Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, April 08, 2000, Image 43

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    Cornell Researchers Explore Way To
Turn Biomass Waste Into Gasoline
Worried by rising gas prices?
Top off the tank with paper
pulp. Fill ’er up with maple
chips. Drive down the freeway
using cheese whey.
As average U.S. gasoline
prices soar beyond $l.BO a
gallon, proponents of using bio
based fuels and chemicals are
gaining momentum.
Gasoline-replacement re
search in the past has focused on
ethanol derived from corn, but
now agricultural engineers are
beginning to understand how
biomass waste also can be used
as a substitute for petroleum.
Larry Walker, Cornell profes
sor of agricultural and biological
engineering, and his students
are using enzymes to break
down solid biomass waste into a
renewable energy form. In a talk
at the American Chemical Soci
ety national meeting in March at
the Moscone Convention
Center, San Francisco, Walker
said there is sufficient biomass
waste available to supply all of
the organic chemicals that are
consumed annually in the U.S.
and still have enough waste left
over to convert to auto fuel.
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“We need renewable re
sources, and energy flow. How
do we develop alternatives to
petroleum-based products? We
do this through plant materi
als,” said Walker. “Bio-based
fuels are recyclable. Fossil-based
fuels are not.”
Although waste biomass is a
cheaper raw material than oil,
there is a catch. The cost of con
verting this raw material to
energy is the major constraint fj
commercialization, according to
Walker. The plant biomass is
chemically diverse, and it must
be separated then converted into
desired products. The challenge,
he explained, is to develop in
dustries proficient in using this
raw material and to develop
more cost-effective enzymatic
and microbial processes that
convert these materials into in
dustrial chemicals and energy.
Walker explained the princi
ples behind biomass fuel:
Carbon dioxide is taken in by
the plant through metabolism,
and carbon enters plant cells
where it is converted into cell
walls. About 279 million metric
tons of plant waste is generated
in the U.S. annually from indus-
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trial, commercial, and agricul
tural production. The key to
using this resource lies in em
ploying enzymes to break down
the woody, fibrous part of the
material into fermentable
Caroline Corner, Tina Jeoh,
and Hyungil Jung, graduate stu
dents in agricultural engineering
in Walker’s Cornell laboratory,
are studying the use of enzymes
from thermophilic (heat-loving)
bacteria to break down the cellu
lose in plant waste. The bacteria
produce six enzymes called cel
lulase which attack the biomass
through a process called hydro
lysis. This allows the enzymes to
process the cellulose into fer
mentable sugars, permitting sci
entists to produce fuel or
industrial chemicals. Walker
likens the action of the cellulase
enzymes in breaking down the
fibrous lignins (the binding in
plants) to a “tag-team Pac Man
moving along the cellulose
Come And See The New
UNI Aerobic Exercisers
& Amazing New Health Products
at a public meeting on Monday, April 24 at 7PM
Leola Family Restaurant
365 West Main St., Leola, PA
Come and see the UNI machines
with 3 different type motors.
1.110 volt AC heavy duty motor.
2.12 volt DC motor w/battery clips,
3. Air motor with snap on coupler.
Most have the following features:
This is a very important feature.
>nt. For better results.
l Runs quieter & lasts longer.
More comfortable then plastic.
On these unique advanced features.
ity. Because these units last much longer.
in the USA. Better quality control and service.
10 different models to choose from, starting at $260
Cushion Foot-rest.
Patent Pendim
If you have any of the following problems you should be using
one of our Aerobic Exercisers. Lower backpam, chronic fatigue,
wake up tired, feel tense and nervous, insomnia. Suffer from poor
digestion, constipation, arthritis, cold, flu and various health prob
lems. No mysticism about it.
Aerobic exercise increased oxygen in the blood, stimulates the
lymphatic system, improved blood circulation, increased energy
level, and many other benefits. Come and hear testimonies of
many good results people are experiencing.
We will also be sharing information and testimonies on how
people overcame cancer, leukemia, diabetes, high cholesterol,
arthritis, overweight and various other health problems by using
our good nutritional products.
If you can't be at the meeting, inquire for more information.
Dealers Wanted: Buy 3 exercise units at 30% discount. Pay
only $7.95 sign-up fee to get your nutritional products wholesale at
up to 40% discount.
UNI Health Products, Inc.
539 Hilltop Road, Myerstown, PA 17067
Phone 717-866-4555 or 800-668-7373
Dairy Farmers Of America
To Hold Second Meeting
Farmers of America (DFA) will
hold its second annual meeting
at the Hyatt Regency Crown
Center in Kansas City, Missouri,
on April 10-11. Attendance at
the two-day meeting is expected
to top 1,500 dairy farmers and
guests from across the nation.
This year’s meeting theme is
“Beyond 2000” as the farmer
owned cooperative focuses on
ways to help dairy farmers com
pete profitably in a competitive
and rapidly changing industry.
In addition to the business
meeting, this year’s event fea
tures an expanded Dairy Bar
and Trade Show with informa
tional product and marketing
displays by DFA’s operational
divisions and service units. Elsie
the Borden cow will make a
guest appearance on behalf of
DFA’s Borden Cheese division
and in recognition of the famous
icon’s 60th year promoting qual
ity Borden products. Joining
Elsie will be Jim Cavanaugh
who helped select the first Elsie
at the 1939 World’s Fair.
The meeting begins at 1:00
p.m. on Monday, with a general
session featuring presentations
outlining accomplishments of
the dairy marketing cooperative
by DFA Chairman Herman
Lancaster Farming, Saturday, April 8, 2000-A43
Brubaker and President and
Chief Executive Officer Gary
Hanman. In addition, Charles
Beckendorf, chairman of DFA’s
Finance Committee, will present
the financial report of the organ
ization’s second year of opera
A banquet Monday evening
features Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO)
as the key note speaker outlin
ing legislative challenges facing
the dairy industry in the year
ahead. In addition, DFA’s
Borden Cheese Division will an
nounce the “Calling all Elsies”
contest winner. The winning
DFA member farm couple re
ceives an expense-paid trip to
New York City where Elsie
made her debut at the 1939
World’s Fair.
Tuesday morning, the general
session reconvenes with the
DFA member delegate body dis
cussing and voting on resolu
tions submitted by members in
DFA’s seven Area Councils. The
resolution process gives mem
bers at the grass roots level an
opportunity to have input in de
velopment of DFA positions on
issues and policies that affect
the dairy industry. The meeting
concludes with a “question and
answer” session with DFA exec
utives. Adjournment is sched
uled for 3 p.m., Tuesday, April
717-626-1 164
Mon., Tues.,
Wed., Fri.
8 AM to 5 PM
7 AM to 5 PM
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