January 02, 2014 — A team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Jeremy Smith, the director of ORNL’s Center for Molecular Biophysics and a Governor’s Chair at the University of Tennessee, has uncovered information that could help others harvest energy from plant mass. The team’s conclusion—that less ordered cellulose fibers bind less lignin—was published in the August edition of Biomacromolecules.
ORNL BioEnergy Science Center funding renewed
April 12, 2013 — The U.S. Department of Energy today announced it would fund its three Bioenergy Research Centers for an additional five-year period, subject to continued congressional appropriations.
Human mouth microbes provides insight into health, disease
March 18, 2013 — Microbes from the human mouth are telling Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists something about periodontitis and more after they cracked the genetic code of bacteria linked to the condition.
ORNL scientists solve mercury mystery
February 07, 2013 — By identifying two genes required for transforming inorganic into organic mercury, which is far more toxic, scientists today have taken a significant step toward protecting human health.
'Zoomable' map of poplar proteins offers new view of bioenergy crop
January 29, 2013 — Researchers seeking to improve production of ethanol from woody crops have a new resource in the form of an extensive molecular map of poplar tree proteins, published by a team from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (DOE ORNL).
ORNL researchers improve soil carbon cycling models
January 01, 2013 — A more robust model of the soil carbon cycle developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) improves understanding of carbon residence time in soils and enables scientists to make more accurate climate predictions.
DOE grant to support enhanced biofuel crop design
January 01, 2013 — DOE has awarded a $14.3 million grant to study crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) and drought tolerance in biofuel crops to a research team that includes Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee.
BESC submits 32 gene disclosures for future patents
July 01, 2012 — The Bioenergy Science Center (BESC) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is preparing invention disclosures for 32 different genes that can help improve the yield of ethanol from cellulosic biomass. These genes or their variants function to overcome recalcitrance—difficulty in breaking down cellulosic biomass to release sugars.
Final report on intermediate ethanol blends research published
February 01, 2012 — ORNL published a final report on the Intermediate Blends Catalyst Durability Study in February 2012. The two-year program, led by researchers from the Fuels, Engines, and Emissions Research Center, involved driving 82 vehicles over 6 million miles with periodic emissions tests to evaluate the effects of ethanol blends (E10, E15, and E20) on emissions control system durability.
Tension wood holds clues to higher fuel yields from biomass crops
October 25, 2011 — The properties that enable trees to flex in the wind might also prove useful in designing better biomass crops. Researchers at the BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) are studying those properties to understand how they affect the release of plant sugars that become biofuels.
'Low tech' light in neutron beam illuminates photosynthesis in bacteria
September 27, 2011 — Researchers at the Bio-SANS instrument at the High Flux Isotope Reactor are getting a leg up in their research from an ingenious "low tech" lighting tool that can be fixed to their samples and then pushed directly into the neutron beam, to illuminate the response of layers of cyanobacteria to changes in light.