Biobased and Renewable Products News: Research

November 9, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Reuters, “Update 1 – Brazil’s Bolsonaro Backs Ethanol Industry, Pledges Partnership” Palo Alto Daily Post, “Hydrogen Fueling Station Opens” Plastic News, “Bio-on Deal Bringing Bioplastics to Russia” Bio-Based World News, “Thyssenkrupp-commissioned Bio-Plastic Plant Starts Production in China” FoodBev Media, “Plant-based Collagen Company Geltor Receives $18.2m in Funding” Bio-Based World News, “Bio-based a Possible Solution to Mastercard’s Search for More Sustainable Bank Cards” Global Cosmetics ... read more >
November 2, 2018
DOE Announces Fiscal Year 2019 Funding Opportunities
On October 30, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the topics for 2019 funding opportunities.  Amongst the program offices that are participating in this solicitation, is the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, who will be hosting an informational webinar on November 6, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. (EST) as an opportunity to ask the DOE Program Managers any questions about DOE funding opportunities.  The 90-minute webinar requires registration and allows for the submission of questions prior to the event.  Important upcoming dates regarding the submission ... read more >
November 2, 2018
DOE Publishes Summary Report: Cell-Free Synthetic Biology and Biocatalysis
In October 2018, DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) published a report called “Cell-Free Synthetic Biology and Biocatalysis:  Prototyping and Conversion Platforms.”  The report consists of a summary from discussions held on a listening day by BETO in Denver, Colorado, in 2017.  The public meeting was intended to discuss research and development opportunities related to cell-free synthetic biology and biocatalysis, and how these techniques could be leveraged in the production of biofuels and bioproducts. Attendees of the meeting included representatives ... read more >
November 2, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Ames Tribune, “Dept. of Energy Grant Helps Fund Iowa State’s Biobased Chemical Study” Chemistry World, “Waste Vegetable Oil Turned into Valuable Chemicals for Drugs and Plastics” The Hill, “Oil Industry:  Voters Worried about Trump’s Ethanol Plan” The Hill, “New Technologies Can Turn Timber Abundance into Sustainable Solutions” Phys.org, “Growing Algae More Sustainably for Biofuel Production” Automotive World, “Mazda Backs Carbon-Neutral Biofuel Research” Modern Materials Handling, “Sealed ... read more >
October 26, 2018
EC Announces BioWatch
The European Commission (EC) announced on October 16, 2018, the launch of a new web-based tool called BioWatch. Developed by BIOWAYS, a project funded by the European Union (EU), this new tool expands BIOWAYS’ efforts in raising awareness of biobased products and their social, economic, and environmental benefits. BioWatch consists of “an interactive online platform that provides projects in the bioeconomy sector with a free service to position themselves alongside one another and provide direct access to industry, political stakeholders, the media, and the general public.” ... read more >
October 26, 2018
AuNCs: Gold Nanoclusters
In the beginning of October 2018, researchers from the University of California – Berkeley published a paper in Nature Nanotechnology that explains how a new bacterium can produce fuels through artificial photosynthesis upon being fed gold. The formerly undiscovered bacterium, Moorella thermoacetica, allows for the development of photosynthetic biohybrid systems (PBS), linking inorganic light with preassembled biosynthetic pathways. The addition of gold nanoclusters, AuNCs, is used to circumvent electron transfer for existing PBSs through its addition to M. thermoacetica, which is a ... read more >
October 26, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Eureactiv, “EU Bioeconomy Strategy and IPCC – Planets Apart” Dentristry.co.uk, “First Bio-based Plastic Toothbrush Launched” Automotive World, “First Biobased Coating Hardener for Lightfast Polyurethane Coatings” Chemical Engineering, “Anellotech Announces Scaleup Plans for Bio-Based BTX Production” Renewables Now, “BNDES Grants USD 13m to Brazilian Ethanol ... read more >
October 19, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
The Detroit News, “UM Researchers Get Algae Biofuel Grant” The Hill, “Oil Industry, Green Groups Join to Oppose Trump’s Ethanol Plan” AgriNews, “Investing in the Future of Agricultural Innovations” Renewable Energy Magazine, “Neste and Air BP Collaborate to Support Sustainable Aviation Fuel” The Economic Times, “Plant to Convert E-Waste into Bio Fuel to Be Made Operational Soon: Harsh ... read more >
October 12, 2018
DOE Announces Collaborative Project On Hydrogen And Fuel Cells
On October 9, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Army on a collaborative project designed to develop hydrogen and fuel cell technologies for civilian and military use. The MOU was signed by the U.S. Department of Army’s Tank & Automotive Research Development and Engineering Command (TARDEC) and the DOE’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO). It aims to facilitate the research and development of innovative hydrogen and fuel cell technologies portfolios. The research will include studies on hydrogen production ... read more >
October 12, 2018
What “Bio-based” Means Across The Globe
In September 2018, researchers Harmen Willemse, from The Netherlands Standardization Institute (NEN), and Dr. Maarten van der Zee, from the Wageningen Food & Biobased Research Center, published a White Paper on “Communicating the bio-based content of products in the EU and the US.” Analyzing how bio-based content information is exchanged between businesses, consumers, and government, the paper aims to address the significant challenges associated with the various methods used for the determination of bio-based carbon content in bio-based products. The paper further explores ... read more >
October 12, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Des Moines Register, “In Iowa, Trump Says He Kept His E15 Promises, Claims Democrats Would ‘End Ethanol’” Bloomberg, “Gene-Edited Foods Are Coming to Your Plate but Aren’t Being Regulated” inhabitat, “Nuatan Is the Bioplastic That Could Answer the Plastic Pollution Crisis” UPROXX, “This ‘Bio Plastic’ Is 100% Compostable and Poised to Change the World” BiofuelsDigest, “Novozymes’ Yeast Beast in New Release; Innova Lift’s Yield Revealed” Biomass Magazine, “Norway to Implement ... read more >
October 5, 2018
February Orchids And An Environmentally Friendly Lubricant
Scientists at Indiana University -- Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) partnered on the publication of a study with researchers at Huazong Agricultural University in Wuhan, China, and researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  The study focuses on formerly undiscovered properties of a flower known as Orychophragmus violaceus. Also known as the February orchid, O. violaceus differs from other plant seeds in that it contains unusual fatty acid compounds that had not previously been identified. Bioorganic chemist Robert Minto and researcher Alisen Teitgen, at IUPUI, discovered ... read more >
October 5, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
CompositesWorld, “Bio-based composite bridge in The Netherlands” Reuters, “South Africa Looks to Kickstart Its Biofuels Industry” Bioenergy International, “GoodFuels Marine to Supply First Offshore Wind Project with Advanced ... read more >
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 >
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