Energy crop producer Ceres Inc. plans to market its new agricultural seeds and traits under the trade name Blade Energy Crops in the U.S. The first products to be sold under the brand are currently being multiplied for spring 2009 sowing. They include switchgrass cultivars developed specifically for biofuels, EG 1101 and EG 1102, as well as high-biomass types of sorghum.
Because of their high yields, energy crops can produce more fuel per acre than first-generation biofuel crops and further mitigate greenhouse gas emissions since the new crops require fewer inputs and actually build new topsoil. Ethanol made from switchgrass produces 90 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum and nearly five times more net energy than starch-based ethanol. Further improvements are likely as breeders introduce new seed varieties and innovations in refining technology are commercialized.
Researchers have been working on a number of alternative chemistries to lithium-ion for next-gen batteries, silicon-air among them. However, while the technology has been viewed as promising and cost-effective, to date researchers haven’t managed to develop a battery of this chemistry with a viable running time -- until now.
Norway-based additive manufacturing company Norsk Titanium is building what it says is the first industrial-scale 3D printing plant in the world for making aerospace-grade metal components. The New York state plant will produce 400 metric tons each year of aerospace-grade, structural titanium parts.
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