Lignocellulosic biomass utilization through a pyrolysis based platform & microalgae based wastewater treatment through a biofilm based reactor
Prof. Dr. Zhiyou Wen
Iowa State University
Dr. Zhiyou Wen is a Professor at Iowa State University. His background is bioprocessing engineering. He got his PhD degree from the University of Hong Kong, Postdoc training at Washington State University and Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech University before moving to Iowa State in 2010. Dr. Wen ‘s research focuses on microalgal wastewater treatment and value-added products, conversion of the lignocellulosic biomass to fuels and chemicals through a thermochemical-biological hybrid processing.
In this seminar, I would like to discuss two biorenewable research areas that my group at Iowa State University has been working. The first is the lignocellulosic biomass utilization through a pyrolysis-based biorefinery platform; the second is the wastewater treatment using microalgae.
To convert lignocellulosic biomass to fuels and chemicals, two platforms are commonly used: (1) Thermochemical platform – Biomass is thermally processed to pyrolysis oil or synthesis gas, which is subsequently catalytically transformed into chemicals and fuels, and (2) Sugar platform – Enzymes are added to biomass to produce sugars that are fermented to industrial chemicals or fuels. The thermochemical-biological conversion process is a hybrid approach that employs both thermochemical and biological processes to transform biomass to chemicals and fuels. In particular, the biomass fast pyrolysis generated a variety products that can be biologically converted into fuels and chemicals.
Microalgae have been widely studied to remove nutrients from wastewater but the commercial implementation of open pond as a treatment system has not happened due to high operation cost and the large footprint of these systems. My research group developed a unique culture system so called revolving algal biofilm (RAB) for solving the above problems. The RAB system has been used for municipal wastewater and food industrial effluent with superior efficiency of removing nitrogen, phosphorus and special chemicals.
All are welcome！