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LS9 biofuels company

Technological Advances: Biofuels  May 9, 2023 – 09:43 am
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According to an article published this month in Technology Review, the new company LS9 is developing microbes that produce hydrocarbons. The Department of Energy USA has set a goal of replacing 30% of the gasoline used in the U.S. for renewable fuels from biological sources by 2030, and President Bush has prioritized the production of ethanol. Hence, it is surprising that some new biotechnology companies are positioning themselves to take advantage of a thriving market advance biofuels.

While most focus on ethanol, the company LS9, San Carlos, California, is using the relatively new field of synthetic biology to modify bacteria so that they can make hydrocarbons for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. Hydrocarbon fuels are better suited than ethanol to engines and existing transport infrastructure and its manufacture requires less energy. To realize biological production of hydrocarbons, the company is combining leading biology and synthetic biology industry.

Other startups like Amyris of Emeryville, California, and SunEthanol, Amherst, Massachusetts, are trying to also use synthetic biology to develop microorganisms that produce biofuels. Stephen Cardayre, biochemist and vice president of research and development of LS9, says LS9 microbes produce and excrete hydrocarbons that serve as fuels.
Now the company is working to customize the rate of production and the products themselves.

LS9 has funding of $ 5 million (3.6 million euros) from Khosla Ventures, Menlo Park, California, and Flagship Ventures, of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Flagship CEO, Noubar Afeyan, warns that no one can say to what extent biofuels displace fossil fuels. "It is a subject of great debate and many forecasts" he says.

The company is looking for areas in which the potential of synthetic biology to produce specific types of molecules worthwhile. This could include the development of high performance fuel for reactors, says Afeyan, or manufacture of a gasoline without added sulfur contaminant. Later, the company plans to license its technology. Specifically, could one day reach agreements with ethanol producers whose manufacturing plants could be more profitable and efficient by hydrocarbon fuels.

LS9 has that ethanol is not the best biofuel. From Cardayre notes that ethanol can not be transported by existing pipelines. Also contains 30% less energy than gasoline and it is necessary to mix it with conventional engines burn it. LS9 fuels would have none of these disadvantages. Moreover, its production would be more effective than ethanol. Finally, according to the LS9 process consumes about 65% less energy than the production of ethanol.

Source: avances-tecnologicos.euroresidentes.com

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