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Latest Panicum virgatum Stories

2010-09-15 19:22:08

New insight into the structure of switchgrass and poplars is fueling discussions that could result in more efficient methods to turn biomass into biofuel. Researchers from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Georgia Tech used small-angle neutron scattering to probe the structural impact of an acid pretreatment of lignocellulose from switchgrass. Pretreatment is an essential step to extract cellulose, which can through a series of enzymatic procedures be converted into...

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2010-09-09 13:19:00

Uses more water, leaches less nitrogen In the search for the perfect crop for biofuel production, Miscanthus  has become the darling to many. But in an effort to not be charmed by its enormous potential for biomass production, researchers at the University of Illinois are taking a careful look at the pros and cons of its behavior in the field. A recent study analyzed water quantity and quality in plots of Miscanthus, switchgrass, corn, and soybeans and found that Miscanthus used...

2010-08-26 14:31:00

COLLEGE STATION, Texas, Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Energy industry executives joined investors and policymakers near Houston, Texas earlier today to take a firsthand look at energy grasses and research developments that are expected to push bioenergy to the forefront of renewable power and transportation fuels. The bioenergy field day, hosted by Ceres, Inc., provides a unique opportunity for industry leaders who may not be familiar with agricultural production to walk among towering energy...

2010-08-17 14:38:00

BROOMFIELD, Colo., Aug. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Range Fuels, Inc., a company focused on commercially producing low-carbon biofuels and clean renewable power, today announced that it has produced cellulosic methanol from the initial phase of its first commercial cellulosic biofuels plant near Soperton, Georgia using non-food biomass. The first phase of the Soperton Plant operations employs Range Fuels' innovative, two-step thermo-chemical process, which uses heat, pressure, and steam to...

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...

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2010-08-10 19:56:16

By planting switchgrass and using certain agronomic practices, farmers can significantly reduce the amount of nitrogen and nitrates that leach into the soil, according to Iowa State University research.Matt Helmers, associate professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, and Antonio Mallarino, professor of agronomy, have been studying the amount of nitrates that pass through soil into tiling systems from several different types of crops and fertilizer treatments for the past three...

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2010-08-05 09:32:44

AgriLife scientist: 'Time to take the monoculture blinders off' Whether we can grow bio-energy crops such as switchgrass and forage sorghum isn't the question, said a Texas AgriLife Research scientist. The question is, where's the nitrogen going to come from to grow these crops and how much is it going to add to the cost of the end product, said Dr. Gerald Smith, AgriLife Research legume breeder based in Overton. And there also are hidden costs, such as the effect of fencerow-to-fencerow...

2010-07-27 23:57:36

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have developed a new tool for deciphering the genetics of a native prairie grass being widely studied for its potential as a biofuel. The genetic map of switchgrass, published by Christian Tobias, a molecular biologist at the ARS Western Regional Research Center in Albany, Calif., and his colleagues, is expected to speed up the search for genes that will make the perennial plant a more viable source of bioenergy. Switchgrass is now grown as a...

2010-07-12 12:45:52

Scientists compile field studies across U.S. to identify influences on biomass yield While scientists have conducted numerous studies on production of biomass from biofuel crops, such as switchgrass, no one has yet compiled this information to evaluate the response of biomass yield to soils, climate, and crop management across the United States. A team of researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Dartmouth College published just such a study in the July-August 2010 Agronomy Journal,...

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2010-06-30 14:23:01

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a more efficient technique for producing biofuels from woody plants that significantly reduces the waste that results from conventional biofuel production techniques. The technique is a significant step toward creating a commercially viable new source of biofuels. "This technique makes the process more efficient and less expensive," says Dr. Ratna Sharma-Shivappa, associate professor of biological and agricultural engineering at NC...