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New sources of biofuel to take pressure off traditional crops

“Salt-loving algae could be the key to the successful development of biofuels as well as being an efficient means of recycling atmospheric carbon dioxide”, Professor John Cushman of the University of Nevada told the Society for General Microbiology meeting at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.
The current major limitation of biofuel production is the lack of adequate feedstocks, soybeans and corn, for biodiesel and ethanol production, respectively. Halophytic (salt-loving) micro-algae can be grown on marginal lands with brackish or salt water unsuitable for traditional agriculture.
Their growth is non-seasonal, making them 10-30 times more productive than terrestrial crops. They can be grown on municipal wastewater and have widespread potential for recycling carbon dioxide from biomass-, coal-, and gas-fired power …

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New method uses electrolyzed water for more efficient fuel production

Using electrolyzed water rather than harsh chemicals could be a more effective and environmentally friendly method in the pretreatment of ethanol waste products to produce an acetone-butanol-ethanol fuel mix, according to research conducted at the University of Illinois.
When ethanol is produced, distiller’s dried grain with solubles (DDGS) is a waste product. The DDGS is primarily used as animal feed, but researchers are searching for ways to extract the sugar and ferment it to produce an acetone-butanol-ethanol fuel mix. One obstacle has been in the production phase called pretreatment.
“For any biofuel production you need to have simple sugars such as glucose,” said U of I researcher Hao Feng. The glucose in DDGS is stuck together, forming …

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