Joy Doran-Peterson of the University of Georgia chaired a steering committee producing a report suggesting educators need to rethink how future microbiologists are trained. Microbes can be highly efficient, versatile and sophisticated manufacturing tools, and have the potential to form the basis of a vibrant economic sector.  The report is based on the deliberations of [...]

In a stunning development a multi-institutional team led from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign reports that it can increase sugarcane’s geographic range, boost its photosynthetic rate by 30 percent and turn it into an oil-producing crop for biodiesel production. The team will present its latest findings today at the U.S. Department of Energy’s ARPA-E [...]

That’s right, gasoline from cellulose.  Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a novel synthesis of cellulosic biomass to make “drop-in” gasoline.  The new process suggests gasoline-like fuels can be made from cellulosic materials such as farm and forestry waste.  The process could open up new markets for plant-based fuels, beyond existing plant [...]

Researchers at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have discovered an enzyme that digests cellulose almost twice as fast as the current leading enzyme on the market. NREL researchers first discovered the enzyme in a microorganism found in the Valley of Geysers on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula in 1990.  The team’s paper “Revealing Nature’s [...]

This week saw a team at Ford Motor Company’s Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn release a detailed study of the effect of ethanol blend levels in emissions.  The study wasn’t done with the latest and greatest products, rather they used a 2006 model, an age about midway through most of the working U.S. private [...]

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