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Master-Thesis: Enhancement of enzymatic hydrolysis as milestone for value added processing of ligno-cellulosic residues

AEE INTEC

AEE – Institute for Sustainable Technologies (AEE  INTEC) was founded in 1988 as an independent research association and is now one of the leading institutes for applied research in the fields of solar thermal energy, low-energy and zero energy buildings as well as in energy efficiency in industry. Besides these energy related topics also sustainable water management is a focus area.

Background

Lignocellulosic waste (agricultural, forest residue and food waste etc.) is abundant and considered an important source for producing high-value chemicals and commodities. The conversion of ligno-cellulosic materials is on the one hand important to provide energy alternatives from waste streams to fossil fuels and to sustainably produce chemicals from renewable feedstocks. On the other hand, the amount of lingo-cellulosic waste is tremendous and using this waste as raw material would be one huge step in making our society more resilient towards the devastating resource depletion we are facing. Bioconversion of ligno-cellulosic waste into fuels and chemicals has important technological, commercial and also social dimensions, however developing an economic process still presents a major problem. The goal of this project is to develop a continuous enzymatic hydrolysis process using a plug-flow reactor for the first time with substantial effects on conversion rates and reduction in enzyme addition. The newly developed reactor shall be the basis for a hydrolysis reactor concept eventually applicable in the biobased industry, chemical industry, biodiesel production or pulp and paper industry to save energy, resources and time.

Master Thesis

This master thesis will built on already evaluated experimental results of  lab studies conducted with the newly designed reactor. Stable and reproducible operating conditions have already been ensured in the new lab plant in batch tests and via tests with pure alpha-cellulose. In this master thesis a new test series with different ligno-cellulosic material and in continuous mode will be performed in order to evaluate the flow and operating parameters. Monitoring of mixing-, flow behaviour and energy requirement, sampling and basic product analysis (pH, conductivity, sugar analysis over density) will be performed.

Tests will mimic the reference tests in a stirred tank (not part of the thesis) in terms of particle loadings, enzyme addition, temperature and residence time.

We request....

Thesis written in English or German
Solution-oriented, creative, independent and reliable operation-mode
Desirable: Knowledge of mass and energy balances, knowledge of process engineering, knowledge of practical lab work

We offer....

  • Paid thesis, integration into ongoing project
  • Start: autumn 2018
  • Duration: 7 month
  • Location: AEE INTEC (Gleisdorf)

Contact

Christoph Brunner
Head of Department Industrial Procezzs and Energy Systems
AEE - Institut für Nachhaltige Technologien
A-8200 Gleisdorf, Feldgasse 19, Austria
Phone: +43 (0)3112 5886-470, Fax: DW 18
Email: c.brunner@aee.at
http://www.aee-intec.at   @AEE_INTEC on Twitter

 

Judith Buchmaier
Department Industrial Procezzs and Energy Systems
AEE - Institut für Nachhaltige Technologien
A-8200 Gleisdorf, Feldgasse 19, Austria
Phone: +43 (0)3112 5886-452, Fax: DW 18
Email: j.buchmaier@aee.at

 

Dr. Bettina Muster-Slawitsch
Department Industrial Procezzs and Energy Systems
AEE - Institut für Nachhaltige Technologien
A-8200 Gleisdorf, Feldgasse 19, Austria
Phone: +43 (0)3112 5886-471, Fax: DW 18
Email: b.muster@aee.at