Researchers at UC Berkeley recently developed a process that uses bacterial fermentation and chemical catalysis to create biofuels ten times more powerful than the norm. This new biofuel is powerful enough to be used by airplanes and large industrial vehicles.
The process developed by the Berkeley scientists uses steps to produce the supercharged biofuel. First, the bacterium Clostridium acetobutylicum is used to break down plant sugars through the process of fermentation. This creates acetone ethanol.
Chemical catalysis is then used to increase the amount of carbon in each molecule of acetone ethanol is then increased through to. By boosting the amount of carbon present in normal ethanol by ten times, the new process gives acetone ethanol the same kind of output as petrochemical-based diesel and jet fuel.
The Berkeley research team is now seeking a way to commercialize their new biofuel production process for industrial use.
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