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Biomass research collaboration seeks to improve biofuel efficiency, bio-products quality
Date:3/13/2013

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- A Kansas State University biochemical engineer is part of a national collaboration working to advance biomass as a leading source for more efficient drop-in biofuels, bio-power and animal feed.

Biomass is a renewable energy source typically made from plant materials. It can be converted into biofuels, such as drop-in renewable biodiesel, and other energy sources. Drop-in biofuels are so structurally similar to current transportation fuels that they can be developed with the existing technology and infrastructure used to make petroleum-based fuels, saving on fiscal overhead for new technology.

Praveen Vadlani, the Gary and Betty Lortscher associate professor of renewable energy in Kansas State University's department of grain science and industry, is a co-principal investigator in a more than $6.5 million biomass research project between universities, industries and federal agencies. The three-year project, a jointly funded effort by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Energy, seeks to refine and improve the conversion of biomass into better drop-in biodiesel, bio-lubricants, jet fuel and other value-added products.

"This is a high-risk, high-reward project," Vadlani said. "The goal is to increase commercial industries' interest in the products that are developed from biomass by adding value to those products. It will be a technical challenge because we want to optimize every component used in the production cycle and make sure that the production cycle is done in a closed-loop system without any emissions since we're using a renewable energy source."

The project is being led by Ceramatec Inc., a ceramic, fuel and electrochemical research and development company in Salt Lake City. In addition to Kansas State University, collaborators include Texas A&M, Rice University, Drexel University and the Chevron Corporation.

Vadlani and co
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Contact: Praveen Vadlani
vadlani@k-state.edu
785-532-5012
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert

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