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Table 3 Examples of PEF application in biorefineries

From: Energy-efficient biomass processing with pulsed electric fields for bioeconomy and sustainable development

Biorefinery application Examples PEF parameters Achieved effects
Delivery of genes to improve feedstock phenotype and resistance Plants: Mexican sweet maize 750 V/cm, 15 × 103 µs pulse duration, single pulse Transient expression of GUS and CAT, and stable expression of phosphinothricin acetyltransferase [73]
Algae (strains development): Chlamydomonas ~1900 V/cm, single pulse of exponential shape with 10 µF capacitor discharge 2 × 105 transformants per µg of DNA [77]
Dehydration Sugar beet cossettes 3–5 kV/cm, 1.6 µs pulse duration, 40–80 pulses [88]
600 V/cm, 100 µs pulse duration, 100 pulses, 2.76 ± 0.16 Wt/kg [87]
PEF reduced the force required for a beet slicing from 16 to 8 N, reducing the total process energy requirement, and costs on changing the blades. In addition, combination with lime reduced the extraction process temperature from 72 to 60 °C with the same extraction efficiency [88]
Lime improved the drying efficiency: 40 % dry matter content of the pulp was archived with less energy invested in evaporation than in untreated samples [87, 88]
Green rye 3.5 kV/cm, 1.5 µs pulse duration, 80 pulses 8 % reduction in relative humidly after PEF + pressing with extrusion press. 100 min reduction time in drying under 105 °C in comparison with untreated controls [51]
Grass, maize, and lucerne drying 7 kV/cm, 1.5 µs pulse duration, 40–80 pulses >50 % energy saving in comparison with traditional methods [89]
High-value products extraction from biomass waste Polyphenol extraction from involucral bracts of artichokes 5 kV/cm, 10 µs pulse duration, 100 pulses, 5 kJ/kg, pulse repetition frequency 10 Hz Almost totally destroyed membranes according to disintegration index (Z p = 0.9) extraction solvent: water. Extraction yield of polyphenols increased by 150 % in comparison with untreated samples. [96]
Polyphenol extraction from grape by-products (pomace, peels, seeds, and vine shoots) 20 kV/cm, 10 µs pulse duration, 2000 pulses, pulse repetition frequency 0.33 Hz 20 g GAE/gDW extraction yields [99, 103]
Total polyphenols and flavonoids (naringin and hesperidin) extraction from orange peel 7 kV/cm, pulse duration 3 µs, 20 pulses, pulse repetition frequency 1 Hz 5 kV/cm 3 µs, 20 pulses, pulse repetition frequency 1 Hz Increased the total polyphenol extraction yield by 159 % [101] 3.1 mg/100 g yields of naringin and hesperidin [101]
Lignocellulose biomass pretreatment Wood chip 10 kV/cm, 100 µs pulse duration, 2000 pulses, pulse repetition frequency 3 Hz, Permeability increase to neutral red dye [34]
Switch grass 8 kV/cm, 100 µs pulse duration, up to 5000 pulses Permeability increase to neutral red dye [34]
Biofuel production Yeast: in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a major industrial fermentation organism 2.7 kV/cm, 15 × 103 µs pulse duration, single pulse Transformation efficiencies of 107 transformants/µg of plasmid DNA were achieved, providing exciting opportunities for high-throughput genetic engineering of strains for biofuel fermentation [84]
 Microalgae: A. protothecoides 34 kV/cm, 1 µs pulse duration, ~0.75 MJ/kg Cell rupture and release 15 % of algae dry weight to the medium [157]
 C. vulgaris 3 kV/cm, 2 × 103 µs pulse duration, 30 pulses, flow rate = 1 ml/s Protein extraction yields: 3.5 µg protein/100 µl solution (107 cells/ml) [131]
 N. salina 6 kV/cm, 2 × 103 µs pulse duration, 30 pulses, flow rate = 150 µl/s Protein extraction yields: 5 µg protein/100 µl solution (108 cells/ml) [131]
Biogas: waste activated sludge and pig manure 10 kWh/m3 Increased biomethane production by 80 % for pig manure and 100 % for WAS after 25–30 days [146]