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Champaign, IL, United States

Ramchandran D.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Rajagopalan N.,Illinois Sustainable Technology Center | Strathmann T.J.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Singh V.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
Biomass and Bioenergy | Year: 2013

The bioethanol industry exerts a significant demand on water supplies. Current water consumption rate in corn dry grind ethanol plants is (11-15)dm3m-3 of ethanol produced and (23-38)dm3m-3 for cellulosic ethanol plants. The main goal of this study was to examine the feasibility of use of treated wastewater effluent in place of potable freshwater for cellulosic ethanol production. The effects of using two different types of filtered treated effluent; Bloomington- Normal, IL (Residential type) and Decatur, IL (Industrial/Residential Mix type); on the rate of fermentation and final ethanol yield from a pure cellulosic substrate were evaluated. Characterization analysis of both effluent water samples indicated low concentration of toxic elements. Final ethanol concentrations obtained with Bloomington- Normal and Decatur effluent and with a control treatment using de-ionized water were similar, resulting in 360gkg-1 (0.36gg-1), 370gkg-1 (0.37gg-1) and 360gkg-1 (0.36gg-1), respectively. These findings suggest that with proper characterization studies and under appropriate conditions, the use of treated effluent water in cellulosic ethanol production is feasible. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Yates S.R.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Knuteson J.,Dow AgroSciences | Zheng W.,Illinois Sustainable Technology Center | Wang Q.,Delaware State University
Journal of Environmental Quality | Year: 2011

Soil fumigation is important for growing many fruits and vegetable crops, but fumigant emissions may contaminate the atmosphere. A large-scale field experiment was initiated to test the hypothesis that adding composted municipal green waste to the soil surface in an agricultural field would reduce atmospheric emissions of the 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D) after shank injection at a 133 kg ha-1 application rate. Three micrometeorological methods were used to obtain fumigant flux density and cumulative emission values. The volatilization rate was measured continuously for 16 d, and the daily peak volatilization rates for the three methods ranged from 12 to 24 μg m-2 s-1. The total 1,3-D mass that volatilized to the atmosphere was approximately 14 to 68 kg, or 3 to 8% of the applied active ingredient. This represents an approximately 75 to 90% reduction in the total emissions compared with other recent field, field-plot, and laboratory studies. Significant reductions in the volatilization of 1,3-D may be possible when composted municipal green waste is applied to an agricultural field. This methodology also provides a beneficial use and disposal mechanism for composted vegetative material. © 2011 by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America.

Kim D.,Korean Military Academy | Vardon D.R.,National Renewable Energy Laboratory | Murali D.,Illinois Sustainable Technology Center | Sharma B.K.,Illinois Sustainable Technology Center | Strathmann T.J.,Colorado School of Mines
ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering | Year: 2016

We demonstrate hydrothermal (300°C, 10 MPa) catalytic conversion of real waste lipids (e.g., waste vegetable oil, sewer trap grease) to liquid hydrocarbon fuels without net need for external chemical inputs (e.g., H2 gas, methanol). A supported bimetallic catalyst (Pt-Re/C; 5 wt % of each metal) previously shown to catalyze both aqueous phase reforming of glycerol (a triacylglyceride lipid hydrolysis coproduct) to H2 gas and conversion of oleic and stearic acid, model unsaturated and saturated fatty acids, to linear alkanes was applied to process real waste lipid feedstocks in water. For reactions conducted with an initially inert headspace gas (N2), waste vegetable oil (WVO) was fully converted into linear hydrocarbons (C15-C17) and other hydrolyzed byproducts within 4.5 h, and H2 gas production was observed. Addition of H2 to the initial reactor headspace accelerated conversion, but net H2 production was still observed, in agreement with results obtained for aqueous mixtures containing model fatty acids and glycerol. Conversion to liquid hydrocarbons with net H2 production was also observed for a range of other waste lipid feedstocks (animal fat residuals, sewer trap grease, dry distiller's grain oil, coffee oil residual). These findings demonstrate potential for valorization of waste lipids through conversion to hydrocarbons that are more compatible with current petroleum-based liquid fuels than the biodiesel and biogas products of conventional waste lipid processing technologies. © 2016 American Chemical Society.

Drury B.,Loyola University Chicago | Scott J.,Illinois Sustainable Technology Center | Rosi-Marshall E.J.,Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Kelly J.J.,Loyola University Chicago
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2013

Triclosan (TCS) is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial compound that is incorporated into numerous consumer products. TCS has been detected in aquatic ecosystems across the U.S., raising concern about its potential ecological effects. We conducted a field survey and an artificial stream experiment to assess effects of TCS on benthic bacterial communities. Field sampling indicated that TCS concentrations in stream sediments increased with degree of urbanization. There was significant correlation between sediment TCS concentration and the proportion of cultivable benthic bacteria that were resistant to TCS, demonstrating that the levels of TCS present in these streams was affecting the native communities. An artificial stream experiment confirmed that TCS exposure could trigger increases in TCS resistance within cultivable benthic bacteria, and pyrosequencing analysis indicated that TCS resulted in decreased benthic bacterial diversity and shifts in bacterial community composition. One notable change was a 6-fold increase in the relative abundance of cyanobacterial sequences and a dramatic die-off of algae within the artificial streams. Selection of cyanobacteria over algae could have significant implications for higher trophic levels within streams. Finally, there were no observed effects of TCS on bacterial abundance or respiration rates, suggesting that bacterial density and function were highly resilient to TCS exposure. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Vardon D.R.,Illinois Sustainable Technology Center | Moser B.R.,National United University | Zheng W.,Illinois Sustainable Technology Center | Witkin K.,Illinois Sustainable Technology Center | And 4 more authors.
ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering | Year: 2013

This study presents the complete utilization of spent coffee grounds to produce biodiesel, bio-oil, and biochar. Lipids extracted from spent grounds were converted to biodiesel. The neat biodiesel and blended (B5 and B20) fuel properties were evaluated against ASTM and EN standards. Although neat biodiesel displayed high viscosity, moisture, sulfur, and poor oxidative stability, B5 and B20 met ASTM blend specifications. Slow pyrolysis of defatted coffee grounds was performed to generate bio-oil and biochar as valuable co-products. The effect of feedstock defatting was assessed through bio-oil analyses including elemental and functional group composition, compound identification, and molecular weight and boiling point distributions. Feedstock defatting reduced pyrolysis bio-oil yields, energy density, and aliphatic functionality, while increasing the number of low-boiling oxygenates. The high bio-oil heteroatom content will likely require upgrading. Additionally, biochar derived from spent and defatted grounds were analyzed for their physicochemical properties. Both biochars displayed similar surface area and elemental constituents. Application of biochar with fertilizer enhanced sorghum-sudangrass yields over 2-fold, indicating the potential of biochar as a soil amendment. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

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