News International Sugar Journal

Integrating fermentation with chemical catalysis boosts biofuel production [Registered]

With the addition of a metal catalyst, researchers at the US Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have shown that the production of acetone, butanol and ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass could be selectively upgraded to the high volume production of gasoline, diesel or jet fuel. Using the bacterium Clostridium acetobutylicum, the Berkeley Lab researchers fermented the sugars from cellulosic feedstock into the solvent acetone and the alcohols butanol and ethanol, collectively known as “ABE” products. They then catalyzed these low carbon number products with the transition metal palladium into higher-molecular-mass hydrocarbons that are possible precursors to…

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