Boeing 787 set for first biofuel-powered flight tonight — Engadget
Biofuel in planes is hardly a new idea, but when Boeing’s latest and greatest aircraft gets in on the green game, we take notice. That’s right, a ANA 787 Dreamliner is currently preparing to take off from Everett, Washington this evening and will make its way across the Pacific to Tokyo powered by biofuel. Well played, Boeing, we’re all for celebrating Earth Day a little early, and it’s always good to see someone giving Sir Richard Branson a run for his money.
[Photo credit: Boeing, Flickr]

Boeing 787 set for first biofuel-powered flight tonight — Engadget

Biofuel in planes is hardly a new idea, but when Boeing’s latest and greatest aircraft gets in on the green game, we take notice. That’s right, a ANA 787 Dreamliner is currently preparing to take off from Everett, Washington this evening and will make its way across the Pacific to Tokyo powered by biofuel. Well played, Boeing, we’re all for celebrating Earth Day a little early, and it’s always good to see someone giving Sir Richard Branson a run for his money.

[Photo credit: Boeing, Flickr]

Turning bacteria into butanol biofuel factories
Source: Physorg.com
While ethanol is today’s major biofuel, researchers aim to  produce fuels more like gasoline. Butanol is the primary candidate, now  produced primarily by Clostridium bacteria. UC Berkeley chemist Michelle  Chang has transplanted the enzyme pathway from Clostridium into E. coli  and gotten the bacteria to churn out 10 times more n-butanol than  competing microbes, close to the level needed for industrial scale  production.

Turning bacteria into butanol biofuel factories

Source: Physorg.com

While ethanol is today’s major biofuel, researchers aim to produce fuels more like gasoline. Butanol is the primary candidate, now produced primarily by Clostridium bacteria. UC Berkeley chemist Michelle Chang has transplanted the enzyme pathway from Clostridium into E. coli and gotten the bacteria to churn out 10 times more n-butanol than competing microbes, close to the level needed for industrial scale production.

Study: We’ve Got Plenty of Land for Biofuels | Wired.com
One of the great arguments against biofuels is the wisdom, if not the morality, of using land to produce fuel instead of food. But research out of Illinois suggests it doesn’t have to be an either-or proposition. Researchers at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have found that biofuel crops cultivated on land unsuitable for food crops could produce as much as half the world’s current fuel consumption without adverse impact on food crops or pastureland. The study, published in Environmental Science and Technology, identifies land around the world that is unsuitable for food production but could be used to raise biofuel feedstocks like switchgrass.  

Study: We’ve Got Plenty of Land for Biofuels | Wired.com

One of the great arguments against biofuels is the wisdom, if not the morality, of using land to produce fuel instead of food. But research out of Illinois suggests it doesn’t have to be an either-or proposition. Researchers at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have found that biofuel crops cultivated on land unsuitable for food crops could produce as much as half the world’s current fuel consumption without adverse impact on food crops or pastureland. The study, published in Environmental Science and Technology, identifies land around the world that is unsuitable for food production but could be used to raise biofuel feedstocks like switchgrass.  

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A Biofuel Milestone: A one-step process for converting cellulose into ethanol produces high concentrations of the fuel.

This week Qteros, a Marlborough, MA startup, announced a major milestone. The company, which was founded after it discovered of an organism that devours woody biomass and other cellulosic materials and excretes ethanol, has shown that the bacteria it uses can produce high concentrations of ethanol. The company says this makes its process for converting cellulosic plant materials into ethanol “more economical than any other process to date.” Technology Review: Blogs: Potential Energy: A Biofuel Milestone

Publications ranging from the journal Science to Time magazine have blasted biofuels for significantly contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, calling into question the environmental benefits of making fuel from plant material. But a new analysis by Michigan State University scientists says these dire predictions are based on a set of assumptions that may not be correct.

Publications ranging from the journal Science to Time magazine have blasted biofuels for significantly contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, calling into question the environmental benefits of making fuel from plant material. But a new analysis by Michigan State University scientists says these dire predictions are based on a set of assumptions that may not be correct.