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Sugarcane Genetically Modified for High Biofuel Yield

Written by , on April 7, 2017

A multi-institutional team led by the University of Illinois have genetically engineered sugarcane to produce more oil in its leaves and stems for biodiesel production. The modified sugarcane plants also produces more sugar, which could be used for ethanol production.  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 »

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 »

Fuels Made by Bacteria

Written by , on February 3, 2010

A research team from the Joint BioEnergy Institute and biotech firm LS9 have modified E. coli bacteria to produce biodiesel from plant sugars. The biodiesel can be transported in diesel pipelines and burned in standard diesel engines. It releases far fewer greenhouse gases than conventional fossil diesel. E. coli was previously known to synthesize fatty […]  Read more »

Energy from Garbage

Written by , on January 27, 2010

American garbage-disposal giant, Waste Management, has partnered with InEnTec, an Oregon-based company, to begin commercializing a plasma-gasification process which converts garbage into energy. Plasma gasification technology has been in development and pilot testing for decades. Major pilot plants, capable of processing 1,000 tonnes or more of garbage daily, are under development in Florida, Louisiana and […]  Read more »

Fuel from Watermelon and Onion Waste

Written by , on August 31, 2009

Researchers at the Lane Ag Center in Oklahoma have published a paper which recommends using waste watermelons as feedstock for biofuels. About 20% of watermelons are not sent to market because of blemishes or unusual shapes. The researchers concluded that watermelon juice would have to be concentrated 2.5 to 3 times if it was to […]  Read more »

Biodiesel from Coffee Grounds

Written by , on December 12, 2008

Researchers at the University of Nevada report that waste coffee grounds can provide a cheap abundant, and environmentally friendly source of biodiesel fuel. Spent coffee grounds contain between 11 and 20 percent oil by weight which is about as much as traditional biodiesel feedstocks such as rapeseed, palm and soybean oil. All of the oil […]  Read more »

Diesel-making Fungus

Written by , on November 14, 2008

Scientists from Montana State University have discovered that a fungus found in a Patagonian rainforest could provide an alternative source of biofuel. The fungus, Gliocladium roseum, grows in the ulmo tree (Eucryphia cordifolia), a species native to the Patagonia region of Argentina and Chile. The researchers have found that it possesses the metabolic machinery to […]  Read more »

Mass Production of Diesel from Algae

Written by , on August 22, 2008

US company, Solazyme, has announced that it will be capable of mass producing millions of gallons of biodiesel derived from algae within 3 years. Solazyme is the first company to produce algae diesel that meets US standards but until now has not announced a timeline for mass production. According to Solazyme CEO, Jonathan Wolfson “The […]  Read more »


Written by , on May 25, 2008

As the world recognises the inevitability of peak oil and the necessity to reduce carbon emissions, the possibilty of  replacing fossil fuels with fuels produced from biomass – and the downside of doing so – is becoming an increasingly important issue. Already ethanol is starting to play a part as a transport fuel in the […]  Read more »