Biomass for Bioenergy

  • Colin Tong


Bioenergy technologies have been deployed for widespread sustainable exploitation of biomass resources in order to efficiently utilize bioenergy and at the same time to guarantee greenhouse gas emission savings for biofuels and bio-liquids. Unlike other renewable energy sources, biomass can be converted directly into biofuels to help meet transportation fuel needs, for instance. The development of advanced materials for bioenergy has been covered a wide range areas: high strength, wear- and corrosion-resistant structural materials such as steel, alloys, and protective coatings, high durability polymers and ceramics; catalysts, allowing for higher selectivity and yield, improved stability and functionality such as bi-/multifunctional catalytic systems; advanced ceramic, polymeric, or metallic membranes for gas separation and separation of inhibitory or intermediary products from biomass pretreatment, efficient separation/recycling of enzymes, the immobilization of cells, and downstream processing in continuous separation of fermentation products needs materials solutions for advanced membranes; hydrolytic enzymes and novel microorganisms; as well as photosynthesis and photosynthetic process materials. Breaking down cellulose, the chemically resistant building blocks of plants, for instance, requires aggressive chemical processes and catalysts, and materials with long lifetimes to contain and manipulate these corrosive chemistries. The cellular membranes of algae are rich in the raw materials for production of hydrocarbon chains of gasoline and diesel fuel, but need their own special chemical routes and catalytic materials for conversion. Many of these chemical processes and catalysts exist in nature, such as in the digestive systems of termites, where cellulose is converted to sugars that can be further fermented to alcohol. Advanced materials and analytical tools are needed to understand the subtleties of these natural fuel production processes, and then to design artificial analogs that directly and efficiently produce the desired end fuels. This chapter will provide a brief review about the advanced materials for biomass processing and bioenergy utilization.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colin Tong
    • 1
  1. 1.ChicagoUSA

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