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Latest Lignin Stories

2012-03-24 03:25:57

Without fungi and microbes to break down dead trees and leaf litter in nature, the forest floor might look like a scene from TV's "Hoarders." Massive-scale genome sequencing projects supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and being carried out at the DOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI) highlight the importance of learning how the cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin that serve as a plant's infrastructure can be broken down by these forest organisms to extract needed nutrients. Among...

2012-01-11 15:35:38

A Kansas State University graduate student sees the unpaved road ahead, and it's filled with biomaterial. Wilson Smith, master's student in civil engineering, Independence, Mo., is working with lignin, a plant-based sustainable material that can be added to improve the quality of unpaved roads throughout Kansas. More than 70 percent of the 98,000 miles of roads in Kansas are unpaved, Smith said. "One of the problems with unpaved roads is that they are made from loose granular soils...

2011-12-19 13:45:13

Most commonly used raw materials in butanol production have so far been starch and cane sugar. In contrast to this, the starting point in the Aalto University study was to use only lignocellulose, otherwise known as wood biomass, which does not compete with food production. Another new breakthrough in the study is to successfully combine modern pulp - and biotechnology. Finland's advanced forest industry provides particularly good opportunities to develop this type of bioprocesses. Wood...

2011-08-31 20:16:11

Adding a pretreatment step would allow producers to get more ethanol from switchgrass harvested in the fall, according to a Purdue University study. Michael Ladisch, a distinguished professor of agricultural and biological engineering, and Youngmi Kim, a research scientist, compared switchgrass based on growing location, harvest time and whether it was given a pretreatment step. They found that location wasn't important, but the other two factors could significantly increase the amount of...

2011-07-14 16:06:24

'Dry rot' genome offers lessons for biofuel pretreatment processes Feared by realtors and homeowners alike, dry rot due to the fungus Serpula lacrymans causes millions of dollars worth of damage to homes and buildings around the world. This brown rot fungus' capacity to break down the cellulose in wood led to its selection for sequencing by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI) in 2007, with the goal of identifying the enzymes involved in the degradation process and...

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2011-07-06 14:02:55

One of the peskiest household pests, while disastrous to homes, could prove to be a boon for cars, according to a Purdue University study. Mike Scharf, the O. Wayne Rollins/Orkin Chair in Molecular Physiology and Urban Entomology, said his laboratory has discovered a cocktail of enzymes from the guts of termites that may be better at getting around the barriers that inhibit fuel production from woody biomass. The Scharf Laboratory found that enzymes in termite guts are instrumental in the...

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2011-06-17 08:01:24

A first of its kind combination of experiment and simulation at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory is providing a close-up look at the molecule that complicates next-generation biofuels. Lignin, a major component of plant cell walls, aggregates to form clumps, which cause problems during the production of cellulosic ethanol. The exact shape and structure of the aggregates, however, have remained largely unknown. A team led by ORNL's Jeremy Smith revealed the surface...

2011-06-09 14:19:26

Researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)-led Integrated Biorefining Research and Technology (IBTI) Club have identified an enzyme in bacteria which could be used to make biofuel production more efficient. The research is published in the 14 June issue of the American Chemical Society journal Biochemistry. This research, carried out by teams at the Universities of Warwick and British Columbia, could make sustainable sources of biofuels, such as...

2011-05-10 15:16:00

THUNDER BAY, On, May 10 /PRNewswire/ - FPInnovations in partnership with the Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio Economy (CRIBE), Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN) and AbitibiBowater is now producing its first batches of operational lignin for Canadian researchers. Lignin is a residual substance from the pulping process which is a key component for the developing commercially viable fossil fuel alternatives. These partners will develop a world-class black liquor and lignin...

2011-05-09 12:53:52

It's not quite Christmas, but the DNA sequence of a small plant that resembles the seasonal conifers is providing biofuels researchers with information that could influence the development of candidate biofuel feedstock plants and offering botanists long-awaited insights into plant evolution. "When you burn coal, you're burning Selaginella's ancestors," said Purdue University botanist Jody Banks, who originally proposed that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI)...


Word of the Day
cacodemon
  • An evil spirit; a devil.
  • A nightmare.
  • In astrology, the twelfth house of a scheme or figure of the heavens: so called from its signifying dreadful things, such as secret enemies, great losses, imprisonment, etc.
'Cacodemon' comes from a Greek term meaning 'evil genius.'
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