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Bioenergy News

Dec. 22, 2020

Top 20 NREL Stories of 2020

NREL researchers and staff reached countless goals and achieved numerous successes in science, partnerships, and technology commercialization in 2020, from breaking world records to launching new initiatives. Here are just a few of the highlights.

Dec. 16, 2020

$10 Million Sparks Research To Reduce Risks of Promising Bioengineered Organisms

Two awards totaling nearly $10 million from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science Biological and Environmental Research (BER) program will support two research projects at NREL and partner laboratories that aim to analyze and reduce biosecurity risks of promising bioengineered organisms.

Nov. 5, 2020

WESyS: the Open-Source Waste-to-Energy System Simulation Model

WESyS simulates the possible evolution of the U.S. waste-to-energy industry based on industrial, technological, and policy-related factors.

Oct. 20, 2020

BOTTLE Consortium Launches To Change the Way We Recycle

The consortium will focus on two critical problems that are both essential to tackle the plastics pollution problem. The first challenge is how to upcycle today's waste plastics in a way that incentivizes their reclamation. The second undertakes the challenge of wholly redesigning tomorrow's plastics to be recyclable-by-design.

Oct. 19, 2020

News Release: National Laboratories Point to Sugars as a Key Factor in Ideal Feedstock for Biofuels

Popular wisdom holds that tall, fast-growing trees are best for biomass, but new research by two DOE national laboratories reveals the size of trees is only part of the equation. Of equal economic importance is the amount of sugars that can be produced from the ligno-cellulosic biomass and converted into fuels.

Oct. 2, 2020

News Release: R&D 100 Awards Honor Six NREL Innovations

R&D World magazine today presented NREL with four of its annual R&D 100 Awards for research innovations. In addition to the R&D 100 winners, two additional NREL technologies were given Special Recognition Awards.

Oct. 1, 2020

News Release: NREL, UK University Partner To Dive Deeper Into How Enzymes Digest Plastic

A collaboration between NREL, the University of Portsmouth, and other partners has determined two synergistic enzymes—PETase and MHETase—work effectively in tandem to break down polyethylene terephthalate, a type of plastic used to make single-use beverage bottles, clothing, and carpeting.

Sept. 24, 2020

NREL Researchers Share $40 Million with Partners To Scale Next-Gen Biotechnologies

A combined award of nearly $40 million from the U.S. Department of Energy's Bioenergy Technologies Office will support NREL researchers, along with partners from universities and industries, to develop and scale up 11 groundbreaking bioenergy projects.

Sept. 24, 2020

Scientists Offer Companies a Novel Chemistry for Greener Polyurethane

Through a novel chemistry using nontoxic resources like linseed oil, waste grease, or even algae, chemist Phil Pienkos and colleague Tao Dong, an expert in chemical engineering, have developed a groundbreaking method for producing renewable polyurethane without toxic precursors.

Aug. 27, 2020

Annual Technology Baseline Expands To Include Transportation Data

The first-ever Transportation Annual Technology Baseline consolidates U.S. vehicle and fuel technologies data for current and future markets through 2050.

Aug. 18, 2020

NREL, ExxonMobil Teams Imagine, Research New Solutions for Tomorrow's Energy Challenges

A year into their unique collaboration, NREL and ExxonMobil are navigating a multi-pronged effort toward a future where clean-burning biofuels replace some petroleum-based fuels.

July 22, 2020

NREL Researchers Set Sights on Commercializing Biotechnologies with Industry Partners

Researchers at NREL are set to launch four bioenergy projects with industry partners that have the potential to accelerate the commercialization of novel bio-based products and technologies.

July 16, 2020

New Process Turns Carbon into Cleaner, High-Performance Diesel Biofuel Blendstock

A new single-phase catalyst that enables the conversion of renewable and waste carbon into sustainable diesel fuels has been developed through a unique collaboration between NREL and two DOE consortia, Chemical Catalysis for Bioenergy and the Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines initiative.

June 22, 2020

Lowering Atmospheric CO2 in Large-Scale Renewable Energy Electrochemical Process

What if carbon dioxide (CO2), a prevalent greenhouse gas, could be transformed into higher-value fuels and chemicals using low-cost, renewable electricity? Recent results from NREL may enable the scale-up of an electrochemical process to reduce CO2 that has not been possible until now.

June 8, 2020

Fuel and Engine Research Brings Cleaner, More Efficient Cars and Trucks Closer to Finish Line

Passenger cars and light-duty trucks typically account for 55% of U.S. transportation energy use. Recently, sharp increases in demand for deliveries have pressed some commercial trucks—which usually account for more than 25% of transportation-related fuel consumption—into overtime.

May 28, 2020

Scientists Pinpoint Pathways for Carbon Dioxide Uptake of Cyanobacteria

Research performed by the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI)—a joint effort between NREL and the University of Colorado, Boulder—shows how RASEI researchers traced the growth of individual cyanobacteria, providing new insights into the biological pathways that enable efficient photosynthetic growth, and ultimately high-value renewable fuels and chemicals.

May 18, 2020

NREL's John Farrell Honored for Leadership in Sustainable Fuels and Engines

Since taking the helm of NREL's vehicle technologies research in 2013, John Farrell has been instrumental in directing R&D initiatives for the U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Vehicle Technologies Office, ranging from high-density energy storage to vehicle automation, as well as co-optimization of fuel and engine technologies to vehicle-to-grid interactions.

May 12, 2020

NREL Tool Quickly Provides Answers for Chemical Reactions

A new machine-learning tool developed at NREL has significantly speeded up calculating the thermodynamics of chemical reactions. Developed as part of the DOE Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines initiative, the new tool—called ALFABET—makes it possible for researchers to identify the most promising fuels for lower emissions and greater engine efficiency in seconds rather than days.

April 3, 2020

Lignin Research Yields Additional Answers into Bacteria's Role

A collaboration between NREL and three other national laboratories has yielded new insight into the ability of bacteria to break down the hardy part of a plant known as lignin. The additional understanding of the process could open a path to industrial applications.

April 2, 2020

Global 'Fashion for Good' Program Picks NREL's Pienkos to Participate

Phil Pienkos, who retired from NREL this month, already has his next project underway. He has been selected to participate in an international initiative called Fashion for Good that aims to bring sustainability into the fashion industry.

March 30, 2020

Co-Optima Leads High-Speed Chase for Co-Optimization of Fuels and Turbocharged Spark-Ignition Engines

A new report summarizes findings from the first phase of the Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines initiative, which focused on turbocharged spark-ignition engines for light-duty vehicles, identifying the fuel properties and engine parameters that mitigate knock and emissions, while maximizing efficiency and performance.

Feb. 20, 2020

Sustainably Converting Waste CO₂ into Hydrocarbon Fuels and Products

Researchers at NREL and the University of Southern California demonstrated a new process to synthesize metal carbide nanoparticles that may be used to convert waste carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon fuels or precursors to chemical products.

Feb. 18, 2020

Latest Data Book Shows U.S. Renewable Capacity Surpassed 20% for First Time in 2018

New edition also shows continued growth in U.S. installed wind and solar photovoltaic capacity, energy storage, and electric vehicle sales.

Jan. 28, 2020

How NREL Is Fanning the Sparks of Innovation

During fiscal year 2019, NREL filed a record 124 patent applications and counted a record 233 disclosures — a category that includes 161 records of invention and 72 software records. NREL-developed software is protectable by copyright, while records of invention can be protected with patent applications.


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