Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

City Trash Plus Farm Leftovers May Yield Clean Energy

Date:
October 20, 2008
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Tomorrow's household garbage might be blended with after-harvest leftovers from fields, orchards, and vineyards to make ethanol and other kinds of bioenergy. Scientists are investigating this straightforward, eco-friendly strategy in their laboratories.

For ethanol research, technician David Bozzi weighs pulp recovered from garbage (a sample of which is in the plastic bag, at left) while microbiologist Diana Franqui adds glucose-releasing enzymes to a blend of plant material and pulp suspended in water. On the table, the plastic tray at left contains pulp from garbage; the tray at right holds rice straw--a plant waste left after rice harvest.
Credit: Photo by Peggy Greb

Tomorrow's household garbage might be blended with after-harvest leftovers from fields, orchards, and vineyards to make ethanol and other kinds of bioenergy. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are investigating this straightforward, eco-friendly strategy in their laboratories at the agency's Western Regional Research Center in Albany, Calif.

In most instances, agricultural wastes like rice straw, almond hulls, and the oversize outer leaves of iceberg lettuce will have to be pretreated before being used as a bioenergy resource. That's according to Kevin Holtman, an ARS research chemist who's working out the details of the garbage-to-gas approach.

The garbage, known as "municipal solid waste," or "MSW," would also be pretreated, Holtman noted.

The garbage would be processed in a jumbo-size autoclave, a device which acts something like a giant pressure cooker to convert the MSW into grey, lightweight clumps. The pretreated agricultural wastes and autoclaved MSW would then be transferred to a biofermenter. Yeasts and enzymes would be added, to make ethanol.

Holtman and colleagues David Bozzi, an engineering technician, and Diana Franqui, a microbiologist, are determining the best ways to use just water and heat, instead of hazardous chemicals, to pretreat the farm wastes, thus keeping the biorefining process environmentally friendly.

The team, part of the Bioproduct Chemistry and Engineering Research Unit at the Albany research center, is collaborating in the research and development venture with Comprehensive Resources, Recovery and Reuse, Inc., or "CR3," of Reno, Nev., and with the Salinas (Calif.) Valley Solid Waste Authority.

Besides producing biofuels, the biorefinery would also reduce the volume at landfills and minimize the need for new ones.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "City Trash Plus Farm Leftovers May Yield Clean Energy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081013195119.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2008, October 20). City Trash Plus Farm Leftovers May Yield Clean Energy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081013195119.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "City Trash Plus Farm Leftovers May Yield Clean Energy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081013195119.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Walking, Talking Oil-Drigging Rig

The Walking, Talking Oil-Drigging Rig

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 15, 2014) Pennsylvania-based Schramm is incorporating modern technology in its next generation oil-drigging rigs, making them smaller, safer and smarter. Ernest Scheyder reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

AFP (Apr. 14, 2014) To curb the growing numbers of feral cats in the US capital, the Washington Humane Society is encouraging residents to set traps and bring the animals to a sterilization clinic, after which they are released.. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins