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 New test procedure for developing quick-charging lithium-ion batteries
07.12.2017 | Forschungszentrum Jülich

nachricht Plug & Play Light Solution for NOx measurement
01.12.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH

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: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

Im Focus: A transistor of graphene nanoribbons

Transistors based on carbon nanostructures: what sounds like a futuristic dream could be reality in just a few years' time. An international research team working with Empa has now succeeded in producing nanotransistors from graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, as reported in the current issue of the trade journal "Nature Communications."

Graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, so-called graphene nanoribbons, have special electrical properties that make them promising candidates for the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

Blockchain is becoming more important in the energy market

05.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Making fuel out of thick air

08.12.2017 | Life Sciences

Rules for superconductivity mirrored in 'excitonic insulator'

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

Smartphone case offers blood glucose monitoring on the go

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>