Energy and Climate


Assessing the Economic Potential of Advanced Biofuels

Biofuels hold great promise for the future of transportation energy, but how near we are to that future is, at best, an educated guess with many variables at play. A study led by Scott Paap (Systems Research and Analysis Dept.), “Biochemical production of ethanol and fatty acid ethyl esters from switchgrass: A comparative analysis of environmental […]

JBEI Researchers Splice Corn Gene into Switchgrass, Increasing Plant Cell Wall Starch by 250%

On December 7, 2011, in Energy, JBEI, News, Renewable Energy, Transportation Energy

Many experts believe that advanced biofuels made from cellulosic biomass are the most promising alternative to petroleum-based liquid fuels for a renewable, clean, green, domestic source of transportation energy. Nature, however, does not make it easy. Unlike the starch sugars in grains, the complex polysaccharides in the cellulose of plant cell walls are locked within a […]

E. Coli Bacteria Engineered to Eat Switchgrass and Make Transportation Fuels

On December 7, 2011, in Energy, JBEI, News, Renewable Energy, Transportation Energy

A milestone has been reached on the road to developing advanced biofuels that can replace gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels with a domestically produced clean, green, renewable alternative. Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have engineered the first strains of Escherichia coli bacteria that can digest switchgrass biomass and synthesize […]

Thermochemical Conversion

On April 27, 2011, in

Thermochemical conversion of biomass to fuels has become increasingly important as climate and energy security issues challenge our dependence on conventional energy sources. Sandia provides the enabling science and engineering basis for the next generation of thermochemical platform technologies for biomass to fungible fuels and power.  Thermochemical fuels research expertise includes biomass pre-treatment, fast-pyrolysis, char […]


On April 27, 2011, in

Microalgae hold significant promise in terms of producing a significant portion of the renewable fuels that will be required to meet the biofuel production targets established by the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS-2) as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. Advanced biofuels derived from microalgae at the commercial scale could meet, […]

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