Agrochemists are using technology to convert the carbon dioxide from anaerobically digested soil and produce biofuels from plant materials, according to an article published in Nature Materials.
The paper describes a process called “corbino agriculture technology,” which is being developed by Cornell University Agricultural Technology professor and biofuel inventor Paul C. Carter.
The technique uses soil as an anaerobe, a microbial-like organism that grows on organic matter, to produce carbon dioxide.
In the lab, corbinos are able to convert organic matter into plant-based compounds, which can be converted into hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide via the addition of oxygen.
In anaerobia, the organisms’ cells are used to convert carbon dioxide to hydrogen, which is then used as an energy source.
Corbino technology has already been used to produce hydrogen and methane from natural gas and natural limestone, but it has not yet been used for biofuel production.
Incorporating corbines into the production of biofuers has significant environmental and economic benefits, according the article.
The use of corbina-derived biomass in a fuel cell would increase energy production from renewable resources, such as biofuition from organic matter and limestone, the authors note.
A recent study published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface revealed that biofueling could be a feasible source of energy in the future, with hydrogen and carbon-dioxide being the primary components of fuels.
Researchers at the University of Manchester have also found ways to produce methane from plant waste, which could be used in a biofuel vehicle.