Tech News - Yeast genes swapped to make biofuel
Agricultural and wood waste could be used as a feedstock to produce bioethanol using a novel strain of yeast.
The most abundant sugar in plants after glucose is xylose, which is plentiful in agricultural and wood waste. But yeast that is most efficient at producing ethanol cannot ferment xylose - and those yeasts that do are not very good at producing ethanol.
So far, ethanol has been produced using sugar cane or starch crops, but this process uses up resources that could be used for food.
So scientists at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, in Singapore, have shuffled the genes of yeast strains to create a prototype yeast that is good at fermenting xylose and producing ethanol.
Anli Geng, who led the study, says: “Our results show that there is a future in recycling waste vegetation into bioethanol.”
Food waste service in full swing
Scotwaste has decided to pre-empt the January 2014 implementation of the Waste (Scotland) Regulations, which will require all businesses to separate paper and card, plastic, metal and glass for recycling.
Businesses that produce more than 5kg of food waste a week will also need to separate this for collection.
Scotwaste currently has separate trade waste uplifts for different waste streams. But it has recently introduced a dedicated food waste vehicle that allows its customers to be fully compliant ahead of the new legislation.
The service will operate across the whole of central Scotland, building on the company’s commitment to zero waste and helping customers to meet their duty of care obligations.
Scotwaste began life in the waste and recycling industry in 1972, recycling commercial vehicle parts, before moving into general waste management in 1999 and then building its own MRF in 2000.
Bakers goes for more than a dozen
Bakers Waste Services (BWS) in Leicester is expanding its fleet with another remanufactured refuse vehicle from Refuse Vehicle Solutions.
The company has a 30- strong fleet from front- and rear-end loaders to roll-on-roll off vehicles. The latest vehicle is a remanufactured 2006 Dennis Elite 2 with Geesink Vulture body and Combi S3 Trade Lift.
BWS offers waste collection, recycling and shredding services, as well as helping companies achieve ISO accreditation and divert waste from landfill.
Cheshire plastic bin contract won by CK
CK Distribution has secured a contract with May Gurney, which is working in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council to deliver an improved kerbside recycling service.
The project will provide 470,000 plastic recycling containers to residents. Those involved believe the contract is probably the largest to be externally awarded for such services within the UK.
As well as the distribution of new containers, the ‘end of life’ wheeled bins will be collected and recycled through CK Distribution’s plant in Lincolnshire.
The contract started in April, and will provide temporary employment for at least 25 people within Cheshire and nine in Lincolnshire.
Mitsubishi pallet truck wins international award
The new Mitsubishi Premia ES power pallet truck has won the ‘red dot award’ for product design. The Premia was selected by a jury of 30 international experts from a field of more than 4,500 products.
The Premia ES features a sealed chassis, which offers protection against water, dirt, dust and other particles. Its electronic system also uses water-proofed components.
Oxfordshire’s WEEE recycling is in the pink
Councils across Oxfordshire are working with electrical recycling compliance scheme Electrolink to roll out 28 recycling banks, which will take small electrical items such as kettles, toasters and mobile phones.
The banks are bright pink and located in supermarket car parks and bring bank sites. The scheme is being co-ordinated through the Oxfordshire Waste Partnership (OWP).
OWP chair David Dodds says: “All electrical items can be recycled, whether they plug in, charge up or are battery powered.
“Most people want to recycle as much as possible, but don’t want to make a trip to a county recycling centre for a broken electric toothbrush or burnt out hair dryer. Putting these new banks out across the county will make recycling more convenient.”
Cherwell District Council in north Oxfordshire was one of the first local authorities in the UK to implement such a scheme and its success has spurred on this latest development.