International Sugar Journal

Thermoanaerobacterium thermosaccharolyticum facilitates production of biobutanol from cellulosic feedstock in one step [Registered]

Researchers at National University of Singapore (NUS) recently discovered that a naturally occurring bacterium, Thermoanaerobacterium thermosaccharolyticum TG57, isolated from waste generated after harvesting mushrooms, is capable of directly converting cellulose to biobutanol.

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Researchers discovers enzyme domains that significantly improve breakdown of cellulose [Registered]

By studying and comparing the workhorse cellulose-degrading enzymes of two fungi, researchers from the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have pinpointed regions on these enzymes that can be targeted via genetic engineering to help break down cellulose faster.

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Yeast engineered to thrive on xylose expected to advance cellulosic biofuels production [Registered]

Researchers at Tufts University have created a genetically modified yeast that can more efficiently consume a novel nutrient, xylose, enabling the yeast to grow faster and to higher cell densities, raising the prospect of a significantly faster path toward the design of new synthetic organisms for industrial applications, according to a study published in Nature Communications.

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Italy – The European Commission approves investment of €4.7 bln for advanced biofuels [Full subscriber]

The European Commission (EC) approved on March 1st a support scheme in Italy for the production and distribution of advanced biofuels, including advanced biomethane for use in the transport sector. The measure will contribute to reaching EU energy and climate change goals while limiting distortions of competition.

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Xylan degrading fungal enzymes sourced for cellulosic biofuels [Registered]

An international team of researchers has discovered a new family of enzymes found in fungi (fungal lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases, LPMOs) that are capable of breaking down xylans—a recalcitrant polysaccharide abundant in wood biomass.

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Colombia – Ethanol blending mandate increased to 10% [Full subscriber]

Colombia’s Ministry of Mines and Energy raised blending of ethanol in the gasoline mixture from 8% to 10% on 1st March.

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Brazil – With industry debt of over US$31 billion, millers bet on ethanol [Full subscriber]

Following the credit crunch in 2008, the sugar-ethanol sector in Brazil continues to be heavily indebted, according to local press reports.

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Discovery of cell wall stiffening gene holds great promise for cellulosic biofuels production [Registered]

Researchers from the UK, Brazil and the US have pinpointed a gene involved in the stiffening of cell walls whose suppression increased the release of sugars by up to 60%.

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Enerkem and Sinobioway Group partner to build over 100 new biofuel plants in China [Registered]

Sinobioway Group has signed an agreement to invest CA$125m (US$100.27m) in Enerkem, a Canada-based producer of biofuels and renewable chemicals from waste.

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USA – Brazil top destination for ethanol exports last November [Registered]

US ethanol exports totalled 107.2 million gallons (487 mln litres) in November, up 14% from October shipments, according to government data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

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