Aurantiochytrium, a heterotrophic microalga, produces hydrocarbons inside its cells and has a higher growth rate than other photosynthetic microalgae. To investigate a possible method of extracting hydrocarbons from wet Aurantiochytrium cells, cell cultures of Aurantiochytrium were treated with a high-pressure homogenizer. The influence of cell disruption and extraction time on the cell morphology, hydrocarbon yield, and energy balance of hydrocarbon extraction was evaluated. The hydrocarbon yield increased with an increase in extraction time regardless of cell disruption. After one round of the homogenizing treatment in which cells were fragmented (one-pass treatment), a second round (two-pass treatment) did not cause any additional morphological change. For the 40-min extraction, the yield of hydrocarbon from disrupted samples was found to be over ten times higher than that of undisrupted ones. In contrast, for the 180-min extraction, the yield of undisrupted samples was almost the same as that of disrupted ones because the cells of Aurantiochytrium were disrupted by extended contact with n-hexane over the longer extraction time. Furthermore, the input energy of the 40-min extraction with cell disruption was 78% lower than that of the 180-min extraction without cell disruption to obtain almost the same hydrocarbon yield.
Binder less briquette of Coal Combustion Improver (CCI), which consists of pulverized coal and the same quantity of lime cake or paper sludge on dry basis, has been developed to improve combustibility of bituminous coal. Co-firing characteristics of the CCI was studied by bench-scale circulating fluidized bed combustion furnace at 850 °C under the blending ratio of 90% of bituminous coal with 10% of crushed CCI. The results showed that the CCI improved the combustibility of the coal and fly ash properties, and decreased emission of air pollutants. It was explained on the mechanism that fast pyrolysis of the CCI leads to decompose the CCI into the various size of particles, which is the compounds of coal and lime cake or paper sludge, and then the particles easily burn and interact each other in very short time in the combustion zone.
In order to improve combustion property of poorly combustible coals, Coal Combustion Improver (CCI) has been developed by pressured agglomerations at composition ratio (dry basis) of 1 (coal): 1 (synthetic calcium carbonate and biomass from Lime Cake (LC) from sugar production or Paper Sludge (PS) from paper production. CCI’s co-firing characterization was studied at composition ratio of 100 (poorly combustible coals): 10 (CCI) under a bench-scaled pulverized coal combustion furnace (1,450 °C). In this coal –CCI mixture (particle size : 75 µ: 80% passage) CCI was previously split into biomass, coal, lime, coal particles, and their composite particles, and dispersed uniformly throughout coal fines during co-pulverizing process. Thereby, combustion, air pollutant emission characteristics and fly ash properties of poorly combustible coals were improved. The behavior of eluting heavy metals in ashes was related closely to its volatility and cohesiveness in co-firing. The elution of arsenic, selenium and boron was reduced by reaction with CaO in CCI, and the elution of volatile nonagglutinative fluorine was immobilized and greatly decreased, whereas the elution of non-volatile hexavalent chromium was increased by oxidation.
In contrast to other renewable energy resources, solar power facilities have increased rapidly in Japan after the introduction of Feed-in Tariff in 2012. This paper examines the present structure of mega solar power businesses in Japan. Only less than a quarter of enterprises managing mega solar power facilities have headquarters in the same prefectures as the facilities. These enterprises have mainly been established by private companies, but less so by local governments, cooperatives and foundations. The types of the parent companies basing in the same prefectures differ from those in other prefectures. This indicates that the profits of mega solar power facilities have seldom returned to local communities but rather drained to big cities. This paper concludes that mega solar power facilities have much less effect on local economy than expected.