Federal Activities Report on Bioeconomy Released

Joanna Schroeder

USDA has released a new report, “Federal Activities Report on the Bioeconomy.” According to Dr. Catherine Woteki, the report was developed to create awareness of federal agency activities that are helping to develop and support the bioeconomy. The “bioeconomy” is an emerging part of the U.S. economy, says Woteki, that utilizes renewable biological resources to produce fuels, power and biobased …

biochemicals, bioenergy, biofuels, biogas, biomass, biomaterials

U of Illinois Miscanthus Research Breakthrough

Joanna Schroeder

University of Illinois researchers have studied genetic markers of miscanthus to identify early developmental traits that will improve yield. According to the researchers, “this study begins to establish links between reproducible genetic markers and a number of key agronomic traits in Miscanthus sinensis.” The research paper was published in GCB Bioenergy, “Mapping the genome of Miscanthus sinensis for QTL associated …

advance biofuels, biomass, Research

Goat’s Guts Lead to Better Biofuels

Joanna Schroeder

New research finds that some day your gas tanks could be filled up by horses, sheep and goat’s guts. Researchers looked at how the anaerobic gut fungi, as compared to engineered fungi, were able to convert plant material into sugars that could be converted into advanced biofuels and other biobased materials. Fungi found in the guts of goats, horses and …

advance biofuels, biochemicals, biomass, biomaterials, enzymes, Research

DOC Partners With NEC to Increase Ethanol Exports

Joanna Schroeder

Despite low crude oil prices, 2015 was still a robust export year for the ethanol industry according to Kenneth Hyatt, deputy under secretary for International Trade with the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC). The DOC partnered with the Renewable Fuels Association, the host of the 21st Annual National Ethanol Conference (#RFANEC) where delegates from several countries were on hand to …

Audio, biofuels, biomass, Ethanol, Exports, National Ethanol Conference, RFA

Comet Biorefining to Build Biomass to Sugar Plant

Joanna Schroeder

TransAlta Energy Park located in Sarnia, Ontario will be the new home of a commercial scale biomass to sugar facility operated by Comet Biorefining. The facility is expected to be operational by 2018 and will produce 60 million pounds per year of dextrose sugar from locally sourced corn stover and wheat straw. Comet, using its proprietary patented process, coverts the …

biochemicals, biomass, biomaterials, bioplastics

New BIO-Yeast Could Improve Biofuels Production

Joanna Schroeder

Quinn Dickinson, research specialist at the University of Madison’s Wisconsin Energy Institute who also works with the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), has helped to design a new strain of yeast that he believes holds great promise in improving the efficiency of making biofuel from biomass such as switchgrass. Dickinson’s goal is to solve a problem in the biomass …

advance biofuels, biochemicals, biomass, bioproducts, Research

DOE Announces Biomass to Biofuels Funding

Joanna Schroeder

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced up to $11.3 million in funding to develop flexible biomass to hydrocarbon biofuels conversion pathways. The goal is for these roads, per se, to be able to be easily modified to produce advanced biofuels and/or bioproducts, depending on market demand. Using a DOE example, one pathway could consist of a route to …

advance biofuels, biomass, biomaterials, bioproducts

NREL Discovers New Biorefinery Process

Joanna Schroeder

Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed a new biorefinery process that more efficiently converts algae to ethanol. The process, Combined Algal Processing (CAP), was featured in the journal Algal Research. The research builds on a project previously completed by NREL In that work, the research looked at two promising algal strains Chlorella and Scenedesmus, to determine …

advance biofuels, algae, biomass, Ethanol, Research

Senate Bill Looks to Clear, Simplify Rules on Biomass

John Davis

A bill that has the backing of Democrats, Republicans and Independents in the U.S. Senate would clarify and simplify federal rules on biomass. This news release from Maine Sen. Susan Collins says an amendment sponsored by Collins and Sen. Angus King from Maine, and cosponsored by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Al Franken (D-MN), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike …

biomass, Legislation

Enviva Building NC Biomass Wood Pellet Plant

John Davis

Alternative energy maker Enviva will begin construction on a biomass wood pellet plant in North Carolina this year with a projected opening in 2017. This article from the Richmond County (NC) Journal says a company representative made the announcement at a Richmond County Board of Commissioners meeting. Glen Gray, project sponsor for the proposed sites in Richmond and Sampson counties, …

biomass