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Biomass

Power from biomass


Cold-tolerant, Oil-Producing Sugarcane

Written by , on February 26, 2014

A team led by researchers at the University of Illinois is using recent advances in plant biotechnology to increase sugarcane's geographic range, boost its photosynthetic rate and turn it into an oil-producing crop for biodiesel production. The team introduced genes into the sugarcane that boost natural oil production in the plant's stems to about 1.5%.  […]  Read more »

Food and Fuel from Any Plant

Written by , on April 20, 2013

Researchers at Virginia Tech, led by Associate Professor Percival Zhang, have developed a process by which approximately 30% of the cellulose from any plant material (including agricultural waste) can be converted into a starch known as amylose. Amylose can be used in food or as biodegradable packaging. Cellulose and starch have the same chemical composiition […]  Read more »

Low-cost Hydrogen from Any Biomass

Written by , on April 19, 2013

Researchers at Virginia Tech have discovered a way to extract large quantities of hydrogen from any plant, a breakthrough that has the potential to be a low-cost, environmentally friendly fuel source. Associate Proffessor Y.H. Percival Zhang and his team have succeeded in using xylose, the most abundant simple plant sugar, to produce a large quantity […]  Read more »

Old Process Efficiently Produces Biodiesel

Written by , on February 17, 2013

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley have discovered that a long-abandoned process, once used to turn starch into explosives, can be used to efficiently produce diesel fuel from plant sources such as corn, sugar cane, grasses and other fast-growing plants or trees. The process of bacterial fermentation was discovered nearly 100 years ago by […]  Read more »

New Slant on Biofuel from Trees

Written by , on January 20, 2013

British researchers have identified a genetic trait that causes willow trees to yield five times more biofuel if they grow diagonally, compared with those that are allowed to grow naturally up towards the sky. Scientists led by Dr Nicholas Brereton and Dr Michael Ray, both from the Imperial College London, found that when willows grow […]  Read more »

Milking Bacteria for Biofuel

Written by , on October 14, 2012

A team of scientists at MIT have genetically altered a common soil bacteria called Ralstonia eutropha into producing biofuel and expelling biofuel into its growing medium instead of retaining it within its body. Normally, biofuel is extracted from bacteria by crushing it; the new process is analagous to milking. The biofuel, isobutanol, can be blended […]  Read more »

Camp/Third-World Stove Also Provides Electricity

Written by , on February 9, 2012

Biolite has developed a portable camp stove that uses the heat from the fire to also generate electricity for charging batteries. The company has another model under development designed to provide electricity, as well as a clean-burning cooking stove, for developing countries.  Read more »

Turning Seaweed into Fuel

Written by , on January 31, 2012

Seaweed would seem to an ideal source of biomass for making renewable fuels. Kelp has a high sugar content; it doesn’t need farmland or fresh water and large quantities can be sustainably harvested. Harvesting the kelp which is already growing along 3% of the world’s coastlines could potentially produce 60 billion gallons of ethanol. The […]  Read more »

Study: Huge Potential in Storing CO2 from Biomass Power

Written by , on August 18, 2011

A study commissioned by the International Energy Agency has concluded that combining energy production from biomass with carbon capture and storage has the potential to reduce annual CO2 emissions by almost a third. According to Joris Koornneef from Ecofys, who conducted the study, "The combination actually removes CO2 from the atmosphere, The biomass extracts CO2 […]  Read more »

Genetic Discovery Could Make Growing Biomass More Productive

Written by , on May 17, 2011

Researchers at the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation in Oklahoma have reported a genetic discovery that allows individual plants to produce more biomass. This means that biofuel crops could have higher yields without increasing their agricultural footprint. Dr Huanzhong Wang has discovered a gene that controls the production of lignin within the stems of arabidopsis and […]  Read more »