Category: Research

Berkeley Lab researchers develop syngas method by adding copper atop gold

Berkeley Lab researchers develop syngas method by adding copper atop gold

September 7, 2017 |

In California, researchers from the Berkeley Lab have developed a new recipe for creating synthesis gas mixtures, or syngas, that involves adding a pinch of copper atoms sprinkled atop a gold surface. The new material supports a room-temperature electrochemical reaction that can convert carbon dioxide and water into syngas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and […]

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French researchers discover enzyme that allows microalgae to produce hydrocarbons

French researchers discover enzyme that allows microalgae to produce hydrocarbons

September 6, 2017 |

In France, an international team has discovered an enzyme which allows microalgae to convert some of their fatty acids into hydrocarbons using light. This enzyme, which has been named “FAP” (Fatty Acid Photodecarboxylase), is of an extremely rare type, as only four enzymes powered by light have been identified to date. Chlorella is a single-cell […]

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Researchers at Norwegian university discover how LPMOs break down cellulose

Researchers at Norwegian university discover how LPMOs break down cellulose

September 5, 2017 |

In Norway, researchers at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) discovered that the mechanism by which “Lytic Polysaccharide Monooxygenases” or LPMOs break down cellulose is different from what was previously thought. What has been discovered is that LPMOs do not need oxygen but hydrogen peroxide, which is a cheap liquid chemical. Although this finding […]

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LSU AgCenter scores $387,000 grant to evaluate cover crops for energy cane

LSU AgCenter scores $387,000 grant to evaluate cover crops for energy cane

September 4, 2017 |

In Louisiana, a team of LSU AgCenter researchers has received a four-year, $387,000 grant to evaluate the feedstock potential of energy cane and sweet sorghum with winter cover crops. Energy cane produces three crops in four years from one planting. The growing cycle is similar to the pattern farmers use for growing sugarcane. Growers and […]

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Sunlight converts algae fats directly into hydrocarbons for speedy biofuel production

Sunlight converts algae fats directly into hydrocarbons for speedy biofuel production

September 2, 2017 |

In France, researchers discovered that certain species of algae can convert fats directly to hydrocarbons that can come in handy for biofuel production. Using sunlight as an input and filtering the contents of algae to leave them with protein solutions with some cell contents, they tested them for how well they converted to fats. They […]

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New research shows biodiesel could be 10% cleaner than thought

New research shows biodiesel could be 10% cleaner than thought

August 31, 2017 |

In Indiana, a new academic paper published in Biotechnology for Biofuels shows biodiesel’s benefits are even better than previous models suggest. Updated modeling from Purdue University suggests the advantage of using biodiesel has been underestimated by 10 percent. “This latest research verifies biodiesel is an ideal option to support American-made energy and renewable fuels,” said […]

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University of California, Irvine researchers using bacteria to produce hydrocarbons from industrial waste

University of California, Irvine researchers using bacteria to produce hydrocarbons from industrial waste

August 30, 2017 |

In California, researchers at the University of California, Irvine envision growing the Actinobacter vinelandii bacteria on industrial carbon waste to generate hydrocarbons. They found that the A. vinelandii strain that expresses the nitrogenase enzyme can produce methane (CH4), ethylene (C2H4), ethane (C2H6), propylene (C3H6), propane (C3H8) and butane (C4H10). So far they have optimized the […]

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University of Illinois researchers look at biofuel processing catalyst made from palladium metal and bacteria

University of Illinois researchers look at biofuel processing catalyst made from palladium metal and bacteria

August 29, 2017 |

In Illinois, fuels that are produced from nonpetroleum-based biological sources may become greener and more affordable, thanks to research performed at the University of Illinois’ Prairie Research Institute that examines the use of a processing catalyst made from palladium metal and bacteria. Published in the journal Fuel, their findings point to a cheaper, more environmentally […]

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UC Berkeley researchers using nonphotosynthetic bacterium to produce chemicals from CO2

UC Berkeley researchers using nonphotosynthetic bacterium to produce chemicals from CO2

August 28, 2017 |

In California, photosynthesis provides energy for the vast majority of life on Earth. But chlorophyll, the green pigment that plants use to harvest sunlight, is relatively inefficient. To enable humans to capture more of the sun’s energy than natural photosynthesis can, scientists have taught bacteria to cover themselves in tiny, highly efficient solar panels to […]

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Clemson gets USDA grant to evaluate biofuels effect on climate change

Clemson gets USDA grant to evaluate biofuels effect on climate change

August 26, 2017 |

In South Carolina, Clemson University received a $147,744, two-year grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to analyze how switchgrass fields and loblolly pine forests affect local temperatures through the exchange of water, energy, radiation and carbon with the atmosphere. The purpose of the project and grant is […]

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