Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Biofuel

The artificial photosynthetic material design was inspired by the foam nests of the semi-t...

Natural photosynthesis isn't as efficient as we would like it to be, and incorporating solar energy into useful products is the subject for much collective research. Engineering researchers from University of Cincinnati have found a way to artificially create a photosynthetic material from foam which uses plant, bacterial, frog and fungal enzymes to produce sugars from sunlight and carbon dioxide.  Read More

Engineers at University of Wisconsin-Madison have found a way to convert 95% of the energy...

Engineers at University of Wisconsin-Madison have found a way to convert 95% of the energy of cellulosic biomass into jet fuel using stable, inexpensive catalysts, basic equipment and minimal processing. The end hydrocarbon product is so similar to jet fuel that it is ready for application by present internal engine designs.  Read More

'Silly Earthlings, your puny docks are no match for our mighty digestive enzymes' - A grib...

Just what, you may ask, is a gribble? It’s a tiny marine isopod, and it eats wood. For centuries, they destroyed wooden ships. Today, they continue to munch away on docks and piers. Unlike creatures such as termites, however, gribbles have no helpful microbes in their digestive system to help them digest wood - they themselves possess the enzymes necessary for converting it to sugar. British researchers are now suggesting that what works for the gribbles could also work for converting wood waste and straw into liquid biofuels.  Read More

Future site of the Waste-to-Biofuels complex

If you’re a fan of the original Back to the Future movie, then you probably liked the scene at the end where Doc Brown used some random household waste to fuel his time-traveling deLorean. Well, we’re now getting a little bit closer to that being a reality... sort of. While practical flying cars, time travel and cold fusion are still a ways off, the ability to power your car with garbage isn’t. Canadian biofuels firm Enerkem is currently working with the city of Edmonton, Alberta, to convert that city’s municipal waste into ethanol. This will lower the city’s greenhouse gas output, keep much of its waste out of the landfill, and produce a “clean” fuel Doc Brown would be proud of.  Read More

The new Bentley Supersports Convertible ... claimed to be the world's fastest four-seater ...

Bentley is fast moving from its luxury car tag to that of a supercar brand with the latest release of its Continental Supersports Convertible – the fastest four-seater convertible on the road. The new Supersports has the same 630PS (621bhp/463kW) twin-turbocharged W12 engine as the Continental Supersports Coupé introduced in 2009. Bentley says this is the fastest, most potent drop-top the company has ever built - 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds (0-100kmh in 4.2 seconds) and a top speed of 202mph (325kmh).  Read More

Genetically engineered strains of the cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus in a Petri di...

As part of the push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by burning fossil fuels researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have developed a greener way to extract biofuel from bacteria. The team has genetically modified a cyanobacterium to consume carbon dioxide and produce the liquid fuel isobutanol, which holds great potential as a gasoline alternative. As an added bonus that reaction is powered directly by energy from sunlight, through photosynthesis.  Read More

It ain't pretty, but cyanobacteria like this is now an even more attractive source of rene...

A key factor is determining the eco-friendliness of any biofuel is how much energy is required to produce it. If the energy expended in producing it, which more often than not comes from fossil fuels, is too high then the environmental benefits of the fuel can be questionable. Researchers have now developed a process that removes a key obstacle to producing lower-cost, renewable biofuels by programming a photosynthetic microbe to self-destruct.  Read More

One of the KLM Boeing 747's four engines was powered by a 50 percent biokerosene/50 percen...

Commercial aircraft are a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, but manufacturers and operators are taking steps to tackle the problem. Operators such as Virgin Atlantic have conducted demonstration flights using biofuel, and now KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has completed its first ever passenger flight powered by sustainable kerosene. Using a 50 percent biokerosene/50 percent normal jet fuel mix to power one of its four engines, a Boeing 747 carrying 40 select passengers last week circled the Netherlands for an hour in what KLM claims is the first flight of its kind in Europe.  Read More

Replacing gasoline with biofuel derived from processed waste biomass could cut global emis...

If there’s one thing there seems to be an endless supply of, it's garbage. The idea of turning the trash that currently ends up in landfill into a fuel to combat the growing energy crisis and tackle carbon emissions isn’t new. Companies like Waste2tricity in the UK are already looking to convert waste from business and industry into clean electricity. Now scientists in Singapore and Switzerland have added credence to the idea, saying that replacing gasoline with biofuel derived from processed waste biomass could cut global emissions by 80%.  Read More

Which came first, the chicken or the biodiesel? Well the chicken obviously 
 (Photo: The A...

Scientists in Nevada have found a new and environmentally friendly source of biodiesel – “chicken feather meal”, a delightful material that consists of chicken feathers, blood, and innards made from the 11 billion pounds of poultry industry waste that accumulates annually in the US alone.  Read More

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