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Cheap sugars could be biofuel bargain

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Engineers have developed a way to make low-cost sugars from biomass, a discovery that has the potential to reduce the cost of producing biofuels.

The sugars are produced by the fast pyrolysis of biomass such as corn stalks or wood chips. Fast pyrolysis involves quickly heating the biomass without oxygen to produce liquid or gas products.

“We think this is a new way to make inexpensive sugars from biomass,” says  Robert Brown, an engineering professor at Iowa State University.

That’s a big deal because those sugars can be further processed into biofuels. Brown and other Iowa State researchers believe pyrolysis of lignocelluslosic biomass has the potential to be the cheapest way to produce biofuels or biorenewable chemicals.

Full story at Futurity.

More research news from top universities.

Photo credit: Naomi Friend, Bioeconomy Institute

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