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New medical and other biotechnologies

Turning Sewage into “Biocrude”

Written by , on November 10, 2016

Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have produced a “biocrude” oil fom sewage waste. The biocrude can be further refined into liquid fuels similar to petroleum products.  Read more »

New Rice Strain Greatly Reduces Methane Emissions

Written by , on August 4, 2015

The US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has developed a genetically engineered strain of rice that not only produces almost no methane but also more grain.  Read more »

Hydrogen from Wastewater

Written by , on February 25, 2015

Researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona have reported that they have developed an efficient way to obtain electrical energy and hydrogen in a wastewater treatment process. The system uses bacteria which consume the organic material and generate electricity which is used to produce hydrogen.   Read more »

New Process Triples Biogas Production from Waste

Written by , on November 5, 2014

Researchers in Spain have developed the new “BiogàsPlus” technology which increases the production of biogas by 200% with a controlled introduction of iron oxide nanoparticles to the process of organic waste treatment.  Read more »

Wood to Biofuel in Hours

Written by , on December 10, 2013

Until now, it has taken weeks to make biofuel from trees. Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have now shortened the process to a few hours. In 2010, scientists at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences discovered a "super enzyne" which, in effect, shoots holes into the wood surface with the help […]  Read more »

Discovery Could Eliminate Need for Nitrogen Fertilisers

Written by , on July 26, 2013

Professor Edward Cocking, at the University of Nottingham, has developed a process which enables all crops to take nitrogen from the air rather than from environmentally damaging fertilisers. Nitrogen fixation is the process by which plants convert nitrogen is ammonia which is vital for plants to survive and grow.The vast majority of plants obtain their […]  Read more »

Petrol from Bacteria

Written by , on May 13, 2013

Until now, biofuels have been made up of hydrocarbon chains which are not truly compatible with most modern engines – they work inefficiently and may corrode the engine over time. For these biofuels to become a real alternative to fossil fuels, engines would have to be redesigned. Now, sceintists at the University of Exeter have […]  Read more »

Nanocellulose – 2. Recyclable Solar Cells

Written by , on April 22, 2013

Georgia Institute of Technology and Purdue University researchers have developed efficient solar cells on cellulose nanocrystal substrates. The cellulose substrates and made from plants and can be easily recycled at the end of their life. To date, organic solar cells have usually been fabricated on glass or plastic. Neither of these is easy to recycle […]  Read more »

Nanocellulose – 1. Engineering Algae to Make a “Wonder Material”

Written by , on April 22, 2013

At the American Chemical Society Conference, Dr Malcolm J Brown Jr, a leading researcher on nanocellulose since the 1970s, has reported major advances in producing nanocellulose from blue-green algae. The great strength and light weight of nanocellulose have fostered interest in using it in everything from lightweight armour and ballistic glass to wound dressings and […]  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 »