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Appointment of Bio/reactor Technology Group Leader

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 September 2013 19:52 Written by Administrator Wednesday, 11 September 2013 19:12

 

BRTeam Principal Research Member; Assist. Prof. Ali Zonouzi, has been appointed as the new Leader of Bio/reactor Technology Group, effective from 1st September 2013.

 

(Dr. Ali Zonouzi, first from left)

We congratulate Dr. Zonouzi on his well-deserved appointment and wish him all the best in his new position.

We would also like to thank Eng. Mehdi Khatamifar for his efficient leadership of the group between the years 2010 to 2013. Mehdi is currently doing his PhD in James Cook University, Queensland, Australia. We wish him all the best during his PhD and as the Principal Research Member of BRTeam`s Bio/reactor Technology Group

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

BRTeam’s August 2013; Events in Malaysia

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Last Updated on Thursday, 05 September 2013 22:04 Written by Administrator Thursday, 05 September 2013 21:07

 

August 2013 was a very busy month for BRTeam in Malaysia and led to a number of successful events, meetings and approvals on collaborative projects. A brief summary in order of occurrence is as follows:

 

An intensive course comprising of both theoretical and practical sessions on “Academic Writing” was organized by Tropical Agro-Biomass (TAB) Research Group, Faculty of Plantation & Agrotechnology, UiTM, Shah Alam. BRTeam Leader, Dr. Meisam Tabatabaei, who has also served UiTM as “Scientific Advisor” since the year 2012, lectured the course.

The course was officially opened by the Faculty's Dean; Prof Dato' (Sir) Dr. Nasuddin Othman, followed by a short welcome speech by the Head of the Tropical Agro-Biomass (TAB) Research Group and BRTeam`s Biogas Group Leader as well as the course coordinator; Dr. Alawi Sulaiman.

The course was attended by around 20 graduate students (MSc and PhD). Lectures included various aspects of academic writing such as writing Titles and Abstracts, Introductions, Research Methods (Material and Methods), Results and Discussions, and Conclusions. The course included hands-on practical sessions in which participants strived to handle the assignments given.

 

 

A friendly meeting was held among one of the Editor-in-Chiefs of BRTeam`s recently lunched journal; Biofuel Research Journal (BRJ), Professor Yusuf Chisti, BRTeam Leader, Dr. Meisam Tabatabaei, and BRTeam`s Biogas Group Leader Dr.  Alawi Sulaiman in University Kenagsaan Malaysia (UKM). Yusuf was in Malaysia as the honorary guest and the keynote speaker of the “Algal Workshop 2013; Towards Greener Environment Through Sustainable Algae Technology” organized by UKM.

“Yusuf Chisti is Professor of Biochemical Engineering at Massey University, New Zealand. Professor Chisti holds MSc and PhD degrees from University of London, England, and University of Waterloo, Canada, respectively. He received an honorary doctorate from Gheorghe Asachi Technical University of Iasi, Romania, in recognition of his many contributions to chemical and biochemical engineering. Professor Chisti’s published work has received more than 5,000 citations. His areas of expertise span microalgal processes, marine biotechnology, biofuels and biorefineries. Chisti is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, UK”

The three discussed future perspective of the BRJ and the potential strategies to be implemented in order to pave the way for the success of the journal. The first issue of BRJ has been scheduled in January 2014.

 

 

Membrane Separation Technology (MST) 2013 chaired by BRTeam`s MST Group Principal Research Member; Prof. Ahmad Fauzi Ismail took place in Seri Pacific Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. The event received an overwhelming participation of over 250 scholars and scientists from over 20 countries including renown membranologists such as Emeritus Prof. Takeshi Matsuura, from University of Ottawa, Canada. BRTeam`s MST Group Leader; Assoc. Prof. Ali Kargari and Assist. Prof. Tabatabaei who also served MST2013 as a member of scientific committee were also present during the event.

Some of the achievements of BRTeam`s MST Group extracted from the projects previously conducted by BRTeam`s Mahdi (Eng. Shirazi) were presented orally as follows:

- Mohammad Mahdi A. Shirazi, Ali Kargari, Meisam Tabatabaei, Ahmad Fauzi Ismail. Characterization of PTFE membranes for membrane distillation using atomic force microscopy.

- Mohammad Mahdi A. Shirazi, Ali Kargari, Meisam Tabatabaei, Ahmad Fauzi Ismail. Separation of water-glycerol mixture using sweeping gas membrane distillation.

A number of meetings were held during the conference and later in Advanced Membrane Technology Research Center (AMTEC), on University Technology Malaysia (UTM) campus in JB which would hopefully bring BRTeam`s MST group to a new level of international recognition. AMTEC devoted to advanced research on various aspects of membrane science and technology was founded and is directed by Prof. Fauzi.

 

 

A strategic meeting was held between BRTeam`s MST and Biogas Group Leaders; Dr. Ali Kargari and Dr. Alawi Sulaiman, respectively. The meeting was also attended by Dr. Meisam Tabatabaei. The two group leaders discussed a number of proposed collaborative projects during the 2 hour meeting and managed to reach a consensus on a couple of proposals.

 

National Academic Personality Award

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Last Updated on Thursday, 05 September 2013 22:06 Written by Administrator Saturday, 24 August 2013 15:53

(Click the photo to enlarge)

 

BRTeam Principal Research Member and Editor-in-Chief of Biofuel Research Journal (BRJ), Prof. Dr. Ahmad Fauzi Ismail, was awarded the prestigious; "National Academic Personality Award" in the Product Innovation and Commercialization category, by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education of Malaysia in the National Awards Ceremony held in Putrajaya on 20 August 2013. He took home a cash prize of USD17,000.

"National Academic Personality Award" (In Malay; Anugerah Akademik Negara), is the most significant governmental award bestowed upon eminent academics in Malaysia .

 

We congratulate Prof. Dr. Ahmad Fauzi Ismail, and the other BRT's members and do hope to hear more on future accomplishments of BRTeam members.

 

 

 

 

 


 

BRTeam`s Latest Publication

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 14:56 Written by Administrator Wednesday, 21 August 2013 10:57

 

 

Sohrab Haghighi Mood; Amir Hossein Golfeshan; Meisam Tabatabaei, Gholamreza Salehi Jouzani, Gholamhassan Najafi, Mehdi Ardjmand, Mehdi Gholami. 2013. Lignocellulosic biomass to bioethanol; a comprehensive review on pretreatment. (Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews)(ISI-Scopus cited). (5-Year Impact Factor: 6.619). Elsevier


Abstract:

Pretreatment technologies are aimed to increase enzyme accessibility to biomass and yields of fermentable sugars. In general, pretreatment methods fall into four different categories including physical, chemical, physico-chemical, and biological. This paper comprehensively reviews the lignocellulosic wastes to bioethanol process with a focus on pretreatment methods, their mechanisms, advantages and disadvantages as well as the combinations of different pretreatment technologies. Moreover, the new advances in plant “omics” and genetic engineering approaches to increase cellulose composition, reduce cellulose crystallinity, produce hydrolases and protein modules disrupting plant cell wall substrates, and modify lignin structure in plants have also been expansively presented.

 

 

 

 

Sohrab Haghighi Mood, Amir Hossein Golfeshan, Meisam Tabatabaeib, Saeed Abbasalizadeh, Mehdi Ardjmand, Gholamreza Salehi Jouzani. 2013. Comparison of different ionic liquids pretreatment for Corn Stover enzymatic saccharification. (Preparative Biochemistry and Biotechnology)(ISI-Scopus cited). (5-Year Impact Factor: 0.614). Taylor & Francis


Abstract:

Recently, application of ionic liquids (ILs) due to their special solvency properties as a promising method of pretreatment for lignocellulosic biomass has received much attention. Easy recovery of ionic liquids, chemical stability, temperature stability, non-flammability, low vapor pressure, and wide liquidus range are among those unique properties. These solvents are also known as green solvents due to their low vapor pressure. The present study was set to compare the effect of five different ILs namely, 1-ehyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate([EMIM][Ac]), 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride([BMIM][Cl]), 1-ethyl-3-methyl imidazolium diethyl phosphate([EMIM][DEP]),  1-allyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride ([AMIM][Cl]) and 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium-hydrogen sulfate([EMIM][HSO4] on corn stover in bioethanol production process. The performance of ILs was evaluated based on the change observed in chemical structure, crystallinity index, cellulose digestibility, and glucose release. Overall, [EMIM][Ac]-pretreated corn stover led to significantly higher saccharification with cellulose digestibility reaching 69% after 72h, whereas digestibility of untreated barley straw was measured at only 21%.


Sohrab Haghighi Mood, Amir Hossein Golfeshan, Meisam Tabatabaei, Saeed Abbasalizadeh, Mehdi Ardjmand. 2013. Comparison of different ionic liquids pretreatment for barley straw enzymatic sacharification. (3 Biotech)(ISI-Scopus cited). Springer


Abstract:

Recently, application of ionic liquids (ILs) due to their special solvency properties as a promising method of pretreatment for lignocellulosic biomass has received much attention. Chemical stability, temperature stability, non-flammability, low vapor pressure, wide liquidus range, and non-toxicity are among those unique properties. These solvents are also known as green solvents due to non-toxicity and low vapor pressure. The present study was set to compare the effect of five different ionic liquids namely, 1-ethyl-3-methyl imidazolium acetate, 1-ethyl-3-methyl imidazolium diethyl phosphate, 1-butyl-3-methyl imidazolium chlorides, 1,3-Dimethyl imidazolium dimethyl phosphate, 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium-trifluoromethan sulfonat on barley straw in bioethanol production process. The performance of ionic liquids was evaluated based on the change observed in chemical structure, crystallinity index, and cellulose digestibility. Overall, 1-ethyl-3-methyl imidazolium acetate was found most effective on in pretreating barely straw for bioethanol production. To the best of our knowledge, the present reports different ionic liquids; some for the first time, for barely straw pretreatment.

 

 

 

 

Ahmad Farhad Talebi, Meisam Tabatabaei, Seyed Kaveh Mohtashami, Masoud Tohidfar, Foad Moradi. 2013. Comparative Salt Stress Study on Intracellular Ion Concentration in Marine and Salt-adapted Freshwater Strains of Microalgae. (Notulae Scientia Biologicae)(Scopus cited).


Abstract:

Salinity imposes significant stresses in various living organisms including microalgae. High extracellular concentration of Na+ directly influences ionic balance inside the cell and subsequently the cellular activities. In the present study, the effect of such stress on growth and intracellular ions concentration (IIC) of Dunaliella salina and Chlorella Spp. was investigated. IIC was analyzed using Ion chromatography technique. D. salina showed the highest degree of resistance to increase in salinity as little changes occurred both in IIC and in growth parameters.‌‌ D. salina could maintain the balance of K+ inside the cell and eject the excess Na+ even at NaCl concentrations above 1M. Moreover, D. salina accumulated β-carotene in order to protect its photosynthetic apparatus. Among Chlorella species, C. vulgaris showed signs of adaptation to high content of salinity, though it is a fresh water species by nature. Moreover, the response shown by C. vulgaris to rise in salinity was even stronger than that of C. salina, which is presumably a salt-water resistant species. In fact, C. vulgaris could maintain intracellular K+ better than C. salina in response to increasing salinity, and as a result, it could survive at NaCl concentrations as high as 0.75M. Marine strains such as D. salina well cope with the fluctuations in salinity through the existing adaptation mechanisms i.e. maintaining the K+/N+ balance inside the cell, K+ accumulation and Na+ ejection, accumulation of photosynthetic pigments like β-carotene.

 

 

 

Elham Mirtalebi, Mohammad Mahdi A. Shirazi, Ali Kargari, Meisam Tabatabaei, Seeram Ramakrishna. 2013. Assessment of atomic force and scanning electron microscopes for characterization of commercial and electrospun nylon membranes. (Desalination and Water Treatment)(ISI-Scopus cited). (5-Year Impact Factor: 1.04). Taylor & Francis


Abstract:


Electrospun polymeric membranes are currently being developed for various applications due to their unique specifications in comparison with the conventional membranes. As electrospun membranes comprise nanostructures (with 3D structure and inter-connected pores) with dimensions lying within the lateral resolution of the microscope, the interpretation of electrospun membrane features is challenging. In this study, scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy were used for characterization of an electrospun (N1) and two commercial membranes (N2 and N3). A self-supported electrospun nanofibrous nylon membrane was fabricated and characterized for pore size, pore size distribution, thickness, nodule size, and pure water permeation flux as well as rejection and flux decline during coke removal from a typical petrochemical wastewater stream. The obtained results show that the electrospun membrane had smoother surface. All membranes showed same separation performance, about 99% rejection, but higher permeation flux achieved for the electrospun membrane.

 

 

SGP/GEF/UNDP sponsored workshop successfully organized

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Last Updated on Sunday, 21 July 2013 17:30 Written by Administrator Sunday, 21 July 2013 16:50

BRTeam and its extension branch; EGE, were actively present in the 8th National Biotechnology and 4th National Biosafety Conferences of I.R. Iran which was held from 6 to 8 July 2013 (15-17 Tir 1392), at the Convention Center of the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Tehran. The event was attended by about 1500 scholars, researchers and students in the field of biotechnology and was directed by BRTeam Media and Graphics Group.

BRTeam/EGE booth welcomed a great number of participants and received a huge deal of attention during the 3 day event. It was also a privilege that Mrs. Lale Daraei; SGP/GEF/UNDP Coordinator in Iran and delegate also payed a visit to the BRTeam/EGE booth. Moreover, around 100 individuals were trained in the SGP/GEF/UNDP sponsored workshop “Management of Waste Cooking Oil for Biodiesel Production” held on 6th July 2013.

BRTeam`s Novin Giti Jen Co. also held the workshop “An Introduction to Academic Writing” on 7th July 2013.

 

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Contact Address

All Correspondence should go to:
Secretariat
Biofuel Research Team (BRTeam)
No.: 23, Orkideh Sharghi 3143844693,
Baharestan Blvd., Jahanshahr,
Karaj, Alborz,
Iran
 

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