Title:
UTILIZING BIOMASS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Improving the beneficial use of waste material from a vegetation source, a biomass is fermented to produce a bio-fuel and carbon. The bio-fuel can be at least ethanol and bio-diesel and the resulting carbon can used to produce ink for printers. When the biomass is tree matter, a biocatalyst can extracted from the tree matter prior to fermentation. A component of the biocatalyst is used to cleanse internal combustion engine exhaust emissions by spraying the biocatalyst onto a exhaust emission gas. The sprayed exhaust emission gas can be filtered and the filtration by-product can be collected.



Inventors:
Nishimoto, Tetsuro (Hiroshima-Ken, JP)
Nishimoto, Kiyohiro (Hiroshima-Ken, JP)
Application Number:
12/016161
Publication Date:
07/31/2008
Filing Date:
01/17/2008
Assignee:
JUON CO., LTD. (Hiroshimi-Ken, JP)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
208/15, 208/177
International Classes:
F01N3/035; C10G35/00; C10L1/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
TRAN, BINH Q
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GREENBERG TRAURIG LLP (GT) (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A method for utilizing a biomass, the method comprising: fermenting a biomass; processing the fermented biomass to produce a bio-fuel and carbon; and producing ink from the carbon.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the biomass is paper.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the biomass is tree matter.

4. The method of claim 3, further comprising: extracting a biocatalyst from the tree matter; and using the biocatalyst to spray exhaust emission gas produced by an internal combustion engine.

5. The method of claim 3, further comprising producing a polymer from the fermented biomass.

6. The method of claim 4, further comprising: filtering the sprayed exhaust emission gas; and collecting a filtration by-product from filtering the sprayed exhaust emission gas.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein the bio-fuel is bio-diesel.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein the bio-fuel is ethanol.

9. The method of claim 1, wherein the bio-fuel is used to produce water emulsion fuel.

10. A method for utilizing a biomass, the method comprising: grinding a biomass; fermenting the biomass; processing the fermented biomass to produce bio-fuel and carbon; and producing ink from the carbon.

11. The method of claim 10, wherein the biomass is paper.

12. The method of claim 11, wherein the biomass is tree matter.

13. The method of claim 1, wherein the bio-fuel is used to produce water emulsion fuel.

14. The method of claim 12, further comprising: extracting a biocatalyst from the tree matter, the biocatalyst being for spraying exhaust emission gas produced by an internal combustion engine; and producing a polymer from the fermented biomass.

15. The method of claim 14, further comprising: filtering the sprayed exhaust emission gas; and collecting a filtration by-product from filtering the sprayed exhaust emission gas.

16. A method for reducing exhaust emissions, the method comprising: producing a biocatalyst liquid by extracting an oil from tree matter, wherein a biomass residue remains after the extraction of the biocatalyst liquid; processing the biomass residue to produce a bio-fuel; spraying the biocatalyst liquid onto an exhaust emission gas produced by an internal combustion engine; and filtering the sprayed exhaust emission gas.

17. The method of claim 16, further comprising collecting a filtration by-product from the filtering of the exhaust emission gas.

18. The method of claim 16, wherein the bio-fuel is used to produce water emulsion fuel.

19. The method of claim 16, further comprising producing a polymer from the biomass residue.

20. The method of claim 16, further comprising producing ink from the biomass residue.

21. A method for reducing exhaust emissions, the method comprising: spraying a biocatalyst liquid onto an exhaust emission gas produced by an internal combustion engine, wherein the biocatalyst liquid is produced by extracting an oil from tree matter; filtering the sprayed exhaust emission gas; and combusting a bio-fuel produced from a biomass residue that remains after the extraction of the tree oil.

22. The method of claim 21, further comprising collecting a filtration by-product from the filtering of the exhaust emission gas.

23. The method of claim 21, wherein the bio-fuel is used to produce water emulsion fuel.

24. The method of claim 21, further comprising producing a polymer from the biomass residue.

25. The method of claim 21, further comprising producing ink from the biomass residue.

26. A method for doing business of utilizing a biomass, the method comprising: producing biocatalyst liquid by extracting tree oil from tree matter, wherein a biomass residue remains after the extraction of the biocatalyst liquid; processing the biomass to produce a bio-fuel; providing the biocatalyst liquid to at least one consumer, wherein the biocatalyst liquid is utilized by the at least one consumer to spray the biocatalyst liquid onto an exhaust emission gas and filter the sprayed exhaust emission gas, the exhaust emission gas being produced by an internal combustion engine operated by the at least one consumer; and providing the bio-fuel to the at least one consumer such that the at least one consumer can combust the bio-fuel in the internal combustion engine operated by the at least one consumer to reduce toxic emissions.

27. The method of claim 26, further comprising collecting filtration by-product from the filtering of the exhaust emission gas.

28. A method of doing business for utilizing a biomass, the method comprising: spraying a biocatalyst liquid onto an exhaust emission gas produced by an internal engine operated by a consumer, wherein the biocatalyst liquid is produced by extracting tree oil from tree matter; filtering the sprayed exhaust emission gas; and combusting bio-fuel produced from a biomass residue that remains after the extraction of the tree oil.

29. The method of claim 28, further comprising collecting filtration by-product from the filtering of the exhaust emission gas.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of and priority to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/885,862, filed Jan. 19, 2007, the contents of which are incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

1. Field

The present disclosure relates to production and processing of bio-fuel. In particular, to systems and methods for utilization of natural resources for production of bio-fuel, and purification of gas emissions from internal combustion engines.

2. General Background

It is recognized that many waste products generated by human society can, ultimately, be refashioned into usable forms. If this transformation could be achieved in an energy-efficient manner, and on a large enough scale, then there could be enormous benefits to society.

SUMMARY

The beneficial use of waste material from a vegetation source is improved. A biomass is fermented to produce a bio-fuel and carbon. The bio-fuel can be at least ethanol and bio-diesel and the resulting carbon can be used to produce ink for printers. When the biomass is tree matter, a biocatalyst can be extracted from the tree matter prior to fermentation. A component of the biocatalyst is used to cleanse internal combustion engine exhaust emissions by spraying the biocatalyst onto an exhaust emission gas. The sprayed exhaust emission gas can be filtered and the filtration by-product can be collected.

DRAWINGS

While the specification concludes with claims defining the features of the present disclosure that are regarded as novel, it is believed that the present disclosure will be better understood from a consideration of the following description in conjunction with the drawing figures, in which like reference numerals are carried forward:

FIG. 1 illustrates a flow diagram for utilizing a biomass.

FIG. 2 illustrates a flow diagram for utilizing a biomass.

FIG. 3 illustrates a component diagram of a system for utilizing a biomass.

FIG. 4 illustrates a component diagram of a system for utilizing a biomass.

FIG. 5 illustrates a flow diagram for reducing exhaust emissions.

FIG. 6 illustrates a flow diagram for reducing exhaust emissions.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A method for maximizing utilization of a biomass is described. A biomass is plant or animal matter, either alive or previously alive. The method maximizes the benefit derived from a biomass natural resource such as tree matter or a biomass such as copy or recycled paper. This benefit is derived from processing a part of the biomass previously considered to be waste or excess into usable products.

While the present disclosure is directed to the use of excess or waste products, it is not intended to be limited to their use. The present disclosure can readily accommodate non-waste biomass, such as a biomass cultivated for an intended use of the teachings herein.

The process relies on glycosylation. Glycosylation is a process or result of an addition of saccharides to proteins and lipids. It is an enzyme-directed site-specific process and does not rely on nor use chemicals.

One feature of the present disclosure is the production of a bio-fuel. The bio-fuel described herein includes ethanol or any other alcohol and bio-diesel or any derivative thereof. Bio-diesel refers to a diesel-equivalent processed fuel consisting of short chain alkyl (methyl or ethyl) esters, made by transesterification of vegetable oils or animal fats, which can be used (alone, or blended with conventional diesel fuel) in unmodified diesel-engine vehicles. The bio-fuel can be further processed to create water emulsion fuel.

Water emulsion fuel is a mixture of a fuel and water. When water emulsion fuel is sprayed inside a blazing boiler furnace, moisture in the water emulsion fuel is abruptly heated up and sets off tiny explosions, causing the oil around the water to diffuse. As a result, the area in contact with combustion air increases, allowing improved combustion efficiency.

Water emulsion fuel has not developed its popularity in warmer regions because, unlike Northern European countries that are located in cold regions that are currently using water emulsion fuel, there has been no urgent concern for fuel cost. However, with the recent sky-rocketing oil prices, a quick diffusion of water emulsion fuel is expected, as demonstrated by the fact that some major private power generator makers have begun the sale of prototype private power generators that are compatible with water emulsion fuel.

FIG. 1 illustrates process flow operations 100 for utilizing a biomass. The process flow operations 100 are, particularly, for processing a tree matter biomass. The process flow operations begin at initialization block 102 where a biocatalyst is extracted from the tree matter. The biocatalyst tree oil can be extracted from tree matter such as thinned timber, tree bark, and branches collected as the result of forest maintenance, which are currently being disposed of as waste material. The biocatalyst can be extracted by steam distillation, extraction or either means, or compounds prepared by synthesis. A biocatalyst and bio-fuel can be produced from the usage and processing of the tree matter.

As such, the extraction of a biocatalyst liquid makes effective use of thinned timber leaving no part of a tree as waste, thus protecting forests by maximizing the use of trees. After extraction of the tree oil, the tree matter can further be processed to produce biomass fuel which in turn can help reduce the carbon dioxide emissions, thus adding to the overall efficiency of the process. While the present disclosure is directed to the use of excess tree matter or recycled paper, it could readily use other vegetation or animal matter. Control transfers to operation 104.

In process flow operation 104, the tree matter, after biocatalyst extraction, is ground into a finer consistency, such as small pieces or ground to a powder. Control transfers to operation 106.

In process flow operation 106, the ground tree matter is put in a tank or “bio-reactor” with water and an enzyme to ferment, a process know as bio-refinement. Most bio-refining makes use of closed-system reactors (heat and catalysts) or fermentors (fermentation systems using heat and enzymes). The enzyme utilized is made by extracting a protein from one of a variety of mushrooms, but there are potentially other enzymes that may induce the same glycosylation process. Control transfers to operation 108.

In process flow operation 108, the fermented biomass is processed or separated into bio-fuel and carbon. The carbon is of a nature suitable for ink and is used to make a cellulosic alternative ink for inkjet toner in process block 110. Unofficially, as petroleum and coals contain a carcinogen, namely, aldehyde, toners that are made from petroleum and coals can be carcinogenic. This hazardous issue is noted on the official websites of various copier and fax manufacturers. These copier and fax manufacturers are well aware of the hazardous nature of the toners made from petroleum and coals and are eager to utilize cellulosic alternatives.

Carbon inks are commonly made from lampblack or soot and gum arabic. Gum arabic keeps the carbon particles in suspension and adhered to the paper. The carbon particles do not fade over time even when in sunlight or bleached. One benefit of carbon ink is that it is not harmful to the paper and is chemically stable. Recently, carbon inks made from carbon nano-tubes have been successfully created. They are similar in composition to the traditional inks in that they use a polymer to suspend the carbon nano-tubes. These inks can be used in inkjet printers and produce electrically conductive patterns. Control transfers to operation 112.

In process block 112, a polymer is produced from the fermented biomass. The polymer produced is a cellulose-based plastic or synthetic resin material. Control transfers to operation 114.

In process block 114, the bio-fuel is combusted in an internal combustion engine or may be further processed to create water emulsion fuel. Control transfers to operation 116.

In process block 116, the biocatalyst liquid is sprayed on the exhaust gas from the internal combustion engine in a vessel. A component of the biocatalyst adheres to exhaust emission gas and is used to cleanse the emissions produced by an internal combustion engine. Control transfers to operation 118.

In process block 118, the biocatalyst liquid has been sprayed onto the exhaust gas from the internal combustion engine in the vessel for more effectively capturing the exhaust gas emissions with a filter. The biocatalyst adheres to the particles of gas, expands and can be filtered by a particle filter (e.g., a ceramic filter). This filter drastically reduces the emission of the exhaust gas. The filter cleans effectively and is environmentally friendly. Control transfers to operation 120

In process block 120, the biocatalyst sprayed on the exhaust emissions is collected from the filter. By treating and processing the captured exhaust gas from the filter, products such as carbon nano-tubes, lithium batteries, hydrogen batteries, tire materials, photovoltaic panels, fuel cell electrodes, etc. can be produced from the captured exhaust gas obtained through the filtering process.

As such, a multiple-fold approach of processing a biomass is utilized. First, a purification agent (i.e., biocatalyst liquid) is produced, second, an energy source (i.e., bio-fuel) is produced from effectively processing the tree matter and additional usable products, a polymer and an ink for printers.

In addition, carbon extracted from used biocatalyst liquid may be used to manufacture or produce secondary products.

Since the method disclosed herein not only purifies the exhaust gas from internal combustion engines and reduces the emission of carbon dioxide, but also produces a new material and a new energy source in the course of process, there is no loss for consumers (e.g., operators of internal combustion engines such as shipping companies, etc.).

The system and method permits: (i) the efficient extraction from biomass resources of: (a) biocatalyst liquid; (b) bio-diesel; and (c) a polymer, (ii) the reduction of harmful exhaust gas emission by: (a) using the biocatalyst liquid for efficient filtering of exhaust gas; and (b) mixing the bio-diesel with heavy diesel to create hybrid diesel; (iii) the production of a polymer, such as lignin, that is used in many industries to make products ranging from home appliances to auto parts; (iv) the production of a non-carcinogenic cellulosic ink; and (v) the production of commercially valuable nano materials by recycling the captured exhaust gas.

FIG. 2 illustrates process flow operations 200 for utilizing a biomass. The process flow operations 200 are, particularly, for processing a paper biomass. The process flow operations begin at initialization block 210 where the paper is ground into a pulp. Control transfers to operation 220.

In process flow operation 220, the ground up or pulped paper is put in a tank with water and an enzyme to ferment. The enzyme utilized is different from that used for tree matter but is still extracted from one of a variety of mushrooms. The enzyme is extracted from a protein produced from the mushrooms, but there are potentially other enzymes that may induce the same glucosylation process. Control transfers to operation 230.

In process flow operation 230, the fermented paper is processed or separated into bio-fuel and carbon. The carbon, such as that resulting from fermented tree matter, is used to make ink for printers such as inkjet toner in process block 240 and the bio-fuel is combusted in an internal combustion engine or may be further processed to create water emulsion fuel in operation 250, thus concluding the process flow operations 200.

FIG. 3 illustrates a component diagram of a system for processing fuel and fuel combustion emissions. A manufacturer 304 receives a natural resource supply from a natural resource provider 302. The natural resources can at least be tree matter. Natural resources received by a manufacturer can include vegetation material as well as non-renewable resources. For example, trees, such as timber or bamboo, can be provided to the manufacturer 304. The manufacturer 304 can in turn use the natural resource received from the natural resource provider 302 to produce both bio-purifiers fluids and bio-fuels. As discussed below, one or more mechanisms can be utilized to produce bio-fuel and bio-purifier fluids. Once the manufacturer has produced bio-fuel, the manufacturer 304 can sell such bio-fuel to consumers 306, 308 and 310. Consumers 306, 308 and 310 can for example be transportation companies, factories or any other company or entity that utilizes bio-fuel to combust such bio-fuel in a internal combustion engine. Furthermore, manufacturer 304 can also supply and sell bio-purifier fluids to consumers 306, 308 and 310.

FIG. 4 illustrates a component diagram of a system for processing fuel and fuel combustion emissions according to another embodiment. In one embodiment, timber trees 402 can be utilized by a manufacturer 304 to produce a biocatalyst liquid 404. Timber trees 402 can be processed to extract tree oil from chipped timber obtained from the timber trees 402. The biocatalyst liquid 404 can then be sold to multiple biocatalyst liquid consumers.

Biocatalyst liquid can be utilized by consumers to spray the biocatalyst liquid onto the exhaust gas of internal combustion engines operated by biocatalyst liquid consumers. As the exhaust gas is emitted from the internal combustion engine, the gas particles can attach to the catalyst oil and expand. Using one or more filters, the expanded particles can be collected as a combustion by-product in the form of carbon. In one embodiment, the manufacturer 304 can sell to or supply various consumers, such as biocatalyst liquid consumers 410 and biocatalyst liquid and bio-fuel consumer 412 with the biocatalyst liquid 404.

A biocatalyst system can be installed inside the exhaust pipe of the internal combustion engine (e.g., ship's diesel engine). As the biocatalyst liquid is sprayed onto the exhaust emission, the biocatalyst liquid captures particle organic matter emissions (e.g., NOx and SOx), and makes it significantly more efficient in filtering the emission. The gas can then be purified by a ceramic filter.

Once the biocatalyst liquid 404 is produced from the extraction of tree oil, timber resources that are left from such extraction can be collected as biomass 406. As such, the remainder of the same tree can be further treated and processed to create bio-diesel in a cost effective manner due to the prior treatment of the same trees for extraction of the biocatalyst liquid.

While in conventional methods biomass 406 is disposed of as organic waste, the methods and systems disclosed herein utilize biomass 406 to further produce bio-fuel 408. Manufacturer 404 can further sell or supply the bio-fuel 408 to one or more consumers. In one example, the manufacturer 404 can provide the bio-fuel 408 to a consumer of the biocatalyst liquid. As such, biocatalyst liquid and bio-fuel consumer 412 can utilize both products provided by the manufacturer 304 to efficiently combust bio-fuel in an environmentally safe manner.

Furthermore, bio-fuel consumer 414 can also consume bio-fuel and thereby produce toxic emissions. In general, the utilization of bio-fuel by consumers who operate internal combustion engines will permit the emissions of such bio-engines to contain a lesser percentage of carbon dioxide, thereby making such emissions more environmentally friendly. As previously mentioned, consumers who further treat such emissions with the biocatalyst liquid as produced by manufacturer 304 can further capture particles of carbon from such emissions, thereby reducing the impact to the environment by the emissions gases.

In one example, the emissions gas is sprayed with the biocatalyst liquid which adheres to the particles of gas. The particles of gas can then expand and be filtered by a particle filter (e.g., a ceramic filter). The filtered particles can then be collected as filtration by-product 416.

Finally, the filtration by-product 416 from various biocatalyst liquid consumers can be utilized to recycle and produce additional materials. By treating and processing the captured exhaust gas from the filter, new material, such as carbon nano tube, lithium battery, hydrogen battery, tire material, photovoltaic panel, fuel cell electrode, etc. can be produced from the captured exhaust gas obtained through the filtering process. These nano materials can be sold for profit of the consumer and operator of the internal combustion engine.

In one embodiment, the bio-fuel consumer 414 and/or the biocatalyst liquid and bio-fuel consumer 412 can mix the bio-fuel produced and supplied by the manufacturer 304 with regular heavy oil. This mix can yield a high quality fuel that when combusted, contains a reduced percentage of carbon dioxide emissions. In another embodiment, the bio-fuel can be used directly without mixing with any heavy oils or any other alternative fuels and be combusted for example in a fuel oil boiler. In yet another example, the biomass 406 can be used directly as the source of fuel without the necessity of transforming the biomass 406 into bio-fuel 408 such that the biomass can be for example combusted at a biomass boiler.

FIG. 5 illustrates a flow diagram for processing fuel and fuel combustion emission filtering according to one embodiment. At process block 502, a biocatalyst liquid is produced from extracted tree oil from tree matter. Once the tree oil is extracted from the trees, a biomass of dried, chipped timber or ground residue remains after the extraction of the biocatalyst liquid. Process 500 continues at process block 504.

At process block 504, the biomass can be processed to produce bio-fuel. Process 500 continues at process block 506. At process block 506, the biocatalyst liquid is provided to at least one consumer. As previously mentioned, the at least one consumer can be for example a shipping company, a transportation company, and/or any other entity that can utilize a biocatalyst liquid to treat emissions from a internal combustion engine. Such emissions can be treated by spraying a biocatalyst liquid onto the emission from the internal combustion engine and further filtrate the sprayed emissions so as to capture the sprayed particles of emitted gas on the filter. Process 500 continues at process block 508. At process block 508, the bio-fuel is provided to the at least one consumer so that the consumer can combust the bio-fuel in the internal combustion engine to reduce or further reduce toxic emissions from the internal combustion engine.

FIG. 6 illustrates a flow diagram for processing fuel and fuel combustion emission filtering according to another embodiment. At process block 602, a biocatalyst liquid is sprayed onto exhaust emission gas produced by an internal combustion engine operated by a consumer. The biocatalyst liquid is produced by extracting tree oil from tree matter. Process 600 continues at process block 604. At process block 604, the sprayed exhaust emission gas is filtrated. Process 600 continues at process block 604. At process block 606, the bio-fuel produced from the biomass residue that remains after the extraction of tree oil can be combusted in an internal combustion engine.

A method for utilizing a biomass is described. The method comprises fermenting a biomass, that can be paper or tree matter, and processing the fermented biomass to produce a bio-fuel and carbon. The bio-fuel can be at least ethanol and bio-diesel and resulting carbon is used to produce ink. The bio-fuel can be used to produce water emulsion fuel.

When the biomass is tree matter, the method further comprises extracting a biocatalyst from the tree matter prior to fermentation. The biocatalyst is used to spray onto exhaust emission gas produced by an internal combustion engine. The sprayed exhaust emission gas can be filtered and the filtration by-product can be collected. A polymer can also be produced from the fermented tree matter.

Another method for utilizing a biomass is also described. The method comprises grinding a biomass, that can be paper or tree matter, fermenting the biomass and processing the fermented biomass to produce bio-fuel and carbon. The bio-fuel can be at least ethanol and bio-diesel and resulting carbon is used to produce ink. The bio-fuel can be used to produce water emulsion fuel.

When the biomass is tree matter, the method further comprises extracting a biocatalyst from the tree matter prior to fermentation. The biocatalyst is used to spray onto exhaust emission gas produced by an internal combustion engine. The sprayed exhaust emission gas can be filtered and the filtration by-product can be collected. A polymer can also be produced from the fermented tree matter.

Another method for reducing exhaust emissions is described. The method comprises producing a biocatalyst liquid by extracting an oil from tree matter. A biomass residue remains after the extraction of the biocatalyst liquid, which is processed to produce a bio-fuel. The biocatalyst liquid is sprayed onto exhaust emission gas produced by an internal combustion engine and the sprayed exhaust emission gas is filtered. A filtration by-product from the filtering of the exhaust emission gas is collected.

Another method for reducing exhaust emissions is described. The method comprises spraying a biocatalyst liquid onto exhaust emission gas produced by an internal combustion engine. The biocatalyst liquid is produced by extracting an oil from tree matter. The sprayed exhaust emission gas is filtered, a bio-fuel produced from a biomass residue that remains after the extraction of the tree oil is combusted and the filtration by-product from the filtering of the exhaust emission gas is collected.

A method of doing business for utilizing a biomass is described. The method comprises producing a biocatalyst liquid by extracting tree oil from tree matter. A biomass residue remains after the extraction of the biocatalyst liquid and is further processed to produce a bio-fuel. The biocatalyst liquid is provided to at least one consumer and is utilized by the at least one consumer to spray the biocatalyst liquid onto exhaust emission gas. The exhaust gas emissions are filtered where the exhaust emission gas being produced by an internal combustion engine operated by the at least one consumer. A bio-fuel is provided to the at least one consumer such that the at least one consumer can combust the bio-fuel in the internal combustion engine operated by the at least one consumer to reduce toxic emissions. A filtration by-product from filtering the exhaust emission gas is collected.

Another method of doing business for utilizing a biomass is described. The method comprises spraying a biocatalyst liquid onto exhaust emission gas produced by an internal combustion engine operated by a consumer, where biocatalyst liquid is produced by extracting tree oil from tree matter. The sprayed exhaust emission gas is filtered and a bio-fuel produced from a biomass residue that remains after the extraction of the tree oil is produced. A filtration by-product from the filtering of the exhaust emission gas is collected.

Although certain illustrative embodiments and methods have been disclosed herein, it can be apparent form the foregoing disclosure to those skilled in the art that variations and modifications of such embodiments and methods can be made without departing from the true spirit and scope of the art disclosed. Many other examples of the art disclosed exist, each differing from others in matters of detail only. Accordingly, it is intended that the art disclosed shall be limited only to the extent required by the appended claims and the rules and principles of applicable law.