Energy Production from Wasted Biomass
The production of wastes in various forms is the consequence of human activities, and the waste-related problems are becoming more serious with increasing human population and activities. The degradable organic waste originated from agricultural products and foods contains recoverable energy existing in many forms of components. There are several waste-to-energy technologies including bio-gasification/anaerobic digestion available for recovering the energy.
Recent energy research emphasizes issues on the depletion of fossil fuel and adverse environmental impacts. The extensive use of fossil fuel causes the emission of a large quantity of waste gas known as the greenhouse gas. Using renewable energy is expected to not only provide energy but also solve other problems such as waste discharge, gas emission, and global warming, among others. Hydrogen gas is universally recognized as an environmentally safe and renewable energy. The combustion of hydrogen gas produces only water, thus making it an ideal alternative energy to fossil fuels. Hot compressed water (HCW) is the condition of liquid water when it is subject to elevated temperature and pressure. Many agricultural and food industrial wastes containing cellulose or hemicellulose are degraded with HCW treatment at high temperature and pressure into soluble oligomers. An attempt of biohydrogen production from biomass by using HCW method as pretreatment is explained.
Microbial fuel cell (MFC) generates electricity by extracting the electronic current directly from organic matter biologically. However, the biological process to decompose organic matter and produce electricity is time-consuming. The integrated MFC system consists of producing hydrogen gas as a combustible fuel by hydrogen fermentation in the first stage and generating electricity by MFC in the secondary stage. The biological hydrogen fermentation in the first stage also produces organic acids that can be used as the substrate for generating electricity in the second stage. The MFC system is an adaptable technology to meet the power demand needed for operating the agricultural systems and facilities in urban regions.
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