Navigation Links
Process can cut the cost of making cellulosic biofuels
Date:1/22/2009

EAST LANSING, Mich. A patented Michigan State University process to pretreat corn-crop waste before conversion into ethanol means extra nutrients don't have to be added, cutting the cost of making biofuels from cellulose.

The AFEX (ammonia fiber expansion) pretreatment process, developed by Bruce Dale, University Distinguished Professor of chemical engineering and materials science, uses ammonia to make the breakdown of cellulose and hemicellulose in plants 75 percent more efficient than when conventional enzymes alone are used. Cellulose in plants must be broken down into fermentable sugars before they can be turned into biofuel.

"Doctoral student Ming Lau and I have shown that it's possible to use AFEX to pretreat corn stover (cobs, stalks and leaves) and then hydrolyze and ferment it to commercially relevant levels of ethanol without adding nutrients to the stover," Dale said. "It's always been assumed that agricultural residues such as corn stover didn't have enough nutrients to support fermentation. We have shown this isn't so."

"The research also shows that the chemical compounds created when the stover goes through the AFEX process can improve the overall fermentation process," Lau added. "This is at odds with the general perception that these compounds are detrimental and should be removed."

The research is published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Currently, pretreating cellulose with acid is a common way to break the material down into fermentable sugars. But after acid pretreatment, the resulting material must be washed and detoxified. That removes nutrients, leading to the mistaken idea that crop waste lacks the necessary nutrients, Dale said.

Cellulosic material pretreated with the AFEX process doesn't have to be washed or detoxified, allowing ethanol to be created from cellulose without added nutrients or other steps.

"Washing, detoxifying and adding nutrients back into the pretreated cellulose are three separate steps," Dale said. "Each step is expensive and adds to the cost of the biofuel. Breaking down cellulose into fermentable sugars cost effectively has been a major issue slowing cellulosic ethanol production. Using AFEX as the pretreatment process can dramatically reduce the cost of making biofuels from cellulose."

The next step could be a pilot plant, Dale said, perhaps at MBI International. MBI, a subsidiary of the MSU Foundation, partners with universities and companies to commercialize technology.

"There are several companies including the Mascoma Corp., which plans to open one of the nation's first cellulosic ethanol plants here in Michigan that may be interested in using this technology," Dale said. "We are working to make the AFEX technology fit these companies' needs."


'/>"/>

Contact: Bruce Dale
bdale@egr.msu.edu
517-353-6777
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. CIC to Host Webinar Featuring Independent Research Firm: Enabling Straight Through Processing - Why the Insurance Industry Needs Electronic Signature Technology
2. Evolutionary process more detailed than previously believed, study shows
3. Unique transatlantic tie-up to understand the aging process
4. Rivers are carbon processors, not inert pipelines
5. New papers offer insights into process of malarial drug resistance
6. Ants may help researchers unlock mysteries of human aging process
7. LSUHSC research identifies key contributor to Alzheimers disease process
8. Repairing DNA damage: Researchers discover critical process in cancer treatment
9. Major source of radon exposure overlooked at former Ohio uranium-processing plant
10. Nanoscopic screening process to speed drug discovery
11. So-called sandfish could help materials handling and process technology specialists
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Process can cut the cost of making cellulosic biofuels
(Date:5/16/2017)... -- Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ), an innovative and ... solutions, announced today they will participate as a sponsor ... May 17, 2017, in Washington D.C.,s ... Identity impacts the lives of billions of ... digital world, defining identity is critical to nearly every ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... 19, 2017 The global military ... is marked by the presence of several large global ... by five major players - 3M Cogent, NEC Corporation, ... for nearly 61% of the global military biometric market ... the global military biometrics market boast global presence, which ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... 13, 2017 According to a new market research ... Analytics, Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, and ... is expected to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to USD ... 17.3%. ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... SANTA CRUZ, Calif. , Oct. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... SBIR grant from the NIH to develop RealSeq®-SC (Single ... preparation kit for profiling small RNAs (including microRNAs) from ... Cell Analysis Program highlights the need to accelerate development ... "New techniques for ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... SAN DIEGO , Oct. 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... a biological mechanism by which its ProCell stem ... of critical limb ischemia.  The Company, demonstrated that ... the amount of limbs saved as compared to ... of the molecule HGF resulted in reduction of ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... Phoenix, Arizona (PRWEB) , ... October 09, 2017 ... ... of Kindred, a four-tiered line of medical marijuana products targeting the needs of ... production and packaging of Kindred takes place in Phoenix, Arizona. , As operators ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome deconvolution product, featuring the first commercially available Hi-C ... software to perform Hi-C metagenome deconvolution using their own facilities, supplementing the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: