Navigation Links
Plant fuel project moves to second phase under US Energy Department grant

COLLEGE STATION The U.S. Department of Energy is making good on the second phase of a plant fuel research project, pumping another $3 million into the study led by Dr. Joshua Yuan, Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant pathologist.

Yuan, who was granted $1.8 million for Phase I by the DOE in 2012, is focusing on tobacco as a potential fuel source.

The scientist said his research is moving ahead so quickly that he has already partnered with a company, SynShark, intent on commercializing the breakthroughs. Commercializing the technology is a condition of the grant.

"SynShark's mission is to develop novel approaches to photosynthesis that will change science and protect endangered species," said J.M. Ornstein of London, a SynShark director.

Yuan's efforts began with tobacco plants, because it is easy to use in a laboratory. The targeted fuel is terpenoid, a hydrocarbon, which is in all living things. Hydrocarbon is a combustible fuel, meaning it can be ignited or burned to produce energy.

His plan is to develop a way for a plant to produce terpenoid directly - so that it would be easily "squeezed out" in near ready-to-use form rather than having to be processed into a fuel.

Yuan's grant comes under the Advanced Research Projects Agency, which focuses on "transformational energy research" that has high risk but the potential to "yield dramatic benefits for the nation," according to the energy department.

"Our entire team has worked hard to achieve our Phase I goals with the terpene," said Yuan, whose award falls under the Advanced Research Projects Agency's PETRO -- Plants Engineered To Replace Oil -- program. "A provisional patent is already filed for the research findings thus far."

During the second portion of his research, Yuan's team plans to increase the amount of combustible fuel a plant can yield to obtain a commercially viable amount.

"The goal of the product is to get it competitive without subsidies," Ornstein said. "There's a general concern that biofuel is too high priced. Plus, we're interested in technology that is carbon dioxide neutral. This is renewable and sustainable while leveraging an American crop for a positive outcome."

The two said that the long-established U.S. tobacco industry might be revitalized as the technology improves to yield commercial amounts of fuel. The project is expected to continue until February 2016.


Contact: Kathleen Phillips
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications

Related biology news :

1. Plant cell architecture: Growth toward a light source
2. Burning biomass pellets instead of wood or plants in China could lower mercury emissions
3. Carbon storage recovers faster than plant biodiversity in re-growing tropical forests
4. Crafting a better enzyme cocktail to turn plants into fuel faster
5. Nanotube-based sensors can be implanted under the skin for a year
6. Plant production could decline as climate change affects soil nutrients
7. Simple plants arent always easy: Revision of the liverwort Radula buccinifera complex
8. The secret math of plants: UCLA biologists uncover rules that govern leaf design
9. Angel or demon: Can a potentially invasive plant bring a positive influence to a region?
10. Proteins in one of the worlds main biodiesel plants have been mapped -- and it does not look good
11. Why plants usually live longer then animals
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Plant fuel project moves to second phase under US Energy Department grant
(Date:8/15/2017)... , Aug. 15 2017   ivWatch LLC , a medical ... (IV) therapy, today announced receipt of its ISO 13485 Certification, the ... the International Organization for Standardization (ISO®). ... ivWatch Model 400 Continuous Monitoring device for the early detection ... "This is an important ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... , June 15, 2017  IBM (NYSE: IBM ) ... international tech event dedicated to developing collaboration between startups and ... on June 15-17. During the event, nine startups will showcase ... value in various industries. France ... the international market, with a 30 percent increase in the ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... , May 5, 2017 ... just announced a new breakthrough in biometric authentication ... exploits quantum mechanical properties to perform biometric authentication. These ... smart semiconductor material created by Ram Group and ... finance, entertainment, transportation, supply chains and security. Ram ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 10, 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, ... The bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal ... growth period. , It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... For ... has won a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program travelled ... Volunteer Experience from US2020. , US2020’s mission is to change the trajectory of ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... 2017 International research firm Parks Associates announced today ... the TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October 11 in ... home security market and how smart safety and security products impact the ... Parks Associates: Smart Home Devices: ... "The residential security market has experienced ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... BARBARA, CALIFORNIA (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 ... ... management, technological innovation and business process optimization firm for the life sciences and ... BoxWorks conference in San Francisco. , The presentation, “Automating GxP Validation ...
Breaking Biology Technology: