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Poplar Trees Engineered to Produce More Biofuels, Wood Pulp

Poplars (Luciano/Flickr)

3 April 2014. Researchers at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, a consortium of University of Wisconsin in Madison and Michigan State University in East Lansing, created a genetically modified poplar tree variety with weakened lignin bonds, making it easier to process into commercial biofuels and wood pulp. The team from the . . . → Read More: Poplar Trees Engineered to Produce More Biofuels, Wood Pulp

Biotech, National Lab Partner on Gas-to-Liquid Conversion

(NOAA.gov)

Calysta Energy, a biotechnology company in Menlo Park, California and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California are developing a biological process for converting methane to liquid fuel. Financial aspects of the agreement were not disclosed. Livermore National Lab is a facility of the U.S. Department of Energy.

The project aims to devise . . . → Read More: Biotech, National Lab Partner on Gas-to-Liquid Conversion

ARPA-E Challenge Seeks Bio Energy Measurement Techniques

Flowering sorghum (Agricultural Research Service/USDA)

A new challenge on InnoCentive, sponsored by Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), a division of the U.S. Department of Energy, is seeking new ideas for measuring the potential energy output of biofuel feedstocks, without harming the plant material. The competition, which has a maximum prize of $30,000, . . . → Read More: ARPA-E Challenge Seeks Bio Energy Measurement Techniques

Sugar Beet Genome Sequenced, Human Impact on Species Noted

Sugar beet (Agricultural Research Service/USDA)

Geneticists and computer scientists in Germany, Spain, and Sweden sequenced the genome of the sugar beet, a plant contributing a large segment of the world’s sugar production. The study offers an analytical reference for advances in biotechnology with implications for agriculture and renewable energy.

The team led by biology . . . → Read More: Sugar Beet Genome Sequenced, Human Impact on Species Noted

Design for Microenterprise Helps Target Emerging Markets

Nokia 1100 entry-level cell phone (Nokia Corp.)

Engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge recommend designing products for small entrepreneurial businesses as a strategy for success in large emerging markets, such as India and China. Graduate student Jesse Austin-Breneman and engineering professor Maria Yang describe their findings in a paper delivered last week . . . → Read More: Design for Microenterprise Helps Target Emerging Markets

Enzyme Cocktail Generates High Volume Hydrogen from Biomass

(Energy.gov)

Bioengineers at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, with colleagues from elsewhere in the U.S. and Mexico, developed a process to inexpensively extract large volumes of hydrogen fuel from any type of plant matter. The team led by biological systems engineering professor Y.H. Percival Zhang, published its findings online in a recent issue of the . . . → Read More: Enzyme Cocktail Generates High Volume Hydrogen from Biomass

Cellulosic Plants Engineered for Improved Biofuel Production

Dominque Loque, right and co-author Henrik Scheller with engineered Arabidopsis plants (Roy Kaltschmidt, Berkeley Lab)

Researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute in Berkeley, California developed a process to re-engineer the cell walls of plants to make them better feedstocks for biofuels. The team led by bio-engineer Dominique Locque of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, one . . . → Read More: Cellulosic Plants Engineered for Improved Biofuel Production

ARPA-E to Fund Vehicle Metals, Bio Gas Conversion Research

Cheryl Martin, ARPA-E deputy director (U.S. Department of Energy)

The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) in the U.S. Department of Energy is making $40 million available for two new research programs involving transportation. Half of the $40 million will go for research to make lighter metals in cars and trucks more feasible, . . . → Read More: ARPA-E to Fund Vehicle Metals, Bio Gas Conversion Research

Universities, Companies Study Oilseed Camelina as Biofuel

Xiuzhi Susan Sun (Kansas State University)

Bioscientists at Kansas State University in Manhattan, with colleagues at two other universities and four companies, are studying the economic potential of the oilseed plant camelina as a commercial biofuel feedstock. The project, led by K-State agricultural engineering professor Xiuzhi Susan Sun (pictured right), is funded by a . . . → Read More: Universities, Companies Study Oilseed Camelina as Biofuel

Bioengineered Microbe to Convert, Recycle Biofuel Waste

Miscanthus (Oak Ridge National Lab)

Plant biologists at Texas A&M AgriLife Research in College Station are creating a bioengineered microbe to convert the waste from biofuel production into more biofuel. The project led by plant pathologist Joshua Yuan is funded by a $2.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Yuan and colleagues . . . → Read More: Bioengineered Microbe to Convert, Recycle Biofuel Waste