ORNL study shows benefits of mid-level ethanol blends

"Oak Ridge National Laboratory has published a study on mid-level ethanol blends that has determined high-octane fuels (HOF), specifically ethanol blends of E25 to E40, could offer significant benefits to the U.S., including improved vehicle fuel efficiency in vehicles designed to use increased octane."

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Study shows trees with altered lignin are better for biofuels

"Lignin is a natural component of plant cell walls, the scaffolding that surrounds each cell and plays a pivotal role in plants' ability to grow against gravity and reach heights ranging from stubbly grasses to the sky-scraping splendor of redwoods. But lignin is a problem for scientists interested in converting plant biomass to biofuels and other sustainable bio-based products. Lignin makes it hard to break down the plant matter so its carbon-rich building blocks can be converted into forms suitable for generating energy or running automobiles."

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A New Way To Make Biofuels: Two Feedstocks

"Sass Somekh knows firsthand that biofuels is a market for masochists."

"Back in 2010 and 2011, the general partner of Musea Ventures was putting together the elements to launch White Dog Labs. The company had developed a process for making acetone, butanol and ethanol with an updated version of the Weizman process which helped the British win WWI. It lined up a deal with ADM and was seeking out the funds to build a 25 million gallon demo plant."

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How to Convert Switchgrass to Ethanol

"Biofuels such as ethanol are compounds derived from plants that can be used to fuel internal-combustion engines such as those in cars and small machinery. Creating these fuels from plants can reduce the environmental and political problems caused by a reliance on oil. Although much ethanol production, especially in the United States, comes from corn, switchgrass is a promising alternative. It is a North American native grass that can grow on marginal land without the extensive inputs that corn or sugar cane require, and it produces a much better energy yield. Making ethanol from switchgrass, though, is a challenging process."

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Grassoline: Can we fuel cars with grass?

"Research into sources for biological fuels -- biofuels -- has included everything from chicken fat to wood chips. But processing most of them yields a low net energy ratio -- the amount of energy each unit puts out isn't much more than the energy put into its production. Cost has also been a problem: Techniques for extracting fuels from plant and animal resources are currently expensive, which would be reflected at the fuel pump. But the more researchers crunch the numbers on switchgrass, the more it looks like a good candidate for an alternative fuel source."

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