No. 83

August 2012

Headline News Innovation and Development

Applied Technology

Basic Science Cooperation between CAS and Local Authorities
Bioscience International Cooperation Brief News Geoscience

Applied Technology

PVT Technology: to be Industrialized Soon

An acceptance check on solar PVT and system pilot project undertaken by a task team headed by Dr. Wang Zhifeng and Dr. Li Xin of the Institute of Electrical Engineering, CAS was passed on July 6 at Badaling solar thermal experimental base. Through implementation of this project, the first MW-level solar PVT plant has been built in China. All key technologies in this project are made available with indigenous innovation with complete independent knowledge properties. Since the first steam production (4MPa£¬400¡æ) that took place on July 19, 2011, the solar receiver has been working safely for more than 300 hours. In addition, the power generation facilities were also completed at the same time. Currently the steam turbine has been commissioned, while the whole PVT system has been working smoothly. The successful completion of the solar PVT project has opened a new approach in field of cleaner energy.

Better Rice: Realized with GW8 Gene

While studying the Basmati rice from Pakistan, Fu Xiangdong and his colleagues at the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, CAS have identified a key gene dubbed GW8 in rice that could enhance both quality and productivity of rice at the same time, as they reported in Nature Genetics in June, 2012. Further study showed that there were different variants of the GW8 gene in rice. The GW8 gene exists in Basmati rice grown in India and Pakistan, which is world famous for its high quality, and it could improve the appearance quality of rice grains. The different variant of GW8 gene exists in some types of high yield rice grown in China, but its major effect is not on quality but on grain weight, enhancing productivity. Researchers also identified another variant of the GW8 gene from an Iranian rice cultivar, which could be combined with the advantages of those two variants that respectively influences quality and productivity at the same time. According to the researchers, if the new variant of GW8 gene is introduced in the Basmati rice, it could increase its productivity by 14% keeping the same quality. Thus, when it is introduced to high yield rice in China, it could significantly enhance the quality of rice, without compromising the productivity. This discovery could lead to new varieties using a marker-assisted strategy that would have outstanding performance in both quality and yield of rice.

Non-grain Materials Used for Fuel Production

Fuel ethanol producing from non-grain biomass materials is an important way to alleviate the energy crisis. However, some key problems still exist£¬such as separated utilization of component, high energy consumption, and serious pollution. Recently, Prof. Chen Hongzhang and his team from the Institute of Process Engineering, CAS has made progress in this regard, they integrated the steam-explosion pretreatment technology with continuous solid-state fermentation technology with two patents applied: ¡°Method for producing ethanol from steam exploded sweet potato by fermentation¡± and ¡°A procedure and equipment for comprehensive utilization of Radix pueraria¡±. With such technology, unpolluted steam-explosion pretreatment technology ((0.6-1.0MPa 2-4min) replaced the traditional gelatinization process of the starch (90-120 ¡æ, 30-120 min); Ethanol was produced by continuous solid-state fermentation of steam-explosion materials. Fermentation residues were used to extract flavones and produce protein feed. It is a clean and energy-saving technology, and has achieved efficient materials utilization. The relevant two patents have been granted by Indonesia and Australia respectively.

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