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Bioenergy News

Oct. 20, 2021

With NREL's Feedstock Research, Algae and Garbage Could Be Ingredients for Zero-Emissions Fuels of the Future

In theory, over 1 billion tons of biomass could be sustainably collected and processed into biofuels by 2030 in the United States, according to U.S. Department of Energy analysis.

Oct. 20, 2021

Three Bio-Based Innovations Edge Closer to Market With Private-Public Funding

A more sustainable farming sector, lower industrial emissions, more efficient biochemical production—NREL scientists and industry partners expect sizable benefits from three new projects to commercialize bioinsecticides, enzymatic carbon dioxide (CO2) utilization, and cell-free biocatalysis.

Oct. 20, 2021

NREL Caps Off a Year of Accomplishments With National Bioenergy Day

On October 20, NREL will join organizations and individuals nationwide in celebrating the ninth annual Bioenergy Day. The day commemorates advancements in the use of biomass to produce energy from sustainable resources such as farm, forestry, and other plant waste.

Oct. 13, 2021

Researchers Engineer Microorganisms To Tackle PET Plastic Pollution

To help combat the plastic waste problem, NREL and its collaborators have developed a method to upcycle polyethylene terephthalate (PET) into performance-advantaged nylon, a precursor to other valuable products such as waterproof clothing, stick-free cookware coatings, and heat-resistant machine parts.

Oct. 11, 2021

NREL Process for Renewable Butyric Acid Good for Environment, Cheaper Biofuels

Scientists at NREL developed a fully integrated process to produce a promising precursor for diesel and jet fuel from lignocellulosic biomass, and for less expense than the selling price of the same material from petroleum.

Sept. 29, 2021

Q&A With Bob Allen: Cooking Up the Right Ingredients for a Circular Economy

This is the first in series of articles profiling NREL researchers whose work is helping build a circular economy to extend the lifespan of materials, components, and products, while reducing waste, conserving resources, and boosting efficiency. NREL Senior Research Fellow Bob Allen shared his thoughts on how innovations in upcycling sustainable polymers and composites can contribute to the circular economy.

Aug. 31, 2021

Breakthrough Methods Help Integrate Renewable Hydrogen With Waste Carbon Dioxide To Produce Clean Fuels, Chemicals, and More

Wind, solar, and battery storage appear to be a winning combination for clean electricity systems, but to make the leap to a sustainable energy system, another ingredient is necessary—low-carbon fuels.

Aug. 10, 2021

Big Emissions Cuts and Efficiency Gains for Big Rigs

A new report from the DOE Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) initiative identifies potential big gains for big rigs and the environment by creating low-carbon renewable diesel fuel blends for use in truck engines.

July 28, 2021

Scientists To Develop CO₂-Free Fermentation Technology Amid Surging Demand for Low-Carbon Biofuel

After receiving a nearly $3 million award from the DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), an NREL-led project will integrate electrochemistry with sugar fermentation to produce lipids used to make biofuels, while avoiding the release of CO₂ into the atmosphere.

July 15, 2021

News Release: Analysis Shows Enzyme-Based Plastics Recycling Is More Energy Efficient, Better for Environment

Researchers in the BOTTLE Consortium, including from NREL and the University of Portsmouth, have identified using enzymes as a more sustainable approach for recycling polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a common plastic in single-use beverage bottles, clothing, and food packaging.

July 1, 2021

News Release: What To Do With Food Waste? Well, That Depends

The expected decline in the number of landfills across the United States coupled with bans on disposing large amounts of organic waste in landfills that have been enacted in multiple states has prompted researchers at NREL to examine other ways to grapple with the issue of food waste disposal.

May 18, 2021

New Combustion Strategies Plus Biofuels Add Up to Cleaner, More Efficient Cars and Trucks

A report released this month highlights the most significant breakthroughs of the last year in the U.S. Department of Energy's Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) initiative, with details on findings that could translate into significant greenhouse gas and tailpipe emissions reductions.

May 17, 2021

News Release: Environmental Concerns Propel Research Into Marine Biofuels

A global effort to reduce sulfur and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships has researchers from NREL and other Department of Energy facilities investigating the potential use of marine biofuels.

April 30, 2021

NREL Chemist Wins Award for Electron Bifurcation Research Article

Cara Lubner, a chemist at NREL, coauthored a research article on electron bifurcation that was awarded the Class I: Physical and Mathematical Sciences 2020 Cozzarelli Prize on April 25.

April 20, 2021

Earth Anticipates a Circular Economy for Energy Materials

One of the three key pillars of NREL's vision for the next decade is developing a circular economy for energy materials. This critical objective focuses on reducing waste and preserving resources through the design and manufacture of materials and products with reuse, recycling, and upcycling in mind from the start.

March 19, 2021

NREL-Developed Renewable Polyurethane Concept Takes Step Forward

A startup founded by Philip Pienkos, a retired NREL researcher, has moved closer to commercializing technology he helped develop at the U.S. Department of Energy facility. The company, Polaris Renewables, is the first business to directly spin off from NREL since 1992.

March 15, 2021

From Wet Waste to Flight: Scientists Announce Fast-Track Solution for Net-Zero-Carbon Sustainable Aviation Fuel

A novel biorefining process using the untapped energy of food waste and other wet waste to produce a "drop-in" sustainable aviation fuel may lift net-zero flights off the runway sooner than you think.

Feb. 22, 2021

News Release: Groundbreaking Research into White-Rot Fungi Proves Its Value in Carbon Sequestration from Lignin

A foundational study conducted by scientists at NREL shows for the first time that white-rot fungi are able to use carbon captured from lignin as a carbon source.

Feb. 22, 2021

Lighting the Path to Net Zero: NREL's Research Strategy Drives Deep Transportation Decarbonization

The transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, accounting for about 28% of total carbon emissions. Turning that metric to zero stands as a critical task in the global push to drive down emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Feb. 16, 2021

NREL Discusses Circular Economy With High-Profile Partners in Fourth Partner Forum

At its fourth annual Partner Forum, NREL showcased its stable of leading experts and opened its virtual doors to partners, extending invitations to companies from around the world to engage in a collaborative effort to design a future replete with renewable energy solutions to the energy challenges of today.

Feb. 3, 2021

How To Solve the Mounting Problem of Plastic Waste? Focus on Its Chemical Roots

DOE funding pairs NREL with academic, nonprofit, and industry scientists to transform how we create and recycle plastic.

Jan. 21, 2021

News Release: NREL Reports Sustainability Benchmarks for Plastics Recycling and Redesign

Researchers developing renewable plastics and exploring new processes for plastics upcycling and recycling technologies will now be able to easily baseline their efforts to current manufacturing practices to understand if their efforts will save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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