Process Intensification for the Biological Production of the Fuel Precursor Butyric Acid from Biomass: Article No. 100587

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Abstract

The production of fuels from lignocellulosic biomass is key to reduce our reliance on petroleum and to promote a sustainable bioeconomy. Butyric acid (BA) is a promising chemical precursor for the production of renewable diesel and jet fuels. BA can be biologically produced from lignocellulosic sugars. However, challenges associated with product selectivity and recovery must be overcome to achieve industrially relevant metrics. Here, we evaluate various fermentation configurations and demonstrate near-homo-butyrate production by using the biocatalyst Clostridium tyrobutyricum. We also develop an advanced in situ product recovery process based on hybrid extraction-distillation (HED-ISPR) and conduct techno-economic analyses and life cycle assessments. We demonstrate that the HED-ISPR process lowers the overall capital and operating expenses and environmental impact compared to other traditional fermentation processes. Overall, BA minimum product selling price from biomass is 55% of the current BA selling price from petroleum, a significant decrease toward viable renewable fuel production.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages21
JournalCell Reports Physical Science
Volume2
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2800-80834

Keywords

  • biofuels
  • bioseparations
  • carboxylic acids
  • Clostridium butyricum
  • Clostridium tyrobutyricum
  • fermentation
  • hybrid extraction-distillation
  • in situ product recovery
  • life cycle assessment
  • volatile fatty acids

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