Integrated Process to Produce Renewable Butyric Acid Could Lead to Cheaper Biofuels
A team of NREL scientists have developed an energy-efficient and cost-effective process to produce butyric acid from biomass, which can be used as a precursor for renewable diesel and jet fuel. Photo courtesy of Dennis Schroeder / NREL.
Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) developed a fully integrated process to produce a promising precursor for diesel and jet fuel from lignocellulosic biomass, and for less expense than the selling price of the same material from petroleum.
The precursor, butyric acid, is normally derived from petroleum-derived propylene, but this new production method is energy-efficient with a big drop in greenhouse gas emissions compared with existing technologies. Ultimately, the NREL researchers plan to expand on this new pathway to demonstrate an economically feasible route from biomass-to-renewable diesel and jet fuel.
Learn more about the research funded by the Bioenergy Technologies Office.