Krasnoyarsk scientists have biofuels from waste treatment plants


 Photo source:sfu-kras.ru

Article Dr.Sci.Biol M. Gladyshev and colleagues with information about the unusual raw materials for the production of biofuels has caused an avalanche of interest not only scientific, but also the business community. Mikhail says that with interest to the results of research, he came across very rarely.

Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) a few years ago established a special program for biofuels. A number of institutes of the Siberian Branch of RAS, including our Institute of Biophysics started to work on it. By the way, when I say "our institution", I am referring to the close community of Krasnoyarsk Research Center and the Institute of Biophysics in the Siberian Federal University. So, I have at the laboratory — SFU base department since 1995, and two thirds of the employees work in the Academy of Sciences and the University. Looking ahead, with great pride, I note that the first co-author of articles on the results of our work is a young scientist Anna Kuchkina of the Institute of Basic Biology and Biotechnology, SFU, which is exploring the use of sludge eutrophic water body as a feedstock for biodiesel production.

So, the objective of the program, RAS — the search for new sources of biofuels, the optimization of the old, ie the complex task assignment, which is only capable of a great academy. We worked through this program your small piece — namely, our institute was asked to conduct research on the cultures of microalgae for biodiesel and because biodiesel — is methyl esters of fatty acids and fatty acids by algae we have achieved much success, not only within Russia but also in the world.

With biofuels what the main challenges? This is a promising renewable source, it partially solves the problem of the disposal of emissions … But now produce biofuels, mainly from food raw materials. If you take global, it is a serious problem, because the world is big enough percentage of the population is starving, and there is no surplus of agricultural land. So now the world’s most promising raw material for biofuel microalgae said. First, they do not occupy farmland. Second — they grow faster. The lower body, the faster it grows. The bacterium grows faster than an elephant — if you count the specific rate, then there is generally space difference! Similarly, microalgae grow faster than grass or trees.

Three years ago, we began to research, but I was from the beginning tormented by vague doubts. Good to grow microalgae, for example, in Israel, where one of my colleague was working on the cultivation of spirulina. There in the desert are open containers in which the expense of free heat and sunlight the algae grow beautifully without occupying farmland. And we are geographically and climatically far from Israel. I am not an economist, I hydrobiologist, but it seemed to me that the cultivation of microalgae in Siberia would be economically unprofitable. After all, 70-80% of the cost of biodiesel — is the cost of raw materials, who need a "golden" fuel? ..

So we started looking for other options raw materials. Being hydrobiologists and environmentalists, we are thinking about using natural algae ponds. First, they grow free, and secondly, they do not need a special way to collect — otmiraya, they settle to the bottom and form sludge. Thus, we have a free storage of raw materials, called "sediment". Moreover, we knew that one of the main measures to restore the water quality of the lake is to remove any sediment, and then this silt is not clear what to do! You can not just throw mud, as it may not be entirely beneficial micro-organisms, heavy metals, and therefore its use as a fertilizer is doubtful. Thus, the use of bottom sediments for biodiesel production — is not only free source of raw material, a by-product of environmental protection measures, and not specially grown canola or soy, or even specially grown microalgae.

We have paid attention to this fact the first source of raw materials. Took samples of the reservoir Bugach (also known as Lake slaughterhouse), and tests showed the possibility of producing biodiesel from local mud, corresponding to Euro-4. I was able to — though not immediately, but after a while — to convince Moscow and Novosibirsk colleagues who worked on this program, it is better not to focus on algae, and silt. Now this research program adopted for the coming years, and we have just recorded the theme is not on microalgae, and the black muds.

But the most important thing is not even that. By doing this work, we had to publish its description and results. And in "impaktovom" magazine where publication means that the work has passed the most stringent international expertise.
We are proud people, so the work presented in one of the top journals in the field — «Biomass & Bioenergy». The article was, as they say, once. I have already published in magazines «Web of Science» 78 works, and all I have 139 articles in scientific journals, but that — for the first time in my 30-year career! Our paper has grabbed a hot pie, without waiting for patches (the so-called minor revision), recommended by the reviewers. After pre-positioning it on the Internet (so-called publication Online first) turn to the official publication of the journal was to come, according to our calculations, about a year Imagine our surprise when, «Biomass & Bioenergy» published an article in a month, in May this year! And then has followed the growing shaft materials science and popular and versatile media.

Enough to hope for rapid deployment and it allows me to Russia that we have already found a customer, however, is not quite where the original might have expected … But first things first.

As expected in scientific work, by the end we held a seminar with colleagues. And the first question heard from them, who themselves have been asked: "Well, sludges — a new source of … And what is its scope? How many times and for what period of time these sludges can be removed for fuel? ". One could answer that a lot of lakes in Siberia, especially as it really is. Only around one in Krasnoyarsk them to clean — no perechistit!

But we were able to "see" another larger and, most importantly, an inexhaustible source of raw material for biodiesel production — sewage treatment plant! We caught up with "colors". Head of the Environmental Center Enterprise Victoria Kolomeitseva once finished our department, and immediately understood our offer. Moreover, it is reported that recycling precipitation from wastewater treatment plants — a huge problem for the "KrasKoma." Sediment from the primary clarifiers have to lay on the so-called "cards" (special landfills), because it contains pathogens, and much more dangerous to humans, including heavy metals. As a result, vast areas of land around an expensive city for decades removed from economic circulation.

Together with Ecocentre "KrasKoma" We took samples of sediment from the primary clarifiers and found that they are on a number of parameters that are essential for the production of biodiesel, are far superior to natural silt. Lipid Content — (of lipids and fatty acids to obtain biodiesel after methanolysis) there was more than 14%. For comparison — in soybeans, which are grown specifically for biodiesel production, lipid content of 18% microalgae — 13%.

Thus, the residue from wastewater treatment plants — is a very promising raw material, because of its use we decide to not one but a series of problems. Our development will relieve "colors" of the cost of recycling
and environmental improvements in the suburbs of Krasnoyarsk.

What will be left of the sewage sludge after processing into motor fuel, bio will not pose any danger to humans — we are in the process of methanolysis "analyze" all the germs and bacteria into molecules and convert them into fatty acids. The approximate yield of biodiesel be 0.6 g / liter of liquid primary precipitation. Instead of spending it turns unconditional income!

The final report we presented the Director General of OOO "paint" Anatolia MATYUSHENKO — a man well known in the SFU, a graduate of the Polytechnic Institute, Doctor of Technical Sciences. He offered to work longer in the exploratory research, as part of the development of production technology and the creation of an industrial plant. Thus, we have a very rare combination nowadays: a good scientific evidence of the idea and the interested customer. Interested in this subject and representatives of the regional authorities, regional Science Foundation, I think, to connect to this.

Biofuel production is also necessary because that Russia’s leadership is committed to international integration, and sooner or later we will have to play by the rules of the international market. And in the U.S. and in some European countries, the oil companies are already legally obliged to include in the diesel fuel from 6% to 10% biodiesel, "pure oil" diesel fuel there is simply not allowed to sell. This requirement may enter in the standard "Euro" for which will have to work hard and Russian refiners. And then they will face the question: to buy expensive biodiesel from rapeseed or sugar cane abroad or produce your cheap. We have your answer already provided!

In SFU has everything necessary for performance of the contract with "colors" and the creation of an industrial plant for the production of biodiesel. We have very good designers, such as the new director of the Polytechnic Institute of SFU Eugene Boyko and his staff. They have already designed the installation for the processing of coal fuel. We have specialists in motor fuels, petrochemical, economists, able to "count" of the project. This is a very good topic for the Siberian Federal University, which we can in the complex "turnkey" solution.

We need to make a larger than we have now, an experimental batch of biodiesel fuel — about 1.5-2 liters and optimize the technology of production. Necessary to investigate the production of biodiesel in accredited laboratories to study its options and possible adjustments in production technology. In particular, in compliance with state standards — at the Center for Standardization and Metrology.

The second. We need to explore what remains after methanolysis in the sediment, and to understand what next to do. Once we figure out all the stages of production, we define the properties of the product and the draft — it will be about a year — you can start to design the most plant.

The third stage. This is the study of the product as a motor fuel. According to the customer’s plant for the production of biodiesel from municipal sludge treatment facilities must earn in 2-3 years.

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