Category: Research

NRRI lab moves solid biofuel toward commercialization

NRRI lab moves solid biofuel toward commercialization

December 15, 2018 |

In Minnesota, the Natural Resources Research Institute is helping a new start-up in John Day, Oregon, open a new market for the biomass by developing a coal alternative for energy production. The goal of Restoration Fuels is to convert trees thinned from the Malheur National Forest into a compressed renewable fuel that has energy content […]

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Nigerian university developing mini-biodiesel plant to promote jatropha use

Nigerian university developing mini-biodiesel plant to promote jatropha use

December 13, 2018 |

In Nigeria, the University of Ilorin is developing a pilot mini-biodiesel production facility that will use jatropha as feedstock. The mini-plant is meant to show rural communities who already grow the oilseed tree extensively the energy production opportunities available to offset fossil fuel consumption. The university itself already planted 55 hectares of jatropha back in […]

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Harvard researchers develop yeast bio-hybrid system

Harvard researchers develop yeast bio-hybrid system

December 12, 2018 |

In Massachusetts, researchers at Harvard University have expanded the concept of “biological-inorganic hybrid systems” to baker’s yeast that in combination with light-harvesting semiconductors is able to produce shikimic acid, an important precursor of the anti-viral drug Tamiflu, several other medicines, nutraceuticals, and fine chemicals. When kept in the dark, the yeast cells produced ethanol and […]

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TU Delft researcher develops model assessing impacts of transportation emissions on climate

TU Delft researcher develops model assessing impacts of transportation emissions on climate

December 11, 2018 |

In the Netherlands, a PhD candidate at TU Delft created a unique chemistry-climate response model called TransClim (Modelling the effect of surface Transportation on Climate) which assesses the impact and the contribution of road traffic emission scenarios on O3 and CH4 concentration as well as their subsequent climate effect. ‘Comparing the results delivered by TransClim […]

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Germany researchers find that bioplastics aren’t necessarily more environmentally friendly than petroleum-based

Germany researchers find that bioplastics aren’t necessarily more environmentally friendly than petroleum-based

December 10, 2018 |

In Germany, bioplastics are often promoted as an environmentally and climate-friendly alternative to conventional petroleum-based plastics. However, a recent study from the University of Bonn suggests that shifting to plant-based plastics could have less positive effects than expected. Specifically, an increased consumption of bioplastics in the following years is likely to generate increased greenhouse gas […]

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Two-dimensional materials skip the energy barrier by growing one row at a time

Two-dimensional materials skip the energy barrier by growing one row at a time

December 9, 2018 |

In Washington, a new collaborative study led by a research team at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and University of California, Los Angeles could provide engineers new design rules for creating microelectronics, membranes, and tissues, and open up better production methods for new materials. At the same time, the research helps uphold […]

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Chinese researchers develop novel catalytic method to processfeedstock for biofuels

Chinese researchers develop novel catalytic method to processfeedstock for biofuels

December 6, 2018 |

In China, researchers from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and colleagues from Peking University recently reported an efficient and novel catalytic method for the conversion of aqueous biomass fermentation broth to a water-immiscible product. Their finding was published in Nature Communications. They developed a strategy capable of […]

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UK launches $76.4 million challenge to create sustainable packaging and plastic

UK launches $76.4 million challenge to create sustainable packaging and plastic

December 5, 2018 |

In the UK, household food scraps could be transformed into environmentally-friendly plastic bags and cups, thanks to up to GBP60 million ($76.4 million) of new government funding. Innovators are being challenged to make the UK a world-leader in creating sustainable packaging and reduce the impact of harmful plastics on the environment, as the UK seizes […]

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Japanese researchers discover “switch” in algae impacting starch levels

Japanese researchers discover “switch” in algae impacting starch levels

December 4, 2018 |

In Japan, results from a collaborative study by Tokyo Tech and Tohoku University, Japan, raise prospects for large-scale production of algae-derived starch, a valuable bioresource for biofuels and other renewable materials. Such bio-based products have the potential to replace fossil fuels and contribute to the development of sustainable systems and societies. A “switch” controlling the […]

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University of York researchers find key to producing biofuel from wood in the gut of curious wood-eating crustacean

University of York researchers find key to producing biofuel from wood in the gut of curious wood-eating crustacean

December 3, 2018 |

In the UK, scientists studying the digestive system of a curious wood-eating crustacean have discovered it may hold the key to sustainably converting wood into biofuel. Gribble are small marine invertebrates that have evolved to perform an important ecological role eating the abundant supplies of wood washed into the sea from river estuaries. They can […]

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