Advanced Technologies for Producing Microbial Bio-energy
Dwindling fossil fuel reserves and global warming are strong drivers for research into novel, alternative energy sources. First generation biofuels, such as bioethanol and biodiesel, are oxychemicals with less energy content per carbon atom when compared with hydrocarbons. Microbes are used as “bio-factories” to produce pharmaceuticals, food ingredients, fine chemicals and fuels, and are candidates for the production of hydrocarbon biofuels.
The idea is to use a unique bacterium, to produce hydrocarbons in an efficient process where growth conditions will be optimized.
Established molecular biology and purification techniques will be combined with optimization of growth using the continuous culture technique. The outcome is elevated product formation at very high cell concentrations. Development Milestones
Research into organisms serving as host gene suppliers and efficient producers Gene isolation and cloning in appropriate vectors Research of processes by which microorganisms efficiently produce hydrocarbons and other lipophilic materials Expression of the candidate genes in host and other organisms Characterization of the expressed products Refinement and optimization for production of hydrocarbons and other lipophilic compounds The Opportunity
The U.S. Department of Energy has set a goal of replacing 30 percent of gasoline used in the United States with fuels from renewable biological sources by 2030
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