Biotech Updates

New Process Makes "Biogasoline" from Farm Waste

February 5, 2014

Chemists at University of California, Davis invented a new process that can make gasoline-like fuels from cellulosic materials such as farm and forestry waste. According to Mark Mascal, lead author of the study, the feedstock for the new process is levulinic acid, which can be produced by chemical processing of materials such as straw, corn stalks or even municipal green waste. It's a cheap and practical starting point that can be produced from raw biomass with high yield.

Biodiesel, refined from plant-based oils, is already commercially available to run modified diesel engines. A plant-based gasoline replacement would open up a much bigger market for renewable fuels.

UC Davis has filed provisional patents on the process. The paper was published on 29 January 2014 in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

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