BIOFUELS

Liquid fuel flows from gas streams

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Science  15 Apr 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6283, pp. 305-306
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6283.305-f

Renewable resources can directly replace fossil fuels for generating electricity, but finding a cleaner replacement for liquid fuels is less clear. Biofuels have shown potential, but the cost of feedstocks, competition with land for food crops, and the overall carbon balance have hindered their progress. Hu et al. integrated two bioreactors to turn syngas—a mixture of CO2, CO, and H2—into lipids that can be used as biodiesel. Although carbon from syngas accounts for just over half of the carbon in the lipids produced, further optimization and recycling of CO2 between bioreactors should improve the net carbon balance of the system.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 10.1073/pnas.1516867113 (2016).

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