Janet Westpheling at the University of Georgia (UG) has engineered microbes allowing the direct conversion of switchgrass to ethanol. Her study paper was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, documenting the direct conversion of biomass to ethanol without a pre-treatment, using the engineered bacterium Caldicellulosiruptor bescii. Hopes for affordable transportation fuels […]

There’s a lot of “junk” biomass with way too much lignocellulosic material.  It’s a big resource.  Vienna University of Technology (VUT) scientists are looking at lignocellulosic waste such as sawdust or straw that can be used to produce biofuel – but only if the long cellulose and xylan chains can be successfully broken down into […]

Ionic liquid pretreatments show great potential as a biomass pretreatment for dissolving lignocellulose and helping to hydrolyze the resulting aqueous solution into fuel sugars.  But the best of these ionic liquids so far have required the use of expensive enzymes. Blake Simmons, a chemical engineer who heads the Joint BioEnergy Institute’s (JBEI) Deconstruction Division has […]

A team of Virginia Tech researchers has discovered a way to extract large quantities of hydrogen from any plant.  The team believes their breakthrough that has the potential to bring a low-cost, environmentally friendly hydrogen fuel source to the world. Y.H. Percival Zhang, an associate professor of biological systems engineering in the College of Agriculture […]

Fruit Trees For Fuel

March 25, 2013 | 1 Comment

Fast growing trees, especially the poplars are being studied as they produce a large body of biomass per area.  Poplars and willows are leading candidates as biofuel crops that are expected to produce cellulosic ethanol and higher energy content fuels when the sugars can be efficiently extracted. We non-tree experts are going to be surprised […]

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