Research: Sugar to Biodiesel Better

Joanna Schroeder

Researchers at the University of Illinois have discovered a method to economically produce biodiesel from sugarcane as compared to the production of biodiesel from soybean oil. At the beginning of the research, which was designed to find a better way to make biodiesel than using food crops or land needed for food production, the team landed on sugarcane and sweet …

advance biofuels, Biodiesel, Research

Penn State Harvests First Shrub Willow Crop

Joanna Schroeder

Researchers at Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences have completed the harvest of its first experimental crop of shrub willow. The intention of the biomass crop is for use to produce renewable energy and bio-based products. The 34 acres of the shrub willow is part of a five-year program called NEWBio one of seven regional projects of which the goal …

advance biofuels, bioenergy, biomass, Research

Research Converts Tomato Paste to Energy

Joanna Schroeder

Researchers from South Dakota School of Mines & Technology have developed a way to convert tomato waste in electricity. Led by Venkataramana Gadhamshetty, Ph.D., he and his team used a biological-based fuel cell that uses tomato waste left over from harvests in Florida. The characteristics of the decomposing waste make it a “perfect fuel source” for enhancing electrochemical reactions, Gadhamshetty …

Electricity, Research, Waste-to-Energy

U of Florida Researchers Tout Algae Breakthrough

Joanna Schroeder

Researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) may have broken the code on better algae-based biofuels. Bala Rathinasabapathi, a UF/IFAS professor of horticultural sciences, said they have identified a “transcription factor” called ROC40 that controls the expression of many genes inside algae. He likens this process to a policeman controlling a large crowd. While …

advance biofuels, algae, Research

Math Path to Ideal Algae Biorefineries

Joanna Schroeder

A joint research team from the Chemical and Biological Sciences Department, Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, and the Chemical Engineering Department of Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, both located in Mexico, have discovered a way to produce biofuels from algae that also removes CO2 emissions from the environment. The findings were published in a recent edition of Industrial & …

advance biofuels, algae, Research

U of York Team Aids in Biofuel Enzyme Research

Joanna Schroeder

A global research team is working together to help develop more efficient production methods for biofuel production. Scientists at the University of York are part of this team looking at how natural occurring enzymes can be used to degrade microbe-resistant biomass. The research is part of ongoing study of a recently discovered family of enzymes produced by fungi and bacteria, …

advance biofuels, enzymes, Research

Berkeley Lab’s Enzyme Reduces Plant Lignin

Joanna Schroeder

One of the barriers to efficient second generation biofuels is creating a better way to break down the lignin in plants that is then converted to the sugars that create the building blocks of biobased products such as cellulosic ethanol, biomaterials and biochemicals. But this hurdle may be getting lower with research out of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Scientists have …

advance biofuels, Cellulosic, enzymes, Ethanol, Research

University of Illinois Identifies Ideal Bioenergy Crops

Joanna Schroeder

New research from the University of Illinois has identified what bioenergy crops are best for certain regions while minimizing effects on water quantity and quality. The study was based on replacing current vegetation with crops for ethanol production and looked at how each crop would impact water quantity and quality in soils. “We expect the outcome of this study to …

biomass, Ethanol, feedstocks, Research

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