Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

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Implementing a palm oil-based biodiesel policy: The case of Thailand
Nupueng, S. ; Oosterveer, P.J.M. ; Mol, A.P.J. - \ 2018
Energy Science & Engineering (2018). - ISSN 2050-0505 - 15 p.
biodiesel - energy policy - palm oil - sustainability - Thailand
Renewable energy promotion is recognized as an important goal in international climate policies in order to reduce CO2-emissions. Biodiesel can potentially be an important contributor in this respect, especially in Thailand with its large biomass production from oil palm cultivation. Palm oil is the main raw feedstock for biodiesel production. However, biodiesel production is also controversial in many respects, in particular considering its sustainability. This paper assesses the collaboration between different actors in the Thai biodiesel and oil palm networks in organizing biodiesel provision. Through qualitative interviews with key political, economic, and societal actors the structure and the dynamic of the biodiesel and oil palm industry, as well as the relevant policy dynamics, were investigated. We found that the implementation of biodiesel policy was dominated by the need to secure the production of palm oil-based
cooking oil leading to frequent adjustments. Sustainable improvement
and environmental considerations hardly played a role in the interactions between the actors involved in the palm oil and biodiesel industries. Government
agencies were dominant and steered the biodiesel and the oil palm industries both directly and indirectly via economic and societal actors. Nevertheless, the promotion of biodiesel continues to be the basis of the national renewable energy master plan with its clear target to balance and stabilize the economic, social and environmental issues. As the renewable energy master plan does not fit with the possible feedstock, the main challenges in achieving these sustainable targets are therefore how to maintain a stable and consistent policy, especially concerning balancing the palm oil used for biodiesel production on the one hand and palm oil-based cooking oil on the other.
Quantification of Tetradesmus obliquus (Chlorophyceae) cell size and lipid content heterogeneity at single-cell level
Caprio, Fabrizio Di; Pagnanelli, Francesca ; Wijffels, Rene H. ; Veen, Douwe Van der - \ 2018
Journal of Phycology 54 (2018)2. - ISSN 0022-3646 - p. 187 - 197.
biodiesel - BODIPY - cell-to-cell heterogeneity - flow cytometry - nitrogen starvation - single-cell analysis - Tetradesmus obliquus
Much of our current knowledge of microbial growth is obtained from studies at a population level. Driven by the realization that processes that operate within a population might influence a population's behavior, we sought to better understand Tetradesmus obliquus (formerly Scenedesmus obliquus) physiology at the cellular level. In this work, an accurate pretreatment method to quantitatively obtain single cells of T. obliquus, a coenobia-forming alga, is described. These single cells were examined by flow cytometry for triacylglycerol (TAG), chlorophyll, and protein content, and their cell sizes were recorded by coulter counter. We quantified heterogeneity of size and TAG content at single-cell level for a population of T. obliquus during a controlled standard batch cultivation. Unexpectedly, variability of TAG content per cell within the population increased throughout the batch run, up to 400 times in the final stage of the batch run, with values ranging from 0.25 to 99 pg · cell−1. Two subpopulations, classified as having low or high TAG content per cell, were identified. Cell size also increased during batch growth with average values from 36 to 70 μm3 · cell−1; yet cell size variability increased only up to 16 times. Cell size and cellular TAG content were not correlated at the single-cell level. Our data show clearly that TAG production is affected by cell-to-cell variation, which suggests that its control and better understanding of the underlying processes may improve the productivity of T. obliquus for industrial processes such as biodiesel production.
Zambia kan biodiesel uit soja produceren
Drabik, Dusan - \ 2016
biodiesel - soyabeans - biofuels - government policy - zambia - developing countries - biobased economy
EnAlgae Decision Support Toolset: model validation
Kenny, Philip ; Visser, Chris de; Skarka, Johannes ; Sternberg, Kirstin ; Schipperus, Roelof ; Silkina, Alla ; Ginnever, Naomi - \ 2015
Swansea : Swansea University - 25
biobased economy - bioenergy - biomass - algae culture - algae - bioethanol - biodiesel - methanol - seaweeds - seaweed culture - bio-energie - biomassa - algenteelt - algen - zeewieren - zeewierenteelt
One of the drivers behind the EnAlgae project is recognising and addressing the need for increased availability of information about developments in applications of algae biotechnology for energy, particularly in the NW Europe area, where activity has been less intense than in other areas of the globe. Such information can be of benefit in coordinating research activities, stimulating targeted investment to develop promising technologies and to guide key policy decisions. To make this a reality, EnAlgae has developed a Decision Support Toolset (DST) to enable improved evaluation of state of the art algal biotechnology and to compare alternative routes to utilising algal biomass.
Future scenarios for N2O emissions from biodiesel production in Europe
Wijnen, Jikke van; Kroeze, Carolien ; Ivens, W.P.M.F. ; Löhr, A.J. - \ 2015
Journal of integrative Environmental Sciences 12 (2015)suppl. 1. - ISSN 1943-815X - p. 17 - 30.
biodiesel - Energy crop - Europe - nitrogen - nitrous oxide - river basins

Biodiesel is increasingly used as a fuel in transportation. It is generally considered an environmentally friendly alternative for diesel from fossil oil, because of lower emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2). However, nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions during the growth of energy crops can be considerable. N2O is emitted as a result of fertiliser use, needed to cultivate the energy crops. Fertiliser use not only increases the direct agricultural soil emissions, but also the indirect N2O emissions from aquatic systems, after leaching and runoff of nitrogen from fertilised soils. The aim of this study is to quantify future N2O emissions associated with the cultivation of energy crops in European river basins. We analyse three future scenarios for biodiesel production in Europe, and the associated N2O emissions from fertilised fields. Our focus is on biodiesel produced from first generation energy crops. The scenarios assume that by the year 2050, 15–30% of the demand for fossil diesel is replaced by biodiesel. This would change the European fertiliser needs and, as a result, N2O emissions from fertilised soils. Our results indicate that increased biodiesel production may increase N2O emissions in Europe by about 25–45% relative to a scenario without a growth in biodiesel production, but not equally in all regions and all scenarios. The rate of change depends on where energy crops are grown, and whether or not they replace agricultural crops, or natural vegetation.

Rapid method to screen and sort lipid accumulating microalgae
Dominguez Teles, I. ; Zwart, M. van der; Kleinegris, D.M.M. ; Barbosa, M.J. ; Wijffels, R.H. - \ 2015
Bioresource Technology 184 (2015). - ISSN 0960-8524 - p. 47 - 52.
fatty-acid profile - fluorescence method - nannochloropsis sp - nile red - biodiesel - biofuels - strains
The present work established an efficient staining method for fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) with Chlorococcum littorale maintaining cellular viability. The method was designed to detect high-lipid cells and to guarantee cellular viability. BODIPY505/515 (BP) was more suitable to FACS when compared to Nile red. The optimum concentrations were 0.4 µg ml-1 of BP, 0.1% DMSO or 0.35% ethanol. Both ethanol and DMSO were equally efficient and assured cellular viability after the staining and sorting. Here a method is presented to rapidly screen and sort lipid rich cells of C. littorale with FACS, which can be used to produce new inoculum with increased cellular lipid content.
Agriculture Beyond Food: Experiences from Indonesia
Loffler, H.J.M. ; Afiff, S. ; Burgers, P.P.M. ; Govers, C. ; Heeres, H.J. ; Karyanto, O. ; Manurung, R. ; Vel, J.A.C. ; Visscher, S. ; Zwaagstra, T. ; Widyarani, R. - \ 2014
The Hague : NWO/WOTRO - ISBN 9789077875858 - 117
oliepalmen - biobrandstoffen - biobased economy - biodiesel - reststromen - landdegradatie - jatropha - economische ontwikkeling - projecten - indonesië - oil palms - biofuels - residual streams - land degradation - economic development - projects - indonesia
The ABF programme addresses one of today’s major societal challenges, how to achieve a sustainable and inclusive biobased economy, with high-level scientific research on the thin lines between food and non-food, commodities and waste products, livelihood opportunities and risks, and local and global economy. This book provides insights into the main issues and key questions relating to the biobased economy, reflects on the objectives of the ABF programme, and offers policy recommendations. It summarises the projects conducted within the three major clusters at the heart of the programme: migration and forest transformation, breakthroughs in biofuel production technology, and the commoditisation of an alternative biofuel crop. The book ends with a number of lessons learned from the ABF programme on interdisciplinary programming.
Possible future effects of large-scale algae cultivation for biofuels on coastal eutrophication in Europe
Blaas, H. ; Kroeze, C. - \ 2014
Science of the Total Environment 496 (2014). - ISSN 0048-9697 - p. 45 - 53.
life-cycle assessment - biodiesel - microalgal
Biodiesel is increasingly considered as an alternative for fossil diesel. Biodiesel can be produced from rapeseed, palm, sunflower, soybean and algae. In this study, the consequences of large-scale production of biodiesel from micro-algae for eutrophication in four large European seas are analysed. To this end, scenarios for the year 2050 are analysed, assuming that in the 27 countries of the European Union fossil diesel will be replaced by biodiesel from algae. Estimates are made for the required fertiliser inputs to algae parks, and how this may increase concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus in coastal waters, potentially leading to eutrophication. The Global NEWS (Nutrient Export from WaterSheds) model has been used to estimate the transport of nitrogen and phosphorus to the European coastal waters. The results indicate that the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus in the coastal waters may increase considerably in the future as a result of large-scale production of algae for the production of biodiesel, even in scenarios assuming effective waste water treatment and recycling of waste water in algae production. To ensure sustainable production of biodiesel from micro-algae, it is important to develop cultivation systems with low nutrient losses to the environment.
Physiological and biochemical responses of Ricinus communis seedlings to different temperatures: a metabolomics approach
Ribeiro de Jesus, P.R. ; Fernandez, L.G. ; Delmondez de Castro, R. ; Ligterink, W. ; Hilhorst, H.W.M. - \ 2014
BMC Plant Biology 14 (2014). - ISSN 1471-2229 - 14 p.
abiotic stress tolerance - castor-oil - phenotypic plasticity - plant-responses - arabidopsis - growth - metabolism - tool - oligosaccharides - biodiesel
Background Compared with major crops, growth and development of Ricinus communis is still poorly understood. A better understanding of the biochemical and physiological aspects of germination and seedling growth is crucial for the breeding of high yielding varieties adapted to various growing environments. In this context, we analysed the effect of temperature on growth of young R. communis seedlings and we measured primary and secondary metabolites in roots and cotyledons. Three genotypes, recommended to small family farms as cash crop, were used in this study. Results Seedling biomass was strongly affected by the temperature, with the lowest total biomass observed at 20°C. The response in terms of biomass production for the genotype MPA11 was clearly different from the other two genotypes: genotype MPA11 produced heavier seedlings at all temperatures but the root biomass of this genotype decreased with increasing temperature, reaching the lowest value at 35°C. In contrast, root biomass of genotypes MPB01 and IAC80 was not affected by temperature, suggesting that the roots of these genotypes are less sensitive to changes in temperature. In addition, an increasing temperature decreased the root to shoot ratio, which suggests that biomass allocation between below- and above ground parts of the plants was strongly affected by the temperature. Carbohydrate contents were reduced in response to increasing temperature in both roots and cotyledons, whereas amino acids accumulated to higher contents. Our results show that a specific balance between amino acids, carbohydrates and organic acids in the cotyledons and roots seems to be an important trait for faster and more efficient growth of genotype MPA11. Conclusions An increase in temperature triggers the mobilization of carbohydrates to support the preferred growth of the aerial parts, at the expense of the roots. A shift in the carbon-nitrogen metabolism towards the accumulation of nitrogen-containing compounds seems to be the main biochemical response to support growth at higher temperatures. The biochemical changes observed in response to the increasing temperature provide leads into understanding plant adaptation to harsh environmental conditions, which will be very helpful in developing strategies for R. communis crop improvement research.
Toekomst met algen : waarom algen de mensheid kunnen redden
Bode, M. ; Leyenaar, A.J. ; Verbeek, I. ; Wal, L. van der - \ 2014
Wageningen : Wageningen UR - ISBN 9789462571945 - 31 p.
algen - biodiesel - voer - voeding - toekomst - bio-energie - algae - feeds - nutrition - future - bioenergy
Stagnating Jatropha Biofuel Development in Southwest China: An Institutional Approach
Li, Jia ; Bluemling, B. ; Mol, A.P.J. ; Herzfeld, Th. - \ 2014
Sustainability 6 (2014)6. - ISSN 2071-1050 - p. 3192 - 3212.
future orientation - forestry - sustainability - perspectives - plantations - uncertainty - investment - management - prospects - biodiesel
Biodiesel from jatropha has been considered as a promising alternative to fossil fuels for some time. Consequently, China started promoting jatropha as one of the options to meet its ever-increasing energy consumption, and the Chinese biodiesel industry also gained interest. However, the excitement of the biofuel industry in jatropha faded after it did not bring about the expected results. This article investigates the stagnation in jatropha development and production for biodiesel in China, using two detailed case studies of jatropha biofuel production in southeast China. It is found that the underdeveloped biodiesel policy and regulation, such as a rather late formulation of standards for biodiesel (especially the B5) and the absence of mandatory targets, is an important reason for hampering jatropha development. Besides that, lack of financial support undermined sustained jatropha planting at the farm level and lack of sustained commitment from state-owned enterprises or private companies over a long time span further contributed to jatropha project’s failure. Better implementation of the rule of law, mandatory blending requirements, hazard insurance, as well as continuous financial support, might improve the continuation of jatropha plantation schemes.
Biobrandstoffen en Bioraffinage
Bakker, Rob - \ 2013
biofuels - biobased economy - bioethanol - biodiesel - biorefinery - biomass cascading
Calcium Oxide Supported on Monoclinic Zirconia as a Highly Active Solid Base Catalyst
Frey, A.M. ; Haasterecht, T. van; Jong, K.P. de; Bitter, J.H. - \ 2013
ChemCatChem 5 (2013)12. - ISSN 1867-3880 - p. 3621 - 3628.
earth metal-oxide - dimethyl carbonate - fine chemicals - soybean oil - biodiesel - hydrotalcites - transesterification - isomerization - condensation - basicity
Calcium oxide supported on ZrO2 is a highly active catalyst for base-catalyzed reactions such as aldol-type reactions and transesterification reactions. The role of key parameters during preparation, that is, impregnation versus precipitation, heat treatment, and metal oxide loading on the basicity and catalytic activity were investigated for CaO supported on ZrO2. An impregnation of 10 wt¿% CaO on monoclinic zirconia followed by heat treatment at 600¿°C resulted in high activity for the self-condensation reaction of acetone. An evaluation of a series of CaO/ZrO2 samples with different loadings showed that the activity increased for impregnated amounts per gram catalyst of 0–10 wt¿% CaO, and at higher loading the activity decreased as a result of a decrease in dispersion. The number of strong base sites (calculated from CO2 desorbed at temperatures higher than 625¿°C) correlated with the activity. For MgO, CaO, SrO, and BaO on zirconia the catalytic activity increased as the ionic radius of the metal cation increased, suggesting the impact of base strength on catalytic performance.
Enhancing the Activity of Pd on Carbon Nanofibers for Deoxygenation of Amphiphilic Fatty Acid Molecules through Support Polarity
Gosselink, R.W. ; Xia, W. ; Muhler, M. ; Jong, K.P. de; Bitter, J.H. - \ 2013
ACS Catalysis 3 (2013)10. - ISSN 2155-5435 - p. 2397 - 2402.
oxygen-containing groups - stearic-acid - ruthenium catalysts - platinum catalysts - oxidation - transesterification - decarboxylation - cinnamaldehyde - hydrogenation - biodiesel
The influence of support polarity on Pd/CNF for the deoxygenation of fatty acids was studied. Catalysts with a low (O/C = 3.5 × 10–2 at/at from X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS)) and a high (O/C = 5.9 × 10–2 at/at from XPS) amount of oxygen containing groups on the support were prepared. The latter were introduced via a HNO3 gas phase oxidation treatment on Pd loaded supports. The presence of oxygen containing groups was beneficial for the activity of Pd for the deoxygenation of the amphiphilic stearic acid. This is attributed to a favorable mode of adsorption of the reactant via the carboxylic acid group on the more polar support in the vicinity of the catalytically active Pd nanoparticles.
Comparison of Tungsten and Molybdenum Carbide Catalysts for the Hydrodeoxygenation of Oleic Acid
Hollak, S.A.W. ; Gosselink, R.J.A. ; Es, D.S. van; Bitter, J.H. - \ 2013
ACS Catalysis 3 (2013)12. - ISSN 2155-5435 - p. 2837 - 2844.
stearic-acid - fatty-acids - ruthenium catalysts - diesel production - reaction pathways - deoxygenation - biodiesel - hydrocarbons - adsorption - oils
Group 6 (W, Mo) metal carbide catalysts are promising alternatives to hydrodesulfurization (NiMo, CoMo) catalysts and group 10 (Pd) type catalysts in the deoxygenation of vegetable fats/oils. Herein, we report a comparison of carbon nanofiber-supported W2C and Mo2C catalysts on activity, selectivity, and stability for the hydrodeoxygenation of oleic acid to evaluate the catalytic potential for the upgrading of fat/oil feeds. W2C/CNF was more selective toward olefins, whereas Mo2C/CNF was more selective toward paraffins. This was related to the hydrogenation activities of the respective metal carbides. Mo2C/CNF showed higher activity and stability compared with W2C/CNF.
Duurzaamheid van biobased producten uit plantaardige olie: energiegebruik en broeikasgasemissie
Bos, H.L. ; Meesters, K.P.H. ; Corre, W.J. ; Conijn, J.G. ; Patel, M. - \ 2013
Wageningen : Wageningen UR - Food & Biobased Research - ISBN 9789461737045 - 52
chemicaliën uit biologische grondstoffen - biobased economy - biodiesel - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - levenscyclusanalyse - plantaardige oliën - energiegebruik - broeikasgassen - biobased chemicals - sustainability - life cycle assessment - plant oils - energy consumption - greenhouse gases
Dit boek gaat in op een vergelijking van producten uit natuurlijke olie. Drie oliegewassen zijn in de studie vergeleken: oliepalm, koolzaad en soja. Uit deze gewassen kan een veelheid van biobased producten gemaakt worden: biodiesel, polyol voor polyurethaan en harsen zijn in de studie als eindproduct omschreven. Voor alle onderzochte producten geldt, dat vervanging van een fossiel product door een vergelijkbaar biobased product leidt tot een verlaging van de uitstoot van broeikasgassen en van het gebruik van fossiele energie.
Functionalized carbon nanofibers as solid-acid catalysts for transesterification
Stellwagen, D.R. ; Klis, F. van der; Es, D.S. van; Jong, K.P. de; Bitter, J.H. - \ 2013
ChemSusChem 6 (2013)9. - ISSN 1864-5631 - p. 1668 - 1672.
ordered mesoporous carbon - heterogeneous catalysts - biodiesel - nanotubes - chemistry - black - ions - oils
Carbon nanofibers (CNFs) were functionalized with aryl sulfonic acid groups using in situ diazonium coupling. The use of diazonium coupling yielded an acidic carbon material, in which the introduced acidic groups are readily accessible to the triglyceride substrate. The material is an efficient catalyst for the transesterification of triolein and methanol, outperforming conventional sulfonated carbons in both stability and activity per acid site. Upon comparing CNFs with varying degrees of functionalization, a linear correlation between sulfonic acid sites and catalytic performance was found.
Biomass for biodiesel production on family farms in Brazil: promise or failure? : integrated assessment of biodiesel crops, farms, policies and producer organisations
Belo Leite, J.G. Dal - \ 2013
University. Promotor(en): Martin van Ittersum, co-promotor(en): Maja Slingerland; Jos Bijman. - Wageningen : Wageningen UR - ISBN 9789461737601 - 224
biodiesel - biomassa - familiebedrijven, landbouw - gewassen - gewasproductie - beleid - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - helianthus annuus - brazilië - biobrandstoffen - biobased economy - biomass - family farms - crops - crop production - policy - sustainability - brazil - biofuels
In Brazil, a biodiesel policy was implemented as a way of reducing poverty among family farms. The objective of this thesis is to perform an integrated assessment of biodiesel crops, farm types, biodiesel policies and producer organisations that reveals opportunities and limitations of family farmers’ engagement in the biodiesel supply chain.
Comparing the social costs of biofuels and fossil fuels: A case study of Vietnam
Thanh, L. le; Ierland, E.C. van; Zhu, X. ; Wesseler, J.H.H. ; Ngo, G. - \ 2013
Biomass and Bioenergy 54 (2013). - ISSN 0961-9534 - p. 227 - 238.
diesel-engine - methyl-ester - performance - emissions - biodiesel - blends - combustion
Biofuel substitution for fossil fuels has been recommended in the literature and promoted in many countries; however, there are concerns about its economic viability. In this paper we focus on the cost-effectiveness of fuels, i.e., we compare the social costs of biofuels and fossil fuels for a functional unit defined as 1 km of vehicle transportation. We base our empirical results on a case study in Vietnam and compare two biofuels and their alternative fossil fuels: ethanol and gasoline, and biodiesel and diesel with a focus on the blends of E5 and E10 for ethanol, and B5 and B10 for biodiesel. At the discount rate of 4%, ethanol substitution for gasoline in form of E5 or E10 saves 33% of the social cost of gasoline if the fuel consumption of E5 and E10 is the same as gasoline. The ethanol substitution will be cost-effective if the fuel consumption of E5 and E10, in terms of L km-1, is not exceeding the consumption of gasoline by more than 1.7% and 3.5% for E5 and E10 respectively. The biodiesel substitution would be cost-effective if the fuel consumption of B5 and B10, in terms of L km-1 compared to diesel, would decrease by more than 1.4% and 2.8% for B5 and B10 respectively at the discount rate of 4%.
Effect of light intensity, pH, and temperature on triacylglycerol (TAG) accumulation induced by nitrogen starvation in Scenedesmus obliquus
Breuer, G. ; Lamers, P.P. ; Martens, D.E. ; Draaisma, R.B. ; Wijffels, R.H. - \ 2013
Bioresource Technology 143 (2013). - ISSN 0960-8524 - p. 1 - 9.
fatty-acid-composition - neochloris-oleoabundans - nannochloropsis sp - microalgae - growth - photosynthesis - biodiesel - cultures
Microalgae-derived lipids in the form of triacylglycerols (TAGs) are considered an alternative resource for the production of biofuels and food commodities. Large scale production of microalgal TAGs is currently uneconomical. The cost price could be reduced by improving the areal and volumetric TAG productivity. The economic value could be increased by enhancing the TAG quality. To improve these characteristics, the impact of light intensity, and the combined impact of pH and temperature on TAG accumulation were studied for Scenedesmus obliquus UTEX 393 under nitrogen starved conditions. The maximum TAG content was independent of light intensity, but varied between 18% and 40% of dry weight for different combinations of pH and temperature. The highest yield of fatty acids on light (0.263 g/mol photon) was achieved at the lowest light intensity, pH 7 and 27.5 C.
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