State Briefs

1/18/2014

Alternative energy patent to K-State

Alternative energy patent to K-State

MANHATTAN-- Kansas State University has received a patent for a substance that helps convert straw and other grasses into a cleaner-burning fuel.

The patent was issued to the university's research foundation, which helps faculty, staff and students commercialize and protect their discoveries.

Kansas State says two former faculty members developed a substance that can be used in the production of syngas. Syngas can be burned for energy and used to generate electricity.

But converting biomass to syngas creates tar that must be scrubbed from the syngas. Research foundation vice president Marcia Molina says the newly developed substance is more effective at removing the tar.

Snow cover protected wheat

MANHATTAN, (AP) — A Kansas State University agronomy professor says snow cover left over from early winter snowfall helped protect the wheat crop from frigid temperatures.

Professor Jim Shroyer says the snow cover reduced the risk of damage to winter wheat in bitterly cold conditions in much of the state in recent weeks.

The Manhattan Mercury (http://bit.ly/1j44376 ) reports soil temperatures on Jan. 6 were about 9 degrees in Republic County in north-central Kansas, while further west they were in the mid- to upper 20s in Garden City and Colby.

Shroyer says that some damage can be expected when the soil temperature drops into the single digits, meaning crop damage was less likely in the western part of the state.

Emler takes seat on utilities commission

TOPEKA (AP) — Former Kansas Senate Majority Leader Jay Emler has taken a seat on the state commission that regulates utilities.

Emler was sworn in as a member of the Kansas Corporation Commission on Friday, one day after the Senate voted 38-0 to confirm his appointment by Gov. Sam Brownback. Emler abstained from that vote; another senator was absent.

After winning confirmation, Emler resigned from the Legislature.

Emler will replace former KCC Chairman Mark Sievers, who stepped down in December citing personal reasons.

The KCC said Emler will serve the remainder of Sievers' four-year term, through mid-March 2015.

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