2016 Biosystems Engineering Abstracts

Poster Number: BAE-01

Title: Multiscale Spatial and Temporal Climate Change Impact Assessment on Water Resources in Malawi

Authors: Umesh Adhikari; A. Pouyan Nejadhashemi; Matthew R. Herman

Abstract: Global warming has altered the hydrological cycle and resulted in spatial and temporal variation in precipitation and temperature. Changes in precipitation pattern and subsequent alteration in temperature directly impacts crop production and ultimately threatens food security, especially in rainfed agricultural systems. This study examines how climate change impacts the hydrological components within Malawi in order to identify the vulnerable areas and formulate adaptation measures. Malawi is a country in southeastern Africa and is characterized by a high degree of dependency on rainfed agriculture, low level of irrigation development, and low adaptive capacity due to the lack of adequate technological and financial resources. The Soil and Water Assessment tool (SWAT) model was used to assess the potential changes in evapotranspiration, water yield, surface runoff, and soil moisture. The country was divided into nine watersheds, and for each watershed calibration and validation were performed. Observed weather data were used to simulate the historical (1981-2000) conditions, whereas, outputs from six General Circulation Models were used to evaluate the future climate change scenarios for the mid-century (2041-2060). SWAT simulation results from the historical and future scenarios were analyzed to assess seasonal and annual impacts of climate change on the water resources at the country, watershed, and the subbasin levels.

This work was supported in part by the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation at Michigan State University and funded through Higher Education Solutions Network of the United States Department for International Development (USAID).


Poster Number: BAE-02

Title: A Traditional Ground-Based System for Woody Biomass Harvesting in Short Rotation Woody Crops (SRWC) Plantations

Authors: Zachary Carter; Fei Pan; Yingqian Lin; Raymond Miller; Ajit Srivastava

Abstract: Reconfigured forage harvesting equipment utilized for plantation biomass harvesting and processing is highly productive but is expensive and not yet widely used in short rotation woody crop (SRWC) production systems. Traditional timber harvesting equipment, on the other hand, has been widely used for decades and can be adapted for use in SRWC plantations. Productivity of these traditional systems is not well understood when they are used in SRWC plantations. Productivity and costs were evaluated for a feller-buncher, skidder, loader, and grinder (the traditional system) in a 7.5 acre small-diameter hybrid poplar plantation in Escanaba, Michigan. Operation cycle time predictive models were developed from a time-motion analysis. Operation productivity and costs were then compared with published data for a reconfigured forage harvesting system. Compared values between the two systems included: machine hourly rate, in dollars per productive machine hour ($/PMH), the production cost, in dollars per oven dry ton ($/ODT), and the system production rate, in oven dry tons per productive machine hour (ODT/PMH). The machine hourly rate and production cost of the traditional system were found to be $349.00/PMH, and $19.90/ODT, respectively, while the production rate was found to be variably between 11.07-30.31 ODT/PMH. Other analyses performed on the traditional system including: a sensitivity analysis to test the effect of machine utilization on production cost, ANOVA tests to determine the effect of spacing and tree size on felling productivity, and also a net energy analysis to determine the energy ratio between diesel fuel inputs with recoverable energy outputs.


Poster Number: BAE-03

Title: Modeling the Effect of Product Temperature, Moisture, and Process Humidity on Thermal Inactivation of Salmonella in Pistachios

Authors: Kaitlyn Casulli; Francisco Garces-Vega; Kirk Dolan; Linda Harris; Bradley Marks

Abstract: Some thermal processes, like pistachio roasting, are not well-characterized with respect to the impact of product and process variables on Salmonella lethality. The objective was to quantify effects of product temperature, product moisture, and process humidity on Salmonella lethality on in-shell pistachios. Pistachios were inoculated with Salmonella Enteritidis PT30, equilibrated in controlled-humidity chambers (0.45 or 0.65 aw), and, in some cases, exposed to a pure-water or 27% NaCl brining treatment for 30 s (0.95 and 0.75 aw, respectively) prior to thermal treatment. Samples (15 g) were heated in a laboratory-scale, moist-air convection oven, following a full-factorial experimental design (in duplicate) with process temperatures of 104.4 and 118.3ºC, process humidities of ~3, 15, and 30% v/v (corresponding to dew points of ~24.4, 54.4, and 69.4ºC, respectively), and air speed of 1.3 m/s. Salmonella survivors, moisture content, and aw were quantified at six time points during each treatment, targeting cumulative lethality of ~3-5 log. Inactivation rates were modeled as a function of time, product temperature, product moisture, and process dewpoint. Increasing product temperature or process dewpoint increased Salmonella inactivation rates (P<0.05). For unbrined and brined treatments, analyzed separately, initial product aw did not affect inactivation rates (P>0.05). However, when comparing unbrined against brined treatments, inactivation rates were greater (P<0.05) for brined pistachios. Product and process moisture both impact pathogen reduction in low-moisture products, and this project quantifies those impacts for Salmonella inactivation in pistachios.

This work was supported in part by Center for Produce Safety


Poster Number: BAE-04

Title: An Evaluation of the Influenza Risk Reduction from Antimicrobial Spray Application of Porous Surfaces

Authors: Alexandre Chabrelie; Jade Mitchell; Joan Rose; Duane Charbonneau; Yoshiki Ishida

Abstract: Antimicrobial spray products are used by millions of people around the world, for cleaning and disinfection of commonly touched surfaces. Influenza A is a pathogen of major concern, causing over 36,000 deaths and 114,000 hospitalizations annually in the United States alone. One of the proposed routes of transmission for Influenza A is by transfer from porous and non-porous surfaces to hands and subsequently to mucous membranes. Therefore, routine cleaning and disinfection of surfaces is an important part of the environmental managment of Influennza A. While the emphasis is generally on spraying hard surfaces and laundering cloth and linens with high temperature machine drying, this study examines the impact using an antimicrobial spray on a porous surface has on reducing the risk of infection. A Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) for a single touch resulting in direct contact with a treated, contaminated, porous surface is analyzed to determine the reduction in Influenza A risk associated with the measured viral inactivation. A comparison of the risk of infection with and without the use of the antimicrobial spray product has been done. The analysis indicates that Influenza infection risks associated with a single touch to contaminated fabrics are relatively high especially considering the potential for multiple touches in a real world scenario. However, use of the antimicrobial spray product resulted in a 4 log risk reduction. Thus the results of this study inform and broaden the range of risk management strategies for Influenza A

This work was supported in part by External funding source: from the private company Procter & Gamble


Poster Number: BAE-05

Title: Sensitivity Analysis of Climate Change Impact on Macroinvertebrate Communities in the Saginaw River Watershed

Authors: Fariborz Daneshvar; A. Pouyan Nejadhashemi; Mohammad Abouali; Matthew R. Herman

Abstract: Aquatic ecosystems are vulnerable to climate change. However, these impacts especially on macroinvertebrate communities are unknown. In this study, three macroinvertebrate communities indices including Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity (B-IBI), Hilsenhoff Biotic Index (HBI), and the total number of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) taxa, were used to evaluate stream health conditions. Saginaw River Watershed, the largest 6-digit Hydrological Unit Code (HUC) in Michigan was selected as the study area. The Soil and Water Assessment tool (SWAT) model was used to evaluate in-stream water quality and quantity of 13831 stream segments within the study area. The SWAT model outputs were used to develop stream health models capable of predicting three macroinvertebrates indices. Then the climate data obtained from the NASA Exchange Global Daily Downscaled Projections (NEX-GDDP) were used to evaluate the impacts of future climate scenarios on the macroinvertebrate communities.


Poster Number: BAE-06

Title: Drought Impacts and Stream Ecosystem Functions

Authors: Elaheh Esfahanian; A. Pouyan Nejadhashemi; Mohammad Abouali; Fariborz Daneshvar; Alireza Ameli Renani; Matthew R. Herman; Ying Tang

Abstract: Droughts are the world’s costliest natural disaster, affecting water supply, crop yield, habitats, ecosystems, and many other social and economic sectors. Numerous drought indices have been developed to assess the spatial and temporal extends of droughts. However, the majority of indices are only sensitive to drought impacts on crop production and loss, neglecting other aspects of environmental sustainability such as stream health. Droughts damage aquatic ecosystems by altering native biological communities such as fish assemblages. The goal of this study is to develop a new index that quantifies the impacts of drought on stream ecosystems. A hydrological model, the Soil and Water Assessment tool, was coupled with a regional-scale habitat sustainability model to investigate the drought condition at the watershed scale in the Saginaw River Watershed. The ReliefF algorithm was used as the variable selection technique to select the best variables. Two sets of predictive drought models were developed using partial least square regression to capture current and future drought severities. Forty-seven different climate scenarios were used to evaluate the performance of predictive drought model. Key words: Great Lakes; Stream Health; Climate Change; Risk


Poster Number: BAE-07

Title: Evaluation of Water Content as a Convenient Metric in Thermal Inactivation Modeling for Low-Moisture Foods

Authors: Francisco J. Garcés-Vega; Bradley P. Marks

Abstract: The Food Safety Modernization Act Preventive Controls Rules require validation of pathogen reduction steps in the food industry, which increases the importance of microbial modeling for process validations. Water activity (aw) has been the most commonly used metric for evaluating and modeling the effect of water on Salmonella inactivation in low-moisture foods. However, because of the nature of these products and processes, as well as the aw correlation with temperature, it may not be the most suitable metric. The objective was to compare the correlation of moisture content (%MC) and aw with D-values (i.e., thermal resistance), to evaluate the utility of %MC as a metric in inactivation models. D80°C for Salmonella Enteritidis PT30 were calculated by linear regression of isothermal inactivation data from multiple related studies (wheat flour, almonds, dates; 0.25, 0.45, 0.65 aw). Water activity and %MC were measured or calculated from moisture isotherms. Correlation coefficients were estimated between logD and aw and %MC. The D80°C values for the different products exhibited log-linear trends with aw, as well as with %MC. The correlation coefficients varied less than 5% when comparing aw and %MC vs. logD. The results suggest that %MC may be a suitable metric for the effect of water on inactivation process. When comparing the utility of aw vs. %MC for inactivation modeling or process validation, %MC has the advantage of being measurable (potentially real-time in dynamic processes). This is critically important to both monitoring and modeling inactivation processes in low-moisture foods.

This work was supported in part by USDA-NIFA grant 2011-51110-30994


Poster Number: BAE-08

Title: Electrocatalytic Upgrading of Lignin Model Compounds Using Ruthenium on Activated Carbon Cloth to Produce Liquid Fuel Intermediates

Authors: Mahlet Garedew; Leonardo Sousa; James E. Jackson; Christopher M. Saffron

Abstract: With current energy crisis and the implication of burning fossil fuels as one of the major contributors to climate change, the production of fuels from biomass has become a very important current topic. Biomass fast pyrolysis (BFP), which uses heat (400-600C) without oxygen to convert biomass to bio-oil, biochar and combustible gas, offers an alternative to fossil fuels and a means to alleviate the environmental impact of fossil fuel use. The biochar co-product can be used for the removal of pollutants in the environment and has potential for use in soil amendment and carbon sequestration. The combustible gas co-product is typically burned for process heat needed by the pyrolysis system. The major product, bio-oil, has the potential to displace liquid hydrocarbon fuels; however, bio-oil is highly oxygenated, corrosive, low in energy content and unstable during storage. Electrocatalytic hydrogenation (ECH) is employed to reduce and deoxygenate reactive compounds and improve bio-oil properties. This study focuses on the electrocatalytic stabilization of compounds derived from the pyrolytic depolymerization of lignin. to date, several model monomers and dimers have been reduced to simpler compounds such as cyclohexanol and phenol using ruthenium on activated carbon (Ru/ACC) as a catalyst. Further studies in this area have also been conducted to improve catalyst performance and reusability. With the combination of pyrolysis and electrocatalysis, this process will maximize the yields of biomass conversion to fuels and value-added products.

This work was supported in part by Great Lakes Bioenergy Center (GLBRC) funded by the Department of Energy (DOE)


Poster Number: BAE-09

Title: Using an Evolutionary Algorithm to Optimize Bioenergy Crop Selection and Placement Based on Stream Health

Authors: Matthew Herman; Pouyan Nejadhashemi; Fariborz Daneshvar; Mohammad Abouali; Dennis Ross; Sean Woznicki; Zhen Zhang

Abstract: Greenhouse gas emissions continue to intensify the magnitude of global climate change. In order to reduce these emissions, focus has been put on the development of renewable energy sources, such as biofuels. And while the use of biofuels can reduce global net greenhouse gas emissions, their application can have negative impacts on water resources, such as increased sediment, nutrient, and pollutant loads. Therefore it is necessary to evaluate both the positive and negative impacts of bioenergy crop production when considering their application to a landscape. In this study, a new optimization technique is introduced that can be applied to any region to identify the best locations for bioenergy crop implementation while maintaining or improving stream health. This new technique links several hydrological models including the Soil and Water Assessment tool and Hydrologic Integrity tool to develop stream health predictor models using the Adaptive Neruro Fuzzy Inference System. The stream health models, based on the Index of Biological Integrity, can simulate the stream health scores for each river segment in a watershed. These heath scores were used to guide a genetic algorithm to design watershed-scale bioenergy landscapes for the agricultural lands within the Flint River Watershed in Michigan.

This work was supported in part by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Hatch project MICL02359


Poster Number: BAE-10

Title: Detection of Fresh Bruises in Apples Using Structured-Illumination Reflectance Imaging

Authors: Richard Li; Renfu Lu

Abstract: Apple bruise can cause a significant economic loss to the industry because consumers typically avoid buying bruised fruit and thus, the apples go to waste. Conventional machine vision is ineffective in detecting bruises on apples, especially those bruises that are within 24 hours old. In this research, structured-illumination reflectance imaging (SIRI) was developed for detecting tissue bruising in apples. SIRI provides the ability to control the depth to which light penetrates tissue through varying the spatial frequencies of the light illumination patterns. Light, medium and heavy impacts were applied to ‘Delicious’ and ‘Golden Delicious’ apples for inducing different levels of bruises. Under illumination of sinusoidal patterns at each spatial frequency of 0.1, 0.15 and 0.25 mm/cycle, three images were acquired from the bruised apples using phase shifts of 120o 0-1, 4-6 and 24 hours after initial impact, and they were then demodulated for each spatial frequency into direct and alternating components. Ratio images of demodulated alternating components and direct components were created to enhance bruise contrast. A circular Hough transform was then applied to detect bruised regions. SIRI achieved detection accuracies ranging from 85% to 100% on bruises aged 0-1 hours, 90% to 100% on bruises aged 4-6 hours and 75% to 100% in 24 hour old bruises, compared to 5% to 25% for conventional planar illumination. SIRI is promising as a novel and cost effective alternative to conventional machine vision technique for quality detection of agricultural and food products, and its full potential warrants further research.

This work was supported in part by U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service as an in house research project


Poster Number: BAE-11

Title: Moisture Equilibration and Product Fabrication Methods Affect Measured Thermal Resistance of Salmonella Enteritidis PT30 on/in Whole Almonds, Almond Meal, and Almond Butter

Authors: Pichamon Limcharoenchat; Michael James; Nicole Hall; Bradley Marks

Abstract: Recent work has suggested that changing the structure of low-moisture food products, with equivalent composition, may affect the thermal resistance of Salmonella in/on those products; however, the underlying effects of sample preparation (equilibration and fabrication) have not been systematically evaluated. The objective was to quantify the effect of product equilibration and fabrication on Salmonella thermal resistance on/in multiple almond products. Whole raw almonds were inoculated with Salmonella Enteritidis PT30 (~108 CFU/g) and equilibrated (3-10 days) to 0.25, 0.45, or 0.65 aw (triplicate tests). Inoculated and equilibrated almonds were individually vacuum-packed in plastic bags or fabricated into meal and butter that was loaded into aluminum test cells (~1 g samples). Samples were heated in an isothermal water bath (80°C), pulled at multiple intervals, cooled in an ice bath, diluted in peptone water, and plated on modified trypticase soy agar to enumerate survivors. Although aw of almonds appeared to reach equilibrium after 3-5 days (by aw meter readings), the moisture content (mc) of the meal and butter fabricated from that product were significantly (P < 0.05) lower or higher than the almond mc for adsorbing (0.65 aw) and desorbing (0.25 aw) conditions, respectively, indicating that full equilibration had not been achieved. However, for 0.25 aw, after 8-10 days of equilibration, the resulting meal and butter were at the same mc as the almonds, but aw was higher (P < 0.05) for meal (0.29) than butter (0.22) and almonds. Subsequently, the D80°C value on whole almonds (19.7 min) was lower (P < 0.05) than in meal (50.8 min) and butter (48.3 min). Equilibration state impacted aw changes in fabricated almond products, and product structure may be significantly important when applying inactivation parameters to process validations.

This work was supported in part by The U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Award No. 2012-67005-19598


Poster Number: BAE-12

Title: Willow Harvesting Using A Small-Scale System in Michigan

Authors: Yingqian Lin; Fei Pan

Abstract: Electricity production from renewable sources has been steadily increasing in Michigan since 2009. The large areas of pasture and hayland available in Michigan present a unique opportunity for the potential development of Short Rotation Woody Crops (SRWC). For SRWC to be competitive with fossil fuels and other forms of renewable fuels, the machinery cost and harvesting productivity of reconfigured forage harvester must be evaluated. In this project, a small-scale harvesting system, including a John Deere 7330 tractor, a Ny Vraa JF192 willow harvester, and a Komatsu CK35-1 bobcat, was evaluated in a 3-year-old willow plantation in Michigan. The production rate of the harvesting system was determined to be 3.94 dry tons/hr. with an estimated hourly cost of $52.18/dry ton. The net energy ratio (calculated as recoverable heating value of the biomass over fossil fuel input) was calculated to be 18.43. Data envelopment analysis (DEA) will be used to measure the efficiency of this small scale harvesting system and to suggest the best direction for improving the harvesting systems efficiency.

This work was supported in part by Michigan State Univeristy


Poster Number: BAE-13

Title: Rapid Detection of Pathogenic Bacteria Using Affixed Carbohydrate-Functionalized MNP and Cyclic Voltammetry Detection

Authors: Leann Lerie Matta; Evangelyn C. Alocilja

Abstract: Protection against foodbourne outbreaks from pathogenic bacteria is an important consideration throughout the entire food supply chain. Early and reliable detection provides both consumer food security and supplier economic safety. Novel carbohydrate-functionalized magnetic nanoparticles (MNP-F#2) are able to selectively bind to pathogenic bacteria and quickly extract captured bacteria from solution through magnetic separation. Affixing these MNP-F#2 to plastic strips provides a stand-alone nano-biosensor which can rapidly quantify the bacteria. MNP-F#2 affixed to 1 cm x 5 cm plastic strips through a heat process were used to detect Salmonella Enteritidis (Se) thru submersion within 25 mL of spiked liquid or direct application of 100 uL culture onto the functionalized surface. Bacteria were quantified using cyclic voltammetry (CV) testing by laying the MNP-strip face down into 150 uL of a chemical mediator for five minutes before testing 75 uL of the activated chemical. Results show detection for as few as log 3 colony forming units per mL (log CFU/mL), showing a linear relation between log 3 to log 5 CFU/mL. Application of these self-contained nano-biosensors for real-time detection of pathogenic bacteria within our food supply would increase food security at minimal costs to the consumer.

This work was supported in part by MRIVCC


Poster Number: BAE-14

Title: Pasture Diversification to Combat Climate Change Impacts on Grazing Dairy Production

Authors: M. Melissa Rojas-Downing; A. Pouyan Nejadhashemi; Mohammad Abouali; Fariborz Daneshvar; Sabah Anwer Dawood Al Masraf; Matthew Herman; Timothy Harrigan; Zhen Zhang

Abstract: Livestock systems are being impacted by climate change, mainly due to the seasonal variability in temperature and precipitation. Among these systems, grazing livestock is likely to be the most impacted due to its dependency on feed quality and availability of pastureland. Therefore, adaptation strategies should be implemented to reduce the negative impacts of climate change. The goal of this study is to identify the best pasture composition for a representative grazing dairy farm in Michigan. The representative farm was established based on the results from several surveys that were performed in the Lower Peninsula regarding typical management strategies. Next the collected information was incorporated into the Integrated Farm System Model (IFSM) to evaluate the effectiveness of the adaptation strategy concerning economic and resource use criteria. Several pasture compositions were evaluated in this study consisting of a mixture of cool-season grass species (Orchardgrass, Perennial ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass and, Tall Fescue) and legume species (white clover and red clover). Each pasture composition was evaluated under both current (21 climate models) and future (42 climate models) climate scenarios. Considering the economic and resource use criteria, the best pasture composition was identified as a mixture of 50% perennial ryegrass and 50% red clover.

This work was supported in part by Environmental Science and Policy Program


Poster Number: BAE-15

Title: Biomass Conversion to Hydrocarbon Fuels by Pyrolysis and Electrocatalysis

Authors: Rachael Sak; Christopher Saffron; Matt Brusstar; Sharyn Lie; Bob Larson

Abstract: The objective of my research is to facilitate the expansion of bio-oil production by overcoming it’s corrosivity and instability. This would promote biomass pyrolysis in small-scale upgrading depots near the source of harvest by allowing it to be transported within current infrastructure to a centralized refinery for further upgrading. Previous approaches have partially separated out the water fraction from bio-oil prior to stabilization efforts – this research is exploring stabilization without this added step. As part of this research, a comprehensive life cycle analysis will be conducted that will include addressing the impacts of marginal land assumptions, indirect land use change, and global economic impacts. Indirect land use change is of particular concern because it has the potential to overwhelm the carbon sequestration benefit of biomass and to nullify any anticipated gain for many years.

This work was supported in part by Environmental Protection Agency


Poster Number: BAE-16

Title: Scalability of A Discrete Element Model for Salmonella Cross-Contamination in Granular Low Water Activity Foods

Authors: Quincy Suehr; Bradley Marks; Elliot Ryser; Sanghyup Jeong

Abstract: Modeling cross-contamination of bacteria in granular low-moisture foods is a particular challenge due to the discrete nature of these materials. Scaling-up models based on laboratory data to industrial-scale system is limited because of the lack of first-principle models. Ideal cross-contamination models should enhance scalability, so that it can be utilized for industrial systems without validation burden. The purpose of this study was to assess the scalability of a discrete element method (DEM) model of bacterial cross-contamination to industrial-scale systems. Almond kernels were inoculated with Salmonella Enteritidis PT30 and mixed with clean almonds in a rotating drum at a bench top scale of ~200 g (5 g of inoculated almonds). A DEM bacterial transfer model was developed from these results and validated against a pilot-scale model of ~1 kg. After validation, the model was used to simulate an industrial-scale scenario of ~200 kg of almonds mixed with 5 kg of contaminated almonds. The lab-scale experiments yielded 4.3±0.2 log(CFU/g) maximum transferrable bacterial load (MTBL) after 600 s at 8 rpm. Calibration models of the experiment were fit to the data (RMSE=0.005 log CFU/g) and validated with pilot-scale data sets (RMSE=0.057 log CFU/g). The results for the 200 kg mixer simulated similar trendline as actual experiments, showing MTBL of 4.1±0.1 log(CFU/g) after 600s at 8rpm, and demonstrated scalability of the DEM model. DEM modeling is an efficient and scalable method to model interactions of cross contamination in industrial settings.

This work was supported in part by USDA AFRI