9 posts · 3,300 views
For biofuels to be economical, we will need some technology breakthroughs. In the US, the RFS is driving us to produce liquid fuel, usually with enzymes that convert sugars and starches in the biomass to ethanol or other liquid molecules … Continue reading →... Read more »
Shen, B., Sun, X., Zuo, X., Shilling, T., Apgar, J., Ross, M., Bougri, O., Samoylov, V., Parker, M., Hancock, E.... (2012) Engineering a thermoregulated intein-modified xylanase into maize for consolidated lignocellulosic biomass processing. Nature Biotechnology. DOI: 10.1038/nbt.2402
While this probably isn’t the reason electric cars have not lived up to the hype and might only sell about 50,000 in 2012 (less than 1% of total sales), maybe it is a reason we shouldn’t encourage them (yet). I … Continue reading →... Read more »
Troy R. Hawkins, Bhawna Singh, Guillaume Majeau-Bettez, and Anders Hammer Strømman. (2012) Comparative Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Conventional and Electric Vehicles. Journal of Industrial Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-9290.2012.00532.x
I wanted to bring your attention to some recent articles that I hope are not limited access articles. In any case, they make two points: 1. The American public overwhelmingly supports a national clean energy standard, even when knowing it … Continue reading →... Read more »
Tim Searchinger has a history of questioning assumptions and justifications put forward by proponents of biofuels. His points are usually valid, or at least adds to the conversation. In his latest article with Keith Smith in Global Change Biology, he … Continue reading →... Read more »
Smith, K., & Searchinger, T. (2012) Crop-based biofuels and associated environmental concerns. GCB Bioenergy. DOI: 10.1111/j.1757-1707.2012.01182.x
Sometimes I find it hard to understand the aggressive funding in the US towards dedicated bioenergy crops – crops like switchgrass and miscanthus that proponents argue can be grown on degraded land (land that we wouldn’t be able to grow … Continue reading →... Read more »
Shield, I., Barraclough, T., Riche, A., & Yates, N. (2012) The yield response of the energy crops switchgrass and reed canary grass to fertiliser applications when grown on a low productivity sandy soil. Biomass and Bioenergy, 86-96. DOI: 10.1016/j.biombioe.2012.03.017
At first glance I was very surprised and skeptical of the claims of this recent paper in Nature Climate Change. Richard York did some simple regression modeling of renewable energy and total energy use in 132 countries and found that … Continue reading →... Read more »
York, R. (2012) Do alternative energy sources displace fossil fuels?. Nature Climate Change, 2(6), 441-443. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1451
Today I want to mention a couple recent developments on the bioenergy feedstock front. Specifically, these deal with engineering the genetics of a bioenergy crop with enhanced characteristics for bioenergy. First up, is switchgrass with a gene that prevents flowering … Continue reading →... Read more »
Chuck GS, Tobias C, Sun L, Kraemer F, Li C, Dibble D, Arora R, Bragg JN, Vogel JP, Singh S.... (2011) Overexpression of the maize Corngrass1 microRNA prevents flowering, improves digestibility, and increases starch content of switchgrass. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 21987797
Just saw this paper (citation below) with fresh estimates of costs of air pollution based on real data across the entire US, divided by sectors of the economy. Not unsurprisingly, coal generated electricity comes out as the worst – accounting for … Continue reading →... Read more »
Muller, N., Mendelsohn, R., & Nordhaus, W. (2011) Environmental Accounting for Pollution in the United States Economy. American Economic Review, 101(5), 1649-1675. DOI: 10.1257/aer.101.5.1649
So today I’m sharing a study completed by some researchers here at Colorado State University, along with some folks at UI Urbana-Champaign using the DAYCENT model. They basically asked what would happen if instead of using corn to make ethanol, we … Continue reading →... Read more »
Davis, S., Parton, W., Del Grosso, S., Keough, C., Marx, E., Adler, P., & DeLucia, E. (2011) Impact of second-generation biofuel agriculture on greenhouse-gas emissions in the corn-growing regions of the US. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1890/110003
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