Lower nitrogen application results in higher cellulosic ethanol yields

March 1, 2011 |

In Texas, researchers at Rice University have discovered that using fertilizer at the same rates as corn for food as corn for ethanol can actually make it more difficult for biofuels processing because that additional nitrogen speeds up the production of lignin—getting in the way of cellulosic ethanol production.

The researchers found that lignin yields from plant residue increased at nearly twice the rate as cellulose in response to nitrogen fertilization, and they said this implies “that residue feedstock quality declines as more nitrogen fertilizer is applied.”

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Category: Research

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