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CHEESEHEAD 19 Examining Wisc. Plants-Climate Change Impact (R&D)
University of Wisconsin Madison
Date: 2018-07-30
In Northern Wisconsin, the Chequamegon Heterogeneous Ecosystem Energy-balance Study Enabled by a High-density Extensive Array of Detectors 2019 -- CHEESEHEAD 19 -- will erect an army of towers in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest to better understand how plants and trees contribute to weather patterns on a local scale.

The project, which scored $1.5 million in funding from the National Science Foundation, is being led by University of Wisconsin Madison professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences Ankur Desai. An additional $1.5 million will fund instrumentation required for the study.

Over the course of two years, beginning in 2019, the research team will collect measurements in an approximate area of just under 4 square miles. The National Center for Atmospheric Research will deploy 17 additional flux towers, allowing scientists to capture data from a range of locations within the study site. (Source: UW Madison, Wisconsin Gazette, 28 July, 2018) Contact: University of Wisconsin, Nelson Institute, Wisconsin Center for Research, www,nelson.wisc.edu, www.wisc.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  University of Wisconsin Madison,  


Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center Refocuses (Ind. Report)
Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center
Date: 2018-02-19
The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, reports it has embarked on a new mission develop sustainable alternatives to transportation fuels and products currently derived from petroleum.

GLBRC originally focused on corn stover ethanol production and developing perennial plants like switchgrass and miscanthus as biofuel feedstocks. Now, GLBRC goal is centered on designing advanced biofuels, such as isobutanol. These "drop-in" fuels could be used to replace gasoline without engine modification. By engineering bioenergy crops to enhance their environmental and economic value, and conducting research to generate multiple products from plant biomass, these advancements could optimize the bioenergy field-to-product pipeline.

GLBRC scientists and engineers are also improving the yield and processing traits of dedicated bioenergy crops for cultivation on marginal, or non-agricultural, land. With smart management, these crops have the potential to benefit the ecosystem, help mitigate climate change, and provide farmers with an additional source of revenue.

GLBRC is focused on enabling a new and different biorefinery, one that is both economically viable and environmentally sustainable. Realizing this goal will mean increasing the efficiency of biomass conversion and generating a mix of specialty biofuels and environmentally-friendly bioproducts, from as much of a plant's biomass as possible. One such discovery, breaks down lignin's six-carbon rings -- the "aromatics" -- into individual components. Traditionally sourced from petroleum, aromatics are used in a wide variety of products, including plastic soda bottles, Kevlar, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals, and are essential components of jet fuel. (Source: University of Wisconsin Madison, GLBRC, PR, 18 Feb., 2018) Contact: Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, Tim Donohue, Dir., John Greenler, Dir. Outreach, (608) 890-2444, www.glbrc.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center,  University of Wisconsin Madison,  Biofuel,  Biochemical,  Ethanol,  Bioplastics,  


Univ. Wisc Study Links Ethanol, Climate Change (Ind. Report)
University of Wisconsin Madison
Date: 2017-11-20
According to new University of Wisconsin research presented at the recent America's Grasslands Conference in Fort Worth, the federal corn ethanol mandate is contributing to climate change. The research found that since the Renewal Fuel Standard (RFS) ethanol mandate's 2007 enactment, over 7 million acres of habitat have been set aside to plant corn and soy, leading to the release of emissions equivalent to the annual emissions of 20 million new automobiles.

The report examined the location and carbon stored in habitat lost to cropland between 2008 and 2012 and found that 115 million metric tons of global carbon was released into the atmosphere, or nearly 29 million mtpy -- equivalent to six coal-burning power plants.

Download the US Cropland Expansion Released 115 Million Tons of Carbon (2008 - 2012) report HERE. (Source: Univ. of Wisconsin, Freemont News Messenager, 17 Nov.2017) Contact: University of Wisconsin Madison, Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment, Holly Gibbs, (608) 265-0572, www.sage.wisc.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News GHGs,  Corn Ethanol,  Ethanol,  Biofuel,  Global Warming,  Climate Change,  

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