Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Studies on cellulosic ethanol at Kansas State University

On April 12, 2011, the Kansas City Star talked about a Dept. of Agriculture grant to Kansas State University in the area of cellulosic ethanol:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday awarded about 40 grants for biofuel research, including $586,000 to Kansas State University.

The research covers areas such as product development and sustainable feedstock production. Kansas State University, for example, is seeking to produce industrial chemicals as a co-product of cellulosic ethanol.

One year earlier, news.discovery had an article titled CELLULOSIC ETHANOL DEALT A BLOW about a KSU professor arguing against the use of crop residue for cellulosic ethanol:

And now look. Humberto Blanco-Canqui, assistant professor at Kansas State University's Agricultural Research Center-Hays, published an article in a recent issue of Agronomy Journal (abstract) arguing convincingly that we shouldn't use crop residue to make cellulosic ethanol. Blanco-Canqui makes the case by combining his own original research and other peer-reviewed agricultural studies to show that removing agricultural waste such as stalks and leaves has negative effects on soil, the environment, and future crops. The residue actually sequesters carbon, helps keep the soil healthy, and is important for crop yield.

Blanco-Canqui argued for the use of switchgrass.

Separately, note the A2 Product Portfolio of Aurora:

Now Aurora Algae has unveiled its mysterious-sounding A2 Product Portfolio--a series of algae-based oils and powders that will be used in the biofuel, food, aquaculture, neutraceutical [sic: nutraceutical], and pharmaceutical industries. What will happen when all the products you use have everyone's favorite sea vegetable added to them?

Aurora is claiming trademark rights in the use of such things as "A2 Fuel" with the underlying concept: “algae-to-product” (A2 product). So, the mark is not so mysterious. See Aurora Algae A2 Product Portfolio Equals Sustainable Nutrition, Energy and Aquaculture
which includes the text:

“These innovations, combined with our optimized cultivation, harvesting and extraction technologies, have allowed us to quickly bring to market a sustainable, renewable portfolio of products.”

**Separately, see discussion of KiOR's S-1, including mention of hiring a patent attorney.


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