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Publikationen


Scientific Journals | 2019

Cultivation of the microalga Eustigmatos magnus in different photobioreactor geometries and subsequent anaerobic digestion of pre-treated biomass

Gruber-Brunhumer MR, Schöberl A, Zohar E, Koenigsberger S, Bochmann G, Uher B, Lang I, Schagerl M, Fuchs W, Drosg B. Cultivation of the microalga Eustigmatos magnus in different photobioreactor geometries and subsequent anaerobic digestion of pre-treated biomass. Biomass and Bioenergy 2019.105303.

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Microalgal biomass as a feedstock for biogas production is linked to the parameters biomass productivity and biogas yield. Besides an easy-to-use strain for anaerobic digestion, the photobioreactor (PBR) design is important. A microalgae strain selection revealed Eustigmatos magnus (SAG 36.89) as the most promising strain yielding an average of 100 mg total suspended solids (TSS) L−1 day−1. The strain was tested in cost-effective sleevebag-PBR-systems of 10 cm, 20 cm and 30 cm diameter facing the light from the front or laterally. Highest mean productivity on a volumetric basis was measured in PBRs with the lowest diameter (104 and 117 mg L−1 day−1. The highest productivity per m−2 was achieved in 10 cm PBRs with front light configuration (9.35 g TSS m−2 day−1). The lateral light configuration of 10 cm PBRs had positive aspects such as the lowest mean water demand to produce 1 kg TSS (481 L−1 kg−1) and the lowest mean energy demand for medium separation of 1 kg TSS (106 Wh). The concentrated microalgal biomass was then subjected to ultrasonication and thermal pre-treatment (90 °C and 120 °C) and tested in BMP tests. Mesophilic anaerobic mono-digestion of untreated microalgae biomass led to a methane (CH4) yield of 343 L−1 kg−1 volatile solids (VS). Thermal pre-treatment at 120 °C resulted in significantly increased CH4 yields of 430 L−1 kg−1 VS. As thermal pre-treatment can be easily installed nearby a biogas plant it could be an interesting option for AD of microalgal biomass with only little investment.


Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2019

Double-cropping systems based on rye, maize and sorghum: Impact of variety and harvesting time on biomass and biogas yield

Wannasek L, Ortner M, Kaul HP, Amon B, Amon T. Double-cropping systems based on rye, maize and sorghum: Impact of variety and harvesting time on biomass and biogas yield. European Journal of Agronomy 2019.110:125934

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Climate change affects the frequency and intensity of extreme weather, the results of which include production losses and climate-induced crop productivity fluctuations.

Double-cropping systems (DCSs) have been suggested as a way to increase biomass-production while simultaneously delivering environmental benefits. In a three-year field-test, two DCSs based on maize and sorghum as the main crop and rye as the preceding winter crop were compared with each other and compared with 2 single-cropping systems (SCSs) of maize or sorghum; there were comparisons of growth dynamics, optimal harvesting and growing time as well as biomass and methane yield. In addition, the impact of variety and harvest time on the winter rye optimal biomass yield was studied.

The experiments clearly showed the superiority of the DCS over the SCS. Within the DCS, the rye/sorghum combination achieved significantly higher biomass yields compared to those of the rye/maize combination. The highest dry matter biomass yield was achieved during year 1 at 27.5 ± 2.4 t∙ha−1, during which winter rye contributed 8.3 ± 0.7 t∙ha−1 and sorghum contributed 19.2 ± 1.8 t∙ha−1. At the experimental location, which is influenced by a Pannonia climate (hot and dry), the rye/sorghum DCS was able to obtain average methane yields per hectare, 9300 m3, whereas the rye/maize combination reached 7400 m3. In contrast, the rye, maize and sorghum SCSs achieved methane yields of 4800, 6100 and 6500 m3 ha−1, respectively. The study revealed that the winter rye and sorghum DCS is a promising strategy to counteract climate change and thus guarantee crop yield stability.


Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2019

Effects of partial maize silage substitution with microalgae on viscosity and biogas yields in continuous AD trials

Gruber-Brunhumer MR, Montgomery LFR, Nussbaumer M, Schoepp T, Zohar E, Muccio M, Ludwig I, Bochmann G, Fuchs W, Drosg B. Effects of partial maize silage substitution with microalgae on viscosity and biogas yields in continuous AD trials. Journal of Biotechnology 2019;295:80-89.

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The microalga Acutodesmus obliquus was investigated as a feedstock in semi-continuously fed anaerobic digestion trials, where A. obliquus was co-digested with pig slurry and maize silage. Maize silage was substituted by both 10% and 20% untreated, and 20% ultrasonicated microalgae biomass on a VS (volatile solids) basis. The substitution of maize silage with 20% of either ultrasonicated and untreated microalgae led to significantly lower biogas yields, i.e., 560 dm³ kg−1 VScorr in the reference compared to 516 and 509 dm³ kg-1VScorr for untreated and ultrasonicated microalgae substitution. Further, the viscosities in the different reactors were measured at an OLR of 3.5 g VS dm-3 d-1. However, all treatments with microalgae resulted in significantly lower viscosities. While the mean viscosity reached 0.503 Pa s in the reference reactor, mean viscosities were 53% lower in reactors where maize was substituted by 20% microalgae, i.e. 0.239 Pa s, at a constant rotation speed of 30 rpm. Reactors where maize was substituted by 20% ultrasonicated microalgae had a 32% lower viscosity, for 10% microalgae substitution a decrease of 8% was measured. Decreased viscosities have beneficial effect on the bioprocess and the economy in biogas plants. Nonetheless, with regard to other parameters, no positive effect on biogas yields by partial substitution with microalgae biomass was found. The application of microalgae may be an interesting option in anaerobic digestion when fibrous or lignocellulosic substances lead to high viscosities of the digested slurries. High production costs remain the bottleneck for making microalgae an interesting feedstock.


Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2019

Photoautotrophic production of poly-hydroxybutyrate – First detailed cost estimations

Panuschka S, Drosg B, Ellersdorfer M, Meixner K, Fritz I. Photoautotrophic production of poly-hydroxybutyrate – First detailed cost estimations. Algal Research 2019.41:101558.

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Political, economic and ecological reasons have recently been leading to efforts to replace fossil hydrocarbons and their products in a sustainable way. In order to replace fossil-based polymers, photoautotrophically produced polyhydroxybutryrates (PHBs), which are intracellular carbon storage products of nutrient-deprived microorganisms, seem to be a promising, biobased and biodegradable alternative. Although laboratory and pilot scale experiments have already been performed, no economic evaluation has been carried out so far. Consequently, valid claims on PHB production costs and the influence of different parameters, such as intracellular PHB-content, choice of cultivation system or location, cannot be made. In this study potential demonstration plants, equipped with different photoautotrophic cultivation systems and located at two sites, were designed to identify key parameters for a successful economic realization and implementation. Material and energy balances were determined to reveal specific PHB production costs for four different scenarios. Raw material and operating supply costs, expenditures for plant construction and operation as well as product amounts were determined using literature data for specified results from laboratory and pilot scale experiments. The lowest calculated PHB production price (24 € kg−1) accomplished in a thin-layer-system plant located in Southern Europe with 60% PHB-content of the produced biomass is significantly higher than the current market price of heterotrophically produced PHB. The most important cost factors in all scenarios are cultivation and harvesting costs accounting for 62 to 72% of the total specific production costs, followed by maintenance costs with a cost share of 11 to 14%. Therefore, the choice of a suitable cultivation system is the key driving factor for an economic PHB-production due to the currently high investment costs for photosynthetic biomass production systems. Specific production costs for a Southern compared to a Central European location amount to almost half of the costs.


Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2018

Cyanobacteria Biorefinery — Production of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) with Synechocystis salina and utilisation of residual biomass

Meixner K, Kovalcik A, Sykacek E, Gruber-Brunhumer M, Zeilinger W, Markl K, Haas C, Fritz I, Mundigler N, Stelzer F, Neureiter M, Fuchs W, Drosg B. Cyanobacteria Biorefinery — Production of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) with Synechocystis salina and utilisation of residual biomass. Journal of Biotechnology. 10 January 2018;265(10): 46-53

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Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2017

Characteristics of adapted hydrogenotrophic community during biomethanation

Rachbauer L, Beyer R, Bochmann G, Fuchs W. Characteristics of adapted hydrogenotrophic community during biomethanation. Science of The Total Environment. 1 October 2017;595: 912-919.

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Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2017

Characterization of polyhydroxyalkanoates produced by Synechocystis salina from digestate supernatant

Kovalcik A, Meixner K, Mihalic M, Zeilinger W, Fritz I, Fuchs W, Kucharczyk P, Stelzer F, Drosg B. Characterization of polyhydroxyalkanoates produced by Synechocystis salina from digestate supernatant. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules. 1 September 2017;102: 497-504.

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Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2017

Maximizing the production of butyric acid from food waste as a precursor for ABE-fermentation

Stein UH, Wimmer B, Ortner M, Fuchs W, Bochmann G. Maximizing the production of butyric acid from food waste as a precursor for ABE-fermentation. Science of The Total Environment. 15 November 2017;598: 993-1000.

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Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2017

Optimisation of continuous gas fermentation by immobilisation of acetate-producing Acetobacterium woodi

Steger, F, Rachbauer L, Windhagauer M, Montgomery LFR, Bochmann G. Optimisation of continuous gas fermentation by immobilisation of acetate-producing Acetobacterium woodi. Anaerobe. August 2017;46: 96-103

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Other Publications | 2017

Optimisation of continuous gas fermentation by immobilisation of acetate-producing Acetobacterium woodii.

Steger, F, Rachbauer L, Windhagauer M, Montgomery LFR, Bochmann G. Optimisation of continuous gas fermentation by immobilisation of acetate-producing Acetobacterium woodii. Anaerobe. Available online 22 June 2017

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Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2017

Overcoming the bottlenecks of anaerobic digestion of olive mill solid waste by two-stage fermentation

Stoyanova E, Lundaa T, Bochmann G, Fuchs W. Overcoming the bottlenecks of anaerobic digestion of olive mill solid waste by two-stage fermentation. Environmental Technology (United Kingdom). 16 February 2017;38(4): 394-405.

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Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2017

Sorghum, a sustainable feedstock for biogas production? Impact of climate, variety and harvesting time on maturity and biomass yield

Wannasek L Ortner M Amon B Amon T. Sorghum, a sustainable feedstock for biogas production? Impact of climate, variety and harvesting time on maturity and biomass yield. BIOMASS BIOENERG. 2017; 106: 137-145

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Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2016

Associated effects of storage and mechanical pre-treatments of microalgae biomass on biomethane yields in anaerobic digestion

Gruber-Brunhumer MR, Jerney J, Zohar E, Nussbaumer M, Hieger C, Bromberger P, Bochmann G, Jirsa F, Schagerl M, Obbard JP, Fuchs W, Drosg B. Associated effects of storage and mechanical pre-treatments of microalgae biomass on biomethane yields in anaerobic digestion. Biomass and Bioenergy. October 2016;93: 259-268.

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Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2016

Biological biogas upgrading capacity of a hydrogenotrophic community in a trickle-bed reactor

Rachbauer L, Voitl G, Bochmann G, Fuchs W. Biological biogas upgrading capacity of a hydrogenotrophic community in a trickle-bed reactor. Applied Energy. 15 October 2016;180: 483-490.

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Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2016

Enhanced Separation of the Organic Fraction from Paper Mill Effluent for Energy Recovery

Stoyanova E, Bochmann G, Couperus A, Fuchs W. Enhanced Separation of the Organic Fraction from Paper Mill Effluent for Energy Recovery. Waste and Biomass Valorization. 1 October 2016;7(5): 1031-1039.

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Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2016

Methodological approaches for fractionation and speciation to estimate trace element bioavailability in engineered anaerobic digestion ecosystems: An overview

van Hullebusch ED, Guibaud G, Simon S, Lenz M, Yekta SS, Fermoso FG, Jain R, Duester L, Roussel J, Guillon E, Skyllberg U, Almeida CMR, Pechaud Y, Garuti M, Frunzo L, Esposito G, Carliell-Marquet C, Ortner M, Collins G. Methodological approaches for fractionation and speciation to estimate trace element bioavailability in engineered anaerobic digestion ecosystems: An overview. Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology. 17 August 2016;46(16): 1324-1366.

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Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2016

Two-stage cultivation of N-rich and N–deprived Acutodesmus obliquus biomass: Influence of cultivation and dewatering methods on microalgal biomass used in anaerobic digestion

Gruber M, Nussbaumer M, Jerney J, Ludwig I, Zohar E, Lang I, Bochmann G, Schagerl M, Obbard JP, Fuchs W, Drosg B. Two-stage cultivation of N-rich and N–deprived Acutodesmus obliquus biomass: Influence of cultivation and dewatering methods on microalgal biomass used in anaerobic digestion. Algal Research. July 2016;17: 105-112.

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Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2016

Valorisation of slaughter house and deinking paper waste streams for the production of enzyme by Trichoderma reesei

Weiss R, Eischer A, Tadic T, Gritsch SM, Ortner M, Prall K, Neunteufel E, Putz RF, Guebitz GM, Nyanhongo GS. Valorisation of slaughter house and deinking paper waste streams for the production of enzyme by Trichoderma reesei. Journal of Cleaner Production. 2020;275:122882

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The study investigates for the first time the possibility of using carbon rich paper recovery sludge, and nitrogen rich meat processing industry waste as cultivation medium for the production of high value enzymes needed in the respective industries. The complex cellulose rich deinking sludge was able to support the growth of many industrially relevant enzyme producing microorganisms (Bacillus licheniformis, Candida cylindracea, Aspergillus oryzae, Trichoderma reesei) and of recombinant enzyme producers (Escherichia coli and Pichia pastoris). Further detailed studies with Trichoderma reesei as model organism demonstrated that the organism was able to grow optimally in the presence of 40gL-1 paper sludge as carbon source and 67.5 gL-1 pasteurised blood as nitrogen source substituted in Mandels medium. Under these conditions cellulase activities up to 28.1 nkat FPU were achieved. Anyhow, to achieve these results pretreatment of both waste streams is inevitable. In summary, this study provides the practical basis for a valorisation systems of paper industry waste to produce valuable enzymes to be used on-site in paper processing or for other purposes.


Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2015

Acutodesmus obliquus as a benchmark strain for evaluating methane production from microalgae: Influence of different storage and pretreatment methods on biogas yield

Gruber-Brunhumer MR, Jerney J, Zohar E, Nussbaumer M, Hieger C, Bochmann G, Schagerl M, Obbard JP, Fuchs W, Drosg B. Acutodesmus obliquus as a benchmark strain for evaluating methane production from microalgae: Influence of different storage and pretreatment methods on biogas yield. Algal Research. 01 November 2015;12:230-238.

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Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2015

Anaerobic digestion of thermal pretreated brewers' spent grains

Bochmann G, Drosg B, Fuchs W. Anaerobic digestion of thermal pretreated brewers' spent grains. Environmental Progress and Sustainable Energy. 2015;34(4):1092-6.

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Anaerobic digestion offers a good opportunity to degrade residues from breweries to biogas. To improve the anaerobic degradation process thermal pretreatment of brewers' spent grains (BSG) offers the opportunity to increase degradation rate and biogas yield. Aim of the work is to show the influence of the thermal pretreatment of BSG to anaerobic digestion. BSG were pretreated at different temperature levels from 100 to 200°C. The biogas production of thermally pretreated BSG lies between 30 and 40% higher than for untreated reference. The temperature of the pretreatment process has a significant influence on the degradation rate or gas yield, respectively. Up to a temperature of 160°C, the biogas yield rises. Temperatures over 160°C result in a slower degradation and decreasing biogas yield. Substrate with and without pretreatment gave a daily biogas yield of 430 and 389 Nm3 × kg-1 VS, respectively. Batch analysis of the biochemical methane potential gives a total methane yield of 409.8 Nm3 CH4 × kg-1 VS of untreated brewers' spent grains and 467.6 Nm3 CH4 × kg-1 VS of the pretreated samples. For pretreatment energy balance estimation has been carried out. Without any heat recovery demand is higher than the energy surplus resulting from pretreatment of BSG. With energy recovery by heat exchanger the net energy yield could be increased to 38.87 kWh × kg-1 FM or 8.81%. © 2015 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog.


Other Presentations | 2015

Aspects of microalgal biomass as feedstock in biogas plants

Gruber M, Zohar E, Jerney J, Ludwig I, Bochmann G, Nussbaumer L, Montgomery L, Fuchs W, Drosg B, Schöpp T, Obbard JP. Aspects of microalgal biomass as feedstock in biogas plants, 23rd European Biomass Conference 2015, 1st-4th of June 2015, Vienna, Austria. (visual presentation)

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Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2015

Bioavailability of essential trace elements and their impact on anaerobic digestion of slaughterhouse waste

Ortner M, Rameder M, Rachbauer L, Bochmann G, Fuchs W. Bioavailability of essential trace elements and their impact on anaerobic digestion of slaughterhouse waste. Biochemical Engineering Journal. 15 July 2015;99:107-113.

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Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2015

Closing the Nutrient Cycle in Two-Stage Anaerobic Digestion of Industrial Waste Streams

Rachbauer L, Gabauer W, Scheidl S, Ortner M, Fuchs W, Bochmann G. Closing the Nutrient Cycle in Two-Stage Anaerobic Digestion of Industrial Waste Streams. Energy Fuels 2015;29(7):4052-4057.

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Industrial waste streams from brewing industries and distilleries provide a valuable but largely unused alternative substrate for biogas production by anaerobic digestion. High sulfur loads in the feed caused by acidic pretreatment to enhance bioavailability are responsible for H2S formation during anaerobic digestion. Microbiological oxidation of H2S provides an elegant technique to remove this toxic gas compound. Moreover, it allows for recovery of sulfuric acid, the final product of aerobic sulfide oxidation, as demonstrated in this study. Two-stage anaerobic digestion of brewer’s spent grains, the major byproduct in the brewing industry, allows for the release of up to 78% of total H2S formed in the first pre-acidification stage. Desulfurization of such pre-acidification gas in continuous acidic biofiltration with immobilized sulfur-oxidizing bacteria resulted in a maximum H2S elimination capacity of 473 g m–3 h–1 at an empty bed retention time of 91 s. Complete H2S removal was achieved at inlet concentrations of up to 6363 ppm. The process was shown to be very robust, and even after an interruption of H2S feeding for 10 days, excellent removal efficiency was immediately restored. A maximum sulfate production rate of 0.14 g L–1 h–1 was achieved, and a peak concentration of 4.18 g/L sulfuric acid was reached. Further experiments addressed the reduction of fresh water and chemicals to minimize process expenses. It was proven that up to 50% of mineral medium that is required in large amounts during microbiological desulfurization can be replaced by the liquid fraction of the digestate. The conducted study demonstrates the viability of microbial sulfur recovery with theoretical recovery rates of up to 44%.


Other Presentations | 2015

Effects of pretreatment and storage methods on biomethane potential of different microalgae in anaerobic digestion

Gruber M, Jerney J, Zohar E, Nussbaumer M, Hieger C, Bochmann G, Schagerl M, Obbard JP, Fuchs W, Drosg B. Effects of pretreatment and storage methods on biomethane potential of different microalgae in anaerobic digestion, 23rd European Biomass Conference 2015, 1st-4th of June 2015, Vienna, Austria. (oral presentation)

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Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2015

Energy self-supply of large abattoir by sustainable waste utilisation based on anaerobic mono-digestion

Ortner M, Wöss D, Schumergruber A, Pröll T, Fuchs W. Energy self-supply of large abattoir by sustainable waste utilisation based on anaerobic mono-digestion. Applied Energy. 2015;143:460-471.

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Abattoirs have a large number of energy intensive processes. Beside energy supply, disposal costs of animal by-products (ABP) are the main relevant cost drivers. In this study, successful implementation of a new waste and energy management system based on anaerobic digestion is described. Several limitations and technical challenges regarding the anaerobic digestion of the protein rich waste material had to be overcome. The most significant problems were process imbalances such as foaming and floatation as well as high accumulation of volatile fatty acids and low biogas yields caused by lack of essential microelements, high ammonia concentrations and fluctuation in operation temperature. Ultimately, 85% of the waste accumulated during the slaughter process is converted into 2700 MW h thermal and 3200 MW h electrical energy in a biogas combined heat and power (CHP) plant. The thermal energy is optimally integrated into the production process by means of a stratified heat buffer. The energy generated by the biogas CHP-plant can cover a significant share of the energy requirement of the abattoir corresponding to 50% of heat and 60% of electric demand, respectively. In terms of annual cost for energy supply and waste disposal a reduction of 63% from 1.4 Mio € to about 0.5 Mio € could be achieved with the new system. The payback period of the whole investment is approximately 9 years. Beside the economic benefits also the positive environmental impact should be highlighted: a 79% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from 4.5 Mio kg CO2 to 0.9 Mio kg CO2 annually was achieved. The realized concept received the Austrian Energy Globe Award and represents the first anaerobic mono-digestion process of slaughterhouse waste worldwide.


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