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Date:3/4/2013

ENERGY Reducing biorefinery waste . . .

By introducing microbial fuel cells into the corn stover biorefinery waste recovery process, a team of researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has demonstrated a new way to produce bioenergy from the process waste stream. The process developed by ORNL's Abhijeet Borole and colleagues from the University of Tennessee and National Renewable Energy Laboratory provides a direct alternative to generate electricity compared to a mature but multi-step path that uses anaerobic digestion. Major advantages of the ORNL method include the ability to convert organics, which are difficult to degrade, into electricity or hydrogen. In addition the changes can lead to reductions in the amount of fresh water required in the process and the potential to handle high concentrations of ammonia. Details of the study are available in the paper, titled "Conversion of Residual Organics in Corn Stover-Derived Biorefinery Stream to Bioenergy via a Microbial Fuel Cell," published in Environmental Science & Technology. [Contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226; wallira@ornl.gov]

HEALTH Faster vitamin analysis . . .

Quantitative analyses of vitamins can be done in minutes with minimal processing, saving time and money with a technique successfully demonstrated by a team of Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers. Ensuring that food and dietary supplements have the prescribed amount of ascorbic and folic acids is of critical importance because excessive amounts of these vitamins can have a detrimental effect. Using a process called flow-injection tandem mass spectrometry, Gary Van Berkel and colleagues demonstrated results that were in agreement with liquid chromatography-based results obtained by National Institute of Standards and Technology methods. The findings were published recently as a research article in Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry. [C
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Contact: Ron Walli
wallira@ornl.gov
865-574-4160
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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