Tuesday, April 14, 2015

New ORNL, N.C. State, LanzaTech DNA dataset is potent, accessible tool

Scientists focused on producing biofuels more efficiently have a new powerful dataset to help them study the DNA of microbes that fuel bioconversion and other processes.

In a paper published in Nature Scientific Data, researchers from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, North Carolina State University and LanzaTech describe methods and results for sequencing the Clostridium autoethanogenum bacterium. These and other microorganisms play important roles in biofuels, agriculture, food production, the environment, health and disease.

READ MORE.... http://www.ornl.gov/ornl/news/news-releases/2015/new-ornl-n-c--state-lanzatech-dna-dataset-is-potent-accessible-tool

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

UGA Researchers create fast-growing trees that are easier to turn into fuel

Researchers at the University of Georgia have discovered that manipulation of a specific gene in a hardwood tree species not only makes it easier to break down the wood into fuel, but also significantly increases tree growth.


Friday, March 13, 2015

NCSU discover unique proteins found in heat-loving organisms bind well to plant matter

Unique proteins newly discovered in heat-loving bacteria are more than capable of attaching themselves to plant cellulose, possibly paving the way for more efficient methods of converting plant matter into biofuels.

The unusual proteins, called tapirins (derived from the Maori verb ‘to join’), bind tightly to cellulose, a key structural component of plant cell walls, enabling these bacteria to break down cellulose. The conversion of cellulose to liquid biofuels, such as ethanol, is paramount to the use of renewable feedstocks.

Read more at; https://news.ncsu.edu/2015/03/unique-proteins-bind-to-cellulose/

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Dr. Wellington Muchero - Exploring poplar genes for biofuel production

Watch Dr. Wellington Muchero describe genetic variations in Populus trees on the ORNL You Tube channel.

Read "Sugar and Splice" ORNL News Feature on the identify of genes best suited for producing biofuel from poplar trees planted in different environments.


Monday, February 23, 2015

UCR Novel Pretreatment Technology

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have invented a novel pretreatment technology that could cut the cost of biofuels production by about 30 percent or more by dramatically reducing the amount of enzymes needed to breakdown the raw materials that form biofuels.

As partners in the BioEnergy Science Center (BESC), the team from theBourns College of Engineering Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering and Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) have shown that this new operation called Co-solvent Enhanced Lignocellulosic Fractionation (CELF) could eliminate about 90 percent of the enzymes needed for biological conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to fuels compared to prior practice. This development could mean reducing enzyme costs from about $1 per gallon of ethanol to about 10 cents or less.

READ MORE.... http://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/27357

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Second annual Bioenergy Day @ UGA to welcome seventh graders

Athens, Ga. - More than 400 Athens seventh-graders will experience firsthand how wood and other plant biomass generate energy at the second annual Bioenergy Day @ UGA on Nov. 12 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the State Botanical Garden.

UGA faculty and students will be on hand to guide students from Hilsman and Coile middle schools through the hands-on displays about producing renewable energy from biological sources.

Interactive exhibits were developed by staff from the BioEnergy Science Center, or BESC, and the Creative Discovery Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and departments from across UGA.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Signatures of selection inscribed on poplar genomes

A recent study published online August 24, 2014 in Nature Genetics offers a more in-depth, population-based approach to identifying such mechanisms for adaptation, and describes a method that could be harnessed for developing more accurate predictive climate change models. For the U.S. Department of Energy, which is developing biomass crops for biofuels production, this knowledge could determine which genotypes – genetic makeup of an organism – of biomass crop may thrive better than others in certain environments. The team led by Gerald Tuskan of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) and Stephen DiFazio of West Virginia University, used a combination of genome-wide selection scans and analyses to understand the processes involved in shaping the genetic variation of natural poplar (Populus trichocarpa) populations.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-08-signatures-inscribed-poplar-genomes.html

Jerry Tuskan of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the DOE JGI talks about poplar trees as models for selective adaptation to an environment. This video complements a study published ahead online August 24, 2014 in Nature Genetics.