Doubts surface over climate benefit of biofuels from corn residue

Using corn crop residue to make ethanol and other biofuels reduces soil carbon and can generate more greenhouse gases than gasoline, according to a study published today in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Designing trees that make it easier to produce paper

Researchers have genetically engineered trees that will be easier to break down to produce paper and biofuel, a breakthrough that will mean using fewer chemicals, less energy and creating fewer environmental pollutants.

Do poplars have biofuel potential?

What began 20 years ago as an innovation to improve paper industry processes and dairy forage digestibility may now open the door to a much more energy- and cost-efficient way to convert biomass into fuel.

Engineered bacteria produce biofuel alternative for high-energy rocket fuel

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Joint BioEnergy Institute have engineered a bacterium to synthesize pinene, a hydrocarbon produced by trees that could potentially replace high-energy fuels, such as JP-10, in missiles and other aerospace applications.

Algae may be a potential source of biofuels and biochemicals even in cool climate

Algae are organisms useful in many ways in the transition towards a bio-economy. Even in a cool climate as in Finland, algae might be used to produce biochemicals and biofuels, besides use in capture of industrial carbon dioxide emissions. The ALGIDA project coordinated by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland explored algae growing in Finland.

Is alga viable as a biofuel?

Lab success doesn’t always translate to real-world success. A team of Michigan State University scientists, however, has invented a new technology that increases the odds of helping algae-based biofuels cross that gap and come closer to reality.

How to make cheaper second-gen biofuel

Producing second-generation biofuel from dead plant tissue is environmetally friendly - but it is also expensive because the process as used today needs expensive enzymes, and large companies dominate this market.

Report: More to biofuel production than yield

When it comes to biofuels, corn leads the all-important category of biomass yield. However, focusing solely on yield comes at a high price. In the current issue of the Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences, Michigan State University researchers show that looking at the big picture allows other biofuel crops, such as native perennial grasses, to score higher as viable alternatives.

New, simple technique may drive down biofuel production costs

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a simple, effective and relatively inexpensive technique for removing lignin from the plant material used to make biofuels, which may drive down the cost of biofuel production.

Pentagon eyes farm to fleet biofuel

The U.S. Navy has faced resistance from many conservatives in its quest to use advanced biofuels to power its ships and planes, but maybe putting a “homegrown” spin on the move – with a program called “Farm to Fleet” – will help quiet the critics.

Solving ethanol's corrosion problem may help speed the biofuel to market

If we're to meet a goal set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Renewable Fuels Standard to use 36 billion gallons per year of biofuels—mostly ethanol—the nation must expand its infrastructure for transporting and storing ethanol. Currently, ethanol is transported via trucks, trains, and barges. For the large volumes required in the future, transportation by pipeline is considered to be the most efficient method to get it to customers.

Biofuel improvements inch forward

Advanced biofuels aren’t where U.S. lawmakers expected them to be, but that failure is in the rear-view mirror. The question now is about the road ahead, and the pro-renewables group E2 is forecasting steady growth – but whether that growth will come fast enough to meet the growing requirements of the U.S. renewable fuel standard seems doubtful.

Growing biofuel algae in wastewater

We call it waste, but there’s a lot of power in what we flush down the toilet. Creative designers have given us pee-powered gadgets and poo-powered vehicles, but that’s just the tip of the ice berg.

New possibilities for efficient biofuel production

Limited availability of fossil fuels stimulates the search for different energy resources. The use of biofuels is one of the alternatives. Sugars derived from the grain of agricultural crops can be used to produce biofuel but these crops occupy fertile soils needed for food and feed production.

Ultrasound 'making waves' for enhancing biofuel production

All chefs know that "you have to break some eggs to make an omelet," and that includes engineers at Iowa State University who are using high-frequency sound waves to break down plant materials in order to cook up a better batch of biofuel.

Microalgae may be a profitable source of biofuel

Researchers at the UAB's Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA-UAB) and the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM-CSIC), have analyzed the potential of different species of microalgae for producing biodiesel.

Biofuels chalk up a victory in fiscal cliff deal

The wind power industry wasn’t the only renewable energy winner in the fiscal cliff deal that cleared Congress earlier this week – the legislation also showered taxpayer largess on the producers of various categories of biofuels.

Could synthetic biofuel replace crude oil?

The United States could do away with using crude oil altogether by using a combination of coal, natural gas and synthetic fuel made from non-food crops.

Garbage microbe could help lower the cost of biofuel

One of the reasons biofuels are so expensive to make is that the organisms used to ferment the biomass cannot make effective use of hemicellulose, the next most abundant cell wall component after cellulose.

Cutting military biofuel programs could cost 14,000 Jobs

Here’s something I’ll bet you didn’t know.