November Monthly News Blast: A Cornucopia of Bioenergy Updates


Monthly News Blast November 2016

Results of the Cellulosic Sugar and Lignin Production Capabilities Request for Information

Lignin. Courtesy of Great Lakes Bioenergy Research CenterThe results of the Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office's (BETO’s) Cellulosic Sugar and Lignin Production Capabilities Request for Information (RFI) are now available online. This new web page is a resource that lists suppliers who responded to the RFI and are willing and able to produce and sell cellulosic sugar and/or lignin for use by the research community. For instructions on how to submit a response, view the full RFI.


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A Cornucopia of Feedstock Options

Forestry residues, algae, bales of switchgrass, corn husks and stalks, and other crop residues are all examples of non-food biomass that can be used tThis cornucopia is not something you would put on your Thanksgiving table, but it does illustrate a bountiful harvest of options available for making biofuels. Read about five feedstocks—corn stover, forestry residues, energy crops, algae, and wet wastes—that are a focus of BETO research and development for biofuels and bioproducts.


Achieving the Best of Both Worlds—Improved Vehicle Performance with Fuel that's Better for the Environment

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory conducted biobased, high-octane fuel experiments using this modified turbocharged Cadillac. | Photo courtOak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) scientists modified this Cadillac and verified that vehicles can run on gasoline blended with higher levels of ethanol while achieving better vehicle performance and without sacrificing fuel economy. Research revealed that if cellulosic ethanol is used, greenhouse gas emissions are 30% lower compared to conventional gasoline-powered vehicles. The higher octane rating of ethanol is one key to realizing these benefits. This research supports the new DOE Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) initiative.

New BETO-Funded Technology Converts Human Waste into Biofuel

Biocrude oil, produced from wastewater treatment plant sludge, looks and performs virtually like fossil petroleum. Courtesy of Water Environment & ReuFuel from sewage is closer than you think! Researchers at DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have worked out a way to convert human waste into biocrude oil in less than an hour. Wastewater treatment plants in the United States treat approximately 34 billion gallons of sewage every day—enough to produce up to approximately 30 million barrels of oil per year! PNNL estimates that one person alone could generate 2 to 3 gallons of biocrude per year.

BETO-Funded Study Identifies Infrastructure-Compatible Materials 

A new BETO-funded study by ORNL provides the necessary data to help the fueling infrastructure community produce safe and reliable biofuel production and delivery systems. By evaluating the performance of several key materials used in the design of biofuel production, processing, storage, and transportation systems, scientists were able to identify two materials—silicone and a rubber called styrene butadiene—that are the most compatible and also the most economical.

Regional Feedstock Partnership Report Available

Regional Feedstock Partnership ReportA summary report and appendices that detail the accomplishments of the Regional Feedstock Partnership are now available on the BETO website! DOE and the Sun Grant Initiative established the Regional Feedstock Partnership to address information gaps associated with enabling the vision of a sustainable, reliable, billion-ton bioenergy industry. Over seven years (2008–2014), this multi-institutional collaboration of representatives from land grant universities, DOE, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and industry, successfully advanced the biomass feedstock production industry in the United States.

Bioenergy 2016 Speaker Presentations Available Online

Bioenergy 2016 LogoOn July 12–14, 2016, BETO hosted its ninth annual conference—Bioenergy 2016: Mobilizing the Bioeconomy through Innovation. The conference focused on opportunities to grow future feedstock supplies and break through technology barriers to achieve a stronger bioeconomy. Speaker presentations from the conference are now available online.

BioenergizeME Update

BioenergizeME Logo Circle

Earlier this month, the BioenergizeME Team hosted a webinar to provide an overview of bioenergy and the 2017 BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge. The recorded webinar is now online! Topics covered include an overview of bioenergy, including its creation and potential uses, and rules and topic areas for the 2017 BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge. You can also check out past webinars that provide an introduction or refresher on bioenergy and how to integrate bioenergy into the classroom.

Visit the BioenergizeME Team at the National Science Teachers Association Regional Conference in Columbus, Ohio, Dec. 1–3, at Booth 543, or participate in the session discussing creative methods to explore energy literacy on Dec. 2, 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time in Franklin Room D.

Past and Upcoming Events with BETO Representation

To view past Monthly News Blasts, visit the BETO Newsletter page.


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