Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Biofuel Briefs

Renmatrix announced an improved process for deriving cheap industrial sugars from cellulosic biomass. Cheap cellulosic sugars will be key to converting to biomass as feedstock for fuels, plastics, chemicals, etc. rather than using petroleum.
h/t Brian Wang

The US DOE Joint Bioenergy Institute at Berkeley has announced a new biofuel substitute for number 2 diesel. The D2 substitute is called bisabolene, and is produced from both E. Coli bacteria and S. cerevisiae yeast.
h/t Brian Wang

UK scientists are working to improve photosynthesis efficiency for better food, biomass, and fuels production.

Houston based Terrabon Inc. is voted "most transformative technology" by readers of Biofuels Technology, an online site. Terrabon's technology is expected to transform both the biofuels and the water treatment industries.

British Columbia is becoming a world-class provider of biomass energy

More on Renmatrix' recently unveiled industrial-scale cellulosic sugar process:
Renmatix’s PlantroseTM process is the first to break down cellulose at industrial scale through supercritical hydrolysis, which utilizes water at elevated temperatures and pressures to quickly solubilize cellulose. The supercritical state of matter has long been utilized in industrial processes including coffee decaffeination and pharmaceutical applications.

Before the arrival of the Plantrose process, supercritical water had never successfully yielded sugar from biomass at significant scale. The process breaks down a wide range of non-food biomass in seconds, uses no significant consumables and produces much of its own process energy. Current methods of breaking down biomass require expensive enzymes or harsh chemicals, and can take up to three days to yield sugars. With its water-based approach, Renmatix is able to provide cellulosic sugar affordably and on large-scale.

“Sugar has game-changing potential for the bio-based fuels and chemicals market,” said John Doerr, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Renmatix board member. “The Renmatix breakthrough enables access to affordable non-food based sugar on an industrial scale.” _Renmatrix

Let's just hope the Obama administration stays away from advanced biofuels research. We need bio-substitutes for petroleum too badly to allow it to receive the famous kiss of death from the current US regime.

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