Biobased and Renewable Products News: Research

September 21, 2018
Converting CO2 Into Electrofuels
On September 17, 2018, scientists at Columbia University published findings of a study on carbon dioxide (CO2) electrocatalysis as the first step in converting CO2 into renewable fuels. The results of the study are key in developing conversion points for CO2 to be used as a feedstock and renewable electricity in the synthesis of different types of fuel. For further details on the groundbreaking progress discovered by Columbia University’s scientists, the published article can be found in its entirety ... read more >
September 21, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
gasworld, “Bacteria that Turn Sugar into Hydrogen Being Engineered by Researchers” The Sydney Morning Herald, “Shell-backed Startup Creates Fuel from Carbon Dioxide and Fake Sunlight” Plastics in Packaging, “Dutch Supermarket Launches Bio-based Milk Container” Biofuels Digest, “Agrisoma, United Airlines and World Energy Complete Longest Transatlantic Biojet Flight” Aalto University School of Science, “Bio-based Carbon Improve Biogas Yield” Scientific American, “The Environment’s New Clothes: Biodegradable Textiles ... read more >
September 14, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Agence de Presse Africaine (APA News), “Nigeria: Government to Support 1000 Cotton Farmers” Forbes, “Trump’s Relationship with American Farmers Is Soiled Because of Biofuels Stance and Trade War” Brisbane Times, “Biofuels Successfully Trialled in Flights from Brisbane Airport” PackagingNews, “PepsiCo Joins Danone and Nestlé Waters in Bio-based Bottles R&D ... read more >
September 7, 2018
DOE Announces Funding For Bioenergy Research And Development Projects
On September 4, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced its support for projects in Bioenergy Research and Development. The projects total about $80 million and address early-stage research and development in the hopes of achieving DOE’s goal of reducing biobased costs in fuels by 2022. Funding for these projects comes from four different programs:  BioEnergy Engineering for Products Synthesis, Efficient Carbon Utilization in Algal Systems, Process Development for Advanced Biofuels and Biopower, and Affordable and Sustainable Energy Crops. U.S. Secretary of Energy, Rick ... read more >
September 7, 2018
Repurposing Methylene Blue In Flow Batteries
Methylene blue consists of a blue dye used in the textile industry. A new study, published in mid-August 2018, reveals that the dye can be repurposed for use in redox flow batteries. After establishing that the chemical compound has electrochemical properties, chemists at the University of Buffalo divulged that, as an active ingredient, it can be used to store energy. In the textile industry, only about five percent of methylene blue is absorbed by fabrics and the rest produces large amounts of waste water that can be toxic to the environment. According to the University of Buffalo chemists ... read more >
September 7, 2018
Polyamides From Wood Creates Building Blocks For Biobased Plastics
On August 30, 2018, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (Fraunhofer IGB) published an article announcing the latest advances in using 3-carene as a building block to produce biobased plastics. The aforementioned substance, 3-carene, “is a component of turpentine oil, a waste stream of the production of cellulose from wood.” This substance can be found in pine, larch, or spruce and is usually a byproduct that ends up being incinerated. The research project’s name -- “TerPa – Terpenes as building blocks for biobased ... read more >
September 7, 2018
Biofuel Production From Bacteria
On August 24, 2018, researchers from the University of Kent, UK, published a study on a new technique developed to use bacteria as cell factories to produce biofuels. Working in partnership with scientists from University College London, the University of Bristol, and Queen Mary University of London, Matthew J. Lee et al., uncovered a biotechnical approach to redesign bacterial structures called organelles. The latter, also known as bacterial microcompartments (BMC), carries out metabolic pathways through chemical reactions in the cell. Although these reactions are difficult to control, the ... read more >
September 7, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Food Business News, “New Pet Food Packaging Initiative Utilizes Sustainable Sugarcane” Environmental Leader, “Government Regs and Consumer Awareness Drive Bioplastic Packaging Market” Spring Wise, “Biotechnology Solution Turns Waste into Valuable ... read more >
August 31, 2018
Using Marine Yeast To Produce Biofuel
In a research study conducted at the University of Nottingham School of Biosciences, a team of scientists has uncovered how to refine seawater to produce bioethanol. When fermented, marine yeast of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae AZ65 strain and yeast extract peptone dextrose (YPD) aid in the production of biofuels. Not only is this discovery key in the development of renewable energy sources, but it also reduces the water footprint of ethanol. Through the use of seawater, the traditional biorefinery methods that rely on agriculture and freshwater become obsolete and limit further depletion of ... read more >
August 31, 2018
How To Use Coffee Grounds To Produce Biodegradable Plastic
At Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, Dominik Kopp, a Ph.D. student, has developed a method for turning coffee waste into biodegradable plastic coffee cups. Because of its properties, sugars are an efficient source that is often converted into biobased chemicals. According to this study, coffee grounds consist of 50 percent sugars that can be converted into lactic acid. Once this is done, lactic acid can be used to produce biodegradable plastics. “You could use such plastics to make anything from plastic coffee cups to yoghurt containers to compost bags to sutures in ... read more >
August 31, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Plastics Technology, “Materials: Marine Biodegradable Bioplastic Compound” The Economic Times - India, “Government Puts Restrictions on Export of Bio-fuels” inUth BETA, “India Joins U.S. and Australia with Launch of First-Ever Biofuel Flight” Ecns.cn, “Biofuels Push to Help Clear the Air” DairyReporter.com, “United Caps and Braskem Launch ‘I’m Green’ Bio-sourced Plastic Caps and ... read more >
August 24, 2018
Recycling “Fatbergs” Into Biofuel
Researchers from the University of British Columbia, in Canada, have discovered a new technique that can be used to transform “fatbergs” into green fuel. What scientists now refer to as “fatbergs” consist of oils and greases that cause blockages in the sewer systems accumulating disposed solids. These Canadian scientists revealed a new method in which “fatbergs” can be recycled into green fuel within the sewer system through a microwave-enhanced advanced oxidation process using hydrogen peroxide and bacteria. The University of British Columbia team is now ... read more >
August 24, 2018
Red Algae Could Be The Key To Accelerating Biofuel Production
On August 17, 2018, researchers from the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) announced its progress in accelerating the process of biofuel-making. Through the use of biotechnology, their research demonstrates that an enzyme, glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT) from the red algae Cyanidioschyzon merolae, can contribute to the biofuel production process. Algae is often used to produce biofuels because it contains high amounts of triacyglycerols (TAG) under certain conditions, which can be converted into biodiesel. Using Cyanidioschyzon merolae as a control strain, researchers at ... read more >
August 24, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
EurekAlert!, “Renewables Could Drastically Cut Tailpipe Emissions” AP News, “US Says Conserving Oil Is No Longer an Economic Imperative” Reuters, “Gene-editing Startups Ignite the Next ‘Frankenfood’ Fight” Stora Enso, “Stora Enso and Orthex Combine Wood Fibre and Bioplastic into Durable Consumer Products” U.S. Department of Energy, “New Members of Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee ... read more >
August 17, 2018
Researchers Use Switchable Hydrophilicity Solvents To Produce Recyclable Packaging
Researchers in Lithuania and Egypt have discovered how to use N, N-dimethylcyclohexylamine (DMCHA) to break down multilayer flexible packaging (MFP) that pose a threat to the environment. MFP is used in making blister pill packages, candy wrappers, chip packets, and related products, and can contain aluminum, among other toxic substances, which when leaked or incinerated is hazardous to the environment. Although some practices exist to separate the multilayered packaging through recycling technologies, the European Union (EU), for example, limits practices based on energy consumption, carbon ... read more >
August 17, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Bio-based World News, “Expert View: Growing the Irish Forest Bio-economy”  Master Bond, “High Tensile Strength Epoxy Adhesive Utilizes Renewable Biomaterial” ABC News, “How a Humble Australian Bee Could Help the World’s Plastic Problem” Edie.Net, “Iceland Launches Plastic-Free Chewing Gum in UK ... read more >
August 10, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Ghana Business News, “OFAB Ghana Engages Journalists on Genetically Modified Crops” Food Ingredients 1st, “Bright Futures: the Evolution of Natural Colors and a ‘Less is More’ Approach” The Virginian Post, “New Record Number of Companies, Trade Groups Urge Congressional Leaders to Reauthorize and Fund Energy Title Programs as Farm Bill Heads to Conference” Braskem, “Braskem Launches New Renewable Bio-based EVA Resin in Allbirds shoes” AP News, “Genetics Technology Could Lead to More Crops, Fresher ... read more >
August 3, 2018
Researchers At North Carolina State University Investigate Biobased Additives That Can Strengthen Polyvinyl Alcohol Fibers
On July 24, 2018, a research team at the North Carolina State University announced that biobased glucaric-acid or lignin additives can increase the robustness of polyvinyl alcohol fibers, which can be used in biofriendly products including polymers, detergents, paints, and diapers.  The team plans to continue its R&D as a movement towards greener alternatives to support industries using additives with known varying levels of toxicity.  This discovery could play a large role in processing plastics for safe contact with food, people, and the environment.  In 2004, DOE listed ... read more >
August 3, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Santa Fe New Mexican, “LANL Researching Algae to Convert to Affordable Fuel” Renewables Now, “Argentina Looking at 27% Bioethanol Blend -- Report” Governors’ Biofuels Coalition, “Shimkus Promises ‘We’ll Legislate’ on Reforming RIN Credits” Born2Invest, “EPA’s New Acting Administrator Plans on Following Predecessor’s Policies” EIN NewsDesk, “Advanced Biofuels Canada’s National Voice Continues to Grow with New Global Leaders” Biofuels International, “NBB Challenges 2018 ... read more >
July 27, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Ethanol Producer, “Ernst Questions CEQ Nominee on RFS, Year-Round E15 Sales” BusinessGreen, “Circular Car? Dutch Team Unveil Recyclable, Bio-Based Electric Vehicle” Attis Industries, “Attis Industries to Purchase Site for First Commercial Biorefinery” Tempo, “Govt to Expand the Use of Biodiesel 20” Georgia Tech News Center, “Material Formed from Crab Shells and Trees Could Replace Flexible Plastic ... read more >
July 20, 2018
Anellotech And Suntory Reach New Milestone In Development Of Biobased Plastic Bottle
On July 16, 2018, Anellotech and Suntory announced that a new milestone had been reached in developing a 100 percent biobased plastic bottle. Anellotech is using a thermal catalytic process called Bio-TCatTM to confirm non-food based feedstocks into BTX aromatics, renewable chemicals that are structurally identical to traditional plastic components.  The BTX is now undergoing purification studies to make bio-paraxylene, a key chemical for the renewable bottles. David Sudolsky, President & CEO of Anellotech, stated “[f]ollowing our announcements earlier this year on process ... read more >
July 20, 2018
NSF Announces Investment In Biobased Semiconductor Research
On July 16, 2018, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced a $12 million investment in the Semiconductor Synthetic Biology for Information Processing and Storage Technologies (SemiSynBio) program, a partnership between NSF and Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC).  Researches expect that integrating biological structures with semiconductor technology could increase current data storage capabilities by 1,000 times, while using less energy than current technology.  "While today's data storage devices are smaller and more powerful than ever before, we have the ... read more >
July 20, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
The Guardian, “Researchers Race to Make Bioplastics from Straw and Food Waste” Imperial College London, “New Enzyme Boost Could Hasten Biofuel Production” GreenBiz, “Ambitious Alliance Mobilizes Value Chain for Bio-Based ... read more >
July 13, 2018
North Dakota Industrial Commission Provides Grant To Midwest AgEnergy For Barley-Based Ethanol Research
On July 2, 2018, Midwest AgEnergy announced that the North Dakota Industrial Commission, a division of North Dakota’s State Department of Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas, had awarded it a $83,810 grant to research using North Dakota barley to produce ethanol with a protein concentrate byproduct for use in aquaculture.  This would be the first ethanol produced North Dakota from a feedstock other than corn, and would include an expansion of the Dakota Spirit AgEnergy (DSA) ethanol plant.  "We're looking to move ahead with a more formal study on a barley protein ... read more >
July 13, 2018
VTT Technical Research Centre Announces Biobased Formable Plastic Substitute
On July 5, 2018, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd announced that it had developed a 100 percent biobased, thermally formable, biodegradable material, that is suitable for furniture applications.  This product is an attractive alternative to wood and other biocomposite materials that are already available in the market, with the added benefit of formality and coloring properties.  "All the goals we set were achieved: the material is 100% bio-based, cellulose fibres account for a significant proportion, it looks good and it has excellent performance ... read more >
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