Navigation Links
Energy Deptartment funds UW project to turn wasted natural gas into diesel
Date:12/14/2012

The U.S. Department of Energy this month awarded a group led by the University of Washington $4 million to develop bacteria that can turn the methane in natural gas into diesel fuel for transportation.

"The product that we're shooting for will have the same fuel characteristics as diesel," said principal investigator Mary Lidstrom, a UW professor of chemical engineering and microbiology. "It can be used in trucks, boats, buses, cars, tractors anything that diesel does now."

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E, selected the UW-led project in its second major funding round that awarded 66 grants to U.S. universities, businesses and national labs. The Energy Department launched the agency in 2009 to support high-risk, potentially transformative energy research projects.

The UW engineers will work with scientists at the National Renewable Energy Lab and two industry partners. They will target the natural gas associated with oil fields, which is often flared off as waste, as well as so-called "stranded" natural gas reserves that are too small for a pipeline to be economically viable.

The team aims to capture that natural gas and use bacteria to turn its main component, methane, into a liquid fuel for transportation.

"The goal at the end of three years is to have an integrated process that will be ready for pre-commercialization pilot testing," Lidstrom said.

The four project partners have distinct roles. First, the UW team will develop a version of the bacteria that is even better at converting methane to energy-rich fatlike molecules. Then LanzaTech, a New Zealand-based biofuels company, will develop a way to grow the new bacteria in larger quantities at high efficiency. Next the U.S. National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colo., will devise an efficient way to extract the energy-rich molecules from the microbe's cells. Finally, partners at Johnson Matthey, a U.K. chemical company, will use chemical catalysts to convert those molecules into diesel.

After establishing a viable method, national lab scientists will work with the industry partners to develop an economic model that predicts manufacturing costs as production scales up.

The bacterium at the center of the effort comes from an alkaline salty lake near Mongolia. Team member Marina Kalyuzhnaya, a UW research associate professor in microbiology, discovered it during her graduate studies in Russia. The microbe can survive in harsh environments, consumes methane and uses it to build cells containing energy-rich lipids. At the UW, the microbe has been evolved to grow unusually fast, making it practical for industrial applications.

Other members of the UW team are research assistant professor David Beck and senior research scientist Ludmila Chistoserdova, both in chemical engineering. The grant starts in February and lasts three years, with project milestones due every quarter.

"It's exciting," Lidstrom said. "We have to hit the ground running. It's very ambitious but we believe this team is strong enough, and we know enough about what needs to be done that we will achieve our goal."


'/>"/>

Contact: Hannah Hickey
hickeyh@uw.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Story tips From the Department of Energys Oak Ridge National Laboratory, March 2012
2. First complete full genetic map of promising energy crop
3. Polycrystalline diamond drill bits open up options for geothermal energy
4. NOAA science supports New Yorks offshore energy planning
5. Energy requirements make Antarctic fur seal pups vulnerable to climate change
6. Carnegies Greg Asner named Energy/Climate Fellow by US State Department
7. A new dimension for solar energy
8. Is bioenergy expansion harmful to wildlife?
9. University of Minnesota invention helps advance reliability of alternative energy
10. Nanocrystal-coated fibers might reduce wasted energy
11. Europe meets to discuss progress in energy research and development
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/9/2017)... Feb. 9, 2017 The biomass boiler market ... the biomass boiler market globally in terms of revenue ... boilers. The market for biomass boilers has been segmented ... application, and country/region. The market based on feedstock type, ... residues, biogas & energy crops, urban residues, and others. ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... , Feb. 7, 2017 Report Highlights ... The global ... reach $11.4 billion by 2021, growing at a compound annual ... - An overview of the global markets for synthetic biology. ... estimates for 2016, and projections of compound annual growth rates ...
(Date:2/7/2017)...   MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical ... research, is pleased to announce that the latest release ... flexible and award winning eClinical solution, is now available ... is a proven Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) clinical research technology platform ... also delivers an entire suite of eClinical tools to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)... , ... March 21, 2017 , ... The Conference Forum ... (CMO Summit) to be held on May 10-11, 2017, at the Colonnade Hotel in ... specifically for Chief Medical Officer peer-to-peer learning, benchmarking and support. , “The Chief Medical ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 22, 2017 , ... March 22, 2017...Council for ... another green revolution, one that utilizes technological innovation in smart, sustainable ways. Humans depend ... life such as aesthetics and environmental stability. This paper is the first in a ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... SAN FRANCISCO , March 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... the fastest growing genetic information companies, today announced ... the diagnosis of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) ... the leading lethal genetic disorders among infants as ... disease in childhood. The new test, announced during ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... March 20, 2017 ... ... novel therapies for gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, today announced that it has entered into ... (NRG-4) for therapies in inflammatory bowel disease including Necrotizing Enterocolitis (rare orphan disease) ...
Breaking Biology Technology: