The University of Wisconsin-Madison and ExxonMobil have announced a two-year renewal of an agreement to research the fundamental chemistry of converting biomass into transportation fuels.
Biofuels like the ethanol in U.S. gasoline could get cheaper thanks to experts at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and Michigan State University.
Most cars and trucks in the United States run on a blend of 90 percent gasoline and 10 percent ethanol, a renewable fuel made primarily from fermented corn.
Currently, it is possible to make fuels out of CO2–plants do it all the time–but researchers are still trying to crack the problem of artificially producing the fuels at large enough scales to be useful.
The Flint Hills Resources Fairmont plant buys 42 million bushels of corn annually to produce 120 million gallons of ethanol, 310,000 tons of distillers grains and nearly 20 million pounds of distillers corn oil.
Goethe University Frankfurt has now taken charge of a collaborative European project, the aim of which is to advance the development of processes for microbial, CO2 based biotechnology.