delware environmental institute

In search of new biofuels: UD wins $2.2 million grant for bioenergy research

In search of new biofuels:  UD wins $2.2 million grant for bioenergy research

Biofuels are fuels made from renewable resources, such as agricultural and forest products and byproducts. Unlike their non-renewable fossil fuel counterparts, such as oil, their increased usage has the potential to reduce pollution and U.S. dependence on foreign resources.

Their production, however, is problematic. Biofuels must be produced quickly and at high concentrations in order to make them economically feasible. Unfortunately, the process can be toxic to cells necessary in their manufacture.

Eleftherios (Terry) Papoutsakis, Eugene du Pont Chair of Chemical Engineering at the University of Delaware, is working to create hardy organisms for producing biofuels and chemicals from renewable sources – microorganisms that are more resistant to toxic chemicals and engineered to withstand the stress response that can inhibit cell growth and cause cell death. (full article)