New biofuel report released – Global Biofuel Production Forecast 2015-2020
A team of researchers at the Department’s BioEnergy Science Center has achieved another advance in the drive toward next generation biofuels: using bacteria to convert plant matter directly into isobutanol, which can be burned in regular car engines with a heat value higher than ethanol and similar to gasoline. The work was conducted by researchers at the Department of Energy’s BioEnergy Science Center (BESC), led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Using consolidated bioprocessing, a research team led by James Liao of the University of California at Los Angeles for the first time produced isobutanol directly from cellulose. The team’s work, published online in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, represents across-the-board savings in processing costs and time, plus isobutanol is a higher grade of alcohol than ethanol. Unlike ethanol, isobutanol can be blended at any ratio with gasoline.