Recent Presentation to ARB

Arpad Horvath, Mike Taptich, and I just wrapped up our project on drop-in biofuel production for the California Air Resources Board. Arpad and I visited Sacramento to present our findings just before the holidays. Links to the slides, final report, and abstract can be found here. The video interview can be viewed below:


New paper on using CO2 to enable consolidated biofuel production

We have published a new paper in Energy & Environmental Science on an integrated process for producing biofuels using bio-compatible ionic liquid pretreatment and reversible pH-adjustment with CO2.


LBNL press release –


Researchers at JBEI are studying the use of CO2 to streamline the production of biofuel. From left, Feng Xu, Corinne Scown, Tanmoy Dutta, Seema Singh, Jian ‘James’ Sun, Blake Simmons and Murthy Konda. (Credit: Arthur H. Panganiban/JBEI at Berkeley Lab)

Two new papers on bioenergy and water stress

My collaborators and I have published two new papers this fall.  The first is the result of a partnership between the Energy Biosciences Institute and the University of Bath, entitled “Challenge clusters facing LCA in environmental decision-making—what we can learn from biofuels”.  It is available in The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment.  The paper is open-access and available for download here.  The second paper is the result of work done at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab on spatially-explicit water impacts of carbon capture and sequestration.  It is published in Environmental Modeling and Software and available here.

New paper on jet fuel and lubricants production published in PNAS

I’m thrilled to share a new paper published in PNAS today entitled “Novel pathways for fuels and lubricants from biomass optimized using life-cycle greenhouse gas assessment”.  The paper combines novel experimental results for a variety of pathways converting C5 and C6 sugars to jet fuels and lubricants with life-cycle assessment and optimization to explore how different biorefinery configurations can affect the net GHG emissions.  Madhesan Balakrishnan is the lead author.

Selected media coverage:

LBNL: “Leaving on a Biofueled Jet Plane”

BBC: “Researchers Find Sweet Source for Aviation Biofuel”

C&E News: “From Sugarcane to Jet Fuel”

Daily Cal: “UC Berkeley Researchers Develop Alternative Jet Fuel Made from Sugarcane Biomass”

Green Car Congress: “EBI ketone condensation process for drop-in jet fuel or lubricant base oil from biomass; up to 80% lifecycle GHG savings”

EBI researchers Corinne Scown and Amit Gokhale at the EBB on UC Berkeley campus - research in producing biofuel for jet airplanes.  (Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt)

EBI researchers Corinne Scown and Amit Gokhale at the EBB on UC Berkeley campus – research in producing biofuel for jet airplanes. (Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt)

New papers on fuel production via natural and artificial photosynthesis

I’m excited to share a couple of new papers, one in Environmental Science & Technology and one in Energy & Environmental Science.  The ES&T paper, entitled “The role of lignin in reducing life-cycle carbon emissions, water use, and cost for US cellulosic biofuels” has just been posted in it’s pre-publication “just accepted” format.  The other, entitled “Life-cycle net energy assessment of large-scale hydrogen production via photoelectrochemical water splitting” is led by Roger Sathre and was published by EES last month.