Auburn University Project To Improve Efficiency Of Biomass Biorefining Process

A research project to improve efficiency in the biorefining process for butanol production from forest and agricultural biomass has been launched by Maobing Tu, an assistant professor in the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. Tu said his study, titled “Carbonyl Inhibition of Butanol Production from Biomass Hydrolysates by Clostridium acetobutylicum,” will be […]

A research project to improve efficiency in the biorefining process for butanol production from forest and agricultural biomass has been launched by Maobing Tu, an assistant professor in the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.

Tu said his study, titled “Carbonyl Inhibition of Butanol Production from Biomass Hydrolysates by Clostridium acetobutylicum,” will be a significant step toward making butanol production economically viable.

He said the work also will be helpful in the design and manufacturing of machines used to produce butanol, and is expected to advance understanding of the chemical processes involved in biomass processing. A successful outcome for this project will significantly promote biofuels production, which has further positive implications for national energy security and independence.

“Butanol is one of the promising advanced biofuels being pursued by industry for the next generation of alternative fuels,” Tu said. “However, cost-effective production of butanol from lignocellulosic biomass is still challenging. In particular, hydrolysate inhibition limits butanol fermentation efficiency.”

Tu said butanol has several advantages over ethanol, including a higher energy content that is closer to gasoline. Unlike ethanol, butanol can be used in cars directly, without mixing or altering the vehicle. In addition, because ethanol can absorb water, it rusts pipes, making transportation a challenge.

From AZO CleanTech: http://www.azocleantech.com/news.aspx?newsID=18153

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