MSU Awarded $6M Biofuel, Carbon Grant

Joanna Schroeder

Montana State University (MSU) has received a $6 million, four-year grant from the National Science Foundation to develop new innovations at the intersection of food, energy and water systems. MSU will be working alongside the University of Wyoming and the University of South Dakota to address the sustainability profiles of biofuels and carbon capture technologies that would be introduced in …

advance biofuels, Carbon Dioxide, Clean Energy, Climate Change, Research, water

PNNL Turns Sewage Into Fuel

Joanna Schroeder

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have discovered the key to converting sewage to biocrude oil. Using the technology that mimics the geological conditions the Earth uses to create crude oil, called hydrothermal liquefaction, coupled with high pressure and high temperatures, crude oil can be produced in minutes. The resulting product is similar to …

advance biofuels, Research, Waste-to-Energy

NREL Scientists Discover Bacteria to Biofuels Breakthrough

Joanna Schroeder

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have discovered a metabolic pathway that take up CO2 and is then capable of breaking down and fermenting cellulosic biomass to produce biofuels, hydrogen and hydrocarbons. The specific bacteria is Clostridium thermocellum and is among the most efficient bacteria in directly converting cellulosic materials into hydrogen and hydrocarbons …

advance biofuels, Cellulosic, Hydrogen, Research

Researchers Turning Waste Into Wealth

Joanna Schroeder

EPFL chemists have discovered that adding formaldehyde to lignin could turn waste, such as he molecules found in wood, into wealth. Biomass may hold a key to meeting future energy needs – it’s sugars can be turned into biofuels and other bioproducts. But until now a barrier to efficient production has been the plant’s lignin. Scientists have now turned the …

advance biofuels, biomass, bioplastics, bioproducts, Research

Researchers Create Better Algae Oil Producers

Joanna Schroeder

Researchers have discovered a way to make algae better oil producers without sacrificing growth. The team, led by James Umen, Ph.D., associate member at Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, found a mutation in the green alga Chlamydomonas that substantially removes a constraint that is widely observed in micro-algae where the highest yields of oil can only be obtained from starving …

advance biofuels, algae, Research

Ames Lab to Develop Imaging to Study Plant Walls

Joanna Schroeder

The saying “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is being put to the test with research funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to deconstruct plant cell walls as a means of learning how to more effectively convert plant material into bioenergy. The project has been awarded $1 million per year for three years. The research will …

biofuels, biomass, Ethanol, Research

ORNL Researchers Deconstruct Biomass for #Ethanol

Joanna Schroeder

Better methods for deconstructing biomass will lead to more efficient conversion to biofuels; however, this is one of the most complex processes in bioenergy technologies. Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have already uncovered information about how woody plants and waste biofuels can be converted more readily into biofuels. Now the team may have come one step closer to …

biomass, Ethanol, Research

Super Yeast Yields Better #Ethanol Economics

Joanna Schroeder

A new innovative “super yeast” could very well improve the economics of ethanol production. A collaborative research team from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) have engineered a yeast strain that nearly doubles the efficiency of plant sugar to biofuel conversion. The team focused on the baker’s and brewer’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a microbe …

advance biofuels, Ethanol, Research

Nano-Spike Catalysts Convert CO2 Into Ethanol

Joanna Schroeder

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Lab have developed a way to convert carbon dioxide directly into ethanol. The team is researching an electrochemical process that uses tiny spike of carbon and copper to convert CO2 into ethanol. Their discovery involves nanofabrication and catalysis science. “We discovered somewhat by accident that this material worked,” said ORNL’s Adam …

Carbon Dioxide, Ethanol, Research

Supercomputer Paving Way for Biomass to Biofuel

Joanna Schroeder

Supercomputing is being used to discover ways to make turning biomass into biofuel. The University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) project is led by Jeremy Smith, UT Governor’s Chair for Molecular Biophysics based in the Department of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology. He also is director of the UT-ORNL Center for Molecular Biophysics. One of the …

advance biofuels, biomass, Research