Current Lignin News and Events

Current Lignin News and Events, Lignin News Articles.
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Termite gut microbes could aid biofuel production
Wheat straw, the dried stalks left over from grain production, is a potential source of biofuels and commodity chemicals. But before straw can be converted to useful products by biorefineries, the polymers that make it up must be broken down into their building blocks. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering have found that microbes from the guts of certain termite species can help break down lignin, a particularly tough polymer in straw. (2021-02-17)

Newly discovered trait helps plants grow deeper roots in dry, compacted soils
A previously unknown root trait allows some cereal plants to grow deeper roots capable of punching through dry, hard, compacted soils, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest that harnessing the inherited characteristic could lead to crops better able to deal with a changing climate. (2021-02-01)

Understanding bacteria's metabolism could improve biofuel production
A new study reveals how bacteria control the chemicals produced from consuming 'food.' The insight could lead to organisms that are more efficient at converting plants into biofuels. (2020-12-03)

Utilizing a 'krafty' waste product: Toward enhancing vehicle fuel economy
Researchers from Kanazawa University have chemically modified Kraft lignin -- ordinarily considered in the paper industry to be a waste product -- and used it to produce quality carbon fiber. When optimized in the future as an automotive structural material, it may reduce the fuel needed to power your car. (2020-11-05)

Luminescent wood could light up homes of the future
The right indoor lighting can help set the mood, from a soft romantic glow to bright, stimulating colors. But some materials used for lighting, such as plastics, are not eco-friendly. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Nano have developed a bio-based, luminescent, water-resistant wood film that could someday be used as cover panels for lamps, displays and laser devices. (2020-11-04)

National laboratories point to sugars as a key factor in ideal feedstock for biofuels
Popular wisdom holds that tall, fast-growing trees are best for biomass, but new research by two US Department of Energy National Laboratories reveals the size of trees is only part of the equation. Of equal economic importance, according to scientists from the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), is the amount of sugars that can be produced from the ligno-cellulosic biomass that can be converted into fuels. (2020-10-20)

CRISPRing trees for a climate-friendly economy
Researchers led by prof. Wout Boerjan (VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology) have discovered a way to stably finetune the amount of lignin in poplar by applying CRISPR/Cas9 technology. Lignin is one of the main structural substances in plants and it makes processing wood into, for example, paper difficult. (2020-10-06)

Ecological power storage battery made of vanillin
Researchers at TU Graz have found a way to convert the aromatic substance vanillin into a redox-active electrolyte material for liquid batteries. The technology is an important step towards ecologically sustainable energy storage. (2020-10-01)

Science snapshots September 2020
2D Electronics, Plant Biofactories, Transforming Waste, and Vaccine Development. (2020-09-30)

Lightweight green supercapacitors could charge devices in a jiffy
In a new study, researchers at Texas A&M University have described their novel plant-based energy storage device that could charge even electric cars within a few minutes in the near future. Furthermore, they said their devices are flexible, lightweight and cost-effective. (2020-09-08)

New process boosts lignin bio-oil as a next-generation fuel
A new low-temperature multi-phase process for upgrading lignin bio-oil to hydrocarbons could help expand use of the lignin, which is now largely a waste product left over from the productions of cellulose and bioethanol from trees and other woody plants. (2020-09-08)

Plant protein discovery could reduce need for fertilizer
Researchers have discovered how a protein in plant roots controls the uptake of minerals and water, a finding which could improve the tolerance of agricultural crops to climate change and reduce the need for chemical fertilisers. (2020-09-04)

From biopaste to bioplastic
Forest scientists develop innovative wood-based materials for 3D printing. (2020-08-21)

Key technology for mass-production of lignin-bio-aviation fuels for reducing greenhouse gas
The team, led by Dr. Jeong-Myeong Ha of the Clean Energy Research Center at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology(KIST), has developed a technology that can be used to mass-produce aviation-grade fuels from wood wastes. The ability to produce aviation-grade fuel from wood waste is expected to help international aviation companies comply with the new strong emissions regulations, which are scheduled to go into effect in 2027. (2020-07-17)

Love-hate relationship of solvent and water leads to better biomass breakup
Scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory used neutron scattering and supercomputing to better understand how an organic solvent and water work together to break down plant biomass, creating a pathway to significantly improve the production of renewable biofuels and bioproducts. (2020-07-15)

The balancing act between plant growth and defense
Kumamoto University researchers have pinpointed the mechanism that regulates the balance between plant growth and defense. Excessive accumulation of hormones that protect against pathogen infection significantly hinders plant growth. Researchers found that the DEL1 gene plays a role in balancing growth and defense of plants infected with nematodes. This finding is expected to contribute to the improvement of agricultural crop varieties and the identification of infection mechanisms of various pathogens. (2020-06-16)

Researchers develop sustainable method for extracting vanillin from wood processing waste
Scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in Germany have developed a new sustainable method of extracting the flavoring agent vanillin from lignin, a component of wood. (2020-06-03)

IKBFU scientists have discovered a way to increase wheat immunity
A very original way to increase what can be conditionally called wheat immunity was suggested by the staff of the Laboratory of Natural Antioxidants at the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University. The results of the research, which were financed by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the government of the Kaliningrad region, were recently published in the Plants scientific journal. (2020-05-03)

A model for better predicting the unpredictable byproducts of genetic modification
Researchers are interested in genetically modifying trees for a variety of applications, from biofuels to paper production. They also want to steer clear of modifications with unintended consequences. These consequences can arise when intended modifications to one gene results in unexpected changes to other genes. A new model aims to predict these changes, helping avoid unintended consequences, and paving the way for more efficient research in the fields of genetic modification and forestry. (2020-04-10)

A novel biofuel system for hydrogen production from biomass
A recent study, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has presented a new biofuel system that uses lignin found in biomass for the production of hydrogen. (2020-03-10)

Plastic from wood
The biopolymer lignin is a by-product of papermaking and a promising raw material for manufacturing sustainable plastic materials. However, the quality of this naturally occurring product is not as uniform as that of petroleum-based plastics. An X-ray analysis carried out at DESY reveals for the first time how the internal molecular structure of different lignin products is related to the macroscopic properties of the respective materials. (2020-03-03)

KIST develops biofuel production process in cooperation with North American researchers
Biofuel is often touted as a clean fuel, but the fact that it is made using food sources is a major drawback. To address this issue, there has been continuous research on the development of second-generation biofuels using lignocellulosic biomass. The Korea Institute of Science and Technology(KIST) recently announces that it has developed an effective biofuel production process through the KIST-UBC (University of British Colombia) lab program in Vancouver, Canada. (2020-02-28)

Breaking down stubborn molecules
Seawater is more than just saltwater. The ocean is a veritable soup of chemicals. (2020-02-26)

'Wood' you like to recycle concrete?
Scientists at The University of Tokyo studied a method for recycling unused concrete with wood fibers. They found the conditions that produce new building materials with bending strength even greater than the original concrete. This work may help reduce the CO2 emissions associated with manufacturing new concrete. (2020-02-20)

Newly found bacteria fights climate change, soil pollutants
Cornell University researchers have found a new species of soil bacteria that is particularly adept at breaking down organic matter, including the cancer-causing chemicals that are released when coal, gas, oil and refuse are burned. (2020-02-20)

From petroleum to wood in the chemical industry: cost-efficient and more sustainable
An interdisciplinary team of bio-engineers and economists from KU Leuven has mapped out how wood could replace petroleum in the chemical industry. They not only looked at the technological requirements, but also whether that scenario would be financially viable. A shift from petroleum to wood would lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions, the researchers state in Science. (2020-02-13)

How to make it easier to turn plant waste into biofuels
Researchers have developed a new process that could make it much cheaper to produce biofuels such as ethanol from plant waste and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Their approach, featuring an ammonia-salt based solvent that rapidly turns plant fibers into sugars needed to make ethanol, works well at close to room temperature, unlike conventional processes, according to a Rutgers-led study in the journal Green Chemistry. (2020-01-14)

How tiny enzymes reign supreme in worldwide carbon recycling
That white rot fungi on fallen logs in a forest, it's super important. (2019-12-04)

Revealing the nanostructure of wood could help raise height limits for wooden skyscrapers
Cambridge researchers have captured the visible nanostructure of living wood for the first time using an advanced low-temperature scanning electron microscope. (2019-10-23)

Turning wood into pharmaceutical ingredients 
Production of hazardous waste during drug manufacturing is a serious concern for the pharmaceutical industry. Typically, large amounts of flammable solvents are used during these processes, which usually require several steps to make structurally complex drugs. Researchers now report in the journal ACS Central Science a method to produce pharmaceutically relevant compounds in just two or three steps, with water as the only waste product, using renewable woodchips as starting material. (2019-10-23)

Analysis and detoxification in one step
Many industrial and agriculture processes use chemicals that can be harmful for workers and the ecosystems where they accumulate. Researchers from Thailand have now developed a bioinspired method to detect and detoxify these chemicals in only one step. As they report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, a combination of two natural enzymatic reactions convert harmful chloro- and nitrophenols into the substance that causes the characteristic glowing of fireflies: luciferin. (2019-08-08)

Supercomputing improves biomass fuel conversion
Pretreating plant biomass with THF-water causes lignin globules on the cellulose surface to expand and break away from one another and the cellulose fibers. The expanded lignin is also more exposed to catalytic fragmentation by dilute acid. As a result, lignin can be more efficiently depolymerized, solubilized, and transported out of the cell wall at milder treatment conditions. Co-solvents allow easier recovery of both lignin and sugars, making renewable fuel production easier and more cost-effective. (2019-08-01)

Engineering enzymes to turn plant waste into sustainable products
A new family of enzymes has been engineered to perform one of the most important steps in the conversion of plant waste into sustainable and high-value products such as nylon, plastics and chemicals. (2019-06-24)

Passive radiative cooling in delignified wood material
A newly engineered, wood-based material successfully reflects heat, or infrared radiation, and could cut the energy costs associated with cooling buildings by up to 50%, according to a modeling analysis of its application in 16 US cities. (2019-05-23)

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, May 2019
ORNL story tips: Using ORNL's Summit supercomputer, scientists created some of the largest virtual universes; plant-based, super-sticky material proves stickier than mussels; method to 3D print big components with metal could promise low-cost, high-quality builds with less waste; simulated small modular reactors on Summit ran more efficiently than expected. (2019-05-01)

Scientists identify a novel target for corn straw utilization
A team of scientists led by Prof. FU Chunxiang from the Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology completed the identification of bm5 mutant. This was the first time that the locus of maize bm5 mutant had been identified. (2019-04-19)

'Electron shuttle' protein plays key role in plant cell-wall construction
Scientists studying plant cell walls have discovered details of a protein involved in the assembly of lignin, a key cell-wall component. The protein acts as a targeted 'electron shuttle,' delivering the 'fuel' that drives the construction of one specific lignin building block. Controlling the flow of electrons by modifying shuttle proteins could be a new strategy for guiding plants to make desired products. (2019-04-08)

Transparent wood can store and release heat (video)
Wood may seem more at home in log cabins than modern architecture, but a specially treated type of timber could be tomorrow's trendy building material. Today, scientists report a new kind of transparent wood that not only transmits light, but also absorbs and releases heat, potentially saving on energy costs. The researchers will present their results today at the American Chemical Society Spring 2019 National Meeting & Exposition. (2019-04-03)

Bright skies for plant-based jet fuels
With an estimated daily fuel demand of more than 5 million barrels per day, the global aviation sector is incredibly energy-intensive and almost entirely reliant on petroleum-based fuels. However, a new analysis by Berkeley Lab shows that sustainable plant-based bio-jet fuels could provide a competitive alternative to conventional fuels if current development and scale-up initiatives continue to push ahead successfully. (2019-03-19)

Nature's own biorefinery
New research from Berkeley Lab shows how an insect common to the Eastern U.S., the long-horned passalid beetle, has a hardy digestive tract with microbes to thank for turning its woody diet into energy, food for its young, and nutrients for forest growth. These insights into how the beetle and its distinct microbiome have co-evolved provide a roadmap for the production of affordable, nature-derived fuels and bioproducts. (2019-03-11)

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