101 Production of Bioenergy and Biochar from Switchgrass and Spirulina Algae - Oct. 30

Posted on: October 25, 2013

Please join us for a seminar 

2:10 pm, 2045 BAINER HALL

Topic: 101 Production of Bioenergy and Biochar from Switchgrass and Spirulina Algae 

Presenter: Hamed El-Mashad, Ph.D. 



Switchgrass and algae are two important bioenergy crops. Experiments were conducted to study the kinetics of methane production from different mixtures of switchgrass and spirulina algae. Four first order models: exponential, Gompertz, Fitzhugh, and Cone were used to describe the kinetics of methane production. Based on Akaikes information criterion, the Cone model best described the experimental data. The gross energy production potential, in the form of bioethanol and biomethane, of enzymatically saccharified switchgrass was determined. The estimated gross energy production from the non-pretreated switchgrass, in the form of biomethane, was significantly higher than that was estimated, in the form of ethanol, for the enzymatically saccharified switchgrass. Experiments were conducted to produce biochar from the anaerobically digested switchgrass via pyrolysis at different temperatures. Biochar yield decreased with the increase of pyrolysis temperature. The biochar produced from digested switchgrass contained higher concentrations of N, P, Ca, Fe, Mg, Mn, and Cu than the biochar produced from the undigested switchgrass. 


I received my B.Sc. (Agricultural Mechanization, 1995) and M. Sc. (Agricultural Mechanization; Food Process Engineering, 1998) degrees from Mansoura University, Egypt. I recieved my Ph.D. (Environmental Engineering, 2003) from Wageningen University, The Netherlands. I worked as an assistant professor at the Department of Agricultural Engineering, Mansoura University, Egypt for several years. In the meantime, I got several sabbaticals to work as a Postdoc at the Department Biological & Agricultural Engineering, UC Davis. In December 2010, I started working as an assistant professor at Lincoln University in Missouri. In July, 2013, for family reasons, I had to resign and come back to UC Davis to work as staff research associate. Im currently on a leave from my associate professor position at Mansoura University, Egypt. My research experiences include energy management in food processing, solar energy heating systems, production of biodiesel from salmon processing wastes, conversion of biomass materials into biomethane, biohydrogen and ethanol, and mathematical modelling of the emissions of volatile organic compounds from dairy farms. 

Coffee and cookies will be served.