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Other publication | 2021

Algae4Fish - Video

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Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | 2021

Digestate as Sustainable Nutrient Source for Microalgae—Challenges and Prospects

Bauer L, Ranglová K, Masojidek J, Drosg B, Meixner K. Digestate as Sustainable Nutrient Source for Microalgae—Challenges and Prospects. Applied Sciences. 2021.11(3):1056

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The interest in microalgae products has been increasing, and therefore the cultivation industry is growing steadily. To reduce the environmental impact and production costs arising from nutrients, research needs to find alternatives to the currently used artificial nutrients. Microalgae cultivation in anaerobic effluents (more specifically, digestate) represents a promising strategy for increasing sustainability and obtaining valuable products. However, digestate must be processed prior to its use as nutrient source. Depending on its composition, different methods are suitable for removing solids (e.g., centrifugation) and adjusting nutrient concentrations and ratios (e.g., dilution, ammonia stripping). Moreover, the resulting cultivation medium must be light-permeable. Various studies show that growth rates comparable to those in artificial media can be achieved when proper digestate treatment is used. The necessary steps for obtaining a suitable cultivation medium also depend on the microalgae species to be cultivated. Concerning the application of the biomass, legal aspects and impurities originating from digestate must be considered. Furthermore, microalgae species and their application fields are essential criteria when selecting downstream processing methods (harvest, disintegration, dehydration, product purification). Microalgae grown on digestate can be used to produce various products (e.g., bioenergy, animal feed, bioplastics, and biofertilizers). This review gives insight into the origin and composition of digestate, processing options to meet requirements for microalgae cultivation and challenges regarding downstream processing and products.


Conference contributions | 2020

Anaerobic Digestion Optimization for Biogas and Biomethane Production

Ionel I, Drosg B. Anaerobic Digestion Optimization for Biogas and Biomethane Production. 28th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition (oral presentation) 2020.

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Conference contributions | 2020

Biological Methanation Processes

Drosg B, Wellinger A. Biological Methanation Processes. 28th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition (oral presentation) 2020.

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Conference contributions | 2020

Integration von Biogas in Bioprozesse - Nährstoffrückführung und Energiegewinnung

Drosg B. Integration von Biogas in Bioprozesse - Nährstoffrückführung und Energiegewinnung. 6th Central European Biomass Conference (oral presentation). 2020.

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Conference contributions | 2019

Bioenergy retrofits for Europe´s industry - the BIOFIT project (Horizon 2020)

Reumerman P, Vos J, Rutz D, Janssen R, Bacovsky D, Gröngröft A, Saastamoinen H, Karampinis E, Ballesteros M, Johansson D, Kazagic A, Wanders M, Meeusen M, Hull A, Kiartzis S, Garcia J. Bioenergy retrofits for Europe´s industry - the BIOFIT project (Horizon 2020). 27th European Biomass Conference & Exhibition (Poster). May 2019.

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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.


Conference contributions | 2019

Nutrient recovery by digestate processing

Drosg B, Fuchs W. Nutrient recovery by digestate processing. Second COASTAL Biogas conference (Roskilde, Denmark). Nov 2019.

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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.


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