Biofuels production has changed considerably over the past decade. Basic fermentation has been largely replaced by more complex processes that involve custom-engineered microorganisms that are capable of converting a diverse range of biomasses into fuel.
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A team of researchers, led by Professor Charles E. Wyman, at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering have developed a versatile, relatively non-toxic, and efficient way to convert raw agricultural and forestry residues and other plant matter, known as lignocellulosic biomass, into biofuels and chemicals.
A newly developed fuel-cell concept will allow biodiesel plants to eliminate the creation of hazardous wastes while removing their dependence on fossil fuel from their production process.
What began 20 years ago as an innovation to improve paper industry processes and dairy forage digestibility may now open the door to a much more energy- and cost-efficient way to convert biomass into fuel. New research focuses on enhancing poplar trees so they can break down easier and thus improving their viability as a biofuel.
Resistance is not futile when it comes to a new method to more efficiently convert biomass to biofuels. New research by scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in conjunction with the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) suggests that a type of bacterial resistance may provide more efficient production of biofuels.
Genetically modifying a key protein complex in plants could lead to improved crops for the production of cellulosic biofuels, a Purdue University study says. Clint Chapple, distinguished professor of biochemistry, and fellow researchers generated a mutant Arabidopsis plant whose cell walls can be converted easily into fermentable sugars but does not display the stunted growth patterns of similar mutants.
ASU scientists, along with colleagues at Argonne National Laboratory, have reported advances toward perfecting a functional artificial leaf. Designing an artificial leaf that uses solar energy to convert water cheaply and efficiently into hydrogen and oxygen is one of the goals of BISfuel—the Energy Frontier Research Center.
Gasoline-like fuels can be made from cellulosic materials such as farm and forestry waste using a new process invented by chemists at the University of California, Davis. The process could open up new markets for plant-based fuels, beyond existing diesel substitutes.
Scientists at the University of York have made a significant step in the search to develop effective second generation biofuels. Researchers from the Department of Chemistry at York have discovered a family of enzymes that can degrade hard-to-digest biomass into its constituent sugars.
Scientists have charted a significant signaling network in a tiny organism that's big in the world of biofuels research.
The first trickle of fuels made from agricultural waste is finally winding its way into the nation's energy supply, after years of broken promises and hype promoting a next-generation fuel source cleaner than oil.
Scientists looking to create a potent blend of enzymes to transform materials like corn stalks and wood chips into fuels have developed a test that should turbocharge their efforts. The new research is part of a worldwide effort to create fuels from plants that are plentiful and aren't part of the food supply. It's possible to do this today, but the process is costly, laborious and lengthy.
A new study comparing contagion rates in two scenarios— with and without travel restrictions— shows that even moderate measures of mobility restriction would be effective in controlling contagion in densely populated areas with highly interconnected road and transit networks.
Newly trialed native algae species provide real hope for the development of commercially viable fuels from algae, scientists have found. The researchers have identified fast-growing and hardy microscopic algae that could prove the key to cheaper and more efficient alternative fuel production.
One of the biggest tradeoffs in renewable biofuels pertains to the raw materials of the process. The most common renewable raw materials for biofuel production include wood waste and straw. But obtaining the cellulose from these sources is difficult to do because of its complex structure.
The gribble, a wood-boring marine isopod long has been considered nothing more than a nautical nuisance. Its specialty is boring its way into the wooden hulls of ships, turning seafaring into an even more perilous undertaking. But new research that shows how the gribble digests wood could hold a key to the production of carbon-neutral fuels from waste.
New lines of engineered bacteria can tailor-make key precursors of high-octane biofuels that could one day replace gasoline, scientists at the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University report.
Improved methods for breaking down cellulose nanofibers are central to cost-effective biofuel production and the subject of new research from Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center. Scientists are investigating the unique properties of crystalline cellulose nanofibers to develop novel chemical pretreatments and designer enzymes for biofuel production from cellulosic—or non-food—plant derived biomass.
The only truly practical biofuels will be those made from abundant feedstocks like switchgrass, wheat straw and other woody plants, whose cell walls consist of lignocellulose. After pretreatment to remove or reduce the lignin, the sugary remains of cellulose and hemicellulose are fermented by microorganisms to yield the biofuel.
Two processes that turn woody biomass into transportation fuels have the potential to exceed current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements for renewable fuels, according to new research. The EPA’s standard for emissions from wood-based transportation fuels requires a 60 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to using fossil fuels.
The production of biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass would benefit on several levels if carried out at temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees Celsius. Researchers with the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) have employed a promising technique for improving the ability of enzymes that break cellulose down into fermentable sugars to operate in this temperature range.
It sounds like science fiction but a team from the University of Exeter, with support from Shell, has developed a method to make bacteria produce diesel on demand. While the technology still faces many significant commercialisation challenges, the diesel, produced by special strains of E. coli bacteria, is almost identical to conventional diesel fuel.
The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded the University of Wisconsin and Michigan State University $125 million to continue their work on advanced biofuels.
Scientists have made an important breakthrough in the quest to generate clean electricity from bacteria. Findings show that proteins on the surface of bacteria can produce an electric current by simply touching a mineral surface.
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--EPA approved camelina, energy cane, and renewable gasoline as cellulosic and advanced biofuels that can meet the Renewable Fuel Standard volume requirements. Additional pathways await approval.
A termite’s own biology with help from microorganisms called protists, are keys to the insect’s digestion of woody material. Scientists studied termite digestion to improve biofuels production and find better ways to control termites.
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