Energy-Dense Hydrocarbons from Eukaryotic Microorganisms
Sustainable biofuel solutions that produce drop-in diesel and jet fuels compatible with existing petroleum-based infrastructure are critical to reducing the environmental impact of petroleum fuels and protecting US energy independence. Fungal systems can address this problem through the production of long-chain, high-energy density hydrocarbon fuels from sustainable biomass feedstocks. The objective of the proposed research is to demonstrate the efficacy of engineering a filamentous fungus that naturally produces high levels of hydrocarbon-based products to produce C15 hydrocarbon fuels. Filamentous fungi are the only eukaryotic microorganisms that can produce the enzymes required for converting lignocelluose to sugars thereby enabling process consolidation for the saccharification and fuel production steps. The resulting C15 hydrocarbon fuels can be easily separated and require minimal post-process refining. Streamlining the saccharification/fuel production processes and minimizing post-process refinement will permit development of scalable, economical processes that can meet a wide range of feedstock availability. The use of a native production system should lead to greater biocatalyst and process robustness, increasing both opportunities for process applications and cost reduction. The resulting diesel and jet fuels will have nearly identical storage, transport, and performance properties as the petroleum hydrocarbon fuels they will replace.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Dorsan Biofuels, Inc
PO Box 2036 Chapel Hill, NC -
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