Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Technology

Unleashing Biomass Sugars Using Bromine Salt

Methods to produce bioethanol from cornstarch or sugarcane are inadequate to meet the global demand for renewable fuels. To be sustainable, biofuel production should rely on abundant, cheap, inedible ...
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Xuejun Pan, Li Shuai | P110209US02

Technology

Zip-Lignin™ Assay: An Analysis and Validation Tool

To produce pulp from wood, harsh chemicals are applied during cooking and bleaching mainly because lignin is tough to break down. To make it easier to degrade, Wisconsin researchers discovered how che...
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John Ralph, Steven Karlen, Fachuang Lu, Dharshana Padmakshan | P150118US02

Technology

Platinum-Free Catalysts for Fuel Cells

Fuel cells and other types of electrochemical cells rely on platinum cathodes to drive oxygen reduction. Although efficient, platinum cathodes are expensive given the element’s relative scarcity. On...
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Shannon Stahl, James Gerken, Colin Anson | P140274US02

Technology

Modified Yeast to Boost Biofuel Yields

Producing biofuel on an industrial scale requires efficient fermentation of cellulosic plant material. Glucose and xylose are two of the most abundant sugars found in biomass. The yeast most commonly ...
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Trey Sato, Jeff Piotrowski | P140199US02

Technology

Measuring Lignin in Corn Stalks

The lignin in corn stalks makes it difficult to process for biomass and harder for animals to digest. Levels are especially high in the tough outer ‘rind’ and vascular bundles of the stem. For th...
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Edgar Spalding, Sven Heckwolf | P140381US01

Technology

High Yield Method to Produce LGO from Biomass

Levoglucosenone (LGO) is a highly dehydrated sugar typically derived from cellulose. It is an important, non-petroleum building block chemical with potential uses in a wide range of industrial process...
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George Huber, Fei Cao, James Dumesic, Thomas Schwartz | P150101US01

Technology

Solar Cells Turn HMF to Valuable Platform Molecules

Photoelectrochemical cells (PECs) use solar energy to produce fuels, much as nature does through photosynthesis. In a typical PEC, fuels are formed by reduction reactions at the cathode. For example, ...
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Kyoung-Shin Choi, Hyun Gil Cha | P150132US01

Technology

Grass Modified for Easier Bioprocessing

Manufacturing paper and producing biofuels is difficult because the lignin in plant cell walls is tough to degrade. Current techniques are energy intensive and use harsh chemicals. In the case of biof...
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John Ralph, Curtis Wilkerson, Saunia Withers, John Sedbrook | P120040US02

Technology

More Efficient Water-Splitting Cells

N-type bismuth vanadate (BiVO4) has emerged as a promising photoanode for use in solar water-splitting cells given its favorable light absorption and conduction band characteristics. To date, however,...
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Kyoung-Shin Choi, Tae Woo Kim | P140325US01

Technology

Coating Extends Life of Catalytic System

Biomass processing and many other industrial catalytic reactions are performed in hot, liquid conditions. These hydrothermal reactions may be carried out at elevated temperatures (e.g., 200 degrees C)...
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James Dumesic, Yomaira Pagan-Torres, Jeffrey Elam, Christopher Marshall, Joseph Libera | P140345US01

Technology

Preparing HMF from Biomass in Polar Aprotic Solvents

HMF (5-hydroxymethyl furfural) is a highly sought renewable compound that can be used to produce bulk and value-added chemicals. Such chemicals include FDCA, which is useful in the polymer industry, a...
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James Dumesic, George Huber, Ronen Weingarten | P140138US01

Technology

Producing Linear Alpha Olefins from Biomass

Linear alpha olefins (LAOs) are valuable commodity chemicals traditionally derived from petroleum. They are versatile building blocks for making a range of chemical products like polyethylene, synthet...
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James Dumesic, Dong Wang, David Martin Alonso, Sikander Hakim | P130275US01

Technology

Concentrated C5 and C6 Sugars from Biomass

Widespread production of sustainable fuels and chemicals will require cost-effective methods for breaking down biomass into its constituent sugars. Attaining high yields of concentrated C5 and C6 carb...
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James Dumesic, David Martin Alonso, Jeremy Luterbacher | P140075US01

Technology

Powerful New Enzyme for Transforming Biomass

Converting plant cellulose and hemicellulose into fermentable sugars is a major bottleneck in the biofuel industry. Chemical pretreatment and enzyme hydrolysis (breakdown) usually are required. Amon...
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Brian Fox, Christopher Bianchetti, Taichi Takasuka | P120371US02

Technology

Modified Yeast Ferments Biomass Xylose

Producing biofuel on a useful scale requires efficient fermentation of cellulosic plant material. The sugars glucose and xylose are the most abundant carbohydrates found in hemicellulose. The yeast mo...
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Trey Sato | P120307US01

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