Biofuels Special Issue Call for Papers

Strategies for Bioenergy Production from Agriculture and Agrifood Processing Residues


Submit your research to a forthcoming special issue of Biofuels, which aims to provide an overview on the development of economical and technological solutions for the recovery of various agriculture and agro-industrial wastes. 

Agriculture and agrifood processing activities generate worldwide huge amounts of by-products and waste. Such waste streams are only partially valorised at different value-added levels (biofuel production, spread on land, animal feed, composting), whereas the main volumes are managed as waste of environmental concern, with significant negative effects on the global sustainability of the agriculture and agrifood sector. During the last decades, concepts for waste management patterns and priorities have rapidly evolved. Priorities have been defined from the most preferred one, minimisation/avoidance, to the least desirable, landfilling. In future waste management strategies and scenarios, materials recovery and energy production processes will play fundamental roles. In fact, the need of alternative energy resources is nowadays a strong and relevant issue worldwide. Therefore, proper waste management and treatment of the agriculture and agrifood processing activities may allow greenhouse gases (GHGs) mitigation and give possibilities for bioenergy production. These constraints are a strong driving force toward developing new and affordable technologies, capable to combine proper and sustainable waste management with the production of clean and renewable energy.

Several technologies have been proposed for the bioenergy production from agriculture and agri-food processing residues. These technologies can be classified as biochemical or thermochemical conversion processes. The selection of the suitable conversion process depends strongly on the feedstock properties and the available pretreatment techniques and logistics.

Thermochemical processes can be divided into two main groups based on the feedstock water content. Hence, combustion, gasification or pyrolysis, are suitable when the feedstock has low water content. For example, several investigations have applied these processes to woody agricultural biomass waste or municipal solid wastes. When the feedstock presents high water content (i.e. moisture higher than 60%), hydrothermal processes become more appropriate. These processes make use of hot pressurized water to convert wet substrates. Pressure is always held high enough to keep water in its liquid or, possibly, supercritical state. These processes are classified to hydrothermal carbonization (HTC), hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) and hydrothermal gasification (HTG) depending on the process temperature and the type of obtained products.

Biochemical processes included the production of bioethanol, biodiesel and biogas through three different processes. Bioethanol can be produced from renewable biomass and adapted to existing fuel supply systems leading to cleaner combustion. Bioethanol is produced via pretreatment, hydrolysis and fermentation stages. Biodiesel is an alternative liquid fuel that has gained worldwide popularity in order to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels in the transport sector and to increase the renewable energy utilization. Biodiesel is produced through oil extraction and transesterifaction. Biogas is an alternative gaseous fuel that has attracted significant attention with the increasing interest on renewable and sustainable energy technology. Biogas production system includes different biological processes and energy conversion stages.

This special issue delivers the recent investigations on the appropriate waste treatment system and conversion process including feedstock characterization, experimental study on the biochemical and thermochemical conversion processes, and on techno-economical and LCA analyses.

Submission Details

Deadline for submissions: September 30th 2017.

Submissions should be made via Editorial Manager™

When submitting, authors must indicate that their manuscript is for this special issue. There will be an opportunity to do this in the “Additional Information” section of the online submission form.

For detailed submission guidelines, please consult the journal’s Instructions for Authors.

Editorial information