Cellulosic Byproduct Increases Ethanol Yield

Joanna Schroeder

Scientists from the University of Illinois have reported that they have engineered yeast to consume acetic acid, a previously unwanted byproduct of the process of converting plant leaves, stems and other tissues into biofuels. This innovation increases ethanol yield from lignocellulosic sources (aka second generation feedstocks) by nearly 10 percent. According to researchers, the new advance will streamline the fermentation …

advance biofuels, Cellulosic, Ethanol, Research

NREL Calculates Emissions, Cost of Wind & Solar

Joanna Schroeder

According to new research from the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), found that carbon emissions induced by more frequent cycling are negligible (<0.2%) when compared with the carbon reductions achieved through wind and solar power generation. Cycling occurs when a utility, to accommodate higher amounts of wind and solar power on the electric grid, must ramp down and …

Alternative energy, Electricity, Research, Solar, Wind

U of Cincy Team Captures Grease for Biodiesel

John Davis

A student team from the University of Cincinnati is being recognized for their idea to capture waste grease and turn it into biodiesel. The school’s Team Effuelent, led by students Ron Gillespie, Ethan Jacobs, and Qingshi Tu won the $40,000 prize in the Odebrecht Award for Sustainability Development Competition with their concept of “Using Trap Grease As the Raw Material …

Biodiesel, Research, University

Environmental Impacts of Biofuel Feedstocks Studied

John Davis

A two-year study has examined the environmental impacts of feedstocks used for biofuels. Minnesota Daily reports researchers from the University of Minnesota found that there are some fundamental differences between how the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy and the Department of Agriculture, look at biofuel production. All three agencies differed in crop location, which Hill said is an …

biofuels, Environment, Research

Defunding Biodiesel, Ethanol Center Draws Rep’s Ire

John Davis

The North Carolina legislature’s lack of approving funds for a center that promotes the development of biodiesel and ethanol in the state draws the ire of one of its own members. In an opinion piece for the Herald Sun of Durham, N.C., State Representative G.K. Butterfield says the Biofuels Center of North Carolina in Oxford will soon close for good …

Biodiesel, biofuels, Ethanol, Government, Research

Analysis: Biodiesel Still Profitable Despite Price Drop

John Davis

Biodiesel producers remain profitable despite a recent drop in prices for the green fuel. An analysis from Scott Irwin and Darrel Good with the University of Illinois shows that several factors, including an uncertain future of federal tax credits and a drop in soybean oil prices. There are likely two explanations for the current spike [in profits]. First, diesel blenders …

Biodiesel, Research

How Thirsty is Energy Production?

Joanna Schroeder

Critics of renewable energy have dozens of reasons why alternative energy such as wind and solar just won’t work such as what happens when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. But according to a new report prepared by Synapse Energy Economics, “dirty” energy sources including coal-fired electric power, nuclear power and natural gas recovered by fracking, face …

Alternative energy, Natural Gas, Oil, Research, water

Students Raise the Green Flag for Algae

Joanna Schroeder

Students and professors at Utah State University are raising the green flag for algae with a record breaking small engine dragster. Earlier this month at the Bonneville Salt Flats, the Aggie A-Salt Streamliner clocked in at 73.977 miles per hour – beating the current record in their division of 72.102. The team hopes to set additional records with their algal-biofueled …

advance biofuels, algae, Education, Racing, Research