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Bright Skies for Plant-Based Jet Fuels

With an estimated daily fuel demand of more than 5 million barrels per day, the global aviation sector is incredibly energy-intensive and almost entirely reliant on petroleum-based fuels. But a new analysis by Berkeley Lab shows that sustainable plant-based bio-jet fuels could be competitive with conventional fuels if current development and scale-up initiatives continue to push ahead successfully.

Nature’s Own Biorefinery

New research from Berkeley Lab shows how an insect common to the Eastern U.S., the long-horned passalid beetle, has a hardy digestive tract with microbes to thank for turning its woody diet into energy, food for its young, and nutrients for forest growth. These insights into how the beetle and its distinct microbiome have co-evolved provide a roadmap for the production of affordable, nature-derived fuels and bioproducts.

Potential New Way to Boost Biofuels and Bioproducts Production

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have gained insight into the primary process by which all cells harness energy, known as cellular respiration, of E. coli bacteria and a species of yeast, each of which are common hosts for biofuels and bioproducts. Their findings suggest new ways by which the pathways

New Machine Learning Approach Could Accelerate Bioengineering

New approach is faster than the current way to predict the behavior of pathways, and promises to speed up the development of biomolecules for many applications in addition to commercially viable biofuels, such as drugs that fight antibiotic-resistant infections and crops that withstand drought.

Sewage Sludge Leads to Biofuels Breakthrough

Researchers at Joint BioEnergy Institute and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have discovered a new enzyme that will enable microbial production of a renewable alternative to petroleum-based toluene, a widely used octane booster in gasoline that has a global market of 29 million tons per year.

To Find New Biofuel Enzymes, It Can Take a Microbial Village

In search of new plant enzymes? Try looking in compost. Researchers at JBEI have demonstrated the importance of microbial communities as a source of stable enzymes that could be used to convert plants to biofuels. This approach yields robust enzymes that researchers can’t easily obtain from isolates.

Beyond Biofuels: Berkeley Lab Facility a Catalyst for Broader Bio-based Economy

When the DOE’s Advanced Biofuels Process Development Unit (ABPDU) at Berkeley Lab commenced operations in 2012, the initial focus was on overcoming barriers to biofuel commercialization. To date, the ABPDU has entered into agreements with more than 30 partners.

Internship Fuels a Student’s Budding Career in Science

Ever wonder what the Advanced Biofuels Process Demonstration Unit looks like from the inside? Check out Carolina Gutierrez’s Berkeley Lab Instagram Takeover, “The Day in the Life of an Intern at ABPDU,” at www.instagram.com/berkeleylab/. As a high school student in her hometown of Manteca, California, Carolina Gutierrez was a top student who excelled in advanced

DOE Renews Funding for Joint BioEnergy Institute at Berkeley Lab

The Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), led by Berkeley Lab, is one of four DOE Bioenergy Research Centers to receive funding in support of innovative research on biofuels and bioproducts. The four centers will receive a total of $40 million. The award marks the next research phase at JBEI, originally established in 2007.

A Whole-Genome Sequenced Rice Mutant Resource for the Study of Biofuel Feedstocks

Researchers at the DOE Joint BioEnergy Institute, in collaboration with the Joint Genome Institute, are reporting the first whole-genome sequence of a mutant population of Kitaake, a model variety of rice. Their high-density, high-resolution catalog of mutations facilitates the discovery of novel genes and functional elements that control diverse biological pathways.