A corny turn for biofuels from switchgrass

Many experts believe that advanced biofuels made from cellulosic biomass are the most promising alternative to petroleum-based liquid fuels for a renewable, clean, green, domestic source of transportation energy. Nature, ...

Unlocking wood's energy

Deftly using a pair of tweezers, Scott Geib pulls apart the insides of a yellowish, wormlike critter - the larva of a tree-devouring pest called the Asian long-horned beetle. Something in the insect's gut allows it to make ...

France's Hollande outlines 'green' energy policy

President Francois Hollande Friday pledged to close France's oldest operational nuclear plant in 2016 and rejected seven proposals for shale gas exploration on health and environment concerns.

Engineering plants for a sustainable future

In the search for sustainable materials, the day-to-day structures of plants could help replace polluting materials and plastics with ones that are less detrimental to our environment.

France reconsiders plans to boost biofuel use

France said Wednesday it would reconsider its plans to further develop the use of biofuel, once seen as a potential source of cheap alternative energy but now blamed for soaring food prices.

Wood's 'noble rot' fungus genetically decoded

An international team including Empa researcher Francis Schwarze has sequenced the genome of the common split gill mushroom, Schizophyllum commune, a widely distributed fungus which grows on and decomposes wood. The genome, ...

Destructive insects produce high-value products from biowaste

European researchers and industries are putting insects to work—from termites that destroy wooden buildings to insect larvae that are star "poop" composters. Packaging, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and animal feed are just ...

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