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Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit          August 27, 2014

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Leaf-cutter ants could hold key for biomass
Domestic Fuel
A fungus from leaf-cutter ant gardens could be key in how biomass gets broken down into bioenergy sources. This article from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory says researchers working with colleagues at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center are using metabolomic and metaproteomic techniques to examine the dynamics of nutrient turnover in the gardens of leaf-cutter ants to discover how sugars, key in biofuels production, can be released.
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Study: Health benefits of reducing emissions outweigh costs involved
Headlines & Global News
Cutting carbon emissions from sources like power plants and vehicles can lower asthma rates and other health problems, a new study finds. Many states have backed out from implementing carbon emission reduction policies because of high costs involved. However, a new study suggests that the health benefits that comes from breathing cleaner air more than makes up for these costs.
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Housing sales are hoisting the prices of lumber
South Bend Tribune
A slew of shockingly good housing data shook U.S. markets recently, especially lumber. Reports showed that construction of new homes is rising from the post-recession doldrums and that sales of existing homes increased for the fourth straight month.
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Geneticists develop tree biomass crop to grow on marginal lands
Biomass Magazine
Two Virginia Tech researchers have received a $1.4 million grant to investigate the genetic regulatory networks that will allow an important bioenergy crop to be bred so it will grow in less than ideal soils and climate. Populus, a genus of fast-growing trees commonly known as cottonwoods and aspens, is being grown for bioenergy because it produces a significant amount of biomass in two years and will re-grow robustly when cut at just above ground level.
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The world's largest solar thermal power plant is incinerating thousands of local birds
Engadget
A common sight in the sky above the world's largest solar thermal power plant is a "streamer," a small plume of smoke that occurs without warning. Closer inspection, however, reveals that the source of the smoke is a bird that has inadvertently strayed into the white-hot heat above the plant's many reflecting mirrors. Because the BrightSource Energy plant near Ivanpah, California, uses supercritical steam rather than photovoltaic energy, the sun's heat is reflected off more than 300,000 mirrors to a single point, which is used to drive a steam turbine.
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US biodiesel industry suffers as biofuel rule delays drag on
Reuters
The long wait for final 2014 federal biofuel use targets has compounded troubles for U.S. biodiesel producers already hit by the Obama administration's preliminary plan to slash renewable fuel requirements. Nearly nine months behind schedule, 2014 targets from the Environmental Protection Agency could arrive in September at the earliest.
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US opening to Myanmar timber could help save forests
Eleven Media Group
Under the waiver, timber trade is for U.S. companies and other members of the International Wood Products Association (IWPA), according to Myanmar Timber Enterprise (MTE), a state enterprise in charge of timber trade. The waiver took effect from last July. “The one-year waiver is granted to American importers who are members of IWPA. They can establish direct trade with Myanmar,” said an official of MTE.
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How to save the woods
Scientific American
Just 25 countries hold almost all of the world's undisturbed forests. More than half of that forest is in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Russia and the U.S. And only 22 percent of forestland worldwide is protected. Those figures are from a new analysis in the journal Conservation Letters. So what could be done to save the 13 million plus square kilometers of untouched forests?
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Bionic liquids to improve biofuel production
The Daily Fusion
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have developed “bionic liquids” from lignin and hemicellulose, two by-products of biofuel production from biorefineries. JBEI is a multi-institutional partnership led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that was established by the DOE Office of Science to accelerate the development of advanced, next-generation biofuels.
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14-year-old's biofuel breakthrough boosts algae production 500 percent
Inhabitat
Algae could provide an endless source of biofuel, however current production methods tend to be costly and time-intensive – first you have to grow the algae, and then you extract oily lipids and convert them into fuel. Enter Gregory Martin, a brilliant 14-year-old who has found a way to boost the amount of lipids in algae by over 500 percent. Gregory’s method uses fewer steps than other techniques, and it could lead to much higher biofuel yields.
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