/   Home   /   Newsroom   /   Research News

Scientists Review Bio-based Production of Biofuels

Sep 14, 2018     Email"> PrintText Size

Prof. ZHOU Yongjin from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in collaboration with Prof. Jens Nielsen and Dr. Eduard Kerkhoven from Chalmers University of Technology, reviewed the barriers and opportunities in bio-based production of hydrocarbon biofuels. And the review was published in Nature Energy.

The transport sector accounts for one of the largest and fastest growing consumers of energy. Even though there are projections of a rapid increase in electric cars, high-power transport vehicles (airplanes, ships and long-haul trucks) need high energy-density fuels (including high-capacity energy storage, fast energy release and rapid charge), and current alternative energy storages (mainly batteries) cannot meet this requirement.

The current fossil fuels cause greenhouse gases (GHG) emission. Thus, there is an urgent need to establish alternative sustainable routes for production of liquid fuels with high energy densities. Biotransformation of biomass or other renewable resources toward biofuels is considered as a green route for production of liquid fuels, biochemical, and etc. (Figure A).

The review first introduced that the current environmental pressure requires clean liquid fuels, and a recent report showed that camelina oil-derived biofuel blending into traditional jet fuel (50:50 by volume) reduced the particle and mass emissions by 50–70%.

However, plant oil production is low efficient and also easily suffers from geography and climate factors. Construction of robust microbial cell factories for biofuels production, by using biomass and natural gas as feedstocks, would be a feasible approach for future clean energy supply.

The study summarized the recent progress in engineering microbes for biosynthesis of different hydrocarbon molecules, including derivatives of fatty acid, isoprenoid and polyketide. Especially, bio-based production of farnesene, an ideal jet fuel and alternative which can be used for rubber manufacture, reached industrial level and a factory has been established in Brazil for industrial production.

It also discussed the challenge in construction of robust microbial cell factories with high efficiency and resistance againt harsh industrial conditions.

The review emphasized that biological and chemical processes should collaborate by taking their own advantages, which would facilitate the feasible route toward sustainable production hydrocarbons and even other chemicals (Figure B).

In fact, the synergy between biological and chemical processes has been well used for production of alkanes and pharmaceutical artemisinin.

Engineering utilization of single-carbon feedstocks for bio-refinery would expand the current single-carbon economy and improve the sustainable production of biofuels and chemcials.

 

Synergistic biological-chemical bioprocess for production of liquid fuels and chemicals. (Image by ZHOU Yongjin) 

Attachment:

(Editor: LI Yuan)

Contact

WANG Yongjin

Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics

Phone: 86-411-84374221
E-mail: wangyj@dicp.ac.cn

Related Articles

blue algae;biofuel;biochemical material

Shanghai Scientists Make Blue Algae Discovery

Apr 17, 2018

Scientists at a Chinese Academy of Sciences lab in Shanghai have made a discovery in blue algae that may lead to the extraction of biofuel and biochemical materials.

microbial lipid;yeast;biofuel;lipid accumulation

Scientists Delineate Mechanisms of Pi-limitation-induced Lipid Accumulation

Jun 05, 2018

A research team led by Prof. ZHAO Zongbao at Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics took systems biology approaches to delineate the mechanisms of Pi-limitation-induced lipid accumulation. They found that Pi-limitation activated phosphor-related metaboli...

chlorella;algal biofuel;biofuel;biomass power;C2;flue gas;ash;

Researchers Realize Algal Biofuel Production Coupled Bioremediation of Biomass Power Plant Wastes Based on Chlorella Cultivation

Dec 13, 2017

The Research Group of Algal Biochemistry at Institute of Hydrobiology of Chinese Academy of Sciences confirmed that ash and flue gas produced in biomass power plants can be used as free nutrients source for Chlorella cultivation coupled biofue...

Contact Us

Copyright © 2002 - Chinese Academy of Sciences