Applied Technotopia

We scan the digital environment to examine the leading trends in emerging technology today to know more about future.


We have added a few indices around the site. Though we look to the future, we need to keep an eye on the present as well:

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Posts tagged "fuels"

This little critter could be fueling your car one day. A look at this potential biofuel.

electricspacekoolaid:

One Marine Animal Could Be Next Biofuel

Scientists are looking to the ocean for the next big thing in renewable sources of biofuel for your eco-car.

 Five researchers at the University of Bergen (UiB) and Uni Research say they found the marine animal tunicatecould be used as a renewable source of biofuel. These marine animals serve as bacteria eaters and as a foodstuff in Korea and Japan right now, but the cellulose, the protein and the Omega-3 fatty acids in tunicate are the cause for its many uses.

“Its mantle consists of cellulose, which is a collection of sugars. When cellulose is cleaved, one can obtain ethanol. And ethanol can be used for biofuel in cars. The animal’s body consists of large amounts of protein and Omega-3. This can be used for fish feed,” says Professor Eric Thompson at UiB’s Department of Biology.

The researchers say they have already acquired a patent for biofuel and have a patent application pending for the cultivation of tunicate as fish feed.

Dr. Sc. Christofer Troedsson of Uni Research’s Molecular Ecology Group and head of the research at UiB’s Marine Development Biology and the tunicate research project said the bioethanol used today is unsustainable, as it comes from foods already used for human consumption.

“That is why there has been a move towards using cellulose from the timber industry to produce bioethanol,” Troedsson said. “However, it is quite complicated to break down the cellulose in trees and convert it into ethanol. This is because the wood contains a substance called lignin, which is hard to separate from the cellulose. Tunicates contain no lignin. Their cellulose is also low in crystals and is more efficiently converted into ethanol.”

He said using tunicate rather than trees is more environmentally friendly because it does not occupy large tracts of land that could be used for other purposes.

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(via thescienceofreality)

An advance in the field of biofuels.

smarterplanet:

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In the search for renewable alternatives to gasoline, heavy alcohols such as isobutanol are promising candidates.

They contain more energy than ethanol and are also more compatible with existing gasoline-based infrastructure.

For isobutanol to become practical, however, scientists need a way to reliably produce huge quantities of it from renewable sources.

MIT chemical engineers and biologists have now devised a way to dramatically boost isobutanol production in yeast, which naturally make it in small amounts. They engineered yeast so that isobutanol synthesis takes place entirely within mitochondria, cell structures that generate energy and also host many biosynthetic pathways. Using this approach, they were able to boost isobutanol production by about 260 percent.

Though still short of the scale needed for industrial production, the advance suggests that this is a promising approach to engineering not only isobutanol but other useful chemicals as well, says Gregory Stephanopoulos, an MIT professor of chemical engineering and one of the senior authors of a paper describing the work in the Feb. 17 online edition of Nature Biotechnology

unexpectedtech:

“Biology is the best chemist out there,” said Harvard scientist Pamela Silver. The U.S. Department of Energy funds Silver’s research exploring the use of deep-ocean extremophiles to create new biofuels. She described the bacteria she works with as being “like little batteries” that “move electrons around.” Silver’s goal is to genetically program these ocean bacteria to recover carbon from air or water and process it into fuel.

(via unexpectedtech-deactivated20130)