Eastern Kentucky University

Poster Title

Recent Advances in Renewable Fuel Production for Kentucky

Institution

Eastern Kentucky University

Abstract

The possibility of manufacturing renewable fuels domestically is necessary stemming from energy dependence. Possible solutions are being investigated for alternative sources of energy in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the following research endeavors describe different aspects being conducted. One project involved the improvements to algal oil production for biodiesel. Identification of genes that promote lipid production in the algae, Chlorella protothecoides, has been performed by comparing the transcriptomes (all mRNAs) of algae in known conditions that promote lipid production to those in normal growth conditions. The unique mRNA signature of lipid production is used to determine novel environmental conditions that increase lipid production. A second project investigated cellulosic biomass as a renewable feedstock. Breaking down cellulosic biomass sources can provide a renewable feedstock to aid in the development of biofuels (through sugar production) and more valuable compounds (replacing petrol-based compounds). Studies with liquid ionic salts at room temperature have shown solubilization of biomass. However, chemical modifications to the biomass that occur during this process are unknown, but ambient ionization mass spectrometry has assisted in characterizing these dissolution products. Finally, investigations have occurred with the formation of branched hydrocarbons during Fischer-Tropsch reactions. As a practical way to produce fuel from biomass through the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) reaction, the mechanism for the reaction is still a subject of debate. How the branched hydrocarbons are formed is still not clear. Branched alkanes from C8 to C12 were synthesized and identified against the branched hydrocarbons produced by the FT reactions using gas-chromatography (GC). The formation of branched hydrocarbons was interpreted by the alkylidene mechanism for the FT reaction.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Recent Advances in Renewable Fuel Production for Kentucky

The possibility of manufacturing renewable fuels domestically is necessary stemming from energy dependence. Possible solutions are being investigated for alternative sources of energy in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the following research endeavors describe different aspects being conducted. One project involved the improvements to algal oil production for biodiesel. Identification of genes that promote lipid production in the algae, Chlorella protothecoides, has been performed by comparing the transcriptomes (all mRNAs) of algae in known conditions that promote lipid production to those in normal growth conditions. The unique mRNA signature of lipid production is used to determine novel environmental conditions that increase lipid production. A second project investigated cellulosic biomass as a renewable feedstock. Breaking down cellulosic biomass sources can provide a renewable feedstock to aid in the development of biofuels (through sugar production) and more valuable compounds (replacing petrol-based compounds). Studies with liquid ionic salts at room temperature have shown solubilization of biomass. However, chemical modifications to the biomass that occur during this process are unknown, but ambient ionization mass spectrometry has assisted in characterizing these dissolution products. Finally, investigations have occurred with the formation of branched hydrocarbons during Fischer-Tropsch reactions. As a practical way to produce fuel from biomass through the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) reaction, the mechanism for the reaction is still a subject of debate. How the branched hydrocarbons are formed is still not clear. Branched alkanes from C8 to C12 were synthesized and identified against the branched hydrocarbons produced by the FT reactions using gas-chromatography (GC). The formation of branched hydrocarbons was interpreted by the alkylidene mechanism for the FT reaction.