Is brown the new green? UCLA researchers are using waste matter (yes, including poop) to make a new generation of advanced biofuels.
The U.S. alone annually produces over 1 billion tons of manure from agriculture, which produces nitrous oxide methane emissions, greenhouse gases 325 times more potent than carbon dioxide. But what if all this poop could have another use – one that could stimulate a sustainable biofuel movement?
Graduate researcher David Wernick talks about ongoing work at UCLA to turn manure, sewage, plant waste and even carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere into feed stocks for producing biofuels, and for making the process of manufacturing biofuels clean and sustainable.
“We’re really excited about our technology using a solution-based process because that has the potential to really bring the costs down to the point where it can be deployed broadly in the market.” – Delia Milliron, researcher at LBNL
Scientists at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s FOLIUM Project, funded by ARPA-E, use light to convert the carbon in tobacco leaves into biofuels.
“Once we have a plant and a production yield that promises commercial levels within the near future, I think we will be able to attract the interest of the big tobacco companies. Growing tobacco for cigarette consumption is a dwindling industry and we believe that converting tobacco into a bioenergy crop will also generate a new market for tobacco farmers.”
— Christer Jansson