Biomass Energy

Science & Technology
8:47 am
Wed January 8, 2014

NC State Researchers Develop Cheap Biofuel Production Without Touching Food Supply

NC State researchers have developed a new process that dissolves lignin in liquid salt, leaving cellulose behind as a solid. This process could make biofuels cheaper to produce.
Credit Ezinne Achinvu / North Carolina State University

As corn prices rise and ethanol production competes with food sources, the energy industry is looking for other ways to produce biofuels.

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a simple, efficient and inexpensive way to extract energy-rich cellulose from non-edible plant matter, like corn husks, grasses, and wood chips.

PhD student Ezinne Achinivu  says labs often run into trouble trying to remove a protective material called lignin. It's bonded to the cellulose, but hinders its efficiency.

Read more