- More than a fertilizer: wastewater-derived struvite as a high value, sustainable fire retardant GREEN CHEMISTRY 2021
Wildfire prevention through prophylactic treatment of high-risk landscapes using viscoelastic retardant fluids.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Polyphosphate fire retardants are a critical tactical resource for fighting fires in the wildland and in the wildland-urban interface. Yet, application of these retardants is limited to emergency suppression strategies because current formulations cannot retain fire retardants on target vegetation for extended periods of time through environmental exposure and weathering. New retardant formulations with persistent retention to target vegetation throughout the peak fire season would enable methodical, prophylactic treatment strategies of landscapes at high risk of wildfires through prolonged prevention of ignition and continual impediment to active flaming fronts. Here we develop a sprayable, environmentally benign viscoelastic fluid comprising biopolymers and colloidal silica to enhance adherence and retention of polyphosphate retardants on common wildfire-prone vegetation. These viscoelastic fluids exhibit appropriate wetting and rheological responses to enable robust retardant adherence to vegetation following spray application. Further, laboratory and pilot-scale burn studies establish that these materials drastically reduce ignition probability before and after simulated weathering events. Overall, these studies demonstrate how these materials actualize opportunities to shift the approach of retardant-based wildfire management from reactive suppression to proactive prevention at the source of ignitions.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1907855116
View details for PubMedID 31570592
Coupling hydrothermal liquefaction and anaerobic digestion for energy valorization from model biomass feedstocks.
2017; 233: 134-143
Hydrothermal liquefaction converts food waste into oil and a carbon-rich hydrothermal aqueous phase. The hydrothermal aqueous phase may be converted to biomethane via anaerobic digestion. Here, the feasibility of coupling hydrothermal liquefaction and anaerobic digestion for the conversion of food waste into energy products was examined. A mixture of polysaccharides, proteins, and lipids, representing food waste, underwent hydrothermal processing at temperatures ranging from 200 to 350°C. The anaerobic biodegradability of the hydrothermal aqueous phase was examined through conducting biochemical methane potential assays. The results demonstrate that the anaerobic biodegradability of the hydrothermal aqueous phase was lower when the temperature of hydrothermal processing increased. The chemical composition of the hydrothermal aqueous phase affected the anaerobic biodegradability. However, no inhibition of biodegradation was observed for most samples. Combining hydrothermal and anaerobic digestion may, therefore, yield a higher energetic return by converting the feedstock into oil and biomethane.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biortech.2017.02.095
View details for PubMedID 28267660