• 26Apr

    Experts continue the search for safer and cleaner sources of energy to transition from the use of fossil fuel. Farmlands are also increasingly being devoted to the production of bioethanol. There is an issue though when it comes to using land crops for fuel as this might affect the supply of food in the long run and might increase costs.

    A team of experts at the Zoology Department of the Tel Aviv University and scientists from the Israel Oceanography Institute, and Ben Gurion University have explored the seas to find a renewable source of energy which will not endanger biodiversity, natural habitats, and food sources of human. According to them, marine macroalgae can easily be grown faster than land crops and be harvested for fuel without compromising the usage of land. Seaweeds is a great source of bioethanol which has not been explored much yet.

    The team of researchers is trying to develop methods to cultivate seaweeds and harvest them as a source of our renewable energy. The seaweeds can grow without any problems along coastlines and they can also help clean the waters of excess nutrients brought about by aquaculture or human wastes.

    Biomasses produced on land imposes problems like damage to our environment while experts sees the use of seaweeds for biofuel as a good solution to some marine problems. A lot of coastal regions like the Red Sea near Israel is suffering from pollution caused by humans.

    The scientists developed CAMUS or Combined Aquaculture Multi-Use Systems, a way to grow seaweeds and convert it to biofuel. This system takes into consideration the realities of the water environment and the activities of human in it.

    CAMUS will be tapping multiple species to make sure wastes in the marine environment can be converted to resources which will be productive like biofuel and at the same time help decrease the effects of pollution.

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  • 07Jun

    The Canadian government is allotting around C$5 million for a project that will study the large scale production of fuels from algae that grows in its province of Nova Scotia.

    The Minister for Science and Technology announced the funding during the launch of the project held at the Institute for Marine Biosciences of the National Research Council.

    Other organizations and industrial partners are also pouring financial support amounting to about C$1.2M plus some help in kind.

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  • 16Mar

    jatropha AFEXProf. Bruce Dale of Michigan State University patented a pre-treatment process called AFEX (Ammonia Fiber Expansion). AFEX can trim down the cost of fermenting cellulosic biomass to ethanol by reducing the processing procedures and eradicating the need to add supplements to aid the fermentation.

    AFEX pretreatment process utilizes ammonia to make the separation of cellulose and hemicellulose in plants 75% more efficient. The cellulose in plants, once extracted and broken down into sugars, can be transformed into biofuel.

    When a cellulosic material is treated with AFEX, it doesn’t need any washing or detoxification. This allows ethanol to be produced from cellulose without added supplements or procedures to aid the fermentation.

    The AFEX process is functioning under moderately mild condition. The biomass is heated at 100 degrees Centigrade with concentrated ammonia. Brisk pressure release aids the process. As a result, 99% of the ammonia is retrieved and recycled. This process decrystallizes cellulose, depolymerizes hemicellulose and remove lignin from it. AFEX decreases breaking down of the sugar in the biomass.

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