• 14 hours U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 16 hours Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 18 hours Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 20 hours EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 22 hours Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 23 hours Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
  • 3 days Trump Passes Iran Nuclear Deal Back to Congress
  • 4 days Texas Shutters More Coal-Fired Plants
  • 4 days Oil Trading Firm Expects Unprecedented U.S. Crude Exports
  • 4 days UK’s FCA Met With Aramco Prior To Proposing Listing Rule Change
  • 4 days Chevron Quits Australian Deepwater Oil Exploration
  • 4 days Europe Braces For End Of Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 4 days Renewable Energy Startup Powering Native American Protest Camp
  • 5 days Husky Energy Set To Restart Pipeline
  • 5 days Russia, Morocco Sign String Of Energy And Military Deals
  • 5 days Norway Looks To Cut Some Of Its Generous Tax Breaks For EVs
  • 5 days China Set To Continue Crude Oil Buying Spree, IEA Says
  • 5 days India Needs Help To Boost Oil Production
  • 5 days Shell Buys One Of Europe’s Largest EV Charging Networks
  • 5 days Oil Throwback: BP Is Bringing Back The Amoco Brand
  • 5 days Libyan Oil Output Covers 25% Of 2017 Budget Needs
  • 5 days District Judge Rules Dakota Access Can Continue Operating
  • 6 days Surprise Oil Inventory Build Shocks Markets
  • 6 days France’s Biggest Listed Bank To Stop Funding Shale, Oil Sands Projects
  • 6 days Syria’s Kurds Aim To Control Oil-Rich Areas
  • 6 days Chinese Teapots Create $5B JV To Compete With State Firms
  • 6 days Oil M&A Deals Set To Rise
  • 6 days South Sudan Tightens Oil Industry Security
  • 7 days Over 1 Million Bpd Remain Offline In Gulf Of Mexico
  • 7 days Turkmenistan To Spend $93-Billion On Oil And Gas Sector
  • 7 days Indian Hydrocarbon Projects Get $300 Billion Boost Over 10 Years
  • 7 days Record U.S. Crude Exports Squeeze North Sea Oil
  • 7 days Iraq Aims To Reopen Kirkuk-Turkey Oil Pipeline Bypassing Kurdistan
  • 7 days Supply Crunch To Lead To Oil Price Spike By 2020s, Expert Says
  • 7 days Saudi Arabia Ups November Oil Exports To 7-Million Bpd
  • 7 days Niger Delta State Looks To Break Free From Oil
  • 7 days Brazilian Conglomerate To Expand Into Renewables
  • 8 days Kurdish Independence Could Spark Civil War
  • 8 days Chevron, Total Waiting In The Wings As Shell Mulls Majnoon Exit
  • 8 days The Capital Of Coal Is Looking For Other Options
Alt Text

“Grassoline” The Jet Fuel Of The Future?

Researchers have developed a process…

Alt Text

New Tech Could Turn Seaweed Into Biofuel

Scientists discovered an unlikely abundant…

Alt Text

Is Cactus Gas The Future Of Biofuel?

A Mexican green energy startup,…

Green Futures

Green Futures

This article originally appeared in Green Futures magazine. Green Futures is the leading international magazine on environmental solutions and sustainable futures, published by Forum for…

More Info

Using Yeast to Create Biofuel

Scientists are using yeast to synthesise a biofuel without taking up swathes of land.

Microorganisms engineered to produce a new type of biofuel, bisabolane, have the potential to produce transport fuels without putting large swathes of land under energy crops.

Common liquid biofuels such as bioethanol compete with food production and are energy intensive to produce. But scientists at the Joint BioEnergy Institute, a US Department of Energy research centre, believe the new technique could provide an environmentally benign solution which could be used in existing diesel engines as part of a fuel mix, in the same way that bioethanol is commonly mixed with petrol.

Bisabolane is a terpene, a class of chemicals traditionally used as fragrances and flavours. Plants are the natural source of terpenes, but Dr Teak Soon Lee and his team are using yeast as an efficient way to produce bisabolene, a closely related compound to bisabolane.

The bisabolene must then be chemically converted to bisabolane so it can be used in a normal diesel engine, and this is currently a sticking point. The ultimate goal is the complete microbial production of the fuel, reducing the environmental impact of the production process and driving down the costs.

Microbes such as yeast need a food source, and currently sugarcane and corn are used – which means there are still the same issues of land use as with conventional biofuels. But Dr Lee anticipates that eventually cellulosic biomass – which can be sourced from crop and forest residues – could serve as the feedstock instead.

While the technology is some way from commercial viability, it holds out the long-term prospect of harvesting surplus biomass to produce a cost-efficient, relatively environmentally benign fuel.

By. Rebecca Nesbit




Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News