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Directory:Biomass Research and Development

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Directory of Biomass technologies and resources.

Research and Development

  • Batteries > Paper / Alt Fuels > Biomass > R&D >
    Sony demos paper-fueled battery - Sony recently showed off a new bio-cell battery that breaks down paper in order to create power. The process starts with an enzyme suspended in water. When paper is dropped in, the enzyme starts to break it down and produce glucose that can then be harvested and used to power a battery. (GizMag; December 21, 2011)
  • Non-Fossil Oil > Biomass / Waste to Energy >
    Bio-Oil Could Replace Petroleum in Asphalt - Researchers from Iowa State University have come up with a bio-oil made from corn stalks, wood waste, and other bio-mass that could one day replace oil in asphalt. The bio-oil is made when biomass is superheated in an oxygen-free area. It is also a money saver because it is easier to pave with bio-asphalt, and it doesn’t have to be heated as high to be used. (Gas 2.0; Oct. 8, 2010)
  • Alt Fuels > Biomass > Biofuels > R&D >
    New Gasification Process More Efficiently Converts Biomass to Biofuels - Researchers at the Universities of Massachusetts and Minnesota have created a gasification process that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and doubles the amount of fuel via a special catalytic reactor that converts all the CO2 and and methane into carbon monoxide, which can be used to create biofuels. The system could be market-ready in as few as two years. (PhysOrg; Apr. 21, 2010)
  • Biomass / Biofuels > R&D >
    Plant-based fuel is cheap, easy, and ready to power your jet - Engineers at University of Wisconsin-Madison have found a way to convert 95% of the energy of cellulosic biomass into jet fuel using stable, inexpensive catalysts, basic equipment and minimal processing. The end hydrocarbon product is so similar to jet fuel that it is ready for application by present internal engine designs. (GizMag; March 11, 2010)
  • Ethanol >
    Cellulosic Ethanol on the Cheap - Mascoma, a cellulosic biofuels company based in Lebanon, NH, reports significant advances in its goal of simplifying the cellulosic ethanol process by skipping the use of costly enzymes, which could potentially reduce cellulosic ethanol's production costs by 20 to 30 percent. (MIT Technology Review; May 12, 2009)
  • Plastic / Alt Fuels >
    Plastic and Fuel That Grow On Trees - Chemists have learned how to convert plant biomass directly into a chemical building block that can be used to produce not only fuel, but also plastics, polyester, and industrial chemicals, cheaply and efficiently. (GizMag; May 20, 2009)
  • Two-step chemical process turns raw biomass into biofuel - "This solvent system can dissolve cotton balls, which are pure cellulose," says Ronald Raines. "And it's a simple system-not corrosive, dangerous, expensive or stinky." The cellulose is converted into the "platform" chemical 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) and then into the promising biofuel, 2,5-dimethylfuran (DMF). (University of Wisconsin-Madison; Feb. 10, 2009)
  • New UGA biomass technology dramatically increases ethanol yield from grasses and yard waste - The new technology features a fast, mild, acid-free pretreatment process that increases by at least 10 times the amount of simple sugars released from inexpensive biomass for conversion to ethanol. The technology effectively eliminates the use of expensive and environmentally unsafe chemicals currently used to pretreat biomass. (University of Georgia; July 28, 2008)
  • Boosting Cellulosic Biofuels - A molybdenum sulphate catalyst developed by Dow in the 1980s will improve the syngas-conversion process. If successful, a catalytic process could theoretically achieve production rates of 130 gallons of alcohol per ton of biomass, a significant improvement on the 60-to-80-gallon yields produced by existing biochemical fermentation plants, says Mark Jones, a technology strategy development scientist with Dow. (Technology Review; July 28, 2008)
  • Rice in your gas tank: Boosting biofuel production from rice straw - Yanfeng He, Yunzhi Pang, Yanping Liu, Xiujin Li, and Kuisheng Wang at Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, and Center for Resources and Environmental Research, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing, China, treated rice straw with sodium hydroxide (NaOH) before allowing bacteria to ferment and increased biogas production by making more cellulose and other compositions in straw available for digestion by the bacteria. (Physorg; May 26, 2008)
  • PNNL & WSU Open Biomass Research Lab - At the Bioproducts, Sciences, and Engineering Laboratory (BSEL), WSU and PNNL plan to work together to develop new solutions to commercialize new technology and provide students with a hands-on educational experience. The new US $24.8 million facility is located on the WSU Tri-Cities campus in Richland, WA. (Renewable Energy World; May 12, 2008)
  • Directory:Biodiesel from Algae Oil - Some species of algae are ideally suited to biodiesel production due to their high oil content (some well over 50% oil), and extremely fast growth rates. Algae farms would let us supply enough biodiesel to completely replace petroleum as a transportation fuel in the US.
  • Burning Shelled Corn As Fuel - can be a feasible way of dealing with the high prices of more conventional fuels such as fuel oil, propane, natural gas, coal, and firewood. Utilizing corn as a fuel does not compete with the food supply since agriculture can produce sufficient amounts for food, fuel, pharmaceuticals, and chemical feedstocks. (Penn State University) See also Corn Burning Stoves at TreeHugger
  • Biofuel from Saltwater Plants - A NASA scientist is confident that within five years commercial aircraft could be powered by biofuel derived from saltwater plants, or halophytes, grown in desert areas and irrigated using sea water. Suitable areas for cultivating halophytes include the Sahara desert, Western Australia, south-west USA, and parts of the Middle East. (TreeHugger; January 17, 2007)
  • Gynerium Sagittatum: a new plantation crop? - Samoa Fiber will be using tropical 'wild cane' for the production of bio-oil. The yield per hectare is four times that of the fastest growing wood and three times more than switchgrass. Biomass yields have become the single most important cost factor in biofuel production. (Biopact; Feb. 5, 2007)
  • Electricity from Seaweed - Tokyo Gas teamed up with NEDO to create the first power plant in the world that runs off of seaweed, which creates methane gas when broken down by microoganisms. The gas fuels an engine that produces electricity, generating 10 kilowatts of electricity per hour. Research results will be used to consider larger-scale commercial use. (TreeHugger; Feb. 26, 2007)
  • Harvesting algae blooms from the open ocean - AlgoDyne Ethanol Energy has developed a new process to harvest biomass from marine algal blooms, that occur in almost all oceans of the world, often caused by man-made nutrient pollution. It could yield huge amounts of biomass usable for ethanol and biodiesel production at virtually no cost. (Biopact; Mar. 1, 2007)
  • New Bio-Oil Joint Venture - Khosla Ventures and BIOeCON have formed a joint venture, KiOR, to develop and commercialize BIOeCON’s Biomass Catalytic Cracking (BCC) process. BCC technology is a simple non-energy intensive method that converts lignocellulosic biomass into a bio-oil product that can be further upgraded to transportation fuels and chemicals. (Green Car Congress; Nov. 1, 2007)
  • Smaller, Cheaper Biofuel Reactors - Researchers at the University of Minnesota have developed a fast way to convert sawdust and waste biomass directly into a mixture of gases that can be burned to generate electricity or made into liquid fuels such as diesel. If the process could be scaled, it could serve as a reactor located close to biomass sources. (MIT Technology Review; Aug. 9, 2007)
  • Electricity from Sugar Water - Researchers at the University of Minnesota have developed a catalytic method for producing hydrogen from cheap fuels such soy oil and even a mixture of glucose and water. Could also make synthetic gas and plastics. (MIT Technology Review; Nov. 7, 2006)
  • Research Begins on Converting Manure to Heat - Texas A&M is researching what process and what mix of the manure will create the most useable heat and, as a result, energy; with construction materials by-products. (Renewable Energy Access; Aug. 26, 2005)
  • Rice as a source of electricity - Rice yields an abundance of biowaste: Husks make up around one quarter of the weight. Only a small fraction of this is utilized, for instance, to fire distillery furnaces. Researchers at Hanoi University of Technology now also want to use rice husks to generate electricity. (PhysOrg; Nov. 21, 2006)

Green Energy's Technology Selected for Study and Development - Green Energy Corp.'s patented gasification technology converts biomass to a synthetic gas that can be burned to generate electricity, reformed to produce ethanol or used to feed solid oxide fuel cell. (BusinessWire; June 14, 2005)

  • Grass Hailed as Potential Source of Clean Energy - If about 8% of the land area of Illinois was planted with the grass called Miscanthus, and only half of those yields were harvested, there would be enough matter to generate the total electricity used by of the state if Illinois, in a carbon-neutral cycle. (Reuters; Sept. 7, 2005)

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