The beneﬁcial microbes that convert milk into yogurt and act in our guts to promote digestive health cause big problems in ethanol fermentation tanks. These lactic acid bacteria (LAB) proliferate in ethanol feedstock and inhibit growth of ethanol-producing yeast — which slows down fermentation, reduces biofuel yield by as much as 20% per pound of input material, and results in production shutdowns due to contamination. The most common control measures, chemical antimicrobials such as antibiotics, do not eliminate LAB. Additionally, the potential for antibiotic residue limits the marketability of dried distillers grains, a byproduct of the fermentation process used as animal feed. Ecolyse Inc., based in College Station, TX, is working to address this issue by developing products to treat bacterial contamination.
Drop-in biofuels — so named because they can be blended with current fuels in any proportion without modifying existing infrastructure — for the transportation sector have attracted increasing attention. In general, these liquid fuels offer several advantages over first-generation biofuels...
Electronic Skin Lights Up When Touched; Nature-Inspired Windows Cool Themselves Down; First Commercial Production of Cellulosic Biofuel Begins; Water-Splitting Process Produces H2 Isothermally; and more
The individual technical elements of the algae-to-biofuels process have already been demonstrated at the laboratory scale. Ongoing research seeks to refine the technology to enable scaleup to commercial production.
The objective of this study is to develop and demonstrate a viable economical pathway to produce renewable transportation fuels from cellulosic biomass such as wood chips, forest wastes, and agriculture residues.