Home > Environment, Invention, Nature, Power, Research, Science, Technology > Isobutanol: A Biofuel More Potent than Ethanol

Isobutanol: A Biofuel More Potent than Ethanol

“Researchers say they have developed a method of using bacteria to convert decaying grass directly into a compound known as isobutanol, which can be burned in regular car engines with a heat value higher than ethanol but similar to gasoline.

The research could mean great savings in processing costs and time, plus isobutanol is a higher grade of alcohol than ethanol, according to the Department of Energy’s BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) and its Oak Ridge National Laboratory where the research is being done. Using a bio break-down method known as consolidated bioprocessing, a research team led by James Liao of the University of California at Los Angeles for the first time produced isobutanol directly from cellulose, the DOE said in a release.

“Unlike ethanol, isobutanol can be blended at any ratio with gasoline and should eliminate the need for dedicated infrastructure in tanks or vehicles,” said Liao, chancellor’s professor and vice chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. “Plus, it may be possible to use isobutanol directly in current engines without modification.””


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