In the biofuel industry, the distillation of ethanol from water is a very energy intensive process. However, researchers from Cornell University have managed to reduce the energy costs of separation by using microbes in order to create caprionic acid from ethanol in beer broth. Caprionic acid is a valuable fuel precursor that is easily seperated from water due to its hydrophobic nature. Although the research has only been carried out on a small scale it is a promising step toward the production of low-cost biofuels through the fermentation of organic feedstocks.
Jose St Louis
Making Better Biofuels, from Beer Broth
June 28th, 2012