The DOE Science News Source is a Newswise initiative to promote research news from the Office of Science of the DOE to the public and news media.

GM and Renewable Energy Company Coskata Partner on Biofuel Research

Newswise — The Oklahoma State University Biofuels Team's ability to think small " microscopic, actually " stands to provide great dividends for consumers, a renewable energy company and one of the nation's foremost automakers.

Biology based renewable energy company Coskata Inc. and automotive giant General Motors announced their cooperative plans to reduce fossil fuel consumption this past weekend, thanks in part to Coskata's "next generation ethanol" process based on research and technology developed by the OSU Biofuels Team and licensed exclusively to Coskata.

"Coskata's unique three-step conversion process addresses many of the constraints lodged against current renewable energy options, including environmental, transportation and land-use concerns," said Wes Bolsen, chief marketing officer and vice president of business development for Coskata.

In the three-step process, carbon-based materials are converted into synthesis gas using well-established gasification technologies. After the chemical bonds are broken using gasification, microorganisms licensed to Coskata as part of the OSU Biofuels research convert the resulting syngas into ethanol by consuming carbon monoxide and hydrogen in the gas stream. Once the gas-to-liquid conversion process has occurred, the resulting ethanol is recovered from the solution using "vapor permeation technology."

"The Coskata process has the potential to yield more than 100 gallons of ethanol per dry ton of carbonaceous feedstock, reducing production costs to less than $1 per gallon," Bolsen said.

According to an independent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, Coskata's process " using the OSU Biofuels Team microorganisms " can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 84 percent compared to conventional gasoline.

The process also has no back-end solid waste to dry and handle like enzymatic approaches to ethanol production and uses less than one gallon of fresh water per gallon of ethanol produced, according to Coskata.

Corn-based systems typically use three gallons to four gallons of fresh water per gallon of ethanol produced, and enzymatic approaches can use as much as seven gallons of fresh water per gallon of ethanol produced.

Development of the technology licensed to Coskata is the result of OSU's longstanding commitment to biofuels development, said Robert E. Whitson, vice president, dean and director of the university's Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

"DASNR scientists and engineers have been breeding improved feedstock with an eye toward biofuels development since the early 1990s. Our first cellulosic ethanol team was put together in 1998, and has been making great strides in technology development ever since," Whitson said. "Biofuels has come into widespread public consciousness only recently, but we've been addressing renewable energy concerns for many years."

The OSU Biofuels Team quickly became a multi-college, multi-institutional effort, with the current team encompassing scientists and engineers with DASNR; the OSU College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology; the University of Oklahoma and Brigham Young University.

"We in the division have long believed and promoted that an interdisciplinary outlook is the best way to develop solutions to the challenges facing society, and solving real-world issues is a vital part of the land-grant mission and the reason why OSU exists," Whitson said.

Vinod Khosla and Advanced Technology Ventures, the leading renewable energy investors in the country, recognized the potential of the work being done by the OSU Biofuels Team and wanted to invest in the technology. The technology was exclusively licensed to Coskata Inc. for the production of biofuels.

The licensing agreement between OSU and Coskata includes the microorganisms used in syngas fermentation, with a companion research agreement for any aspects of the syngas fermentation technology that would aid them in production. Since providing the initial three strains of microorganisms in 2006, Coskata-funded research with the OSU Biofuels Team has provided two additional microorganisms for the company.

Bolsen likened it to "running the Kentucky Derby, with the OSU Biofuels Team helping to put horses in the race to reduce this country's dependence on oil."

"Our system is somewhat unique in that we're not considering a single feedstock or competing with agricultural food, feed or fiber needs; we're using the entire plant in underutilized biomass," said Ray Huhnke, OSU Biofuels Team leader and agricultural engineer.

According to Coskata, the proprietary microorganisms do what syngas conversion from chemical catalysis cannot do, which is make a pure stream of ethanol at the lowest cost target in the industry.

In addition, the process is net energy positive, providing up to 7.7 units of ethanol energy per unit of fossil fuel input, compared to 1.3 units provided by corn ethanol and 0.8 units from gasoline, according to the Argonne National Laboratory.

"OSU is proud to be part of a technology that will not compete with food for the production of ethanol," said Stephen McKeever, OSU vice president for research and technology transfer. "Use of alternative feedstocks such as switchgrass and municipal solid waste will be of ultimate benefit to the consumer."

Oklahoma State University, U. S. Department of Agriculture, State and Local governments cooperating. Oklahoma State University in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, disability, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices, or procedures, and is an equal opportunity employer

X
X
X


Filters close
Released: 23-Jun-2021 3:25 PM EDT
DOE Announces $22 Million for Energy Research Projects in Underserved Regions
Department of Energy, Office of Science

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $22 million in funding for nine projects covering a range of energy research topics from grid integration, solar energy, wind energy, and advanced manufacturing.

Newswise: Quest, PPPL’s annual research magazine, highlights breakthroughs and discoveries during the past year
Released: 23-Jun-2021 2:15 PM EDT
Quest, PPPL’s annual research magazine, highlights breakthroughs and discoveries during the past year
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

News release on the publication of PPPL's Quest magazine features achievements of the laboratory over the past year.

Newswise: Molybdenum Limits Microbes’ Ability to Remove Harmful Nitrate from Soil
Released: 23-Jun-2021 8:05 AM EDT
Molybdenum Limits Microbes’ Ability to Remove Harmful Nitrate from Soil
Department of Energy, Office of Science

The Oak Ridge Reservation is contaminated with acidic, high-nitrate-and high-metal substances. Microbes in this environment can use molybdenum to remove nitrate, but the low concentration of molybdenum at Oak Ridge limits how much nitrate the microbes can remove. Two studies examine why molybdenum is limited and the mechanisms some microbes use to survive these conditions.

Newswise: How to Make Lithium-ion Batteries Invincible
Released: 22-Jun-2021 5:55 PM EDT
How to Make Lithium-ion Batteries Invincible
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Berkeley Lab scientists have made significant progress in developing battery cathodes using a new class of materials that provide batteries with the same if not higher energy density than conventional lithium-ion batteries but can be made of inexpensive and abundant metals. Known as DRX, which stands for disordered rocksalts with excess lithium, this novel family of materials was invented less than 10 years ago and allows cathodes to be made without nickel or cobalt.

Newswise: Schoch Named PNNL Chief Communications Officer
Released: 22-Jun-2021 3:55 PM EDT
Schoch Named PNNL Chief Communications Officer
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Amanda Schoch, an experienced national intelligence communications strategist, tapped to lead PNNL Communications

Released: 22-Jun-2021 2:35 PM EDT
Department of Energy Announces $28.9 Million for Research to Develop Advanced Chemical Sciences Software
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $28.9 million in funding for nine research projects to advance the development of sophisticated software for the chemical sciences.

Released: 22-Jun-2021 2:25 PM EDT
Department of Energy Announces 2021 Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award Call for Nominations
Department of Energy, Office of Science

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a call for nominations for the 2021 Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award, one of the longest running and most prestigious science and technology awards given by the U.S. Government.

Newswise: PNNL AI Expert Harnesses Open-Source Data to Understand Human Behavior
Released: 22-Jun-2021 9:55 AM EDT
PNNL AI Expert Harnesses Open-Source Data to Understand Human Behavior
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

PNNL researchers used natural language processing and deep learning techniques to reveal how and why different types of misinformation and disinformation spread across social platforms. Applied to COVID-19, the team found that misinformation intended to influence politics and incite fear spreads fastest.

Newswise: Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Released: 22-Jun-2021 7:05 AM EDT
Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Leaf-cutter ants tend fungal gardens that convert lipids in leaves into lipids the ants can use for energy, building cells, and communication between organisms. New research has found that different regions of the ants’ fungal gardens were enriched with different lipids. This helps scientists understand communications between organisms in different kingdoms of life.

View More
Released: 23-Jun-2021 3:25 PM EDT
DOE Announces $22 Million for Energy Research Projects in Underserved Regions
Department of Energy, Office of Science

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $22 million in funding for nine projects covering a range of energy research topics from grid integration, solar energy, wind energy, and advanced manufacturing.

Newswise: Quest, PPPL’s annual research magazine, highlights breakthroughs and discoveries during the past year
Released: 23-Jun-2021 2:15 PM EDT
Quest, PPPL’s annual research magazine, highlights breakthroughs and discoveries during the past year
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

News release on the publication of PPPL's Quest magazine features achievements of the laboratory over the past year.

Newswise: Molybdenum Limits Microbes’ Ability to Remove Harmful Nitrate from Soil
Released: 23-Jun-2021 8:05 AM EDT
Molybdenum Limits Microbes’ Ability to Remove Harmful Nitrate from Soil
Department of Energy, Office of Science

The Oak Ridge Reservation is contaminated with acidic, high-nitrate-and high-metal substances. Microbes in this environment can use molybdenum to remove nitrate, but the low concentration of molybdenum at Oak Ridge limits how much nitrate the microbes can remove. Two studies examine why molybdenum is limited and the mechanisms some microbes use to survive these conditions.

Newswise: How to Make Lithium-ion Batteries Invincible
Released: 22-Jun-2021 5:55 PM EDT
How to Make Lithium-ion Batteries Invincible
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Berkeley Lab scientists have made significant progress in developing battery cathodes using a new class of materials that provide batteries with the same if not higher energy density than conventional lithium-ion batteries but can be made of inexpensive and abundant metals. Known as DRX, which stands for disordered rocksalts with excess lithium, this novel family of materials was invented less than 10 years ago and allows cathodes to be made without nickel or cobalt.

Newswise: Schoch Named PNNL Chief Communications Officer
Released: 22-Jun-2021 3:55 PM EDT
Schoch Named PNNL Chief Communications Officer
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Amanda Schoch, an experienced national intelligence communications strategist, tapped to lead PNNL Communications

Released: 22-Jun-2021 2:35 PM EDT
Department of Energy Announces $28.9 Million for Research to Develop Advanced Chemical Sciences Software
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $28.9 million in funding for nine research projects to advance the development of sophisticated software for the chemical sciences.

Released: 22-Jun-2021 2:25 PM EDT
Department of Energy Announces 2021 Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award Call for Nominations
Department of Energy, Office of Science

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a call for nominations for the 2021 Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award, one of the longest running and most prestigious science and technology awards given by the U.S. Government.

Newswise: PNNL AI Expert Harnesses Open-Source Data to Understand Human Behavior
Released: 22-Jun-2021 9:55 AM EDT
PNNL AI Expert Harnesses Open-Source Data to Understand Human Behavior
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

PNNL researchers used natural language processing and deep learning techniques to reveal how and why different types of misinformation and disinformation spread across social platforms. Applied to COVID-19, the team found that misinformation intended to influence politics and incite fear spreads fastest.

Newswise: Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Released: 22-Jun-2021 7:05 AM EDT
Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Leaf-cutter ants tend fungal gardens that convert lipids in leaves into lipids the ants can use for energy, building cells, and communication between organisms. New research has found that different regions of the ants’ fungal gardens were enriched with different lipids. This helps scientists understand communications between organisms in different kingdoms of life.

View More
Released: 23-Jun-2021 3:25 PM EDT
DOE Announces $22 Million for Energy Research Projects in Underserved Regions
Department of Energy, Office of Science

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $22 million in funding for nine projects covering a range of energy research topics from grid integration, solar energy, wind energy, and advanced manufacturing.

Newswise: Quest, PPPL’s annual research magazine, highlights breakthroughs and discoveries during the past year
Released: 23-Jun-2021 2:15 PM EDT
Quest, PPPL’s annual research magazine, highlights breakthroughs and discoveries during the past year
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

News release on the publication of PPPL's Quest magazine features achievements of the laboratory over the past year.

Newswise: Molybdenum Limits Microbes’ Ability to Remove Harmful Nitrate from Soil
Released: 23-Jun-2021 8:05 AM EDT
Molybdenum Limits Microbes’ Ability to Remove Harmful Nitrate from Soil
Department of Energy, Office of Science

The Oak Ridge Reservation is contaminated with acidic, high-nitrate-and high-metal substances. Microbes in this environment can use molybdenum to remove nitrate, but the low concentration of molybdenum at Oak Ridge limits how much nitrate the microbes can remove. Two studies examine why molybdenum is limited and the mechanisms some microbes use to survive these conditions.

Newswise: How to Make Lithium-ion Batteries Invincible
Released: 22-Jun-2021 5:55 PM EDT
How to Make Lithium-ion Batteries Invincible
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Berkeley Lab scientists have made significant progress in developing battery cathodes using a new class of materials that provide batteries with the same if not higher energy density than conventional lithium-ion batteries but can be made of inexpensive and abundant metals. Known as DRX, which stands for disordered rocksalts with excess lithium, this novel family of materials was invented less than 10 years ago and allows cathodes to be made without nickel or cobalt.

Newswise: Schoch Named PNNL Chief Communications Officer
Released: 22-Jun-2021 3:55 PM EDT
Schoch Named PNNL Chief Communications Officer
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Amanda Schoch, an experienced national intelligence communications strategist, tapped to lead PNNL Communications

Released: 22-Jun-2021 2:35 PM EDT
Department of Energy Announces $28.9 Million for Research to Develop Advanced Chemical Sciences Software
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $28.9 million in funding for nine research projects to advance the development of sophisticated software for the chemical sciences.

Released: 22-Jun-2021 2:25 PM EDT
Department of Energy Announces 2021 Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award Call for Nominations
Department of Energy, Office of Science

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a call for nominations for the 2021 Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award, one of the longest running and most prestigious science and technology awards given by the U.S. Government.

Newswise: PNNL AI Expert Harnesses Open-Source Data to Understand Human Behavior
Released: 22-Jun-2021 9:55 AM EDT
PNNL AI Expert Harnesses Open-Source Data to Understand Human Behavior
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

PNNL researchers used natural language processing and deep learning techniques to reveal how and why different types of misinformation and disinformation spread across social platforms. Applied to COVID-19, the team found that misinformation intended to influence politics and incite fear spreads fastest.

Newswise: Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Released: 22-Jun-2021 7:05 AM EDT
Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Leaf-cutter ants tend fungal gardens that convert lipids in leaves into lipids the ants can use for energy, building cells, and communication between organisms. New research has found that different regions of the ants’ fungal gardens were enriched with different lipids. This helps scientists understand communications between organisms in different kingdoms of life.

View More

Spotlight

ORNL partners on science kits for STEM schools
Mon, 17 May 2021 17:05:21 EST

ORNL partners on science kits for STEM schools

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Graduate students gather virtually for summer school at PPPL
Mon, 05 Oct 2020 15:45:57 EST

Graduate students gather virtually for summer school at PPPL

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Virtual internships for physics students present challenges, build community
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 15:35:30 EST

Virtual internships for physics students present challenges, build community

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Blocking the COVID-19 Virus's Exit Strategy
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 15:05:12 EST

Blocking the COVID-19 Virus's Exit Strategy

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Summer Students Tackle COVID-19
Mon, 31 Aug 2020 14:35:39 EST

Summer Students Tackle COVID-19

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Graduate student at PPPL Ian Ochs wins top Princeton University fellowship
Fri, 17 Apr 2020 16:25:17 EST

Graduate student at PPPL Ian Ochs wins top Princeton University fellowship

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Barbara Garcia: A first-generation college student spends summer doing research at PPPL
Tue, 24 Sep 2019 15:05:51 EST

Barbara Garcia: A first-generation college student spends summer doing research at PPPL

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Argonne organization’s scholarship fund blazes STEM pathway
Tue, 17 Sep 2019 16:05:11 EST

Argonne organization’s scholarship fund blazes STEM pathway

Argonne National Laboratory

Brookhaven Lab, Suffolk Girl Scouts Launch Patch Program
Fri, 13 Sep 2019 10:30:34 EST

Brookhaven Lab, Suffolk Girl Scouts Launch Patch Program

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Brookhaven Lab Celebrates the Bright Future of its 2019 Interns
Fri, 30 Aug 2019 09:00:26 EST

Brookhaven Lab Celebrates the Bright Future of its 2019 Interns

Brookhaven National Laboratory

PPPL apprenticeship program offers young people chance to earn while they learn high-tech careers
Thu, 01 Aug 2019 11:05:23 EST

PPPL apprenticeship program offers young people chance to earn while they learn high-tech careers

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Creating a diverse pipeline
Fri, 19 Jul 2019 12:05:33 EST

Creating a diverse pipeline

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

JSA Awards Graduate Fellowships for Research at Jefferson Lab
Mon, 08 Jul 2019 14:00:16 EST

JSA Awards Graduate Fellowships for Research at Jefferson Lab

Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

ILSAMP Symposium showcases benefits for diverse students, STEM pipeline
Mon, 20 May 2019 11:05:42 EST

ILSAMP Symposium showcases benefits for diverse students, STEM pipeline

Argonne National Laboratory

Integrating Scientific Computing into Science Curricula
Mon, 13 May 2019 10:05:46 EST

Integrating Scientific Computing into Science Curricula

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Students from Minnesota and Massachusetts Win DOE’s 29th National Science Bowl®
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 13:05:21 EST

Students from Minnesota and Massachusetts Win DOE’s 29th National Science Bowl®

Department of Energy, Office of Science

Young Women’s Conference in STEM seeks to change the statistics one girl at a time
Thu, 28 Mar 2019 14:05:07 EST

Young Women’s Conference in STEM seeks to change the statistics one girl at a time

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Students team with Argonne scientists and engineers to learn about STEM careers
Tue, 12 Mar 2019 16:05:09 EST

Students team with Argonne scientists and engineers to learn about STEM careers

Argonne National Laboratory

Lynbrook High wins 2019 SLAC Regional Science Bowl competition
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 14:05:35 EST

Lynbrook High wins 2019 SLAC Regional Science Bowl competition

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Equipping the next generation for a technological revolution
Thu, 24 Jan 2019 13:05:29 EST

Equipping the next generation for a technological revolution

Argonne National Laboratory

Chemistry intern inspired by Argonne’s real-world science
Fri, 18 Jan 2019 17:05:40 EST

Chemistry intern inspired by Argonne’s real-world science

Argonne National Laboratory

Chasing a supernova
Fri, 18 Jan 2019 16:05:20 EST

Chasing a supernova

Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne intern streamlines the beamline
Tue, 08 Jan 2019 14:05:01 EST

Argonne intern streamlines the beamline

Argonne National Laboratory

Research on Light-Matter Interaction Could Lead to Improved Electronic and Optoelectronic Devices
Thu, 11 Oct 2018 15:00:00 EST

Research on Light-Matter Interaction Could Lead to Improved Electronic and Optoelectronic Devices

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Innovating Our Energy Future
Wed, 03 Oct 2018 18:05:41 EST

Innovating Our Energy Future

Oregon State University, College of Engineering

Physics graduate student takes her thesis research to a Department of Energy national lab
Tue, 02 Oct 2018 14:05:36 EST

Physics graduate student takes her thesis research to a Department of Energy national lab

University of Alabama at Birmingham

“Model” students enjoy Argonne campus life
Fri, 21 Sep 2018 12:05:48 EST

“Model” students enjoy Argonne campus life

Argonne National Laboratory

Writing Code for a More Skilled and Diverse STEM Workforce
Thu, 06 Sep 2018 12:05:58 EST

Writing Code for a More Skilled and Diverse STEM Workforce

Brookhaven National Laboratory

New graduate student summer school launches at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
Tue, 04 Sep 2018 10:30:12 EST

New graduate student summer school launches at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

The Gridlock State
Fri, 31 Aug 2018 17:05:07 EST

The Gridlock State

California State University (CSU) Chancellor's Office

Meet Jasmine Hatcher and Trishelle Copeland-Johnson
Fri, 31 Aug 2018 13:05:55 EST

Meet Jasmine Hatcher and Trishelle Copeland-Johnson

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Argonne hosts Modeling, Experimentation and Validation Summer School
Fri, 24 Aug 2018 10:05:27 EST

Argonne hosts Modeling, Experimentation and Validation Summer School

Argonne National Laboratory

Students affected by Hurricane Maria bring their research to SLAC
Wed, 22 Aug 2018 12:05:42 EST

Students affected by Hurricane Maria bring their research to SLAC

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Brookhaven Lab Pays Tribute to 2018 Summer Interns
Wed, 22 Aug 2018 09:05:24 EST

Brookhaven Lab Pays Tribute to 2018 Summer Interns

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Changing How Buildings Are Made
Mon, 20 Aug 2018 11:05:19 EST

Changing How Buildings Are Made

Washington University in St. Louis

CSUMB Selected to Host Architecture at Zero Competition in 2019
Thu, 16 Aug 2018 11:05:02 EST

CSUMB Selected to Host Architecture at Zero Competition in 2019

California State University, Monterey Bay

Department of Energy Invests $64 Million in Advanced Nuclear Technology
Fri, 20 Jul 2018 14:00:00 EST

Department of Energy Invests $64 Million in Advanced Nuclear Technology

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Professor Miao Yu Named the Priti and Mukesh Chatter ’82 Career Development Professor
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 16:00:00 EST

Professor Miao Yu Named the Priti and Mukesh Chatter ’82 Career Development Professor

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

2018 RHIC & AGS Annual Users' Meeting: 'Illuminating the QCD Landscape'
Tue, 03 Jul 2018 10:05:10 EST

2018 RHIC & AGS Annual Users' Meeting: 'Illuminating the QCD Landscape'

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Argonne welcomes <em>The Martian</em> author Andy Weir
Fri, 29 Jun 2018 17:05:17 EST

Argonne welcomes The Martian author Andy Weir

Argonne National Laboratory

Creating STEM Knowledge and Innovations to Solve Global Issues Like Water, Food, and Energy
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 08:55:34 EST

Creating STEM Knowledge and Innovations to Solve Global Issues Like Water, Food, and Energy

Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA)

Showing results

0-6 Of 50
close
3.85463