A paper came out last night that covers a topic of major interest to the BSF community and others interested in green technology. While oil prices may not be $100/barrel as in the past, I believe this topic is still of major interest and should be investigated more thoroughly. A simple Google search with the term "bioenergy" demonstrates the interest in this topic with countless articles and news stories being written on the topic.
Based on what I understand from past research, BSF has tremendous potential for use as a means to produce bioenergy along with protein, while protecting the environment and conserving food.
The article, which just came out in the journal, Renewable Energy, is:
Feng, W., L. Qian, W. Wang, T. Wang, Z. Deng, F. Yang, J. Xiong, and C. Wang. Exploring the potential of lipids from black soldier ﬂy: New paradigm for biodiesel production (II)—Extraction kinetics and thermodynamic. Renewable Energy.
Basic Overview: We all recognize BSF can be mass produced for protein. And, resulting BSF larvae are also high in fat (30% based on some accounts). Because of their high fat content, there have been efforts to harvest these fats and produce bio-energy.
Findings: What did I find? I found this paper to be extremely challenging for me to follow- but I think that is more to do with my background being ecology and behavior. But, what did determine is the lipids/fat could be extracted with a solvent and the level (efficiency) of extraction was temperature dependent. Simply stated, there was a temperature that resulted in the greatest level of fat extraction from the BSF meal when using a liquid solvent (chloroform was better for extracting than petroleum or hexane). Elevating the temperature by 10C (above a minimal threshold, I believe) increased the extraction ratio by one.
This was a tough read, as I mentioned earlier, but something to keep in mind... simply from the perspective of, 1) fats from BSF could be used for bio-energy production, and 2) knowing there are competent researchers out there doing this type of work. I know I am grateful for their efforts! :)
With that in mind, the authors also published this paper in the same journal if you are interested:
Wang, C., L. Qian, W. Wang, T. Wang, Z. Deng, F. Yang, J. Xiong, and W. Feng. 2017. Exploring the potential of lipids from black soldier fly: New paradigm for biodiesel production (I). Renewable Energy 111: 749-756.
Jeff Tomberlin, PhD, Not a Bioenergy Person (but I do appreciate those that do such work)
Individuals with over 25 years research experience with the black soldier fly. We are passionate about the science behind the black soldier fly and its ability to convert waste to protein.
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