fluorination or sulfation or by the addition of suitable electron acceptors besides molecular oxygen in the reaction medium. This review encompasses several advancements made in these aspects, and also some of the new physical insights related to the charge transfer events like charge carrier generation, trapping, detrapping, and their transfer to surface are discussed for each strategy of the modified titania to support the conclusions derived. The synergistic effects in the mixed polymorphs of titania and also the theories proposed for their enhanced activity are reported. A recent venture on the synthesis and applications of anatase titania with a large percentage of reactive {001} facets and their band gap extension to the visible region via nonmetal ion doping which is a current hot topic is briefly outlined.
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              Bioethanol, biohydrogen and biogas production from wheat straw in a biorefinery concept.

              The production of bioethanol, biohydrogen and biogas from wheat straw was investigated within a biorefinery framework. Initially, wheat straw was hydrothermally liberated to a cellulose rich fiber fraction and a hemicellulose rich liquid fraction (hydrolysate). Enzymatic hydrolysis and subsequent fermentation of cellulose yielded 0.41 g-ethanol/g-glucose, while dark fermentation of hydrolysate produced 178.0 ml-H(2)/g-sugars. The effluents from both bioethanol and biohydrogen processes were further used to produce methane with the yields of 0.324 and 0.381 m(3)/kg volatile solids (VS)(added), respectively. Additionally, evaluation of six different wheat straw-to-biofuel production scenaria showed that either use of wheat straw for biogas production or multi-fuel production were the energetically most efficient processes compared to production of mono-fuel such as bioethanol when fermenting C6 sugars alone. Thus, multiple biofuels production from wheat straw can increase the efficiency for material and energy and can presumably be more economical process for biomass utilization.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
                (View ORCID Profile)
                Journal
                CATACJ
                Catalysts
                Catalysts
                MDPI AG
                2073-4344
                January 2021
                January 02 2021
                : 11
                : 1
                : 54
                Article
                10.3390/catal11010054
                5a95e95c-7c9d-4533-b50d-344393542bcd
                © 2021

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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