Navigation Links
Cellulosic ethanol: Expanding options, identifying obstacles
Date:4/9/2010

This release is available in Spanish.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are figuring out how to turn wheat straw into ethanol "gold," and learning more about the bacteria that can "infect" ethanol plants and interfere with fuel production.

At the ARS National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR) in Peoria, Ill., ARS chemist Badal Saha conducted a 5-year study that examined whether wheat straw--a crop residue left over after the grain has been harvested--could have commercial potential for cellulosic ethanol production.

Saha found he could access and ferment almost all the plant sugars in the biofeedstock when it was pretreated with alkaline peroxide and then broken down by enzymes. This process released even hard-to-reach sugars in plant cell walls, which significantly boosted the overall ethanol output to around 93 gallons per ton of wheat straw.

But the same environments that facilitate fermentation can also nurture microorganisms that "infect" ethanol production facilities and disrupt output. ARS geneticist Tim Leathers collected bacteria from samples at commercial ethanol facilities, including a wet-mill facility that had never been dosed with antibiotics and a dry-grind facility that periodically dosed with antibiotics after bacterial outbreaks. He found that most of the bacterial isolates he collected from both facilities were different types of lactic acid bacteria.

Meanwhile, ARS microbiologist Ken Bischoff developed a model for simulating bacterial contamination and infection. He found that when test cultures were inoculated with Lactobacillus fermentum--one of the most common sources of bacterial infections in ethanol plants--ethanol yields decreased by 27 percent. Sometimes the "infection" could be cured with antibiotics, but he also found one bacterial strain that was already resistant to treatment.

Results from this research have been published in several journals, including Biotechnology and Bioengineering, the Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy, and the Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ann Perry
ann.perry@ars.usda.gov
301-504-1628
United States Department of Agriculture-Research, Education, and Economics
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Genencor Wins The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Sustainable Energy Award For Accellerase(R) Cellulosic Ethanol Enzymes
2. Cellulosic biofuel technology will generate low-cost green fuel, says major study
3. Concordia University leads academic team for national Cellulosic Biofuels Network
4. Process can cut the cost of making cellulosic biofuels
5. Model microbial community for studying expanding dead zones characterized
6. GEN reports on expanding NextGen sequencing applications
7. Expanding cell girth indicates seriousness of breast cancer
8. European Union forests expanding, absorbing carbon at surprisingly high rate: study
9. Identifying molecular targets for diabetes-related ED
10. University of the Basque Country develops system for identifying illnesses in Paraguay
11. A sticky solution for identifying effective probiotics
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/22/2016)... Ontario , PROVO and ... Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO), which operates the ... for molecular testing, and Tute Genomics and UNIConnect, ... management technology respectively, today announced the launch of a ... next-generation sequencing (NGS) testing panel. NSO ...
(Date:3/17/2016)... 2016 ABI Research, the leader in ... biometrics market will reach more than $30 billion ... 2015. Consumer electronics, particularly smartphones, continue to boost ... to reach two billion shipments by 2021 at ... , Research Analyst at ABI Research. "Surveillance is ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... Florida , March 14, 2016 ... the growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing of a ... channels starting the week of March 21 st .  The ... CNBC, including its popular Squawk on the Street show. ... focused on the growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... April 26, 2016 , ... Heidelberg Instruments, a leader ... innovation for its Volume Pattern Generator (VPG) line of lithography systems. The breakthrough ... as well as a solution for mid volume direct write lithography applications. ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... This unique "Fertility Happy Hour" event will be held at ... get the lowdown on female fertility and the reproductive technologies that are empowering a ... Boston IVF - The Arizona Center, will give a short presentation and answer ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... April 26, 2016 , ... ... a significant operating grant from 1Plus12 Corporation. The grant will be used to ... as outlined on the organization's website http://www.ivsci.org , In accounting the ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... , ... uBiome, the leading microbial genomics company, welcomes Neil Grimmer, Co-founder and ... to co-founding Plum in 2007, Neil Grimmer was Vice President of Strategy and Innovation ... designer of ideas, products, and brands, Grimmer has been at the forefront of launching ...
Breaking Biology Technology: