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Unlocking the Rice Immune System

Rice is a staple for half the world’s population and the model plant for grass-type biofuel feedstocks (Photo courtesy of IRRI)

JBEI, UC Davis and Berkeley Lab researchers have identified a bacterial signaling molecule that triggers an immunity response in rice plants, enabling the plants to resist a devastating blight disease. Rice is not only a staple food, it is the model for grass-type advanced biofuels.

Bay Area National Laboratories Jointly Launch New Small Business Voucher Pilot for Emerging Cleantech Companies

The Molecular Foundry is a U.S. Department of Energy nanoscience center hosted at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in partnership with Sandia National Laboratories/California and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has been awarded $4.15 million by the Department of Energy to jointly launch a new small business voucher pilot.

Berkeley Lab Study Finds that Future Deployment of Distributed Solar Hinges on Electricity Rate Design

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Future distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) deployment levels are highly sensitive to retail electricity rate design, according to a newly released report by researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The study also explores the feedback effects between retail electricity rates and PV deployment, and suggests that increased solar deployment can lead to changes in PV compensation levels that either accelerate or dampen further deployment.

A Bridge to Better Batteries

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A major automaker came to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory recently wanting to better understand battery degradation. After many months of intense collaborative research with a Berkeley Lab battery scientist, they gleaned some important insights into the conditions that may lead to battery failure, and even published a paper on their findings. Another large car company

Autonomous Taxis Would Deliver Significant Environmental and Economic Benefits

Jeff Greenblatt and Samveg Saxena - Sustainable Energy Systems Group, Energy Technologies Division - Berkeley Lab.

Imagine a fleet of driverless taxis roaming your city, ready to pick you up and take you to your destination at a moment’s notice. While this may seem fantastical, it may be only a matter of time before it becomes reality. And according to a new study from Berkeley Lab, such a system would both be cost-effective and greatly reduce per-mile emissions of greenhouse gases.

Leaving on a Biofueled Jet Plane

Air travels accounts for about two-percent of the annual greenhouse gas emissions from human activity. A new catalytic process for biofuels could significantly reduce this figure. (courtesy of Boeing)

Researchers at the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) have developed a catalytic process for converting sugarcane biomass into a new class of aviation fuel and lubricant base oils that could help biorefineries achieve net life-cycle greenhouse gas savings of up to 80-percent.

Goodbye, Range Anxiety? Electric Vehicles May Be More Useful Than Previously Thought

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In the first study of its kind, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory quantitatively show that electric vehicles (EVs) will meet the daily travel needs of drivers longer than commonly assumed. They found that batteries that have lost 20 percent of their originally rated energy storage capacity can still meet the daily travel needs of more than 85 percent of U.S. drivers.

A Better Way of Scrubbing CO2

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Berkeley Lab researchers have discovered a means by which the removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) from coal-fired power plants might one day be done far more efficiently and at far lower costs than today. By appending a diamine molecule to the sponge-like solid materials known as metal-organic-frameworks (MOFs), the researchers were able to more than triple the CO2-scrubbing capacity of the MOFs, while significantly reducing parasitic energy.

Sweet Smell of Success: JBEI Researchers Boost Methyl Ketone Production in E. coli

Methyl ketones were discovered more than a century ago in the aromatic evergreen rue plant. They are now used to provide scents in essential oils and flavoring in cheese, but JBEI research shows they could also serve as advanced biofuels. (Image from Wikimedia Commons)

JBEI researchers have engineered E. coli bacteria to convert glucose into significant quantities of methyl ketones, a class of chemical compounds primarily used for fragrances and flavors, but highly promising as clean, green and renewable blending agents for diesel fuel.

Two Berkeley Lab Scientists Named AAAS Fellows

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Two Berkeley Lab scientists, climate scientist William Collins and chemist Heinz Frei, have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for 2014.