KAIST team produces gasoline using E. coli

2013_10_ecoliA group of scientists from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology has discovered a way to produce gasoline using bacteria for the first time, the school announced. The finding, published online in the journal Nature on Sunday, could mark a step toward developing new renewable energy.
The research team led by Lee Sang-yup, a professor at the chemical and biomolecular engineering department, used Escherichia coli bacteria that naturally turn sugars into fat to convert fatty acid into oil.
There are a few examples of research succeeding in producing diesel fuel through modified bacteria, but this is the first time a possible substitute for gasoline has been created, the research team said.
For full article, see Korea Herald.

High efficiency bio-butanol production technology developed

KAIST and Korean Company cooperative research team has developed the technology that increases the productivity of bio-butanol to equal that of bio-ethanol and decreases the cost of production. Professor Lee Sang Yeop (Department of Biological-Chemical Engineering) collaborated with GS Caltex and BioFuelChem Ltd. to develop a bio-butanol production process using the system metabolism engineering method that increased the productivity and decreased the production cost.  Bio-butanol is being widely regarded as the environmentally friendly next generation energy source that surpasses bio-ethanol.

The energy density of bio-butanol is 29.9MJ (mega Joule) per Liter, 48% larger than bio-ethanol (19.6MJ) and comparable to gasoline (32MJ). Bio-butanol is advantageous in that it can be processed from inedible biomass and is therefore unrelated to food crises.

Especially because bio-butanol shows similar characteristics especially in its octane rating, enthalpy of vaporization, and air-fuel ratio, it can be used in a gasoline engine.

For full article see KAIST.

Korea develops efficient, marketable bio oil plant

A Korean scientist has developed an indigenous technology to produce bio oil from only wood scraps that can be put to commercial use in the near future, a state research center said Thursday.

Such a technology already exists and is in use in other countries, but the new, indigenous technology will prove to be equally efficient and less expensive, according to the Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials (KIMM).

A prototype plant, developed by KIMM researcher Choi Yeon-seok, produces 9 kilograms of bio-crude oil per hour, using only 15 kilograms of sawdust.

For full article see Korea Times.