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Engineered Biosynthesis of Alternative Biodiesel Fuel

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing SummaryResearchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have invented a method of producing isoprenyl alkanoates that can be hydrogenated and blended into gasoline or diesel fuel. This invention also includes the design and manipulation of biosynthetic pathways to increase flux for enhanced production of fuel molecules. DescriptionThe JBEI technology utilizes a genetically modified host cell that expresses the enzymes to biosynthesize two hydrocarbons—an isoprenoid and a straight-chain fatty acid—in addition to the enzyme required to condense these into an isoprenyl alkanoate. The genetically modified host cell can be a bacterial or yeast cell line.

Traditional biodiesel is composed of fatty acid methyl esters derived from plant oil. While biodiesel may perform comparably to fossil-derived fuels, synthetically produced molecules with related chemical structures are expected to have improved combustion qualities due to changes in molecular linkages and bonds.
  • Combustion qualities comparable to biodiesel
  • Fuel molecule size can be adjusted for either gasoline or diesel compatibility
Applications and Industries
  • Production of a biofuel alternative to ethanol
  • Production of microbe-based biodiesel
  • Development of metabolic pathways to produce isoprenoid fuels and other commodity chemicals
More InformationPCT application filed.
PCT Publication No. WO/2009/006386
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated

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To: Shanshan Li<>