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Posts tagged “fermentation”

By Robert Rapier on Jan 27, 2011 with 65 responses

Vinod Khosla and the Gasification/Fermentation Debate

Vinod Khosla Prognosticates Vinod Khosla is once more offering up his prognostications on the future of the energy business: What Matters in Biofuels? Given the likely continued dominance of the internal combustion engine, cellulosic and sugar-derived fuels offer one of the lowest risk advances to quickly and affordably achieve low-carbon transportation. I predict that long before 2022, half a dozen technologies within and outside our portfolio will be market competitive and will blow away the cost structure of corn ethanol. In the same article, he offers his view on those he deems energy Luddites: The old fashioned bias among traditionalists, mostly Luddites unfamiliar with the vibrant new research especially in startups, is that Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FT) of liquid hydrocarbons from… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jul 19, 2010 with 31 responses

Biomass to Fuel via the MixAlco Process

Previously, I described a portion of my role in the early development of the MixAlco Process. Developed in the laboratories of Professor Mark Holtzapple at Texas A&M University, the process has undergone significant further developments, which I report on in this essay. Details of the MixAlco Process Here I will describe the process in a nutshell, but Wikipedia describes the process in significant detail. In fact, the details there are so thorough I suspect it was written at least in part by Professor Holtzapple’s graduate students. The MixAlco process utilizes naturally occurring microbes to convert cellulose into chemical intermediates and fuels. The focus of the early work was to identify organisms that utilize cellulose as an energy source, and then… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jul 4, 2010 with 15 responses

Introduction to the MixAlco Process

In this essay, I am going to talk about my graduate school work at Texas A&M. Since leaving A&M there have been a lot of developments related to the technology I worked on, so in the essay following this one I will discuss more details on the nature of the technology and the developments toward commercialization. My Ag Background I may have mentioned once or twice that I grew up on a farm in Oklahoma. Farming is still very much a major activity within my extended family, and needless to say I have had a lifelong interest in agriculture. After receiving undergraduate degrees in chemistry and mathematics, I decided to attend graduate school at Texas A&M University. For those who… Continue»