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Meisam Hashemi Nejad, Meisam Tabatabaei, Yaghoub Mansourpanah, Mehdi Khatami far and Azita Javani. 2011. Upstream and Downstream Strategies to economize Biodiesel Production. (Bioresource Technology 10 (2), pp: 461-468)– (5-Year Impact Factor: 4.901)

ABSTRACT- In recent years biodiesel has drawn considerable amount of attention as a clean and renewable fuel. Biodiesel is produced from renewable sources such as vegetable oils and animal fat mainly through catalytic or non-catalytic transesterification method as well as supercritical method. However, as a consequence of disadvantages of these methods, the production cost increases dramatically. This article summarizes different biodiesel production methods with a focus on their advantages and  disadvantages. The downstream and upstream strategies such as using waste cooking oils, application of non-edible plant oils, plant genetic engineering, using membrane separation technology for biodiesel production, separation and purification, application of crude glycerin as an energy supplement for ruminants, glycerin ultrapurification and their consequent roles in economizing the production process are fully discussed in this article.


Meisam Tabatabaei, Masoud Toohidfar, Gholamreza Salehi Zouzani, Mohammad Pazouki and Mohammadreza Safarnejad. 2011. Bioediesel Production from genetically engineered microalgae; the future of bioenergy in Iran. (Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews- 15(4), pp: 1918-1927)- (5-Year Impact Factor: 5.367)


ABSTRACT- Current biomass sources for energy production in Iran include sewerage as well as agricultural, animal, food industry and municipal solid wastes, and are anticipated to account for about 14% of national energy consumption in near future. However, due to the considerable progress made in genetic engineering of various plants in Iran during the last decade and the great potentials of microalgae for biofuel production, these photosynthetic organisms could be nominated as the future source of bioenergy in Iran.An overview of status of bioenergy in the world and Iran as well as the potential and utilization of biomass in Iran is presented. The possibilities of increasing biofuel production through microalgal genetic engineering and the progress made so far are discussed. Biodiesel in the Iran and its future prospective is also reviewed, emphasizing the promising role of microalgae.


Javani, A.,  Hasheminejad, M., Tahvildari, K., Tabatabaei, M., Mansourpanah, Y., Khatami far, M. 2011. High qualitypotassium phosphate production through step-by-step glycerol purification: A strategy to economize biodiesel production. (Bioresource Technology, doi:10.1016/j.biortech.2011.09.134 )(5-Year Impact Factor: 4.901)


ABSTRACT- The cost of biodiesel production can be reduced by a number of strategies such as utilization of waste cooking oils and non-edible plant oils as well as implementation of improved separation technologies. In addition, processes dealing with the glycerol by-product can have economic benefits. In the present study, acidification of crude glycerol with phosphoric acid to pH 9.67 followed by acidification to 4.67 was implemented to produce high quality potassium phosphate during glycerol purification. KH2PO4, K2HPO4, glycerol and free fatty acids (FFAs) with a purity of 98%, 98.05%, 96.08% and 99.58% were obtained, respectively.

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Meisam Tabatabaei, Raha Abdul Rahim, André-Denis G. Wright, Yoshihito Shirai, Norhani Abdullah, Alawi Sulaiman, Kenji Sakai and Mohd Ali Hassan. 2010. Importance of the methanogenic archaea populations in anaerobic wastewater treatments (Process Biochemistry- 45(8), pp: 1214-1225)-(5-Year Impact Factor: 3.393)


ABSTRACT- Methane derived from anaerobic treatment of organic wastes has a great potential to be an alternative fuel. Abundant biomass from various industries could be a source for biomethane production where combination of waste treatment and energy production would be an advantage. This article summarizes the importance of the microbial population, with a focus on the methanogenic archaea, on the anaerobic fermentative biomethane production from biomass. Types of major wastewaters that could be the source for biomethane generation such as brewery wastewater, palm oil mill effluent, dairy wastes, cheese whey and dairy wastewater, pulp and paper wastewaters and olive oil mill wastewaters in relevance to their dominant methanogenic population are fully discussed in this article.

Meisam Tabatabaei, Mohd Rafein Zakaria, Raha Abdul Rahim, André-Denis G. Wright, Yoshihito Shirai, Norhani Abdullah, Kenji Sakai, Shinya Ikeno, Masatsugu Mori, Nakamura Kazunori, Alawi Sulaiman and Mohd Ali Hassan. 2009. PCR-Based DGGE and FISH Analysis of Methanogens in Anaerobic Closed Digester Tank Treating Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME). (Electronic Journal of Biotechnology, vol. 12, no. 3)-(5-Year Impact Factor: 1.708)


ABSTRACT- 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA)-targeted fluorescent in situ hybridization combined with polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-cloning, light microscopy using Gram stains, scanning electron microscopy and denatured gradient gel electrophoresis were used to reveal the distribution of methanogens within an anaerobic closed digester tank fed with palm oil mill effluent. For specific detection of methanogens, 16S rRNA-cloning analysis was conducted followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) for presumptive identification of methanogens. To cover the drawbacks of the PCR-cloning study, the organization of the microorganisms was visualized in the activated sludge sample by using fluorescent oligonucleotide probes specific to several different methanogens, and a probe for bacteria. In situ hybridization with methanogens and bacterial probes and denatured gradient gel electrophoresis within activated sludge clearly confirmed the presence of Methanosaeta sp. and Methanosarcina sp. cells. Methanosaeta concilii was found to be the dominant species in the bioreactor. These results revealed the presence of possibly new strain of Methanosaeta in the bioreactor for treating palm oil mill effluent called Methanosaeta concilii SamaliEB (Gene bank accession number: EU580025). In addition, fluorescent hybridization pictured the close association between the methanogens and bacteria and that the number of methanogens was greater than the number of bacteria.



Pouya Mohammadi, Ali M. Nikbakht, Meisam Tabatabaei, Khalil Farhadi and Mahdi Khatamifar. 2012. Experimental Investigation of Performance and Emission Characteristics of DI Diesel Engine Fueled with Polymer Waste dissolved in Biodiesel-Blended Diesel Fuel. (Energy)– (ISI-Scopus cited). (5-Year Impact Factor: 3.858).


ABSTRACT- Energy recovery has been found to be a promising approach for disposal of polymer waste such as expanded polystyrene (EPS) which entraps large volume of air. Biodiesel known as an advantageous alternative fuel possesses bio-solvent attributes and is feasible to be used for energy recovery from EPS. In this study, maximum EPS dissolution value in biodiesel was calculated and a homogenous fuel composition was achieved. At the second phase, several biodiesel-diesel blends (B5) containing various percentages of EPS were tested in a DI diesel engine. Statistical analyses showed that addition of a limited amount of EPS led to a significant emission reduction, NOx in particular, while engine performance criteria remained stable. It was found that B5 blend containing 50 g EPS/L biodiesel was found highly advantageous on both level of performance and emissions. Despite a 3.6% reduction in brake power, a significant decrease in brake specific fuel consumption (8.5%) and increase in brake thermal efficiency (9.8%) were observed at maximum rated power and speed operation condition of the engine when the new fuel was injected. Furthermore, sustainable reductions of CO, CO2, NOx, and soot as the major exhaust emissions were achieved.


Mohammad Mahdi A. Shirazi, Ali Kargari, Meisam Tabatabaei, Bouck Mostafaei, Mandana Akia, Mohammad Barkhi,  Mohammad Javad A. Shirazi. 2013. Acceleration of biodiesel-glycerol decantation through NaCl-assisted gravitational settling: A strategy to economize biodiesel production. (Bioresource Technology)(ISI-Scopus cited). (5-Year Impact Factor: 5.352). Elsevier

ABSTRACT- When making biodiesel, slow separation of glycerol; the main by-product of the transesterification reaction, could lead to longer operating times, bigger equipment and larger amount of steel and consequently increased production cost. Therefore, acceleration of glycerol/biodiesel decantation could play an important role in the overall biodiesel refinery process. In this work, NaCl-assisted gravitational settling was considered as an economizing strategy. The results obtained indicated that the addition of conventional NaCl salt decreased the glycerol settling time significantly up to more than 5 times. However, NaCl inclusion rates of more than 3 g to the mixture (i.e. 5 and 10 g) resulted in significantly less methyl ester purity due to the occurrence of miniemulsion phenomenon. Overall, addition of 1 g NaCl/100 ml glycerol-biodiesel mixture was found as optimal by accelerating the decantation process by 100% while maintaining the methyl ester purity as high as the control (0 g NaCl).


Mohammad Mahdi A. Shirazi, Dariush Bastani, Ali Kargari, Meisam Tabatabaei. 2013. Characterization of polymeric membranes for membrane distillation using atomic force microscopy. (Desalination and Water Treatment)(ISI-Scopus cited). (5-Year Impact Factor: 1.04). Taylor & Francis

ABSTRACT- As membrane distillation (MD) is an under-developed separation process, specific membranes for MD applications are not yet commercially available. Therefore, microporous polymeric membranes made of hydrophobic materials fabricated for microfiltration purposes are usually used for MD applications. Characterization of such kind of membranes is important in order to achieve a better in-depth understanding of their performance and to fabricate specific membranes for MD process. One of the emerging characterization methods is atomic force microscopy (AFM) analysis. AFM is a newly developed high-resolution method that is useful for studying the surface topography of various types of membranes, and 3D images of the membrane surface can be obtained directly without special sample preparation. Consequently, a truer and clearer surface structure of a polymeric membrane can be observed. In this work, AFM method has been used for characterization of three hydrophobic membranes (polytetrafluoroethylene, polypropylene, and polyvinylidene fluoride) which are typically used for various MD applications. The membranes were characterized for their pore size, pore size distribution, surface roughness, and hydrophobicity. A sweeping gas membrane distillation apparatus was used for solute rejection evaluation of the applied membranes.


Ahmad Farhad Talebi, Masoud Tohidfar, Meisam Tabatabaei, Abdolreza Bagheri, Motahhareh Mohsenpor, Seyed Kaveh Mohtashami. 2013. Genetic manipulation, a feasible tool to enhance unique characteristic of Chlorella vulgaris as a feedstock for biodiesel production. (Molecular Biology Report)(ISI-Scopus cited). (5-Year Impact Factor: 2.929). Elsevier

ABSTRACT- Developing a reliable technique to transform unicellular green algae, Chlorella vulgaris, could boost potentials of using microalgae feedstock in variety of applications such as biodiesel production. Volumetric lipid productivity (VLP) is a suitable variable for evaluating potential of algal species. In the present study, the highest VLP level was recorded for C. vulgaris (79.08 mg l-1day-1) followed by 3 other strains studied C. emersonii, C. protothecoides, and C. salina by 54.41, 45 and 18.22 mg l-1day-1, respectively. Having considered the high productivity of C. vulgaris, it was selected for the preliminary transformation experiment through micro-particle bombardment. Plasmid pBI121, bearing the reporter gene under the control of CaMV 35S promoter and the kanamycin marker gene, was used in cells bombardment. Primary selection was done on a medium supplemented by 50 mg l-1 kanamycin. After several passages, the survived cells were PCR-tested to confirm the stability of transformation and then were found to exhibit B-glucuronidase (GUS) activity in comparison with the control cells. Southern hybridization of npt II probe with genomic DNA revealed stable integration of the cassette in three different positions in the genome. The whole process was successfully implemented as a pre-step to transform the algal cells by genes involved in lipid production pathway which will be carried out in our future studies.


Pouya Mohammadi, Meisam Tabatabaei, Ali M. Nikbakht, Khalil Farhadi, Mehdi Khatami far, Marco Castaldi. Simultaneous energy recovery from waste polymers in biodiesel and improving fuel properties. (Waste and Biomass Valorization)– (ISI-Scopus cited). (Unofficial Impact Factor: 1.47). Springer

ABSTRACT- Although biodiesel has been known as an alternative fuel with specific advantages, it has also been investigated as a bio-solvent. In this study, biodiesel was applied as a bio-solvent for expanded polystyrene (EPS) and the kinetics of polymers' dissolution in biodiesel was also investigated. Physicochemical parameters such as solubility parameters of EPS and biodiesel as well as polymer-solvent interaction were calculated at 21.13, 18.19 (MPa)1/2 and 0.343, respectively. From the energy recovery point of view, different parameters i.e. flash point, density, kinematic viscosity and dynamic viscosity were evaluated for the waste polymer-biodiesel blended diesel fuel. The results obtained revealed that the addition of EPS improved the biodiesel blended diesel fuel by increasing the flash point value while reducing the density and viscosity values. Moreover, the addition EPS alone generally increased the cloud point values, but co-addition of EPS and co-solvent (acetone) partially restored them to the original values. The overall engine test results were also in favor of the fuel blend as fuel consumption and emissions i.e. CO, CO2, NOx and smoke reduced considerably while the power generated remained approximately constant.


Ahmad Farhad Talebi, Seyed Kaveh Mohtashami, Meisam Tabatabaei, Masoud Tohidfar, Abdolreza Bagheri, Mehrshad Zeinalabedini, Hossein Hadavand, Mehrdad Mirzajanzadeh, Shiva Bakhtiari. 2013. Fatty Acids Profiling; a Selective Criterion for Screening Microalgae Strains for Biodiesel Production. (Algal Research)(ISI-Scopus cited). (Tracked for Impact Factor). Elsevier

ABSTRACT- The type and amount of lipids produced by an algal species directly influences the quality of the achieved biodiesel. This study is the first to report on the isolation process and lipid profile analysis of algal strains obtained from the Persian Gulf as well as 9 previously introduced strains. Biomass productivity and lipid productivity seemed to be adequate criteria for estimating the potential of different microalgae species for producing biodiesel. A principal components analysis (PCA) was applied to the estimated properties of biodiesel and the results obtained were plotted against lipid productivity. This led to the distinction of five different microalgae groups in regards to their potential for biodiesel production. This analysis also highlighted the dependence of the fuel properties on oil saturation level. On that basis, Amphora sp. and the two locally isolated strains (Dunaliella sp.) formed the extreme groups. The other three groups generated biodiesel of intermediate quality. The highest volumetric lipid productivity (79.08 mgl -1day-1) was found in Chlorella vulgaris. Based on the results of bioprospection by FAME profiling, the best approach for obtaining quality algal biodiesel is to mix the oils of distinct cell cultures or to specifically select proper microalgal strains for different climate conditions.


Yaghoub Mansourpanah, H. Soltani Afarani, K. Alizadeh, M. Tabatabaei. 2013. Enhancing the performance and antifouling properties of nanoporous PES membranes using microwave-assisted grafting of chitosan (Desalination)(ISI-Scopus cited). (5-Year Impact Factor: 2.403). Elsevier

ABSTRACT- In this work, we tried to improve the surface and antifouling properties of polyethersulfone (PES) membranes coated by a thin layer of chitosan. Acrylamide (AAm) as a grafting agent and microwave-assisted grafting as a physical procedure were employed to grafting of the chitosan thin layer without using any chemical initiator. Different acrylamide concentrations (1.8, 3 and 4.2 wt.%), irradiation times (0, 10, 30 and 60 s) as well as irradiation powers (180, 360 and 520 W) were employed. The modified membranes showed an outstanding antifouling property for Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) in some conditions of preparation. The separation properties of the thin film composite membranes for ion solutions (NaCl, Na2SO4 and MgCl2) increased and changed. Water contact angle measurement, ATR-IR apparatus, SEM, AFM and membrane filtration set-up were used for supporting the results. We used Taguchi designs to analyze many factors with few run.


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 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.

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