Scientists reveal new technique to make biofuel from mushroom waste

April 10, 2018 by  
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Researchers at the National University of Singapore have discovered a revolutionary way to transform mushroom waste into biofuel. Despite claims to the contrary, biofuel — typically derived from food crops — is often more environmentally-destructive than it is helpful. This new technique could change that by harvesting energy from waste produced in the process of mushroom cultivation. In a study published in Science Advances , researchers explain how Thermoanaerobacterium thermosaccharolyticum (TG57), a common bacterial byproduct of mushroom cultivation, can be isolated and used to convert plant-based cellulose into biobutanol. Biobutanol is a biofuel that can be used by vehicles designed to run on gasoline. First identified in 2015, the TG57 bacterium strain has been cultivated in various forms to analyze its ability to produce biofuel in a more sustainable manner. “The production of biofuels using non-food feedstocks can improve sustainability and reduce costs greatly,” researcher He Jianzhong told Silicon Republic . “In our study, we demonstrated a novel method of directly converting cellulose to biobutanol using the novel TG57 strain. This is a major breakthrough in metabolic engineering and exhibits a foundational milestone in sustainable and cost-effective production of renewable biofuels and chemicals.” Related: Paris has a new underground – a massive farm for mushrooms and veggies Creating biofuel from waste products is a potential boon for the industry and the environment. Biobutanol holds the most promise because of its energy density, and it can be used directly, without modification, in vehicles designed to run on gasoline. Prior to the study, the high environmental and financial costs of producing biobutanol blocked it from mainstream use. However, the researchers have revealed a widely applicable, straightforward technique that does not require any significant genetic alterations of the bacterium. Someday soon, you may munch on mushrooms with the satisfaction of contributing to greener transportation and a healthier planet. Via Silicon Republic Images via Depositphotos (1)

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Scientists reveal new technique to make biofuel from mushroom waste

24-year-old Yemeni engineer invents mini biogas plants for home use

January 17, 2018 by  
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Some villages in war-torn Yemen still don’t have electricity since the recent conflict started nearly two years ago, according to 24-year-old chemical engineering graduate Omer Badokhon speaking to Reuters . So he invented micro-scale biogas devices to transform trash into cleaner fuel , to combat indoor pollution and slash energy poverty. He was recently among the winners of the Young Champions of the Earth prize from United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and polymer company Covestro , winning $15,000 he plans to use to construct 50 to 80 units. Badokhon could tackle multiple issues Yemen faces with his small biogas devices. The country has faced the biggest cholera epidemic the World Health Organization has recorded, and Badokhon connects cholera with organic waste pollution in the country – which has only worsened during the war. He said in a video organic waste is the primary reason for the cholera, but that garbage could be turned into something useful to help the country with another issue: electricity woes. Related: Off-grid village with game-changing green solutions blooms in the Middle East Badokhon told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, “In some villages, electricity has not been restored since the conflict began in 2015. In Mukalla City where I now live, I remember how desperate I felt trying to complete university assignments by candlelight when power shuts down for four to six hours every day.” More than three million people still cook over open flames in Yemen, according to UNEP , and Badokhon said in another video women and child die each year because of exposure to smoke. His biogas devices will be built locally with fiberglass or plastic . They “enable the rapid decomposition of domestic organic waste, thereby maximizing the amount of biogas produced,” per UNEP. And the remains of the fermentation process are useful too; Badokhon said in a video they can serve as rich liquid fertilizer . During the upcoming eight months, according to Reuters, the devices will be tested in 1,500 rural houses in Sana’a, Ibb, Aden, Hadhramaut, Shabwa, and Taiz. In addition to the Young Champions of the Earth prize money, Badokhon also received $10,000 for research from Yemeni oil company PetroMasila. Via Reuters and the United Nations Environment Program ( 1 , 2 ) Images via the United Nations Environment Program

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24-year-old Yemeni engineer invents mini biogas plants for home use

Startup is developing kelp farms in the open ocean to make carbon-neutral biofuel

September 1, 2017 by  
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Could a robotic kelp farm offer an alternative fuel for cars or jets? The founders behind Marine BioEnergy hope so. The startup will soon begin testing a prototype of their kelp elevator, a farm that can move up and down in the water with the help of drones to optimize access to sunlight and nutrients, near Catalina Island in California . They think biofuel made from the kelp could be cost-competitive with fossil fuels . Marine BioEnergy’s new kelp elevator grows seaweed on a long tube, and if tests go well, they hope to start farming in the open ocean between Hawaii and California. They’re working with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory , which has developed a way to transform kelp into biocrude. The kelp fuel should be carbon neutral since kelp absorbs around the same amount of carbon dioxide as would be emitted when the fuel is burned. Related: Breakthrough algae strain produces twice as much biofuel In 2015, the United States Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) gave a grant to Marine BioEnergy, which was started by wife and husband team Cindy and and Brian Wilcox, who works a day job in space robotics at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Marine BioEnergy has also been working with the University of Southern California’s Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies on a proof-of-concept study. Kelp could provide a better biofuel: it has little cellulose or lignin, fibers that are hard to process. Grown in the ocean, kelp also wouldn’t require pesticides or irrigation as plants on land might. In optimal conditions, it can grow over a foot a day. And the kelp elevator could help the seaweed reach those conditions, even in the open ocean. Kelp grows best in shallow coastal waters, where it can anchor to the ocean floor and receive sunlight. But to scale up kelp production, Marine BioEnergy would need the space of the open ocean. Their robotic elevator could help kelp receive the sunlight, from near the ocean’s surface, and nutrients, from deeper waters, to thrive. Drones could also keep the kelp elevator avoid storms and stay out of the way of ships, and when the seaweed is ready, tow it to a ship. The team is trying to determine whether it might be more economical to make the biocrude right on the ship since a processing center could fit on a container ship powered by the fuel. + Marine BioEnergy Via Fast Company Images via USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies Facebook

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Startup is developing kelp farms in the open ocean to make carbon-neutral biofuel

Giant bags full of biogas provide 4 hours of cooking fuel

October 8, 2015 by  
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A boy walks down the middle of a busy street in a small country town in Ethiopia , carrying an enormous backpack. He doesn’t fold under its weight because this special backpack is filled with biogas. The pack is part of a project by German start-up (B)energy , which helps people create small businesses making and selling methane gas. In regions where traditional cooking fuel, such as wood and charcoal, is expensive and rare, the biogas serves as a cheap and clean-burning alternative. Read the rest of Giant bags full of biogas provide 4 hours of cooking fuel

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Plant-Invading Fungi Could Be the Key to Creating the Next Sustainable Biofuel

January 10, 2013 by  
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Image via Wikimedia Commons/ Jensbn Fungus might ruin your bread but its invasive nature could also lead to a new source of renewable energy. Scientists at Montana State University made a surprising discovery while conducting a recent study that tracks the unique products of endophytes — fungi or bacteria — that can live inside a plant for at least part of its life without causing disease. It’s believed that endophytes produce bioactive products that are potentially beneficial for medicine, industry and energy uses, replacing less attractive biofuels like ethanol. Read the rest of Plant-Invading Fungi Could Be the Key to Creating the Next Sustainable Biofuel Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Alternative Fuel , biofuels , ETHANOL , fungi , fungus , hydrocarbons , mold , Montana State University , plants , VOCs , volatile organic compounds

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New Holland Unveils NH2 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Tractor for Greening Farm Work

December 14, 2011 by  
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One of the first alternative fuel farm tractors of its kind,  New Holland Agriculture’s NH2 tractor is a new zero emissions hydrogen fuel cell vehicle made specifically for farm work. Located at  La Bellotta , an energy independent farm in Italy, New Holland claims this is more than just a green farming gimmick. The NH2 allegedly doubles the power and torque of a traditional tractor of the same size despite being zero emissions. Read the rest of New Holland Unveils NH2 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Tractor for Greening Farm Work Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: alternative energy tractor , Alternative Fuel , alternative transportation , green automotive design , green transportation , hydrogen fuel cell , hydrogen tractor , New Holland , New Holland hydrogen tractor , New Holland tractor , NH2 , NH2 hydrogen tractor , zero-emissions

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New Holland Unveils NH2 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Tractor for Greening Farm Work

New Holland Unveils NH2 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Tractor for Greening Farm Work

December 14, 2011 by  
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One of the first alternative fuel farm tractors of its kind,  New Holland Agriculture’s NH2 tractor is a new zero emissions hydrogen fuel cell vehicle made specifically for farm work. Located at  La Bellotta , an energy independent farm in Italy, New Holland claims this is more than just a green farming gimmick. The NH2 allegedly doubles the power and torque of a traditional tractor of the same size despite being zero emissions. Read the rest of New Holland Unveils NH2 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Tractor for Greening Farm Work Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: alternative energy tractor , Alternative Fuel , alternative transportation , green automotive design , green transportation , hydrogen fuel cell , hydrogen tractor , New Holland , New Holland hydrogen tractor , New Holland tractor , NH2 , NH2 hydrogen tractor , zero-emissions

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New Holland Unveils NH2 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Tractor for Greening Farm Work

6 Sexy Electric Cars Hitting the Streets in 2012

November 4, 2011 by  
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2011 is almost over, but we’re not going to be sad to see it come to an end because 2012 is going to be an amazing year for new electric cars . Whether you’re looking for a ride that’s practical, luxurious or superfast, there will be an EV for everyone and at many different price points. We rounded up our favorite electric vehicles that will be coming on the scene in 2012 – read on to see them all ! READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 6 Sexy Electric Cars Hitting the Streets in 2012 , Alternative Fuel , alternative transportation , best green car , eco car , eco vehicle , electric car , electric vehicle , ev , green car , green car roundup , green transportation

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6 Sexy Electric Cars Hitting the Streets in 2012

Panda Poop Could be the Key to Cheap and Efficient Biofuel Production

August 29, 2011 by  
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  Giant Pandas are well-loved for their distinctive appearance and sedentary nature. Now they will receive even greater adoration and attention for their bowel-based contribution to the development of a clean energy future. In a national meeting at the American Chemical Society , researchers presented a study identifying panda poop as a source of enzyme-producing bacteria that breaks down plant materials in a way that is useful for biofuel production. Read the rest of Panda Poop Could be the Key to Cheap and Efficient Biofuel Production Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: agriculture , Alternative Fuel , american chemistry society , Biodiversity , biofuel production , biofuels , biomass , biomass conversion , carbon dioxide , cellulosic biomass , cheap fuel , cheaper fuel , Climate Change , CO2 , deforestation , department of agriculture , Department of Energy , doa , DOE , eco design , eco habitat , eco-conscious , eco-friendly , emissions , emissions reduction , Environment , environmental design , enzymes , giant panda , green design , green infrastructure , green investment , green living , green technology , green transportation , infrastructure , memphis zoo , obama , panda , panda poop , poop , reduce , science , sustainable design , sustainable living , waste management

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The Forgotten Future of Pedal Power: How Bikes Can Do Just About Anything

May 27, 2011 by  
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Kris De Decker of Low-tech Magazine looks at the history of pedal powered machinery, writing that ” pedals and cranks could make an important contribution to running a post-carbon society that maintains many of the comforts of a modern life.” Other than his first illustration of a pedal-powered hydraulic log splitter (a silly idea more simply done by hand ), the article shows numerous ways that bike tech can be used to replace fuel or electricity powered machinery, … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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