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WSU researchers creating catalyst to improve jet biofuel production

RICHLAND, Wash. – Efforts to create an environmentally friendly catalyst that will lower the cost and increase the efficiency in producing bio-based jet fuels has netted Washington State University researchers a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

WSU Tri-Cities associate professor Hanwu Lei and his research team aim to develop the catalyst — a substance that increases the rate of chemical reactions and lowers the energy needed to perform the reaction — from forestry and agricultural waste products.

 

[ Read full article in WSU Insider ]

 

FEC Club Visits Pacific Foods

Food Engineering Club at Pacific FoodsThe FEC is comprised of 20 student members and one faculty advisor. Under the supervision of three core faculty members, these students conduct research in advanced thermal and non-thermal food technologies as well as polymeric packaging technologies to help the food industry address challenges of increasing consumer demand for safe, nutritious, and high-quality food products.

FEC visited Pacific Foods as a part of their March 2018 Professional Development activity. 11 graduate students, 2 visiting scholars from China and Brazil along with faculty Dr. Gustavo Barbosa-Cánovas participated in the activity. The participants got a chance to take a detailed tour of the manufacturing process, product development lab and waste recycling facility. Our guides explained the entire process in detail, such as production of chicken broth, extraction of soy milk, cooking of meals, Aseptic filling of product into cartons, final packaging and retorting.

 

[ Read full article in Newsletter ]

 

Waled Suliman Receives 2018 Amazon Catalyst Grant

PULLMAN, Wash. – Amazon Catalyst program has awarded $177,735 in grants to 10 Washington State University teams comprised of students, faculty and staff across disciplines and locations.

The collaborative program between Amazon and WSU launched early in 2018 to fund projects deemed globally impactful and disruptive.

What are the next inventions that will change how people live their lives and conduct business? This is the question WSU’s Amazon Catalyst Program applicants are looking to answer with their disruptive ideas, innovative projects and impactful inventions.

 

[ Read full article in WSU Insider ]

WSU researchers develop material that could save honey bees

April 10, 2018 KREM 2, by Luke Morand

Researchers have developed a new material that attracts pesticide residue in bees and, when ingested, the particles absorb the pesticide toxins.

PULLMAN, Wash. — Researchers at Washington State University have developed a new material that could help save honey bees.

It is all thanks to a microscopic particle that attracts and gets rid of pesticides, according to new research.

[ read full article at KREM.com ]


April 9, 2018 WSU Insider, by Scott Weybright

PULLMAN, Wash. – Honey bee colonies could be saved from collapse in the future thanks to a microscopic particle that attracts pesticides, as created by Washington State University researchers.

Consider this: A grain of salt weighs 58,500 nanograms. It takes only 15 nanograms of pesticide to kill a bee.

Researchers at Washington State University have developed a new material that attracts pesticide residue in bees. Over time, pollen tinged with itsy bitsy amounts of pesticides accumulates in a bee’s body, reducing the lifespan of each bee in a colony.

[ read full article at the news.wsu.edu ]

 

Center of Excellence for Food Safety receives $1M Grant Continuation from USDA NIFA

Dr TangDr. Juming Tang, the Principal Investigator for the Center of Excellence for Food Safety, has received a $1M grant continuation for the grant’s second year from USDA NIFA. The four year, $4M grant, aims to accelerate technology transfer of microwave based food safety technologies by leveraging resources from the government, universities, and the food industry to bridge knowledge gaps and reduce technical and regulatory hurdles for food companies, particularly small and medium sized companies. This will be done by adopting novel technologies for the production of nutritious, safe, high-quality prepackaged foods and ready-to-eat (RTE) meals in light of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

WSU Principal investigators include Juming Tang (BSE), Shyam Sablani (BSE), Carolyn Ross (SFS), and Karina Gallardo (SES)

“BeeToxx” Receives Second Place at the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge

BeeToxx won the $10,000 Herbert B. Jones Foundation second place prize at the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge, hosted by the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship.The grand prize winners at the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge (EIC) proved to judges that gardening and innovation go together naturally. BioPots took home the $15,000 Wells Fargo prize with their biodegradable planter pots made from biomass waste like spent beer grains. The University of Washington team included three engineers from the Bioresource Science and Engineering program and a student from the Foster School of Business.

This year marked the 10th Anniversary of the EIC, hosted by the Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. The competition also set a record with student teams from five different schools and universities in the Pacific Northwest taking home prizes. The $10,000 Herbert B. Jones Foundation second place prize went to BeeToxx from Washington State University. The team of Bioengineering, Biology, Communication, and Entrepreneurship students developed a carbon-based microparticle solution that protects Honey Bee colonies exposed to harmful pesticides.

[ Read full story at Foster Blog ]

Biofuels Digest Features WSU Jet Fuel Research

January 11, 2018 | BiofuelsDisgest,  Jim Lane

Back in 2016, researchers at Washington State University Tri-Cities landed a National Science Foundation I-Corps grant to explore the market potential of their biojet fuel research. The team had successfully demonstrated a new, water-based process for deconstructing and recovering lignin from biomass and converting it into jet fuel-range hydrocarbons. These could be certified as jet fuel in the future. Lignin, a polymer that makes plants woody and rigid, is a waste product in the biofuels production process.

Bin Yang, WSU Tri-Cities associate professor of biological systems engineering and principal investigator for the grant, holds a patent on the process.

“Our ultimate goal is to demonstrate a flexible catalytic process that selectively converts all the carbon in the lignin into jet fuel-range hydrocarbons at minimal cost,” Yang said at the time. Dr. Yang gave this illuminating update and overview of the technology’s progress and promise at ABLC Next in San Francisco.

[ Read the Digest’s 2018 Multi-slide Guide to jet fuel from biorefinery waste ]