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Latest Energy Biosciences Institute Stories

2013-10-15 20:39:04

Congress should minimally modify – and not, as petroleum-related interests have increasingly lobbied for, repeal – the Renewable Fuel Standard, the most comprehensive renewable energy policy in the U.S., according to a new paper from two University of Illinois researchers. In the study, U. of I. law professor Jay P. Kesan and Timothy A. Slating, a regulatory associate with the Energy Biosciences Institute, argue that RFS mandates merely ought to be adjusted to reflect current and...

2011-11-16 09:40:56

Unraveling the mechanism of hemicellulose acetylation may lead to cheaper bioethanol In 1925, Henry Ford observed that fuel is present in all vegetative matter that can be fermented and predicted that Americans would someday grow their own fuel. Last year, global biofuel production reached 28 billion US gallons, and biofuel accounted for 2.7% of the world's transportation fuel. Bioethanol, a popular type of biofuel, is largely derived from sugary food crops such as corn and sugarcane....

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2011-07-13 11:58:25

Growing perennial grasses on the least productive farmland now used for corn ethanol production in the U.S. would result in higher overall corn yields, more ethanol output per acre and better groundwater quality, researchers report in a new study. The switch would also slash emissions of two potent greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. The study used a computer model of plant growth and soil chemistry to compare the ecological effects of growing corn (Zea mays L.); miscanthus...

2011-02-09 15:08:43

A combination of rising costs, shrinking supplies, and concerns about global climate change are spurring the development of alternatives to the burning of fossil fuels to meet our transportation energy needs. Scientific studies have shown the most promising of possible alternatives to be liquid fuels derived from cellulosic biomass. These advanced new biofuels have the potential to be clean-burning, carbon-neutral and renewable. Some could also be delivered through existing pipelines and used...

2010-12-27 20:41:56

A newly engineered yeast strain can simultaneously consume two types of sugar from plants to produce ethanol, researchers report. The sugars are glucose, a six-carbon sugar that is relatively easy to ferment; and xylose, a five-carbon sugar that has been much more difficult to utilize in ethanol production. The new strain, made by combining, optimizing and adding to earlier advances, reduces or eliminates several major inefficiencies associated with current biofuel production methods. The...

2010-08-12 15:42:46

When it comes to selecting the right plant source for future cellulosic biofuel production, the solution won't be one-size-fits-all, and it certainly doesn't have to involve food and feed crops. In a "Perspective" article in the Aug. 13 edition of the Journal Science, researchers from the Energy Biosciences Institute suggest that a diversity of plant species, adaptable to the climate and soil conditions of specific regions of the world, can be used to develop agroecosystems for fuel...

2010-07-26 12:58:19

Modeling the action of cellulases on cellulose to improve efficiency of sugar production Scientists are working hard to develop the tools and find the organisms to break down the complex structure of plant cellulose into its component sugars "“ the key step toward fermentation of those sugars into usable biofuel. This process needs to be simple and economically efficient before cellulosic biofuels can compete with fossil fuels for transportation energy use. As with any exploration of...

2010-07-15 07:00:00

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- BP and Verenium Corporation (Nasdaq: VRNM) today announced an agreement for BP Biofuels North America to acquire Verenium's cellulosic biofuels business, including the Company's facilities in Jennings, LA and San Diego, CA for $98.3 million. Verenium will retain its commercial enzyme business, including its biofuels enzymes products and have the right to develop its own lignocellulosic enzyme program. Verenium will also retain select...

2010-05-27 10:35:20

Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new, more accurate method of calculating the change in greenhouse gas emissions that results from changes in land use. The new approach, described in the journal Global Change Biology, takes into account many factors not included in previous methods, the researchers report. There is an urgent need to accurately assess whether particular land-use projects will increase or decrease greenhouse gas emissions, said Kristina...

2010-03-18 09:56:43

Researchers at the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) at the University of Illinois have discovered widespread occurrence of plant-parasitic nematodes in the first reported nematode survey of Miscanthus and switchgrass plants used for biofuels. Lead researcher Tesfamariam Mekete, a U of I post-doctoral research associate, said the team's first step was to identify potential pathogenic nematodes of these top two energy-yielding cellulosic-ethanol feedstock plants. "Nematodes are a part of our...


Word of the Day
monteith
  • A large punch-bowl of the eighteenth century, usually of silver and with a movable rim, and decorated with flutings and a scalloped edge. It was also used for cooling and carrying wine-glasses.
  • A kind of cotton handkerchief having white spots on a colored ground, the spots being produced by a chemical which discharges the color.
This word is possibly named after Monteith (Monteigh), 'an eccentric 17th-century Scotsman who wore a cloak scalloped at the hem.'
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