Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Butanediol production from corn and sugar beet stover

Corn Stover
Researchers at the University of Minnesota have found a more efficient way of  first producing Tricarboxylic acid (TCA) from inedible lignocellulose parts of plants.  The TCA is then converted to butanediol (BDO)  The raw material of orange peels, corn or sugar beet stover are digested by modified E. coli bacteria in a 5 part process to produce butanediol  BDO.

Over a billion pounds of BDO containing spandex are produced each year for clothing and furniture.   The pathway could also be used to produce chicken feed and food additives.

An abstract of the article, Engineering nonphosphorylative metabolism to generate lignocellulose-derived products, appears in the Journal Nature Chemical Biology

Use of corn stover (leaves and stalks)  for cattle feed - 2 min. 

Optimizing the amount of corn stover removal for no-till agriculture - 3 min.

U of MN Duluth to receive Solar feasiblity Grants from NREL

Solar Panel at the UMD Bulldog Football Stadium

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will be providing solar feasibility grants to eight college campuses including the University of Minnesota Duluth.  As part of the Department of Energy's Sun Shot Initiative, NREL will assess possibilities and economic payback for the installation of photovoltaic cells on campus. This will also provide learning opportunities for students and faculty on campus.

DOE Sun Shot - SHINE initiative for Solar Power - 2 min. Jan. 2016.