A two-year research project aims to crack the lignin question by engineering a microbe to break down the byproduct into a lipid, or fat, and then into biodiesel. The research has the potential to make cellulosic ethanol refineries more profitable.
“According to one of my calculations, if all of the lignin produced from cellulosic ethanol [was] used for biodiesel, a conservative estimation is that 1.8 billion gallon of biodiesel can be produced,” said Joshua Yuan, a Texas A&M University AgriLife Research plant pathologist and lead researcher on the project, adding that it has the potential to contribute about 10 percent of total advanced biofuel production.
Tags: paper industry, resistant, cellulosic ethanol biorefinery, hazardous waste, lignocellulosic refinery
Source: Biomass magazine, 2013-01-17.