Electrofuels project makes headway at Lawrence Berkeley Lab

May 7, 2012 |

In California, a combination of water, renewable electricity, CO2 and an engineered strain of a bacterium called Ralstonia eutropha are the ingredients for diesel fuel, in a technology path being pursued by a team from Lawrence Berkeley Lab, the University of California and Logos Technologies.

Highlighted in the in-house Berkeley Lab online publication this past week, the $3.4M electrofuels program reroutes metabolic pathways in the bacteria, bypassing photosynthesis, to create medium-chain methyl ketones, with cetane numbers similar to those of typical diesel fuel. The team is using electricity to split water into oxygen and hydrogen, and the bacteria use energy from hydrogen to split carbon from CO2, and produce hydrocarbons that float to the waters surface.

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Category: Research

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