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Researchers produce cheap sugars for sustainable biofuel production
http://www.physorg.com ^ | 09-29-2011 | Provided by Iowa State University

Posted on 09/29/2011 10:33:09 AM PDT by Red Badger

Iowa State University's Robert C. Brown keeps a small vial of brown, sweet-smelling liquid on his office table.

"It looks like something you could pour on your pancakes," he said. "In many respects, it is similar to molasses."

Brown, in fact, calls it "pyrolytic molasses."

That's because it was produced by the fast pyrolysis of biomass such as corn stalks or wood chips. Fast pyrolysis involves quickly heating the biomass without oxygen to produce liquid or gas products.

"We think this is a new way to make inexpensive sugars from biomass," said Brown, an Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering, the Gary and Donna Hoover Chair in Mechanical Engineering and the Iowa Farm Bureau Director of Iowa State's Bioeconomy Institute.

That's a big deal because those sugars can be further processed into biofuels. Brown and other Iowa State researchers believe pyrolysis of lignocelluslosic biomass has the potential to be the cheapest way to produce biofuels or biorenewable chemicals.

Brown and Iowa State researchers will present their ideas and findings during tcbiomass2011, the International Conference on Thermochemical Conversion Science in Chicago Sept. 28-30. On Thursday, Sept, 29, Brown will address the conference with a plenary talk describing how large amounts of sugars can be produced from biomass by a simple pretreatment before pyrolysis. He'll also explain how these sugars can be economically recovered from the products of pyrolysis.

A poster session following Brown's talk will highlight thermochemical technologies developed by 19 Iowa State research teams, including processes that:

increase the yield of sugar from fast pyrolysis of biomass with a pretreatment that neutralizes naturally occurring alkali that otherwise interferes with the release of sugars prevent burning of sugar released during pyrolysis by rapidly transporting it out of the hot reaction zone recover sugar from the heavy end of bio-oil that has been separated into various fractions separate sugars from the heavy fractions of bio-oil using a simple water-washing process.

In addition to Brown, key contributors to the pyrolysis research at Iowa State include Brent Shanks, the Mike and Jean Steffenson Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and director of the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals based at Iowa State; Christopher Williams, professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering; Zhiyou Wen, associate professor of food science and human nutrition; Laura Jarboe, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering; Xianglan Bai, adjunct assistant professor of aerospace engineering; Marjorie Rover and Sunitha Sadula, research scientists at the Center for Sustainable Environmental Technologies; Dustin Dalluge, a graduate student in mechanical engineering; and Najeeb Kuzhiyil, a former doctoral student who is now working for GE Transportation in Erie, Penn.

Their work has been supported by the eight-year, $22.5 million ConocoPhillips Biofuels Program at Iowa State. The program was launched in April 2007.

Brown said Iowa State will – literally – take a bus load of students and researchers to the Chicago conference to present their work on thermochemical technologies, including production of sugars from biomass.

"The Department of Energy has been working for 35 years to get sugar out of biomass," Brown said. "Most of the focus has been on use of enzymes, which remains extremely expensive. What we've developed is a simpler method based on the heating of biomass."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; US: Iowa
KEYWORDS: biomass; diesel; energy; fuel

Iowa State researchers have developed thermochemical technologies that efficiently produce sugars from biomass. Lead researcher Robert C. Brown calls the sugars “pyrolytic molasses.” Naomi Friend photo. Credit: Naomi Friend/Iowa State Bioeconomy Institute photo.

1 posted on 09/29/2011 10:33:13 AM PDT by Red Badger
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To: sully777; vigl; Cagey; Abathar; A. Patriot; B Knotts; getsoutalive; muleskinner; sausageseller; ...

Biofool PING!.........


2 posted on 09/29/2011 10:34:33 AM PDT by Red Badger (We cannot defeat an enemy that the president and hence his administration cannot name.......)
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To: RachelFaith; thedilg; herMANroberts; InLikeLevin; stephenjohnbanker; fightinbluhen51; Squantos; ...

Biofool PING!.........


3 posted on 09/29/2011 10:35:47 AM PDT by Red Badger (We cannot defeat an enemy that the president and hence his administration cannot name.......)
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To: Red Badger

Grandpappy knew how to heat corn for his fuel ‘til them dang revenuers come and shut down his still.


4 posted on 09/29/2011 10:36:49 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Red Badger; SunkenCiv; Slings and Arrows; JRios1968
Ah, cheap Sugar.

Good times. Good. Times.

5 posted on 09/29/2011 10:38:32 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: blueunicorn6

Yeah, but he couldn’t make sugar out of corn cobs and stalks...............


6 posted on 09/29/2011 10:43:20 AM PDT by Red Badger (We cannot defeat an enemy that the president and hence his administration cannot name.......)
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To: martin_fierro

Sugar, Sugar
The Archies 1969

Sugar, ah honey honey
You are my candy girl
And you’ve got me wanting you.
Honey, ah sugar sugar
You are my candy girls
And you got me wanting you

I just can’t believe the lovliness of loving you,
(I just can’t believe it’s true)
I just can’t believe the one to love this feeling to
(I just can’t believe it’s true)

Sugar, ah honey hiney
you are my candy girl
and you got me wanting you
honey, ah sugar sugar
you are my candy girl
and you got me wanting you

When i kissed you girl I knew how sweet a kiss could be
(I know how sweet a kiss could be)
Like the summer sunshine pour you sweetness over me
(Pour your sweetness over me)

Pour a little sugar on it honey
Pour a little sugar on it Baby
I’m gonna make your life so sweet, yeah yeah yeah
pour a little sugar on it yeah
pour a little sugar on it honey
pour a little sugar on it baby
I’m gonna make your life so sweet, yeah yeah yeah
pour a little sugar on it honey

Ah sugar, ah honey honey
you are my candy girl
and you got me wanting you
Oh honey honey, sugar sugar..............
You are my candy girl


7 posted on 09/29/2011 10:45:59 AM PDT by Red Badger (We cannot defeat an enemy that the president and hence his administration cannot name.......)
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To: Red Badger

Oh good, something new to make Dr. Pepper taste like crap.


8 posted on 09/29/2011 10:50:53 AM PDT by Sporke (USS-Iowa BB-61)
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To: Red Badger

I do believe fuel cells can be configured to run using the hydrogen stored in sugar molecules rather than pure hydrogen gas. It solves all the problems of trying to have a highly pressurized tank of hydrogen on the vehicle.

There is still some CO2 given off from the fuel cell but we all know that was a bogus worry in the first place.

Might need an additive to keep that stuff from gumming up the inside of the fuel cell.


9 posted on 09/29/2011 10:51:41 AM PDT by toast
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To: Sporke

You mean the Dr. Pepper made with corn sweetener, or Dr. Pepper in general?...........


10 posted on 09/29/2011 10:53:55 AM PDT by Red Badger (We cannot defeat an enemy that the president and hence his administration cannot name.......)
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To: Red Badger

Think of the CO2 these guys will be responsible for producing!


11 posted on 09/29/2011 10:56:18 AM PDT by Shady (The undeniable truth of the Obama Administration...The numbers do not lie.)
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To: Red Badger

“That’s a big deal because those sugars can be further processed into biofuels. Brown and other Iowa State researchers believe pyrolysis of lignocelluslosic biomass has the potential to be the cheapest way to produce biofuels or biorenewable chemicals.”

This would be a good way to make ethanol from waste without needing a ton of enzymes to first break down the cellulose.


12 posted on 09/29/2011 11:08:32 AM PDT by Hacklehead (Had enough?)
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To: Red Badger

Grandpappy fed the stalks to the chickens and the cobs, well, let’s just say Granny never bought toilet paper.


13 posted on 09/29/2011 11:11:04 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Hacklehead

and you can drink it!...........Hooray ! CHEAP WHISKEY !......


14 posted on 09/29/2011 11:11:31 AM PDT by Red Badger (We cannot defeat an enemy that the president and hence his administration cannot name.......)
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To: Red Badger

“You mean the Dr. Pepper made with corn sweetener, or Dr. Pepper in general?...........”

I was referring to the high fructose corn syrup variety.

Luckily Dr. Pepper made with actual sugar can still be found in some places around here.


15 posted on 09/29/2011 11:13:40 AM PDT by Sporke (USS-Iowa BB-61)
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To: Red Badger

Just what we needed—parasitic molasses. Sounds like the Blob to me. Oozing through the countryside, sliming through every crack and crevice, gobbling up everything and everyone in sight.

Kind of like Obama’s socialism.


16 posted on 09/29/2011 11:14:13 AM PDT by Humble Servant
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To: Humble Servant

Except in January............


17 posted on 09/29/2011 11:32:22 AM PDT by Red Badger (We cannot defeat an enemy that the president and hence his administration cannot name.......)
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To: Sporke

I drink Dr. Pepper as my drink of choice when eating fast food.

Sometimes it does taste funny..........


18 posted on 09/29/2011 11:34:16 AM PDT by Red Badger (We cannot defeat an enemy that the president and hence his administration cannot name.......)
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To: Red Badger
Sometimes it does taste funny..........

That's the cobs

19 posted on 09/29/2011 12:25:46 PM PDT by Dan(9698)
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To: Red Badger

“Yeah, but he couldn’t make sugar out of corn cobs and stalks...............”

So he returned those to the soil so as to increase the organic matter content, in order to grow a better corn crop the next year.


20 posted on 09/29/2011 1:34:07 PM PDT by ngat
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To: Hacklehead

Let me get out my handy dandy “lefty communist to English” translation book... ah... here it is...

“Sustainable energy - those energy sources that are incapable of supporting a capitalist economy.”


21 posted on 09/29/2011 1:41:05 PM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: Red Badger
"We are the Saudi Arabia of Kudzu."

-- Yo-Yo

22 posted on 09/29/2011 2:02:05 PM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: martin_fierro

She is fusion plus smoking ass hot. Who is that?


23 posted on 09/29/2011 4:23:17 PM PDT by cpdiii (Deckhand, Roughneck, Mud Man, Geologist, Pilot, Pharmacist. THE CONSTITUTION IS WORTH DYING FOR!)
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To: Red Badger

I remember how Cokes and Dr. Peppers tasted when I was a kid (in 12oz glass bottles), and they taste nothing like that now. It’s a shame....


24 posted on 09/29/2011 5:59:30 PM PDT by Sporke (USS-Iowa BB-61)
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To: Sporke

Big Lots here sells Cokes made with real cane sugar, imported from Mexico. Mexico does not use corn sweetener because sugar is cheaper. They don’t have a sugar lobby that keeps prices artificially high like we do. If we paid the world price for sugar, Cokes would be a quarter and candy bars would be a dime. Plus, recent studies show that corn sweetener is what makes Americans obese. Our bodies don’t react the same to corn sweetener as they do to pure sugar. Sugar is burned almost immediately for energy, corn sweetener is stored as fat.......


25 posted on 09/29/2011 6:10:42 PM PDT by Red Badger (We cannot defeat an enemy that the president and hence his administration cannot name.......)
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To: Red Badger

Don’t get me started on subsidies, especially the sugar one! LOL


26 posted on 09/29/2011 9:30:46 PM PDT by Sporke (USS-Iowa BB-61)
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To: Red Badger

Biofool PING!.........

Let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater. If biofuels can be made economically and without disrupting the food supply, then I am all for it.


27 posted on 09/30/2011 4:00:27 AM PDT by beef (Who Killed Kennewick Man?)
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To: beef
If biofuels can be made economically and without disrupting the food supply, then I am all for it.

Biofuels can be made economically. And can be made without adverse affect it to the food supply. The problem is there just isn't enough land, even in marginal or non agricultural areas, to grow enough biological feedstock, whatever the type, to supply more than a small fraction of the fuel necessary to maintain our level of fuel consumption, much less a growing demand. At best, biofuel replacements will be a local, niche oriented source of fuels and always will be, unless the US driver is willing to give up their large, low mileage vehicles for small fuel efficient ones. Ethanol is not the panacea that everyone is looking for, unless we have engines that can run on 100% ethanol, it's the only fuel source available and have delivery and storage systems that will not degrade in prolonged contact with it, and we have mandatory 100% conversion of all applicable waste products in the US to ethanol. Add to that the built-in 20% less energy content in ethanol than in gasoline, so you would have to have larger tanks, etc. Biodiesels are in the same class. They are not compatible with modern piezoelectric fuel injectors, and will actually destroy them, voiding the warranty. Another great choice is butanol, another biofuel that is nearly equal to gasoline in energy content and is made in much the same process as ethanol, but the same restrictions on land and feedstocks apply. It will take a new technology of some sort that will eventually replace the drive mechanisms of our current automobiles and trucks to get us out of foreign dependence on oil. Even if we drilled all our own oil and replaced the foreign oil with domestic, it would eventually run out sometime in the future and we would be right back where we are now. Yes, we can make good fuels out of coal and that is a proven method, but given the current environmentality against any use of coal, it's not likely to happen soon.

28 posted on 09/30/2011 5:48:10 AM PDT by Red Badger (We cannot defeat an enemy that the president and hence his administration cannot name.......)
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To: Red Badger

Inexpensive? Compared to using enzymes, maybe. But how are you heating it?


29 posted on 09/30/2011 12:04:17 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: redgolum
Their work has been supported by the eight-year, $22.5 million ConocoPhillips Biofuels Program at Iowa State.

But how are you heating it?

With petroleum?...........

30 posted on 09/30/2011 12:17:38 PM PDT by Red Badger (We cannot defeat an enemy that the president and hence his administration cannot name.......)
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