Novel strategies for sustainable replacement of finite fossil fuels are intensely pursued in fundamental research, applied science and industry. In the case of jet fuels used in gas-turbine engine aircrafts, the production and use of synthetic bio-derived kerosenes are advancing rapidly. Microbial biotechnology could potentially also be used to complement the renewable production of jet fuel, as demonstrated by the production of bioethanol and biodiesel for piston engine vehicles. Engineered microbial biosynthesis of medium chain length alkanes, which constitute the major fraction of petroleum-based jet fuels, was recently demonstrated. Although efficiencies currently are far from that needed for commercial application, this discovery has spurred research towards future production platforms using both fermentative and direct photobiological routes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering