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Original slides by: Drew Sowersby (May 2011) _technical contributor for Advanced Biofuels USA Fuels of the Future The Bioalcohol Paradigm CDC PHIL /James.

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Presentation on theme: "Original slides by: Drew Sowersby (May 2011) _technical contributor for Advanced Biofuels USA Fuels of the Future The Bioalcohol Paradigm CDC PHIL /James."— Presentation transcript:

1 original slides by: Drew Sowersby (May 2011) _technical contributor for Advanced Biofuels USA Fuels of the Future The Bioalcohol Paradigm CDC PHIL /James Gathany yeast ethanol liquid fuel advanced biofuels phytomass fermentation lignocellulosic feedstocks synthetic biology branched-chain alcohols bridge fuels energy

2 Message to the reader The following slide document has been created to inform a broad audience about the importance and likely dominance of bioalcohols in the transportation industry as the global transition from non-renewable fossil fuels to renewable advanced biofuels gains momentum. The information contained in these slides stands in support of the Advanced Biofuels USA mission. “The Mission of Advanced Biofuels USA is to promote public understanding, acceptance, and use of advanced biofuels by promoting research, development and improvement of advanced biofuels technologies, production, marketing and delivery; and by promoting the sustainable development, cultivation and processing of advanced biofuels crops, and agricultural and forestry residues and wastes.” These slides are for public consumption and can be duplicated, replicated, modified, adapted, distributed, transmitted, and/or shared as seen fit by the reader. Please credit sources accordingly. If you wish to modify this document, just add your name under mine on the first slide. Note: Some slides contain additional information in notes section below

3 Concerted efforts from scientists, farmers, politicians, and grassroots organizations like Advanced Biofuels USA to understand and advocate for sustainability are ongoing. Most of us are seeking the promise of global security, the development of a sustainable workforce, and an endless supply of clean renewable energy. Converting biomass to biofuels for transportation fuel applications is currently one of the most active areas of investigative research in science and engineering. The following sections will offer an in-depth technical perspective of liquid fuels and demonstrate the overriding potential of bioalcohols to bridge transportation energy needs of modern society with the future of the human race. 1.Energy: The Root of All Civilization 2. Why Bioalcohols? Blending Bridges to Sustainability 3. Leaping Barriers: Squeezing the Sun

4 Section 1 Energy: The root of all civilization

5 1 EJ = J The post civil war exploitation of coal helped spawn the Industrial Age, while the subsequent incorporation of crude-oil and natural gas fossil resources helped spawn what has become a global economy. Is this pattern sustainable? Most believe the answer to this question is NO! Why? In the beginning there was…..biofuels?

6 In this section the ongoing energy crisis can be visualized in a series of graphs depicting the startling connection between: 1.Energy Consumption 2.GDP per capita (prosperity) 3.Population growth 4.Debt (deficit spending)


8 chart by :


10 U.S. Energy Information Administration (Washington, DC, June 2009) Projections: AEO2010 National Energy Modeling System U.S. primary energy use by fuel ( ) 1.0 × Btu 40%

11 Breakdown of the U.S. liquid fuel market 35 quadrillion Btu’s ( 37 EJ) of liquid energy annually ~ 95% of all liquids since 1958 have come from petroleum 1 63% of refined petroleum was delivered to market as motor gasoline for transportation 2 less than 3% biofuels 1.Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Review 2008, Petroleum Consumption: Transportation Sector, , U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, D.C 2.O’Donnell, M. Master’s Thesis, University of Texas at Austin, 2009

12 Global transportation energy consumption vs. GDP in 2006

13 graph from:



16 Energy and Economic Interconnectedness

17 Summary It appears there exists a positive correlation between energy consumption, population growth rate, GDP, and the abstractions of expanding debt and monetary instability. So now what? We must now consider alternatives to the current trends of fossil fuel dependence and moves toward sustainability. The next section will discuss the biofuels option with an in-depth analysis of the bioalcohol paradigm.

18 Why Bioalcohols? Blending Bridges to Sustainability Section 2

19 In contrast to fossil fuels, biofuels…. 1.Are sustainable (1-100 yrs vs yrs) 2.Can be carbon neutral or negative 3.Have a more diversified, distributed means of production 4. Can be created as reagent grade molecules (pure) Biofuels are any biologically derived solid, liquid, or gas that stores energy used in combustion applications. What are biofuels?

20 Biowaste Biocrude Bioalcohol Biogasoline (grassoline) Biogas Biodiesel BIOFUEL TYPES Biomass

21 Commercially available Methanol Natural Gas Propane Biodiesel Electricity Ethanol Hydrogen Under investigation and development Biobutanol Fischer-Tropsch (FT) diesel Gas to Liquids (GTL) Biogas Biomass to Liquids (BTL) Coal to Liquids (CTL) Hydrogenation-Derived Renewable Diesel (HDRD) P-Series (gasoline substitute) Alternative Transportation Fuels Source: The Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 1992

22 biomass biofuels adapted by: Drew Sowersby conversion

23 Million Barrels per Day chart by: Source: U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Agency (EIA).

24 Global biofuel supplies expected to increase dramatically BP p.l.c., Statistical Review, BP Energy Outlook 2030, London, January 2011 Million barrels day less than 2% of total liquid consumption more than 90% of all cars use sugarcane ethanol

25 1 st generation fuels corn-starch sugar from cane and beets soy for diesel 2 nd generation – multi-component cellulose switchgrass miscanthus agriculture and food processing residues poplar trees 3 rd generation – high quality cellulose microalgae macroalgae (seaweed) cyanobacteria 4 th generation - sun fuels carbon dioxide + light + biocatalyst… The evolution of biofuels is defined in terms of the carbon feedstock used for production CO 2 impact factor net 0 (medium to high lignin content) (low to no lignin)

26 The Bioalcohol Paradigm biomass sugar feedstocks fermentation product recovery market 1 chemical Storage market 2 market 3 Bioalcohols currently dominate commercially available biofuels

27 Biomass to Biofuels

28 biomass bioalcohols process generalization

29 Lignocelluloses represent the most abundant source of bioenergy Rubin, E. Nature, 2008, 454, Glucose Treatment with cellulases and/or acids releases glucose monomers for fermentation Most cellulosic material, like woods and grasses, contains lignin

30 1.Liu, Z. L.; Slininger, P. J.; Gorsich, Appl Biochem. Biotechnol., 2005, 124, organic acids phenols aldehydes ketones CLASSES of inhibitors But lignocellulosic feedstocks are not easily converted to sugar substrate and can introduce over 100 inhibitors into fermentation batches 1

31 The yeast cell factory has been used by humans for over 8000 years to create a host of useful renewable products Advantages Are the most common microorganisms used for production of biofuels (primarily alcohols) Are eukaryotic Have simple nutrient requirements Are prime targets for bioengineering Convert glucose to ethanol with unusual efficiency (FERMENTATION) insulin lactic acid carotenoids alcohols carbon dioxide polymer precursors So far, Saccharomyces cerevisiae have demonstrated the ability to perform with a lignocellulosic feedstock.

32 Ehrlich Pathway Glucose Pyruvate O2O2 Glycolysis (regulated and irreversible steps) CO 2 + H 2 O respiration Fermentation amino acid synthesis CO 2 + CH 3 CH 2 OH Standard fermentation in yeast Higher alcohol synthesis

33 Ketoaldehydes + CO 2 BCAAs Branched-chain alcohols decarboxylation (step 2) NADH-dependent reduction (step 3) transamination (step 1) BAT1, BAT2 PDC1, PDC2, PDC3, PDC5, PDC6, ARO10, THI3 (KID1) ADH1, ADH2, ADH3, ADH4, ADH5, ADH6, SFA1, etc. 2MB 2MP 3MB (leucine, valine, isoleucine) 2-Keto acids Ehrlich Pathway branched-chain alcohol synthesis Yeast cells naturally create C 4 and C 5 alcohols using fermentation enzymes superior alcohol fuel surrogates

34 Nitrogen Source Gases (CO 2 and O 2 ) Water Excess sugar Ionic Strength pH Inhibitors Viscosity Fluid Motion Temperature Biocatalyst Fermentation as a complex adaptive system Hypothetical Interaction Map

35 Isobutanol (2MP) is a viable platform molecule conventional motor gasoline isobutanol GEVO, Inc. Highlights High yield isobutanol yeast fermentation (105 g/L per batch) Conversion to hydrocarbons Carbon emissions reduction of 85% Competes with oil at $65 a barrel source: GEVO, Inc.

36 C 4 -C 5 Alcohol Platform Case Study: “Production of Butyric Acid and Butanol from Biomass” Ramey D and Yang S-T, Phase II STTR Final Report for D.O.E. (2004) Highlights After logging 10,000 miles butanol…. increased auto mileage by 9% reduced oxides of nitrogen by 37% reduced carbon monoxide to 0.01% reduced hydrocarbons by 95% first American company to commercialize butanol ButylFuel, LLC

37 C 4 -C 5 alcohols have advantages compared to ethanol  higher energy density  lower vapor pressure  lower air/fuel ratio  less corrosive  less hygroscopic  higher gasoline blend ratios o “drop-in” fuel compatible with gasoline engines, existing storage facilities, and distribution infrastructure 1.Harvey, B. J.; Meylemans, H. A. J Chem Technol Biotechnol., 2011, 86, 2–9. 2.Dürre, P. Biotechnol. J., 2007, 2,

38 --information obtained from MSDSs, Sigma-Aldrich website, and NIST chemistry WebBook. * a.k.a. isobutanol ~ 1-butanol Selected bioalcohol and gasoline properties

39 Liquid Fuel Energy Densities MJ/L MJ/kg Adapted by Drew Sowersby Source:Scott dial butanol/pentanol sweet spot?

40 Right now fuel blends are showing up at pumps across the U.S. E10 o Up to 10% ethanol to replace MTBE E15 - E85 o contains 15% to 85% ethanol o requires post 2001 or Flexfuel engine technology B20 o contains 20% biodiesel / 80% diesel o made commercially from soybeans How long until we see C 4 and C 5 advanced alcohols at the pump? BRIDGE FUELS

41 Section 3 Leaping Barriers: Squeezing the Sun

42 The Obstacle Course It would be irresponsible to assume that human energy needs will be fulfilled in a timely fashion. The transition to sustainable energy will likely be a long arduous process. Moore’s Curse and the Great Energy Delusion (The American Magazine, November 19, 2008) “There is one thing all energy transitions have in common: they are prolonged affairs that take decades to accomplish, and the greater the scale of prevailing uses and conversions the longer the substitutions will take. The second part of this statement seems to be a truism but it is ignored as often as the first part: otherwise we would not have all those unrealized predicted milestones for new energy sources.” - Vaclav Smil-Distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba.

43 Technical Barriers Low crop energy density Kerr, R. Science, 2010, 329, Supply continuity Geographic distribution Sheer size required for economic growth GOAL START

44 The Bright Side The sun delivers about 1000 W/m 2 of power to Earth’s surface Wh = 1 kWh = 3.6 mega Joules (MJ) peak sun hour = 1 kWh peak sun hours per day based on geo location

45 ≈ 4.00 peak sun hours avg./day 1 1 peak sun hour = 3.6 MJ 14.4 MJ/(m 2 )day × 365 days × 9.83 × m 2 ≈ 5.20 × MJ/year 1 MJ = Btu ≈ 4.90 × Btu/year 1. Solar Radiation Data Manual for Flat-Plate and Concentrating Collectors National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), 2006 U.S. example? US land area this is roughly 500X the current amount of US energy usage

46 ≈ peak sun hours/day 7.2 MJ/(m 2 )day × 365 days × 5.14 × m 2 ≈ 1.35 × MJ/year ≈ 1.28 × Btu/year Earth?

47 “Using detailed land analysis, Illinois researchers have found that biofuel crops cultivated on available land could produce up to half of the world's current fuel consumption – without affecting food crops or pastureland. Adding LIHD (low input high density) crops grown on marginal grassland to the marginal cropland estimate from earlier scenarios nearly doubled the estimated land area to 1,107 million hectares globally, even after subtracting possible pasture land – an area that would produce 26 to 56 percent of the world's current liquid fuel consumption.” -- Published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, the study led by civil and environmental engineering professor Ximing Cai identified land around the globe available to produce grass crops for biofuels, with minimal impact on agriculture or the environment.

48 What will the next transition be? Paradigm Shift standard fermentation to advanced fermentation 2 nd generation biofuels 1 st generation biofuels NON-FOOD crops and waste/residues FOOD crops CO 2 and the SUN

49 Taking Us from the Present to the Future Many companies are engaged in making these transitions happen. See a list of more than 400 companies in the Resources section on the Advanced Biofuels USA web site: ies-involved-with-advanced-biofuels ies-involved-with-advanced-biofuels Find out more at

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