Biobased and Renewable Products News: Research

April 6, 2018
NREL Discovers Enzyme Domains That Dramatically Improve Performance
On March 22, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced that by studying and comparing the cellulose-degrading enzymes of two fungi, NREL researchers have pinpointed regions on these enzymes that can be targeted via genetic engineering to help break down cellulose faster.  The article published in Nature Communications, “Engineering enhanced cellobiohydrolase activity,” describes NREL’s long-running study of the fungal cellobiohydrolases (CBH) -- enzymes that use hydrolysis as their main chemistry to degrade ... read more >
March 30, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
AkzoNobel, “AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals’ 2018 Imagine Chemistry Challenge Generates 150 Innovative Business Ideas” Enerkem, “Enerkem Makes A Major Breakthrough By Producing A New High-Octane Biofuel” Fast Company, “This USDA Lab Is Turning Billions Of Pounds Of Almond Waste Into Beer, Plastic, And Power” Electrolux, “Electrolux Builds The World’s First Bioplastic Concept ... read more >
March 23, 2018
BIO Accepting Nominations For Annual Rosalind Franklin Award
On March 13, 2018, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), announced that nominations for the fifth annual Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology are being accepted.  Each year, the award recognizes an outstanding woman in the industrial biotechnology sector who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the biobased economy and biotechnology innovation.  The recipient will be presented with the award at the 2018 World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology in ... read more >
March 23, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Renewable Fuels Association, “Ethanol Industry Workers, Veterans Ask Trump To Support RFS” Reuters, “U.S. Biofuels Sector Blasts EPA Settlement With Bankrupt Philadelphia Refinery” Chemical & Engineering News, “Why Efforts To Use Green Fuels Sometimes Run Afoul” Great Lakes Bioenery, “It Pays To Study The Solvent: Better Biomass Conversion For Biofuels And Bioproducts” North Queensland Register, “Cloncurry Treated Sewage Water ... read more >
March 16, 2018
NIFA Issues 2017 Annual Report
On February 27, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) published its 2017 Annual Report:  User Inspired Science Transforming Lives.  The report provides an overview and examples of the many NIFA-funded research, extension, and education outcomes conducted by a broad range of partners, including academic and science organizations; small business and industry; agencies from all levels of government; and non-governmental organizations.  According to the report, NIFA relies on stakeholder input as a key driver in ... read more >
March 16, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Biotechnology Innovation Organization, “The U.S. Biobased Economy:  Economic Impact” DuPont Tate & Lyle BioProducts, “DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products Expanding Bio-based Propanediol Production in Tennessee” Hasbro, “Hasbro to Roll Out Plant-Based Packaging” University of Wisconsin, “Protein Studies Inform Biofuels Research” GCB Bioenergy, “Field-Grown Transgenic Switchgrass (Panicum Virgatum L.) with Altered Lignin Does Not Affect Soil Chemistry, Microbiology, and Carbon Storage ... read more >
March 9, 2018
DOE Awards $10.6 Million In Funding For Bioenergy Crop Research
On February 25, 2018, the University of Illinois announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded a $10.6 million grant for the Renewable Oil Generated with Ultra-productive Energycane (ROGUE) project.  The project is a collaborative effort between researchers from the University of Illinois, Brookhaven National Lab, University of Florida, and Mississippi State University.  ROGUE aims to transform sugarcane and Miscanthus into sustainable sources of biodiesel and biojet fuel by engineering the crops to produce oil rather than sugar.  Researchers anticipate that the ... read more >
March 9, 2018
Grow Bioplastics Receives SBIR Grant For Lignin-Based Plastic
The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Grow Bioplastics, a University of Tennessee student start-up, a $225,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant.  The funding will support research and development on new biodegradable plastics from lignin.  The biobased plastic will be used for agricultural applications, such as plastic mulch.  Grow Bioplastics’ biodegradable film can be plowed into the soil after each use, offering a solution to the additional labor costs and environmental impact of current nondegradable films.  According to Tony Bova, Grow ... read more >
March 9, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Reuters, “White House Pushes For More Talks After 'No Deal' On Biofuels” International Air Transport Association, “Aim For 1 Billion Passengers To Fly On Sustainable Fuel Flights By 2025” Colorado State University, “How Biofuels From Plant Fibers Could Combat Global Warming” Lego, “First Sustainable Lego® Bricks Will Be Launched In 2018” Coursera, “Introduction to ... read more >
March 2, 2018
DOE Advanced Algal Systems Listening Session
The DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is hosting an Advanced Algal Systems Listening Session from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. (PDT) on June 13, 2018, in Seattle, Washington.  During the listening session, BETO will seek feedback from experts in algal biology, cultivation, and conversion on ways to address near-term research and development barriers and opportunities for cost-competitive algal biofuels and bioproducts.  The discussion will focus on opportunities and challenges in integrating algal productivity and biomass yield improvements in scalable algae cultivation systems to ... read more >
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