Microbial processes for biotechnological hydrogen production: microorganisms, metabolic pathways, critical issues. Biogas from anaerobic digestion of agricultural residues: microorganisms, substrates and processes in use. Bio-ethanol by fermentation of plant residues. Biodiesel from microalgae: processeses, advantages and drawbacks. Microbial electrolysis. Microbial biopolymers (polysaccharides, polyesters). Molecules of industrial interest bu microorganisms.
B. Biavati, C. Sorlini "Microbiologia agro ambientale, Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, 2008
P.C. Hallenbeck (Ed) "Microbial technologies in advanced biofuels production", Springer Science, 2012
Reviews and scientific papers from specialized journals provided by the Teacher on topics of the program
To provide students with (i) knowledge on the most advanced environmentally-sustainable processes for energy production with microorganisms; (Ii) knowledge on the main processes of microbiology applied in environmental and industrial applications, with particular reference to the production of biopolymers and of molecules of industrial interest in processes with low environmental impact.
Lectures, seminars by experts, discussion groups on topics assigned by the Teacher, practical work in the lab, visits to industrial plants
The slides of the lectures are available on Moodle Platform at the website of the University of Florence
Type of Assessment
Oral examination, active participation in the discussion groups with final report. The questions will be aimed at verifying if the student has gained specific knowledge on the subjects of the Course as well as the capability to elaborate and correlate the topics dealt with during the course
Biotechnological processes of hydrogen production: involved microorganisms and their metabolic pathways; combined microbial systems and thermodynamic issues of the production of hydrogen from agrifood and industrial waste residues; industrial plants and critical issues.
Biogas from anaerobic digestion of residues of agro-industrial activities: stages of the anaerobic digestion; microorganisms involved and their metabolic pathways; substrates used and quality of the biogas produced; industrial anaerobic digesters and critical issues of the process.
Bio-ethanol by fermentation of agricultural residues: microorganisms involved and their metabolic pathways; substrates and their pretreatments. Production of butanol and isopropanol by microbial fermentations.
Microalgae as a source of oil for biodiesel production: microorganisms and their metabolic pathways; intracellular accumulation of oil and extraction processes; transmethylation of oil for biodiesel production; culture systems for microalgae. Economic and energy analyses of the process.
Bioenergy competition for land with food/feed crops and carbon storage
Microbial Electrolysis: types and principle of operation of the electrolytic microbial cells. Microorganisms used and critical issues of the process.
Microbial polysaccharides of industrial interest: types of polymers and their industrial use; microorganisms used and metabolic biosynthetic pathways of microbial polysaccharides.
Polyesters of microbial origin: natural (polyhydroxyalkanoates) and semisynthetic (polylactates) polymers. Microorganisms involved and their metabolic pathways. Industrial production of polyesters and polylactate and their applications. Concept of biorefinery: how to obtain several products of commercial value from microbial biomass.
Molecules of industrial interest (pigments, fatty acids, bioactive molecules): used organisms and their metabolic pathways