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Call to Action for a Truly Sustainable Renewable Future
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-Start an Apollo-type program to bring New Ideas to sustainable biofuel and …

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Articles tagged with: biomass recalcitrance

Research Is Making Plant Waste a Viable Option in Ethanol Production
November 15, 2017 – 3:34 pm | No Comment

by J.D. Warren (UCR Today)  Relatively cheap “biomass” has been a poor option due to its production cost  —  UC Riverside researchers have developed a streamlined process that could finally make the ethanol production cost from abundant …

Study Speeds Transformation of Biofuel Waste into Useful Chemicals
November 10, 2017 – 11:37 am | No Comment

by Jules Bernstein (Phys.Org/Sandia National Laboratories)  A Sandia National Laboratories-led team has demonstrated faster, more efficient ways to turn discarded plant matter into chemicals worth billions. The team’s findings could help transform the economics of making …

Iconic Species May Hold Clues on Low Quality Forage Digestion
October 25, 2017 – 3:48 pm | No Comment

by Robert Arnason (Western Producer)  … But the beaver also has a lesser known skill: it can survive on a diet of branches and twigs.
Scientists with Agriculture Canada want to know how the beaver pulls off …

POET “Breakthrough” in Cellulosic Ethanol Production
October 24, 2017 – 3:12 pm | No Comment

by Julie Harker (Brownfield Ag News)  The nation’s largest ethanol producer says it’s made a breakthrough in cellulosic ethanol production. Matt Merritt with POET-DSM tells Brownfield they are using a combination of heat, pressure and acid …

Enzymes at Work: Breaking Down Stubborn Cellulose for Biofuels
October 13, 2017 – 5:56 pm | No Comment

(Science Daily/Graz University of Technology)  Researchers have observed enzymes breaking down cellulose to aid the production of biofuels.

Typically, biorefineries use a mix of hydrolytically active enzymes which utilize water molecules to breakdown plant material — as …

Ames Laboratory Announces New Science in Converting Biomass
October 10, 2017 – 12:11 pm | No Comment

(Ames Laboratory/Ethanol Producer Magazine)  In every plant—from trees to crops—there exists a substance that makes up its wood or stems, fiber, and cell walls. This substance is a complex natural polymer called lignin, and it is …

Top 10 Wood Waste Projects – Not Letting Waste Go to Waste
October 2, 2017 – 7:55 pm | No Comment

by Helena Tavares Kennedy (Biofuels Digest)  … Regardless of which side of the fence you are on, the chopping continues and there are literally tons of wood waste left behind that doesn’t get used up, but …

Crossing the Valley of NLACM with Alcohol-to-Hydrocarbon Technology
September 26, 2017 – 2:29 pm | No Comment

by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest)  There’s one crossing worse than the Valley of Death and that is the Valley of NLACM.
Although it sounds more like a goose trying to say “You’ll like him” — it’s …

Getting to the Point (Mutations) in Re-Engineering Biofuel-Producing Bacterial Enzymes
September 15, 2017 – 4:21 pm | No Comment

(Newswise/U.S. Department of Energy)  Researchers from Spain, Poland and Ireland have developed a new computational method to rapidly screen the effects of point mutations in bacteria to make biofuel production more efficient  —   Converting fibrous …

A Sweeter Way to Make Green Products: University of Delaware Researchers Invent Novel Process for Extracting Sugars from Wood
September 11, 2017 – 1:55 pm | No Comment

by Tracey Bryant (University of Delaware)  … A UD research team has invented a more efficient process for extracting the sugars from wood chips, corn cobs and other organic waste from forests and farms.

Basudeb Saha, associate …

Targeted Microbial Development: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to Biological Upgrading of Biomass Sugars
September 11, 2017 – 1:29 pm | No Comment

by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest)  The US Department of Energy is supporting projects to investigate and recommend promising pathways for advanced biological upgrading of biomass sugars and lignin to hydrocarbons (HC) and co-products to support …

Norwegian and French Researchers Discover a Novel Enzymatic Mechanism that May Revolutionize Biorefining and Sustainable Production of Biofuels
September 6, 2017 – 3:18 pm | No Comment

by Ruth Lothe (Norwegian University of Life Sciences)  In 2010, researchers at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) were the first to describe a new class of enzymes that have created a revolution in …

Biotechnology Researchers Turn to Landfill Sites
August 24, 2017 – 10:26 am | No Comment

(Phys.Org/Bangor University)  Far from being a load of rubbish, landfill sites should be considered one of the great untapped resources in the search for new enzymes for biotechnology, and could fuel more efficient biofuel production.
A …

Energy Department Announces Additional MEGA-BIO: Bioproducts to Enable Biofuels Award
August 2, 2017 – 1:49 pm | No Comment

(U.S. Department of Energy)  The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced today that it will award a fourth project—up to $1.8 million—under the MEGA-BIO: Bioproducts to Enable Biofuels Funding Opportunity. In August 2016, DOE’s Bioenergy …

War on Recalcitrance: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to the BioEnergy Science Center
July 24, 2017 – 2:35 pm | No Comment

by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest) The BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) is a multi-institutional (18 partners), Department of Energy-funded research organization performing basic and applied science dedicated to improving yields of biofuels by focusing on the fundamental …

Loosening of Lignocellulose: Switchgrass and Success in Sugar Release
July 24, 2017 – 2:12 pm | No Comment

(U.S. Department of Energy)  Introduced traits remain stable, improving biofuel production in a field setting.  —   …  Near-term fossil fuel alternatives could reduce carbon emissions and ensure U.S. energy security. One alternative uses switchgrass, …

‘On Your Mark, Get Set’ Neutrons Run Enzyme’s Reactivity for Better Biofuel Production
July 7, 2017 – 2:21 pm | No Comment

by Jeremy Rumsey and Heidi Hill (U.S. Department of Energy)   Producing biofuels like ethanol from plant materials requires various enzymes to break down the cellulosic fibers. Scientists using neutron scattering have identified the specifics of …

Understanding Why Cellulose Resists Degradation Could Lead to Cost-Effective Biofuels
June 6, 2017 – 2:56 pm | No Comment

(Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory/Phys.Org)  A major bottleneck hindering cost-effective production of biofuels and many valuable chemicals is the difficulty of breaking down cellulose—an important structural component of plant cell walls. A recent study addressed this …

A Decade of Bioenergy Research
June 2, 2017 – 6:47 pm | No Comment

by Patrick C. Miller (Ethanol Producer Magazine)  The Department of Energy’s three bioenergy research centers have no intention of resting on their accomplishments. —  In the 10 years since the U.S. DOE established three bioenergy …

New Strategy to Enhance the Efficiency of Cereal Straw for Biofuel Production
May 9, 2017 – 5:33 pm | No Comment

(Phys.Org/University of Hong Kong)  Straw is commonly used for feeding animals, burning, baling, etc. As one of the “Three Canton Treasures”, straw can actually be used as a raw material to produce biofuel.

With an increasing …

Trash into Treasure: Sandia Could Help Biofuel Pay for Itself with Goods Made from Waste
May 9, 2017 – 12:17 pm | No Comment

(U.S. Department of Energy/Sandia National Laboratories/EurekAlert!)  A recent discovery by Sandia National Laboratories researchers may unlock the potential of biofuel waste — and ultimately make biofuels competitive with petroleum.
Fuel made from plants is much more …

Why a Hong Kong Plant Scientist with a Biofuel Research Breakthrough Has to Leave for Greener Pastures
May 5, 2017 – 3:13 pm | No Comment

by Viola Zhou (South China Morning Post)  Lydia Lam Pui-ying will further her study at Kyoto University in Japan  —
Hong Kong and Japanese scientists have discovered a new way to make biofuel from rice straw, …

Biofuels, Livestock Benefit from Termite Research
April 25, 2017 – 4:08 pm | No Comment

by Larry Lee (Brownfield Ag News)  A University of Wisconsin professor says his termite research might help the biofuels, livestock, and paper industries improve lignin processing.
Researcher Cameron Currie says breaking down the woody substrate in …

Lignocellulosic Biomass Deconstruction
April 13, 2017 – 10:42 am | No Comment

Bernard Cooker (Chemical Processing Solutions/Lee Enterprises Consulting/Biofuels Digest)  Cheap, plentiful lignocellulosic biomass (LCB), consisting of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, is deconstructed to release useful chemical intermediates in the bioeconomy. These include glucose from cellulose, glucose …

Researchers Outline 23 Barriers to Advanced Biofuels’ Success
April 12, 2017 – 11:39 am | No Comment

by Meghan Sapp (Biofuels Digest)  In Virginia, researchers from Virginia Tech University have determined that 52% of advanced biofuels facilities were already closed in 2015 and have determined a list of 23 barriers that could …

Researchers Find New Way to Typify Cellulose, Advance Bioproducts
March 24, 2017 – 3:53 pm | No Comment

(Washington State University/Biomass Magazine) Researchers at Washington State University Tri-Cities and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have found a new way to define the molecular structure of cellulose, which could lead to cheaper and more efficient ways …

Heard on the Floor: Disruptive Technology, Feedstocks under the Microscope at ABLC 2017’s Opening Day
March 2, 2017 – 5:13 pm | No Comment

by Helena Tavares Kennedy  (Biofuels Digest)  … While there were big questions, there were big answers, beginning with a panel on The Sustainable Agriculture Imperative. John Pieper from Dupont Industrial Biosciences shared their latest work with …

ORNL: Populus SNP Dataset Holds Promise for Biofuels
January 20, 2017 – 4:43 pm | No Comment

(Oak Ridge National Laboratory/Biomass Magazine)  Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have released the largest-ever single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) dataset of genetic variations in poplar trees, information useful to plant scientists …

‘Glue’ That Makes Plant Cell Walls Strong Could Hold the Key to Wooden Skyscrapers
December 22, 2016 – 3:45 pm | No Comment

(University of Cambridge)  Molecules 10,000 times narrower than the width of a human hair could hold the key to making possible wooden skyscrapers and more energy-efficient paper production, according to research published today in the …

New Understanding of One of Nature’s Best Biocatalysts for Biofuels Production
July 15, 2016 – 3:41 pm | No Comment

(U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science) Producing fuels from plants and other renewable sources requires breaking down the chemical cellulose; a major candidate to drive, or catalyze, this stubborn chemical is a ubiquitous microorganism called Clostridium thermocellum …

Better Understanding Could Lead to More Cost-Effective Production of Cellulosic Biofuels
July 1, 2016 – 1:51 pm | No Comment

(Phys.Org)  Plant cell walls, which constitute the bulk of plant biomass, are diverse, complex, and dynamic in their structural composition and integrity. Cell walls are innately resistant to deconstruction by biological or chemical catalysts. This …

Research Examines Obstacles to Making Biofuel from Perennial Plants
June 17, 2016 – 11:21 am | No Comment

(University of Arkansas)   A University of Arkansas chemistry professor has received a $400,000 award from the National Science Foundation to investigate a roadblock in the harvesting of biomass from perennial plants for the purpose of …

OSU Researching Bacteria to Begin Biofuel Production Process
June 6, 2016 – 12:39 pm | No Comment

(Oklahoma State University/Biomass Magazine)  The popular method of breaking down lignin to convert biomass into valuable biofuels and chemicals is done by using fungi. However, researchers at Oklahoma State University are turning that process on …

USDA, DOE Partner to Invest $10 Million in Green Energy Research
May 9, 2016 – 4:41 pm | No Comment

(U.S. Department of Agriculture) The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the joint investment of $10 million towards research that will …

Researchers’ New Advance in Quest for Second Generation Biofuels
March 2, 2016 – 11:55 am | No Comment

(Phys.Org)  … The team, including Professor Paul Walton and Professor Gideon Davies of the Department of Chemistry at York, today presents the first published molecular structure of one of the key enzymes (lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases or …

Seeking Better Biofuels
October 26, 2015 – 2:47 pm | No Comment

by Melody M. Bomgardner (Chemical & Engineering News)  Researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute transform biomass into energy-rich fuel molecules  —   ..  JBEI researchers are zeroing in on concepts that others have decided are too …

International Research Team Seeks More Efficient Biomass Refinement Processes
July 20, 2015 – 4:01 pm | No Comment

(Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University)  Researchers from across the world, including from Virginia Tech, plan to mimic the chemistry of the brown rot fungus to improve biorefining processes. BioMim, a $4 million, four-year project …

Unlocking Lignin for Sustainable Biofuel
July 8, 2015 – 2:05 pm | No Comment

(Oak Ridge National Laboratory/NewsWise)  Lignin–hemicellulose simulation demonstrates potential for predictive modeling using NAMD  —  Turning trees, grass, and other biomass into fuel for automobiles and airplanes is a costly and complex process. Biofuel researchers are …

E4tech Releases Evidence-Base Report on European Bioeconomy
May 11, 2015 – 12:01 pm | No Comment

by Isabel Lane (Biofuels Digest)  In Europe, E4tech has just completed a new study, ‘From the Sugar Platform to biofuels and biochemicals’ for the European Commission (DG ENER), a comprehensive evidence base for policymakers and …

Renmatix Acquires Mascoma Demonstration Plant in New York
May 6, 2015 – 3:55 pm | No Comment

by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest)  Another step towards commercial scale, aimed at “secure supply” of cellulose-lignin solids for Renmatix’ Georgia facility
Renmatix announced that it has acquired existing assets of the former Mascoma corporation’s 56,000 square …

Engineered Softwood Could Transform Pulp, Paper and Biofuel Industries
April 24, 2015 – 7:20 pm | No Comment

by Krista Eastman (University of Wisconsin-Madison)  Scientists have demonstrated the potential for softwoods to process more easily into pulp and paper if engineered to incorporate a key feature of hardwoods. The finding, published in this week’s …

Tobacco Plants May Boost Biofuel and Biorefining Industries
April 13, 2015 – 4:58 pm | No Comment

(Science Daily)  Researchers will genetically modify tobacco plants to produce enzymes that can break down biomass from forest raw materials. This may lead to a more effective, economic and sustainable production of biofuels, they say.

Today …

Direct Conversion of Plant Biomass to Ethanol by Engineered Caldicellulosiruptor bescii
April 13, 2015 – 2:11 pm | No Comment

by Daehwan Chung, Minseok Cha, Adam M. Guss, and Janet Westpheling (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)  The ever-increasing demand for transportation fuels, the decrease in global petroleum reserves, and the negative impact of greenhouse …

Gina Lewin Explores How Ants Break Down Cellulose
April 9, 2015 – 6:26 pm | No Comment

by Silke Schmidt (Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center)  … In the summer of 2009, Gina Lewin participated in a National Science Foundation-funded program called Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), which invites college juniors and seniors to join …

Daniel Amador-Noguez Engineers Better Bacteria for Biofuels
April 9, 2015 – 5:16 pm | No Comment

… (Daniel) Amador-Noguez’s lab focuses on understanding metabolism in biofuel-producing bacteria with the goal of engineering microbes that can more efficiently convert plant biomass to energy. It’s exciting research, but it’s also the kind of …

UGA Researchers Create Trees that Are Easier to Turn into Fuel
March 27, 2015 – 5:21 pm | No Comment

(University of Georgia/Biomass Magazine)  Researchers at the University of Georgia have discovered that manipulation of a specific gene in a hardwood tree species not only makes it easier to break down the wood into fuel, …

Novel Pretreatment Could Cut Biofuel Costs by 30 Percent or More
February 27, 2015 – 1:07 pm | No Comment

(Science Daily/University of California-Riverside)  Researchers have invented a novel pretreatment technology that could cut the cost of biofuels production by about 30 percent or more by dramatically reducing the amount of enzymes needed to breakdown …

North Carolina State University Announces Biofuel Breakthroughs
October 31, 2014 – 1:31 pm | No Comment

(North Carolina State University/Ethanol Producer Magazine)  Scientists are using biotechnology to chip away at barriers to producing biofuels from woody plants and grasses instead of the corn and sugarcane used to make ethanol.
NC State’s Forest …

Bacteria Found in Cow Rumens Could Be Harnessed to Process Biofuel
September 25, 2014 – 2:49 pm | No Comment

(University of Wisconsin-Madison)  What do biofuels look like on the Wisconsin landscape? Some might think of corn or switchgrass. But what about that herd of cows?  What you can’t see might fool you. Cows are …

Louisiana Entrepreneur Embodies Industry Switch from Emphasis on Biofuels to Bioproducts
September 23, 2014 – 9:04 am | No Comment

by Joanne Ivancic* (Advanced Biofuels USA)  Golden Leaf Energy’s Troy A. Clark grew up in Louisiana. Studying chemical engineering at Tulane University brought him into contact with the oil industry. And yet, as his career …

UCLA Develops Metabolic Pathway to Convert Sugars into Biofuels
November 22, 2013 – 3:08 pm | No Comment

(University of California)  University of California, Los Angeles chemical engineering researchers have created a new synthetic metabolic pathway for breaking down glucose that could lead to a 50 percent increase in the production of biofuels.
The …

Team Uses a Cellulosic Biofuels Byproduct to Increase Ethanol Yield
November 22, 2013 – 1:46 pm | No Comment

(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)   Scientists report in Nature Communications 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. The …

Crafting a Better Enzyme Cocktail to Turn Plants into Fuel Faster
November 6, 2013 – 11:35 am | No Comment

by Tom Rickey (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)  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 …

Extreme Energy, Supercritical Water, Nanostuff and Biofuels
November 6, 2013 – 10:57 am | No Comment

by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest)  At the frontier of exotic temperature and pressures, even everyday materials like water begin to act strangely in ways that can drive energy transformation.   New work in nanocatalysts may make …

University of Missouri-Kansas City Wins $2M in Grants to Fund Research in Biofuel, Health
October 29, 2013 – 11:19 am | No Comment

by Brianne Pfannenstiel (Kansas City Business Journal)  The University of Missouri-Kansas City was awarded two grants totaling more than $2 million this week.
The first is a grant valued at $1.2 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute …

Wood Completely Broken Down into Its Component Parts
October 28, 2013 – 4:56 pm | No Comment

(Fraunhofer)  Crude oil is getting scarce. This is why researchers are seeking to substitute petroleum-based products – like plastics – with sustainable raw materials. Waste wood, divided into lignin and cellulose, could serve as a …

Wood Chips to Biofuel in Hours
October 25, 2013 – 6:18 pm | No Comment

(The Norwegian University of Science and Technology/Alpha Galileo)  Until now, it has taken weeks to make biofuel from trees. This slow pace has been a bottleneck for the industry. Researchers from the Norwegian University of …

Cellulosic Byproduct Increases Ethanol Yield
October 22, 2013 – 5:08 pm | No Comment

by Joanna Schroeder (DomesticFuel.com)  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 …

Demystifying Cellulose
October 16, 2013 – 6:37 pm | No Comment

by Scott Mowrey (Ethanol Producer Magazine)  A primer outlines the inherent challenges for biofuel production using biomass
Raw cellulose from plant biomass is composed of six classes of materials with varying percentages and widely different physical …

Next-Generation Biofuels Are Inching Towards Reality, Gallon by Gallon
October 14, 2013 – 7:28 pm | No Comment

by Bryan Walsh (Time Magazine)  It’s not that companies don’t know how to make cellulosic ethanol or biofuel from algae. It’s that they’ve struggled to do so cheaply and at a scale large enough to …

Helping Bacteria Tolerate Biofuels
September 19, 2013 – 12:50 pm | No Comment

by Erika Gebel Berg  (Chemical and Engineering News)  Protein Engineering: Scientists evolve a bacterial protein pump that pulls butanol out of cells to make microbes into better biofuel factories
Biologists can engineer microorganisms to make biofuels, …

Brazil’s Big Six in Advanced Biofuels & Chemicals: Who’s Doing What Now?
September 18, 2013 – 11:38 am | No Comment

by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest)  After taking a leading role in the global first generation wave of ethanol production, here come the Brazilians — with some hot North American technologies in tow — to take …

The One-Stop, Get It Hot, Biobased Candy Men: Midori and Low-Cost Cellulosic Sugars
September 12, 2013 – 1:22 pm | No Comment

by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest)  … Midori reports they have broken through on a 100-year quest for low-cost cellulosic sugars. And found a way to turn your cotton tees into sugars, too.
About a year ago, a …

Flagship VentureLabs Launches Midori Renewables
September 6, 2013 – 6:45 pm | No Comment

(Flagship Ventures/PR NewsWire)  New Venture is Commercializing a Novel Catalytic Process to Convert Non-Food Biomass Into Sugar
Flagship VentureLabs announced today that Midori Renewables is globally deploying their Breaking the Biomass Barrier™ technology, a novel catalyst …

Researchers Look to Grass to Make Gas
September 4, 2013 – 6:28 pm | No Comment

(Clemson University)  Clemson University researchers focusing on switchgrass as a renewable fuel source are looking to fungi and bacteria — nature’s specialists in decomposing plants and animals into elements that can be reused to support …

Argonne Leadership Computing Facility Scientists Look to Nature to Develop Biofuel Catalysts
August 30, 2013 – 9:20 am | No Comment

(Argonne Leadership Computing Facility/Ethanol Producer Magazine)  Scientists working at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility are looking to nature’s catalysts, enzymes, for inspiration in their quest to find a more effective means of converting biomass into …

New Bioprospecting Activity: Students Can Collect and Share Data with GLBRC Scientists
August 29, 2013 – 6:19 pm | No Comment

(Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center)  Bioprospecting for Cellulose-Degrading Microbes: Filter Paper Assay Method
Students collect samples that they predict will contain communities of cellulose-degrading microbes and test for the ability of microrganisms in their samples to …

36th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals April 28-May 1, 2014 Clearwater Beach, FL
August 23, 2013 – 4:48 pm | No Comment
36th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals      April 28-May 1, 2014    Clearwater Beach, FL

The Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemical covers topics such as:

Enzyme Science & Technology
Biomass Supply & Sustainability
Plant Science & Technology
Algae Science & Technology
Biomass Recalcitrance
Pretreatment & Fractionation
Bacterial Science & Technology
Yeast and Fungal Science & Technology
Bioprocessing & Separations …

CALL FOR PAPERS: 36th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals April 28-May 1, 2014 DEADLINE: November 17, 2013
August 23, 2013 – 4:32 pm | No Comment
CALL FOR PAPERS:  36th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals  April 28-May 1, 2014  DEADLINE:   November 17, 2013

Abstract submission is now open for the 36th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals (SBFC). The 36th SBFC will be held April 28-May 1, 2014 at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Hotel in Clearwater Beach, …

Biofuels’ 10 Scariest Challenges: Part 1 of 2
August 20, 2013 – 2:03 pm | No Comment

by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest)  Upstream, downstream, processing, policy, finance – opportunities and challenges abound in the bioeconomy – but which challenges are the most intractable and daunting of them all?
In today’s part 1, #10 …

Want Better Biofuels? Get the Wood Out
August 19, 2013 – 2:11 pm | No Comment

(Science Magazine)  Addition by subtraction. By removing a specific gene, researchers reduced the amount of lignin (stained red) by 36% in cells in a plant’s stem, making it easier to recover sugar-rich parts of the plant …

Leaf-Cutter Ants May Reveal Secrets to Creating Biofuels
July 22, 2013 – 1:19 pm | No Comment

by Jennifer Laaser  (Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel)
Look at a leaf-cutter ant colony, and it’s a bustle of activity, with ants bringing pieces of leaves in, spreading them around on a honeycomb-like bed of fungus, and …

NSF Grant Boosts Promising Biofuels Research
July 5, 2013 – 7:37 pm | No Comment

(JustMeans.com/Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology)  Promising biofuels research at a Wisconsin biotech company and a partner university is getting a boost from a $224,967 National Science Foundation grant.
C5.6 Technologies of Middleton, Wis., and the Wisconsin …

The Next Fleet of Automobiles Powered By… Termites?
June 27, 2013 – 4:58 pm | No Comment

(Wall Street Daily)  …Meet the gribble.
Essentially, gribbles are the termites of the sea. That is, they’re marine pests that feed exclusively on wood. As you can imagine, that doesn’t make them very popular with the …

Increased Enzyme Binding to Substrate Is Not Necessary for More Efficient Cellulose Hydrolysis
June 27, 2013 – 3:32 pm | No Comment

by Dahai Gao, Shishir P. S. Chundawat, Anurag Sethi, Venkatesh Balana, S. Gnanakaran, and Bruce E. Dale (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)  Substrate binding is typically one of the rate-limiting steps preceding enzyme catalytic …

Makeover Puts CHARMM Back in Biofuels Business
May 7, 2013 – 12:30 pm | No Comment

by Bill Scanlon (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)  Biofuels scientists are asking more complex questions about how molecules spin, bond, and break when enzymes attack plants — all in the name of quickening the process of …

NREL Researchers Use Enzyme Combination to Break Down Biomass
May 6, 2013 – 2:18 pm | No Comment

(National Renewable Energy Laboratory/Ethanol Producer Magazine)  Enzymes could break down cell walls faster – leading to less expensive biofuels for transportation – if two enzyme systems are brought together in an industrial setting, new research …

Enzymes from Horse Feces Could Hold Secrets to Streamlining Biofuel Production
April 19, 2013 – 6:21 pm | No Comment

(Science Daily)  Stepping into unexplored territory in efforts to use corn stalks, grass and other non-food plants to make biofuels, scientists have described the discovery of a potential treasure-trove of candidate enzymes in fungi thriving …

Making Do with More: Joint BioEnergy Institute Researchers Engineer Plant Cell Walls to Boost Sugar Yields for Biofuels
April 2, 2013 – 10:19 am | No Comment

by Lynn Yarris (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)  When blessed with a resource in overwhelming abundance it’s generally a good idea to make valuable use of that resource. Lignocellulosic biomass is the most abundant organic material …

Biofuels: Good, But How Good?
March 6, 2013 – 2:19 pm | No Comment

by Thomas W. Kerlin (ISA Interchange)  …Plants convert carbon dioxide and water into sugar via photosynthesis using energy from the sun. The sugar undergoes further transformations within the plant. Carbohydrates, compounds composed entirely of carbon, …

Biomass Analysis Tool Is Faster, More Precise
March 5, 2013 – 4:36 pm | No Comment

by Bill Scanlon (National Renewable Energy Laboratory/Renewable Energy World)  A screening tool from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) eases and greatly quickens one of the thorniest tasks in the biofuels …

Newly Discovered Plant Structure May Lead to Improved Biofuel Processing
February 8, 2013 – 5:57 pm | No Comment

by James Hataway (University of Georgia)  When Li Tan approached his colleagues at the University of Georgia with some unusual data he had collected, they initially seemed convinced that his experiment had become contaminated; what …

Research Targets Cells to Reduce Lignin, Boost Fermentable Sugar
December 31, 2012 – 5:11 pm | No Comment

by Susanne Retka Schill (Ethanol Producer Magazine)    Researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute are exploring new ways to meet the challenge of recalcitrant cellulosic feedstocks and lower the cost of biomass-based biofuels. The group recently published …

Garbage Bug May Help Lower the Cost of Biofuel
December 5, 2012 – 2:33 pm | No Comment

(University of Illinois/EurekAlert!)  One reason that biofuels are expensive to make is that the organisms used to ferment the biomass cannot make effective use of hemicellulose, the next most abundant cell wall component after cellulose. …

NREL Researchers Use Imaging Technologies to Solve Puzzle of Plant Architecture
November 30, 2012 – 1:51 pm | No Comment

(US Department of Energy/National Renewable Energy Laboratory)  Breakthrough could help optimize capture of sugars for biofuels
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) combined different …

A Better Route to Xylan
November 17, 2012 – 2:50 pm | No Comment

by Lynn Yarris (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)  Joint BioEnergy Institute Researchers Find New Access to Abundant Biomass for Advanced Biofuels
After cellulose, xylan is the most abundant biomass material on Earth, and therefore represents an enormous …

Wood Completely Broken Down into Its Component Parts
October 26, 2012 – 1:41 pm | No Comment

(Fraunhofer Center for Chemical-Biotechnological Processes)  Crude oil is getting scarce. This is why researchers are seeking to substitute petroleum-based products – like plastics – with sustainable raw materials. Waste wood, divided into lignin and cellulose, …

Clean Energy Innovation Depends on a Good Pitch
October 16, 2012 – 1:51 pm | No Comment

by Kari Lydersen (Midwestern Energy News)  Purdue University associate professor Richard Meilan is striving to develop a poplar tree that grows more quickly and can be more easily converted to biofuel than the average member of the genus …

UMass-Amherst Team Solves Mystery of Cellulose Chains Breakdown
September 19, 2012 – 3:34 pm | No Comment

by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest)  What exactly happens in depolymerization, as hydrogen bonds break down?  How could that revolutionize the process of making fuels, solvents, thinners, lacquers or paints out of biobased materials?
Before one is …

Enzymatic Digestibility of Corn Stover Fractions in Response to Fungal Pretreatment
September 14, 2012 – 12:05 pm | No Comment

by Zhifang Cui, Caixia Wan, Jian Shi, Robert W. Sykes, and Yebo Li (Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research)  Corn stover fractions (leaves, cobs, and stalks) were studied for enzymatic digestibility after pretreatment with a white rot fungus, Ceriporiopsis subvermispora. Among the three …

World First: A DEINOVE Bacteria Transforms Biomass Into 2nd Generation Bioethanol
September 13, 2012 – 5:49 pm | No Comment

(PR NewsWire/DEINOVE)   This breakthrough using Deinococcus could be the solution to a global issue: replacing fossil fuel with a fuel from nonfood biomass
announced that its R&D team and its partners in the DEINOL program …

Functional Characterization of the Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) R2R3-MYB Transcription Factor PvMYB4 for Improvement of Lignocellulosic Feedstocks
August 30, 2012 – 7:36 pm | No Comment

Hui Shen, Xianzhi He, Charleson R. Poovaiah, Wegi A. Wuddineh, Junying Ma, David G. J. Mann, Huanzhong Wang,  Lisa Jackson, Yuhong Tang, C. Neal Stewart Jr, Fang Chen, Richard A. Dixon (New Phytologist)

The major obstacle for bioenergy production from switchgrass biomass is the low saccharification efficiency …

Genetic Manipulation of Lignin Reduces Recalcitrance and Improves Ethanol Production from Switchgrass
August 30, 2012 – 7:30 pm | No Comment

by Chunxiang Fu,  Jonathan R. Mielenz, Xirong Xiao, Yaxin Ge, Choo Y. Hamilton,  Miguel Rodriguez, Jr.,  Fang Chen, Marcus Foston,  Arthur Ragauskas, Joseph Bouton, Richard A. Dixon, and Zeng-Yu Wang  (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)   Switchgrass is a leading dedicated bioenergy …

Salicylic Acid Mediates the Reduced Growth of Lignin Down-Regulated Plants
August 30, 2012 – 7:24 pm | No Comment

Lina Gallego-Giraldo, Luis Escamilla-Trevino,  Lisa A. Jackson, and Richard A. Dixon (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)   Down-regulation of the enzyme hydroxycinnamoyl CoA: shikimate hydroxycinnamoyl transferase (HCT) in thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa) leads …

Mutation of WRKY Transcription Factors Initiates Pith Secondary Wall Formation and Increases Stem Biomass in Dicotyledonous Plants
August 30, 2012 – 7:19 pm | No Comment

Huanzhong Wang,  Utku Avci,  Jin Nakashima,  Michael G. Hahn, Fang Chen, and Richard A. Dixon (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)  Stems of dicotyledonous plants consist of an outer epidermis, a cortex, a ring of secondarily …

Discovery of Plant Gene Lays Groundwork for Improved Biofuel Processing
August 30, 2012 – 4:44 pm | No Comment

by James Hataway (UGA Today)  Since 2007, researchers at the BioEnergy Science Center, one of three Department of Energy-funded research centers, have partnered to figure out how to break down plants so that they easily …

Biofuel Research: Possibilities Still Growing at University of Georgia
August 28, 2012 – 1:46 pm | No Comment

(Ledger-Enquirer)  …Researchers at the University of Georgia may be close to finding it. A report by Susan Mittleman on Georgia Public Broadcasting and transcribed on the Public Broadcasting Atlanta website (pba.org) describes a promising new …

Designing Microbes that Make Energy-Dense Biofuels without Sugar
July 20, 2012 – 3:52 pm | No Comment

(R&D Magazine)  With metabolically engineered microorganisms hungry for levulinic acid rather than sugar, a University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) chemical and biological engineer aims to create more sustainable, cost-effective processes for converting biomass into high-energy-density hydrocarbon …

Biofuels Patent Issued For Lignin-Solvent Process
July 19, 2012 – 2:26 pm | No Comment

(JustMeans.com)  A patent that opens the door for the creation of biofuels from abundantly available plant fiber has been issued to researchers at the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology (WIST) at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens …

Heat-Loving Bacteria Could Lead to Next-Generation Microbe
July 5, 2012 – 5:55 pm | No Comment

by Holly Jessen (Ethanol Producer Magazine)  Key proteins have been identified in a family of bacteria that help the microbes grab onto pieces of plant material in order to better degrade it. This was discovered …

New Early Career Awards Support Biofuels Research
June 4, 2012 – 3:13 pm | No Comment

by Jill Sakai and Renee Meiller (University of Wisconsin-Madison)  A young generation of researchers are seeking biofuels in some unlikely sounding places: toxic algae blooms and cow stomachs.
Two University of Wisconsin-Madison professors are drawing on …

Algae Is Not Endive: The Future of Biofuels in the United States
April 26, 2012 – 8:24 pm | No Comment

by Dan Morgan (The Globalist)  The plant world has a curious way of providing fodder for Republicans in the midst of important elections in the United States. In 1988, the party cast the Democrat’s presidential …

Trillium FiberFuels, Oregon State University Get Grant for Advanced Biomass Enzymes
April 26, 2012 – 2:42 pm | No Comment

(Trillium FiberFuels Inc./Biorefining Magazine)  A team of scientists from Trillium FiberFuels and Oregon State University has been awarded a Small Business Technology Transfer grant from the U.S. DOE to further develop innovative enzymes that could …

The Promise of Biotechnology Is Here Today, and Dyadic Is Determined to Make a Difference
April 23, 2012 – 12:14 pm | No Comment

(CFOCEO Magazine)  …Interview conducted by: Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – April 20, 2012
…C1 is a very unique fungus we found in the Russian soil in an alkaline lake in the early 1990’s. …

Plant Strength Key to Cracking Biofuels?
March 22, 2012 – 3:00 pm | No Comment

(ScienceAlert/Ecos Magazine)  Cellulose in plant cell walls contains sugars used to manufacture biofuels. However, this cellulose also resists decomposition, making it difficult to extract the sugars for use. New research into how plants form cellulose …

Finding a Way to Put a Zebra in Your Tank
January 10, 2012 – 7:17 pm | No Comment

by Guy Gugliotta (New York Times)   …Dr. (David A.) Mullin (a professor of molecular biology at Tulane University)was collecting manure from giraffes and other exotic ruminants at the zoo, a few blocks from his laboratory. …

New Biofuel Production Technologies: Overview of These Expanding Sectors and the Challenges Facing Them
December 30, 2011 – 1:30 pm | No Comment

(IFP Energies Nouvelles)  The numerous research programmes looking at new-generation biofuels that were initiated over the last ten years are now starting to bear fruit. Although no plants are producing and
marketing biofuels yet, the large-scale, industrial …

How Virent Is Using Plants To Replace Oil
December 29, 2011 – 2:02 pm | No Comment

by Rachel Z. Arndt (FastCompany)   …(W)e speak with Mary Tilton, VP of plant operations at Virent, which is using chemistry to turn plants into fuel.
“We are replacing crude oil. We’re using catalytic chemistry to …

Biofuels Face a Reality Check
December 28, 2011 – 1:34 pm | No Comment

by Lauren Sommer  (KQED)  …The idea behind biofuels is pretty simple. Plants take sunlight and use that energy to make sugars. The biofuels industry wants to transform those sugars into fuel. That requires some molecular …

Toward More Cost-Effective Production of Biofuels from Plant Lignocellulosic Biomass
November 18, 2011 – 12:26 pm | No Comment

(Science Daily)  …However, technologies are being developed to generate bioethanol from non-food sources, such as the lignocellulosics present in switchgrass and trees. The sugars locked in the polymers of cell walls, i.e., cellulose, hemicellulose and …

First-of-a-kind Tension Wood Study Broadens Biofuels Research
October 26, 2011 – 9:19 am | No Comment

(Physorg.com)  Taking a cue from Mother Nature, researchers at the Department of Energy’s BioEnergy Science Center have undertaken a first-of-its-kind study of a naturally occurring phenomenon in trees to spur the development of more efficient …

Researchers Find Potential Key for Unlocking Biomass Energy
July 22, 2011 – 7:37 am | No Comment

(Department of Energy/Los Alamos National Laboratory/EurekAlert!)  LANL molecular model helps expose cellulose weakness
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory and Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center have found a potential key for …

No Eureka Moments in Long U.S. Campaign to Crack Cellulosic Code
July 14, 2011 – 5:09 pm | No Comment

by Paul Voosen (New York Times/Greenwire)  …For eons, plants have locked the sun’s energy into complex strands of sugar, used to build their stems and leaves. These chains are far different from table sugar or …

Unlocking the Structure of Lignin, and Feasible Pathways to Cellulosic Conversion
June 17, 2011 – 2:41 pm | No Comment

by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest)  Research from ORNL reveals new details of bioenergy’s most daunting technical barrier
…Lignin, for those newer to the biofuels world, is a complex chemical compound that makes veggies, plants and wood …

Cadillac Sugars, Chevrolet Prices
April 29, 2011 – 8:57 am | No Comment

by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest)  A new generation of technologists aim high in value, low in cost, as the race for sugars to process into biofuels amps up a notch or three
“You know, we hear …

Biofuels and Biofuel Research beyond Ethanol is Crucial to Developing Alternative Sustainable Energy Resources
April 7, 2011 – 1:42 pm | No Comment

(KQED/Quest/Planet Forward)  For years there’s been buzz — both positive and negative — about generating ethanol fuel from corn. The Bay Area is rapidly becoming a world center for the next generation of green fuel …

Key Plant Traits Yield More Sugar for Biofuels
March 30, 2011 – 10:00 am | No Comment

(University of California, Riverside)  Research by UC Riverside’s Charles Wyman could lead to less expensive production of biofuels
New clues about plant structure are helping researchers from the Department of Energy’s BioEnergy Science Center narrow down a …

Advancing Next-Generation Biofuels
January 23, 2011 – 4:53 pm | No Comment

by Blake Simmons (Vice-President, Deconstruction Division, Joint BioEnergy Institute)  Simmons provides an overview of Joint Bioenergy Institute (JBI) and their research associated with converting cellulosic biomass to biofuel.  He describes the challenges of the various …

Rediscovering Genes Related to Biomass Recalcitrance Using a Combination of High Throughput and High Resolution Plant Cell Wall Characterization Methods
January 23, 2011 – 4:33 pm | No Comment

by Dr. Mark Davis (BioEnergy Science Center, National Bioenergy Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory) Dr. Davis discusses a multidisciplinary approach to overcoming the current inability to access sugars in lignocellulosic biomass.  By quickly identifying key …

Neutrons Helping Researchers Unlock Secrets to Cheaper Ethanol
September 17, 2010 – 6:37 am | No Comment

(Science Daily)  New insight into the structure of switchgrass and poplars is fueling discussions that could result in more efficient methods to turn biomass into biofuel.
Researchers from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory …

Mascoma’s Magic World for Magic Bugs
September 2, 2010 – 5:46 pm | No Comment

by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest)  …This is the Rome Labs site, which does quite a bit of intelligence-related R&D. The super-secret nature of cellulosic development is not entirely different – though hugh-hush cadres of generals …

Mascoma: Inside the SunOpta Acquisition
September 2, 2010 – 5:25 pm | No Comment

by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest)  In New Hampshire, Mascoma reported yesterday that it had acquired SunOpta BioProcess, a division of SunOpta Inc. (STKL)  This combination brings together the fiber preparation and pretreatment technologies of SBI …

Is There a Road Ahead for Cellulosic Ethanol?
August 16, 2010 – 12:47 pm | No Comment

by Robert F. Service (Science Magazine)  Much of the optimism surrounding cellulosic ethanol has faded because of the ongoing economic slump, a plentiful supply of ethanol made from corn, and uncertainty among policymakers. Numerous companies …

New Microbial Genetic System Dissects Biomass to Biofuel Conversion
June 17, 2010 – 5:26 pm | No Comment

by Margaret Broeren   (University of Wisconsin)  A research team at the DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) has developed a powerful new tool that promises to unlock the secrets of biomass degradation, a critical …

Gene Discovery Potential Key to Cost-Competitive Cellulosic Ethanol
May 25, 2010 – 1:20 pm | No Comment

(Oak Ridge National Lab)  Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory are improving strains of microorganisms used to convert cellulosic biomass into ethanol, including a recent modification that could improve the efficiency of …

The Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment Awards over $5.1 Million to 24 Energy Projects at the University of Minnesota
April 26, 2010 – 12:13 pm | 3 Comments

(University of Minnesota)  The Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment (IREE) recently awarded over $5.1 million to 24 renewable energy research and demonstration projects at the University of Minnesota.
The selected projects focus on a …

Using Ionic Liquids Without Acids for Biomass Conversion into Biofuel Saves Time, Energy, Colorado State University Professors Discover
April 26, 2010 – 11:59 am | No Comment

(Colorado State University)  Dissolving plant biomass in “green” solvent ionic liquids – salts that melt at low temperatures – converts more sugars needed for biofuel more quickly than traditional methods, according to a new study …

Fermentable Sugars by Chemical Hydrolysis of Biomass
March 16, 2010 – 5:01 pm | No Comment

by Joseph B. Binder and Ronald T. Raines (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)  Abundant plant biomass has the potential to become a sustainable source of fuels and chemicals. Realizing this potential requires the …

Evolution Resources Signs Testing Services Agreement With North Carolina State University
January 15, 2010 – 3:38 pm | No Comment

Evolution Resources, Inc., an advanced biofuels production company focused on the production of cellulosic ethanol using the latest in modern processes and technologies, today announced the signing of a Testing Services Agreement with North Carolina …

An Integrated Strategy to Understand and Overcome Biomass Recalcitrance
December 28, 2009 – 6:17 pm | No Comment

Martin Keller, Ph.D. (BioEnergy Science Center) Presentation details biomass recalcitrance and various methods being researched to break down cellulose, hemicellulose, pectins, lignins into sugars as an intermediary step to ethanol production or to serve as …

Research Shows Promise of Low-Cost Biofuel Production from Sugar Beets
December 9, 2009 – 6:45 pm | No Comment

Research reported in the December issue of the American Society of Microbiology’s journal Applied and Environment Microbiology on the development of a thermostable enzyme opens the way to a new pathway for low-cost biofuel production …

POET Releases Video Summarizing State of Cellulosic Ethanol Development
October 7, 2009 – 7:46 am | No Comment

Focusing on its work with corn cobs as a cellulosic ethanol feedstock, POET’s latest video provides a basic look at what it is taking to move from fermentation of starch to conversion of cellulose to …

Biofuel-Producing Bacteria, Insect Gut Microbes, ~ 70 other Projects Fill DOE Joint Genome Institute 2010 Pipeline
August 11, 2009 – 1:46 pm | No Comment

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI) has selected 71 new genomic sequencing projects for its 2010 Community Sequencing Program (CSP)—a targeted sampling of the planet’s biodiversity—to be characterized for bioenergy, climate, …

New Technique Can Fast-track Better Ionic Liquids for Biomass Pre-treatments
July 17, 2009 – 4:17 pm | No Comment

(Renewable Energy World)   … The use of ionic liquids — salts that are liquids rather than crystals at room temperature — to dissolve lignocellulose and later help hydrolyze the resulting liquor into sugars, shows promise …

The Bioenergy Science Center’s Efforts to Overcome Biomass Recalcitrance Described
July 2, 2009 – 2:38 pm | No Comment

“Without overcoming biomass recalcitrance, cellulosic biofuels will be more expensive than corn biofuels. Improved sugar conversion is not enough.” From the presentation by Martin Keller, Ph.D., Director of the BioEnergy Science Center describing the efforts …

Atlantic Biomass Conversions Proposes “Follow-the-Crop” System
June 23, 2009 – 2:35 pm | One Comment

Instead of bringing sufficient supplies of biomass to processing facilities, Atlantic Biomass Conversions, Inc., proposes taking decentralized enzymatic conversion units to the crops. Following the model of wheat harvesting combines that follow the harvest season, …

Enzymatic Deconstruction of Xylan for Biofuel Production
February 27, 2009 – 9:18 am | No Comment

by Dylan Dodd and Isaac K. O. Cann  (Global Change Biology Bioenergy)   The combustion of fossil-derived fuels has a significant impact on atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels and correspondingly is an important contributor to anthropogenic global climate …

Biomass Recalcitrance: Engineering Plants and Enzymes for Biofuels Production
February 26, 2007 – 4:42 pm | No Comment

by Michael E. Himmel, Shi-You Ding, David K. Johnson, William S. Adney, Mark R. Nimlos, John W. Brady and Thomas D. Foust  (Science Magazine)  Lignocellulosic biomass has long been recognized as a potential sustainable source of mixed sugars for fermentation to biofuels and …