Navigation Links
AgriLife Research gets grant to crack biofuel production waste issue
Date:1/10/2013

A scientist with Texas A&M AgriLife Research has begun work on a way to "engineer" a microbe to break lignin into lipid which can then be used to make more fuel.

The project, which received a $2.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, could help solve the challenge of biowaste generated in biofuel production, according to Dr. Joshua Yuan of College Station, AgriLife Research plant pathologist and lead researcher on the project.

"Probably one of the most important challenges a biomass refinery faces today is how to use lignin. We need a profitable way to use it," Yuan said. "What we propose is to transform these huge amounts of hazardous waste into a huge amount of oil that will be useful for us."

Dr. Joshua Yuan, Texas AgriLife Research plant pathologist

Lignin is what is left after the sugar, or cellulose, in a plant has been converted into ethanol, he explained.

About 50 million tons of lignin are produced every year worldwide and mostly as non-commercialized waste, according to the International Lignin Institute, headquartered in Switzerland.

"There are several things to understand about lignin. It's resistant to degradation and very strong," Yuan said. "It can be burned, but there is so much that burning all of it would create an environmental hazard."

Modern biorefineries for cellulosic ethanol have 60 percent excess lignin, he said.

Because of its tough structure, Yuan said, his team began considering ways to use engineering technology to design biological processes commonly referred to as synthetic biology to help discover ways to convert lignin.

That led them to the microorganisms in the Rhodococcus genus that have the potential to be improved genetically in order to turn lignin into lipids, or fats, which can be used to produce biodiesel.

Yuan said the project is expected to result in a way to convert at least 40 percent of processed lignin.

"The conversion will allow more complete use of carbon in biomass and result in the mitigation of more than 20 million tons of carbon dioxide," Yuan said. "It will also provide another major type of feedstock for biodiesel production, potentially contributing about 10 percent of the total advanced biofuel production.

"The lignin-to-fuel platform would also simplify waste treatment and make refineries more profitable."

The researchers do not have a prediction for when the research will yield marketable results, but Yuan envisions a time when refineries will be able to purchase the newly developed microbes to degrade lignin into a substance usable for fuel production.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kathleen Phillips
ka-phillips@tamu.edu
979-845-2872
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Native orchid protection and conservation subject of new AgriLife Research study
2. BP Biofuels, Texas AgriLife Research sign agreement to advance biofuel feedstock development
3. Researchers identify a new gene with a key role in obesity and diabetes
4. GW researchers find variation in foot strike patterns in predominantly barefoot runners
5. After decades of research, scientists unlock how insulin interacts with cells
6. Mathematics and weather and climate research
7. KAIST and Saudi Aramco agreed to establish a joint CO2 research center in Korea
8. Stem cell materials could boost research into key diseases
9. Surprising teaching tool in K-12 science education -- Zebrafish research
10. F1000Research, the first Open Science publisher, launches following a successful beta testing phase
11. UI researcher learns mechanism of hearing is similar to car battery
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
AgriLife Research gets grant to crack biofuel production waste issue
(Date:4/19/2016)... -- The new GEZE SecuLogic access control ... system solution for all door components. It can be ... interface with integration authorization management system, and thus fulfills ... dimensions of the access control and the optimum integration ... considerable freedom of design with regard to the doors. ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Research and ... Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report to their offering.  , ... , ,The global gait biometrics market is expected ... the period 2016-2020. Gait analysis generates ... be used to compute factors that are not ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... CHICAGO , April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians ... are setting a new clinical standard in telehealth ... By leveraging the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can ... weight, pulse and body mass index, and, when they ... quick and convenient visit to a local retail location ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... WARSAW, Ind. , May 23, 2016 Zimmer ... in musculoskeletal healthcare, today announced that its Board of Directors ... stockholders for the second quarter of 2016. ... on or about July 29, 2016 to stockholders of record ... Future declarations of dividends are subject to approval of the ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... and LONDON , May 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... See Frontage Boost Efficiency by 40% - Frontage Implement ... - Frontage Enforce Quality, Compliance and Traceability Within the Bioanalytical lab ... labs in the United States and ... to be deployed across its laboratory facilities. In addition to serving ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... May 23, 2016 , ... ... molecular nanotechnology, announced the winners for the 2015 Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes. ... given in two categories, one for experiment and the other for theory in ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... May 20, 2016 , ... The leading Regenerative Veterinary Medicine ... experienced veterinary clients have treated over 100 of their own patients with the VetStem ... the highest level of care for their patients. , The veterinarians are Dr ...
Breaking Biology Technology: