Events

Two Peas in a Pod: Sustainable Electrochemical Solutions for Waste and Water Reuse

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - 3:30pm

Gemma Reguera, professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Michigan State University will discuss her research on Wed., Dec. 10 at 3:30pm at the Michigan State University Bioeconomy Institute in Holland, Mich.

Two peas in a pod: sustainable electrochemical solutions for waste and water reuse

Satisfying the energy demands of the world population will require the development of technologies for waste and water reuse. Glycerol-containing wastewater is, for example, the major waste product of the biodiesel producers and bioethanol refineries, and it has become an economical and environmental liability to the industry. Purifying, concentrating, and selling the glycerol is no longer a profitable option and producers must pay to dispose of the wastewater as a hazardous waste. Electrochemical platforms show promise for the processing of wastewater and, if driven by customized consortia, they could be used to simultaneously generate added-value products from the organic waste. Hence, we developed an electrochemical reactor for the treatment of glycerin wastewater and the generation of ethanol, which can be used as alcohol feedstock for the transesterification reaction of oils to make the biodiesel industry fully petroleum independent. The electrochemical reactor was driven by the synergistic metabolisms of the exoelectrogen Geobacter sulfurreducens and the bacterium Clostridium cellobioparum, which fermented glycerol into ethanol at high yields (90%) and produced fermentative byproducts that served as electron donors for Geobacter. The synergistic interactions of the microbial catalysts stimulated glycerol consumption and ethanol production. At the same time, the fermentation byproducts were converted into cathodic H2, which facilitated the stripping of ethanol and resulted in clean waste streams that could be reused in upstream reactions. The platform was further improved to process glycerol loadings typical of biodiesel wastewater and to improve ethanol productivity. Furthermore, other alcohols could be produced to improve the economics of the electrochemical platform and address the needs of the producers in a fluctuating market. The results highlight the potential of electrochemically systems to simultaneously treat wastewater and harness the energy in the waste to generate bio-based feedstocks, fuels, and/or specialty or commodity chemicals.

Printable flyer.

Learn more about Dr. Reguera and her team's work here.

MSU Bioeconomy Institute auditorium:
Free, accessible, and open to the public!


The Michigan State University Bioeconomy Institute sponsors a speakers series periodically on Wednesdays at 3:30p.m. throughout the year. The event is held in the institute's modern, 105-seat auditorium at 242 Howard Street in Holland, Mich., and is free, accessible and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Please call (517) 432-4499 to request special accommodation.


Recent Updates in Anaerobic Digestion

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 - 3:30am

January 14, 2015 - 3:30 pm

Dana Kirk, Manager, MSU Anaerobic Digestion Research and Education Center, will discuss updates Wed., January 14 at 3:30pm at the Michigan State University Bioeconomy Institute in Holland, Mich.

Kirk is currently the manager of the MSU Anaerobic Digester Research and Education Center (ADREC).  The ADREC is collaborative effort between the University and a private foundation to provide a continuum of research, professional development and outreach support for waste-to-energy systems.  ADREC research includes bench top, pilot scale and commercial anaerobic digestion systems used to evaluate feedstocks, optimize performance and integrate technologies.  In addition to ADREC he is also overseeing the planning, design, construction and operation of a small scale solar-bioreactor in Costa Rica and the South Campus anaerobic digester located at MSU.

 
Read Dr. Kirk's bio here.

Learn more about the digester on the MSU campus.

MSU Bioeconomy Institute auditorium:
Free, accessible, and open to the public!

 


 

The Michigan State University Bioeconomy Institute sponsors a speakers series periodically on Wednesdays at 3:30p.m. throughout the year. The event is held in the institute's modern, 105-seat auditorium at 242 Howard Street in Holland, Mich., and is free, accessible and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Please call (517) 432-4499 to request special accommodation.

 


Workshop: Lab Bench to Plant

Monday, May 11, 2015 - 8:00am

flyerThe MSU Bioeconomy Institute in Holland, Mich., will host a week-long (May 11-15, 2015), hands-on, chemical process scale-up workshop for interested students, educators in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) disciplines, and high technology entrepreneurs and economic development professionals. More...

MSU Bioeconomy Institute
242 Howard Avenue
Holland, MI 49424  

Flyer (PDF)


Workshop: Lab Bench to Plant

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 8:00am

flyerThe MSU Bioeconomy Institute in Holland, Mich., will host a week-long (May 11-15, 2015), hands-on, chemical process scale-up workshop for interested students, educators in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) disciplines, and high technology entrepreneurs and economic development professionals. More...

MSU Bioeconomy Institute
242 Howard Avenue
Holland, MI 49424  

Flyer (PDF)


Workshop: Lab Bench to Plant

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - 8:00am

flyerThe MSU Bioeconomy Institute in Holland, Mich., will host a week-long (May 11-15, 2015), hands-on, chemical process scale-up workshop for interested students, educators in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) disciplines, and high technology entrepreneurs and economic development professionals. More...

MSU Bioeconomy Institute
242 Howard Avenue
Holland, MI 49424  

Flyer (PDF)