Texas Researchers Turning Yeast into Biodiesel

John Davis

Everything might be bigger in Texas, but some scientists in the state are looking to tiny yeast cells to yield big feedstocks for biodiesel. This news release from the University of Texas at Austin says researchers at the Cockrell School of Engineering have developed genetically engineered yeast cells to produce the lipids to go into biodiesel production. Assistant professor Hal …

Biodiesel, Research, University

Sugar, Bringing in the New Age of Batteries?

Joanna Schroeder

Cutting back on your sugar intake? Than consider using it to create a battery. Not really but doesn’t it sound cool? A Virgina Tech research team did just this and has developed a battery that runs on sugar. The research team believes it has an energy density unmatched by any on the market and could lead to the replacement of …

Alternative energy, Clean Energy, enzymes, Research

MIT Finds New Way to Get More Out of Solar

John Davis

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have found a new way to get more out of harvesting solar energy. This article from the school says they’re using the sun to heat a high-temperature material whose infrared radiation would then be collected by a conventional photovoltaic cell. In this case, adding the extra step improves performance, because it makes …

Research, Solar, University

Wisconsin Resarchers Find Better Biofuels Chemical

John Davis

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found a way to get more ethanol out of sugars used in the refining process. This university article says they’re using a plant-derived chemical, gamma valerolactone, or GVL. “With the sugar platform, you have possibilities,” says Jeremy Luterbacher, a postdoctoral researcher and the paper’s lead author. “You’ve taken fewer forks down the conversion …

biofuels, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Research, University

Southern Illinois Expands Ethanol Research Team

John Davis

A research center dedicated to advancing the study and development of ethanol is expanding its research staff. This news release from the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center (NCERC) at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (SIUE) has added Dr. Arun Athmanathan, a postdoctoral fellow specializing in cellulosic and advanced biofuels research. “Following a national search that generated candidates from premier research institutions across the …

advance biofuels, Cellulosic, Ethanol, Research, University

New Study: Corn Ethanol Reduces GHG Emissions

Joanna Schroeder

According to a new study, that compared the greenhouse gas emission reductions of corn ethanol and those of crude oil production and fracking, corn ethanol’s carbon intensity is declining while the carbon intensity of petroleum is increasing. The study was conducted by Life Cycle Associates and found that the carbon impacts associated with crude oil production continue to worsen as …

biofuels, Environment, Ethanol, Oil, Research, RFA

RINS Had No Impact on 2013 Gas Prices

Cindy Zimmerman

Despite all the “RINsanity” caused in early 2013 when gas prices spiked and the oil industry pointed fingers at volatile Renewable Identification Numbers, a report out today exonerates RINS from blame. The detailed statistical analysis conducted by Informa Economics and released today by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) finds that retail gasoline prices were “unaffected by the erratic surge in …

Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Oil, Research, RFA, RFS, RINS

Fast-Eating Enzymes Lunch on Cellulose

Joanna Schroeder

A microorganism first found in the Valley of Geysers on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia in 1990 may be a key to more efficient cellulosic biofuel production. The microoorganism can digest cellulose almost twice as fast as the current leading component cellulase enzyme on the market according to researchers at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The researches …

advance biofuels, biomass, Cellulosic, enzymes, Research

Consumer Attitude About Renewable Energy Rebounds

Joanna Schroeder

According to a new consumer survey from Navigant Research, favorable attitudes toward a number of clean and renewable energy concepts, particularly solar energy, wind energy, hybrid vehicles and electric cars, have rebounded significantly from their 2012 levels. The survey finds the average favorability rating for 10 concepts, which fall under the categories of clean energy, clean transportation, smart grid, and …

biofuels, Clean Energy, Electric Vehicles, Natural Gas, Nuclear Energy, Research, Solar, Wind

OSU Spinoff NuScale Goes Nuclear

Joanna Schroeder

Oregon State University (OSU) spinoff NuScale Power has been awarded up to $226 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The company is developing a new form of nuclear power and is a spinoff company based on the pioneering research of OSU professor Jose Reyes. Today Reyes has become one of the international leaders in the creation …

Energy, Nuclear Energy, Research