Improving Hydrogen Efficiency in Biorefinery for Producing Advanced Biofuels
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Exhibit/Poster Hall, lower level (Hilton Clearwater Beach)
Abhijeet P. Borole, Biosciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN and Alex Lewis, Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Energy, Theuniversity of Tennessee, Knoxville, Knoxville, TN

Production of gasoline and diesel from plant biomass requires significant deoxygenation of the biomass. Biooil produced via pyrolysis contains over 30 wt.% oxygen requiring significant amount of hydrogen for upgrading to biofuels. We report on use of microbial electrolysis for extraction of hydrogen from water-soluble carbon compounds associated with biooil, improving the hydrogen as well as carbon conversion efficiency of the process.

The conversion of key components of the biooil aqueous phase to hydrogen will be reported. The primary parameters for development of the microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) process include current density, coulombic efficiency, applied voltage and organic loading. The relationship between these parameters will be discussed. The microbial consortium active in the anode chamber represents a complex community with exoelectrogens and fermenting organisms. The substrate specificity and stability of the consortium for treatment of the pyrolysis-derived biooil aqueous phase will be presented. The potential of the MEC process for renewable hydrogen production in context of non-biorefinery applications will also be discussed.