Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Maize hybrid looks promising for biofuel

21.02.2012
Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have identified a new contender in the bioenergy race: a temperate and tropical maize hybrid.
Their findings, published in GCB Bioenergy, show that the maize hybrid is potentially capable of producing ethanol from biomass (plant material used for biofuel production) at levels equal to or greater than ethanol produced from grain harvested from current commercial maize hybrids.

"Our maize hybrid, when grown using the same amount of fertilizer as commercial grain hybrids, produced 15-20% more biomass than the commercial hybrids." said Dr. Frederick Below, Professor of Crop Physiology at the University of Illinois.

The scientists selected plants with different genetic combinations created from a hybridization of temperate and tropical maize in order to incorporate beneficial characteristics of both tropical and temperate maize. Accustomed to a tropical climate, the tropical parent plant experiences a much longer growing season in the Midwest than temperate varieties. Temperate maize minimizes the negative traits of tropical maize such as disease and pest vulnerability while maximizing positive traits such as drought tolerance. Both parent plants combine to form a hybrid that grows larger and accumulates more stalk sugars than conventional grain hybrids, factors that increase ethanol output.

The scientists discovered that the hybrids are capable of producing as much ethanol per acre as maize currently grown for ethanol made from grain, but the hybrids require less input such as fertilizers like nitrogen and the ethanol could be produced from the vegetative plant material.

According to Dr. Below, "the temperate and tropical maize hybrid has the potential to produce the same amount of ethanol as commercial grain hybrids, but with lower nitrogen fertilizer requirements. This difference makes the hybrid more energy efficient and can result in a more sustainable environmental life cycle."

Maize is often criticized by the scientific community as a poor choice for ethanol given the toll fertilizers can have on the environment. But as Dr. Below and his team have shown, the hybrid will significantly lessen the need for fertilizer application and provide an alternative, more environmentally sustainable feedstock for biofuel production.

While this new hybrid may be in its early stages, a wealth of information about maize has been long established, allowing for rapid improvements.

This paper is published in GCB Bioenergy. To request a copy contact GCB-Bioenergy@igb.uiuc.eduor 217-333-9651.

Rhea Kressman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.illinois.edu

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Waste from paper and pulp industry supplies raw material for development of new redox flow batteries
12.10.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Low-cost battery from waste graphite
11.10.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

New material for digital memories of the future

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>