PETROSS extracts oil from crops.

Scientists engineer sugarcane to produce biodiesel, more sugar for ethanol

The PETROSS team has proven sugarcane can be genetically engineered to produce oil in its leaves and stems for biodiesel production. Surprisingly, the modified sugarcane plants also produced more sugar, which could be used for ethanol production.

Deepak Kumar and Vijay Singh

Airline industry could fly thousands of miles on biofuel from a new promising feedstock

A recent analysis from researchers at the University of Illinois estimates that this aircraft could fly for 10 hours on bio-jet fuel produced on 54 acres of specially engineered sugarcane.


Dual-purpose biofuel crops could extend production, increase profits

Dual-purpose biofuel crops could extend production by two months, decreasing the cost of each gallon of fuel and increasing profits by as much as 30%.

Grant helps project realize “ultra-productive” biofuel crops, attract investors

Grant helps project realize “ultra-productive” biofuel crops, attract investors

The University of Illinois and the University of Florida have been awarded a third round of funding from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to realize ultra-productive biofuel crops.


Biodiesel from sugarcane more economical than soybean

Soybeans can never quench the nation’s thirst for oil; however, a project funded by ARPA-E proposes producing large amounts of oil using sugarcane.

chill to tolerant

Chill-tolerant hybrid sugarcane also grows at lower temperatures, team finds

U.S. farmers have long hoped to extend sugarcane’s growing range northward from the Gulf coast, substantially increasing the land available for sugar and biofuels. Research shows that when the thermometer dips, "miscanes" continue to photosynthesize.


Vijay Singh: Fueling the future

"If successful, it could make a big dent in producing the nation’s liquid transportation fuel. The potential is huge compared to anything else that I have worked on.”

steve long

Food and fuel from oilcane: a minute with agricultural expert Stephen Long

Illinois plant biology professor Stephen P. Long and his collaborators have engineered sugarcane so that it accumulates oil in its stems that can be made into biodiesel.

oilcane map

Team converts sugarcane to a cold-tolerant, oil-producing crop

A multi-institutional team reports that it can increase sugarcane’s geographic range, boost its photosynthetic rate by 30 percent and turn it into an oil-producing crop for biodiesel production.


Biofuels research clears hurdle

UNL plant scientists Ed Cahoon and Tom Clemente aim to super-charge plants for biofuel production.Their research is part of two multi-institutional research collaborations supported by an Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy program of the U.S. Department of Energy called Plants Engineered to Replace Oil. PETRO supports innovative research to develop cost-effective, sustainable sources of transportation fuel from non-food crops.


How sweet it is: Energy from plants

The Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) program managers recently selected an Illinois project for a visit from U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu.