Biofuels researchers are increasingly thinking about how the energy market is changing, which challenges them to balance the basic science of new fuels with a more holistic view of the most commercially viable ways to produce them. So when a group of University of Wisconsin–Madison researchers began looking at how to make jet fuel from biomass, they also strived to create a "techno-economic" framework that would illuminate the entire biofuels field.
Using a plant-derived chemical, University of Wisconsin–Madison researchers have developed a process for creating a concentrated stream of sugars that’s ripe with possibility for biofuels.
The potential energy available via solar power might seem limitless on a sunny summer day, but all that energy has to be stored for it to be truly useful. If you see a solar panel on a rooftop, in a large-scale array, or even on a parking meter, a bulky battery or supercapacitor is hidden just out of sight, receiving energy from the panel through power lines.
Using a biomass-derived solvent, University of Wisconsin–Madison chemical and biological engineers have streamlined the process for converting lignocellulosic biomass into high-demand chemicals or energy-dense liquid transportation fuel.