Ethanol May Get a Boost through Breakthrough Process
by Angie Bergenson (Hydrogen Fuel News) …A team of researchers from Michigan State University have been working to make ethanol a more attractive source of fuel for the country. The team has made a breakthrough which is claims will boosts energy recovery from the Ethanol process by 2,000%.
Process utilizes specialized bacteria that thrive off corn stover Researchers, led by Gemma Reguera, have developed a microbial electrolysis cell that makes use of a very specific form of fermentative bacteria. These bacteria are selected for their ability to produce large amounts of energy while generate low levels of waste. The bacteria thrive on corn stover, the stalk, stem, and husks left behind through the harvesting of corn. Corn stover is often used as fodder or simply thrown out. It could be a viable source of energy, however, if fed to the bacteria chosen by researchers.
…Typical biofuel production methods are capable of recovering up to 4.5% of the energy in corn stover. Through the process developed by Michigan State University researchers, energy recovery is improved to 40% in just the first step of the process. The second step, where the byproducts of its predecessor are used to generate electricity, further increases energy recovery by an additional 73%. READ MORE