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Power from biomass

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 »

Hydrogen from Cellulosic Biomass

Written by , on May 2, 2011

Researchers at Virginia Tech, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Georgia have produced hydrogen gas pure enough to power a fuel cell from cellulosic materials (from wood chips) using a mixture of 14 enzymes, one coenzyme and water heated to about 32°C. Jonathan Mielenz, leader of the Bioconversion Science and Technology Group at […]  Read more »

Biofuels from Seaweed

Written by , on April 18, 2011

Producers of biofuels made from terrestrial biomass crops have difficulty breaking down some fibres and extracting fermentable sugars. The harsh pretreatment processes needed to release the sugars result in toxic byproducts and inhibit subsequent microbial fermentation. On the other hand, marine biomass can be easily degraded to fermentable sugars and production rates and range of […]  Read more »

Electricity from Sewage

Written by , on August 18, 2010

Engineers at Oregon State University have made a significant advance toward producing electricity from sewage. Bacteria from biowaste such as sewage are placed in an anode chamber, where they form a biofilm, consume nutrients and grow. In the process they release electrons. The sewage is literally the fuel for electricity production. The engineers found that […]  Read more »

New Bacterium Doubles Hydrogen Production

Written by , on June 12, 2010

Hydrogen can be produced in a way that is carbon neutral by adding bacteria to forestry or household waste in a similar way to that used for biogas production. However, this process does not produce much hydrogen gas for the amount of biomass needed. Now, researchers at Lund University in Sweden have found that a […]  Read more »

Symphonic Sewage – Mozart Motivates Manure Microbes

Written by , on June 3, 2010

A sewage plant near Berlin has found that playing Mozart to its biomass-eating microbes makes them work harder. They expect that it will save the facility as much as €1,000 a month. The waste-treatment facility in the town of Treuenbrietzen southwest of Berlin has been testing a special stereo system over the past two months […]  Read more »